I love the start-up mentality. I love it because I love the idea of building something from the ground up. Laying the foundation, the frame, the walls, and filling in all the details. I used to build houses for a living, but now I build my business. But as my company grows, I always aim to keep a start-up mentality because innovation, fresh ideas, and collaboration are what makes a company. While some markets remain stable for years, things can change at the drop of a hat, and innovation is needed.

That’s why I encourage those who are just starting out in the workforce—or, actually, anybody in the workforce—to find a company where they can be an active participant. Obviously sometimes you have to take a job you don’t like to pay the bills. But if you are making a choice on where to look, think about companies that are start-ups or have that start-up mentality. Seek out companies where you can contribute with your own creativity. Where you can build practices and systems that shape the company.

You don’t need to be a CEO or VP to do these kinds of things. You don’t even have to be a manager. If you’re at the right company, you will be doing this all the time regardless of your status. Now this doesn’t mean you will have the freedom to go rogue. Each company has its own standards, vision, and style. But within those parameters, you can create, suggest, and persuade your company into better and best practices. And if you keep getting shot down or ignored, maybe you should start looking for a place that’s a better fit for you, that is willing to see your ideas as valid and even valuable. That place may even be a company you start yourself.

I’m a huge proponent of personal growth, in both myself and those around me. It’s been my mission to help everyone around me to meet and exceed their expectations. I encourage people to seek help when they need it — much better to ask for help than to get stuck in life. Life offers too much for anyone to get stuck.

I created my companies to provide help in a confusing industry: student loans. I’m extremely proud of everything my employees do for student loan borrowers every day. My greatest wish is to help everyone get what they want out of life. For my colleagues that could be a successful and fulfilling career; for my clients that could be financial security despite an awful student loan situation.

I usually try to stay out of the spotlight, but I decided it’s time to embrace the spotlight to reach my goals. So here I am. If you can believe it, the pictures here are the first I’ve ever posted online. Crazy, right? But it’s time to step up and connect with all of you here.

Something you’ll see me do a lot is draw from my experiences. Thankfully, I have a lot of material and hope to keep adding to it. I value travel and hard work and living life to the fullest. I’ll be talking about all those good things in the future, but for now I’ll leave you to think about one thing that helps me in my growth: keep moving. Whatever you do in life, keep moving; even if it feels like you’re going backward, you’re bound to learn something from that, and that’s much better than staying in one place.