The other day I happened upon a post on Facebook that reveals one reason why most people aren’t millionaires, and it applies not only to MSPs, but to the world at large.
I have no idea how Mr. Zuckerberg’s algorithms decided I needed to see this post, because it was by someone I don’t know. The situation was as follows: The woman posting was a single mom. She was complaining that her ex, who was remarried with children from his second wife, wasn’t paying his “fair share” of child support. She went on to say that her ex-husband had married a business owner who made close to a million dollars a year. (I instantly thought, “Good for her!”) Upon recently discovering this, she felt it was only fair that he pay more in child support than was set by the court when they separated, based on HIS income.
Think about that phrase, “fair share,” for a minute. They are dangerous words dripping with entitlement.
Most of the people responding to the post agreed with this woman without even knowing all the details. She might be a lazy SOB for all we know. She might be irresponsible with money and a horrible mom. She might even make $1 million a year or more herself, or be getting a big, fat paycheck from her ex every month that more than covers the childcare expenses. We don’t know. But the fact that nobody asked these questions and directly went to their assumptions reveals how most of society (who are not millionaires) think about money and their relationship with it, which keeps them broke.
These are the SAME beliefs that keep nearly 80% of the MSPs in our industry well below the million-dollar mark in sales, and even more from earning a million plus in net profit. Here they are in no particular order:
- They believe money is in short supply. A common belief people have about money is that there’s only so much of it to go around, and if you earn a lot of it, you’re taking it away from someone else. That makes most people (maybe you?) feel uneasy about making a lot, which will dial down their wealth-earning power. In this case, there’s an underlying assumption that the single mom couldn’t go and earn that money on her own. That she was “trapped” and dependent upon her ex’s income. Why make such an assumption? I see MSPs doing this when quoting fees. They look at the amount of money they should charge a client and instantly discount it, feeling “bad” or uneasy for asking for “so much.” They give services away for free all the time. They feel it’s wrong to “charge too much.” Nonsense. Are your clients charity cases? Without means? Of course not. Charge them top dollar for your services, then deliver a top-notch service. Simple. You are NOT a “better person” for charging a client less than you could or should.
- The feel tremendous GUILT in asking for and earning a lot of money. Riding on the above, another money roadblock is guilt. As an ethical, honest person, you probably think, “I don’t want more than my fair share.” Again, that reveals that you think there’s a very limited supply of money to go around, and that you’re only entitled to so much (“fair share”). Not so – there’s an UNLIMITED amount of money, and there is no such thing as a “fair share,” so why restrict yourself? Wealth is obtained by delivering value to others, period. As long as you’re not outright stealing it, you ought to have ZERO guilt. I can assure you the entourage of people I employ to maintain my homes, office and car are VERY grateful that I make enough money to keep them employed. If you have guilt over your income, you’ll consciously and subconsciously do things that will limit it. Oh, and P.S., too often achievement and ambition are wrongly defined as “greed” by people who don’t get it. My feeling is that as long as you’re not taking something for nothing, it’s NOT greed. It’s ambition.
- They believe they CAN’T. All too often, people believe the premise that you CAN start an IT services business from scratch and make millions, that you can get out of debt, find good people, attract great customers and live financially free – BUT they automatically dismiss themselves from being able to do it. They have a list of “Yes, buts.” “Yes, an MSP can make over a million net, BUT not me… BUT not in my town, BUT not in my situation, BUT not with my clients, BUT not at this time, BUT not without a lot of money, and I don’t have a lot of money. MY situation is different.” Because they believe this, they never even try, or they try a little but are easy dissuaded, discouraged and deterred. Folks, there’s a LONG list of people who’ve made millions from nothing who have no greater advantage, luck, smarts or skill than you. I’m far from a genius, but I’ll outwork everyone around me – and it’s paid off. I’ll be more persistent and determined. I’ll read more, study more. After doing this for 20+ years, I can tell you that you really don’t need to be the smartest person in the world to make a million net, and I don’t mean to disparage those who do. Believe me, they’re no dummies. But they’re not geniuses either.
Bottom line, if more people felt as ashamed of their non-millionaire status as they feel about having a million+, there would be more millionaires. I realize this is a very unpopular idea, but it’s a truth that needs to be said. There’s no lack of opportunity in the MSP space. None. IT budgets are higher than they’ve ever been, fueled by a desperate need for cyber security solutions. There’s a reason why mergers and acquisitions are HOT in our industry – people with MONEY see the opportunity and are capitalizing on it, so if you sell IT services, there’s never been a better time in the history of our world to make big money in big chunks, fast.