My history as an entrepreneur starts back in middle school. A buddy of mine and I came up with the idea to do a radio station. We had a dual cassette radio, a mic, and plenty of teenage boy opinions. We would record a song and then chime in as it was ending with simple banter. The idea was to record these tapes and make copies, send out the copies with the hopes of getting advertisers. Needless to say, the idea lastest for one Saturday afternoon and the tape soon was lost to other great music from the 90’s, probably some Vanilla Ice.
Before I get into my businesses and life, I want to give the too long; didn’t read version. In a nutshell, I run several businesses and employee several people. I have an IT firm that supports small businesses in networking infrastructure as well as day-to-day operations. I also have a WordPress development and design firm that focuses on mom and pop e-commerce businesses. Lastly, I like to help other developers and WordPress based businesses get off the ground and get clients. Contact me if you have any questions.
Fast forward to today, and I run my own company Sewell, LLC which is involved in several different businesses. The primary business, MyGeek Technologies, is our Information Technology Support business which caters to small and medium sized businesses in terms of computer and network assistance.
I started this business back in 2010 after working for about 10 years in higher education. MyGeek has grown rapidly over the the 3 years that we have been in business and continues to grow and service the North Carolina Piedmont Triad. MyGeek handles the day-to-day IT operations of a handful of loyal clients, from help desk services to network management. We also do special projects such as wireless network installations, server virtualization, and even VoIP phone systems. There’s not much that MyGeek cannot handle when it comes to IT.
I’ve always been very technology aware and fascinated by how computers worked. I started playing around with an old IBM desktop that my mom brought home from AT&T so that she could work from home (this was the 90’s!). It was a DOS based system and I figured out how to play games on it and do some basic manipulation. It wasn’t until my parents bought me a CTX EZBook laptop that I really started understanding and manipulating computers. The laptop ran Windows 95 and could play DOOM. I wrote my first website on it and have never looked back.
After leaving my position at the college, I needed a way to bring in revenue while I grew my business and I’ve always had a knack for websites; when I was 13 I had learned HTML to work on some personal sites on such hosting providers as Tripod and Geocities (those days were awesome weren’t they?). Furthermore, while I was working at the college I also had picked up PHP and started toying around with WordPress.
Right before I left the college, my in-laws were looking for an e-commerce solution for their website. They run a small mom and pop sporting goods store that focuses on fishing and hunting. After trying a few other solutions and searching for several months for the perfect solution, I ran across a WordPress plugin called Shopp. It has just been released and was still a little shaky but it showed a lot of promise. As with many WordPress plugins, it was just one guy that had written the plugin and was operating out of his house. Support was an issue as he was trying to fix bugs, administer a business and work the support front lines. As I learned the plugin, jumped on the forums and started helping others that were having issues, soon after the developer contacted me and wanted me to work on a contract basis to provide support for the plugin officially. Needless to say it was the push I needed to bring in the revenue and leave the position to pursue my dreams.
Out of my Shopp support days, in which I learned a lot about WordPress theming and plugin development, I launched tinyElk Studios. It is a full fledged WordPress design and development firm with a special focus on e-commerce sites utilizing Shopp. We offer consulting to businesses that are looking to get started with e-commerce or even established businesses who need to streamline their e-commerce work flow.
This past year was the first time I have ever given a public presentation. I hate public speaking but I feel that there is an entire market of people who are being overlooked in the WordPress community. These are the people that are just starting out in business, they have no idea of how to launch a business, bring clients in, or protect themselves. The lucky and persistent ones will learn from trial and error but there are people who need help. People that could contribute great talent to the WordPress community as a whole but may get discouraged because they don’t see the market as viable. I want to help those people. My first presentation was on the topic of marketing yourself and business beyond SEO, and I am planning similar presentations for the future.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch!