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Becoming Your Own Boss

From dream to reality

5 min read

Most of us dream of being our own boss, answering only to ourselves, choosing what we’ll do and when, and accomplishing great things on our own. Many of us have already accomplished this goal. Some of my former engineering students started their own consulting firms soon out of college. I started my own business eight years ago, after a 30-year career at a public agency. And we all know of the famous bosses of technology—the Steve Jobses of the world who go out on their own to develop the megaproducts of our age.

But, alas, most of us have to deal with the challenges of getting a steady income, putting food on the table, and gaining experience in our chosen field, supported by our employers, before we can consider breaking away. So how do you know when you’re ready to branch out on your own? Here are some things to consider on the ”if” and the ”when” of becoming your own boss.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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