South Matrix is shouting HAPPY THANKSGIVING, from the top of our lungs, or the keys of our laptop. Every other month, we like to choose an employee to spotlight and share their story with the world. This month, we wanted to express how truly thankful we are to work with such an incredible group of entrepreneurs, including one in particular. Ethan Bouillion, Corporate Trainer, joined the company on April 23, 2019, and has become one of our strongest team members. We sat down with him to discuss the tricks of the trade, and what the future has in store for him.
Start at the top – tell us about your childhood.
“I was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. I lived in Lafayette until age six, then I moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where I was raised there until age eighteen. The experiences most influential to me growing up were watching my parents live. Watching them treat people the right way, always doing what was right, and making their best effort to help others in any situation. They always taught me to treat others as you would want to be treated, no matter the circumstances. I remember my childhood vividly through memories of time spent with my close family. The times that stand out the most were the many LSU football games I got to attend through my family having season tickets, as well as live concerts. These memories inspired the passion for music and sports I still have to this day. I have been involved in sports my whole life and played soccer and basketball myself growing up. As I reached my teenage years, my passion switched to football and basketball, which I’ve played for the last ten years. The biggest extracurricular activity I have been involved in, though, is music. I’ve been writing and performing music since age ten, when I first began learning guitar, and have expanded into six different instruments I now perform with on a regular basis. I was a member of a band named Mr. Fahrenheit, where I contributed lead guitar and vocals. We recorded and performed in south Louisiana from 2013 – 2019. These competitive environments have shown me how to push myself harder than everyone around me. I was never the tallest, biggest, or most talented person, but I knew that if I pushed myself to work harder than everyone else, I would eventually be better than them. The competitive environment also taught me to hate being bad at something. If I was ever unskilled at something I enjoyed, I never stayed that way for long. I always push myself until I am one of the best because I never liked being mediocre.”
Tell us a bit about the road that brought you to us.
“When I began to search for my career, I knew I would be in some form of a business environment. I have always had a desire to own my own business; I just needed to find a pathway to do so. My dream job as a kid was always to be a professional musician. From the first show I went to when I was at a very young age, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. An artist’s ability to affect people around the world was always something that inspired me. Now, I still have the ability to greatly influence people, just in an office atmosphere!”
Did you find your entrepreneurial drive in college? How was that experience for you?
“My first semester at Louisiana State University was August 2014. I graduated in December 2018 with a B.S. in General Business and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. During my time at LSU, I had one internship at the Baton Rouge General Marketing department, where I got my first glimpse into the business of marketing. My only extracurricular activity was intramural basketball, which I played every spring semester when I was in school. Throughout my college career, and after graduation, I managed my family’s Snap Fitness franchise based out of Lake Charles, Louisiana. While I was in Baton Rouge, my role was all online, completing tasks like payroll, collections, social media, and marketing. When I was in Lake Charles, I was responsible for employee training, membership sales, janitorial work, and filing.”
What is one life experience you feel has shaped you?
“One life experience that has shaped me was being a Senior Captain of my high school football team. This was the first time I was put into a leadership role, and I had to make improvements to myself to become a better leader. This was my first step in understanding that a leadership role is something that could highlight my skillsets.”
What is something we might not know about you?
“One thing you might not know about me is that I pride myself on being a very funny person. One of my favorite things to do is make other people laugh, and I always try to find laughter in any situation.”
What would you consider to be your greatest skill?
“My greatest skill is my student mentality. I never go into any situation believing I know more than someone else. It doesn’t matter what the scenario, I am always looking for something new to learn and improve on. No matter who is talking, I am actively listening and gaining some new knowledge in the process.”
How did you find South Matrix?
“I first learned about this company through the LSU recruiting tool known as Handshake. This was the only company that had a 100% match to my profile, so I immediately applied. I’m thankful every day that I did. The first thing I noticed was the family environment. From day one, everyone made an immediate effort to help me improve, not because they wanted to aid their own success, but because the genuinely wanted to see me succeed and develop. What sets this company apart is its family-oriented environment. I can truly say that I work with my best friends. I get into the office early every day, not only because I want to improve, but because I know that’s more time I get to spend with the people I consider family.”
What has been your best memory with the company so far?
