Last week a news story broke about a landscaper who mowed around a dead body lying in the grass he was cutting, giving the excuse that he had thought it was a Halloween prop. I’ve heard a lot of excuses over the years for people failing to do their job or skipping over important details in their work, but this one takes the cake.
Reality is, most people are supremely lazy and asleep at the switch on the job, operating on autopilot, taking shortcuts and just going through the motions until 4:50 p.m. when they can run home rather than looking for ways to improve, enhance or fix the obvious rotting corpse right in front of their face. They intentionally “mow” around the dead bodies.
In the last couple of rants, I talked about things you, the owner, should be very, very afraid of. ALL of these things, and other scary business-ending and financially devastating events that will undo your business, are birthed from ONE place, ONE desire: the lust for simplicity.
Nobody wants to think anymore. In business and in life, there’s a near-epidemic longing for easy buttons, shortcuts and simplicity. This is why The 4-Hour Workweek and One Minute Manager style of books are perennial winners. Despite the fact that we know you can’t work 4 hours a week and amass a fortune OR truly become a great leader in 60 seconds, we waste time in pursuit of them.
Anyone with some level of intelligence running a business knows there’s no such thing as “passive income” and that ALL highly successful people in every walk of life worked long, hard hours to get where they are, yet people still line up for every easy-button scam that comes along, taking BAD advice from the unethical, irresponsible “gurus” dispelling it.
Look, I’d like the fantasy of simple to be real too. Three simple steps to making a million more in income while working less. One simple pill to lose 10 pounds of fat in 7 days without diet or exercise. THE secret to looking 20 years younger without surgery. Who wouldn’t want an EASY way to accomplish a better life? But at some point in your journey of scaling a business, you need to grow up, stop living in fantasyland and realize that any result you want requires a lot of complexity and willingness to deal with the chaos and work it takes to make order of it all.
No business stays simple for long, and ALL businesses are getting a lot more complex. At one point, McDonald’s only sold hamburgers and fries. Your options were “with or without cheese,” period. Milkshakes came in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Now look at what’s required. You have to have low-fat, vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, sugar-free, kid-friendly, organic, non-GMO, locally sourced items on the menu. Calorie counts and warnings need to be on all food menus. As consumers, we love these options. As business owners? Not so much.
Marketing in an MSP (or any business) used to be simple. You had a Yellow Pages ad you only needed to update twice a year, some brochures and business cards. You did networking events to meet new people, and everyone went to a handful of events. Maybe you did TV, radio or newspaper ads.
Now look at what’s required today. You need an SEO-optimized website that should be updated weekly with blog posts and content, PLUS Google Business and Apple Business profiles, Bing Places, Clutch, Cloudtango, UpCity, etc., etc., etc. You need good online reviews and a solid LinkedIn profile, Facebook page and YouTube channel. You can’t just post once in a while; now you have to post QUALITY content daily to even start to compete with the noise online. You don’t just need a CRM — you need marketing automation, e-mail list management and sender score strategies. But that was once upon a time, and if you’re not up for the competition, you’ll really struggle to make headway.
As anyone who’s a client knows, I do NOT believe in the religion of simplicity because I know the money is in complexity. I warn clients that I’m NOT about making your business and your life simple and easy. Just the opposite. My superpower is making work for others.
Of course, this is also why I get RESULTS. I’m willing to work out complicated solutions to complicated problems. To think through every roadblock, every obstacle, and build a system for it, a script for it, a campaign or process. It’s not simple to plan a trade show where you have multiple goals to maximize your ROI that include meeting with both clients AND prospects, looking for potential new sponsors, looking for new ways to engage with the event organizer, looking for ways to BOTH generate leads and make sales in the booth. Most people’s strategy in a trade show booth is trying to figure out what logo item they should give away. Simple. But that simplistic approach guarantees they make a LOT less money than they could.
If you’re a “maximum money”–thinking person like me, you’ll love my ideas. If you’re a “K.I.S.S.” kind of person, stay away from me. I’m only going to complicate your business and make more work for you. I’m going to push you to monetize every opportunity to its fullest – every lead, every client, every strategic partner, every employee. I’m going to add more moving parts and steps and push you to think and plan in a more detailed, thorough and strategic way about everything you do. To clarify your objectives and be creative in finding 10 ways to obtain it, not just one simple path.
It’s one of the things I can truly guarantee.
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