Nick Friedman is President and Co-Founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk, the largest and fastest growing US-Based Junk Removal and Moving Franchise Opportunity.
Nick was recently named Top 30 Entrepreneurs in America Under 30 by INC Magazine, Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35 by Bisnow.com, and is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist. He is an active Board Member of the Entrepreneur's Organization, a global organization comprised of founders of high-growth companies. Check out his website at http://www.collegehunkshaulingjunk.com/ or his book at http://www.collegehunkshaulingjunk.com/customer-care/effortless-entrepreneur
We here at Elite had the opportunity to talk with Nick and pick his successful young brain.
Who are the people that inspired you to follow your dreams?
Omar Soliman, my business partner and our Co-Founder. We've been friends since we were little and he's always pushing the envelope, dreaming big and taking chances. It's definitely inspirational to be around someone with that type of mentality. Someone else who has inspired me is my Dad who jokingly told me-- “Nick, you’re smarter than I am, better educated than I was, if you don’t do better than I did, you’ve failed!”
Was their a turning point in your life, an event that led to your current career?
Growing up, I was a huge Charles Barkley fan. So, when I was pretty young, maybe ten or so, I went to a Washington Wizards game when Barkley was in town. I dressed up like a ball boy, snuck back near the locker rooms and got an autograph. I couldn't believe it worked, but it taught me that there's truth in the saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way." After that, I have always believed that I can do or achieve anything I put my mind to and don’t need to be stuck in the mold. Years later when we graduated college, I got a corporate job, but I was so miserable with my corporate experience that I emailed my friend Omar Soliman and asked him what was his timeline for starting College Hunks Hauling Junk on a full scale. He emailed me back “MY TIMELINE IS RIGHT NOW! LET”S DO THIS!” This was the final turning point for me in terms of taking the entrepreneurial leap, quitting my job, and starting our business full time.
What advice would you give other young people about pursuing a career in the face of failure?
Failure breeds success because it teaches you valuable lessons that you can learn from. The biggest failure we experienced was trying to launch a sister concept called “College Foxes Packing Boxes.” We even pitched the idea on the ABC Reality TV Show called Shark Tank. Unfortunately it didn’t work, but it taught us that we needed to focus on one thing and not try to do too much all at once. It also taught us that we have to pursue what we’re truly passionate about. We weren’t passionate about the College Foxes idea, which is why it didn’t work. The advice I would give others is that you cannot let the idea of failure prevent you from pursuing your passion. If you are passionate about something, you will work hard enough to make it fulfilling and ideally one day it will become fruitful.
What are your three main tips for success?
1. Create a vision for the future and inspire others to want to be a part of it. 2. Work ON your business, not just IN your business. 3. Take action. Ideas mean nothing without action.
What does success mean to you and your business? What is your dream accomplishment?
When I think about how far we've come, I feel like the company is already a success because we're able to empower our employees to achieve their dreams. Just like I did when I chose to follow the entrepreneurial path through life. Ultimately, my dream is to be in every city across the U.S., Canada, and beyond so that we can become recognized as one of the the largest launch pads for entrepreneurs in the world. Our long term purpose is to “Move the World” literally and emotionally by bringing back the American Dream to college students and their parents.
Everyone aspires for success, but what drives you to work so hard?
I love what I do. It's as simple as that. For the most part, it doesn't feel like work because it's fun. The most successful athletes, entertainers, and professionals make their craft appear “effortless” because they enjoy it so much. I’m not necessarily passionate about moving and junk hauling, but I’m passionate about creating value for our employees, franchise owners, and customers.
Who’s career inspires you the most? If you could collaborate with any business, who would it be?
Right now I’m probably most inspired by Wayne Huizenga , the founder of Waste Management. He started with 1 truck and grew it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. I think his entrepreneurial story is inspirational. It would be awesome to collaborate with him because I think we are offering some pretty cool customer service experiences that could be very powerful with the backing of a company like Waste Management. Another person who inspires me is Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos, because he took a very simple concept (selling shoes online) and created an entire community of happy employees and customers based around the mission of making other around them happy.
What kind of training and preparation do you go through to improve yourself as your business grows?
I read a lot about different aspects of business and success. Plus, I have a great support system with family, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs so I can always talk to them about ideas, difficulties, or anything else. I belong to the Entrepreneur’s Organization (www.EONetwork.org), which has helped to prepare me and train me as an entrepreneur and leader.
How do you plan on expanding your business, keeping it relevant in the future?
We have big things in the works on various platforms that are not traditional for our industry, but you'll just have to wait and see!
With so much going on in your life right now, how do you keep yourself humble in light of your accomplishments?
I spoke with Scott Van Pelt, an anchor for ESPN who told me the same thing he tells all the famous athletes he meets- “Stay hungry and stay humble.” That has rung in my head as a mantra always no matter what we are able to accomplish. It's absolutely essential to stay humble. Humility keeps you sane. The day you lose it is the day you can no longer function as part of a team and I don't care who you are, no one achieves success without some kind of team. Without the team, you won't have the success.
Where do you see yourself 5, 10, 50 years down the line when you’ve achieved everything you aspire for today?
I see myself as a proud father, grandfather, husband, family-man, business owner, high school basketball coach, and mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs. Reach Nick @NickFriedman1
Do you have a start up? We are always seeking to find the most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org