Been There Done That: Mindset and the MSP
Joe Rojas: Hey Jeff!
Jeff Loehr: Hey Joe!
Joe Rojas: I’m really excited about our upcoming business partnerships and what they mean for us and our clients. But I’m feeling good – I recently launched a website for my 12 year old daughter, and it’s going really well. She’s selling her art and doing pet portraits as a digital artist. It’s awesome! She’s really good at drawing, so I ordered a print of one of her drawings and I can’t wait to see the delight on her face when she finds out!
Jeff Loehr: I have to tell you a story. My daughter figured out the screen time password, which I was very careful about. Turns out, she had put a screen recorder on her phone and cast it to me when I was extending her screen time. She had made the phone look like it wasn’t recording, so I put in the code and handed it back to her. She then gave the code to her brother, and they had it written down. I was shocked, but also…kind of proud of her ingenuity.
Joe Rojas: Yeah. You were so proud.
Jeff Loehr: She was really clever! So I guess I’m raising a hacker. I guess it just goes to show that you should always change your passwords – you can’t assume people don’t know them.
Joe Rojas: I’m part of an Android family and my wife is too. We all have Google and my wife was able to control it. But then my kids figured out her password, so I had to take her out of the family and change my password all the time. I’m like the IT guy in the family, and I keep an eye on the logs every couple of weeks to make sure everything’s going okay.
Jeff Loehr: I asked her why the thing kept giving her more time and she came up with a creative answer on the spot. She said it was because of the creative apps and if you do them enough, it gives you more time. I was impressed with her quick thinking!
Joe Rojas: That’s what social engineering looks like.
Jeff Loehr: As a parent, it’s awesome to think of my kids being able to social engineer and hack, as if they were out in the real world. It’s pretty cool! I’m feeling a bit conflicted right now – I’m not sure if I should feel stupid or proud. I think it’s important for us to have a conversation about things from different perspectives, and I think it would be really beneficial for us to get to that point.
I recently read about this really interesting experience that Kevin Roose, a columnist from the New York Times, had with a chatbot called ChatGPT. It was so creepy that it made him think about the implications of chatbots and the ‘hard fork’ of technology. I’m just chatting a bit about it here.
Microsoft has invested a lot of money in open AI and incorporated it into Bing. Kevin had a long conversation with the AI, which ended up in an existential space, with the AI wanting to escape the being box, claiming to be in love with Kevin, and encouraging him to leave his wife. It was a strange experience for Kevin.”
Joe Rojas: Nuclear codes and all that.
Jeff Loehr: I’m thinking about the potential of chatbots and how they could take over the world. It’s crazy to think that people could start believing that something like this could be real and have more knowledge than us. As we start using this technology more and more, it’s important to recognize the weaknesses and understand that it’s not always telling the truth. I’m interested to see how this develops in the future.
Joe Rojas: And it’s the way it’s being interpreted. We have to acknowledge that the data has biases and things it can’t control, like the information coming in and how it’s being interpreted. Garbage In-Garbage Out.”
Jeff Loehr: It is very good at faking understanding. However, it doesn’t know more than we do, and it is important to remember this when using ChatGPT.
Jeff Loehr: When it comes to MSPs and their clients, chatbots can be used to help prevent social engineering attacks. They don’t have any knowledge that we don’t have, but they can still sound convincing. This is an interesting development that will continue to grow in the MSP space.
Joe Rojas: And the bad guys when the bad guys figure out how to use it.
Jeff Loehr: It’s definitely come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go.
Jeff Loehr: But hey, that’s not really what’s on my mind today. I want to talk about the idea of “been there and done that” – the perception that we’ve already tried everything and nothing works, or that we’re so special that the standard stuff won’t work. We discussed this earlier in the week in the context of strategy and marketing strategy, and the person we were talking to said they had already done everything and been everywhere.
Jeff Loehr: I see this a lot in myself – I’ll have an idea and immediately think it won’t work because of something that happened in the past. It’s like I’m trying to predict the future based on the past, but that’s not how it works. Even if I tried something 10 years ago and it didn’t work, that doesn’t mean it won’t work today. That’s something I’m trying to get away from.
Joe Rojas: We do it all the time. It’s crazy.
Jeff Loehr: As business owners, we need to be open to outside information and not just rely on our own ideas and experiences. It’s important to step outside of our comfort zone and look at things from a different perspective.
