There are some commonly held beliefs that, with enough ambition and positive thinking, you can manifest your success into reality. Connor Miller is proof that it takes more than ambition and desire to be successful. You need action and resilience.
One of the hardest parts of starting a business is actually starting. But one of the most surprising parts of starting a business is the amount of work involved in making it successful. Once you get past the fear of failure and take the leap, you then have to come to terms with the volume of work and remember to strike a work life balance. It’s easy to find yourself at your computer from dawn to dusk, only to continue tying up loose ends before bed and taking your personal life for granted. But for Connor, everything ultimately adds up to a win as you build something that makes a difference. “It took me 4 years of working 80-100 hour weeks, working every weekend, and taking no vacation to become an overnight success. Overnight success is a facade, it doesn’t exist,” says Connor Miller.
Connor co-founded ArdentX, a transportation and warehousing business, with his father where he has grown the business from $30 million in annual revenue to $130 million, making ArdentX one of the highest growth companies in Jacksonville. Connor saw the outdated way many of their competitors were doing business and became convinced that he could do better. While others had a heavy focus on innovation and technology, Connor turned his focus to ensuring the best possible client experience. He has built a culture of respect and only works with people who honor it.
Through life, Connor has learned to see problems as opportunities. He’s learned resilience because he’s overcome a tremendous amount of adversity in his life. After becoming addicted to heroin at age 17, Connor was arrested five times and spent a total of 22 months behind bars from 2011 to 2015. He was even living on the streets as a homeless man for a period of time. But he got clean in 2015 and met his wife Grace, who has supported him even when he was at his lowest. “This time of my life basically turned me into a person who could get punched in the mouth, spit out a tooth and ask what’s next. I developed a lot of resilience during this time of my life,” says Connor Miller.
Long-term, Connor wants to open a school where students study financial education, communication, and other vital life skills as core subjects, while math and science are taught as electives. ArdentX is also ramping up the warehousing side of its business and continues expanding its brokerage and asset division.