I was privileged to watch an episode of Talking Dead and was surprised to see that Bryan Cranston, the star of the surprise hit Breaking Bad, was being interviewed. As I watched Chris Hardwick interview Bryan, it quickly became apparent that many of the life lessons that he learned that helped propel him to stardom could also be applied to the MSP business world.
If you’re not a Breaking Bad fan, then you might not know who Bryan is; but I was blown away by many of the powerful beliefs he advocated that helped guide him to success. I firmly believe that any IT company could easily transform their business by implementing some of his best practices.
Just as soon as the interview started, Chris jumped right in to inquire about one of the things he learned along the way that helped propel him to stardom. After a few minutes of Bryan reviewing his historical background in the acting world, it was clear that success did not come fast and easy. Bryan had to sacrifice many years in Hollywood before he ever got cast for the lead role in Breaking Bad. When he came to the end of explaining his acting history, he suddenly let these magic words fall out of his mouth: “You have to go all-in.”
He explained that when he set out to become an actor, he decided to go ‘all-in’ and commit everything to this goal. This mean that he would not have any backup plan to fall back on if he failed at his acting gig. He explained that having a backup plan psychologically sets people up for failure when they first come up against a setback. Right away, someone with a backup plan will say, “Oh well; this must not be for me,” and then fall back, i.e. give up! On the other hand, he said that when he faced hardships, he was forced to persist though it because he didn’t have a backup plan.
Commit to a Cause
Later in the interview, he shared another factor that he believed ultimately helped him become successful— the fact that he was committed to the idea of just making a living acting and not achieving riches and fame. He revealed that he was prepared to live with three roommates and take any side job that was necessary to keep going as an actor! Bryan’s commitment to the craft is what I believe helped transform him into a superstar that always delivers an emotional performance, no matter the role!
The MSP Business Lesson
One of the best lessons for an MSP business is the idea that entrepreneurs should go ‘all-in’ when they start a business venture. Going all-in means that a business owner will commit all their resources to winning in their region of the world. Of course, MSPs should dedicate all their mental resources to the cause of running a successful IT company. This means attending trade shows, reading books, joining a peer group, hiring a business coach, etc. You don’t want to be one of those entrepreneurs that looks back on a failed business and claims they tried everything, but the truth is, they just half-assed it!
The second lesson that MSPs can take away from the Bryan Cranston interview is his total commitment to the idea of being a working actor that could support himself. IT providers should derive from this concept the idea that when they start their business, they should be ready to commit to a frugal life of no vacations, driving a used car, eating at home, etc. They should commit everything to running a successful MSP business.
For the IT provider that heed Bryan’s advice, they will find that after many years of implementing these lessons, they will find themselves being interviewed by some MSP magazine. Then it will be time for those successful MSP businesses to turn around and espouse the same beliefs that Bryan advocated in this amazing interview!