Starting Again…

Who am I?

My name is Daniel P. McCarthy.  Everyone calls me Dan.  I am the owner of Main Street Solutions, LLC and the writer of this blog.  I was born on the east coast, just outside of Philadelphia, in Chester Pennsylvania.   My father was transferred to Washington D.C. when I was 5.  I lived in Burke, VA for 2 years before he was transferred back to Philadelphia in 1974.  The rest of my childhood and teen years were spent roughly 20 miles south east of Philadelphia in South Jersey.  It was Washington Township to be exact, right where the Atlantic City Express way starts.

I attended Temple University and spent 5 years hanging out around Broad & Diamond.  I graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts form the School of Communications and Theater (everyone referred to the school by the acronym SCAT, which I was never found of, for obvious reasons). In a strange turn of events, I picked up a part time job with a small entertainment software company the last year of school. The hired me because they wanted me to bring a film eye to their animations (which by today’s standards were like painting with crayons).  That job ended up being my gateway into technology.  One of the main developers took a liking to me and showed me how to rip apart computers and put the back together.  He actually created a custom programming language so I could assist with the creation of animation routines.

Every gig since then has had a technical slant.  Even when working in the entertainment industry as a PA, I tended to setup networks or figure out how to run software that “the guy who just quit was the only one who knew how to run it”.  That got me gigs on such, um, “iconic” TV shows as Baywatch and Thunder in Paradise as well as a forgettable movie titled Strange Days.

So I’ve worked in Entertainment Software, Entertainment (TV\Film), Banking, Finance, Communications and, as of late, Healthcare.

Here’s my 2 cents about the workplace today.  The people are the hardest part.  People fear or resent change.  Technology is nothing but change.  What you buy today is already outdated.  What you install today will already need an upgrade.  It’s a constant investment in constant change.  In my experience, people don’t like that.  That’s why they hire a guy like me who likes to tinker with the new toys that are out there.  But once I do my job I leave… and it’s up to the people to continue to use the systems I’ve put in place.  It’s their responsibility to think strategically & methodically about the change they want to introduce in the lifecycle of their new system, and either do it themselves or bring me back in with a solid set of requirements that can be acted upon.  But typically I only hear “it doesn’t work” only to drill down into the details and find that they’ve changed a business process that the technical process was dependent on.  They never took the time to understand the system holistically, they’ve made rash decisions, and then they go looking for who to blame.

Who am I looking to help?

For starters, anyone using an email address like mynewcompany@gmail.com or mynewcompany@outlook.com or…. You get the picture.  Nothing says rookie like an email address from a domain that has nothing to do with your company.

The kind of people I want to help?  How about a freelancer of any kind… a Maker… a Solopreneur… and all those people struggling in Cubical Nation who have dreams of doing their own thing, but may not know how to take the first step.

That is a broad audience, I know.  Solo Maker to Corporate America… but I think Corporate America is chock full of entrepreneurs in the making.  So ultimately it’s for people who want to control their own destiny.

In recent years my wife has become more and more involved in knitting and the creative maker movement in general.  There are so many people I’ve met who produce great art, but have no clue how to look professional online.  Whether it’s people knitting hats, or brewers making kombucha, a lot of them seem to need help with their online presence.

Where will my focus be?

In a nutshell – getting people to look professional online.

I am a believer in Google Apps for Work.  I’m not against Office 365, I just don’t think it’s as smooth of an implementation as Google is.  Once I’ve completed all the blog posts I can think of to get you up and running on Google Apps for Work, I’ll turn to Office 365 and do the same thing.

All in all I really don’t care which you use… as long as you use one.  I want to see your email address be a part of your branding (joe@mynewcompany.com) and provide your customers a sense of competency.  Seeing these gmail.com email addresses just makes me think you’re a hobbyist who isn’t taking things seriously.  I know a lot of other people who see it the same way.

What can you expect?

You can expect a monthly post that will walk you through each phase of getting yourself up and running on the various platforms or processes we’ve talked about already.  As I get more comfortable with my writing I may increase the frequency, but for now I’ll commit to once a month.

I will do my best to provide you actionable guidance that can easily be followed by just about anyone.  Being a Zig Ziglar fan I try to shoot for his choice of writing at the 8th grade, 9th month level… I have a son who will soon graduate from the 8th grade.  So if he can do it you can too. I’ll expect you to perform the actions I write about and get your business online and looking professional!

Thank you for the opportunity to help you achieve your goals.  Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to respond to your questions and\or update the blog based on changes I see in the solutions or processes I write about.