Technology Brings Opportunity Amidst a Pandemic

Embracing technology is the way to defeat the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So believes Tim Mercer, co-founder and managing partner of IBOX Global based in Atlanta, Georgia. IBOX specializes in cyber security solutions for government and small to medium businesses.

By “embracing technology” Mercer isn’t just suggesting that a company implement the latest innovations to do business better, instead he makes it personal. He encourages today’s worker whose career may be shell-shocked by the pandemic to be open to the possibility that tech may be the first step toward economic solutions. His vision is embedded in the ideal that not only is technology beneficial to everyone but everyone can and should learn how to use technology.

Everyone. Not just techie types, but everyone.

“Yes, COVID, has caused a lot of economic trouble and it has changed the landscape,” Mercer said. “But rather than focusing on the negative, now is the time for everyone to learn a new skill set within technology. Now is the time to make yourself more valuable.”

As a ForbesBooks author and sought-after speaker, Mercer is billed as a mover and shaker in the entrepreneurial world having procured more than $100 million in commercial and government sales for IBOX.

Yet, he also knows what it is like to be “down and out.” His childhood was marked with poverty, and his adult life also came close.

Mercer quoteAfter studying computer information systems in college, he worked a year for a software company before hanging out his own shingle as a technology consultant. Within four years, he was a millionaire. Five years later, that status began to erode as an investment he made, but did not know much about, went sour and his liquidity dwindled to a mere $1,000 left in his bank account.

It wasn’t a pretty situation, Mercer admits, but he called on his determination and grit to move forward – qualities he exemplified throughout his life.

A good friend helped him “bootstrap” himself back into the technology industry and by 2016, Mercer gained more than a million dollars of liquid assets. His book, “Bootstrapped Millionaire” and his podcast of the same title document his story and share his encouraging message of not giving up on one’s aspirations.

Mercer himself acknowledges that his life story could have been much different.

He grew up in rural South Carolina with his childhood spanning the middle of the 1970s and the early 1980s. His hometown was a poor place. It was mentioned in the documentary movie, “Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools,” a 2005 production by Charles Traynor “Bud” Ferillo which exposed the abysmal condition of predominantly African-American rural schools.

“There was not much opportunity where I grew up,” Mercer recalls. “Coming out of high school, my best option for any kind of ‘future’ was to go into the military.”
And so he did.

Mercer served eight years – four active duty and four reserve duty – as a telecommunications specialist in the United States Army.

Not only did those years let him see life outside of poor, rural South Carolina, it also introduced him to what would become his career.

A DeVry University recruiter approached Mercer when he was being discharged from the service regarding the university’s technology program in which students could earn a four-year degree in three years.

That conversation in the early 1990s came at a fortuitous time, Mercer recalls.

“It was a good time,” he said. “It was right around the time when the internet kicked off and I was able to ride that wave of the emerging information technology superhighway.”
He recognized the opportunity when he saw it. He hopes others will do the same in response to the economic wreckage left behind by COVID-19.

He sees opportunity today amidst all of the lockdown and vaccine uncertainty.

And he isn’t completely convinced that the entirety of the nation’s economic problems are directly attributable to COVID. He sees the virus as being a bit of a scapegoat.

“Business is using COVID to do what it always wants to do: Get more efficient; get leaner,” he said. “So instead of being resistant to change, get a skill where the new skills are emerging. I don’t take it lightly that a lot of people are losing their jobs. But I am optimistic because in the midst of all of the stuff that is going on, there is still great opportunity being created.”

To learn more about Tim Mercer, visit: and IBOX Global at



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