“My best memory so far was watching someone I interviewed and trained advance into a Corporate Trainer position. I have always been inspired more by other people’s success than my own. When I got to see them achieve their first big steps towards this opportunity and the happiness it brought them, it made me really proud. The ability to give someone the tools to achieve their own success and watch them grow and improve every day is what made me fall in love with this business.”
How do you set an example as a leader?
“The best example I have given is as simple as getting to the office early. My goal every day is to get to the parking lot before the person with the keys to the front door gets there. Once I started doing that, I slowly noticed more and more people getting to the office early, taking that initiative to improve. Now it is to the point where other people tell me that they feel like they are late when they are over an hour early. That is the kind of leadership I work best with — being the best example for those around me. This also works with my student mentality. I always work to be the best note-taker and the best listener. And seeing other people on my team take the same steps to improve and learn has shown me that being the best example is my best leadership quality.”
What have you learned from this business?
“I think the list is too long to even fit on this page, but the biggest thing that the business has taught me is that my mentality and attitude is the key to my success. Coming into this business, I had many bad habits and paradigms that were limiting my success. The main one was being negative and being too hard on myself. This business has taught me that those habits have no benefit, and that positivity is the most important thing to be successful in this business. I made an effort every day now to think of everything I am thankful for, make an effort to think of the positives of every situation, and to master the law of attraction. What I have found most difficult is to not be so hard on myself. If I am uncomfortable, if I make a mistake, it just means that I am growing; it means that I am improving. So, I make a conscious effort every day to push myself out of my comfort zone to ensure I am always getting better each day.”
What have you gained from this work?
“I have gained so much from my work, the biggest being “my why.” Before this job, my goals were all based around money and fame, but through this job, I’ve discovered that my purpose should be much bigger than that. My why is to create a pathway for others to achieve their goals, and to have the ability to improve themselves on a daily basis. Whether they work with me for one day or one year, I want to have some type of impact on their success and growth. All of my proudest moments are all based around people thanking or complimenting me. Whether is a text, a phone call, a social media post, a leadership promotion speech, a meeting, or even a one on one, when someone comes up to me and says how I’ve helped them, how I have aided their growth, how I have improved their situation, those are the moments that make me most proud.”
If you could learn one thing, what would it be?
“If I could learn anything, it would be to master the production side of creating music. One of my goals is to record an album while doing the entire process myself, so eventually, I will get there. But to be able to create a perfectly produced album is a big goal of mine.”
How do you define success?
“I define success as the ability to wake up every morning, look at myself in the mirror, and be able to tell myself ‘I am proud of what I am doing right now’. If I can do that every morning, it means I am achieving success.”
What do you love about this industry?
“There are two things that I love about the business, the first being that my results are only based on how hard I am working. If I am putting in the effort, and doing the right things every day, I will see results. The second is my ability to have an effect on others. When our business is successful, I have the ability to make others successful as well. The people on my team inspire me. Seeing their improvement and growth is what makes me work even harder. Because if I was able to guide them to this point, my improvement will only be more beneficial to their success.”
What are you most passionate about?
“My passion has always been about having an effect on others. When I began playing music, what I loved the most was people coming up to me after a show and telling them that my lyrics had an effect on them, that my guitar playing made them want to go home and start learning again, that their experience at my concert lead to them having a memorable experience. This also leads to the business. My ability to help people on a day to day basis and create a path for them to achieve the success they desire and change their own lives is my true passion.”
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
“The craziest thing I have ever done is play a music festival in front of a few thousand people. It was the most exhilarating thing I have experienced, and I can’t wait to get back to that point in my music career.”
What keeps you going?
“What motivates me is my relationships. The ability to go into work every day, and not only improve but spend time with the people closest to me is what motivates me. I wake up before my first alarm every day because I know if I get to the office early, that’s more time I get to spend with the people I care about. Your people are what matters the most. If you want to achieve your goals, help others achieve there’s first. So spend every day focusing on their development, and that will lead to yours. If you spend all day only thinking about yourself, you will neglect what is the real key to your success, which is everyone around you.”
As for the future, there is nothing but sunshine coming for Ethan Bouillion. “In five years, I see myself raising a family with an organization that can support my family to the fullest and then some, and a business that can allow others to achieve the same goals of success and fulfillment.” It is rare in this world to find someone who works truly from the goodness in their heart, and if you are looking for that person, he can be found in the South Matrix office 6 days a week.