Don’t Take Any Crap

Steve Wozniak was asked in an interview what he would have done differently if he was CEO of Apple instead of Jobs. He said that he would have been “a lot nicer to people,” but then quickly added that IF he had been CEO, they might never have released the Macintosh.  

Jobs was known for being ruthless and controlling, rude and ill-tempered, driven by a desire for perfection and pushing people to bring products out before they were ready, creating enormous strain within the organization. The OG “mean girl.” Many people couldn’t tolerate working for him, and I’m sure he missed out on a lot of talent for this reason. But in spite of that – or more possibly because of that – he was able to build one of the most iconic brands and successful companies in the world.   

I’m not sure that level of “disagreeableness” is necessary for us mere mortals running small businesses vs. the enterprise builders like Jobs, but I do know this: FAR too many business owners tolerate FAR too much crap from too many people.   

A few months back, I discovered a post from someone we were about to promote in MSP Success magazine flaunting a few ideas I grossly disagree with, while simultaneously insulting our integrity as a company (without naming us). In this post he was also shatting on two of our sponsor clients. I won’t mention who or what because I’m NOT helping this guy drive more traffic to his page. It’s a shame too, because I actually think, deep down, he’s a good guy, but dealing with “sour grapes” and a misguided view of how business actually works.   

In our weekly production meeting, a few members on the magazine team were shocked by my VERY harsh and absolute decision to cut him out of the upcoming promotion and file the article about him in the circular bin, even though they had already spent some considerable time in producing an article he was going to be featured in and had promised it to him. They attempted to argue that I was “overreacting” and I should at least see the piece they had produced. I get it. They had put some work into it and hated to see that go to waste.  

But here’s the point I made to them that is a critical lesson for any business owner: I do NOT tolerate an ounce of crap like this anymore from anyone. I took that lesson several times over the two decades and I’m not foolish enough or quick to repeat it. I’m 100% certain that we are not tolerating fools who smile and cheerfully take the helping hand, claiming the desire for a good, mutually beneficial “partnership,” only to fart in my cereal. Sorry, Charlie. I don’t have to appease anyone or “play nice” to make friends.   

One of the reasons so many people loved the character Tony in The Sopranos was because deep down they secretly wished they had his backbone and confidence, not taking shit from anyone AND being bold enough to do something more than simply holding a grudge against someone who wrongs us.   

I’m not suggesting his level of corruption, anger and response is good or healthy. That’s not my point. What I’m saying is that many people would do far better in life if they would be unafraid to stand up for themselves, not allowing themselves to be affected by critics and instead become a more imposing, respected alpha leader, unafraid to speak their mind and stand their ground.   

In terms of your business, if you cower and fear taking a stand for yourself, failing to draw a HARD LINE to protect you and your organization, you WILL be taken advantage of. It’s really that simple. There are a lot of people out there with their own agenda who aren’t going to give a rip about you. Many want to take you out, harm you and damage you out of spite and jealousy. Others because they want what you have (competitors). If you choose to overlook attacks on your character or anything that might hinder or harm your ability to achieve maximum growth and profits, or even peace of mind, you WILL be harmed.   

As a business owner, you must assume a Tony Soprano–level toughness about this. ZERO tolerance for it – be awake, alert and look for such enemies at the gate AND in the inner circle and get rid of them before the damage they do is irreversible.   

Business isn’t all about being tough on others, but also about innovation and driving your company forward using the best strategies and best practices of those who lead the way. 
 
If you agree, you need to seriously consider attending MSP Growth Day. 
 
At this one-day live event you’ll get the strategies that top MSPs are using to drive extreme growth in revenues and profits. Go to: www.MSPgrowthDay.com  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 20 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

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