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Navigating the Challenges of Growing Your MSP

TL;DR: This article provides insight into the key aspects of running a successful business: developing a clear vision and strategy, embracing new technologies, networking, and seeking mentorship. It also emphasizes the importance of focusing on the 'who' rather than the 'how', and highlights the need for entrepreneurs to invest in themselves, their teams, and to never stop.

When you first start your business, your energy, skills, and enthusiasm will be what drives your idea to become a successful business. As your business grows and evolves, the same characteristics that made it successful in the past could now become the cause of its failure. To prevent this, you must take an adaptive approach to growing your business and establish a foundation of flexibility. This means taking the time to reflect on what has worked in the past and making adjustments as needed for future success. To keep your business agile and ahead of competitors, it's important to learn from experience and be open to change. There is no universal solution for scaling a business, but by devising a bespoke strategy, savvy entrepreneurs can effectively pursue long-term growth and meet their specific needs. With a balanced mix of ambition and caution, you can give your business the best chance at reaching its full potential.

Dan Sullivan's approach to remaining adaptable and flexible while scaling businesses includes a strategy called 'Changing your Game'. This method stresses the significance of comprehending an organization's financials and functions. He encourages business owners to understand every process in order to have a clear grasp on how decisions affect their bottom line. He suggests breaking complicated jobs into smaller parts and giving each part to someone on the team. Use data and check progress often, so the boss can change things when needed and make good choices. This allows them to adjust their strategy as needed while ensuring that goals are reached in a timely manner. In addition, Sullivan believes in continuously learning from setbacks or mistakes in order to refine strategies and reduce risk.

That is all quite different from when you first started your business when it was all risk to create demand and cash flow.

And why is that?

smiling girl in black and white striped shirt

Well, it is the abundance of time and energy that we have to ‘spend’ as entrepreneurs in the early days. We need to be able to make decisions fast, be ok with mediocrity, and pivot on a moments notice.

As your company grows, you will hire more leaders and staff who will need to establish processes, expectations, and accountability to maintain the standards that you set during the early days of your organization.

So as your company grows and matures, so will the requirements to plan and move at a pace where everyone is aligned and stays focused. Those ‘new ideas’ that you barged into your weekly leadership meeting with are now disruptive as ‘it's not part of the plan’.

Let's take a look at how we can better manage the ideas, pivots, and wants we have for our organizations as they grow. These ‘shiny objects’ are still our secret weapon, we just need to know how to better utilize this ‘shiny object syndrome’.

Here's how the five examples of why a business could fail if an entrepreneur has too many ideas could apply to an MSP:

  1. Lack of focus and direction: If an MSP has too many ideas for new services or products, they may struggle to prioritize which ones to pursue. This can result in a lack of direction for the business, making it difficult to achieve long-term success. For example, if an MSP tries to offer too many different types of services, they may not be able to specialize and become known as experts in any one area. Research conducted by the University of Cambridge found that entrepreneurs who have a clear and focused strategy are more likely to succeed than those who pursue multiple ideas simultaneously.
  2. Limited resources: Pursuing too many ideas can also stretch an MSP's resources thin, making it difficult to execute on any of them effectively. This can result in a lack of progress and missed opportunities, potentially leading to failure. For example, if an MSP tries to offer too many services without having the necessary staff or technology in place, they may struggle to deliver quality services to their clients. Research by the University of Southern California found that startups with limited resources are more likely to fail if they pursue too many ideas at once.
  3. Overwhelming complexity: Juggling too many ideas can also create overwhelming complexity for an MSP and their team. This can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and a lack of coordination, ultimately hampering the success of the business. For example, if an MSP tries to offer too many different types of services, it may be difficult to train staff on all of them, resulting in a lack of consistency in service delivery. Research by Harvard Business Review found that simplicity is key to successful innovation, as complex ideas are more difficult to implement and maintain.
  4. Lack of market validation: Pursuing multiple ideas simultaneously can also make it difficult for an MSP to validate the market for any one of them. This can result in a lack of understanding of customer needs and preferences, making it difficult to create a service that resonates with the market. For example, if an MSP tries to offer too many different types of services without first understanding which ones are in high demand, they may waste resources developing services that no one wants. Research by the University of North Carolina found that entrepreneurs who focus on market validation early in the process are more likely to succeed.
  5. Divided attention: Finally, pursuing too many ideas can result in divided attention for an MSP and their team. This can lead to a lack of focus and commitment to any one idea, ultimately leading to failure. For example, if an MSP tries to offer too many services without having a clear focus on their core competencies, they may become spread too thin and fail to excel in any one area. Research by the University of Texas found that entrepreneurs who stay committed to a single idea are more likely to succeed than those who pursue multiple ideas simultaneously.

But this will be too slow!

time lapse photography of white train

But let's think about those 5 ideas, they all take time to analyze execution. I commonly hear “my company moves to slow”, which is an interesting paradigm.

Like a bullet train passing you, perspective can be an odd scenario. In the early days, the world around you was moving fast and you had to run as fast as the train. But as it’s grown, you are now riding the train watching the world pass you by. But it’s in this moment, that you are still traveling at the speed you once were, you just now are a passenger. It’s this metaphor that is important because your company, as much as you think, is not moving slow, you just don’t need to move as fast as you once did. 

Some of us intervene and look for ways to speed up the process, such as conducting research, seeking input from peers, studying competitors, and exploring other options. I understand that it can be frustrating when your company is managing you and despite having strong evidence, they may not prioritize allocating the necessary investment, time, and scheduling to make your vision a reality.

Essentially we are trying to fix something that may not be broken or need improvement in the first place! Howard Schultz, founder and CEO of Starbucks, once said "Success is not about being all things to all people. It's about doing one thing brilliantly and surrounding yourself with a team that supports your vision and helps you execute it with excellence." This is why managing your time and resources properly is critical when exploring multiple ideas. This is why you have a leadership team!

