“College Hunk” talks about money trees, entrepreneurship

Lyndsey Sager

Nick Friedman, co-founder and president of the national franchise College Hunks Hauling Junk, started growing his own money tree in 2003.

“The best analogy I can use for you guys when talking about entrepreneurship or starting your own business is essentially ‘growing a money tree,’” Friedman said during the annual Michael D. Soloman Speaker Series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kiva.

“Money’s not the only object of the business, but what you’re essentially doing is growing something from a seedling,” Freidman said. “You’re giving it the right environment where it can grow and flourish and hopefully bear fruit for you to live a successful life and be financially free.”

Friedman said he had to work in the “only form of legalized slavery that exists today” — as an unpaid intern. After graduation, he managed to get a full-time job with a prestigious consulting company in Washington, D.C., but it wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

Friedman’s previous honors:

  • Inc. 500’s 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs under 30 in 2008
  • Under30ceo.com’s 30 Most Influential CEO’s under 30 in 2010

College Hunks Hauling Junk:

  • #156 on Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Private Companies
  • Washingtonian Magazine’s Great Places to Work in 2007

“I was all about getting a job,” Friedman said. “Study hard. Get good grades. Build up my Resume. Get a good job. That’s the way I was brought up.”

When Omar and Friedman decided to pursue College Hunks Hauling Junk, they quit their jobs, disappointed their families and started to put all of their time and energy into the business.

“I thought the speaker was really interesting,” Hannah Cottrill, sophomore managerial marketing student said. “His story is inspirational because it proves you can be a successful entrepreneur without having tons of capital.”

Friedman and Omar published the book “Effortless Entrepreneur” in 2010 as a way to tell their story and help other aspiring entrepreneurs. He gave out copies of his book to audience members who got involved in the presentation.

In addition to his book, Friedman recommended three other books for students interested in starting their own business: “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, “E-myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber and “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin.

Friedman said there are five main skills that entrepreneurs should possess. First, they should be inspiring leaders, not dictators. Second, they should be good at sales, with a focus on helping people. They must also have good customer service and problem solving skills, and ways to get cash into their businesses.

Most importantly, however, Friedman said aspiring entrepreneurs must have the passion to get their business ideas off the ground.

“Ideas are a lot like sneezes. They might affect one or two people around you, but ultimately, they’re just going to fade away,” Friedman said. “Ultimately, it’s the people who take an idea, put it into motion, and make it a reality, that make all the difference in the world.”

Contact Lyndsey Sager at [email protected].