As if we didn’t get enough from China, the USDA is warning of a new invasive tick species called the Asian longhorned tick that is not native to North America but is growing in numbers here. It carries over 30 diseases that can make both animals and humans severely ill…or dead. Apparently, they multiply rapidly and “swarm,” and can overwhelm cattle or a person walking their dog through a field, with hundreds of ticks jumping on you and biting you, as they are “very aggressive feeders.”
That’s the thing about “small” things – be they small problems, distractions and frustrations. One alone can be dealt with easily, but for most of us, “small” problems swarm and overwhelm us. The proverbial death by a million paper cuts. A termite cannot do much harm, but a swarm of them will take down your house if left unchecked.
At a recent workshop we held, someone commented that one of the best things they got from the three days was my quick dissertation on how to deal with overwhelm. Part of TMT’s mission is to “expand the capacity of all members to achieve great things.” That is a very carefully constructed promise that most don’t understand. Expanding capacity is all about expanding your mental strength, skills, fortitude and abilities to deal with heavier loads.
Just like in the gym, you can train yourself to be able to lift heavier and heavier weights with confidence and without injury – but it’s something you build up to.
That’s why it’s called strength training. You train yourself to deal with the “overwhelm” of lifting a heavy weight. Done right, your body responds and adapts to get stronger.
But most people don’t “train” themselves to deal with overwhelm, and it is a big reason why small MSP businesses stay small. They busy themselves (and subsequently burn their energy, time and brain power) on frivolity and pointless activities all day long, wearing themselves out on nonsense. Often it’s a means of avoidance and escaping doing the work they need to do, like hiring and building a sales team in their MSP, really digging into their numbers or working on a marketing strategy and plan. It’s their way of hiding themselves from truthfully confronting the work they should be doing by busying themselves in low-money work.
If someone wants to make $1 million a year from their MSP and works 60 hours a week, they have 3,120 hours in a year to convert to $1 million in income.
That equates to a net of roughly $320 an hour, or really closer to $415 per hour if you take taxes into consideration – and then even MORE if we’re talking about profit. At a 20% profit, you need to bring in $2,075 in revenue per hour. Suddenly, it should bring into focus that doing the tech work, or invoicing, or stuffing envelopes is NOT a smart use of your time.
If you truly understood the value of your time in RELATION to your desired, stated income goals, you would rarely watch TV or scroll Facebook for “something to do.”
A text that takes a minute to read and respond to costs you $35. If you let even 10% of your 60-hour week be filled with nonsense, we’re now talking about 2,808 hours to make your million, which means every minute, every hour and every day has to be that much more valuable. At some point, you get so far behind, you never catch up. The gap is too wide.
I know a lot of very wealthy people, and they do not fritter away their time on sites like Reddit or Yelp. They don’t engage in petty nonsense, like arguing with others on Facebook over politics or whatever the hate theme of the day is. And they certainly don’t allow themselves to indulge in low-money work that can and should be delegated or outsourced.
They are not constantly available to others and can actually work for hours, uninterrupted. At a dinner with such people, you don’t see them whipping out their phones to text or tweet (unless they are intentionally trying to ignore those at the table). They are engaged with and focused on those they are with, in the meeting. If the people they’re with aren’t worth that level of attention, they don’t hold the meeting.
I would also add that all of you would do well for your MSP to find something that allows you to step away from your devices for a time.
The human mind requires rest periods. Your subconscious needs quiet periods to go to work. For me, that’s the garden. As horrible as I am at it, weeding, watering, planting and tending gets me away from the computer and into nature for a time. So does walking the dog. These are rituals we need in order to recover from the intensity of work.
“Mental toughness is often portrayed as determination and persistence, but it can also be flexibility and adaptability. I can be happy anywhere. I can work with what I have. I can have a good day with anyone. You are tough when your mood is not dependent on your conditions.” – James Clear