BENSON – It wasn’t always easy. There were times he thought of quitting and when the COVID-19 pandemic walloped local businesses, he feared his young start-up would be next. But ingenuity and persistence paid off.
At the age of 24, Austin Wolfe now runs a marketing business with clients that span the Carolinas. And to any young entrepreneur, who struggles with the same fears and doubts he did, he has one thing to say:
“When there’s cloudy days you know there’s brighter days to come. Just keep going. Everybody goes through challenges and difficulties and everybody has a book. How are you going to write your book?”
Wolfe’s story was trapped in a dark chapter in college. He struggled with anxiety, getting his business off the ground and keeping up with full-time classes at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His grandmother told him to keep going, put a pause on the business and focus on school. He did.
In 2018, he became the first member of his family to graduate college with a marketing degree.
He credits his faith and family as the forces that drive him to success. Social media also played a part.
“I was doing Instagram at a young age, probably 12 or 13,” he said. “In college ... I was a real advocate of sports so I just created a sports page to promote what’s happening around the world in sports. I started doing that and thought, ‘I’m on Instagram every day, all day, I might as well find a way to make some money off of it.’”
He researched the idea and got a tip from his 76-year-old grandfather, who saw a man on YouTube with an inspiring message. Tai Lopez is a retail and eCommerce investor, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and online personality. He advises more than 20 multi-million dollar businesses.
As a student in college, Wolfe acquired a credit card loan and went to California to learn from Lopez.
“I came back, started a business, and it was slow but I kept at it and pivoted during COVID and now it’s booming,” Wolfe said.
He started putting indoor digital billboards (televisions that display alternating, stationary advertisements) in gas stations, restaurants and other shops that remained open during the pandemic. The store owners get a cut. The advertisers get a flat rate. And he gets a growing business.
Wolfe now displays 10 advertisements on each television at 35 locations all over North and South Carolina in cities like Benson, Smithfield, New Bern, Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.
The Benson native remains in his hometown and is an active member of the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce.
Emily Weaver can be reached at email@example.com or at 910-230-2028.