OnlineAdvisor.com was officially launched in 2016. But it started way before that.
In 1998, John Harris started his own graphic and website design business in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a sales and marketing director serving the jewelry industry, he was asked by many of his clients if he could help them with their marketing collateral and advertising plans. For John, that was the easy part. He knew the printing business, how to shoot product photos, and was learning the website side of things as the Internet was preparing to change the world.
But what he didn’t know well was how to start and manage his own business. That was the hard part.
The business required more than just a dream. It required a whole lot more. Accounting. Payroll taxes. Capital expenditures. Computer platforms and software packages. Office space. Recruiting employees. Hiring employees. Firing employees. Serving clients well. Letting people know your business exists. Making enough to pay the bills and then be able to put money away for growth. Frankly, there was no one available who was able or willing to answer all of these challenges, but it wasn’t because John didn’t ask. Or didn’t try. And so he learned through trial and error.
And there was that commitment he made in 2001.
When John made the decision to expand his business to include website application development and database programming in the year 2000, it was a huge decision. There were a lot more obligations to others than ever before. Bank loans, office leases, multiple locations and a much larger team were all now in play. And, frankly, the results were less than successful. Although there were great products and services created, the cash ran out and the “dot-com crash” struck. Tough decisions were made. And so the big office closed its doors due to “downsizing.”
And then he started to think about what happened. And how he could have done better. And how to help others do business better.
John went out and started studying other companies. He went out and talked to some of the best experts in various fields. Some of them were pretty famous at the time. Some of them weren’t, but it wasn’t because they weren’t good – they just didn’t want to be famous. And all of them were gracious with their advice and their expertise, because almost all of them had been knocked around at some point – even to point of bankruptcy. They had tried and failed, too. He found that they struggled with the process, but they got back up. They had to find their answers, their strategies, their resources . . . their success.
He found out that many of them were just as committed to helping others succeed. And being passionate about it.
So John continued his consulting business, finding that he wasn’t the only one who needed help and mentoring. He found that there were a whole lot more people out there who didn’t know what to do or how to do it. From people starting out from scratch to those who were managing long-term businesses and needed fresh ideas, he was working with a lot of great folks with lots of great questions. Sometimes the answers were easy to find. Other answers weren’t so easy. And, even with the Internet, sorting through all of the information was confusing.
So John started to put together what he had learned. And then he shared it. People loved it. And then we went out to learn more.
The journey to learn, grow and then coach and teach others turned out to be a long one. Resources needed to be found. Concepts needed to be understood. A MBA degree needed to be completed. Interviews with experts needed to be done. The economy needed to cycle through its upturn and then its downturn. And the strategy to put all of this together needed to be carefully crafted . . . and then executed.
This was to be a website to be easily accessible with the key resources all of these people need . . . and will need. Even if they hadn’t thought about it.
And so OnlineAdvisor.com is here, and it is always evolving. Many of the necessary resources and information that entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives, non-profit leaders, students and anyone who is learning to be a better leader and decision-maker are here. And there will always be more coming on board. More invitations for mentors and experts to be made and partnerships to be built. We will never stop learning, gathering, implementing and sharing with you.
This is about love for business. Love for knowledge. Love for the journey. Love to help out others. And love for the opportunities in front of us, even if we don’t know how to start. Or how to continue. Or even if there is an opportunity there in the first place.
Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. You’re among friends.