A little over a month ago, we went through another anniversary of the horrible events that had taken place on September 11, 2001. I’m even more aware of it given that DattoCon started on September 11 this year, in DC and I was sending some of the team. (Perhaps a bit of a lack of judgment on the part of their event staff?)
What happened on that day is what most of us would only imagine happening in a movie. I, like many Americans, never thought “it could happen to us.” A blatant attack on our people within our borders. There is much that could be said about it, I only want to extract one key lesson: there is NO such thing as security, and nothing is CERTAIN. This is just one of the many demonstrations of the fallacy of security that could be in your IT managed service company.
We are now over two years into the Covid pandemic, its effects still lingering, and who knows what’s coming next. I never in a million years thought what happened would have happened. Massive shutdowns and people forced to stay home. Not here…not in America! And yet it happened.
A huge number of IT managed service company CEOs are about to discover their fallacy of financial security…
Inflation essentially erased 10% of everyone’s net worth, and the stock market continues to decline from its early 2020 rise. There’s a $16 TRILLION consumer debt bomb just waiting to go BOOM, well above the levels hit during the 2008 financial crisis.
Many investors are about to have a rude awakening should a hard recession hit. Someone asked on a webinar I held recently if they should count on Social Security paying out when they retire. Surely that can’t be taken away after a lifetime of paying in, can it? You bet your sweet patootie it can, and probably will.
Could the government start taxing wealth and your IRA to save Social Security? You betcha. Could a big-name corporation come into this industry and compete with you, taking away your ability to earn? Surely that can’t happen, can it? Yet history and current events say it absolutely could happen. And maybe it’s not a big corporation – maybe it’s a big competitor moving into your space with a new innovation, a new model, bigger marketing budgets, and more staff.
Truth is, you cannot depend on things “to stay the same” in business.
Entire categories of business that were once essential are now gone or at risk of becoming extinct. Amazon, Netflix, and even YouTube are making cable companies dinosaurs. At our beach house, my husband was about to order five cable boxes for the TVs in the house. My question was WHY?
We can get every channel via the Amazon Prime account we have set up on every TV. It used to be that you could only go to an orthodontist to straighten your teeth. Now, with Invisalign, people are routinely doing DIY corrections…of their permanent teeth! Taxi businesses are struggling to keep Uber from encroaching, paying off favors to ban Uber and Lyft drivers from pickup spots at hotels and airports, making it more difficult for them to get customers, but it’s a temporary fix they’ll eventually lose. I could go on.
There’s a fallacy of security in health too.
A family member, with no health issues, is suddenly diagnosed with testicular cancer. Everything changes in a minute. He goes from being an active, very healthy man living his best life to a man dealing with a very aggressive form of cancer, having to make life-altering decisions about how to best address it. In a moment, all plans, goals, and aspirations change.
The same goes for relationships.
The employee you NEVER thought would quit does. The client you have a long, productive relationship with suddenly fires you – maybe for no fault of your own but because they were bought or changed leadership. A long-term, trusted vendor suddenly does something that puts you at risk or is discovered to have been stealing from you. I recently had a major falling out with my long-term CPA when I discovered he was giving me bad advice that resulted in a nearly million-dollar tax liability that I’m now working through. All that security was gone, in an instant.
Of course, it’s not productive to dwell on what COULD go wrong. But it’s just as foolish to meander through life and run a business without a healthy dose of paranoia, looking over your shoulder frequently, looking for what’s around the corner, and at least having a productive look at the threats you’re faced with daily. We chide business owners for their stupid, stubborn belief that a ransomware attack won’t happen to them because they’re too small. They don’t have anything a hacker wants – yet we routinely know small businesses are hacked.
Many IT managed service providers smugly laugh at these owners’ stupidity, saying they got what they deserved – and to a certain extent they’re right. But if you’re not doing the same for YOUR business and not routinely doing things to protect and preserve your income, productivity, relationships, and equity, then you’re every bit as much the fool and ought to wipe that smug look off your face. You’ll get what you deserve too.
So, what CAN you have a sense of peace about within your IT managed service company? Only one thing: YOU.
Your actions, your skills, your discipline, and your ability to produce. To execute. To take massive action. Young girls are taught to be their own heroes and not look to depend on a man, as my mother did and as many women of her generation did. When my father left her for another woman, throwing her out of the house with no money and two of us in tow, it destroyed her and became an event she never overcame. One that she never saw coming in a million years: her family and her marriage – the things she was certain about – were destroyed.
That’s why I urge all of you to make a serious commitment to sustain a very serious, very disciplined commitment to developing and protecting your assets, strengthening your business, improving, expanding, and strengthening your ability to PRODUCE. Specifically, recurring revenue, clients, and profits. Anything else around you, anyone else you depend on, anything you currently take for granted, can disappear in the blink of an eye.
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