My name is Aaron Moss, and I would like to help you be an entrepreneur.
Boy, that’s an opening line to a sales pitch if I ever heard one. “For just three easy payments…you too can join the ranks of entrepreneurs like….”
Let me start by telling you a little about myself.
I am a normal guy, I am 45 years old, have three kids who all are over 18, have my EMBA from University of Southern California, and I am an entrepreneur. I am actually a third generation entrepreneur. My grandfather was an entrepreneur and my father was as well. Of course back then they didn’t call it entrepreneur, they called it a small business owner.
My life started out following a more corporate route. I worked six years in electronic warfare for the US Army, four years as a Department of Defense IT contractor, and four years as a Fortune 500 Senior IT engineer. I was living the American dream and then—wham! I got laid off. I was told there was a “strategic realignment of goals.” Honestly I don’t remember much after that. I know the CEO got a brand new yellow H1 Hummer while 1,500 employees got a pink slip.
I was 32 years old who had three kids under five at home with a wife that did not have a job outside the house, and was a transplant to the state of Maine. I had my degree from a big school and every major computer certificate you can get. I had all the right stuff, except one thing—a job. And if you’ve ever been in this boat you know the truth of this statement. No matter how special you thought you were when you had that job, and how your work friends were the best, when that job disappeared so did a big chunk you. You are now a goldfish in the ocean.
So I did my thing, looked for a job, but the honest truth is that senior network engineer jobs at the Fortune 500 level don’t open up that often, and the little woman wanted to stay in Maine, so that opportunity pool got very small very fast. I found myself very over qualified for every job I looked at and nobody wanted me. Commuting into Boston every day started looking like the only hope, which was three hours each way, or else get an apartment in the city. (Yeah, that sounded like a good plan.)
So I decided to start a business and thought, “really how hard could it be?” So I took everything I had ever saved up, started a company in an industry I knew nothing about, and learned a lot about being a machinist in the process. It was an impossible goal, but the business actually made money the first year. Not a lot, but enough to put some food on the table and keep the boat afloat. The bigger point it proved was that it was a viable business and could be a “real” business, which could provide a good living for the family and others.
A few years passed and my father had an opportunity for me to join his company in California. It seemed like a good opportunity, so I sold my company and moved on with him. Although my Dad and I get along, it just wasn’t quite what we had all hoped for, so I did what entrepreneurs do and started another company.
So why should you read my blog? Or more importantly what makes me qualified to give any kind of advice about being an entrepreneur?
Well, I’ve been around the block a few times and probably have done more small business stuff than most (as a third generation small business owner it’s pretty much in my blood). On the other hand, Fortune 500 and DoD gives a good view how the big boys play, which allows me to have a unique perspective and lets me see the best (and worst) of both worlds. Talk aside, you will judge whether or not I am worthy pretty fast. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can separate the wheat from the chaff pretty quickly, of that I have no doubt.
So what do I do now? How do I make money?
I was always amazed by how much information was generated at the Fortune 500 and DoD levels. They had information and reports about everything you could imagine and that information was used to make decisions—informed decisions. This in turn, produced a better result, which in turn leads to more information, and a better result, so on and so forth. That’s why big companies don’t make big mistakes very often—because they have information and tons of it!
My Grandfather never had a fraction of that information and we’re not talking about “the books.” We’re talking demographics, statistics, and analytics. We are talking about DATA, and lots of it.
My dad’s company had more than my Grandfather, but not much more, and his company is quite a bit bigger, with 45 employees and it has been in business for 40 years. They too were lacking sophistication in the information being reported.
I figured it was just his company, so I looked high and low for reporting tools to give highly granular information for small business. The truth is, it doesn’t exist. Those really cool reports at the Fortune 500 and DoD levels are there because they have an army of people to think them up and run them. They are totally custom and you cannot buy them out of a box.
So I developed a custom reporting system for his company. It was as simple as that. Since developing this custom reporting system for my dad’s company, I make money by developing highly specific reporting systems for your business, which in turn allows you to make better decision. This field of reporting is called “managerial accounting” and it’s a lot more functional and practical to the small business in the decision-making process than the general accounting you may be used to. The problem is that not a lot of people do it because of the skillset it takes; you need to be able to speak both the operation and the accounting side of the business, which makes hiring for this position out of reach for most small businesses.
In English: I can translate between actions and money and vice-versa. Doing X makes you money, doing Y costs you money. Spend X dollars and you can make Y more products.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to pester anyone to hire me, nor are you going to some great push to sell you something. I figure some of you out there will need my services someday, there will just be some really weird problems you’re facing and I’m the guy that you call. When you get to that point, you’ll know.
So, where did we begin…oh yea, I would like to help you be an entrepreneur in three easy payments.