Up to this point my phrases have been about helping employees manage themselves. You can click the links below to read those. Now it’s time to turn to managers themselves. Those managers, in the case of small MSPs, are often the owner and as the owner of an MSP one of our jobs is to be continuously working toward giving away our jobs.
- We’ll get fired if a client can’t print, but we won’t keep them because they can print
- Don’t make a plan based on the exception
- Do I really need to know that?
- It’s always DNS
- Did you ask the question?
- First, check the backup
One of my favorite MSP owners has since the very beginning of his business told me that his goal is to become a “man of leisure“. I don’t know exactly what that means but it sounds good, and I think it means that he wants money to just flow to him without him having to work for it anymore. Wouldn’t we all like that? It takes a lot of work to get a business to that point though. Don’t think you can just walk away without having first given away all of your jobs to very loyal and competent people. If you don’t put in the work, then the business will simply collapse while you’re off climbing or whatever you’re going to do as a “man of leisure“.
My goal is not the same as his. My goal has been to build the very best business in the industry and eventually sell it. The best is the best, not necessarily the largest. I just want my company to be really, really good at what it does. My goal to sell is different from his continuous income stream goal because I know me. When I walk away from something I want total disconnection from that thing. I also won’t be comfortable watching as the business changes in my absence. So, an exit is my plan. You should have a plan too.
My job is to give away my job
Once you know your where your business is going then you can begin to not only work the business in that direction but also work toward giving away your job.
As a new business owner all of the jobs are your jobs. You’re the bookkeeper, sales, tech, account manager, helpdesk…you are the everything. Then you hire and someone starts doing one of your jobs. Then you hire again, and someone starts doing another one of your jobs and so on. Until at some point, you’ll look around and realize that you don’t have a job anymore. You just own a business.
I know that you’ve heard the tired phrase, you need to work on your business not in it. It seems like an impossible goal when you’re starting out. It’s not impossible it’s just that the only way to get there is to give away your job.
Your homework then is to make sure that you have a plan for your business endgame. Then to work toward that goal, by figuring out how to give away your job. I started by giving away the things I was good at because I knew exactly how to hire and train someone for that role. Eventually I was left with things I didn’t like to do and wasn’t good at. It was easy to make that final leap and get rid of the last remnants of my job. Now I don’t have one. Goal accomplished.
Adopt this saying for yourself and it’ll help you stay focused on your goal too.
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