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  • Personal Branding Interview: Nick Friedman

    Today, I spoke to Nick Friedman, who is the President and Co-Founder of COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK, the largest and fastest growing US-Based Junk Removal Franchise Opportunity. He recently co-authored his first book called Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make Millions. In this interview, Nick talks about his new book, what it means to be an effortless entrepreneur, franchising, and more.

    Is there really such thing as an Effortless Entrepreneur? Don’t you have to work VERY hard to build a business?

    “An Effortless Entrepreneur is anyone who breaks away from what society tells them is the “norm” and takes a risk by creating their own destiny.”

    The journey in creating and running a business is by no means effortless, but when you are doing something you love, long days feel short and hard days feel easy. Ultimate freedom is to be doing something that you are passionate about, creating value and developing systems that make it appear effortless.

    Is branding harder or easier when it comes to establishing a franchise and scaling it?

    Creating a franchise system allows you to scale your brand much more quickly on a national or regional platform than would otherwise be possible through organic growth. However, the key is to create brand standards and policies that must be upheld by all members of the franchise organization. One of our company’s 4 Core Values is “Always Branding,” because it’s extremely important to create a public impression about the brand whenever humanly possible. A good example of this is when my business partner, Omar Soliman, went on the Reality TV Show Millionaire Matchmaker and insisted on picking up his date in one of our College Hunks Hauling Junk trucks.

    What obstacles did you encounter as a young entrepreneur? What lessons did you learn?

    The biggest obstacles we’ve encountered as young entrepreneurs was not knowing what we didn’t know… In other words, because we had no formal entrepreneurial training or background, we had to just figure things out as we went along, which often backfired and/or resulted in costly mistakes. Our tendency to take risks without evaluating them carefully was both a blessing and a curse, but became more of just a curse as our business grew and became more complex. It became extremely important for us to start educating ourselves by reading books, attending seminars and conferences, and building a team of mentors that we could learn from.

    How did you come up with the name College Hunks Hauling Junk?

    College Hunks Hauling Junk started on a hot summer day in Washington DC. Most of our friends were working typical “college student” jobs like waiting tables, boring retail jobs and internships. We wanted to do something different. Omar’s mom let us borrow a cargo van she used for deliveries for her furniture store. We decided hauling junk would be our summer gig. We sat around the table and came up with the clever name, “College Hunks Hauling Junk.” After laughing a bit, we decided it had some allure to it. We tested out the idea by putting up flyers that said College Hunks Hauling Junk around the neighborhood, and we started getting calls for our services. After going back to school Omar submitted a business plan for College Hunks Hauling Junk at an entrepreneurship competition at the University of Miami that won 1st place and $10,000 out of over 150 entries.

    What are your favorite common sense commandments from your book?

    My two favorite commandments are #3 and #4 in the book: ideas mean nothing without action,” and “start with a vision, create a strategic plan, and live by it.” Good ideas are like sneezes. They may temporarily infect or get a rise out of a few people next to you but in the end, they’re just air coming out of your mouth. The real magic is in taking an idea and trying to turn it into a reality. The next step is creating a true vision from that idea. Most people don’t have visions; they have dreams. Like most businesses, ours began as a pipedream. We needed a clear vision to make it happen. Once you create a plan to take action on your dream, it becomes a vision. Every good business has a strategic plan, which is much different than the business plans you see in school. The first piece of this plan identifies your core values, purpose, and overarching goals. You then have a road map to work backwards from to the present day and begin working on your business.

    ———
    Nick Friedman is President and Co-Founder of COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK, the largest and fastest growing US-Based Junk Removal Franchise Opportunity. He recently co-authored his first book with business partner, Omar Soliman, entitled Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make Millions. He was 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. Nick has appeared as a guest on National Television shows such as CNBC’s The BIG Idea with Donny Deutsche, Fox Business News and ABC’s reality based show about entrepreneurs entitled Shark Tank. He has been interviewed by Entrepreneur and Fortune Magazine as well as the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on franchising, branding, and young entrepreneurship.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Book Reviews, Corporate Branding, entrepreneurship, Interview, Marketing, People, Personal Branding
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