What is Different About The E-Times?
Perspective is the primary difference between this publication and the plethora of entrepreneurship websites, as well as the shelves of business books at your local bookstore. There are different types of CEOs and leaders, and most Founders have completely different perspectives and experiences than those faced by most aspiring entrepreneurs.
The typical entrepreneurial publication focuses on CEO authors who climbed the corporate ladder to lead large, publicly traded enterprises. These CEOs are experts at mergers & acquisitions, restructuring debt and bolstering their stock price. The second type of entrepreneurship author is even more famous. They create “black swan” innovations and spend their way to success with tens of millions of investor dollars. These celebrity Founders become billionaires from flashy IPOs or acquisitions without ever making a single dollar in profit. Monetizing their company comes later.
The latest trends in the business and entrepreneurship publications are authors who are former US Navy SEALs and SpecOps warriors. Without question, the military is a leadership petri dish, and every American should be proud of these veterans! However, even the slightest bit of scrutiny reveals that this group of authors are providing business advise while possessing ZERO profit & loss experience! Of course, they do have credibility regarding leadership topics, but “killing bad guys” does not immediately relate to marketing or reducing infrastructure costs. That’s a bit of a stretch for most readers.
These famous CEOs and SpecOps warriors provide well-written and worthwhile content. However, the information is mostly philosophical or motivational, providing very limited “actionable” insights regarding how to launch a successful business. Investing in quality, treating your employees well, setting ambitious goals, and effectively managing your time are helpful life and business pursuits. Unfortunately, “believing in your dreams” and other motivational poster “tag lines” don’t teach you strategies to streamline your invoicing processes to get paid faster!
Regrettably, most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t know a single chief executive from the category of CEO that they aspire to be. These CEOs are experts at leading startups from just a dream to tens of millions of dollars in revenue on shoestring budgets. Despite being virtually unknown, they represent the majority of business owners. They’re the ones living and fighting in the trenches. They know where the landmines are. They have the hard-learned lessons written in blood and bankruptcy!
Unfortunately, very few of these unknown CEOs publish content. Why publish an article or book written by a decamillionaire entrepreneur when entire rows of flashy books written by billionaires, celebrity CEOs and former “green-eyed snake eaters” exist?
The Entrepreneurial Times was launched to fill this void by providing real, actionable content that aspiring entrepreneurs need to be successful!
Is the E-Times Relevant to Me?
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and want to learn the principles of successful entrepreneurship by seeing these principles applied in a real-world example, then The Entrepreneurial Times is for you. This publication was written to transform the vague tenets of successful entrepreneurship into discreet, actionable steps through a proven approach.
For aspiring entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the Federal Government contracting market, The Entrepreneurial Times is a treasure chest of “industry insider” knowledge and a literal instruction manual. Possessing trillion-dollar budgets and earmarking 23% of its procurements as Small Business Set Asides, this can be a very lucrative market for first-time entrepreneurs.
For those considering other markets, The Entrepreneurial Timesgoes well beyond feel-good motivational statements. This publication uses real-world, relevant examples and proven strategies to successfully launch a company—any company—in any market.
And, yes, this publication is also relevant to people who don’t have any entrepreneurial interests. The articles and their underlying strategies are as equally effective helping non-entrepreneurs accomplish their personal goals as it is helping aspiring entrepreneurs launch successful startups.
Finally, in between the lines of the articles in this publication is a story about how a normal guy learned that he was “good enough” to pursue even his most ambitious goals.
Why Highlight Government Contracting?
Why use the Federal Government contracting market as a case study? Having trillion-dollar budgets, the Federal Government buys almost anything you can imagine, so this example is relevant to nearly every product or service offering. Regardless of primary markets, nearly every company can sell to the Federal Government. Moreover, most of the requirements to operate a Federal Government contracting company are directly applicable to a broad range of industries.
Since starting a company requires a focused, immersive approach,using a “generic” company provides no real context to understand the underlying thought process.This approach is intended to allow the reader to be immersed in the launching of a company by putting “you” and “your” goals in many of the articles. Since no two readers will have precisely the same goals, please step into the identity of somebody who has a dream of launching a Federal Government contracting company.