Now, while this is all fine, there is that one essence of an entrepreneur that, at times, feels impossible to hold back. I'll admit, in my own ventures I have been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Richard Branson says, "Most successful entrepreneurs didn't set out to build a big company - they simply stumbled upon a problem they wanted to solve." If we look at his career, a vast empire of 'solve problems' live in his wake. His conquest from everything from music production all the way to space travel are in his portfolio. But he does it not at the expense of his one organization, but as living out the 'entrepreneurial dream' of multiple teams to 'solve problems'.

Now you may be thinking "that's great Kyle, but he is a billionaire! We all don't have the working capital to spin up a business with every new idea".

But it's that very frustration that can be our power to motivate us to 'do it again'.

A friend of mine once told me "There are thousands of people who can take a business from 1 to 100. But only a handful that can take it from 0 to 1." (thanks Connor!) In the book E Myth revisited, Michael Gerber points out that many entrepreneurs are just practitioners wanting to share their craft. They are highly skilled, and want to monetize those skills. What they do not do, is realize that by starting an organization they are essentially 'changing careers'. They are forgoing their mastered skill to take the reins of business owner. However, what do they do to strengthen their new responsibilities? How do they remain accountable to being the 'best damn CEO' they could imagine?

10,000 hours

"The 10,000-hour rule says that to become a world-class expert in anything, you need to invest ten thousand hours of focused practice. But not all practice is created equal: you need a feedback loop, a mentor, and a willingness to embrace the suck." - Daniel Coyle

10,000 hours... How much effort have you spent this year, last year, the last decade on being the best entrepreneur you could be? Is it like that gym membership you have? Or were you one of the brave to find ways to keep yourself accountable?

Let me know if you apply:

  1. Continuously educate oneself: Successful entrepreneurs recognize that learning is a lifelong process, and they take the time to continuously educate themselves on topics related to their industry and business. According to a study by LinkedIn, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Entrepreneurs can improve their knowledge through attending industry events, reading books and articles, and taking online courses.
  2. Build a strong team: A strong team is essential for the success of any company. Entrepreneurs should focus on hiring individuals with diverse skill sets and experiences that complement their own. Research from Gallup found that teams that have a high level of diversity have a 35% higher financial performance than those that don't. It's important to create a company culture that values collaboration, open communication, and continuous improvement.
  3. Develop a clear vision and strategy: Entrepreneurs must have a clear vision and strategy for their company to achieve long-term success. This involves setting realistic goals, understanding the market, and developing a plan for growth. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies with a clear and compelling vision are twice as likely to achieve above-average profitability and sales growth.
  4. Embrace technology: Technology can help entrepreneurs streamline operations, improve efficiency, and reach new customers. It's important to stay up-to-date on the latest technological advancements and determine which tools and software can benefit the company. According to a survey by McKinsey, 87% of executives said digital transformation was a top priority for their company.
  5. Network and seek mentorship: Entrepreneurs can benefit from networking and seeking mentorship from experienced business leaders. This can provide valuable insights, advice, and connections that can help the company grow. A study by SCORE found that 70% of mentored businesses survive more than five years, which is double the rate of non-mentored businesses.

How many of you scored 100%? Better than 70%? How many of you are wondering 'what did I do?'

Does that motivate you?

a man and a woman working out in a gym

What if we ask ourselves the question, "if I were to become a better CEO, would my teams be working on my ideas before I even ask them?" also, "would I be more willing to startup a second company or invest in more team members if I were more confident in my abilities to manage my teams?"

"In every situation, you have a choice to focus on the 'how' or the 'who.' The 'how' will lead you to frustration and overwhelm. The 'who' will lead you to freedom and growth." In the book, "Who not How" by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy, they emphasize the importance of mindset when it comes to finding the right people to help with your business. By focusing on the "who," entrepreneurs can avoid getting bogged down in the details of how to achieve their goals.

All in all, what we do to expand our ideas through mature execution and properly flexing our 'entrepreneurial muscle' is critical to the success and legacy we leave behind. Feeling us frustration and dismay comes a lot at the lack of deduction our own abilities give us to fix problems. So why fight it? If your mind and abilities have hit a brick wall, don't bury your team and organization due to a lack of your own focus, stand up and seek growth. Use your resources, search for mentors, and never stop learning. As a leader the best thing you can do is have an open mind to new ideas and perspectives. There is no better way to build success than with a strong team of individuals that share the same goal.

By investing in yourself and by building a strong team around you, you can rest assured that your business will be in capable hands and ready to take on anything. The key is to stay focused, never stop learning, and don't be afraid to ask for help. With the right tools and people, you can turn any idea into a success story. Good luck!

Still need help, schedule a call to see how this 'Chief Accountability Officer' can whip you into shape and help get your organization from Good to Great.

Strategies MSPs Can Learn from the Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week serves as an important reminder to Managed Services Providers (MSPs) that no amount of wealth or growth can protect them from the ultimate risk – keeping their customers happy and well-serviced. Now a full week later, it’s time to take a look back at this shock wave and discuss what MSPs can learn - not only about managing risks but also how they can build stronger customer relationships by adhering even more tightly to the values that underpin successful businesses. As an MSP owner looking to create maximum customer service excellence and ongoing value for your customer base, you should consider taking heed of some of these lessons if you wish to remain competitive in today's fast-paced world.

So what happened?

In the year 2021, when near-zero interest rates prevailed, Silicon Valley Bank invested an incredible $90 billion of its customers' deposits in bonds. In 2022, the Federal Reserve began to elevate interest rates to manage inflation and achieved 4% by year's end. It's important to recall that bond prices usually fluctuate counter-intuitively with changes in interest rates - which is why Silicon Valley Bank experienced declining bond values as this increase occurred.

