Young: A pastoral beginning to world of software consulting

I have written many columns in the past about how entrepreneurship takes form in many ways, applications and sets of circumstances.

I have written many columns in the past about how entrepreneurship takes form in many ways, applications and sets of circumstances.

Our story this week is no exception as it touches on a gentleman who truly believes he has always done something in his life that was entrepreneurial.

Kel Good began his journey as a nine-year-old magician in Alberta, paid $1/minute for magic presentations at local birthday parties in his neighbourhood.

After high school, his first genuine job, as he likes to pose it, came as a shipper-receiver for a graphic supply company.

By the time he was ready to move on, he was running the office and warehouse for his bosses.

During this same early time period, at the age of 19, Good pastored a small Calvary Chapel home church, something he did for five years while seeking to build a “Christian venture” along the way.

Then, much to his amazement, when love and marriage came Good’s way, he and his wife developed an understanding that they would pursue a “nothing down” real estate investment methodology.

After a short time into their young marriage, Good quit his job to go full-time at the real estate market game. He told me, tongue in cheek, that he learned telephone usage very well during that period of his life.

The couple made a lot of money and lost a lot during their real estate period, ultimately ending up declaring bankruptcy due to the volatile nature of the industry at that time and the technique they were utilizing.

As a result of this debacle, Good found another job as a shipper-receiver for a Christian publication firm based in Calgary, at the time a sizable entity in the Canadian Christian book retail market.

Although beginning as a shipper-receiver, Good ended up in a management role as the company’s information technology director, responsible for developing software applications for “just-in-time” product ordering for the corporation’s four stores.

This new role gave Good the core experience and foundation of software development for a good-sized venture, and taught him the importance of business first with the technology aspect being secondary.

The manager of the publications firm was very market-oriented, someone who taught Good an appreciation of how critical the marketing function is to any venture’s success.

While Good was finding genuine fulfillment in his new job, he also spent part of his spare time at night and on weekends playing with an Amway venture, attempting to make it a success.

The Amway venture didn’t work out for him, but he again learned from it, improving his people skills which he wholeheartedly embraces to this very day.

When the time arrived to leave Christian publications, due to an element of downsizing and economic adjustment, the door of fate opened again for Good, and he walked through to a potential future in custom software development.

He jumped at the opportunity to become certified trainer on the Microsoft platform. For the next five years, Good honed these new skills providing training courses across Western Canada.

In the evenings, Good value-added to his expertise dedicating time to develop a website toolkit.

That evolved into what is today Web Marketing Toolkit, his primary corporate product for the Okanagan marketplace and beyond.

Good had a relentless entrepreneurial spirit in that while employed in one job, he continued to do something relative as a sidebar, trying to grow something innovative and creative on his own.

Yes folks, that’s an entrepreneur for you—never, ever resting, always testing oneself to the limit.

Good highlighted that even with his periods of employment which evolved into management levels, he found himself leading and directing internal change within himself—intrapreneurship from within.

Good and his wife moved to our beloved Okanagan region in October 2008 immediately after the economic downturn reared its ugly head to all of us.

Because the region is so small business oriented, Good realized quickly that he wanted to build his client base with people he knew personally.

Hence, he has spent the past two years working hard in networking both through public forums and in-person meetings.

Good told me that he has enjoyed that experience, getting to know his fellow entrepreneurs in the regional landscape.

So, let’s take a moment to understand how this entrepreneur chose to build a lifestyle venture while becoming a local resident.

He believes passionately that the Okanagan needs to learn to pay for real value for the entrepreneurs within its midst and reward them accordingly, so they will continue to contribute faithfully to our valley landscape.

As a consultant, Good specializes in helping you and me achieve the right technology fit for our venture, through identifying the inefficiencies in our business processes, and eliminating them through affordable custom software solutions.

Good founded his current entrepreneurial venture Custom Software Development (www.customsoftware.ca) in Alberta in 2004 and moved it to West Kelowna in 2008-09.

You can promote your small business online using Good’s company flagship product Web Marketing Toolkit (www.webmarketingtoolkit.ca).

For Kel Good, his beginning, his focus and dedication with Christ’s help brought him to this crossroad—a pastoral beginning with a pathway to your entrepreneurial spirit.

Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership educator, coach and consultant and the Founder of Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.

eagleyoung@shaw.ca