Ep 16: On The Rocks with Austin McCombs
Tune in to Episode 16 of On The Rocks with Joe Warren to hear from Austin McCombs and his successful career as a young entrepreneur.
Austin McCombs is the CEO of Gnosis Freight and has become one of the greatest entrepreneurs under 30 since taking the advice of his 11th grade debate teacher. However, Austin’s life was not always focused on being an entrepreneur. Austin grew up in a small town outside of Birmingham. At the time, he didn't know any entrepreneurs, but was always interested in doing his own thing. Starting in Middle School he would sell Pokemon cards and other popular games at the time to his peers. At the same time, he also became very interested in sports-being the biggest kid his age. He really enjoyed the idea of being an athlete. It gave him a sense of identity that he could focus on and set goals to achieve. Unfortunately, this didn't last long, as in High School, he stopped growing while everyone continued to. When he didn’t make the 9th grade basketball game, he decided to shift his focus towards something else-a tutoring business. Although he was heartbroken, this ended up being the greatest blessing.
His first business was for tutoring peers in preparation for the ACT since that was the only thing he seemed to have credibility in. He ended up having a few other tutors working for him and it gave him a taste of running his own business. He enjoyed being able to make an impact on people’s lives. After pursuing this for a couple of years, he started to resonate with the idea of making his identity be that of an entrepreneur. This again gave him something to strive for.
As he went on to college, he knew he wanted to focus on entrepreneurship and sought out the advice from his advisors. He started in accounting then switched over to supply chain management. In the meantime, he started a mobile app which then led him to founding Gnosis Freight. Austin is a first generation male to attend college and his parents had him at a very young age-making his success story start from very early on. His dad's upper mobility was all due to hard work and so Austin wanted to take the baton from him and learn from his drive and work ethic. But also, he wanted to learn from his father’s mistakes that wounded him from chasing his dreams.
Gnosis Freight was started in 2017. He had built an algorithm in college for inventory management that was used by a few companies. Once that company was acquired, he took the same concept but decided to take it international. Gnosis Freight focuses on supply chain management. Austin took the same philosophies from the domestic realm and built an all encompassing tool for international space. Simply put,
"anything that is within a container is within our platform-from packed, to on a boat, to arrival and emptied."
Within the episode, Austin discusses customer milestones, the effect the pandemic had on the business, hiring tactics regarding competitors, and their commitments while building and growing the company.
In addition to his company, Austin has other interests and hobbies he discusses. Austin has been involved in Crypto currency since the beginning. He speaks on the industry’s identity issues, the landscape, and the overall confusion that sadly surrounds Crypto. He also enjoys creating twitter accounts, which he then sells, as well as playing Call of Duty War Zone as a way of recovering from a hard work day.
Although at a mere 28 years old, Austin McCombs is very successful, he has had his fair chair of obstacles which he has adapted to. His On The Rocks moment was when he was applying to college. He was obsessed with the idea of going to an Ivy League school but sadly was never accepted neither for undergrad nor grad school. This became the fuel that led him to embark on his entrepreneurship journey and it created the archetype of who he would become. His words of advice are to
go into every situation knowing you are not ready. However, make the most, react and overcome without letting anyone else know you are aware of that because confidence is contagious. Also, it is important to understand how to navigate from failure to failure without a lack of enthusiasm.