Chris Miller owns Originato, a Sales Consulting firm in Austin, Texas. Over the past twenty years, he has worked for several high tech companies, helping to build their sales and marketing organizations and grow business revenues. When he’s not traveling across the globe selling software, Chris is writing books, screenplays, TV pilots and shorts. He has a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I tell them “all over” because while I was born in Raleigh, I’ve also lived in Chic ago, Minnesota, California, Houston and Austin. My Dad worked on large construction projects that took him to different cities every few years. Most children despise moving because every time you make new friends it’s time to pack up and leave again, but there are some positives to the experience. It definitely taught me to be self-reliant and personable, shaping the person I am today.
I spent most of my grade school years heavily involved in one sport or another – primarily baseball when I was younger and then swimming in high school. I didn’t have as many options to be competitive in sports in my teens because while everyone else rocketed in height, I was still a measly 5’5” until my junior year of high school. I finally hit 6’2” in college.
Speaking of college, for a long time I blamed my parents for not preparing me properly when I went off to The University of Texas. They handed me a set of ke ys to the Dragon Wagon, as I affectionately called my station wagon, and I was on my own. After a couple of years spent in bars more often than class, I finally got serious and became the student I was capable of. My father would tell you I spent a year and a half too long in school, but I loved every minute of my 215 hours. Since a degree takes 120 hours, I qualified for nearly two. If I won the lottery tomorrow, you’d find me on a college campus somewhere taking classes while I write.
With my business degree from Texas, I went on to work at a Big Six accounting firm in Houston. Looking for a bigger challenge, I headed back to Austin to take pre-med classes, volunteer at the local children’s hospital and find my calling. While finishing up my pre-med classes and getting ready to take the MCAT, I knew I’d have at least a year between applying to schools and beginning my medical education. That’s when I ran across a start-up software company called Trilogy. Everything I’d been looking for in the “real world” seemed to be at my fingertips here. Unlimited challenges and responsibilities, a young, fun environment (“Anyone up for Vegas?” was a question asked nearly every Friday), a stocked kitchen and a place with no ceiling on compensation. Trilogy was my home for more than three years and medical school was put on the back burner.
I would go on to work at several other start-ups over the ten years after graduation when another bug hit me. This time it was writing. I’d started to carry around a little black notebook full of thoughts, characters and story ideas. That grew into spending my spare time writing shorts and screenplays. But my spare time wasn’t enough. If this was really my dream, it was time to take the next step. So I left the start-up world and my sales job and began writing full-time, staying in L.A. fo r weeks at a time to meet people and find my niche in Hollywood.
My wife let me get away with that for a few years but when it was time for us to start a family I had to go back to the dual-life of sales guy during the day and writer at night and that brings me up to date. Where will I be in two years? Five? Hopefully writing full-time again but with a paycheck to match. Just don’t tell my clients…