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RightBrain Networks

315 East Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Jamie Begin on refusing to talk someone into letting him make money for them

Jamie Begin never intended to become his own boss, but today the owner of RightBrain Networks knows it's the best decision someone else ever made for him.

The Ann Arbor-area resident had been working in IT for several years when the Great Recession hit and changed everything. Begin found himself without a job and dismal prospects as the economy nose dived. He soon found out he was not alone.

"I was in a pretty good company," Begin says. "It seems like half of Michigan was laid off at the same time."

Which in turn meant he was competing with lots of folks for the few remaining jobs in an economy that wasn't creating any at the time. The apply and hope and then hear nothing got to be too much for Begin, so he decided to create his job.

"One day I just woke up and couldn't do it anymore," Begin says. "I decided I would never send in another resume again, ever." He adds, "I know I had skills to offer, yet I felt powerless."

That was the genesis of RightBrain Networks. The IT-services company started small in a tiny office with no windows. Begin went there everyday and worked his tail off to grow his business from nothing.

"I forced myself to do that," Begin says. "It started growing."

It struggled in those early years. Begin grew it slowly, even getting to the point of employing a handful of people a few years ago. Then it started to take off. It has hired 10 people over the last year, expanding its staff to 13 employees. The new hires include IT professionals, marketeers, administrative folks, and project managers. Its team of engineers provides IT and cloud-computing services for both large and small organizations, such as Intuit and the University of California, Berkley.

It's a great gig for Begin now. He loves being his own boss because of the flexibility of it all. He works more now than he did before but he makes the decision of when and when not to work.

"I want to work for myself because I can set my own hours," Begin says. "Pick you favorite 100 hours per week to work and go for it."

And he is not planning on going back. To him RightBrain Networks is the future for his career and his family. Working for someone else just seems ludicrous to him now.

"I refused to try to talk someone into letting me make money for them," Begin says. "It was just ridiculous."

- Written by Jon Zemke

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