Helping YOU build an online business around your expertise the generates wealth, impact, and legacy…
Hi, my name is David Ziembicki, founder of the Expert Business Agency.
I built the agency to help you avoid the MANY mistakes I made when trying to build my own online business. To help you grow from struggling solopreneur to successful virtual CEO. To help you unleash your expertise and talents to change the world…
After a successful career in elite tech and business consulting, nearly 17 years at Microsoft and 6 years at other top firms prior, I decided to build an online business…
…and FAILED for the first time in my career…
I spent tens of thousands of dollars on courses, woke up at 4am every morning, created tons of free content, read every productivity book under the sun to “work less / get more done”, and I burned out before ever having a profitable month…
I almost gave up…
Nearing the point of giving up, I began to interview successful online entrepreneurs making 7- or 8-figures of revenue from their online business. I wanted to find out why they were successful and I wasn’t…
What I discovered was that ALL of them eventually converged on a similar business model, what I now call the Expert Business System.
They each had a second in command they could delegate to, they had a virtual team of experts helping them, and they created repeatable systems and processes for each part of their online business.
I knew at the point I needed the same thing in order to be successful and so I tried to find a company or agency that provided those types of teams for online entrepreneurs. There were none…
So I started to build my own team of experts, freelancers, and service providers. I began to delegate and accelerate my online business growth.
That’s when the idea of the Expert Business Agency and our Solo to Virtual CEO program was born: what if I continued to build an elite team but then shared it with other struggling solopreneurs? Providing them the shared tools, systems, and team they needed to build, launch, and grow their online businesses…
After a few more bumps, we started to see success and more importantly, started helping our clients see success.
To give you an idea of how I got to this point, here’s a brief summary of my story.
My Story began in 1975…
Both myself and Microsoft were “born” within a month in the spring of 1975 🙂 While it would be about 25 years before we I would officially join the ranks of the world’s largest software company, my journey in tech started very early on.
My father, Dave Sr., worked in electronics and manufacturing and was one of the product development engineers at Commodore during the heydays of the Commodore 64 (Wikipedia) and later the Amiga, which was radically ahead of its time.
From about age 5 onward I had access to Commodore Pet, Vic-20 and C64 prototypes in our basement, and on many weekends would go to work with my dad and see engineering, electronics, and business up close.
By age 10 there was no question I was going to focus on technology and engineering as my career path.
1985 – 1993…
I continued to have amazing exposure to the industry as my father took the entrepreneur path with several successful startups initially with his peers from Commodore forming Ensoniq (Wikipedia), one of the first successful electronic piano and synthesizer companies. Later he co-founded Great Valley Products (GVP) (Wikipedia) which became the leading 3rd party provider of expansion cards and peripherals for the Amiga. Including incredible 20 and 40MB yes megabyte hard drives 🙂 So. Much. Space!
More importantly, I saw a company get created from scratch and as a teen was able to be involved, working weekends and summers.
I helped set up warehouses, assembly lines, and shipping departments. I started seeing how engineering, manufacturing, and marketing were integrated.
I had access to some of the most advanced personal computers and tech at the time. Check out the windowed, multi-tasking UI way before Apple and Microsoft… 🙂
We did overclocking long before it became popular in PC gaming. I burned my fingers several times on CPUs and other chips that we had accidentally “let the blue smoke out of”…
The only downside to all this exposure to engineering and business and knowing that it was exactly what I wanted to do meant that high school seemed completely useless… I did ok but “less than my potential” for the first two years but then buckled down so that I could get into a good engineering school. I played football the whole time and my Junior and senior years were loaded with AP and computer programming classes, my favorite being AP Physics which was project-based for most of it and the first time in all of my education that some actual engineering was done… With some friends, we won multiple competitions for various projects.
I also met my future wife Melissa during this time so I guess high school wasn’t too bad 🙂
Another big part of my story during this time was being active in the Boy Scouts and eventually making Eagle Scout. I was very lucky that leader of our scout troop really pushed me and helped me develop leadership skills during this time. I have always been an extreme introvert and my scouting experience and the leadership opportunities that afforded me helped tremendously.
These formative years set my course and gave me far more exposure and experience to my eventual career than most kids have. My father was my biggest role model by far, and then my scouting leader and a few others were great mentors.
1993 – 1998 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
I applied and was accepted as an early decision candidate a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the leading engineering colleges in the country. It cam down to the wire but I got the acceptance a day before I would have had to take 3 other standardized tests for some of my other choices 🙂
At RPI I made a great set of friends and was immersed in tech and engineering. As always, anything that was project-based really pulled me in, often to the detriment of going to my other classes… I was part of a team that was building a robot to compete in the early days of the F.I.R.S.T. competitions. Being part of or leading teams of smart people building awesome things is definitely my calling.
The ultimate experience during this time was when I joined the Formula SAE team (now called Formula Student) project at RPI.
The goal? Design and build a race car from scratch and competed against 100+ other universities. Race car? Design it? Drive it? Eventually, lead the team? Yes. Yes. Yes. and Yes!
The amount of effort and work this project took was enormous but it could not possibly have been a more valuable set of experiences to gain.
