As we interviewed Carousel Team Members for the #CarouselCrew series, a trend emerged. Many of us have a variety of passions in life and how we spend our time after work greatly influences the extraordinary work we do for our customers. An aha! moment was created, and a new series was born—#CarouselAfter5. Here, we explore how Carousel Team Members’ activities, hobbies, families, and experiences lend themselves to the powerful, extraordinary results we deliver each and every day to customers.

We are so excited to introduce you to this new series and invite you into the #CarouselAfter5 world!

In our kick-off blog, we introduce you to James Suller, our newly appointed Vice President of Customer Success in our Windsor, CT office. James has fostered strong customer relationships for over 20 years, delivering customer retention, growth, and profitability in enterprise companies. James is passionate about what he does every day—helping customers realize extreme value—and he always ensure he is properly fueled and well-rested in order to do so.

Tell us about a hobby that your fellow team members don’t know about?

My little-known hobby is that I am a bio-hacker. I spend much of my free time learning how to optimize performance, health, and well-being by utilizing science, technology, and a deep understanding of human physiology and nutrition.

I have been interested in athletics and nutrition for as long as I can remember. Since a young age, athletic competitions including Collegiate Soccer, Ultra Marathons, Ironman Triathalons, 48hr Spartan Races, and the World’s Toughest Mudder have been my competitions of choice.  In 2015, 2016, and 2017, I had the privilege of representing the United States in the OCR (Obstacles Course Racing) World Championships in Canada and finished the OCR season ranked 4th in the world in my age group.

Years of involvement in these intense competitions placed constant stress on my body, finally resulting in a near fatal experience requiring a life-saving rush to the emergency room and some deep introspection and self-inspection which lead me to relearn everything I devoted my life to. I was lean, strong, fast, fit and yet, I found myself less than an hour away from death.  This is what essentially ignited my interest in bio-hacking as it showed me that I didn’t know anything about being truly healthy.

How does this activity contribute to customer success at Carousel?

Since total well-being and health play essential roles in the quality of mental and physical performance, applying the lessons learned from bio-hacking leads to better performance at work. What we eat, how often we exercise, how calm our brain is, how happy we are, and how well we sleep all play significant roles in how we perform. Carousel’s customers depend on us to help them succeed and when our health and well-being are compromised, we simply don’t perform at our best. By incorporating bio-hacking life style changes such as drinking mushroom coffee during the day to increase focus (it’s not as bad tasting as it sounds), or utilizing red light therapy to recharge the mitochondria to increase energy, or simply using a diffuser with Neroli oil in the office to elevate creativity, I notice a drastic increase in my impact at work which correlates to increased benefits to our customers.

How do your #CarouselAfter5 activities contribute to your overall success—professionally for customers and personally?

Besides the physical and psychological benefits listed above, bio-hacking has taught me something that has elevated my success at work–that is to question everything and don’t be afraid to test something to see if it will work. In the world of bio-hacking, everything is questioned and nothing is assumed.  Theories and practices are not assumed to be correct just because they have been in place for a long time.  This correlates well at work where long-established practices remain in place because “that is the way we have always done it”. Questioning why and how things are done is an excellent gateway to driving change and can lead to great things for our customers. Bio-hacking taught me that nothing is impossible and if cauliflower can become pizza, then we can surely help all our customers be successful.

In the personal aspect, the benefits to bio-hacking are endless, but include higher energy levels, clearer thoughts, less stress, and an overall increase in satisfaction with life. Ever since completely re-evaluating my way of living and feeding my body with nutrient dense, organic food and achieving high-quality sleep, I have noticed a positive change in my level of health and well-being. Giving up the competitive activities that dominated my life for five decades was hard, but whenever that competitive urge returns, I think of this simple question my doctor asked me, “would you rather run a 100-mile race today or be able to get out of bed when you are 100?” and that competitive urge quickly disappears.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Carousel?

My higher-level purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives and for them to be better off because of something I was part of. At Carousel, I can do that for our customers and can do so–every day. Knowing that I am positively impacting our customers is both energizing and deeply satisfying. Every one of our customers have employees and most employees have families who count on them. By helping our customers, I get to help their employees and their families. Other companies claim to be customer focused, but Carousel is committed to doing so which allows me to fulfill my purpose and I am very excited to be part of their Customer Success Obsessed mission.

How do you promote the Customer Success Obsessed mission in your role?

Promoting the Customer Success Obsessed mission is one of my primary objectives at Carousel and I am doing so by executing a company-wide Customer Success program which is not just a department, but a philosophy that pervades our entire company. We are establishing a Customer Success Team whose focus is primarily on ensuring the customers achieve maximum value from their solutions. This entails understanding the customer’s goals and value expectations and then proactively managing their solutions to ensure the customer is successful.

To our customers, Customer Success Obsessed means they are going to have a trusted partner with in-depth knowledge of them and their industry. A partner who is proactive to their needs and accelerates their success. Customers will understand they are not going to be tackling their goals and challenges alone, they’ll be tackling it with somebody who cares about the outcome and that is truly obsessed about helping them be successful.