The Gimme Generation

A guilty pleasure I indulge in occasionally on a Friday afternoon after a long week: watching Dr. Phil. Don’t judge. I put it on the TV in my office as I’m wrapping up some loose ends for the week. There ARE instructive lessons to be gleaned if you’re there to find them and not simply be entertained by the misery of others.

One episode that stands out featured an 18-year-old boy who was confronted about molesting his younger sister – twice – and at least one other known victim. His parents knew about it and did nothing. His father said he had a “gut feeling” that it was a phase and that his son had outgrown it. His mother put him into counseling briefly after the first incident, but then pulled him out of the program after a couple of sessions because she didn’t “like” the treatment program. When he was caught molesting a neighbor, he was forced into another program, but he didn’t complete that either. Why? He said he’s too “lazy” to finish one and blamed his mother for his behavior because SHE didn’t punish him after the first time. At one point, he started lecturing his sister about HER behavior, and throughout the interview he talked endlessly about how HE was hurt and how HE spent 3 days writing an apology letter, implying that he’d paid for his sins. At the end of the show, he was offered free counseling, courtesy of the Dr. Phil show, but refused it because he didn’t want to be inconvenienced, saying, “I have a life! I have a girlfriend!” I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. It’s HARD to watch. Also scary to me as a mother of two girls.

An economics professor from Valencia College asked his students to write a short essay on what they thought the American dream was all about. Over 80% wrote that the American Dream meant the government would give them a free college education, free health care, money for a house, money to retire on AND a job. The consensus was that the government should tax wealthier people to pay for all of this. A quote from one of the essays was: “As human beings, we are not really responsible for our own acts, and so we need government to control those who don’t care about others.” I’d hate to hear what the writer of that essay classifies as “not caring” about others.

Last week, a long-term member wrote a nasty, drive-by comment on one of my Facebook posts complaining that I never comment on HIS posts. This is a member I’ve gone well out of my way to help on multiple occasions over the last couple of years. He’s been struggling for YEARS to get his business to work, so we’ve allowed him to put his membership on hold, come to events for free and we have even provided free consulting on multiple occasions. Have I ever gotten a card or maybe even a small gift to show appreciation? Nope. I suppose no good deed goes unpunished. The next time, help WILL be refused. I suppose I can expect another Yelp review for my trouble.

What do all of these stories have in common? A big, festering case of ENTITLEMENT, and it comes in a lot of different forms. It’s not just a spoiled 5-year-old brat demanding her parents give her a birthday party that would make any A-list celebrity jealous, but any time we use the word SHOULD. I SHOULD be able to continue on with my life and not be “inconvenienced” by my actions. That the government SHOULD provide me with free health care and education paid for by someone else. That an expensive degree SHOULD land me a cushy, high-paying job. I SHOULD have people give me handouts and freebies because I’m struggling in business. I SHOULD be getting more appreciation and recognition. I SHOULD be paid more because I work hard. I SHOULD be given more help because I’m disadvantaged.

In my early years of starting my business, I lamented to myself that it SHOULD be easier to generate sales “by now.” That I SHOULD be making more money, have less stress, have fewer problems. I’ve since learned and eliminated that thinking from my vocabulary. It’s absolutely NOT how high performers think. Karrass’s line is a good one: You don’t get what you deserve – you get what you negotiate. I would change it slightly: You don’t get what you deserve – you get what you settle for. You get exactly what you accept. Successful people know this. If person A won’t give it to you, then you go to person B, C or D and on down the line UNTIL you get it. There is no “fair.” No one owes you anything. Playing crybaby and demanding something be given to you is the opposite of grit and gratitude. We ALL have obstacles to overcome. No one who achieves anything of significance gets it handed to them on a silver platter with no resistance. To quote Larry Winget: “If your life sucks, it’s because you suck.” The end.

This week we celebrate Memorial Day. For Americans, this is a remembrance of those who were NOT entitled and NOT selfish and kept us FREE from oppression, making the ultimate sacrifice. A day to remember to be GRATEFUL for those who guard our independence, safety and freedom and to know that we are not entitled to it. We have to earn it and defend it every single day. Thank God for those very brave men and women who do. Let me finish by saying that independence is a funny thing. By definition, independence is the freedom from the “control, influence, support and aid of others.” Not just freedom from control and influence, but also SUPPORT and AID. Those with entitlement attitudes really don’t understand this. You cannot be truly independent unless you forgo ALL. Entitlement instantly enslaves you to the giver. And while business and life and attitudes are constantly changing, THIS does not: If you want to improve your life, income, business and health, take 100% responsibility and improve yourself. Shed any remaining thought or feeling of entitlement and “fairness” and replace it with resolve and discipline. Or you could relieve yourself of all such responsibility and hope someone will come and rescue you by taking care of all this. Good luck.

True independence and success in business requires shedding any hint of an entitlement mindset. It demands taking full responsibility and putting in the hard work to achieve your goals, not expecting handouts. That’s why the upcoming MSP Growth Day event is a must-attend for any IT services leader who wants to learn proven organic growth strategies directly from the top 1% of thriving MSPs. From mastering M&A to optimizing services for your current clients, you’ll get an insider’s playbook on the disciplined tactics that separate the entitled from the empowered in this industry. Secure your spot now.

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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