From the tech such as 3D modeling, CAD, and vehicle dynamics, to the financials of budgeting, fundraising, and cost analysis, to project management and leadership of an effort spanning years…
I could write a book on those years but suffice it to say my first year with the team, the wheels literally broke and fell off the car during the safety test (how do you think that felt after a year of effort by 20+ people…) but by my senior year, we finished 8th overall out of 130 teams, 4th in the main racing event, with yours truly set the fastest time of the day.
It’s hard to over-state how much the lessons of those experiences helped my forthcoming career.
1998 – 2006 Get a job! (and travel constantly)
While not Ivy League, RPI was a well known engineering school so many of the big tech, consulting, and engineering companies recruited there. The Internet was exploding at this time so it was an ideal starting point. I did a bunch of interviews and accepted a role with Deloitte & Touche, later Deloitte Consulting, at the time one of the “Big 6” accounting and consulting companies.
These were choice jobs for new grads. What landed one for me was all of the experience i had had working for my father’s companies and then all the project work I did at RPI, which had led me to changing my major from electrical engineering over to management and information systems. At the time, SAP was also exploding in popularity in the ERP space and the big consulting companies were gobbling up anyone with business and technical skills to learn it and go help companies implement it.
The only downside was there was nearly 100% travel as we would fly to our various client project every week, some lasting years or longer. Travel initially sounds cool as a single, college grad, but when travel equals Springfield, MA or Allentown, PA, or Naperville, IL it’s not so exciting…
In a strange echo of my Formula SAE experience, my first SAP project was also a giant failure. Front page of the news kind of failure. Luckily I was just a bit player at that point but I did have a front-row seat to see how huge IT projects often fail. Again highly valuable and formative for the rest of my career. To date the last couple of months of that project are the most I’ve ever worked, I billed four straight 100+ hour weeks basically living at the client site.
Soon after, I decided to leave Deloitte and co-found a startup with my father and eventually a few others. The dotcom boom was in full effect still and we focused on internet kiosks in airports and other venues. That soon morphed into the early days of WiFi and hotspots.
Unfortunately, the startup later failed as the boom busted. I went back to consulting, joining Avanade for several years which was a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture. There my career began to take off as I worked my way up from consultant to principal and let a number of large (and finally) successful projects.
Also fortunately for me, Melissa who was my prom date in high school and I started dating again. The travel was taking a toll so I decided to leave Avanade, move to Washington DC where Melissa lived, and I joined SAIC, one of the big defense contractors. Since all their customers were in DC, I wouldn’t have to travel any more.
I stayed at SAIC for a bit but I always had known, at some point, I would work at Microsoft.
2006 – 2021 The Microsoft Years
I interviewed with Microsoft for a role in their consulting organization, at the time called Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). It was a great fit as I had specialized for the last 6 years in Microsoft tech and all of my work at Avanade was with MCS and on similar projects.
Again all of the early exposure I had to tech and all the project-based work had really accumulated into experience much greater than most my age at the time. I advanced quite quickly from senior consultant to principal and senior architect within about 6 years.
Initially, I was focused on migrations and directory services, then cybersecurity, then when the virtualization wave hit I was one of Microsoft’s top consultants in virtualization, automation, and data centers.
During this time I worked with a LOT of super-smart and dedicated folks. We worked on large projects that helped transform the companies and organizations we were working for.
I developed a very strong interest at this time in the business of professional services. How to make a consulting organization more efficient. How to build productized and repeatable services. How to systemize and automate processes. I was asked to lear or participate in many different strategic programs within Microsoft and the consulting organization. I even got to participate in a meeting or two with Satya Nadella, a good bit before he became CEO 🙂
In 2013 our son Sam arrived and we began our parenting journey. He is 9 now and an awesome force of kindness and fun.
During the latter part of this time period I began kicking around the idea of a side business and beginning to teach some of what I had learned through my career to others. Inside Microsoft I had trained thousands of consultants over the years and really enjoyed the process. I began thinking about building an online business.
With Microsoft as my primary focus, and a very demanding one at that, my side business mostly floundered as I ran into the issue all solopreneurs do, not enough time to do everything that needs to be done. I did wind up learning a huge amount though as I spent a small fortune on courses, masterminds, training, etc. The net result though was still a loss.
2022 The end… and a Beginning
By 2022 we were coming out of the worst of the pandemic and I was struggling to juggle Microsoft, my side business, family, and health. I was just about to decide to close my side-business when Microsoft decided to “eliminate my job position”. I had literally just received a good performance review and a six-figure bonus package. But in the end, after almost 17 years of good performance, an algorithm got me and about 1,000 of my peers.
It was a bit of shock if I’m honest, I had been at Microsoft for 1/3 of my life and it was a part of my identity. But business is business and up to that point, the company had treated me extremely well so I can’t complain. I also found out that because of my seniority, time in role, and a lot of vacation and a sabbatical accumulated, by severance package would equate to almost a year’s worth of income.
That opened up the opportunity to finally focus on building the Expert Business Agency the way that I wanted to. To be able to focus all of my work effort on it.
I took all of what had started working before, the model of shared tools, systems, and team and started offering it to coaches, course, and membership creators to help them go from struggling solopreneur to successful virtual CEO of their own expert businesses.
The agency began to grow and it continues to do so to this day and to remain the focus of the next phase of my career…