Here’s a little history (more like a mini-biography) of who I am and how I became what I am today. I will try to give the highlights without curing your insomnia.
Many, many moons ago when I was just 5 years old, I was introduced to my first computer—a Commodore 64. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. Shortly after that, I began to become familiar with 8088’s, as my dad used them for his businesses.
A little rabbit trail on that…while I was growing up, my dad worked very hard and eventually founded and simultaneously ran three petroleum industry businesses of his own. I have identified with this entrepreneurial spirit since I was 11 years old. I can remember times in grade school when I talked with pride about my dad to classmates. My dad was fortunate enough that his businesses turned into a life long career that eventually prepared him for retirement.
OK, back to the computer stuff. After playing with 8088’s, my dad bought a custom built computer from his friend “computer Bill”. This beautiful piece of machinery was a 486DX with Windows 3.1 installed on it. It wasn’t long after getting the computer, that we acquired access to the internet using a 14.4 kbps dial-up modem. This was before the internet was widely used by civilians (wow, saying all of that makes me feel like an old man) like it is today. Even now, I can hear the dialing, chirping, beeping, and hissing of the modem as it connected me to the internet that only a lucky few new existed at that time. Initially, I didn’t have any books that would teach me how to use these things, so I was on my own to figure it out. In retrospect, that may not have been a bad thing.
I started poking around the Computer (486DX w/ windows 3.x) to figure out what was what and how it worked. This desire to understand things is something that is deeply rooted in me and is present to this day. I love trying to figure out how things work. I’m one of those guys who voids warranties fairly quickly, but only because I trust myself enough to fix it if I break it.
Later in my adult life, I went to college to get an AAS degree for Computer Networking and got my first gig while still in school. After 6 years in the field of technology, I decided to go back to school for what I really had my heart on—IT Security. I earned a BAS in Information System Security/Cyber Security and started seeking work in that arena. There are some battles in the corporate IT world, and it hasn’t always been easy or pretty. Remember that entrepreneurial spirit I talked about earlier? Well, it’s been in my heart since I was just a young and naive little padawan, and it hasn’t left. Finally in 2016, I went up north by myself for deer hunting season, and a lot of thinking happened. There’s just something about being out in the woods as they wake up and the sun rises, that makes me feel so much closer to God than any other times in my life. One thing led to another, and next thing you know, I was thinking about my career and where I was professionally.
Though well educated and highly skilled, I really hadn’t gotten far—at least not in my eyes, and definitely not as far as I would have liked after more than a decade. The IT industry is overflowing with contract work that offers low pay, no benefits, and almost no opportunity to grow in my field. (At least that’s been my experience.) I’d wanted to do “my own thang” for far too long and I felt that this was the only way I was going to find true satisfaction in my career. When it hit me—to pursue starting my own business—I was so excited to come home from that hunting trip to tell my wife all about it. She may not have shared the same excitement, and I’m certain she was frightened by the idea. But still, I was stoked. I’ve seen first hand the dedication it takes and how hard one has to work to “stay alive”, but I have also seen the rewards that can be had on that journey.
I find great satisfaction in doing things with my hands—especially things that also use my brain. In some way, I’m building something from nothing but an idea, and it allows me to apply everything I know, and also to learn so much more that I didn’t know. In the first year of this journey, I acquired a wealth of information just about business. I truly feel that this is God’s leading in my life, and eventually I hope to run my business full time. I’m excited to see where it will go, and I hope that I will have the same success my dad did; to have a life long career doing what I know and what I love.
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