So what were the early days of Bloom Consulting like?
Well, in the year 2000, August, I spoke with an attorney and he agreed to do the paperwork to set up a sole proprietorship for me, post a listing in the newspaper all for $125. I didn't think much about it then, just something to do.
I worked with a guy who had an impeccable skill set. He knew the cutting edge stuff, at the time for Visual Basic 6, we were writing DLLs with Middle Tier and Back End Tier based on a book he showed me. And on my job I wrote a set of code to recursively loop through Visual Source Safe and Check out, Check In, Add files, etc.
He asked me to write some similar code for a project he was working on, as he owned a side business. I worked at night and on the weekends. His code used XML and DOM and was so good I could barely understand it. However, I complete the task and got paid. That guy is and was brilliant. Since then he owns multiple business and is doing well for himself.
At the time, he gave us all a demo on Microsoft ASP, which was new, web technology. And another friend got me a part time job building a website for a travel company. I worked after my full time job on site, even got a parking ticket one time for parking in the wrong spot. The company wasn't doing so well, and I hadn't gotten my check so I went to speak with the owner, and he wrote me a check out of his personal account. That was the end of that contract.
And that is how I got started on the side business. It's been 14 years now since then. In the meantime, I did a side contract for a lighting company I found on Craigslist, didn't pay much, but I got good experience, which helped me land a really good contract, which lasted 3+ years.
I also worked another contract for someone I met from the user group, got some good experience. He later hired me for another contract. And then offered me full time work.
So yes, the part time job has helped. Financially as well as learning new skills and networking.
And that's how I got started in my side business Bloom Consulting.