As the founder of a nationally successful ATM company that also ranks first on search engines for most ATM-related keywords, Justin Gilmore is living his best life. He's currently running the business from his hometown of Atlanta, and since most of his employees are also his family members, he gets to see the people he loves every day. That might sound like a dream come true to many, but Justin had to overcome many obstacles to get to this point in his life, and not just the common ones associated with getting a business up and running, either.
Life started out looking fairly bleak for Justin, who grew up with his sister and brother in a poor, single-parent household. His mother worked two jobs to support the family financially, so he and his siblings were mostly left to fend for themselves. For Justin, this didn't turn out particularly well as he started acting out, got labeled a "troublemaker," and failed both the sixth and seventh grades. At 15, he was eventually expelled from school.
Gilmore isn't ashamed to share the details about his past because he knows that there are so many other people out there who are (or have been) in similar situations and who think they have no way of rising above it all. Yet he did, and he managed it through a persistent work ethic tempered by the patience to wait until he found a lucrative opportunity that he could make the most of.
At 17, he started a pizza sales "side hustle," where he would buy up to 100 pizzas under the counter at a local pizza place every day and drive around the city to sell them at offices in the area. This taught him a lot of valuable skills early on, especially with regards to cold-calling and sales techniques; he even managed to get tipped a lot of the time (by posing as a pizza delivery guy). On top of trying to find new ways to make money, Justin also started reading self-help books at an early age and took multiple courses on business and entrepreneurship. That's a big part of why he also adamantly expresses that he isn't educated but rather self-educated.
Then, at the age of 21, after going through a divorce one year after his son's birth and battling with the loss of his father, Justin found out how the ATM industry works and saw his chance to change his life. He applied the skills he had learned previously, and within two years, he was earning $10,000 to $15,000 per month. It's 14 years later, and Gilmore's business is doing better than ever. So well, that they have also started an online training course to help other people get into the industry.
Justin's advice for new entrepreneurs is that they should treat their customers as if they were their partners. "With this business, I only make money when my customers make money. So my approach has always been to treat my customers as my partners," he says. Go check out Justin Gilmore's Instagram page, @atmmachines_com, to find out more about his company and see what new heights he's planning to reach in the future.