The attitude toward high school dropouts is that they’re lazy and don’t have a strong work ethic, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes a classroom environment just isn’t the ideal workplace for some individuals, and that was the case for founder and CEO of ATMMachines.com, Justin Gilmore.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Justin ran into a few problems during his school years. He failed both seventh and eighth grade and had to retake them, leaving him the oldest kid in each class. Then, during his first semester of ninth grade, 15-year-old Justin got himself expelled from high school. His mom had, at that point, lost all hope in him.
Justin wasn’t about to let everyone’s negative opinions of him become a reality, so he turned to educational courses and books. He bought every real estate course on VHS and every self-help book he could get his hands on, and even though most were scams, he learned valuable knowledge on different aspects of running a business that he still uses today.
At 17, Justin came up with a unique business where he would “huck pizzas,” as he put it. He set up a deal with a local pizza place in a dingy part of town; one pizza would cost him $2.50 if he bought them in bulk. So that’s exactly what Justin did. At 10:30 every morning, he would load every inch of his car up with pizzas he would sell for double the price at $5. It would take him no longer than five hours to sell out of the 40 to 100 pizzas he’d pick up at once.
Each day, the game plan was to hit up busy places, like office buildings, where he could start at the top and work his way down, or family-filled parks. It also helped that he’d dress as a pizza delivery guy to really sell the role; people would even go as far as to tip him for his services. After just a few hours of this, Justin would go home and work on his other income source, selling old newspapers on eBay.
He tried a series of other business models, including pyramid schemes, where he would sell vitamins and flipping dominos. None of those ever took off, and Justin repeatedly found himself at square one of starting a brand. It encouraged him to continue working harder on the things that were actually showing him a profit in the end.
Those two ventures helped ready him for the future. He learned to sell but also got knowledge of local businesses. After around five years, Justin wanted to do more, so he turned to the ATM industry. It came as a shock when he found out that ATMs aren’t owned just by banks but that anyone can buy and operate one, meaning that he could start a business doing this.
After making that realization, Justin began the process of cold-calling and door-to-door visits. He reached out to plenty of local businesses until he created a route to place ATMs, and within two years, Justin was making $10,000 to $15,000 a month off ATMMachines.com. His new lifestyle was the polar opposite of his childhood. He was now making enough to support his mother, a goal he always hoped to achieve.
At the age of 21, Justin landed a deal with the Georgia Dome to place ATMs around the entire establishment. It was one of the most significant achievements of his career, but within six months, Justin was in breach of contract after the machines continuously ran out of money, and it turned into one of his biggest failures. Losing out on that three-year deal so quickly wasn’t easy to deal with, but the fact that he even accomplished it in the first place was highly impressive.
To make up for the loss in business, Justin spent the next few years working hard on his company, putting as much effort as he could into it. He hired a successful team made up of 14 of his friends and family members, and together they have all scaled the business to great heights. ATMMachines.com has become a game-changer in the ATM selling and processing industry.
Not only do they provide and sell ATMs, but they also offer machine processing. This means that when a business buys an ATM, ATMMachines.com will come in and connect the customer to a banking institute and even cover all future transactions. And thanks to something called interchange, the banks cover the cost of the initial processing fee. As of now, the company owns over 600 machines and processes over 1,200.
A passion for Justin is helping others, so he has incorporated a coaching aspect into his company. He teaches others how to start and scale their own ATM businesses, but it doesn’t stop there. His goal is to help every step of the way, not just offer the blueprint. Justin makes a point to treat every one of his customers like they’re partners instead of just another transaction. It makes a lasting impression and sets the groundwork for future business.