Ian Banks is always surprised when people ask what it is that he chose to have etched into his forearm with permanent ink.
“If you’ve driven a car, you’ve seen it,” he said.
For anyone not well associated with motor vehicles, the circular design with varying numbers and perpendicular lines is a gear shift ― a stick shift, to be exact.
“They’re more fun to drive,” he explained. “It takes more skill.”
During his freshman year of high school, Ian began capturing photographs of exotic cars that caught his eye as he drove around his hometown of Columbus.
Sharing them on @mutualistic — his car-focused Instagram — became a way for him to make connections, build a portfolio and help him find people in the business. Ian wants to be in the industry and has been trying to work his way into it ever since.
Ian thinks a car tells a lot about its owner.
“The amount of money you’re willing to put into a car reflects the amount you’re willing to work,” he said.
Ever since a luxury car owner let him drive one once, his dream car has been the McLaren.
The intense speed and futuristic design represents everything Ian wants in his life — high-adrenaline moments.
His first car wasn’t quite as luxurious, a Honda Civic ’97 — the best he could do at the time. He laughs about it now but is quick to proclaim his love for his first car.
It was more than just a car, though; it was a motivation for someone who dreamed of driving luxurious cars around I-270.
“It showed me what I needed to work up from,” said Ian.
He’s so highly motivated to start building his success that he couldn’t wait to get started. He decided to turn his high school english project into his own startup company, Fine Mark Social. The business manages and maximizes companies’ social media platforms, often working with individual realtors.
His interest in social media grows from its different connecting abilities, something he learned from first running his car-themed Instagram account.
Ian and his three other partners meet via Google Hangout three times a week. It’s difficult to align all of their schedules, but it’s worth it. This is part of his plan for success, to find people he can trust to help him split the work and manage time.
His other tenet of personal success is to invest in himself, and his own businesses. Fine Mark Social’s success is only the beginning.
“It shows me that anything in life is achievable,” Ian said.