Sam Chason (BS 2020 in Business and Enterprise Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship)

Founder and CEO of Storage Scholars in Austin, TX

Tell us about your current job role/employer and what you’re currently working on.

I am expanding a student storage, moving and shipping company to college campuses across the country.

What key personal and/or career experiences led you to where you are today?

Having to pay for college gave me a real need and desire to think big and start something significant. Then landing a deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank this past October has opened up a world of possibilities for the growth of this company outside of college student summer storage.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? How do you navigate that challenge?

Being a seasonal business where we get the majority of our cash influx in the months of May and June brings cyclical times of insecurity when we are cash poor during our most expensive operational and marketing times of the year. In January-April we have to do our best to shoot at a moving target and predict our new hires, supply order quantities and which markets we should expand do without being spread too thin — or too thick. Having bootstrapped the business for the first five years, Mark’s investment will help us scale to our internal limits in 2023.

What advice would you give to Wake Forest graduates about developing their personal life habits after college (finances, health, values, work/life balance)?

Don’t wait until you graduate to practice being an adult. Use your time in college to test your boundaries. Work through the night, wake up early before sunrise and work out, date, start something you are passionate about. See college as your riskless playground to try new things, fail, win, and make significant leaps into determining the person you intend to be in the greater part of your life.

We know that relationships are important for any kind of development. How do you build and maintain your network?

Slowly — it’s all about purposeful growth when it comes to people because there are only so many relationships that you can successfully maintain without diluting how you intend to show up for others. It is important to set goals, track metrics, keep a log of names, memories, and data points on people in the same way you would about other aspects of your career. The people that become part of your personal and professional circles will ultimately dictate your success, happiness, and outlook on the world. Hire slow, fire fast (in your personal life). Trust your gut, and don’t let a bad relationship fester in your life longer than it should. The grass will always be greener somewhere else, you just have to go find it — or decide that you are excited about where you are.

Tell us about your mentoring relationships. What impact have these relationships had on your career and life?

A few simple sentences spoken by an older, wiser, more successful individual in my life have helped to rewire my perspective on what success was. Growing up, you are surrounded by people that help to paint a picture of what is rich-poor, happy-sad, weak-powerful. As you travel outside of your hometown, you meet other people and encounter different cultures that lift these limitations and help you form a new set of values. Meeting people that have believed in me, and told me I was going to be “a self-made young millionaire” at 18 was something I thought wouldn’t happen until I was 30, and instead, I built a new belief statement around doing that before I graduated. I am fortunate to have had dozens of these encounters that have shaped me into the man I am today. 

What advice would you give to current Wake Forest students and/or young alumni who are interested in working in your industry?

Start now, be consistent, and do things other people don’t want to do. If you do anything consistently for at least five years, you are guaranteed to be successful, no matter the industry or business you are in. It was hard to think that a dirty, sweaty moving company was the right horse to bet on, in reality, there may have been better vehicles for success, but I stuck strong with one thing, and it has provided more than I could have ever imagined.

What’s next for your career? What future goals or plans are you pursuing?

Storage Scholars will be a globally recognized brand in the next five years. We are rolling out a partnership with SIRVA, the largest logistics company on the planet who will help us reach markets both inside and outside the USA. Storage Scholars is my life’s work, my big bet, so I will be riding it into the sunset.

Story published in February 2023. For current updates on Sam’s career path, visit his LinkedIn profile.