“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
The other day, at the end of a long, arduous call with a client who I was helping to map out a plan to overcome a long period of low growth and stagnation, he blurted out in frustration, “I’ve been in business for 15 years now – I should be doing better than this!”
I wish I had a nickel for every client or business owner I’ve heard utter some variation of that one. Here’s another: “I work long, hard hours – I should be further along by now!” Or, “We’re the BEST at what we do – we should be more profitable by now!”
The biggest problem with ALL of this is the word “should.” It implies entitlement based on a set of rules only YOU have, not how life actually works.
Maybe you’ve heard this from an employee: “I’ve been here for X years…I should be making more money by now!” or “I should have been given a promotion by now!” I had an employee who once asked for a raise purely on the basis of the house I lived in. She said, “Since you’re clearly doing really well, I think you should be able to pay me more.” Needless to say, she doesn’t work here anymore.
Entitlement is a very unproductive emotion and one of the main reasons many fail to achieve any real success in life and in business. They feel good things SHOULD come to them and stubbornly REFUSE to do the activities that actually DRIVE success, profits, more clients, more revenue and growth.
You can’t sit there grumpy about your lot in life if you’ve flat-out failed to do the specific things in your business that drive those results – namely, implementing an effective, consistent and productive sales and marketing engine – and then somehow feel ENTITLED to more success, profits, clients, etc.
Life does not work that way. The farmer that looks up to the heavens and prays, “Oh Lord, I know I haven’t planted anything this spring or summer, but if you’ll just give me a good crop this fall, I promise I’ll work twice as hard next spring,” is gonna starve. And rightfully so.
Yes, business is tough. Yes, we’re all awash in problems, setbacks, difficulties, disappointments. Yes, many of these are not our fault. YES, we’re all BUSY. But money doesn’t flow to you for being “busy,” a hard worker or being at something for a “long time.” Money flows to those who DO THE SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES that attract it. And the more mature you are about accurately thinking this way, the faster you’ll get to where you want to go.
So, if you ARE behind your personal goals and annoyed, aggravated and frustrated that you’re not further ahead in your business by now, here are three things to do immediately.
Stop Doing Low-Money Work:
This is a BIG one. You have “no money” to hire a marketing manager to run campaigns or a salesperson to set appointments, close deals or farm existing accounts, so YOU’RE doing it (poorly, I might add) or it’s not being done at all. BUT you’re still doing all the technical work and administrative duties. You still do all the invoicing.
You cling to low-profit clients and stubbornly refuse to raise your prices or invoice properly, charging clients what they should be paying. You waste hours on social media fighting with other MSPs about vendors or researching and playing with software tools. ALL of this is low-money or NO-money work.
Want to make more money? STOP DOING LOW-MONEY WORK and replace it with activities that enable you to scale profitably. Let’s suppose you pay yourself a salary of $100,000 (roughly $48 per hour) and you want to double that to $200,000 (roughly $96 per hour). Great. To do that, you have to STOP doing any work, any project, ANYTHING that you could pay someone $95 per hour to do.
Yeah, I know…you “can’t.” Then, at a MINIMUM, stop doing any work you could pay a secretary, salesperson, junior tech or SOMEONE ELSE to do that would cost you less than $48 per hour. If you continue to invest your time into projects or activities that are low-money work, you will continue to be stuck at your current income level.
What are the HIGHEST-PAYOFF activities? Building systems, people and processes to scale your business. Marketing and sales systems. Service delivery systems. Studying and understanding markets, finance, leadership and management. If you waste one hour on Reddit, you deserve to be poor.
URGENCY And FAST Implementation:
The other day a member told Jeff Johnson, TMT’s Chief Revenue Officer, he couldn’t come to Boot Camp because he had to get a new tech up to speed. This was in FEBRUARY and Boot Camp is in APRIL. You mean you can’t get a new tech up to speed in 2 months? Or at least to a point where you can take 5 days out of the office? Either he’s truly and honestly clueless (and I mean that in a good, loving, Christian way) or he’s just reaching for any lame excuse to not invest in improving and inspiring himself.
Methinks it’s a little bit of both. Another guy came to me starving, begging for my help. Said he was barely keeping the doors open and had no money to do marketing. I gave him 3 really simple, really quick fixes to his problem. When I saw him at an event a half year later and asked how it was going, he told me he had been “too busy” to try the ideas. Too busy? TOO BUSY? Too busy doing WHAT?!?!? He muttered and fumbled around with a few excuses, but couldn’t really tell me. Just “too busy.”
So, here’s the deal: if you want to have any hope of succeeding in business, you need to be able to make a decision to do something and then get it implemented fast. Get employees productive FAST. Get a good marketing idea implemented FAST. React to a threat FAST. Follow up on a hot lead FAST. Don’t think it over! Don’t take months to “ramp up” and “ease” into it! You’re DEAD by then!
Napoleon Hill correctly identified “decisiveness” as one of the great characteristics of highly successful people. They make a decision and ACT. They don’t take weeks to think it over…or wait for the “right” time…or put it off until they have more money and more time. Low performers operate that way. They’re afraid to make a decision. They deliberate about it not because they’re investigating it or doing research – they’re doing it because they DON’T WANT TO MAKE A DECISION.
Take MASSIVE Action On High-Payoff Activities:
I can pretty much guess your bank balance – money or moths – if you give me the answers to the following questions:
- Where is your money coming from? And I don’t just mean revenue, I mean PROFITS. Which products/services are most profitable? Which clients? What specific activities?
- Follow-up: How much TIME do you invest into the specific activities that drive/build/produce the “assets” from which your money (profit) comes?
- Give me a list of the books, seminars or business-related education you’ve read, listened to, attended or received in the last 3 months and the specific things you IMPLEMENTED from them.
- Give me a list of all the sales and marketing systems you’ve either implemented (new) or improved in the last 3 months.
The late Jim Rohn would tell you that if you want to know why someone is successful, just follow them around for a day. You’ll end up saying to yourself, “It’s no wonder they’re so successful…just look at everything they DO.” Jim coined the term “massive action,” which was later made popular by Jim’s protégé Tony Robbins. Regardless of who thunk it, the principle is sound: If you want to achieve a BIG goal, you need to kill off any entitlement you feel and take MASSIVE ACTION on specific activities that will move you toward achieving it.
To fast-track your action in your marketing and growth, join us for our Next Generation MSP Tour, coming to a city near you. This is the chance to learn from the best and brightest in the industry, as they share how to leapfrog over your competition and grow exponentially. Tickets are only $19 with promo code TMTDISCOUNT.