On Wednesday, Silicon Valley Bank declared that their bonds brought in losses and required more wealth to support customer deposits. As customers grew increasingly concerned with the bank's stability, they started withdrawing funds at an alarming rate - a phenomenon known as a 'bank run'. By Thursday night, withdrawal requests had climbed up to $42 billion - far surpassing what the institution could manage. To address the alarm caused by ballooning losses, the FDIC swiftly took control of Silicon Valley Bank.

But I am an MSP Owner?

As MSP owners, it is paramount to comprehend the extensive landscape of cybersecurity risks and be armed with suitable precautions against them. We face risk from all corners - customers, workers, or partners within our industry - so we must take every precaution necessary to safeguard our businesses.

Safeguarding the risk that our employees and solutions pose to our services is the simplest way to ensure safety. And why not? There are plenty of knowledgeable, resourceful folks like Wes Spencer from Empath Cyber and Fifthwall Insurance who can provide effective training for your team as well as insurance policies for unforeseen circumstances.

But what about on your client side? During COVID-19 I was fortunate enough to work with many MSP owners who struggled greatly because their clients simply could not pay for their services. So much so that MSPs that chose to go after hospitality verticals had no cash flow to speak of; unfortunately causing one MSP to go out of business.

What set the successful businesses apart? They kept their free cash flow under control. Free cash flow (FCF) is a company's leftover money after accounting for all of its operating expenses and capital expenditures, also known as OpEx and CapEx respectively. Essentially, it is the money that remains once a business has Settled all of its costs to keep running. When managed effectively, FCF can be one of the most powerful tools in any company’s arsenal.

Time to Improve!

Put simply, successful MSPs have adequate free cash flow and resources on-hand to weather the storm when their clients' spending drops. Still not clear enough? It's like this: if your customers don't pay you, you must still have enough money in the reserve to cover your operational costs. Some established financial advisers recommend having 2-3 months of accessible funds available for any business that wants guaranteed protection against a troublesome month.

As Managed Service Providers, our largest expenditure is for labor. To illustrate, a full-time employee earning $75,000 will cost around $93,750 after taking into account taxes and other fees; that's equivalent to almost eight thousand dollars each month! Therefore if we have four employees and want 2 months of savings in the event all income disappears altogether, then we would need approximately $46,875.

Gone are the days where we thought "that will never happen." Amidst pandemics and looming economic downturns, it is paramount to fortify our business if we want to sail through any trial. This is why I encourage you to turn your attention toward FCF—a tool that can be used to commence growing a monetary cushion. Use your budget and prediction to start preparing for improved Gross Margin numbers which could result in more favorable Net Profit results. Allocate a definite amount of your FCF each month to an emergency fund. It may seem like you're contributing meagerly, but with consistent investment and accountability, in just 9-12 months, you can save up at least one month's worth or more.

Most notably, this tactic enhances fiscal sustainability which is essential to assess the value of your managed service provider (MSP). It's ideal when you intend to seek debt financing or eventually sell off your business. Furthermore, it can also be incorporated into purchasing strategies so that you ensure maximum savings.


Ensuring that Silicon Valley Bank failed to comprehend its operating expenditure requirements and the debt it owed to clients, it ultimately collapsed as it took on more risk by investing its cash reserve into long-term notes. Had they been more thoughtful in assessing their business needs, this downfall could have been prevented from making headlines throughout the nation. Thus, let us MSPs take our time formulating efficient processes so we can surmount any tribulations that may arise.

As an MSP, having a strong free cash flow is the key to staying afloat and weathering any storm. By taking proactive steps such as budgeting and predicting gross margin numbers, you can build up your reserves so that when times get tough, you have something to fall back on. If you want help creating strategies like these for your business or need assistance in assessing how much money should be allocated towards emergency funds each month, don't hesitate to reach out!

Schedule a call with K7 leadership today and let's talk about ways we can work together to make sure your business exceeds expectations and grows faster than you ever thought possible!

In these difficult times, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. However, there are some companies that are thriving even in the midst of a recession. Managed services providers (MSPs) have the potential to excel during tough economic times by providing essential services to businesses that need to cut costs. By understanding the challenges that businesses face during a recession and tailoring their services accordingly, MSPs can position themselves for success. In this blog post, we'll explore how MSPs can achieved success in a downturn economy.

Define your niche and target market

To become a successful managed services provider in an economic downturn, it is essential to take a laser-focused approach to defining your niche and target market. Knowing who you can provide value to and what their needs are is the key to success. Ask yourself: who are the people and businesses most affected by this recession? How can I provide them with the services they need? Once you have identified your niche and target market, you can craft a strategy for delivering your services efficiently and effectively - giving them reliable solutions amidst unstable times. Preparation is key - so be sure to do your research, identify your target market, and create a plan for ensuring their success.

Create a marketing plan that focuses on value over price

Professional services are increasingly essential in a digital economy, yet companies fear that their budgets may be too tight to invest in innovative and quality solutions. Managed services providers can offer clients peace of mind by emphasizing the value they bring over cost savings alone - demonstrating a long-term commitment to added expertise, insight and experience that goes beyond simply providing a low price option. Developing a comprehensive marketing plan that showcases these additional benefits helps managed services providers maintain success even during times of economic downturn, setting them apart from the competition and underlining their capacity for innovation when it is most needed.

Focus on delivering quality service

Focusing on effective and consistent service delivery has never been more important than it is now, as businesses must make smart decisions to weather the storm of a downturn economy. Managed service providers who can deliver effective solutions for their clients that exceed expectations not only come out ahead of competitors, but build long-term relationships with those clients. Now is the time to focus on quality - effective strategies, consistent customer engagement and unparalleled customer support - to ensure success in the short and long term in a difficult economic climate.

