The short story. I’m 28 years old. I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Business Optimizer, originally from Virginia, now in Tampa, FL aspiring to become a leader in business. I’ve got 3 sisters, 2 brothers and my life is dramatically changing ever since I broke out of my shell in 2009.
Hi, I’m Justin Lewis and This Is My Story
1989 – 2008
The Long Journey
Before I was who I am today, I had a long journey. I was born in Portsmouth, VA back in 1989 to my mom Cindy Lewis and my dad Robin Lewis. A few short years later they divorced and whomever I was to become completely changed. I was the youngest of my brothers (2) and sisters (3) by 10 years, ultimately growing up by myself. It wasn’t the hardest life to live, but it also wasn’t the easiest. As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficite Hyperactive Disorder) and according to my teachers, at the time, the least likely to succeed.
The Year of Change
The previous 18 years of my life, I was a bit secluded. I wasn’t very social and dealt with being bullied. I decided to make a change in my life. Each year going forward, I would dedicate the year to a single thing. So this was the year of change. Once I made that decision, I began to step out of my shell, started to become more social, started a motorcycle community known as 757 Sport Bikes and built my very first single page website. At the same time I was working 3 jobs at about 70-80 hours a week, without any days off. Little did I know, serious change was coming.
The Year of Practice
I was laid off of my job at UPS on January 4th, 2010. Shortly after I made $0.23 from my first website and saw an opportunity to challenge myself to build a business. Within 2 months I was making enough money to sustain my life. By July of 2010, people started asking me to build them websites, so I did but for free. In August 2010 I had just finished building 20 websites when one of the people came back and decided to pay me a tip. He said that my talents should be rewarded and because of him, I was able to actually start making money from website design.
The Year of Websites
After learning how to create websites for myself I started my first business called Niche Optimizer and began building websites for others. Initially it was with the help of Nick Roberts and then one of my clients, Elizabeth Fee, decided to help me grow this small idea into a thriving business. In the years to come we’d build hundreds of websites for entrepreneurs. Sadly I’d make the mistake of not acquiring reviews outside of the website itself.
The Year of Facebook
While still building websites for entrepreneurs I started diving into social media. My first idea, in the gaming industry, took off and turned into what is now Halo Universe with over 200,000 followers. I created a free course called “The Free Fan Page Report” which resulted in an astounding 72% conversion rate on a page that simply had a picture, headline and signup form. From there I helped up and coming YouTubers like Greenskull with ReadyUpLive, Nak3d Eli, and many others grow their audiences.
The Year of Teaching
The niche industry was changing dramatically so I decided to help teach others how to build, acquire traffic, and make money from niche websites using pay per click, pay per lead, and affiliate marketing. I recorded hundreds of videos that I shared on YouTube, of which I eventually took down because of the shift in niche marketing. The year went well, teaching hundreds of students, but the niche industry (specifically search) was changing so quickly that I decided to change directions.
The Year of Consulting
For 4 years I sat behind a desk in my house without meeting a single client face to face or even talking about my internet experiences in public. I was very private, mainly because most people thought it wasn’t possible that I was making a living online. This year I decided to change my path away from helping beginner entrepreneurs to consulting with already built businesses. It was a hard transition at first, but quickly became the norm.
The Year of Traveling
Near the end of 2014 I took an 8 month break from business which led into 2015. During this time I invested my time getting to know, my now fiance, Joelle. I told her, jokingly, “Ya know, before I met you I considered moving to Hawaii or buying an RV and traveling” and she responded, “Okay, let’s do it!”. So began our journey, called the Open Road Chronicles, from Virginia, to North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, and (as of 2017) Florida.
The Year of Growth
A vast majority of 2016 was spent growing my speaking skills by attending networking events with BNI, Chamber of Commerce, Business Builders Club, and charity events. One day while I was at a Starbucks, in Vacaville, CA, I met Matt Herich. He was working on a website for a pizza place he was working for. I helped him out and asked if he’d like to learn with me. Shortly after we moved to Oregon and started building a team of developers and programmers. We hired on an intern, Glendale Acosta, our first employee, Deanna Ellis, and shortly after Rajiv Lodhia.
The Year of Health and Happiness
We officially launch Business Optimizer and our team began to grow. I started the year initially focused on profits but then started noticing I was going down a bad path mentally and physically. I began a journey improving my mind, body, and soul through, what are to me, extremes. I chose to eat less meat, work out regularly, and train my mind to handle more stressful situations. It’s been an interesting journey and thankfully our business grew quite nicely at the same time. I’m still in the process of learning what it’s like to run a business with other people involved, it’s tricky but I’m confident I can do it!