Sometimes you end up in business for yourself purely by luck.
That’s how it happened to Justin Mohney. And it all started with a Christmas present back in 2009.
This is episode 21 of The Gearhead Project podcast.
I think the first big lesson I’ve learned from these 21 conversations is that success is often simply a matter of taking action. Do something—and deal with the consequences. (Remember, consequences aren’t necessarily bad.)
And the second big lesson? Most people are simply doing the best they can to figure it out as they go. If you haven’t noticed it in the way I’ve run Gearbox Magazine over the last nine years, you’ve probably seen it in how these podcast episodes have turned out this year.
Which brings me back to Justin, or Nitsuj, as I’ve always called him. (I actually thought he was a strange, eastern European guy at first—before I realized his screen name was just his real name spelled backwards. Dr1665 approves.)
Did he know how to scale a small, mostly for fun powder coating side hustle into a full-time job? Nope. In fact, he was going to school full-time for criminal justice. For a while, it even got to the point where he was going to school, working a day job, then going home to turn out projects for paying friends and forum buddies. (#savetheforums!)
He had to figure it out as he went. He had to figure out how to incorporate a business, move into his own commercial space, take control of his finances, hire employees, and convert refrigerators into ovens.
(Seriously. Dude turned a refrigerator into an oven so he could bake wheels.)
Way, way back in 2009, when young Nitsuj was asking for a $100 powder coating kit for Christmas, he had absolutely zero thoughts of sourcing bulk Brembo brake calipers for Evos or DSM valve covers in order to reduce delivery times on custom orders—but he figured it out one problem at a time.
Gearheads always do.
Today he’s got a 3,500 square foot facility with all the cool tools and two employees. Like he says, sometimes you end up in business by pure luck. (But we know luck comes from action and consistency.)