Build strong relationships with your clients

In tumultuous economic times, the relationships you create and nurture with clients can be the difference between weathering storms, or getting lost in the rough seas. Managed Service Providers who understand how important building these kinds of relationships can be stand a better chance of achieving success - particularly when economic times are hard. Invest in learning more about each individual client, their needs and goals, and use this information to provide relevant insights that benefit them. By showing that you care about your customers’ wellbeing above all else - despite the state of the economy - they are more likely to stay loyal and stick with services for the long term.

Be prepared to adapt and change as the economy shifts

As a managed services provider, especially during a downturn in the economy, it's important to stay agile and be open to making adjustments and trying new things. Don't be afraid to reassess what your services are and explore how you can adjust them to fit the changing needs of your customers. Changing with the times ensures that your customers remain satisfied and that you have stability in spite of economic uncertainty - ultimately yielding success as an MSP. Cheers to staying ahead of the curve!


The economic downturn we are currently experiencing is an opportunity for managed service providers to succeed. The key to success is to define your niche and target market, create a marketing plan that focuses on value over price, focus on delivering quality service, build strong relationships with your clients, and be prepared to adapt and change as the economy shifts. With these principles in mind, managed service providers can have their best year yet by taking advantage of the current uncertainty.

Even in this chaotic time, there’s still plenty of room for businesses of all sizes to thrive.

We invite you to take advantage of our free download, “The 2023 Workbook” which all K7 Leadership clients use to help grow their business in ANY times. Use this free guide as a starting point to capture the opportunity presented by today’s uncertain times. Create something great by acting boldly and never stop striving for success.

Best part, no sign up! Download today

Need more help? Schedule time with us to work through this exercise with your team. In 90 minutes we'll show you the tools to get you to reach your goals.

If you had a time machine (who doesn't?), journeying back 100,000 years ago would be an eye-opening experience. Scientists agree that at this stage in history there were seven to eleven human-like species - collectively known as hominoids - each with diverse and complex cultures of their own.

If we travel forward to roughly 10,000 years ago on our time machine, only one human species is left: Human Beings. Though there are various theories as to what happened during the 90,000-year span in between the Ice Age and this era, it appears that Human Beings were triumphant due their socially progressive brains. This proves that societal intelligence can propel us above all else!

Human Developmental Requirements: Understanding the Essential Needs for Growth and Prosperity.

Every organism, from birds and plants to humans, requires certain necessities in order to thrive. While some needs are obvious - food, water and sleep for instance - others may be less conspicuous; this is especially true of more complex living things such as mammals. Additionally, while a few requirements like self-actualization can add immense value to one's life without being essential for survival overall.

Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, developed a helpful model—referred to as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Easy Read Book)—to help us understand the hierarchy of human needs and motivation. Though he did not use it in this shape originally; the pyramid is used now for its simplicity and conveys meta-motivations.

Maslow's pyramid proposes that our fundamental Needs lie at the bottom and gradually move towards optional wants as we ascend to higher levels of fulfillment. To be precise, these necessities coalesce into "must-have," "need-to-have," and then finally into the desire for betterment - “I’ve-got-all-I need but I want to be more."

Maslow initially postulated that each level of his hierarchy must be completely met before an individual could proceed to the next, but subsequently concluded that our brains possess a complex system with multiple parallel processes running concurrently. Consequently, people’s behavior is often characterized by various levels within the pyramid competing and conflicting with one another. In light of this complexity he intentionally used terms such as “relative," "general" and "primarily" when discussing his theory.

Healthy tribes are united by a shared sense of trust, as well as similar values, skills, objectives and resources.

We all must take responsibility for ensuring our "Base Needs" (the fundamentals of life) are met, both now and in the future. It's impossible to become fully realized without this basic self-accountability. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is an invaluable resource when it comes to placing priority on our wellbeing - provided we desire a deeper level of fulfillment in life!

So, how do Maslow's Hierarchy and Work/companies relate? You've come to the right place!

As humans, we are inherently social beings that crave connection with others.

As we all remember, ten thousand years ago, Homo Sapiens were the only surviving hominoids on Earth. Despite that scientists (especially social scientists) have a tendency to debate every subject under the sun, it is generally accepted that our species was victorious due to having brains with much more advanced social abilities.

What distinguishes the Human Beings brain that makes us such social creatures?d why is the founder of even writing about evolution?

Consider what life was like 50,000 years ago or even 3,000 years ago! We were pretty much exposed to the elements and we wanted to know whether it is okay for us to trust someone. It could be a risky move; they might have hurt us in some way or steal our food. But on the other hand, that person might help us find sustenance, protect our family from harm's way and guide us in building sheltering structures that can shield us from nature’s forces as well as store our goods securely. They may teach us something new too – take care of tasks which are unpleasant or beyond our capabilities -

not forgetting how laughter can make everything better sometimes!

People are Naturally Trusting Creatures

How can we learn to trust other people?

Paul Zak's book, Trust Factor, offers intriguing evidence that at the core of trust lies a neurotransmitter called oxytocin. Also known as "the cuddle hormone" or "love hormone," this special compound helps us to decide if we should keep our distance from someone else or interact and trust them. In simpler words: oxytocin is what makes trusting people possible for humans.

Our species, Homo sapiens', incredible capacity to form connections with one another and experience oxytocin-fueled bonding has allowed us the opportunity to work together in order to satisfy our fundamental needs of food, water, shelter, and safety - all of which are classified as Needs 1 & 2 on Maslow's Hierarchy. It is this human instinct for tribal behavior that enabled us to thrive over thousands of years.

As time passed, our constantly developing ancestors realized the tremendous power of trusting in one another. They understood that without trust they would never be able to pool together their talents and skills in order to gain an edge over competition. By effectively breaking down tasks and delegating work, not only did they become more conscious of their need to belong (Level 3), but also discovered where their individual abilities were best suited compared to the rest of the tribe. Self-esteem flourished as a result; since then, members felt that each one was making an important contribution for the benefit of all - thus affirming their own worth in every way (Level 4).

