How We Built A Million-Dollar Franchise
One summer, between college semesters, former schoolmates Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman started College Hunks Hauling Junk. Today their business is a multimillion-dollar franchised company with more than 35 locations across the country.
BrandMakerNews interviewed Nick Friedman to learn more about the College Hunks empire. We wanted to know how these two college students built a business and became millionaires before their 25th birthdays.
It all started when the guys borrowed a beat-up cargo van from Omar’s mom, designed homemade flyers on the computer, and hit the ground running. They also put their ideas on paper and won $10,000 from a business plan competition, which gave them additional resources to grow their business.
This exclusive interview with Nick is filled with nuggets of wisdom that aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world can appreciate and learn from…
When you decided to start your own business, what type of support did you receive from your family and friends?
When you want to start a business, your friends love to get excited from the inspiration and excitement. However, it is the exception rather than the rule to have someone to come through consistently, which is why having a solid business partner is a critical step to creating a consistent exponentially growing company.
Depending on the financial risk you are taking, your family will most likely not favor the idea due to monetary reasons or just the sheer risk of failure. While their advice may have a basis to it, the whole point of starting a business is to enjoy the journey not the destination. This is why I firmly believe that one must take actions on their passion. If you are having fun working, how can you lose?
Did anyone think you were crazy for devoting so much time to your business idea? How did you combat the naysayers and keep pushing forward?
Lots of people said we were crazy but when you are inspired to follow your passion and make that a priority, everything will align. You might not know the perfect exact action to take that day or the next day, but if you are confident in your vision, things will work out and in the long run good things will happen. When this happens, all the noise and negativity from naysayers falls by the wayside.
Your business was founded on a really great idea! Lots of college students have great ideas for businesses that they would like to start one day… What motivated you to make your idea real while you were still in college?
When Omar and I first came up with the idea, it was more of a way to make us some money for the summer. As we went through the process of operating the business, we realized that there was much more potential in what we were doing (especially when our phone kept ringing). This was when we created the more formalized business plan that we submitted to the Leigh Rothschild Entrepreneurship Competition.
Once I began working in a more structured office situation, the daily grind became uninspiring, boring and unfulfilling. This is where the contrast between my work over the summer with “College Hunks” and my office job really stood out. One time, Omar called me and we both agreed that it was time to get started with College Hunks Hauling Junk full time. It was then that our business really began to become a reality.
You had very little formal business training when you initially started your company, but you clearly had the entrepreneurial spirit. What other personal characteristics helped you grow your business idea into the multimillion dollar franchised company that it is today?
Confidence, discipline, positivity, a hungry desire for continuous learning and improvement, ambition, being receptive to ideas, letting things go, holding people accountable for their actions and decisions and empowering others to reach for their dreams.
Our most recent insight has been to identify key activities and keep them in front of us so we can complete them on a daily basis and create the results we want. That consistency of key activities (what we call our Top 10%) has been one of the biggest factors in having concrete and consistent success.
And finally, what advice can you share with aspiring entrepreneurs to help make their journey a bit easier?
Listen more than you talk. Ask lots of questions. Surround yourself with people who are motivated and ambitious top producers that consistently complete vital tasks on a daily basis. Always clarify not just with others but with yourself. Building a company and in our case a national brand is all about having confidence in your own vision and perspective. There will be a lot of noise and distractions to take you off your trajectory – and it is imperative that you maintain your center. This means an unshakable determination to create what is in your heart and mind.
For more success secrets from Nick Friedman and his partner Omar Soliman, check out their new book, Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make Millions.