How Solo MSPs Can Deal With Stress
The MSP industry is known for its tight deadlines and high-pressure situations.
Add long working hours to the list and it becomes a recipe for an unhealthy working routine. While it’s already difficult working together as a team, one can only imagine the level of mental stress a solo MSP owner endures. So how can a solo MSP take care of their mental health? Well, we asked 8 experts in the MSP space the same question, and they shared some powerful hacks with us. Here’s what they have to say:
Oh and there’s also a little surprise for you somewhere in there. Read on!
Paul is an MSP marketing expert, an author, and a podcaster. Having worked with over 500 MSPs in his career, he understands how the mental game is played at the highest level.
“Go out and connect with people.”
Just because you’re physically working alone, it doesn’t mean that you have to mentally stay disconnected. There are thousands of people just like you. Join communities like the Tech Tribe where you can connect with people who can relate with the stress you’re going through.
With over 20 years of experience working with multiple clients in the IT industry, and now leading Evolved Management Consulting, Todd truly has seen it all when it comes to MSPs.
“Consider smart outsourcing.”
You don’t need to do all the work yourself even if you’re a solo MSP. Delegate or automate redundant tasks that don’t need your undivided attention to free up some time and give yourself a break to focus on self-care.
As a highly coveted speaker, author, IT expert, and leader, Jeff is a popular figure in the MSP space. In his book Amplify Your Value (2018) Jeff simplifies complex IT ideas and issues and teaches IT leaders how to create vision, develop strategies in support of that vision, and execute on those strategies and be rest assured, much of it roots from a healthy mind.
“Go take a walk.”
Every time you sit for a long day of work, plan proper breaks in between to clear your head. Take a walk around the block, stretch a little, stimulate your body physically—you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your state of mind and energy levels through the day.
Dave is the host of the Business of Tech podcast and the owner of MSP radio. He has built, sold, and acquired companies in the IT sector. You name it, he’s done it.
We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We don’t prioritize our work well, and cram ourselves with critical work at the last minute. A great to-do list and 5 minutes of calm thinking to take stock of your workload can work wonders for your peace of mind.
Having served as the VP of sales and marketing at Dorian solutions for close to 7 years, Jeff is the senior account executive at Tritan CCC LLC.
“Pick up a great book.”
Jeff’s idea of a great companion is as simple as a thought-provoking book. Find your comfort media and use them to keep yourself engaged with positive thoughts; and what better way to do it than books and podcasts.
Yaaaaaayyyyy…You’ve found it!
On account of the world mental health week 2021, we invited a few people from the MSP channel and asked them to reminisce about a few moments from their work lives. Happy, sad, ecstatic, surprised, anxious, thrilled… We got everything. Watch!
The lesson? Mental health must be taken care of and it’s okay to talk about it. Let this be your wake-up call to stay kind and empathetic to people who make your life easy at work. So, take a moment to send a thank you note to your dearest colleague. Show them you care!
On to the next hack then…
In her IT career that spans over a decade, Darcy has held multiple senior management level positions and is now the COO at Apex Infinite Solutions (AIS). With a strong background in psychology, Darcy says this tip helps a lot.
“Understand and set proper expectations with the client.”
It’s important to set boundaries with your clients, especially the important ones. If a client knows and respects you well enough to not disturb you on a Sunday evening, you’ll probably go a long way in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Kevin is the co-founder at MSPGrowthHacks.com and the author of The MSP Growth Funnel. Having founded multiple companies in the IT software space, Kevin understands the importance of managing stress while walking the tightrope.
“Learn to celebrate small wins.”
You don’t have to reach all the milestones you set every day. It is normal to feel stressed about not meeting deadlines. Come to terms with the fact that not every day will be a perfect day. It all has its ebbs and flows. Learn to recognize and celebrate the progress you’ve made as opposed to the milestones you’ve crossed.
Cybersecurity, computers, managed networks, marketing, customer engagement and relationships, product awareness, network building, customer service… Nate has done it all. As current president of DataCom Technologies, Nate deals with high-pressure situations every day.
“Leverage technology to your advantage.”
A lot of MSPs are still unaware of the tremendous potential that intuitive PSA, RMM software bring to the table. Start with incremental technology implementations until you’re comfortable making bigger changes. Set up a voice-over IP system for your business contact. Setting up small messages that say “press 1 only if it’s an emergency” could be the difference between feeling constantly stressed and having a relaxing weekend.
Being a solo MSP, it can feel like your plate’s always full with no end in sight. Prioritize yourself, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the people who care about you for help. Your mental health matters and we hope these insights help you take care of yourself.
(Oh, and if you’re looking for more effective tips and hacks on taking care of your mental health, check out this article on MSP mental health.)