For the first time since 2001, I find myself sitting behind the president's desk in the global headquarters of my own business!
The new venture is called Andy Leonard Technologies, Inc. and this my first full-time day on the new office.
I mostly perform work for Solid Quality Learning as a mentor. For those who are unfamiliar with S. Q. L., it's a fantastic company! Not only are the people industry-recognized experts, they're actually cool! They engineer the entire process of joining their ranks so that it's low-stress. It has allowed me to ramp up quickly - and for that I am very thankful.
Mentoring is a great concept - it's a hybrid between consulting and instructing. Here's how it works: I join teams for a number of days or weeks. While working together, we develop a specific set of objectives - usually to develop template projects, best practices, and establish a foundation for the working environment. Together, we build out example projects using the templates to demonstrate their effectiveness.
In addition to this, I'm also a trainer. When training, I lead excellent classroom-based instruction courses. I currently lead the ETL with SSIS course, but I am ramping up on more course material - hoping to lead others.
In my previous jaunt into business, I operated ASI. ASI specialized in industrial automation and integration. It was a lot of fun for me because it brought together several disciplines I enjoyed (and still enjoy!): engineering, electrical control systems design, and software development.
ASI started in 1995 when I wrote one of the first completely web-based Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) called Plant-Wide Webs. Plant-Wide Webs started using dynamic HTML before DHTML was widely available, then graduated to ASP. Writing the application and running the business were cool experiences!
I learned a lot about business and myself. :)
Most of those lessons were learned the hard way. I remember looking at the checking account one day during my first few months of entrepreneurship and seeing $80 in there. I thought "I must've done something stupid." I was right, and this was the beginning of my understanding of business development.
When Solid Quality Learning called I was ready. I understood the risks of making the leap. I knew it would be a lot of hard work. But, unlike last time, this time I have a fantastic team supporting me - and outstanding business development support!
The person who deserves the most credit has to be Christy. Not only does she support this decision, she's actively involved - booking my flights, making hotel arrangements, and renting cars... she's awesome! She even jumps onto mapping software and talks me in from the airport to the hotel so I don't drive around lost my first night in a new town! (The car rental people always ask "Do you know where you're going?" and look at me funny when I say "No, but I'll find it!") Christy does this in addition to taking care of Stevie Ray and Emma without help from me (when I'm out of town or holed up in the office) - and she does it without complaining.
Thanks, Cutie. I couldn't do this without you!
It feels good to be back. So far, the new boss is treating me ok... but it's still early on the first day... ;)
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