Economic Transformation News

UNCC student creates his own job

SOURCE:  The Cabarrus News


Ryan Goff, 23, of Mooresville is a fifth-year senior at UNC Charlotte, and he’s not looking for a job.

Instead, he’s given himself a job.

College graduates are faced with the dilemma of where to find a job in today’s economy. Goff is attacking that dilemma with entrepreneurship.

He’s opened not one, not two, but three businesses.

“I really enjoy being an entrepreneur,” Goff said. “I want to work when I want to work.” And then: “That sounds bad!”

He shifted in his chair and explained: “I want to work all the time. If I see an opportunity, I can call someone. I’m sort of an instant gratification kind of person.

“I think of a great idea for something I can do, and I can do it right away. I don’t have to get approval. I wake up excited every day to see what’s going to happen. It’s a lot of fun.”

But there was a time when Goff, like many college students and people who are out of work, asked himself, “What am I going to do, the way the economy is right now? And all my friends who are older than me have looked for jobs and say there is nothing out there.”

Goff credits Kevin Toomb, a professor at UNC Chartlotte, as a strong influence on his life and entrepreneurship.

“He lets you know right up front that you need to have drive and you need to wake up in the morning and do it. If you want to, you will be successful.

“ ‘You only need one idea.’ That’s one of his best quotes,” Goff said.

Goff is in Toomb’s relatively new business class at UNC Chartlotte, called Introduction to Entrepreneurship. It was started in the 2009-10 school year.

“We are the guinea pig class,” Goff said. “He’s a great teacher. UNC Charlotte (as of last year) is responsible for more small-business startups than any other university in the nation.”

This past year, the class was moved to the auditorium because more than 200 students enrolled.

What if you don’t have that one good idea?

“If you try enough ideas, you’ll find that one idea. I don’t know if any of my ideas have been good ideas, but every time you fail, you learn something. You are one step closer to success. As an entrepreneur, you cannot be discouraged by failure.”

Goff lives with his family in The Point neighborhood of Mooresville.

“My father worked for corporate America for 25 years; loved it as much as he hated it. You have to be able to take risks. ...

“There’s more risk being an entrepreneur than anything else, except maybe skydiving or swimming with sharks. But I think there is a higher chance for reward,” Goff said. “I don’t want to say it’s gambling, but you’re gambling on yourself.

“I think the harder you work, the higher your chance of success. But … it’s still a gamble and still a risk.”

In March 2011, with the help of his father, Ryan purchased the r3beverage company ( In October he started an automotive business, iDeal Automotive Group, with a friend.

Then in December Goff and his father purchased the N.C. franchise of InkMart ( It’s a web-based company specializing in ink, toner and office products that are shipped to directly to the consumer at factory-direct prices.

“I wish the best for the economy, and I wish the best for corporate jobs,” Goff said, “but I just don’t see how the economy can recover without small business.”