I may not always be right, but I’m never wrong.

By Stuart_Selbst
In MSP Coaching
October 5, 2012

Stuart Selbst / Stuart Selbst

My mom used to tell me that she might not always be right, but she was never wrong. Thanks Mom and Garfield the Cat (pictured) for that quote. Recently this saying really hit home for me and now I can say that as a business consultant I’m not always right, but I am never wrong! Here’s the story behind this revelation.

Earlier this year I attended the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit held in Scottsdale, AZ. I was so happy to attend an event where I didn’t have to get on a plane. The summit was great. The sessions were educational, the speakers were engaging and I was thrilled to hear that my friends at Live VHD had entered into an agreement with the folks at Ingram. In addition to the agenda of the event, I was able to meet and network with VARs and MSPs over the 3 days.

I had the privilege to meet the CEO from an MSP based in North Carolina. We spent some time visiting and even had lunch together. Over lunch we talked about his business, how it’s growing, what his plans were for the rest of year and even discussed the possibility of working with me as a consultant. After meeting we shared a number of emails and it became apparent to me that he wanted to hire a COO and not a business “coach” or “consultant”. I gave the CEO my opinion about hiring a COO. I told him that at this point in his business he didn’t need a COO. He just needed to build a road-map and follow it to where he wanted the business to go. Instead, decided it would be better for his business to hire a COO. I wished him all the best for tremendous success and as always I left the door open for him to engage with me in the future.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I was relaxing at home while watching the Presidential Debate.  I heard my phone beep and saw I had an instant message on Facebook. The IM was from the CEO reaching out to me to tell me that he fired the COO. My exact words to him were, “Sorry to hear that. Not going to say I told you so, but, you needed to hire someone with industry experience.” To make a long story short, the CEO admitted I was right and that he should have listened to me.  We then scheduled a call to discuss working together and moving his business to the next level.

It may sound bold but frankly I am the best business consultant/coach in the industry but not because I have all the answers. The secret to my success is my education, real world experience, common sense and the ability to see what is coming ahead.  What makes me good is that I have been doing this long enough to know what works for a Managed Services Provider (MSP) and what doesn’t. Sure, I have I made mistakes and errors in judgment, but who hasn’t? That’s how we learn. What makes me great at what I do is that I engage with my partners and they engage with me and the process I set up for them. What makes me exceptional at my job is that I have a “sixth sense” for business. I know the mistakes that MSPs will make well before they make them because I’ve been the CEO of an MSP and made those mistakes myself. Therefore, I have to say yet again, I may not always be right, but I’m never wrong.

All the best in success,


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