Is MJ Shoer the Soul of the MSP Market?
This spring, longtime MSP and entrepreneur MJ Shoer left Onepath, where he served as director of client engagement and virtual CIO for the nationwide provider’s New England office. In June, he launched a new venture, MJ Shoer LLC, which has a threefold mission: Help small business customers better manage and leverage their digital assets, advise tech vendors on better ways to run their partner programs, and assist fellow MSPs with efforts to grow their businesses.
In many ways, the soft-spoken but indefatigable Shoer is returning to his roots. As one of the best known and experienced entrepreneurs in the MSP community, Shoer has learned a thing or two about running a business, working in technology and serving customers. Herein he shares some of the wisdom that he has acquired in nearly 30 years.
Before we get to the “Shoerisms” that the business owner, community activist, book author and family man has to share, here’s some background on his career.
Shoer started his career in technology in the early 1990s. For a few years, he worked for different companies that did everything from building white-label PCs to proving basic internet connectivity. Never one for big companies or difficult partnerships, Shoer struck off on his own in 1997. He launched a channel ICT technology provider and called it Jenaly Technology Group. (The name is a word jumble comprised of the first letters of his wife and children’s names.)
Over time, Jenaly established a reputation for quality service and reasonable prices along the Eastern Seaboard. We can be your “technology concierge,” Shoer would tell customers. More than a few liked the sound of that idea.
After 19 years of running his own business, Shoer sold Jenaly to Internet & Telephone LLC, a rapidly growing ISP and MSP based in North Andover, Massachusetts. For a year-and-a-half, Shoer served as the combined company’s chief technology officer (CTO). Then in May 2017, Internet & Telephone was purchased by Channel Futures MSP 501 company Onepath, which was recently named the Channel Futures MSP 501 Kaseya Partner of the Year in Las Vegas.
In less than two years, Shoer’s career path took him from a workplace in which he knew everyone’s name to a national company with offices from coast to coast. While he has nothing but praise for Onepath, Shoer longed to work again with the small businesses that propelled Jenaly into something special.
“Midlevel management didn’t scratch my itch,” he says. “I wanted to get back to my roots.”
Those roots, by the way, are in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Channel Futures connected with Shoer recently. Here are some “Shoerisms” we think you’ll enjoy.
Find Your Lane
During his career, Shoer has worked at startups, midsize companies and a burgeoning enterprise with a national footprint. He’s enjoyed his time everywhere, but came to realize that he was never more satisfied than when working with owners and managers of small businesses on a one-on-one level.
“It was tough to walk away from Onepath,” he says. “Great company. Great people. But I always loved being a virtual CTO for companies and helping them manage and invest in technologies. I also missed working with fellow MSPs, helping them avoid common mistakes and showing them how to scale their businesses.”
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