When Growclass students need a helping hand, there’s always one person we can count on to come to the rescue. He’s someone who helps others without expecting anything in return. He swoops in to answer questions, hop on calls, and offer words of encouragement.
Some call him Justin Reed, but we call him the Batman of Growclass.
“Justin is meeting with other alumni every week— helping people start their businesses, working through ad issues, troubleshooting problems. He’s become a pillar of the Growclass network, he knows and helps everyone. Justin’s name pops up all the time, and it’s always someone expressing immense gratitude for everything he quietly does for this community.” - Sarah Stockdale, Founder, Growclass
Justin is the Founder of The Upside Agency – where he helps businesses with paid social, creative direction, and site optimization.
After being in the agency world for 5 years, he knew it was time to take the leap on his own.
“The first 6 months of the pandemic, I was just unhappy. I felt like I did most of the work but other people got the credit for it. And I wasn’t gettin any time with my family.”
So he explored a paid social role instead.
“I got served a Growclass webinar the same day I had the job interview and I definitely wanted to join. I ended up landing the paid social role and I used it as the runway to build my own thing. A few of the people I met within Growclass were super helpful along the way. Even one of the clients that I have now came from a connection in the Growclass community.”
Now Justin has more freedom and flexibility with his schedule. And most importantly more time with his family.
His only regret? Not taking the leap sooner.
“I always wanted to work for myself. It can feel scary but you don’t have to do it all at once. I managed to find a contract role that paid the bills enough and didn’t take up the full day so I could find other work on the side.”
Justin’s best advice to his younger self would be to find other solo people to bounce ideas off of, vent with if you need to, and set goals with.
“It’s important to find your people and be supportive of one another. It can be really isolating without it. Anytime I can teach someone from my mistakes it's super rewarding. It makes me feel better about the mistakes that I’ve made too so that’s always nice.”
But Justin doesn’t just talk the talk. Being genuinely helpful is a trait Justin wholeheartedly extends to the Growclass community. You'll always find him using his free time to help folks in need without ever expecting anything in return.
Just ask Ines:
“Justin has taken me on as a mentor figure, and has graciously given me his time, expertise, and encouragement. I've never been in a situation where someone has been so generous with their knowledge and skillset. I know that I can lean on him when I have questions about my journey with freelancing, or in the paid ad space.”
“Justin has been such a helpful and inspirational light for me in my career. He's helped me work through some tough decisions, is always referring work my way, and I feel more motivated having him in my corner and feeling investment to see my career succeed!”
“Justin is the protagonist in the plot who doesn't strive for recognition considering how much he does for others because he just, genuinely, cares. You don't have to spend long with him before you realize how special it is to have someone like that in your corner.”
If you’re thinking about taking the leap to go on your own too, Justin has some words of advice for you:
“Reach out to your network and see what kind of work there is available. There are a lot of startups that can use support that isn’t full time. So there are always opportunities to find a small project to get started with. Don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities.”
He also recommends reading the book Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara, to get a better understanding of how to deal with clients.
“The author ran a Micheline star restaurant. It makes you want to take pride in the service you provide to others. Sometimes it’s easy to feel jaded or have a chip on your shoulder when you experience crummy clients, but this book gives a different perspective.
Above all if Justin could be remembered for one thing, it would be:
“Being a good dad.”
We can’t thank Justin enough for being such a generous mentor to folks in the community. We’re so lucky to have our very own Batman in the crew.
Keep an eye out for more inspiring stories from our incredible community members and mentors.