If you want to build what you believe is the next best thing, you have to convince yourself you can achieve anything. Connor Miller has overcome a tremendous amount of adversity in his life. He never thought he would work for his father, but when he did, he made a conscious decision to turn the company they co-founded, ArdentX, into one of the highest growth companies in Jacksonville.
Connor grew up in a loving family as a good son and a good big brother. He was a talented baseball player and showed promise of going pro. No one ever thought he would grow up to become a heroin addict by age 17. He started smoking pot recreationally in high school, but the habit grew when he started skipping school to get high. Connor’s life changed, however, when he suffered a shoulder injury that would end his baseball days. Feeling like his life was over, all he knew was the pain medication prescribed for his surgery took away the bad thoughts. It didn’t take long for Connor’s drug use to extend beyond smoking pot. Then, late one night, after everyone had left or passed out at a party, a friend offered him a shot of heroin. Immediately, Connor was hooked and spent the next four years desperately chasing that first high.
From 2011 to 2015, Connor was arrested five times, spent 22 months behind bars, and went to six different rehabs. He finally got clean in 2015 and met his wife Grace, who has been his rock and supported him, even through his lowest moments. As a young man with a felony record, Connor didn’t have many options for employment. So, he went to work for his dad at age 22, and they co-founded ArdentX, a transportation and warehousing business. “I learned as much as I could and always thought I could do it better. I saw the outdated way that a lot of his competitors were doing business… Once I got started with ArdentX and saw the potential for the impact I could make directly on people’s lives through hiring and mentorship, all I wanted to do was grow the company to create more opportunity for everyone involved,” says Connor Miller.
Creating a culture of respect is incredibly important to Connor. It’s evident in every aspect of his business practices, from the way he hires employees to the relationships he keeps with customers, carriers, and drivers. He believes in hiring people for their make-up as an individual, not just how good they can make themselves look on paper. He’ll ask them tough questions regarding life to get to know them, like “What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the real world?” Connor also knows how cutthroat carriers can be in the name of making an extra buck. When he feels like his company is not receiving the respect they deserve, he refuses to work with people who look out for their own self interests.
Connor has built ArdentX into the success it is today only by working hard and turning his fear into fire. “It took me 4 years of working 80-100 hour weeks, working every weekend, and taking no vacation to become an overnight success. Overnight success is a facade, it doesn’t exist,” says Connor Miller.
ArdentX is ramping up their warehousing side of the business as well as expanding their brokerage and asset division. As Connor continues to grow the business, he will always uncover and see problems as opportunities.