I often get asked the question “If you had to do it all over again, where would you start?”
It’s a useless question to even ponder because it won’t happen. But if you ask me what the biggest, most groundbreaking, and revolutionary ideas I learned over the last 25 to 30 years were, I have the answers I would give you below. Keep in mind that they’re in no particular order, and all are ones that are continually being learned, perfected, and expanded on. They aren’t “one-and-done” lessons, and they can actually help you become a truly successful MSP.
From Tony Robbins: The power of personal beliefs and the importance of controlling your state of mind.
What you focus on expands. If you focus on the fact that you’re broke, struggling, and failing, you’ll get more of it. Further, we should constantly reexamine our beliefs about money, business, “what people will pay,” what you can do, etc. If you find yourself struggling in an area, I can practically guarantee you’ve got a disempowering, negative belief that’s holding you back from being successful in your MSP. Remove THAT, and the obstacle will disappear.
From Dan Kennedy: The concept of using marketing to presell, prequalify and ATTRACT clients to you vs. old-school prospecting and selling.
Kennedy was also the one who taught me the power of influential writing and communication…the STRATEGY of marketing, not just the tactic implementation. When I first discovered him, I was a sales rep working for a marketing agency, depending on cold-call prospecting and hard-core selling to succeed. This concept was a real game-changer for me.
From Jack Welch: The team with the best players wins.
Specifically, in business, the company that can recruit, keep and leads a team of top performers will always outperform a competitor, even if that competitor has a current market advantage of more clients, more money, or more market share. This was a hard-to-accept lesson for me due to a lot of baggage and negative beliefs I had about hiring staff and employees in general. Being a great leader is still one of the areas I need to constantly work on, but Jack’s teachings on this are absolutely spot on from a man who has actually done it.
From Zig Ziglar: The fundamentals of sales and selling.
But more important was to take pride in my ability to sell. He would call it “the PROUD profession.” Far too many people think selling is a lowlife’s way of making a living and that salespeople are a basket of deplorables. Although Zig was an evangelical Christian, he was an aggressive salesperson and never apologized for it. He used to sell pots and pans door-to-door and would say, “When I meet with new prospects, I have THEIR pots and pans in my car and they have MY money in their wallet, and I’m here to make the exchange.” Far too many salespeople are either sales prevention or simply order takers. REAL salespeople are getting rarer than hen’s teeth today. They are especially difficult to find to work in your MSP.
From Dr. Nido Qubein: Choose to be excellent in everything you do.
Don’t be cheap. Build something that is truly extraordinary that your clients cannot get somewhere else. Be bold and choose greatness. Be Godiva, not a Hershey Kiss. Out of all the entrepreneurs I’ve met, I’ve never worked with someone as authentic, brilliant, kind, and intelligent as Qubein – yet he never once made me feel less than his peer.
All of these are lessons I need to go back to again and again, none being “mastered” because school is never out for the pro.
We all evolve, and the beliefs that had held us back 20 years ago no longer imprison us, but new ones creep in and emerge. I’ve often said that growing a business (not just running a business) is one of the best personal development “seminars” you’ll ever put yourself in. It will challenge you in ways you can never imagine, from overcoming fears and controlling your emotions to learning real discipline and mastering YOURSELF. Just about everything I’ve become that’s GOOD can be traced back to a major difficulty in my life – the insurmountable problem. And it has been my mentors, some (but not all) listed above, who have truly strengthened me and guided me through those times.