Read how 25-year-old John Crenshaw turned his love for video games into a million dollar online business. At 17 years old, John Crenshaw started repairing popular video game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that he would buy from customers around the city of Austin. When someone’s video game console would stop working they would bring it to John for cash on the spot. John would fix the consoles and resell them for a premium. “It was kind of like a pawn shop, just more simple.
Most people aren’t willing to put the work in or simply don’t have time to fix things. Pawn shops in Austin never really give you much for your items.” Crenshaw says. Typically, if a customer wanted to sell or replace a broken video game console they would have to send it back to the manufacturer, embarking on a lengthy repair process and possibly opening themselves up to a world of headaches. Crenshaw’s business solved this problem.
According to the brilliant 25-year-old Texan, he simply learned by watching what everyone else in his neighborhood was doing, “Texas is full of entrepreneurs. I saw older people fixing cars, cutting hair, everything. I wanted to do something I was good at, so I started selling games.” Crenshaw says. “I admired them. It was always ‘Finleys Barbershop’ or ‘Mrs Johnson’s Bakery’..” he continues, “I wanted to be like them. I wanted my own little piece of Austin.”
From that point on, John Crenshaw became known as the local video game console provider in his college in San Marcos, a city near Austin, Texas. It’s noted he was loved for his customer service skills and seemingly 24 hour availability.
Crenshaw says “I was the definition of a ‘workaholic’. I really didn’t have any hours. You could call me at midnight, I would’ve picked up the phone.” As the young man gained traction in the Austin area, he decided to take his new found career further by giving his business a title, naming it Console Pros and even hiring his own employees. The Console Pros instagram account quickly attracted over 5,000 followers.
When we asked Crenshaw why he picked Austin, Texas he says:
“I didn’t pick Austin, Austin really picked me. I actually started in San Marcos but as the cities grew, I kept getting more and more orders in Austin. I’d drive 20 miles right after class and sometimes in between classes just to make a customer happy.”
It seems it didn’t stop there, Crenshaw eventually expanded from Austin to other Central Texas cities including Houston, Killeen, Harker Heights, and Cedar Park. “We probably sold over 5,000 consoles… We had everything from Nintendo Switch consoles to Playstation 4’s to Xbox Ones. We kind of simmered down in the pandemic due to supply chain issues. It’s nearly impossible to get a consistent supply of Playstation 5’s right now.” Crenshaw finished with.
When asked who inspires him most, Crenshaw says “My dad. I love that guy.” And as for what he’s doing now, John Crenshaw says he’s moved onto bigger things, “It’s been 8 years. Microchip shortages have forced us to think differently. I want to focus on a more national business, I will always love Texas though.” He now runs his own investment firm, a marketing agency, and a non-profit organization named Patches of Hope where he advocates for saving children in Texas from homelessness.