It was three weeks prior to the end of my third year of college when I woke one morning staring at the ceiling in thought. I knew I had to go on campus that day to finish my junior thesis project in music recording and I just wasn’t excited about it. It was fun listening to different bands and recording them on large 32-track analogue systems (and bouncing to DAT tapes – it was 1990 after all), but I realized in that moment that it just wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Crap my parents were going to be mad.
I only had three weeks left so I powered through it and then took a year off to decide what I wanted. I already had a job at a local software retailer and during that year I expanded upon that with a side business building custom PCs and networking them together for companies. It was Novell‘s heyday and they were at the top of their game. Microsoft was an up-and-comer competitor who pretty much owned the business OS desktop (still does) so it was an easy transition to experiment with their networking servers once Windows NT Server was released. And that was my first business.
Actually my first business was a paper route at 13 on my bicycle, but that didn’t give me the same level of excitement. For anyone born after 2000 a paper route is a newspaper delivery job in the real world – not online. And a bicycle didn’t have a little motor – it had to be manually pedaled. But I digress.
Anyway, after about a year of networking PCs I decided to go back to school to finish my BA degree in my spare time and Mom and Dad were happy again. It took more than the single year I had left since I switched majors and went to school part time while I grew my business. I didn’t want to give that up and I loved setting my own schedule. Since then I’ve switched careers a few times but with only one exception have remained in the tech industry. I’ve tried a few short stints as an employee but never enjoyed it as I have running my own company.
In total I have been the owner of a few Sole Proprietorships, a partner in a General Partnership and CEO of four separate corporations that I’ve started or converted from a sole proprietorship (two are currently active). If you think it’s impressive to be CEO of your own company I can show you how to do it for less than $200. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complex and there is nothing like running your own business.
My current company is a computer software consultancy that’s been active since 2014. We’ve developed software for some large state agencies in California and we really enjoy the work. I guess you could say that I’m successful though I’ve never really hit it big. Financially speaking I’m fine – I have a nice home and beautiful family, but I never quite hit the nail on the head with the perfect business idea for me. I think that’s why I keep veering off into other directions and starting new businesses. I’ve been looking for my passion.
The only two constants over 30 years have been that I am very good at setting up a small business, any small business, and running it and I’m very good at teaching and working with others. I’ve got patience – loads of it, and since I’ve been doing this for over 30 years now I have had many friends and colleagues who have asked for help with their own businesses. I’ve always been happy to guide them through it and I really enjoy seeing others succeed. I realized however that I can only help so many people one-on-one so during a 2 month COVID inspired break in my schedule I decided I’d be able to reach more people if I just started writing it all down. So here we are.
I intend to post clear advice and instructions on how to start and run a small company with all the paperwork that needs to be filed and when. There are quite a few balls you’ll need to juggle both in the beginning and as your business grows and I’ll show you just how easy it can be. It’s not really all that complicated if you can be organized – or if you can set reminders in your phone or calendar application.
I believe that if you really have the desire to run a company you can. Stick around and I’ll show you how.