Most entrepreneurs get their start by seizing an opportunity because they had a passion for business and had the vision to build upon a marketable idea. For Justin Gilmore, it was much deeper than that. It was a chance to show the world that he wasn’t the failure it had already made him out to be.
ATMs may just be grey machines that most people don’t even give much thought to when they withdraw cash from their bank accounts, but to entrepreneur Justin Gilmore, they’re the things that changed his life. Like most people, Gilmore barely gave these machines any thought when he was younger. After all, they’re just a way to get money out of the bank. That changed when he learned how the industry really worked, however, and he knew that he had finally found the source of steady income he had been looking for. Justin saw them for what they really are: a simple but effective way to change his and his family’s lives for the better.
Justin and his siblings grew up well below the poverty line with a single mother who worked two jobs to keep them afloat. Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. The problem is that this type of life doesn’t build an excellent foundation for a successful future, and Gilmore was undoubtedly on his way down a darker path. He had failed a couple of grades, was deemed a “problem child,” and was eventually expelled from school at 15.
The disappointment this caused in his family and others is precisely what motivated Justin to change his life. “My mother, who was a saint, was so disappointed that she had given up on me; pretty much wrote me off as far as having a successful future. This is what motivated me to become an entrepreneur. I was determined to be successful,” he explains.
Four years after leaving high school, things weren’t looking much better for Gilmore, as he had just had a baby followed by divorce, and then he lost his father. At 20 years old, the world seemed like it was a constant uphill struggle for Justin, but he didn’t give up. He bought every entrepreneur course and every self-help book that he could find. “I probably read every self-help book in existence, which is why I say ‘I’m not uneducated, I’m self-educated,’” he remarks. He even got his real estate license, even though he never used it. However, he had that fire to keep going and find the thing that would set him on his way toward success.
That resilience paid off because soon after Justin started working with ATMs, he found that he could grow this startup into a fully-fledged enterprise. Through hard work, patience, and learning from his mistakes, he managed to achieve what many (including his family) had thought was impossible: he had a thriving career thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit and was doing well, with a promising future ahead of him.
Instead of buying a big house and flashy cars like most people do when they start making bank, Gilmore focused on something a little more personal. The first thing Justin did was visit a dentist. Because of his family’s financial hardships when he was a child, there was never any money for essential issues like dental care. So by the time he was a teenager, he had already been experiencing tooth decay that was typical of a 40-year-old adult who hadn’t brushed their teeth in 20 years.
To get the smile he had always wanted cost him countless trips to the dentist, multiple surgeries, and a lot of money, but he feels it was worth it to be able to finally smile like he didn’t have a care in the world.
Check out Justin Gilmore’s Instagram page, @atmmachines_com, to find out more about his ATM company, as well as to get a glimpse into what his life is like now, 14 years after he started the business.