TubbTalk 145: The Tech Nerd's Ultimate Guide To IT Career Success - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

TubbTalk 145: The Tech Nerd’s Ultimate Guide To IT Career Success

TubbTalk 145: The Tech Nerd’s Ultimate Guide To IT Career Success image

Dan Adams is the chairman of New England Network Solutions, a Massachusetts-based MSP, and he’s also the founder of Up-Skill, a media and e-learning service for IT professionals aiming for career success.

Dan is also the author of “The Tech Nerd’s Guide to Career Success: Seven Proven Lessons to Unlock Your Growth in an IT Services Company”. He explains why he was inspired to write a book and who it’s for.

An Interview with Dan Adams

 What Inspired Dan to Write His Book on IT  Career Advice

Dan explains the transition he went through from engineer to business owner and then chairman. “As the chairman I sit in on high-level meetings. But when you’re running a business, you have responsibility. You feel that you have to solve the problem.

“Once I was the chairman, I could take a step back and see what was really going on. The managers have a different view to the staff. I started to spot patterns. And I realised that there were a lot of employees who don’t feel as fulfilled as they hoped.

“So I saw there was information and insight missing that would benefit every single person within the business. And at that point it was like a crusade. These people deserved to succeed; they just needed some guidance.

And from there, “The Tech Nerd’s Guide to Career Success: Seven Proven Lessons to Unlock Your Growth in an IT Services Company”, was born.

The Disconnects Between the Roles an MSP Owner Takes on

As a person matures and progresses up the career ladder, there are different roles and responsibilities they take on. As they face a problem, they view it with the knowledge they’ve gained up to that point.

But, says Dan, you need to take a step back and look at it from another side. And see it again from a new angle. “So there’s a metamorphosis at each stage and we can get caught at a specific point and can’t move on.

“The higher you go, the more you’re able to understand that this is a business. It’s not just about tech support. But those lower down the ladder don’t have that view, and that’s what creates a disconnect. And it’s not always easy to reconcile the different roles within a business.”

How Engineers Think Versus How MSPs Think

For some people, they reach a point where they realise that the skill they have – in this case, engineering – can be turned into a business. “You aspire to build a successful business.

“But because you’re leveraging your skill, you tend to concentrate on using that. You forget the business part and the big picture gets put to one side. Eventually, you realise you’ve got your priorities wrong. You may be providing decent customer service as well as great tech support, but that’s it.

“So the MSP needs to think about being a business owner and the wider obligations of that. An engineer only focuses on utilising their skills. So business savvy has to be your North Star. You’re running a business, and that should always be your priority.”

What can you do to grow a successful #MSP? Dan Adams of Up-Skill shares his #IT career advice with Richard Tubb. Click to Tweet

Dan’s Four Success Quadrants for IT Career Success

The four success quadrants are covered extensively in the training that accompanies Dan’s new book. These four, he says, will lead to career success. “These are necessary in IT in order to succeed.

“First, tech skills, and then people skills. We all need to get along with people. If you want to advance up the ladder, you need more than just engineering talent. Thirdly – professionalism. Are you on time? Do you document properly? Finally, you’ve got business acumen. That’s about making a profit, being successful as a business owner.

“Of course, everything revolves around professionalism. But if you don’t do it in a way that brings in a margin, then you can’t pay yourself and you go out of business. Those four quadrants lead to career success or business growth. And a mistake can destroy the organisation.”

How MSP Owners can Encourage Their Engineers to Learn from Dan’s Advice

Dan’s book isn’t written for MSP owners, he explains, but for their engineers and other employees. “The lessons will resonate with you because you run a business. But it’s your engineers who need to learn them now.

“The power comes when everyone knows the same rules. But as a busy MSP owner, you don’t have the time to explain it to your engineers. So instead, you need to distribute this book to all of your teams.

“It then becomes the catalyst for conversations on what your business actually stands for. There’s a manager study guide for each of the seven lessons outlined in the book. And it’s up to the leader to guide staff through the questions and activities. And then you know that everyone knows the rules.”

What the MSP Community Means Professionally and Personally for Career Success

Dan says that MSP owners can often feel alone, isolated and overwhelmed. So it’s good to be connected to others carrying the same burdens, even if they don’t have all the answers.

“The sense of community is very helpful, and life’s too short to struggle through those challenges on your own. And it’s not just limited to the business side of it, but the personal aspect too.

“We need connection and emotional support. You might feel like you’re friends with your team, but they still view you differently. Being part of a community with other leaders is so powerful. I strongly encourage every MSP owner not to go it alone. Find the peers you can lean on and allow them to lean on you too. You need to share things sometimes.”

How to Connect With Dan Adams

How to Connect With Me

Mentioned in This Episode

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RICHARD TUBB

Richard Tubb is one of the best-known experts within the global IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) community. He launched and sold his own MSP business before creating a leading MSP media and consultancy practice. Richard helps IT business owner’s take back control by freeing up their time and building a business that can run without them. He’s the author of the book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide” and writer of the award-winning blog www.tubblog.co.uk

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