Looking Back at the Last 11 Years

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Founder Michael Mabini Reminisces on How Network Zen Came to Be

11 years ago today, I did not know what the future would hold for me. I was a Systems Engineer working for someone who cared nothing for his employees or customers. Don’t get me wrong; I loved being a Systems Engineer but, at the time, it just wasn’t paying enough for me to support my new family.

Things got bad. I was 31 years old, and started losing track of bills. We lost our first home to foreclosure, because I couldn’t afford to make the payments. So, after talking it over with my wife, I decided to take action. I decided to put matters in my own hands and create my own destiny. I started Advanced Network Consultants, Inc. exactly 11 years ago, today.

That day, I vowed to focus all my energy into this company’s success and to give my all to my customers and any future employees I’d have the honor of leading. The problem, of course, was where to start. I had little experience in managing a team, and no technical sales experience to speak of. Thankfully, several friends and family members recommended Advanced Network Consultants, Inc. to their employers. And, although they were simple jobs that any college grad could accomplish, it was very humbling that these companies would put their trust in me.

Not knowing when the next job would come to keep food on the table for my family as well as my employees, not having enough manpower to service bigger jobs, and working out of a 8×8 home office with my two cousins, Gina and Joseph, was a struggle, to say the least. I found myself sitting on the couch watching TV most days. One day, my wife came home from a hard day of teaching a class of 32 kids and said, “You’re not going to make anything on the couch sitting around in your underwear watching TV”. That’s when I received a very important call.

I had previously performed a freelance wireless survey for a large medical facility in Riverside back when I still worked for my old employer. I got to know the Director of IT very well during that survey project. I helped educate him on the “do’s and don’ts” of wireless and, more importantly, how to not get taken advantage of by big technology integrators if they decided to move forward with the wireless network implementation project. I even offered to make myself available should they have any questions about choosing a technology vendor in the future.

I must have earned their trust because, a year later, they called to request my assistance in choosing the right vendor to configure and implement the wireless network. After guiding them through many meetings with potential vendors, the Director of IT eventually asked if my company could handle the implementation ourselves. WOW! At that point, I had never imagined being able to take on a large project, such as this wireless deployment over 2 million square feet across 8 buildings.

I began writing my own project proposals. I listened, in-depth, to identify the customer’s “wants and needs” in an effort to help budget and manage this project effectively. But, most of all, I started to pray. I prayed to God that I would win this project bid, and that the implementation would be a success for both Advanced Network Consultants, Inc. and the customer.

After countless hours of praying, designing, and quoting, Advanced Network Consultants, Inc. won its first major project. I was finally on my way to starting a foundation for my company and supporting my family.

Fast forward to today: Advanced Network Consultants, Inc, now known as Network Zen, is now a multi-million-dollar company employing over 24 people across the United States, and servicing fortune 500 companies throughout North America. I tell you my story today, Network Zen’s 11 Year Anniversary, not to brag, but to inspire. And to let everyone know how humbled I am to be the Founder, CEO, and President. Happy Birthday Network Zen, and Cheers to 11 more years of helping companies across North America find their Zen in IT!

Thanks to all who contributed to Advanced Network Consultants, Inc. / Network Zen from the beginning. We would not be here without you and all your blood, sweat, and tears! Stay tuned for more from Network Zen! And look out for Network Zen Foundation release in August or September.

Michael Mabini


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