What is the Origin of Emotions and Words?

Our ancient ancestors were gifted with many powerful abilities, and amongst these was the development of an ever-growing range of emotions. Not long after this came language; words became one of the first truly invaluable tools that enabled them to comprehend not just things around them but themselves too. By combining words in complex ways, our forebears had found a way to gain deep understanding about their world and all within it.

Our initial emotions were those that aided us with survival, such as fear and love. As the significance of pertaining to a group rose, these sentiments became more intricate (i.e., shame rather than guilt). As our emotions became more complex (like the difference between rage and anxiety), we started to create words and sentences that helped us better comprehend and express what we were feeling. It's likely that these terms enabled us to further develop capabilities which ultimately led us on a journey towards self-actualization.

Harness the Strength of Intentionality

When our oxytocin-powered ancestors, and their tribes began evolving, they developed a strong sense of purpose. The motivation for the individuals was to make life more bearable or even to defend what they believed in. At other times, this higher calling led them down paths of greatness and honor (e.g., "the greater glory of Rome"). All these goals became part of everyday life as motivations that bound people together as one united community with one common aim: achieving great things through strength and courage!

Organizational Skill Hierarchies

Eventually, Human Beings pushed their boundaries and created more intricate processes for comprehending life. This elevated humans to new heights; they began to separate tasks based on talents, skills and experiences in order to create a better future. By delegating work within the team, individuals could focus on higher stakes or ventures (an essay about “Flow” is forthcoming).

Establishing levels of skill-sets such as organizational structure, scheduling, and leadership abilities not only made life easier during that period but also ensured a secure and abundant future. That day marked the beginning of more gains to come.

Human Beings developed elaborate hierarchical competencies, consisting of planning, process, leadership and politics among others. These allowed them to form large tribes that assured their safety while also furnishing the resources needed for ambitious projects - such as constructing the Great Pyramids - which necessitated a populous collective effort.

The Hierarchy of Values: Understanding Importance and Prioritizing What Matters

Millennia ago, Human Beings devised larger communities to maintain order and peace. To keep control of the situation, they created hierarchies of values that established what was permissible or intolerable. Early on, these norms were typically bestowed by religious teachings and customs (thought to have started around 5,000 years ago).

Values enabled people to not just collaborate, but also remain unified as their tribes grew in size. As an example of the impact values had on human behavior, marriage and monogamy became prevalent because there was more stability (such as fewer murders) within tribes that practiced large-scale polygamy compared to those where females were hoarded by powerful or "more desirable" males. One can see how this could lead young men down a path of uncivilization if they were deprived of potential mates due to these conditions.

Vibrant organizations are led by individuals who both appreciate our values and recognize that we can synergize together because of our shared interests, abilities and aspirations. Furthermore, they have the capacity to think ahead so that their teams and all those involved can thrive now as well as in the future.

Standards, Regulations, and Entitlements

Eventually, more broad values (such as honesty for building trust) became social norms. Unlike values that usually remain abstract ideas of what is important and desirable, these are much more concrete expectations regarding behavior and codes to adhere by.

Human Beings eventually started to develop laws and regulations that deemed certain norms so vital that breaking them would result in punishment. In recent millennia, humans have also been discussing the notion of "rights."Our founding fathers of the United States declared humans held specific “unalienable” rights. Although they thought these to be self-evident, it is obvious this was not the case and thus led to a Bill of Rights being created in order to outline citizens' constitutional rights. This idea preceded that of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by almost seven decades which occurred shortly after World War II as an answer for what happened during those troubling times.

I'm convinced—both the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are consistent with this conviction—that every human being has an inalienable right to:

  1. Breath (Maslow Level 1, or “ML1”)
  2. Eat (ML 1)
  3. Sleep (ML 1)
  4. Move (ML 2)
  5. Think (ML 1–5)
  6. Talk (ML 3–5)
  7. Associate (ML 3–5)
  8. Create (and procreate) (ML 2–5)
  9. Learn (ML 4–5)
  10. Own the things we create or trade them for things owned by others (ML 4–5)
  11. Defend our rights. (ML 1–5)

I firmly believe that with the possession of our inalienable rights, we have the capacity to reach great heights and thrive as individuals.

Over time, the definition of Rights has significantly shifted. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) lists not only unalienable rights but also provides for foundational and aspirational protections as well. In essence, these three different types of Rights empower us to safeguard our fundamental liberties while striving towards a more egalitarian society in which everyone has access to meaningful employment opportunities. To learn more about these concepts, please visit the "Works" section!

Weighing Rights and Needs: A Critical Balance.

My conviction is that our Needs are not Rights. Though they certainly exist, we can't meet them when we enter the world because of how distinctive each person is. To accomplish self-actualization and gain a sense of worthiness for ourselves, it's necessary to be responsible for one's own Needs--which means embracing hard work. We will never be able to reach true fulfillment if forced to rely on someone else or an organization instead of ourselves.

As a concluding thought, I want to highlight the distinction between Needs and Rights. We understand that not anyone can always take care of their own needs due to unforeseen circumstances. That's why it is essential for tribes -- both large and small -- to help those who are in difficult situations or have physical limitations which prevent them from providing for themselves adequately. It is this kind of social responsibility that helps establish strong communities across time and place!

To put it succinctly, thriving tribes (such as teams, companies or countries) have mutual values and complementary capabilities, interests, skills and objectives.

To summarize, thriving tribes (e.g., teams, companies, nations) all share a common set of values and different yet complementing interests, talents and objectives. I am also of the opinion that solid health and collective communities require individuals who can both safeguard what keeps them united and think progressively, so they are prepared for any situation. To put it simply, Maslow's Hierarchy is applicable not only to people but tribes such as groups, corporations, localities, countries etc., too.

