Let’s Draw Happy Little Clouds

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Today is Thanksgiving, to those of you in United States I wish you a happy turkey day. I hope you eat so much that the tryptophan-induced high moves your appreciation for arguably one of the highest white people to ever walk the earth – Bob Ross, painting happy little clouds.


We are in an era where a lot of us are building happy little clouds. There is money in them there clouds I tells ya! And sure enough, when I checked our KPI on Monday before heading out for a break we were already in the record books for growth/revenue for November and when you hear what we’re going to arm our ExchangeDefender MSPs with in Dec for enterprise storage you’re going to flip!

But wait, didn’t Vlad say yesterday that this IT business stuff is going to die? The news tells me that the economy sucks! Vlad’s newsletter is going to talk about the bad trends in the IT space. But he is launching new products, hitting record revenues and hiring people. His competitors are going out of business but he just raised prices.

What the heck man, I am so thoroughly confused!

I’ve had so many people do the above with me on the phone that I’ve nearly lost count. And most of them lately (fans of the blog) seemed nearly disappointed that I wasn’t gloomy and doomy in person. And nearly every person asks: But what if you’re wrong?

There are no ifs ands or buts about being wrong in business, it’s a business certainty that most or at best some of your decisions are not going to be good or great.

Here is a little secret: Most businesses fail. You are statistically more likely to fail than succeed.

I call it a secret because most people are either not aware of that or choose to run their business in a way that it’s a one-trick pony that is built to implode upon failure. You know, Bob the OEM that used to build computers in the mid-90’s that bought a big store and got killed by Dell. And who can forget Bob the Webmaster that bought thousands of dollars in Photoshop licensing but couldn’t even figure out Paintbrush. Or my favorite, Bob the Y2K expert that went around with a witch stick and a skull and blessed bank computers in 1999 and found himself homeless in 2000. But Bob bounced back with the SEO business plan which worked for about 25 minutes. Not to worry, after a brief stint as the antiterrorism insurance salesman Bob was back as Bob the SBSer, then Bob the VAR. Currently Bob the MSP is one credit card payment short of losing his 5,000 seats of Kaseya watching over the 80 seats across his client base and he’s pawning it on eBay to buy an Exchange server and become a cloud services provider.

Bob… Bob… Bob…

Do you ever wonder how certain people, regardless of time and condition, seem to talk a lot yet year after year they are no better than the year before? Or even worse do you ever notice how some people seem to know it all and then you see them again a while later to realize they are not doing any of the stuff they were such experts at last year?

Love that paradox. But here is the real kicker – forget about the guys that are flunking or that are constantly going nowhere. Seriously, forget about them. Try to explain this one: How is it that there are still profitable OEMs out there that make a ton of money? How is it that people still manage to make a ton of money designing web sites? How in the world does a one man MSP shop in England become more profitable than an entire two dozen employee company in Miami?

That’s what you need to focus on.

And there is no book, no magazine, no mentor, no Yoda that will teach you how to think, observe, research and react in the right way at the right time.

Today, I am most thankful for the people in my life, personal and professional, that have given me the opportunity to learn. I’m glad to put it out there, popular or not, and I thank you all for reading. Speaking of giving, the 1st Vladville newsletter comes in tomorrow.