Have you’ve ever wondered why I don’t get murdered or beaten in public on a regular basis about the stories I write in public? It’s primarily because I have one rule here: If it can’t be made funny, I won’t write it. This is entertainment – we already have enough faux journalists and pretend experts dispensing their brilliance from a basement of their rented homes and Starbucks – I’m not that IT coach.. And I don’t pick people apart here (though many people have low self esteem and self-identify with the matters discussed here). Part of my job at ExchangeDefender is helping our partners position the cloud effectively (meaning: profitably) and far too often I get to hear rather sad stories about the struggles and issues that I too have faced in my career. So every now and then… I will write a “Real” blog post here and you’re welcome to skip it.. because everyone likes to laugh at a joke at someone elses expense – nobody wants to look at the mirror. So with the disclaimer out of the way.
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Insecure about competition? Join our peer group.
How is it possible that so many businesses are thriving and so many others, year after year, seem to be stuck hopping from one solution to the next and never breaking out of the same pattern? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a program, a person, a product, a service… that could leapfrog you past the struggle and finally push you ahead of the market for once?
There is a person that understands what you are going through & sees thousands of people just like you each year. They can help and they have great results: They are the sales person at virtually every MSP and VAR vendor out there. Their chief service: Separating you from your money. In many, many, many instances they may in fact be very helpful. But if you’re having problems – it’s unlikely that the problem is external to the company (or that can be solved with external help). It’s quite likely just you.
I see some people, with perpetual problems, at 3 different shows each year. Just trying to stay on top of things, just trying to figure out what is next, just checking something new out. And how are you doing? Oh, it’s been a bad year.
Stop. Stop buying software and services. Stop purchasing advice and recommendations. Stop trying to figure out what you could be doing better and figure out what you are doing wrong.
No sane vendor will recommend this so I’ll do it on the behalf of our industry:
Pick the next event you were going to. Cancel it immediately. Book a few nights at the local Motel 6 or equivalent cheap motel and bring your books, your strategy, your problems, your issues and lots of pens, highlighters and paper.
Start going over what is working and what you are good at. Be honest about the problems. Come up with a plan and a strategy to maximize the good and fix the bad.
And if you find someone that tells you the above is wrong – run. Your vendors need you in the long term – people that are just going to rob you now and move on to the next victim have short term on their mind (like sales people and quarterly performance targets) and to them it doesn’t matter if you live or die in 2015.
You probably care a bit more than that.
If so, start acting like it.
No coach, no platform, no service, no software, no solution, no peer group, no event, no boot camp, nobody is going to care more about your business than you do.
And here is the hammer: If you think you need all that to make it, you’re probably not cut out for this. If you can’t focus and mentally support yourself to fix the problems you cause to yourself how in the world are you going to address the problems your employees cause, your clients pin you in, the neverending change.
In all my time working with partners I’ve seen many ways in which people in this business succeed. Yet I’ve only seen one in which they fail: They think they are special and that rules don’t apply to them. Tech business is no different from any other business – and if your ego is so big that you think there is a substitute for hard work and growth and problem solving – then the odds are against you.
Stop. Think. Work. Win. It’s not going to happen until you decide it’s going to happen.