Executive Summary

As MSP owners in the IT services industry look to the future in 2023, they must prepare to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing market. To do this, improving their leadership skills can be invaluable. Over the next few weeks we will be releasing more in depth analysis of these qualities and how you can recognize, review, and revamp these qualities. Here are the top five leadership qualities that MSP owners should strive to improve upon by 2023:

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - John C. Maxwell

This rings true in many areas of life, but especially when it comes to running a successful business. Having a set of clear-cut objectives and well-thought out plans are essential to achieving success and meeting both company and personal objectives. Which brings us to the new year upon us. As the new year begins, now is a great time to focus on improving your leadership abilities.

Leadership skills are essential for any business owner or manager who wants to achieve success in their field. With better leadership, you can make more informed decisions, create an effective team and develop strategies that will help you reach your goals faster. Good leaders have the ability to motivate and inspire their teams, as well as foster collaboration and communication between all members of the organization. Improving your leadership abilities is critical if you want to take your business or career to the next level this year.


An MSP owner needs to ensure they are setting a positive example for their team and displaying the highest standards of discipline in all areas, including how they manage their time, resources, and finances. This will help ensure that everyone is held accountable within the organization while inspiring respect from both employees and customers at all times.

Visionary Thinking

An MSP owner needs to be able to anticipate customer needs and trends before they arise. They need to have a clear vision of how their organization should look in three or five years' time, setting ambitious but achievable goals for themselves and their team and making sure those goals are communicated effectively throughout the organization.

Effective Communication

Leadership is about helping people understand why things need to be done and how those tasks will lead to success for both employees and customers alike. Good communication helps an MSP owner better engage with employees and customers, enabling them to build better relationships with each other as well as strengthening trust within the organization over time.


As an MSP owner you must make decisions quickly, weighing up different options then taking action swiftly when necessary. This requires a deep understanding of both customer needs and business objectives while making sure that any decisions taken align with organizational strategy long-term.


In order for an MSP owner to truly motivate their team, it's essential that they understand what it takes not only from a business perspective but also what is needed on an individual level from each employee – whether it's flexibility around working hours or simply offering some words of encouragement – so everyone feels appreciated and supported in their role.

By developing these leadership qualities over the next few years, an MSP owner can ensure that their organization is equipped for whatever technological advances come its way; giving them more time on managing personnel rather than worrying about operational logistics all day every day! With good communication, empathy, decision making skills and adaptive thinking abilities under their belt by 2023, any MSP owners should be prepared for anything thrown at them over the upcoming years!

Through our services, we will help you develop the top five essential qualities of a successful leader: discipline, visionary thinking, effective communication, decision-making capabilities, and empathy. You'll learn how to anticipate customer needs and trends before they arise and create a clear vision for your business over the next three or five years. We'll also provide advice on how to better engage with employees and customers while creating trust within the organization.

Our leadership services guarantee that by 2023 you'll have developed all of the necessary skills required for a successful leader in today's tech-driven world – enabling you to focus more on managing personnel rather than worrying about operational logistics! So don't wait any longer – contact us now and take advantage of our expertise so that you can be prepared for whatever technological advances come your way!

With the recent outbreak, many customs have changed--such as 79% of people who work with knowledge prefer locations they can be flexible in, and 94% want timings they can adjust. Although this shows that most employees remote or hybrid teams are willing to communicate and be productive, it still takes effort from leaders to make sure everything runs smoothly.

In fact, employee perception of executive leadership has worsened over the past two years. While 81% of executives say their company’s leadership is transparent about sharing new developments that affect the company, only 58% of employees agree with this sentiment.

As organizations embrace collaborative leadership, executives will need new management models that depart from a command-and-control style of management. Instead, our next ways of working should be founded on flexibility and transparency. And the first step in this process is to accept collaborative leadership.

A leadership style that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork.


Collaborative leadership entails bringing people from all levels of the company together. Information is openly shared in collaborative workplaces. In contrast to conventional, top-down leadership, which limits information flow for the rest of the business, it sits in opposition.

Leaders who take a collaborative approach will seek out a variety of viewpoints and ideas from their colleagues in order to make decisions and solve problems. Employees feel more valued and trusted, and a workplace culture emerges that encourages teams, allows creativity, productivity, and joy. Here's how corporate executives may get started.

1. Encourage communication


The creation of transparency and the exchange of ideas has had to been adjusted due to remote work. With teams using communication platforms that allow them to work asynchronously, it is crucial to have an environment that promotes open and inclusive communication. Team communication is incomplete without open communication, which implies that all team members feel welcome to express their views and add their expertise to a project. It also entails communicating openly, so that all team members are kept informed about where a project, task, or decision is headed.

2. Create clarity and purpose  

Managers should prioritize providing clarity and purpose for their workers, using methods such as: 


3. Be vulnerable 

It is not easy for leaders to be vulnerable, but it is critical for instilling a sense of teamwork and trust. Managers who are open and vulnerable at home tend to have more satisfied employees that go above and beyond at work, according to research. A few ways executives can increase transparency with their employees are as follows:

Sharing IS Caring

4. Allow employees to concentrate on collaboration by creating time for them to do so.

If they perceive collaboration to need too many extra steps or add time to their already hectic schedules, executives and employees will be less inclined to embrace it in the workplace. Instead of focusing on collaboration, companies should look at the long-term picture and figure out which activities and processes may be automated, allowing teams to focus on collaborating.

Reducing distractions and improving focus is another way to improve performance. This can be as basic as integrating apps or eliminating needless procedures. Teams may devote more time on the collaborative effort that adds value to the business by using software and technologies that automate activities.

5. Develop the skills necessary to be a strong partner.


If businesses hope to build teamwork skills, they should start by developing partnerships between employees. It's key to remember that everyone will have a different experience, and all experiences are valid. If executives want their employees to feel comfortable coming to them with problems, they need act like partners instead of bossy figures who make people feel uneasy about bringing up issues. Otherwise, the partnership--and trust--will be gone."

