A Paladin’s Debate: Should I Get Hired or Go All The Way With My Independent Business?…

This is the Ad I put in the shopper. Short, simple and to the point. # was cropped so I didn't have the entire internet trying to call me ;).

This is the Ad I put in the shopper. Short, simple and to the point. Name is to-be-determined right now, but I figured that was good enough. Phone number was cropped so I didn’t have the entire internet trying to call me ;).

I’m writing this now to get some feedback on what’s been going on for me lately. I would really love it if you guys commented on this debate I’ve been having for the past couple of days.

I’ve been in several interviews for a job now but… There’s been something that’s been nagging me all the while: should I really be trying to get hired on with these businesses? I sit and listen to many customers over the years get reamed over on their technology choices and abuses inflicted upon them by so many tech companies to the point that it makes me sick. Its one of the reasons I think Windows 7 PCs (and previous Windows versions) have such a terrible reputation. It’s because of businesses like Best Buy and Staples that not only provide some of the cheapest crap on the market but also provide some of the worst customer service/tech support. So when people go into a Mac store, it’s little wonder that it’s a difference between night and day for people. So, can anyone really blame people for getting so enamored with Apple products? No, you really can’t. Not when your option is that cheap desktop that broke on you a few days after you bought it. Granted, you do get what you pay for. My desktops have held up well since I built them myself. But the lack of good customer service is a complaint I can still level at big chains. They don’t give reasonable recommendations or try to really fix the problem people come into their stores with (trust me, heard way too many stories to think otherwise). Instead, these companies just try to sell you what their upper management demands without caring about the problems it causes. I don’t blame them, they make good money, but the results leave a lot to be desired.

It’s been a dream of mine, recently, that I provide a service that helps people with their computer problems. After all, I started the Adaptive Light Technology business with that idea in mind…it was just a poor execution mangled by other priorities (college) that pushed it down on the list. But, I’ve learned from my mistakes. My biggest was incorrect advertising. I was targeting the wrong crowd. I should have been aiming more locally. That’s why I tried the experiment of putting an ad in the local advertising paper. To see if I would get anything after two weeks. Within the first week, I got a call from someone requesting my services. Today, I got another call. With ALT, all my advertising came from my parents who put me in touch with their friends. Considering how well I’ve done with just this little experiment, I sit here. Wondering and pondering a potential future that I could be happy with. I’ve only put a little bit of effort into this potential idea. If I put more effort towards it, would it reap more rewards?

Tillamook has been hurt before in the tech support field. Two local computer businesses closed out a few years ago. One went bankrupt and the owner was convicted of ID theft and other crimes. Namely, he abused his position as computer support to steal people’s information from their computers for nefarious reasons. The other guy scared business away by selling cheap, crappy computers to people. I cannot sit idly by and let people think that all tech support guys are crooks. However, that is what our business is fast approaching if we do nothing to stop it. And I refuse to become part of the problem, I want to become part of the solution that gets the sector back on track. Even if it’s in a small area of the world, I want to try. Everyone complains about how the world is without ever trying to change it. I want to change that attitude by pointing to my business and say that I tried. That I did everything in my power to change things.

Here’s my main problem: I have student loans hanging over my head. I can’t possibly start up a business right now with that, can I? Especially since my business could potentially lose money over the next couple of years as it builds up clients. (I say potentially as a worst case scenario). Is it smart to start a business in this market? Everything I’ve heard tells me: hell no. Not if I want to pay off my loans and avoid having more debt living over my head. People that know me, know that I do not deal well with financial debt stress. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit scared about all of that.

But here are the facts: I’ve had two calls from clients interested in engaging my tech services which is two more than I had expected to get from a small ad in the local Ad magazine. One, in particular, is interested in engaging my services long term. I’ve had more than a passing interest from other people that I set up shop here in the Tillamook area for years now. And the question of whether there is interest here or not has all but been answered. Secondarily, I can work on other projects while working on this business when I have free time. (Yeah, I don’t know what “free-time” means either, it’s some mythical thing other people have). That could potentially mean other revenue streams, as I wouldn’t have to worry what other businesses think of what I do online. That’s all on me. Doing this could potentially mean I’d have more time to work on my blog, channel and the TeknoCratik project.

I guess the question is, do I go with my gut feeling on this idea and let God provide? Do I trust in him that he can help me through the next couple of months? Do I trust in my own abilities to start a business like this? Everyone says to follow your dreams and I’ve never had my own dreams…until now. I got through life as best I could without having any over-arching goal to shoot towards. Even when I was little, I scarcely remember wanting to be anything like an astronaut or fireman. (Though my youngest brother is well on his way to becoming a fireman). It’s a hard decision….but, I want to live my life with my head held high regardless of what happens. Working for another company hasn’t always done that for me (though my previous job did). When I was battling with the ethics of what I was doing on previous jobs, I was miserable. I don’t want to go through that again.

This industry’s pool of trust has taken a huge blow with the leaked documents from Edward Snowden showing that the National Security Administration (NSA, and the USA at large) has been illegally tracking and recording what we do online for many years now. On a local level, abuses from big and small companies are rampant. Trust is falling apart for people in the computer field. And us IT guys will be brought to task for it sooner or later. But, I want to be there, trying to make a difference. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, do you?

As I write out this post, I know what’s holding me back. Fear. Fear of lack of money. But, I feel like I should take the chance. But then, that’s why you’re here reading this. Am I crazy with this idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

Gaming & Technology from my Google+ Stream:

Sharing the latest posts that you might find interesting from my G+ stream.

A lot of interesting news this week so there’s something here for everybody.

Some epic 8 bit music you should definitely listen to.

Thank you for reading, the future is uncertain and scary but I will press onwards, into whatever the future might hold for me. God willing.

Until next time…


One Comment:

  1. I have never done entrepreneurial stuff. I do know it’s crazy hard, though. The financial stress thing will probably not go away soon. :/

    I do believe you have to chase your dreams, though. No sense getting stuck in something you hate. Life should be more than a huge drudge. Persistence is the key.

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