I live and work in Mississippi right outside Jackson and I’ve lived here my entire life. I have been the owner and operator of Cubla Incorporated since 1999 and before that I operated a company I started in High School (more on that later). My mother once said I was born with a briefcase in my hand and I’ve always loved business (and making money…let’s be honest). The idea of performing a task and getting paid to do it always fascinated me and I can still remember my very first payment received for services rendered – $718.56. This amount, in 1995 as a recent High School graduate, amazed me. The rest is history…
Over the years I have owned many different companies. I have purchased, sold, created and dissolved my fair share and, honestly, have no regrets looking back. I didn’t say I made no mistakes, I just have no regrets. With mistakes comes education. I work hard and love learning new things. My employees often make fun of me about starting another business or trying something new. As I get older I hear them less and less…
In the end, my passion has always been problem solving. That single, fundamental personality characteristic drives everything I have ever done. I am a natural problem solver and I love a challenge. I see things daily whether it’s other companies or hardware related problems or a car broken down on the side of the road and I am innately drawn to ask why? More importantly, I want to know how to fix it. This personality characteristic, in my opinion, is the sole reason I am who I am today and drives my success. I believe I owe my curiosity to my father. He is, by far, the most curious man I’ve ever met, but one things for sure when I need an answer he’s my go-to guy. I am often confused and bewildered when I meet people that have no curiosity about the things around them. Most of the population is completely oblivious. I digress.
My business knowledge and experience is broad. I currently hold a burglar & fire alarm license, an auto dealer license, I am a licensed Real Estate Agent in Mississippi and an active market trader. There isn’t much I haven’t tried at least once and I have been supporting residential and commercial clients with their Information Technology (fancy term for computer stuff) support for more than twenty (20) years full-time, around the clock and even on New Year’s Eve (you know who you are).
Some consider my interests to be a negative and say I should concentrate on one thing only. I find this ridiculous and believe education and learning is the secret to life. We only live once and I love to learn about everything – natural curiosity. My interests are indeed diverse. I once purchased a Ford 655D Backhoe just to learn how to drive it and dig holes. I loved that backhoe! To the public it might appear I’m looking for employment or I’m somewhat “flighty”, but in reality I’m learning something new and I have a broad knowledgebase because of my interests. A knowledgebase that comes in very handy when supporting clients and while trying to solve a random problem. I can argue electrical, plumbing, HVAC and many other topics with the best of them. As you will read below I hated school growing up and looking back I believe it was just too damn slow. I like action and doing and I’m quite good at my job regardless of my other interests.
A Brief History
In the fall of 1994, as a Senior in High School, I was approached by a teacher and asked if I could assist him on a problem with his home computer. The teacher overheard a conversation between myself and a friend regarding computers and I must have given the impression I knew what I was doing. I, of course, cannot say no to a challenge and agreed to help. I remember distinctly using the line “if I can’t fix it, I won’t charge you”, a line I continue to use today. The idea of working on computers, something I loved, and getting paid fascinated me. At that time, I hated school and had spent the greater part of the previous four years trying to determine how exactly to skip college and enjoy freedom. I just wanted to make money and play…something I’ve been doing ever since. By leveraging my innate love of computers and ability to fix things I found my way. It’s funny, looking back I realize I always fixed the problem…and I always got paid.
After a few months of helping my teacher at home we had worked through all of his problems and upgraded various hardware pieces to achieve his desired level of performance. Remember, this was slightly before the Internet or at least at the very beginning and solving problems, downloading software and installing the Operating System from a stack of 3.5″ floppy disks was not an easy task especially for someone with zero experience. As complicated as technology seems today, I will argue it is easier than in the past.
In the end, this event and thus my first “client” (and subsequent compensation) set the path Cubla remains traveling today. That next summer, in 1995, I began servicing residential clients full-time, created my first company and would later obtain my first real commercial client that remains my best client today. That’s right. My very first client, obtained June of 1995, I still manage today. I often say I started with them and I will end with them. It took that one client to convince my parents to let me skip college and indeed I did just that! Freedom! I was lucky and in the beginning I learned several extremely valuable life-lesson’s: know your trade, treat people as you want to be treated, do what you say you are going to do, stand by your work and you will be successful. Period. It truly is that simple. I owe everything to that one client…so when you hear someone say it only takes one (1) moment in time to change your life forever you better believe it.
I genuinely enjoy helping people especially when other technicians say it cannot be done or simply ignore the situation. I am a “big picture” person and a businessman so I see things differently than most “computer guys”. I understand what it takes to run a business, money, budgets and capital expenditures. I cannot tell you the clients I have gained because another technician either could not or would not fix the problem or just loved to install the “latest” equipment for no reason. I have worked with all types of businesses from their very beginning to their very end. Business fascinates me and in my experience the best clients are those that have been burned in the past because they appreciate what we do and how we do it. Regardless of what Cubla might do for you or your business, after all is said and done, you will know Cubla actually cared and we became one of your greatest assets.
A Personal Note
As I approach 40 (rapidly it seems) I am gaining a better and more respectful perspective on the value of time. There is more to life than working and I try hard to keep a healthy balance between work and play. In the past that balance, or lack thereof, has definitely caused problems giving more attention to one over the other, but recently over the past few years it seems consistent balance has found its way. I often joke with my clients that I am not the “typical” computer guy. I enjoy my life and friends, a good band, great food, reading and many hobbies from classic cars to renovating houses. I am also a true “gear head” who loves fast cars and the roar of a V8 (and a cutting a few donuts). I own and manage many rental properties with a lifelong friend, and enjoy getting away from technology from time to time to relax. Technology changes by the minute and it can be overwhelming at times.
I understand the trials and tribulations of business owners and the struggles they face on a daily basis. I see each problem and solution as additional insight into the “real world” which helps me better serve my clients and anticipate their needs. By owning and operating multiple businesses throughout my career, I believe I hold a unique perspective not often found with computer support companies.
I am a businessman and people person by nature and a techy at heart. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and if you need assistance do not hesitate to contact me directly. If you’re interested in the stock market or trading, please check out my blog at www.bullorbust.com.
James R. Day