While the primary purpose of this publication is to provide real substance to the process of launching a small business, this publication also presents a case why the Federal Government contracting industry is an ideal market for first-time entrepreneurs.
If you’re committed to a different market or industry, then that’s perfectly fine, as well. The information provided in The Entrepreneurial Times is largely applicable to any market. Having said this, it is recommended that you still read the articles that are 100% applicable to the Federal Government contracting industry. Understanding the variables at play in this illustrative market will help you gain greater insights from the examples presented, so you may leverage them in your market.
I’m not Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Elon Musk. I wasn’t accepted to Harvard, Stanford, or MIT, only to drop out and start a multi-billion-dollar company that transforms how we communicate or live. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or any other type of professional that mothers encourage their daughters to marry. I’ve never been on the cover of a magazine, and you must look really hard just to find my name on the internet. If you want to be fascinated by the brilliance of an IT prodigy or a transformational leader, then The Entrepreneurial Times is not for you.
You see, I’m not an innovator, thought leader or pop icon. I’m not a great man. My family will more than vouch for that last statement, especially on trash days when I blindly walk past our overflowing trashcan. However, I do like to think of myself as “good enough.” The fact that I’m not great represents a compelling reason why you should continue reading. Here’s why. Despite what your mom tells you, you’re probably not great either. I hate to be the one who breaks that to you, but there it is.
Interwoven in the articles within The Entrepreneurial Times is a story about how a good person can achieve fantastic professional success and an 8-figure portfolio. Think of me as that not-so-good-looking guy who’s with the best-looking girl in the bar. I give other not-so-good-looking guys courage to approach that beautiful lady sitting all alone. That analogy is more accurate than you know, but that’s another story for another time.
Because I’m not great, there is a 99.999% chance that you’ve never heard of me. In fact, I achieved significant wealth right under the noses of my closest business colleagues, neighbors, and even extended family members without them realizing it. How could they? Quite literally, I’m like half of the people standing in line at any given Starbucks in Northern Virginia. I’m just a contractor.
I started a Federal Government contracting company and grew it to some level of moderate success. My company entered 2010 with zero revenue and no contracts. In 2016, I sold it for 8-figures. Prior to our acquisition, I had made millions of dollars per year in profit, while people assumed that I only earned a salary of $150K or less. In The Entrepreneurial Times, I will share with you my journey and all its challenges and triumphs. They will pale in magnitude when compared to the launch of Facebook or the genius and tragedy of Steve Jobs. However, my challenges are real and relevant to those of you who have a mortgage, a car payment, multiple kids, and a dog.
My challenges are directly relevant to “normal” people. They are not the challenges of a troubled, teenage genius who goes to an Ivy League school and starts an IT company from a Frat House. I don’t have stories about “cornering a market” or going global with a trail of multi-billion-dollar acquisitions. I don’t even know what a hostile boardroom takeover is!
Instead, my story is about a terrifying realization that I wasn’t on track to provide for my growing family in the way that I wanted and the journey to do something about it. It’s a story about wanting more from life. If this is your story, as well, then I invite you to grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and allow me to share some memories, as well as some hard-learned lessons, with you on The Entrepreneurial Times.
About the Editor — Randy Wimmer
With over 30 years of military, contracting and entrepreneurial experience, Randy Wimmer is the ultimate “industry insider” for launching startups in the Federal Government (FedGov) contracting market. He has led proposal efforts culminating in over a billion dollars in awarded government contracts and has led multiple successful FedGov contracting companies to rewarding acquisitions. Although he achieved financial independence by launching a company from his kitchen table after his kids went to bed, his journey to entrepreneurial success wasn’t an easy path. His lack of actionable knowledge became apparent during his firstand second startup attempts.
