Hi, I'm Dustin Gaessner and I'd like to share my story with you.
I grew up in Hawaii to a normal, working-class family and I didn't know anything else. I was taught to keep my head down, live frugally, and pursue the traditional path of going to college and getting a stable white-collar job.
I decided to study Mechanical Engineering in college, and developed an analytical and logic based skillset. I excelled in solving difficult and unknown problems, however in my last year of my studies I began looking at my future and the road ahead of me. Working for the next 40 years at the same job and then retiring did not seem like I had any say in what my life was going to be.
It's around this time when I was 23 that I founded my first company, a digital marketing agency, helping local companies expand their online presence and drive customers thru their websites.
For the first time, I was in control and quickly grew this business - hiring videographers, animators, web programmers, and designers. I was successful for a time, however I soon realized I didn't have any passion for the industries my clients were in.
This lead me to finding a role as an engineer in the solar industry in 2014, helping design solar systems for residents who wanted to go green and save on their electricity costs. During this time, I began hiking and exploring Hawaii from every angle, all while filming and editing videos of my adventures.
In 2016 I purchased my first drone, a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and began to refine my skills everyday afterwork. I learned how to fly, edit photos, videos, and most importantly, continue doing research into the industry.
In August of 2016 the FAA Part 107 certification was released, and I quickly became one of the first certified drone pilots in Hawaii. From there, I started to get my first few paid drone jobs, all while developing Remote Pilot Ground School, an online program
Timeline of Dustin's Drone Business
Part 107 Certification received! With this in hand, I was ready to start getting paid to drone.
FIRST PAID CLIENT
I performed my first paid drone job (aerial images of solar panels) and got my first client through my network.
I continued with my network and marketing efforts and landed my first construction client.
GROWING INTO NEW INDUSTRIES
By late summer 2017, I was growing my drone services business quickly. I had clients in the roofing, real estate, solar, insurance, and construction industries.
HIRED TO MANAGE A TEAM
I joined an amazing company to serve as a drone pilot for mapping projects, and soon transitioned to the operations manager, managing 12 drone pilots across the United States.