The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Austin Pariseau is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Austin Pariseau along side Robert Walker and we are the Co-founders of a company called Gas Money, LLC. Gas Money is a platform in the form of a mobile app and website for young adults (aged between 16-24) to sign up as independent contractors and offer services to their local communities. Our company also serves as a place for homeowners to go and support the younger generations of their communities while also getting affordable and efficient services completed around their home. Currently the serves offered are home and yard based such as lawn care, car detailing, and technology assistance. We even offer services such as photography and simple assembly. Our mission is to provide a place for young adults to make extra money on their own time and most importantly learn skills such as communication, time management, and accountability. We believe when we expand across the nation, Gas Money can provide the experience and education needed for a more well rounded, character filled workforce which will have a major impact on the country's overall success in the working world.
What did it take/how did you get started?
Robert and I went to Highschool together in Davison, Michigan. We were very busy with academics, sports, and all of the other extracurricular activities offered at this time of our lives, but we also wanted to find a way to make money. So we started brainstorming and came to the conclusion that we could make some flyers, offering services we knew how to do and had the equipment for. Then we went door knocking to hand out the flyers. The response was way bigger then we expected, we had almost more jobs coming in then we could handle right away. We also started noticing a key theme to almost every client we worked with and that was them saying, "I really love seeing you young people working hard" and "Its great to see the next generation working hard again." This gave us the idea that we could make this an opportunity for any young adult that wanted to work on their own time, charge their own rates, and do the jobs they want to do without having a boss telling them what to do. So we started hiring our friends as independent contractors to test the idea. All of our friends loved it, then we started hiring more people from our school that were interested in the idea. As we continued to grow we noticed how much the other contractors and ourselves were learning and how much this benefited our character and overall life skillset, not to mention we were making plenty of Gas Money. We then realized, in order to really make an impact with our company we needed to figure out a way to scale on a macro level. This is when we pursued app development to automate our business processes and how it became the company it is today.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
Currently we are only able to offer services in the state of Michigan because of our current insurance policy, but in 2023 we are planning on getting nationwide insurance coverage for the contractors on the app so we can expand to other states. We believe we can become a nationwide household name brand. As the gig economy grows, we think the timing for our company and the way more and more people want to be their own boss these days, we can scale our company exponentially in the coming years.
What drives / motivates you on a daily basis?
I have a few motivators, one of them is seeing someone being directly positively impacted by our company. After seeing some of the contractors that have worked with us grow in all of the ways Robert and I have when we started the company really pushes me to try and one day impact a large amount of people. Another is goal achievement and seeing something that started so small continue to grow into what it is today and imagining what it is going to be in the future. I think any entrepreneur can say that nothing motivates you more than proving to yourself that your idea can work and can make a huge impact.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Start... it's as simple as that. Through school and even hearing from people way older than me the ideas they have but never actually pursuing them just kills me. No matter if you fail or succeed you will never regret starting and going for an idea you have, but you will always regret never starting at all.
What has been the hardest part of your business journey?
First of all, there is nothing easy about starting a business. I think being in the startup phase while still bootstrapping has been the most difficult and stressful things so far. Starting a business is like committing to having a kid with someone. You have to do whatever it takes to keep that kid alive, healthy, and growing strong no matter what. The sacrifices that are taken cannot be regretted or you will never grow beyond the things you sacrificed to get your business to the next level.
How have you managed burnout thus far?
I feel like we have definitely learned as we went with burnout. We are in a great time of our lives to have started our company. Robert is 20 and I am 21 so there are plenty of things this time in our lives offer to help keep some sort balance between the company and our everyday lives. Work life balance is not exactly what I am referring to though. I believe work life balance is generally the best for the worlds 9-5 work force. The unfortunate truth for entrepreneurs is that you always have competition, you always have another company or group of people trying to take your share of the market, and there is always someone that will out work you. So I think for the life of an entrepreneur there is a different kind of balance that needs to be in place which is normally different for every business owner, in order to continue on the path of success and not burn out while you're at it.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
If you are just getting into the world of business please read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". This book made me realize that there is no set path in life and that path can be made by you. A podcast that has been very beneficial for me recently that focuses on certain aspects of building a successful startup is called "Starting Greatness". Another resource that is built by you is reaching out to as many people you know that may have connections, knowledge, and other resources that can help you get to your next step quicker (your network equals your net worth). Lastly, we would love it if you reached out to us to connect, talk about business, and see what we can do to help you in any way.
List the founders
Austin Pariseau and Robert Walker
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
Between 50-80 hours
# of Employees?
Currently it is just the founders not counting the independent contractors who complete services on our app. We have around 450 contractor users that have at least started their account creation on our platform.
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
Between $25,000 and $30,000
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
We have competed in pitch competitions, reinvested all of the revenue back into the company, and have received a small friends and family loan. We have raised around $200,000 with total company revenue included.
As we expand across the country it is hard to say what this will be, but this is the range from averaging out current per contractor gross revenue: $100,000-$1,000,000
What's the #1 thing you need right now?
We are definitely in need of investors and with that a solid team to mentor us through our next steps in the company.