On January 4th, 2010 I was laid off of my job at UPS. A little bit after I made $0.23 online. I ran up and down the streets telling my friends and family how awesome it was, of which they responded, “Don’t be stupid, get a job”. I was pissed. I worked hard for that $0.23. So I made a bet to myself. If I could make $0.23 online, I could definitely make $23,000. I was young, but it’s because of this bet that I’ve become the person I am today.
Hey there, I’m Justin Lewis.
If you’re on this site you’ve likely come to get an idea of who I am and how I got to where I am today. At the time of this writing, October 31st, 2017, I’m the CEO of Business Optimizer and looking forward to being a dad in February of 2018.
Here’s my story leading up to this point:
I started my career online in 2009.
Initially, I started with a motorcycle community called 757 Sport Bikes so I could learn how to ride a motorcycle; That community has grown to thousands of members.
In January of 2010, I had left my two jobs at pizza restaurants and UPS had laid me off. At this point, I made a decision to build my own business. Initially, it was just one website reviewing motorcycle brands. Within months I had over 140 websites ranging from websites reviewing smoothie blenders, to mp3 players, to air conditioners.
During this transitional period I wasn’t making very much money from my websites, so I made a deal with my apartment complex. The deal was simple: I would help them get residents and for every resident I referred to them I’d get money off of my rent. That idea took off and I referred them over 60 residents paying off 2 1/2 years of my rent.
I build websites and advise entrepreneurs.
My websites had started taking off, bringing in a regular passive income. In July of 2010, entrepreneurs from all around the world started asking if I could build them websites so I built them for free. Shortly after, in August of 2010, I founded a company called Niche Optimizer. With the help of Michael Brown and Elizabeth Fee, we were able to build more than 1,300 websites and teach more than 600 entrepreneurs until about 2014.
In 2011 I started my first Facebook page around a game called “Halo”. That community, Halo Universe, has now grown to over 200,000 subscribers and has helped me sponsor over 12 game professionals throughout the years (including Ready Up Live, Beyond Entertainment, and Forge Labs).
I consult with business owners.
By 2014 the niche industry had become much more competitive, so I started working with local businesses. At first it started as business consulting which led to business owners telling me about how they had been screwed over by previous web developers. I joined a few communities like BNI, the local Chamber of Commerce, and helped about 50 local businesses.
Around this time was when I realized that my career was mobile. I could help businesses all over the world, not just local to me. Thankfully I met Joelle, now my wife, and in 2015 we started traveling the United States in an RV.
I had partnered up with a friend of mine to start a company that eventually I separated from. While traveling the country I noticed a huge problem. The web development community was in shambles.. nearly every local business I came in contact with had a website that didn’t even reflect that they were local.
In 2016, I had joined up with BNI, Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Builders Club in California to restart my career. While at a Starbucks after one of my meetings, I met Matt Herich. Within a few months we founded a company called Business Optimizer, solely focused on helping local businesses succeed online.
By 2017, Business Optimizer has developed websites for more than 80 local businesses across the country, has an excellent team of skilled web developers, programmers, and interns.
P.S. I’ll be coming back to this writing regularly to update it and add in stories to go into different parts of my life. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my story.