26 years later, young entrepreneur going strong

May 10, 2012 7:56:42 PM PDT
The spirit of entrepreneurship often starts at a young age. Twenty-six years ago, ABC7 News Business & Technology reporter David Louie discovered a 14-year-old in Livermore with big goals. ABC7 caught up with Jason Mills to fill us in on where is he now.

Jason Mills was an ambitious 14-year-old when ABC7 News met him in 1986. He already had started his own business. He was installing business phone systems. He had already made $20,000.

Today, Jason is now 40 and the president and CEO of Utility Telephone in Stockton, the privately held company he created in 1996. He's still installing business phone systems and data lines with the help of 52 employees.

"I honestly don't think that I've ever thought anything else," Jason said. "Even at 14, wanting to know that I wanted to be independent, on my own, out of the house, working for myself and would someday be independently wealthy."

For all his focus on a career, Jason admits he has a short attention span, which made telecommunications a perfect job choice.

"Every day when you come to work, there's going to be something different," Jason said. "The landscape's going to be different, technology's going to be different, so that helps keep your attention. I couldn't have done the same thing for 26 years."

Customers only recently discovered ABC7 News' story from 26 years ago.

"I think it's pretty fascinating to find out about somebody that knows what they want to do at a young age and becomes proficient at it when they're so young like that," customer Mike Self said.

What started as a one man operation has now grown into a business operating in most of California and parts of Nevada.

Dreams of entrepreneurship can start at a very young age.

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