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How Digital Marketing Expert Jared McKenzie Built and Grew The Fastest Growing Solar Company In Chicago By Shifting His Mindset

Entrepreneur

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A quite interesting entrepreneur is Jared McKenzie who is a 24-year-old Houston native who attended the University of Arkansas majoring in Entrepreneurship before dropping out his junior year to start a digital marketing agency. After garnering clientele in the residential solar industry, he became intrigued by the industry and its benefits to residents and the environment. 

He decided to start Headline Solar in 2018 in Illinois to educate homeowners about the State’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) which requires 25% of its electricity production to come from renewable sources by 2025. Entrepreneur and Illinois native, Kevin Gillespie, joined Jared as a partner of Headline Solar in 2018 and together they are now the fastest-growing solar company in Illinois. Here is why McKenzie chose the path he did.

Why did you choose to leave your successful marketing company to create a solar business?

Opportunity and impact. I realized there was so much more opportunity involved with building a solar company rather than doing the marketing for other companies. You have the opportunity to impact your team, your clients, and everybody that associates themselves with those people. The happier your team is, the happier the people around them outside of work are.

There is so much more opportunity for growth, for domination, for impact, for leaving a legacy, and for showing others what is truly possible when you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough without letting up.

To me, it’s not just about money. Sure, there’s more opportunity to make money by building a business, but no matter what you do, if you truly have passion behind it and never stop leveling up, the money will always follow. To me, it’s about the impact I’m able to make in people’s lives that they will remember forever. It’s about the legacy I can leave behind from impacting so many people’s lives, and the environment to go with it.

It’s about coming into work every day and seeing smiles on everybody’s faces because they love what they do. It’s about seeing people grow as a person, an employee, and as a character into an amazing asset to Headline Solar and everybody in their life. It’s about impact. And there is SO much more opportunity to make an impact by creating Headline Solar.

What are 3 tips you would give to other entrepreneurs who are making money fast online?

Invest in yourself. Only spend money on things with an ROI. Don’t buy things to impress others.

I can’t tell you how many financial mistakes I’ve made in my life. I’ve spent money on fine dining just to show others I was making enough to afford it. I’ve spent money on materialistic items to show off and make myself feel better. I could go on and on, but the point is I’ve blown money like it was a profession and I couldn’t have learned more from my mistakes doing it.

My first tip is to invest in yourself. Until you have 100K in your checking account, the best thing you can do is invest in YOURSELF. And no, I don’t mean go hit the Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Burberry store and buy insanely expensive clothes to make yourself feel better and show off. I mean invest in continued education; whether that’s online courses related to what you want to do in life, books about personal development or business, traveling to gain new experiences and broaden your perspective, or going to conferences to see speakers talk about their story and create a new fire inside of you to work even harder. There are so many ways to invest in yourself that can result in a HUGE ROI on you personally, financially, and in business as long as you’re investing in the right things.

My second tip goes with the end of the first one. Only spend money on things you will get an ROI (return on investment) from. If you aren’t going to make more money because you bought that item, then don’t buy it. We live in a day and age where there is so much information available for free at our fingertips, the only thing that you actually have to buy should always have an ROI otherwise it’s a waste. For example, if you have the opportunity to go eat dinner with a few millionaire’s or successful businessmen, go to the nicest steak house and buy them ALL dinner.

Why? Because the ROI on being able to converse with people that are in a position you want to be in, ask them questions, and gain more insight on how they achieved their success is honestly priceless. Real experience is the most valuable thing in the world, and nobody can buy it; not even billionaires. So when you have the opportunity to learn from successful people, do whatever you can to make sure you’re there when it happens.

My third is about not buying things to impress others. Good lord, this one really had to punch me in the face before I learned from it. Yes, your teenage or young adult friends are going to notice the designer clothing you spent your entire paycheck on, but are they going to care the next day? No. Are they ever going to mention you having that piece of clothing again? No. Why? Because they don’t care at all. The only reason you think they do is because they’ll say one thing about it, or maybe they won’t even notice, but that one thing they comment on about your designer clothing makes you feel so good that you never want to stop buying it.

That’s the dopamine effect you’re feeling right there, and there are so many other ways to feel the same way that don’t require you to spend an unnecessary amount of money on something that nobody else cares about.

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