“You come up against challenges in life, and it’s how you deal with them that defines you.” – Harry Kane
This inspiring quote by the famous soccer player defines the stepping stone to success. It is the attitude that plays a vital role in determining who someone wants to be and who they will be. Challenges are part of everyone’s life, but not everyone manages to shine through them. It is only a few who choose to overcome them by viewing them as experiences that can make a difference. Devin Wills, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, is one such example who shaped his life by changing his perspective on challenges.
It all started with his father’s sudden passing in 2017 when Wills was only 20. Back then he was a prodigal, spending his days partying with friends. He even got into substance abuse, which made it difficult for him to get his life back on track. Realizing he had no one to fall back on, he decided to get sober. His father left the reins of his business to him as his only heir even though he was completely inexperienced in the field. The company, A&W Contracting, was started in 1992 by his father and saw some good times during his father’s ownership.
It was the dedicated team that his father had built in the company that looked after the operation when Wills was struggling to get his life back on track. The situation taught him the importance of team-building and organized activity. Under his leadership, A&W Contracting became one of the biggest roofing companies in the US, working with high-end residential builders such as Lennar, D.R. Horton, Ashton Woods, Taylor Morrison, Edward Andrews, LGI, and Rocklyn Homes, to name a few. A&W Contracting also made it to the top 100 roofing contractors list of a renowned publication in the US.
Personal development and team-building have always been the main focus for Wills to scale up his business. He worked hard to create a team that values the idea behind the business and works together toward a mutual goal. It is this effort that helped the company to persevere through the challenging times of the pandemic.
Wills took his efforts a step further to give back to society. He joined a nonprofit organization, Hands Across Atlanta, founded by his friend. Initially, he was just looking after the operation, but he took over the position of the Chairman after his friend had to move due to a family emergency. Wills proved to be a gift to Hands Across Atlanta, organizing a series of successful fundraisers and making significant donations that brought about a positive change in society.
Hands Across Atlanta has actively donated 3,300 hot meals to first responders during the pandemic. The organization also acquired more than 2,000 winter jackets and 5,000 gloves, beanies, and socks for children during the winter. Presently, Hands Across Atlanta is working on a computer lab with 20 desktops that will be donated to the Salvation Army’s Bellwood Boys & Girls Club. From sports to nutrition, the organization functions in every sphere of society to help underprivileged people.
Wills wants to be a role model to aspiring entrepreneurs. Going forward, he wants others to follow his path to success and work for a cause and not just for wealth.