My name is Gabriel Joseph Muller, but that’s what my mom called me when I was in trouble as a kid. You can call me Gabe! Most coffee shop baristas call me “Gab” though. So, it’s really your call.
I currently find myself living and working in Reston, Virginia. The past 11 years have been quite the adventure. I was born and raised in a small town called Fowler in rural Indiana. I grew up in the middle of cornfields, with a bunch of amazing friends. I went to Benton Central High School and graduated with approx. 170 classmates. It was small, but as I reflect on those days, I wouldn’t change a thing. Growing up in a small farm town is something that I wish everyone in this world could experience. It taught me that hard work is the only work. Whether it was playing sports, working on the farm, or mowing the lawn, we were expected to work hard. I have so much respect and gratitude for my parents for instilling my siblings and I with this work ethic.
How did I get to Virginia, you ask? I graduated from Ball State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. It was about my junior year when I realized I had decided to major in a field that I absolutely hated. However, I knew I couldn’t quit. Despite making the Dean’s List almost every year, I still hated it. Who likes an accountant? Especially an auditor? (Sorry accountant friends). Anyway, once I graduated, I moved down to Fort Myers, Florida because I had family who lived there. During the summers off from school, I would go to Florida and valet park cars at a 5-star resort. After graduation, I figured I would just do that until I found a “real” job. It turned out that the resort moved me into a front office manager position which, as you could imagine, is much different than parking badass cars (and making good money doing it)! I quickly realized I needed to get organized and focused on finding a career that suited me. After a few weeks, I landed an interview with a small financial planning firm. After multiple interviews (which I found very intense), I was offered a position in client services for the organization. Side note: after offering the position, the founder looked at me and asked why I decided to send my resume in an envelope that was handwritten. My response: “It seems like it got your attention.”
Almost everyday on my lunch break, I found myself at the airport watching aircrafts take off and land. It was fascinating. One day, I decided that it was time for me to get off of the sidelines. After work, I went back to the airport and took a “Discovery Flight” – which is your first flight in training. I ended up taking lessons and became a private pilot in 2010. I could write an entire blog post on the experiences I had during training and in the air since then, but that is for another time. However, you can watch many of my flying videos here: http://www.mullervlog.com
I have to say, working at the firm in Florida taught me so much about the business that I have been in for 10 years now, and I am so grateful to have learned and experienced so my time there. After 3 years, it was time for me to explore other options that would allow me to continue to grow personally and professionally. So, I took to Craigslist. Yep, Craigslist. It was a Tuesday evening, when I decided to skip my Civil Air Patrol meeting so that I could search for other opportunities. And voila, I found a position located in the DC area – which is exactly where I wanted to move. I knew that I wanted to be in a vibrant area with youth! I applied to the position that night and they called me on the way into work the next day! I was astonished. It was almost too good to be true. I pulled over in the pouring down rain and took the call. As it would go, they flew me to DC so that I could interview with the entire firm, for the whole day. On the flight back home, I received an offer letter. I was in shock. I did it! I went back to Florida, packed my car with all of my clothes, and moved to DC/VA area in about 8 days. It was meant to be – and boy was it worth it. In 2011, I joined Glassman Wealth Services as the Director of Operations.
I have the great fortune to have worked with amazing people at Glassman Wealth. We made a great team, had a lot of fun, and gave our clients incredible service. In 2014, I was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Again, I could write an entire piece on the experience I had with Glassman Wealth Services. It was an incredible place to work – I learned so much, had so much opportunity, and I believe was able to help so many others along the way. In October of 2018, I decided it was time to again explore other options and continue my growth. (Note: a true belief of mine is that if you find yourself in a position where you are comfortable, then you aren’t growing AND if you become complacent, you need to move on. That’s where I found myself). As of November 1st, 2018, I formed Muller Consulting.
You may be wondering why I’m telling such a long story just to get to where I am today? Well, I believe context is key. I also believe that taking risk in certain areas at the right time is key, all while making sure that you never forget where you came from. I am so thankful to have met so many people over the past 11 years who have helped guide, support and encourage me along the way. I am so eager to build this consulting firm, so that I can continue to enhance the lives of others, while building amazing businesses who can deliver phenomenal experiences to their clients. I have a true passion for helping others succeed. With that in mind, I was fortunate enough to have been involved with the COO Alliance National program. The COO Alliance has been such an instrumental piece of my growth and development that I am not sure where I would be without it. The group of individuals involved and the peer to peer learning is second to none. I wish everyone could experience this type of group. However, it’s not for everyone! You need to be committed to your growth and development in a very serious way, and happen to be a Second in Command or COO.
After a year and a half, I decided I would become a COO Alliance City Forum Chair. I love connecting people with solutions – whether that is other people, systems or products. I have a true understanding of the challenges that a COO faces on a daily basis (which by the way, if you are a COO, please read one of my favorite articles by Harvard Business Review: Second in Command: The Misunderstood Role of the COO.) If you find yourself facing any of the challenges outlined in this article, then we should talk. I’d love to help you. Reach out to me. Click here to connect with me via email. If you want to explore the COO Alliance City Forums that I run, you can explore that here.
So, that’s it for now. It’s funny to sit here and write this post as it really required me to pause and reflect. Of course, there so much more to do and learn, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.
My biggest piece of advice: Stay humble, keep perspective, remain curious, always be authentic and realize that most things are temporary.