Earning an Entrepreneurial Education
Earning an Entrepreneurial Education

This Palm Beach Vapors franchisee believes the success of your business shouldn’t depend on a diploma.

John Avey recently purchased a Palm Beach Vapors franchise in his hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa, the first entrepreneurial venture he’ll be tackling on his own. The 25-year-old has been working alongside his father since he was 13, pouring concrete with the help of his two younger brothers as part of the family business.

Avey always knew college wasn’t for him, but with the pressures of society, he decided to give it a try, studying civil engineering at Iowa State. He left during his final year in 2010.

“I’ve always been a hands-on person,” Avey said. “I wanted to create an opportunity for other people like me who know how to work hard but might not necessarily have the paper qualifications needed to be given the opportunity to succeed in other work places.”

So he decided his hiring process would be based on each potential employee’s ambition, not their education. He recently hired his first five employees, a mixed bag that Avey is confident will drive his business to be successful.

“Every person I’ve hired brings a different skill set to the company,” he said. “If one of my employees doesn’t have retail knowledge, they feed off of another employee to understand how the process works. A couple of the employees I hired didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the vaping industry, but now their knowledge has grown exponentially. They are all willing to do whatever it takes to succeed at the job.”

Avey has always been driven to be successful. As a vape franchisee, the success of his industry depends on the way businesses transform to adapt to new technology. It’s not just about getting people to quit smoking anymore; it’s about being creative with the products that are on the market and the way you grow your brand.

“Challenge is my greatest fear,” Avey said. “I’m always looking to achieve the next level, and for me, that’s something I’ve always struggled with. I am terrified of reaching an end goal and not knowing where to go from there. I am constantly striving for more.”

Avey believes the best thing any new entrepreneur can do is look at the picture as a whole. Although he believes helping people quit smoking with Palm Beach Vapors is the ultimate goal, he is also looking to create a community, which he believes can make any store more than a business.

“The reason a lot of small businesses are unsuccessful is because they have their mind on the dollar amount,” he said. “You have to realize that the money will come; it can’t be your only focus. When you focus on your employees and your customers, and you create that community aspect, that’s worth more than any dollar amount can provide.”