As 2023 is coming to an end, I came to the realization that I have been in business for 20 years.

I started McKeand Consulting, LLC in 2003 in Maryland. At the time, I had just left my job at a consulting firm in Annapolis due to burn out. I was the Senior Microsoft Engineer, Product Manager (I figured out what to put into computers we assembled for clients), and Microsoft Team Lead (separate from SME – I also had to manage the Junior Microsoft staff). Staying on top of the constantly changing environment of desktop and server technology was a major task in itself. Let alone keeping on top of all the Microsoft based clients the firm had. Even after I left the firm, I would be called by the owner of the firm from time to time to assist with some of the clients I had worked with in the past. I also had to fix issues my replacement caused.

Once we moved to Texas, things changed. I now live in a small town in rural Texas. There are only a few potential sites with the scale of what I had worked with in the Washington, DC – Baltimore, MD – Annapolis, MD Triangle. Most of the larger sites in the area have their own IT Staff – most of which are super territorial about their network and will die before asking for help. The rest are small to extra-small. I even have a couple of clients that are a single computer. One has his secretary print out his email and give it to him on paper.

So, I went from managing a team that worked on medium to large networks to setting up printers, replacing computers (copying files from the hard drive of the old computer), and helping people manage their passwords. The rare client that has a larger network, I have done too good of a job making them stable enough to not need me too often. I do have a client that is a left over from the consulting firm in Annapolis, that I have been working with for most of the time MC has been around. And of that time, I have been to his office once for a couple of days – everything else has been remote. I even migrated their Exchange Server (with an upgrade) from 17 hours away (Texans measure distances in hours – that would be over 1100+ miles).

So, what is the future of McKeand Consulting?  I don’t know. I put an outbound message on my voicemail saying I’m focusing on other projects. What are those projects? I’m not saying. I will only say that they are only mildly technically IT related. Computers are involved, but only tangentially.

What are my long-term plans? I don’t have any. I will probably continue to do the same 4 things, which recently changed to 5. For a long time, I have been joking that I do 4 things: Read the Instructions, Take the Default Settings, Watch the Status Bar Go By, and finally Google the Error Message When It Doesn’t Run. I have recently added a fifth: Help Reset the Password. That one quickly went from number 5 to number 1 rather quickly. I will probably continue to do these things for my existing clients, but I probably won’t be looking for new clients. Just don’t tell my wife…