Luke Maguire was knocked back from 80 jobs before starting his own company. Picture: Instagram/@lukemaguire
Luke Maguire was knocked back from 80 jobs before starting his own company. Picture: Instagram/@lukemaguire

Rejected from 80 jobs to ‘making millions’

After "barely passing" uni, Queenslander Luke Maguire was left with a $100,000 debt, no job prospects and no idea what he wanted to do with his life.

He hadn't excelled at school and like many people, believed the only way to get ahead was to finish Year 12, get a degree and then land a "high-paying job".

But for the young Gold Coast resident, it wasn't that simple.

"When I finished uni, I was just as lost as when I finished school - I had a degree but no self-belief," he told

"The plan was to get a degree, get a job and then work my way up the hierarchy, and I applied for a lot of marketing jobs but I kept getting rejected, or got no response at all."

In fact, the then 20-year-old was knocked back from more than 80 roles, including one that simply involved "handing out Red Bull cans".

"I remember thinking if I was denied that job, nothing good was going to happen for me," he said.

He ended up getting a temporary job parking VIP guests' cars during rugby league games where he was "treated like rubbish" by many wealthy patrons, and decided something had to change.

Mr Maguire had graduated from Bond University with a Bachelor of Business and a double major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, and one of his favourite subjects had been internet marketing, which at the time was "primitive".

But he realised it was going to be the way of the future, and decided to set up one of Australia's first social media agencies, Social Media Mansion, in 2010.

It was far from an overnight success, with many businesses laughing in his face and rejecting his services under the assumption that Facebook was "just for kids" and not companies.

But slowly, the idea started to catch on, and the company started to thrive.

"I was learning as I was going and I wasn't an expert - I was just doing something nobody else was, and slowly and surely businesses realised they needed social media," Mr Maguire told

As the business started to grow, he discovered certain tasks he "hated" doing, including posting content on social media at all hours as there was no scheduling technology at that time.

He didn't know how to develop a solution himself, but reached out to some leading marketers in the US to ask for a mentorship.

Instead, they offered to teach him how to develop and market online solution packages at a cost of $30,000 and a percentage of his software idea.

It was a huge gamble, and Mr Maguire sold his car and moved back home to make it happen - but it paid off.

In 2015, his scheduling tool Instamate was launched, and he said it generated "around $1 million in launch week alone".

"It was an amazing number and I never thought I'd earn it in my life - it was a big turning point and very quickly opened my mind to what was possible online," Mr Maguire said.

From there, Mr Maguire turned his attention to developing other online solution packages and he was "making millions" by his mid-20s.

Today, the 30-year-old's businesses achieve more than $5 million per year in revenue and he is on track to make $8 million this year.

But he told that as his bank balance grew, his happiness decreased.

"It was a depressing time - I wasn't working as hard because I had passive income and I had lost my passion - I guess I got caught up in the 'look at me' world and that's not the type of person I am, I don't have a big ego," he said.

"During this period I bought a Lamborghini and was living in crazy houses and I had a rock star life because I thought that was what I was meant to do, but I was lost."

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𝐒𝐔𝐑𝐏𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐌𝐔𝐌 𝗪𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐀 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐝𝐞𝐬 – I filmed this video a couple of years ago & still to this day makes me super emotional watching it. ⁣ ⁣ I did this for my mum in 2018 after I took my family to live out one of my mums biggest dreams, to see the colosseum in Italy (along with a petty insane Europe trip). In my childhood we never were able to afford an overseas holiday, however my parents gave me a much bigger gift – the gift of giving & belief. ⁣ ⁣ My parents put all their money, time & effort into giving me the best opportunity to succeed & while I didn’t do well at ALL at school, couldn’t get a job after I barely got my uni degree – I knew one day I would be able to accomplish something in life & give back to them.⁣ ⁣ I didn’t realise it at the time, but the love & sacrifices they made to me constantly instilled this love for giving & helping others into me. This trait has literally saved me from times of depression, times of feeling not good enough, helped me get a clear vision of what I want to achieve in life & mentally made me a very strong person.⁣ ⁣ The beauty of giving is it’s something we can ALL do & not only helps improve others lives, it will DRAMATICALLY increase your own. If you are down, lost, depressed, financially not where you’d like to be, then my number 1 recommendation is to GIVE in one way, shape or form to someone in need.⁣ ⁣ It doesn’t have to be money, it can be your time volunteering, feed the homeless, re-connect with an old friend, be an open ear to someone who is struggling, help someone who is in need of your skillset – just do SOMETHING & I guarantee you will have a sense of happiness & fulfilment you will not get from ANY amount of money.⁣ ⁣ It doesn’t need to be mothers day, Christmas, or a birthday to give – we can make EVERY day special & while there will be some who will take advantage of your kindness (I’ll talk about this later in the week), the majority will be forever appreciative & the growth you’ll experience in ALL areas of life is life changing.⁣ ⁣ To be the best version of YOU, do the BEST you can for those around you - Luke

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Mr Maguire decided to focus less on material things and more on helping others, and some of his proudest moments since then have been buying his mum a Mercedes for Christmas and taking his family to Japan.

He has also devoted himself to charity, helping to rebuild a struggling school in Hawaii, feeding thousands of kids during Ramadan and donating Christmas presents to hundreds of families doing it tough.

He also expanded his business by using his database to create webinars to help other business owners get ahead.

"Helping people is what really makes me excited - giving back is where the real fulfilment and happiness comes from," he said.

Originally published as Rejected from 80 jobs to 'making millions'