Greenwood Christian Academy Grad, Jeremy Miller, Launches Marketing Agency
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
For the better part of his childhood, Jeremy Miller struggled with self-doubt after suffering years of abuse and depression that brought him to the precipice of suicide. To escape the dark world he was trapped in, he began drinking and experimenting with drugs. The highs, however, were temporary and he recognized that he needed to find a better way to cope.
“I started doing the exact opposite of what every depressed person feels like doing,” says Miller, 18. “I dove into the world of serving — serving my school, church, nonprofit organizations. Helping others made me feel significant.”
Miller’s difficult childhood forced him to mature at a faster rate than his peers. He was already thinking about career aspirations by the time he was 12 years old.
“I knew that whatever I did had to entail serving people in some way,” says Miller, who went online and started researching social media marketing.
“What I came to find was that entrepreneurship, done right, is just a way to serve people at a really high level,” Miller says. As a 16-year-old, he worked at Lucas Oil Stadium and Chick-Fil-A to earn $8,000, which he invested in his first company. Though the venture ultimately failed, he sees its demise as a blessing.
“If you’re going to become successful, you need to fail because that’s how you learn and become self-aware,” he says.
Self-awareness led Miller to identify his core strengths and abilities. He also took a mentor’s advice that said he should figure out how his passion could be leveraged to serve the greatest number of people.
“You always hear, ‘Follow your passion,’ but that won’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t help others because the way economics works is you get paid when the other person benefits,” Miller says.
At age 17, Miller did something many would never consider. He offered to work for free. Being so young, he had zero recognition, experience or authority, so he approached various business owners with brazen honesty.
“I said, ‘I’m trying to start my career early and build my portfolio by getting some experience,’” Miller recalls. “I asked them to give me 10 percent of their trust and I’d earn the other 90 percent.”
Ultimately, the free services paid off. Not only did he gain valuable work experience, but many of the companies offered Miller full-time gigs after graduation, which served to validate him. But he had no intention of taking any of those jobs because he wanted to be his own boss.
He continued to grow his brand and build his skill set. Then, in August 2016, Miller launched his marketing agency called Inspired Blue Media. Now he has a team of social media marketers, working with more than 20 different companies. One of the reasons he’s achieved success at such a young age is because every single day, every single hour, he was making intentional choices.
“I wasn’t going home and playing video games for six hours after school,” Miller says. “I was reading about how successful people lived.”
Throughout high school, numerous people suggested to Miller that he dial back his workload in order to relax and enjoy his youth. A greater number of people, however, suggested that his drive, authenticity and passion to help others saved them — in some cases, literally.
“There was a time in my life when I had negative thoughts running through my head on an hourly basis,” Miller says.
That’s why he’s open and honest about his suicidal past and tells his friends to call him if they’re ever in trouble. And they have. He’s had people call him in the middle of the night with pills in their hands.
“To me, there’s no greater fulfillment than to be able to inspire, empower and help people,” Miller says.
Though Miller considered himself a Christian all his life, he says that for a long time, he mostly went through the motions. After a mission trip to Haiti last year, however, his faith grew exponentially.
“In America, we whine when we have a bad Wi-Fi connection. In Haiti, you can’t find a reason to complain,” Miller says.
A 2017 graduate of Greenwood Christian Academy, Miller says earning high marks didn’t come naturally but self-learning did. In class, rather than studying the subject at hand, he often read blog posts about social media marketing and business.
“I wanted to teach myself more about what interested me,” says Miller, who is relishing his newfound freedom, post-graduation. “When I was in high school, I had to wait until 3:15 to do what I loved.”
Scheduling back-to-back meetings and phone calls from 3:15 on, Miller was highly productive. Now he’s relishing some much-needed balance in his life.
Though he’s only a teen, he’s already thinking long-term, hoping to leave a legacy so strong and powerful that it inspires others to do the same.
“It becomes a ripple effect,” Miller says. “Generation after generation, we can all help empower the next.”