Two years ago while on vacation in Florida I had an epiphany, one of those moments where something just comes to you, and it feels so right.
My epiphany was to take my consulting business and turn it into a chain, eventually a nationwide chain. There were several pieces to this dream, the first being starting some sort of school to train techs/tech managers, the second being giving them a financial platform to go out and start there own businesses under a larger nationwide corporate entity.
Thankfully I didn’t jump with this idea. The infamous GeekSquad started taking off about that time and we now see what a failed experiment that has been. But today my brain juices are flowing again and I’m getting that bug to do something bigger, bigger than what I’m doing right now.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing to complain about with my current situation. In those two years since my epiphany I’ve partnered with Brad Cochran and bought a computer sales/service business (SabreTech), and then taken that business from a large debt to out of debt in 18 months (we were blessed to do it so quickly), and 2007 promises to be an absolutely amazing year.
Ok, so I was talking about them there brain juices. Learning from Geek Squads failure, I’m not so interested in doing the nationwide sales/service chain thing, but I am interested in the first part of my original epiphany, the tech/business school idea. I think this is an open wide market right now, and I don’t know of any school that is doing it right. There are the ITT tech schools, the 4 year schools with BS’s in computer science, and of course online tech schools. You can also just skip school and go take classes to get IT certifications, specializing in hardware/software/Microsoft/Linux/Web, just to name a few. But how valuable are these really? The people in the tech industry that I respect, that are really going somewhere, don’t seem to be recommending these sorts of education to anyone. So what does it take to become a IT industry leader, a professional with the skills needed to be a great, not good, but great IT consultant (I’m focusing on consultants because I’ve always had a place in my heart for small to medium businesses that can’t afford a dedicated IT person, so they outsource)…
This list will be updated as I continue this thought, but here is a start:\
- Willing and eager to learn
- Able to be self taught
- Daring, but cautious at the same time
- Calm, cool, and collected
- Good with people
Question: Can these qualities be taught?
None of these things are specific to IT, in fact, a good tech doesn’t have to have ton’s of experience with computers if they have these skills. I’m not pulling these ideas out of this air. To be honest, from my personal experience, when I walk into a clients business and am presented with the problem, over half the time I haven’t encountered the problem, and therefore do not know the solution.