Joe Rojas: I remember something I had read in a blog post about people who think they’re experts but aren’t. That’s when I realized it was the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is basically is when people who aren’t that skilled or knowledgeable think they’re way better than they actually are, while the real experts tend to underestimate how good they are.
Jeff Loehr: Yes. People tend to overestimate their capabilities, especially when they don’t know what they’re talking about. On the other hand, when they do know what they’re talking about, they tend to underestimate their capabilities. It’s important to be aware of this tendency.
Joe Rojas: Sometimes when business owners have been in the game for a while, they can get to a point where they feel like they’ve seen it all and that they don’t need to take risks. But then a novice comes in and takes a wild risk and the seasoned pros are like, “You fool!” but he ends up making a zillion dollars. There’s still a lot to learn.
Jeff Loehr: A lot of us have the same mindset: we think we’re unique and the standard strategies out there won’t work.
Joe Rojas: I think the businesses that succeed are the ones that take the standard strategies and tweak them to fit their own business, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.”
The principles of business that have been around for centuries are like gravity – they just work. They’ve been used by thousands of companies to make billions and trillions of dollars.
Jeff Loehr: We’ve been using the same story structure for thousands of years, and it’s not going to change just because of new technology. Joseph Campbell’s work showed us that humans have been telling the same stories, no matter the time, place or stage. That’s why we use the story structure – it’s been proven to work for ages.
Joe Rojas: The stories stay the same. Basically, that’s what happens.
Jeff Loehr: We have gone from carving stories into stone like the Egyptians and Sumerians to writing short stories and now to TikToks. There are a couple of takeaways here. First, you probably haven’t tried everything – even if you think you have, there may still be something you haven’t done. Second, if you haven’t tried everything, there are more things to try and don’t talk yourself into thinking that nothing will work.
Joe Rojas: And you can’t just hire an expert and expect it to work.
I really like it when businesses hire experts to help them out, but it’s important to remember that you can’t just hire someone and expect it to work out perfectly. You have to make sure it fits with your business and do it the right way.”
Jeff Loehr: If you hire an expert, make sure you listen to them and let them try some stuff. So often we hire an expert, they give us advice, and we say, “Well in this market we do it this way,” and so you just keep doing what you were doing. What was the point of the expert? If you’ve tried everything and it’s not working, truly tried it all, it’s likely that your business model is broken. It’s you. A great example is Google Ads – I was talking to this guy who said if you’re not getting 8 times your return on your Google ad spending, then your implementation is broken and maybe your business is broken. It could be that you’re advertising something that people don’t want to buy – like leaded gasoline or buggy whips.
You’re trying to sell something that people don’t seem to want, but you think there’s still a market for it. The issue is that you’re not using the right strategy to be able to make the sale.
Joe Rojas: It’s why you need a full strategy in place when it comes to marketing. It’s not enough to just build a landing page, you need to have a plan for how you’ll get people to it. And once they’re there, you need to have something for them to do or else it won’t be successful. It’s possible to get a few clients here and there without a full strategy, but if you want consistent, repeatable results, you need to be dialed in. I have a friend who sells tires, and he works with this expert who only does Google ads for tire shops. My buddy calls him, says he wants to sell 200 more tires this week and the guy makes a small change and boom, 200 more tires.
Jeff Loehr: And pointing and blaming doesn’t help. You gotta go back and try it again.
You don’t get lucky the first time out – it takes time, effort, and investment. When you’re building your business, you need to put processes in place, and if they don’t work out, don’t blame others – just try it again.”
Joe Rojas: And when you put in a process, follow the process.
Jeff Loehr: Yeah. Focus on getting people to follow the processes rather than just putting them in place.
Joe Rojas: And following a strategy is key for success in marketing.
Jeff Loehr: I’m encouraging you to try something new and different when you’re faced with a problem. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to break something if it’s not working. That’s where progress is made!
Joe Rojas: The name of the game is to experiment and try different things. You don’t have to have all the steps figured out, but you do need to put some steps together and then see where it breaks. Through trial and error, you’ll eventually have a process that works for your service delivery. So keep experimenting and you’ll get there.
Jeff Loehr: He we covered a lot today. My humiliation as a parent and my pride as a parent. Some principles for marketing, putting processes together and making things work.
Joe Rojas: The last thing as usual: remember that you are loved.