Boo. Other than the China virus, intense political unrest, more shutdowns imminent, closed borders, skyrocketing federal deficits, sky-high unemployment, ongoing cyber-attacks on MSPs and sometime soon flu season and hyperinflation, I’d say things are going pretty well. (Other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)
Of course, if you’re acting like a true entrepreneur, you ought to be at least a little bit scared on a daily basis; after all, if you’re ONLY doing the things that feel comfortable and safe, you’re not trying all that hard. You should be making decisions every day that make you slightly anxious at the very least. The new, highly compensated employee you are putting in charge of a critical aspect of your business. The new vendor you’re going to entrust to your clients. The new product or service you are launching. The doubling or tripling of your client base while tech talent remains damned difficult to come by. Growing to the point where you can no longer keep a handle on everything going on, forced to trust your employees to do the right thing. The decision to invest a big chunk of money in developing a new piece of software. ALL have the potential to go very, very wrong – but it’s a leap you have to make to grow. If you’re too timid to pull the trigger and take calculated risk, you get nowhere. Even kids know you have to go out into the dark of night and knock on strangers’ doors to get a bagful of candy.
But here’s a growing trend that scares ME: The total and complete lack of ambition by folks claiming to be entrepreneurs. This year, many have already dug a grave, put themselves in and shoveled dirt on their own heads, giving up. The only good news in this pandemic is that working IT is essential now more than ever – but how many MSPs are out there marketing, selling and attempting to take clients from the failing MSPs? How many have repackaged what they sell to align with what businesses want and need right now? How many are still pushing the compliance and cyber security agenda that has NOT gone away, the need intensified with employees working from home on unsecured devices and Internet? How many are AGGRESSIVELY attempting to take over their market area, steal clients from competitors who are holed up, frozen in fear, doing nothing? The scary answer: NOT MANY.
This brings up another frightening question: Are you REALLY an entrepreneur? By definition, it’s a person who acts as an intermediary between capital and labor for the purpose of generating a profit. NOT someone laboring for a check. NOT a one-man band with a job. NOT a “tech with helpers.” Maybe that’s okay in the first year or two as you’re ramping up, but it’s definitely not okay in year 5, 10, or more – IF you want to grow an asset that can be sold for a profit.
That’s what being part of my community really means – it means you’re all in for making the transition from focusing on tech and operations to focusing on sales and marketing and expanding your capacity to grow a profitable, successful and stable business. To evolve into a highly effective entrepreneur. It means you are motivated by profit and growth. It means you are constantly pushing the envelope to expand and be more competitive. The pull of what’s known and comfortable – the tech and operational side – is strong. It’s scary for many to transition away from the known of delivering the service and operations to sales. To them, selling is a dark, mysterious, spooky place. But if you’re not sales-driven, what the heck are ya doing starting a business?!?!? You’re going to suffer and work hard no matter what you do, no matter how big or small your IT business is – might as well make some money while doing it.
My job has never been to make my members feel all warm ’n’ fuzzy; the Hallmark store I am not. I see myself as the stern but loving parent here to kick you out of the nest. To put you to the task. To shame you for accepting mediocrity. To PUSH you. If that disturbs you and you feel a little pissed off at me, good. USE that energy to up your game. Get angry and DO something about it. STOP ACCEPTING MEDIOCRITY, from yourself and from those around you. Raise your standards of what is acceptable from you, your business and your life. TOUGHEN UP for chrissakes.
If you’ve wandered through this year as the “the walking dead,” meandering and fumbling around lost, it’s time to get serious about being an entrepreneur. To make some money now. Good news is that THESE treats of ambition and drive don’t make you fat or give you cavities. They make you rich.
Want help in marketing and growing your business right now? Go to: https://toolkitlive.com/thrive2020