Collaborative leadership is a must for organizations that want to make the transition from physical to digital work.

As more companies allow their employees to work from anywhere, leadership needs to adapt by being available digitally for social interactions and work-related tasks, regardless of location.A top-down leadership style isn't as effective as it used to be. Instead, leaders should inspire their teams to find new and creative ways of working together. This results in a happier and more engaged team that is also productive and joyful.

It's time for businesses to start adapting and implementing collaborative leadership methods to improve communication and teamwork within their organizations. By allowing employees to work from anywhere, companies are opening themselves up to new opportunities for innovation and growth. However, this transition cannot be successful without leaders who are willing to change their style of management and lead their teams in a more collaborative manner.

If you're looking for ways to improve collaboration and teamwork within your organization, start by implementing the tips mentioned in this article. It won't be easy, but the benefits of doing so are worth it. So, get started today and see how your team can excel with the help of collaborative leadership!

“In truth, whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well; and nothing can be done well without attention: I, therefore, carry the necessity of attention down to the lowest things, even to dancing and dress.” -Philip Stanhope

Peculiar, right? My old man said something like this to me for days on end and it's stuck. I'd also be remised to not say that it has bitten me in the ass from time to time in my quest for perfection. So when faced with the other adage of "perfection is the enemy of progress", I find myself at a crossroads in combating the damnation of my programming. What's interesting, and the premise of this article is that every year in Q4 we have a chance to change our expectations for the upcoming year. Even more, we can look back on the year prior and set new goals with intention. And that's precisely the word I want to zoom in on--intention (and its required attention) separates those who plan from those who simply react.

And to keep it simple, let's review 5 ways that we can add quality and intention to your FY2023 business plans:

No Moonshots

Here is an easy test for you, ask yourself one of these questions:

  1. What was our plan for FY2022, as stated back in January this year?
  2. Are we able to objectively state that we hit this goal?

If you were unsure of what the goal was back in January, or if you're unable to honestly state that you've achieved it (or maybe you simply didn't), your aim may have been beyond your current maturity.

Sometimes, as owners, we lose track of what's important and make goals that are impossible to achieve or aren't well-defined. If you have colleagues or a group of peers, this is an excellent opportunity to set some achievable objectives for the upcoming year. You might also receive helpful feedback about whether your proposed goals will be too demanding for your team and push them too hard--perhaps even to the point of burnout.

That being said, goals that are too easy or impossible may hurt team morale. So think carefully about where you need to be!

Define the accountability

Next year's objectives will be influenced by several variables, including sales increases, decreased workloads, and the possibility of new services. In most cases, these objectives will need the input of several team members. Regardless of how things are done in the process, it's crucial to know WHO.

Who Not How is a good book that explains this idea through the use of software like Scrum and discusses why focusing too much on how something will get done might stifle development since it would consume leadership teams' time where they could have been concentrating on more essential activities.

How does this relate to accountability? It's quite simple: for each goal on your business plan, designate one person who will be held responsible for achieving it by the end of the year. refrain from assigning how they will go about doing so.

Budget and Quota

It's no surprise, but it is still remarkable to me how many small businesses do not yet have a formal Budget or Quota generation process. This is the single most important thing you can do to guarantee that your company grows at the expected rate, that your objectives are feasible, and that any new initiatives will have enough financial backing.


Knowing your sales targets and budgets for the year is important for you and your leadership team to hold each other accountable and make smart decisions with company finances. If unanticipated costs pop up or sales are lower than expected, being proactive and having a plan lets you adapt quickly instead of scrambling later on. And because we're looking ahead intentionally, setting budgets helps manage cash flow so you're ready when it's time to make a big purchase or investment.

Make it Visual

Use visuals in your business plan as often as possible, but not excessively. Graphs, charts, and pictures can assist you bring your idea to life. It also helps the text flow more easily because it breaks up the content.

Look Forward

Look towards the future, before anything else on this list. To be a great visionary leader you must look 3-5 years in advance and decide where you want your company to be. Doing so, will help better plan and guide next year's vision.

I intentionally placed this at the bottom of the list! Why? Because to lead effectively, you must be disciplined--and that's harder than just reading an article. When you set a 5-year goal (or even more complicated ones like 7-10 year goals) for your team, you have to work hard to keep everyone motivated so that progress doesn't stall. This entails determining yearly what smaller goals are necessary to accomplish the larger one.

BHAG Monster

Jim Collins wrote a great book called "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" that calls these BHAGs, or Big Hairy Audacious Goals. In his words, "A BHAG is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s. The best BHAGs require both buildings for the long term AND exuding a relentless sense of urgency: What do we need to do today, with monomaniacal focus, and tomorrow, and the next day, to defy the probabilities and ultimately achieve our BHAG?"

Get it, no moonshots next year, because your moonshot will take you many years to accomplish. But hey, at least you accomplished it!


Creating an intentional business strategy for 2023 can seem daunting, but it's important to have a plan if you want your business to grow at the expected rate. The steps we've outlined include creating a budget and quota, designating someone responsible for each goal, and using visuals to help explain your ideas. Most importantly, don't forget to look forward and set long-term goals for your company. These goals will provide direction and motivation as you work towards accomplishing them

Now that you know how to create an intentional business strategy for 2023, it's time to get started! Follow the steps we've outlined and make sure to stay motivated by keeping your long-term goals in mind. Let us know how it goes in the comments below. If you want assistance, there is a worksheet available for you to get started and a scheduling link that will set up a free consultation to assist you with starting or improving your Business Plan.

Small business owners looking to improve their growing business should consider business coaching services.