Although his first two attempts at launching a FedGov contracting company ultimately failed, his experiences were priceless! During these failed startup attempts, Randy was incorporating his hard-learned lessons into a structured process that would ultimately enable him to achieve financial independence. Again, his journey to entrepreneurial success wasn’t an easy path. In fact, Randy frequently jokes that he cleared a path through the startup minefield by stepping on every mine!
Using his refined, structured approach to relaunch Analytic Strategies, yet again, his third attempt at entrepreneurship succeeded with a vengeance! Within months, he had been awarded multiple government contracts, generating millions of dollars in revenue. He left his kitchen office and shifted his focus to creating infrastructure that could support sustained, rapid growth. In 2016, Randy sold Analytic Strategies LLC for eight figures.
For Randy’s entrepreneurial success, he was selected to Mindshare, an invitation-only consortium of Founders from the most promising technology startups in the DC Metro/Mid-Atlantic area. For his contributions to the DoD and Intelligence Community, he was selected to MissionLink, an invitation-only consortium of CEOs and “thought leaders” to collaborate with senior government executives regarding pressing national security issues. For his business success, he made the INC Magazine 500 Fastest Growing Companies and the Washington Tech “Fast 50” lists on multiple occasions. For the successes of his family owned and operated nonprofit organization, it received the President George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award, our nation’s most prestigious award for volunteerism and services. Now Randy is helping other aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. In 2020, he founded Government Contracting Academy, a social-impact company that provides aspiring entrepreneurs a comprehensive training and support program to launch a company in the FedGov contracting market. Government Contracting Academy is unique in that it lays a trail of breadcrumbs that can lead aspiring entrepreneurs from working on a laptop at their kitchen table to successfully starting a company that taps into the trillions of dollars the US Federal Government spends.
The “Why” behind The E-Times
In 2010, I launched my first successful Federal Government contracting company. It has been honored on both the INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies List and the Washington Technology Fast 50 List. After six years of near-vertical growth, I sold my company for 8-figures, achieving no-kidding financial independence. Since then, I have been a co-owner of multiple contracting companies in this industry that have also achieved successful exit strategies.
My success is largely attributable to the lessons I learned during my unsuccessful business launch in 2003 and my marginally successful launch in 2006. Along this journey, I cleared a path through the Federal Government startup minefield by stepping on almost every mine. Now, I am sharing this path to help others achieve their dreams.
As the son of an enlisted sailor, my father’s advice both inspired me to apply and helped me to graduate from the US Naval Academy as a commissioned officer. Like my father propelled me beyond his successes, I wish to do the same for my sons. I want my sons to forego the years of struggling that I persevered to not only become a successful entrepreneur should they choose, but more importantly, to live life unafraid.
After selling my first company, I decided to put pen to paper to document my “fatherly advice” for my four Wimmer Boys. While writing my hard learned lessons, I thought about how much it could have helped the younger me. This is when I faced a moral dilemma.
I’m a very private person, and the articles in this publication frequently peak through a window into my life that I’d never voluntarily share with anyone outside of my family. However, I thought that perhaps The Entrepreneurial Times, with its odd humor and questionable grammar, might be able to change the trajectory of just one person’s life. Is it worth the discomfort that I’d feel by so openly sharing my personal thoughts and feelings to help a stranger?
I then remembered the advice I gave two of my sons after they won a large robotics competition while in elementary school. They were walking on air until they realized just how few schools had after-school robotics clubs. My sons realized they had an opportunity to learn robotics while many kids didn’t.
I explained to my sons they should never be selfish with their opportunities. My sons believed their old man and launched a nonprofit organization to “share” their knowledge by sponsoring after-school robotics programs in underserved elementary schools. Of course, I helped them with some of the business aspects of the nonprofit organization. However, my hands weren’t the ones trembling while performing robotics demonstrations in front of hundreds of studentsduring school assemblies. It was their hands. If my sons could be that brave, then they deserve more from their father.
I have been given more opportunities than I have ever deserved, so this is my very modest attempt to help others achieve entrepreneurial success. More importantly, this is my humble way to help others pursue their dreams. Now, my hands are trembling.