One of the benefits of having quit my job to pursue my passions full time is that, especially at first, I have more time to do what I want when I want. I’ve taken this opportunity recently and met a fellow consultant in my area for lunch. It was a great opportunity and one I probably wouldn’t have had time for had I still been employed. The lunch was fun and we exchanged a lot of great ideas and thoughts on running a computer business in our area.
One statement and question this gentleman asked really got me thinking (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact wording):
“I’m surprised that you’re giving away all your strategies for running your business on your blog. Aren’t you afraid you’re going to help out your competition by letting them in on your secrets?”
I’ve always know that by blogging I’d be sharing with the world my experiences with consulting. I’m aware that there’s a possibility that anything I say can be used against me by my competition. So why do I continue to spill the beans on this blog? After all, it takes a lot of work and time to write blog posts regularly, keeping them fresh and worth reading.
After he asked that question I explained to him my reasoning behind this blog and how it has helped me way more than it can ever hurt me. I’d like to use this post to expand on some of the key points I made to him during that lunch. Then at the end, I have a job for you!
Learning, Motivation, and Teaching
This blog has been a huge learning platform for me. When I first started, I had only a vague idea that I wanted to start a computer business. I didn’t know where to start or who to talk to. As I started writing, I started gathering my thoughts, formulating goals, and finding resources that I wasn’t finding by a simple blind Google search.
Secondly, this blog keeps me motivated. I’ve already used YFNCG as a conduit to outline many of the influences that started me on this path. I’m also sharing with the world my intentions and plans and I feel like I owe it to my readers to keep going. This has helped me to not give up and keep pressing on through some of the rough patches.
Finally, I hope to make this blog a tool for others to learn how to start a successful computer business. I don’t care if that other person lives in Siberia or down the street. There are way too many computer users in the world for me to service by myself. I’d rather have competent, ethical technicians as my peers. If the content on this blog can play any part in that, then we’re all the better for it.
So what about the local competition finding out about this blog and using my tactics? It wouldn’t take much digging to tie this blog to my consulting company and figure out where my service area is. But honestly, I’m not worried at all.
I’ve already blogged about a run-in I had with a direct competitor. It actually ended up turning out in my favor. Competition gives you a reason to improve yourself and strive to be a better business. If my competition is using tactics that I’ve published here to try to get the leg up on me, that will only push me to continue innovating.
As I mentioned before, there are way too many computer users, even in my immediate area, for me to ever possibly be able to service. I’m not worried about my customer base drying out. I live in a densely populated suburb of a major national city. There will never be enough techs to personally help every computer user here.
Honestly, none of the tips I share here are really new or original. They’re borrowed from things I see other techs doing, or articles I’ve read, or observations I’ve made. What I feel makes them unique is the personal spin I put on the experiences I’ve had. This blog isn’t meant to reveal the silver bullet of computer consulting. Instead I hope to motivate, inspire, and inform techs that are just starting out, or that are looking for a fresh angle on old thinking. My competition may be able to copy my techniques, but they’ll never be able to copy my personality.
Hello, My Name is Matt, and I’m a Closet Author
If you get right down to it, beyond my computer business and other consultants out there, the reason I torture myself with the task of keeping this blog going is that I REALLY love to write. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been interested in writing. When I was in elementary school I would always look forward to entering the young author’s competitions. Granted, the things I wrote back then had something to be desired, but the spark has always been there.
Plus, I’ve always been decent at writing. I has always brought me personal satisfaction. That fact is at the heart of this website. If I didn’t love writing, I couldn’t have published 98 blog posts to date. Combine my penchant for writing with a passion for the subject matter and you have one unstoppable force!
How Can You Help?
Now we get to the part where I ask for something from you. If you want me to keep telling you my secrets of success (and failure) in the computer consulting industry, I need your help! If you’re a regular reader of this blog, or even if you just happened to stumble on this post, I also need your help!
I’m working on a redesign of this blog. A major overhaul, in fact. I’ve been using this design since the blog’s beginnings and while it worked out well at the time, it’s not quite going to be able to keep up with the direction I’m hoping to take it. That’s where you come in.
What would you like to see improved about this website? When you visit YFNCG, what things do you wish there were MORE of? LESS of? Do you wish you could search content, or share posts easier? Do you wish I had an email list or that my resources page was better organized?
Also think about the content. What kind of posts do you like? What kind of posts do you wish I did more of? Now is your time to be a part of the future of YFNCG!
Let me know what am I doing right and wrong in the comments section below. If I implement your suggestion, I’ll give you credit as a designer on the new site! On top of that, you’ll be helping make this a better experience for everyone.