Learning to run an offset printing press at 16 years old isn't what most kids get to do. But, with a father that needed cheap labor and having the intelligence that I inherited from my mother, I was a shoe in for the job.
A few years later, when I no longer wanted to have ink under my fingernails, I started to sell printing and graphic design. I figured that I could make better money if I learned how to do the graphic design myself. At the time, I wasn't great in business, but I knew how to learn. After a few years of running an offset print brokerage and doing graphic design, I was hired at Kinko's as a graphics job manager and then at IKON Legal Document Services as a graphics department manager. I also started teaching graphic design for independent training companies.
After running my design shop for IKON for about a year, I was recruited to sell color copiers for IKON Office Solutions. I still maintained a little freelance work during this time and also did some teaching at the University of Utah. I think that I learned more teaching there than I ever did doing my freelance work. The subject I taught was Adobe Photoshop for Web Design.
With that experience, I was recruited to be the Color Systems Specialist for the Western United States for Canon USA. I supported copier dealerships in 17 Western States teaching them how to sell and use the graphics systems from Canon. One of the things that I really focused on learning during this time was color theory and color management. I learned, through various training and tests, that I have superior color discernment. My wife is quick to point out that it doesn’t mean that I have any color style… it just means that I am good at knowing the differences between all the colors. I did find that I ended up teaching far more sales skills than I did color skills because so few of those I supported even had the most basic of sales skills.
After traveling over 200,000 miles and having (at the time) 2 children that wanted me home, our family moved to Boise, Idaho and I started working for Fisher’s Document Systems as the Technology Sales Specialist. After a short while, I was promoted to Sales Manager and then to Vice President of Innovation. For four years, I focused on understanding technologies in the office equipment industry. I learned everything I could about electronic document management, electronic forms processing, electronic document distribution and capture, and managed print services. Throughout this, I became very adept at understanding current business problems and providing process improvement to my clients.
Over the years, I earned a Bachelor's in Information Technology Management and a Master's in Business Administration. I learned the value of education, both personally and from an academic institution.
In October 2007, I decided that I wanted to try running my own business once again. I resurrected an old business name, Tribute Media, and started a web development company. I decided to run this business a lot differently than my first business... I wanted it to be very successful as a business and not as a freelancer just trying to make his way. I also decided that I wanted to form very strategic partnerships. As a result, I have essentially two facets of that business.
Some of my key projects that I am part of now are CopierCatalog.com and OfficeProductNews.net. With 120+ websites to our name, I think that we have come a long way in one year to establishing ourselves as a web development force to be reckoned with.
This blog at MasterTheBusiness.com is just a blog about my musings in business and technology. I'll post the launching of key clients (usually those that pay a little... after all, I am an evil corporate giant) and any business or technology ideas that come to mind.
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