About Dave Baldwin


My Story

In 1996, I started my career assembling circuit boards with a soldering iron, working my way into automated control systems. In 2002, in between jobs and completing my bachelor's degree, I took a summer job selling kitchen knives. The job took me way out of my comfort zone and planted a seed that would later play a pivotal role in the development of my business. It was my first attempt at trying and failing to make myself act like an extravert. I then began to realize how valuable it could be if someone would create a selling system for an introvert like me.

In 2007, I left the technology field, packed my bags, and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where I would launch my first attempt at self-employment. I went to every networking group I could find and promoted myself as a writer. I'd recently taken a creative writing course and felt spurred on by the encouragement of several classmates who said I would do well as a professional writer.

I spent a lot of time and money taking business courses and workshops, not to mention hotel rooms and plane tickets. But every time, I came home disappointed, finding that I still did not feel equipped to build my business. Most of the advice I heard was the same. I heard lots of tips and tricks for how to act more like an extravert, but nothing that honored the truth of who I really was. I found that most sales systems were cookie-cutter and were designed for someone else. I struggled to apply them because they didn't fit me.

My initial business efforts failed because I lacked the toolbox and the skill set to build a business. Formal schooling had trained me to follow directions and stay in my lane. I hadn't learned to navigate the ambiguity of running a business. For the next 13 years, I conducted a lot of different experiments to find the elusive formula for launching a business, while taking a variety of different jobs to support myself, including but not limited to delivering pizzas, driving for Uber, freelance writing, fixing copying machines, and working part-time as a copywriter for several marketing agencies.

In 2020, after several years of working full-time as a bookkeeper, I realized that I enjoyed helping business owners develop a clearer picture of their finances. I realized that most business owners didn't have a great way to gauge the financial health of their companies, and that standard accounting reports were inadequate for day-to-day business management. I saw an opportunity to build a better kind of business operating system.

Values and Philosophy

I believe that decisions should be data-driven to the greatest extent possible. While not everything can be quantified, most aspects of a business can be measured if one is willing to make the effort. I believe that when we need to make decisions in the face of uncertainty, the first question should be "What do the data say?"

I believe that rules and policies only matter to the extent that they can be enforced. People find ways around policy when they don't want to comply. I believe that trust is the foundation of a healthy workplace, and if you feel the need to babysit or micromanage someone, you have hired the wrong person.

I believe that every job should be measurable and that pay should be tied to performance and profitability. I also believe that paying people by the hour creates conflicting incentives. I hope to abolish the hourly wage in my lifetime.

I also believe in transparency of pay; there should not be any secrets about how much anyone is making. If there is a good incentive structure, everyone who works hard will have an opportunity to make more.

I am a firm believer that every business is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all business formula that works for everyone. I believe that if you or your team won't follow a given system, you probably need a different system.

I believe that good people take the blame for bad systems. I believe that most business collapses are preventable and that the reason for business failure is not undercapitalization, changes in the market, the economy, the government, or any other outside force.

I believe that creating the right systems is the single make-or-break factor that separates the Fortune 500s from the Chapter 7s.

Who We Serve

Service-Based Businesses

I enjoy developing solutions that keep small business owners in the driver's seat of their growing businesses. The right mix of systems can protect your business from becoming overly dependent on individual employees and clients while ensuring that the company remains profitable.

Solo Self-Employed Professionals

Do you have an 8-5 job and want to start your own business? Are you currently self-employed and want to increase your income? I can build you the systems that allow you to grow and create a team to support you.

Ready to get started?

Call me at 919-723-7916 or email me at dave@dave-baldwin.com