When Nick Friedman (this week's live chat host -- RSVP here) and his best friend Omar Soliman co-founded College Hunks Hauling Junk, all they had was a beat-up van and a local service.
But what started as a small business went VERY big, very fast, following a storm of media attention and customer demand.
Nick and Omar -- who were very good at the hauling part -- suddenly faced the daunting task of turning their business into a sophisticated operation, with rules, systems, employees and a very promising financial future.
Nick completed a 3-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT, but he found the most valuable training was finding other successful people he admired, asking them for their advice, and applying those techniques to College Hunks Hauling Junk.
His approach has paid off; there are few entrepreneurial top honors Nick hasn't nabbed, from a spot on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing U.S. companies to Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominations, Inc.'s 30 Under 30 list, TV spots on "Shark Tank" and "Oprah," participation in White House panels on entrepreneurship, and press coverage in just about every major media outlet.
To boot, he and Omar found time to author a bestselling book, Effortless Entrepreneur.
Now, College Hunks is one of the largest and fastest-growing junk removal/moving service franchise opportunities in the United States, with 45+ franchises nationwide. As President, Nick has played a major role in growing the business from cargo van to powerhouse. He pays it forward, too, by offering other aspiring entrepreneurs his best advice on leadership, culture and delegation along the way.
Want to learn more about startup leadership? Founding a company that takes off, wildly, with your best friend? Join him on Thursday, January 3rd at 3 PM EST for an hour-long #StartupLab live chat presented by Citi.