The episode I stumbled on first was an interview with Ray Dalio, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer with Bridgewater. Bridgewater is an investment firm with about 160+ billion in assets under management. Although this statistic is important, it is not the cornerstone of this article.
Since watching Bet-David’s interview with Ray Dalio, I immediately rushed out and ordered Ray’s book “Principles,” I highly recommend you get the book. Don’t wait. Just click here to order it off Amazon, and you’ll be amazed. Why? Well, that is to be 100% determined, but after diving into the first 150 or so pages, I’m hooked.
Dalio has had a roller coaster of a career in the investment game. He has proven to be a “Shaper,” you’ll learn more about this term as your dive into the first 100 pages.
Shapers In The Managed IT Services Community
A shaper is an individual or collection of individuals who shape an industry. People like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and others are immediate Shapers who jump out as changing entire industries. In the IT field. II look at Shapers like Arlin Sorensen, who shaped the importance of peer groups, Harry Brelsford, who developed the SBS community a dozen or so years ago and Matt Makowicz, who helped shaped managed IT services to what it is today. There are many others, but these are the three who jump out right away.
Shapers are essential, and you don’t necessarily have to shape an entire industry. You can shape how businesses look at cybersecurity in Calgary or are like Lester Keizer of BCT in Las Vegas, who helped shape business continuity principles for organizations in Las Vegas.
This gets me into a significant concern I’ve echoed in the managed IT services community for years. Although the community has a considerable number of leaders and shapers, 99.9% of the industry are followers. MSPs, and I am sure this is the same for many other industries are followers and then leave themselves scratching their heads, wondering why they can’t get ahead. Why they continue to lag behind their competition and why they struggle, especially when times are rough like they are right now in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis.
What Makes A Shaper In The Managed Services Community?
Why is this? Why do some people step up and shape a small community, and why do some have a more substantial impact, like Sorensen, Brelsford, and Keizer. What underlying issues are there to prevent people from stepping out? Is it fear, is it the risk of failure, or is it something centered on the opinions that others have of them?
This is an interesting discussion point? Something I plan to dive into deeper as my thought processes mature on this subject.
In my own story, I started on a track of reshaping the MSP marketing industry. I didn’t have that as a goal, but I think my ability to not care about what other thought to pursue my goals and dreams drove me to do my best to help MSPs understand the importance of having a solid foundation in marketing. After all, in 2004, when I first ran into Karl Bryan, he helped push me in that direction. I owe my success in marketing to Karl. It is an exciting story. Something we still muse about today.
Tips On Shaping Your Industry
Here are some of my essential tips to shape your community or industry:
Find something you’re genuinely passionate about. If you had 18 hours a day to work on it, what would that be? You need to be genuinely excited, something that you would skip sleep to accomplish your passion.
Educate yourself fully. Read books, watch YouTube videos, and absorb everything you can to become the shaper of that industry.
Surround yourself with great mentors and influencers. You can’t do this alone. You need support and help from people who have done it before, and you need the leverage they bring to get yourself started. Turn off the BS. There is a ton of BS out there. There are always going to be people who will try to take you down. Trust me, I’ve had my share of people rip me on Reddit and other forums. Some at least have the decency to do it in private. But, that is fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. What I have learned, those people are not aligned with your goals, and instead of just saying “not a fit,” they try to destroy your dream and passion. Don’t let them occupy your thought process.
Never quit. 99.9% of the population are quitters. Instead of doing something tough, they just say “screw it,” and I’m going to do something else. Some people quit as well to chase their passions, that I’m cool with. But, if this your passion, don’t quit.
Accept change. Market conditions change, life changes, and events like COVID19 occur. But, they should never stop you from becoming the shaper you want to be. It just may look a little different.
Wrapping Up My Thoughts On Shaping The MSP Community
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I’m going to commit myself to start doing these again. I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and vision for the MSP community. I know a high percentage of you will enjoy it and some of you won’t, and that is OK.
I’ll leave you with this. If you’re excited about the opportunities in this industry, I want to hear from you. Let’s talk about how we can win together. If you’re not super excited about the new challenges facing MSP in 2020, find something your passionate about and do that.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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