From Marine to serial entrepreneur, Justin Henshaw’s story is one of a kind. The Founder and CEO of GAGE is shaking up the workforce for good with the first Universal Employment Recognition System. Tune in to hear his revolutionary approach to creating metrics around career growth while truly putting people first.
Bio: Justin’s story emerges from a traumatic childhood – the kind we typically see in the movies. But there’s no fantasy here. Justin’s is a real-life story of crossing mountainous obstacles of parental substance abuse, neglect, poverty-stricken household issues, and a mother who took her own life, committing suicide – all when he was only eight years old.
Yet coming under the wing of his grandmother was perhaps the first turning point of his life. She raised both him and his sister alone, while working as a cashier at a Winn Dixie grocery store and as a clerk at a hospital to make ends meet.
With a young passion for music and theater, he had graduated Glynn Academy in 1998 and wanted to move to New York City to pursue acting – but things took another stormy turn as he witnessed firsthand what happened on September 11th, 2001.
As per his words, Henshaw was in Manhattan when the Twin Towers fell and merely blocks away. It was horrendous to witness with his own eyes the loss of so many lives, pillars of smoke, cries for help, and the sirens of the ambulances.
He still remembers how within minutes, the city turned into a war zone.
For him, 9/11 was a moment of change. Giving up childhood ambitions for a life of service. Inspired by those events Justin joined the United States Marine Corps and served 6 years in the Infantry. He served in several combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, surviving many fire firefights including the Battle of Fallujah.
Perhaps it was the commitment to serve his country that rewarded him with unwavering resilience, the single-minded drive to achieve goals — and the mental and physical strength to take on challenges and push his limits.
Henshaw wasn’t keen on leaving the infantry, but in his late twenties his longing for wanting a family began to much for him to ignore.
He was honorably discharged in 2008, and there began the next chapter of his life – the one that we know, with back-to-back successes, and because of why he’s here amongst us as a speaker.
Henshaw furthered his studies to take a degree in Business Administration from the College of Coastal Georgia, and using the money from his last deployment, and help make ends meet, he purchased a sound system and began DJing weddings.
This was the creation of “Island Sound” – the first of the many creations of Justin Henshaw, and one of his best ventures that paved the way for more successes.
Island Sound is a well-renowned entity in the wedding-event domain. Being the first of many, Justin started it from scratch and it was immediately booked solid. Not only was it a successful venture but it also kindled and fueled the fire for entrepreneurship, taking him to his second business – Coasters – which turned equally fruitful. Coasters was a mobile food that was also spawned while Justin was in school.
Through the years since then, Justin has launched, acquired, owned and operated many other ventures, including 13 businesses and 10 restaurants. Many of which he still owns to this day.
During that time, Justin also found time to marry the love of his life and have 2 beautiful daughters. They live happily on St. Simons Island, to this day.
Justin has recently entered the tech space with his biggest project to-date. He has developed a revolutionary digital platform called GAGE, which is positioned to shake up the Workforce. GAGE is the world’s first Universal Employment Recognition System that is used for measuring and rewarding performance within the workforce.
A major takeaway from Justin’s story, amongst others, is that no matter what you study at college, where you spend the initial years after graduation, or how problematic your childhood or background is; you can always accomplish your goals if you have the will and passion to get it done.
Justin’s Something Extra: “Remember that there is no such thing as failure because you are just learning. You have not lost until you quit.”
– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Jenny Heal, Executive Producer
– Joe Szynkowski, Marketing Support
– Kendall Brewer, Director of Leadership Programs
– Portside Media, Podcast Engineer