Business coaching services are an essential tool for any small business owner looking to improve their business. If you're a small business owner, consider using business coaching services to help you overcome hurdles and grow your business more efficiently. A coach can offer expert advice and guidance that can make a big difference in your success. Having a business coach is an important step in taking your business to the next level.

man standing in front of people sitting beside table with laptop computers

It's clear that business coaching services can be extremely beneficial for small business owners. If you're looking to improve your business, consider using a coach to help you achieve your goals. A coach can offer expert advice and guidance that can make a big difference in your success. Business coaching services are an essential tool for any small business owner looking to improve their business.

Any concerns in your company should be identified.

Do you want to know if there are any problems in your company that a Business Coach could help you identify? If this is the case, you're not alone! Many company owners get overwhelmed by their businesses at times, and a Business Coach can provide an unbiased perspective and point out any structural issues.

For example, if you're facing difficulty growing your business, a Business Coach can help pinpoint the areas you need to focus on. With their help, you can develop a plan to overcome these obstacles and continue to propel your business forward.

Make certain that everybody is held accountable and given feedback.

If you're looking to improve accountability in your business, a business coach can be a huge help. They can keep you on track with your priorities and give you feedback on your progress. This feedback is essential for knowing how well you're doing and whether you need to make any adjustments. With a business coach by your side, you'll be able to achieve greater accountability and growth in your business.

  1. Establish specific goals and objectives for the team.
  2. Hold team members accountable for meeting deadlines.
  3. Regularly review progress and provide feedback.
  4. Give team members credit for their accomplishments.
  5. Encourage team members to offer input and suggestions.
  6. Celebrate team successes together.
three pens on white paper

Recommend solutions for growth and expansion

If you're a business owner who is looking to grow and expand your business, working with a business coach can be a great way to achieve this. Business coaches can provide tailored recommendations and guidance to help you overcome any roadblocks you may be facing. They can help you with strategic planning, leadership development, and operational maturity - things that smaller businesses often have difficulty with.

  1. To increase profits
  2. To increase market share
  3. To improve customer service
  4. To enter new markets
  5. To diversify products or services
  6. To increase efficiency

Think outside the box and offer new perspectives

If you're like most people, your brain is a bit of a mess. We've all heard the adage that "two heads are better than one." This is an excellent idea. Whether you're running new marketing initiatives, sales methods, management skills, or changes to enhance your operations, the ideas will always be better if they go through an expert.

If you still have doubts, consider this: if you were a fantastic singer (or parent of one) with goals, wouldn't you want as much assistance as possible? You also need to understand that there are no shortcuts; it takes hard work and dedication. If you take the time to explore all options in-depth (and learn how to recognize proper ones when they appear), your chances of finding something suitable increase dramatically.

Share their vast expertise and knowledge

Business coaching can help you take your business to the next level. A good coach will have vast expertise and knowledge in a variety of areas and can provide you with invaluable insight and guidance. As the old saying goes, “none of us are as smart as all of us.” By working with a coach, you can benefit from the collective wisdom and experience of a team of professionals.

A small business coach or executive coach – with a coaching certification – who has loads of experience is the best teacher you can get. It does not matter if you are new to the industry or have been around for a while, or whether it’s an average market day or during an economic crisis, a small business coach will always help push your company towards success. Coaches will make you think critically, provide solutions when needed, and be by your side as you achieve greatness.

If you're looking for help growing your business, a business coach can be a great investment. They can provide tailored recommendations and guidance to help you overcome any roadblocks you may be facing. To find out more about how a business coach can help you achieve greater accountability and growth in your business, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and discuss how we can help you take your company to the next level.

The silver lining of our own tendencies to self-sabotage

The Story

In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos on the island of Crete. He fashioned two pairs of wings from wax, so that he and his son could escape. Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun , but Icarus became overexcited and flew too close, causing the wax to melt and he fell into the sea and drowned.

The story of Icarus is a metaphor for self-sabotage through ego and confidence. We are all susceptible to it – we become overconfident and fly too close to the sun, only to have our dreams dashed and our hopes destroyed. This is known as the Icarus Syndrome (as written by Peter Beinart).

The Issue

Ok, but weren't we just talking about imposter syndrome last week? I thought we were sabotaging ourselves with a LACK of confidence, not an abundance of it. 

It's interesting how our lives progress; as we work with more people from different backgrounds, we are exposed to a variety of thoughts and perspectives. This week, while reading an article on imposter syndrome over on forbes, I immediately thought of leaders who act in complete opposition to these statements and had turmoil in the face of over-confident decision-making. But in a turn of events, these leaders had something similar in common with those embodying imposter syndrome in that they were both victims of self-sabotage.

Where to go from here?

Where am I going with this? There is almost a silver lining here in that when you know something about yourself , you can strategize around it in tandem with your self-improvement. Having started my career younger than most, I adopted a 'dare to suck' attitude that made me prone to taking on many risks that inevitably blew up in my face. Were some of these surrounded by an air of misguided confidence (aka, I was getting cocky )? Most definitely! But I recognized, before learning the theory, I had a modus operandi of 'Quick Start' and before I let my tendencies disrupt operational maturity , to have a leadership team that balanced ⚖️ out my MO.

This opens up an interesting notion that we as leaders can seize these biases, or some may call them faults, and find ways to learn , grow , and adapt our leadership styles to be successful beyond our means. Even more, build out teams that complement each other both in professional acumen but also in work ethic tendencies. 

Now I am going to save the comments on Kolbe, modus operandi, and well-balanced leadership teams for another day, but going forward I encourage us all to use Icarus as our new mascot, almost an anti-hero of sorts, to remind us of the balance we must maintain through our own mental fortitude AND support systems to be successful. 


Don't let either of these syndromes prevent you from taking or avoiding risks and achieving your goals . Remember, you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Just don't fly too close to the sun .

Do you have Icarus syndrome or imposter syndrome? How do you deal with it? Share your stories in the comments below!

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