Show Business

There’s an old (bad) joke about a circus worker cleaning cages, covered in dust and dung, sweating profusely as he shovels shit in the sweltering summer heat with biting flies swarming around him. A fellow employee, new to the job, stops and watches him work for a minute before saying, “You have a pretty miserable job. Why don’t you go out and find some other way of making a living?” to which the man replies, “What?!?!? And give up SHOW business?”

That’s kind of what running our annual Boot Camp is like. In a lot of ways, we’re all “shit shovelers” toiling well into the night, getting up before the sun, exhausted and weary, taking Advil for breakfast and washing it down with a few very strong cups of coffee. Thousands of steps. Swollen feet. Constantly on to the next thing. Juggling and tap-dancing while several unexpected problems arise (like the hotel’s key card system, phones, check-in and Wi-Fi getting shut down by a hacker days before our conference started). Every night, I was working on less than 5 hours’ sleep. In case you weren’t aware, it’s WORK.

Yeah, there are a lot worse ways to make money, and I’m not lamenting the required effort. Truly. What I want to convey is this: In every business, there are days – maybe months – when you are covered in shit, toiling away in the heat, trying to be productive but can’t seem to get ahead of the mountains of crap piling up around you. You will wonder what the heck you’re doing. You’ll question your decisions and abilities. You’ll feel like you’ve got it “all” wrong.

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have these moments of sheer frustration, fear and discouragement, didn’t seriously consider giving up and going in a different direction – and many do. In fact, MOST do quit, which is why only a very tiny percentage make it to the top of their industry or market and accomplish what they’ve set out to do, which was part of my opening night presentation.

But then, you’ll also have brief, shining moments, like the many I had at Boot Camp, when you talk to a client or an employee and they sincerely thank you for what you do. A genuine thank-you…one that fills you up and makes all the shit shoveling worth it.

That’s what Boot Camp is for us every year. A TON of work, worry, anxiety, frustration and FUN all wrapped up into three and a half days that feel like a month but go by in the blink of an eye. I had so many heartfelt conversations with members, sponsors, guests and even employees that reenergized me and filled me up. As they happened, I reminded myself to hold on to these moments for the dark days when I’m far from inspired. I mean this sincerely when I say your words of thanks are deeply appreciated.

As Qubein taught us, it’s perfectly okay to be disappointed, but it’s never okay to allow yourself to be discouraged. As I’ve said, if you don’t wake up from time to time wanting to quit, you’re not doing much with your life. You will face a lot of resistance when attempting to aim up – particularly if that aim is growth in a business. So often an entrepreneur’s desire to quit is fueled by the dysfunction, incompetence and sloth of others. The bottom 80% allow themselves to be dissuaded from their goals because of that. They say “yes” to quitting in the form of pulling back, hesitation, procrastination and playing small, which IS quitting (even though they don’t see it that way). We must never allow ourselves that out. It’s an exit door that doesn’t lead to the promised land (or anything close to it).

An accidental theme from all speakers, including my own talk, which was NOT accidental, is the need to get really clear on what you’re after and WHY you want it. It’s the only thing that will see you through as you’re chafed by your commitments. It’s also the only way to be truly productive.

So, for those of you who shared with me a kind and sincere word of appreciation, I THANK YOU. Yes, I’m human too and need to know the work we’re doing matters. We are sincere in our efforts to improve the lives of our members through correct advice, community, encouragement and value. We don’t always get it right, but dammit, it’s not for a lack of effort or desire.

So, me, give up show business? Never.

While the challenges of “show business” are undeniable, they are also what make our journey as entrepreneurs so rewarding. As you navigate through the ups and downs of your business endeavors, remember the importance of seeking support from those who understand your journey. Join us at MSP Growth Day to connect with like-minded individuals, gain invaluable insights and chart a course for your business’s success. Reserve your spot now at

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


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