Justin Staples: Developer, Digital Marketer, & Small Business Owner: You’ll Never Make It
Justin Staples is a small business owner with over 15 years of progressively increasing experience in multiple facets of internet development, SEO, and digital marketing.
Justin’s Original Story: You’ll Never Make It
There is an old proverb that reads “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and he that loves it will eat from its fruit.” In short, there is so much power in our words. I can remember one particular day which takes me almost 20 years back to college in Wisconsin where I was a Graphic Design student at the University of Wisconsin. I vividly remember my professor pulling me aside after class and saying to me these exact words: “If you don’t come to class dressing the part, you will never make it in the business world.” It’s amazing to me how much words stick. No, I don’t believe that my professor meant any ill-intention with what he said. I was an average student at the University with a 2.8 GPA who didn’t dress much differently from your typical college student. Maybe this was just the professor’s poor attempt at motivating me to take a step in a direction he thought was ideal for success. But for whatever reason, the words “You’ll never make it” continued to resurface well into my post-college years and career path.
At the very beginning of my career in Milwaukee, I worked for smaller agencies, where the vision to be self-employed never left me. Under the roof of these small agencies, I took the opportunity to study and learn the processes of running a business. What to do and what NOT to do. While I knew this was a season to learn firsthand what other companies do to succeed, I continued to struggle with conforming to the cubicle life. I felt restricted and questioned whether or not I would ever reach my full potential working for another company. I would write detailed proposals for my boss, pause in my tracks and say to myself, “The proposal I am writing here, I could be writing for my own company.” The vision to be an independent never left.
While still employed full-time, I met a fellow, Pete, who, though some years older than me, worked successfully as a freelance web developer for many years. He was always open and willing to share his knowledge, his experience and principles for business with me. He was very detail-oriented and analytical. He sat in a seat I wanted to be in. Fully independent. His own boss. I spent some years creatively moonlighting, picking his brain, asking lots of questions, learning from him. I learned more from him than I ever did at the University where I struggled to be motivated and graduated with an average GPA in Graphic Design.
Because of leaders like Pete, I adopted a lot of principles he shared, and with the motivation to pursue a passion I have always had, started my own business. Today, I run js-interactive.com, a full-service and fully remote small business in Austin specializing in custom web solutions, brand development and digital marketing. I make my own hours, I have an income that’s never capped, and I have the flexibility I’ve always wanted which doesn’t confine me to my cubicle. What I love most about the business are the various personalities I get to meet daily, and the opportunities that surface for me to empower others in my field. When passion and determination is a driving force, business ownership becomes a challenging journey where you never stop learning about others, about your industry – and about yourself.
When you consider all the valuable resources and industry leaders who willingly share their talents and successes online – “school” in a sense never ends. And the beauty of it is that we all have the tools we need to be our own boss right at our fingertips – literally.
Find more from Justin Staples at JS-Interactive.