The Side Gigger-Turned-Business Owner
Nick Friedman, 35, Tampa, Fla.
"The summer before my senior year of college, my best friend Omar had an idea that would eventually change our lives: We'd take his mom's beat-up cargo van to do odd jobs and earn extra cash. We called ourselves 'College Hunks Hauling Junk,' and brought in $5,000 before the fall semester started, when we put the business on the back burner.
I graduated in 2004 and landed a corporate job doing economic consulting, but the 9-to-5 life was excruciating. That's when Omar and I decided to take a chance.
I quit my job the following year, and we launched College Hunks Hauling Junk as a legit moving and junk-hauling business. We each contributed $10,000 from savings to get rolling and did everything ourselves, from truck driving to booking gigs.
Incredibly, we were profitable within three months, and by 25, I'd personally hit the $1 million mark. I feel very fortunate—the money has afforded me a nice house, the ability to occasionally splurge on loved ones and opportunities to invest in rental properties, earning me $20,000 per month.
One of the most valuable things I've learned while building wealth is to pay myself first. While I've always reinvested money into the business, I've never failed to take care of my own savings and investment goals, too.”
His advice for others: "Keep your eyes open for opportunities. What started as a fun way to make extra money turned into something I never expected: Today, the company is worth over $40 million, and we have more than 100 franchise owners around the country! Had I not trusted my gut and gone all in, which included leaving a comfortable corporate job, I never would have grown my wealth the way I have."
The Real Estate Investor
Abhi Golhar, 32, Atlanta, Ga.
"I've always enjoyed tinkering with computers. In high school, I made $25 an hour doing repair gigs in the neighborhood. But while earning my degree in electrical engineering, my enthusiasm wore off. I started reading a ton of books about cultivating wealth and consistently noticed a recurring theme: real estate.
Infatuated, I began ‘wholesaling properties’ my junior year: Basically, I’d connect eager home sellers with active buyers—investors I met through local real estate groups, for example—then get a piece of the profits.
Next, I tried flipping homes in Detroit, but lost money, due to my lack of experience. Still, before graduating, I'd earned about $45,000 from my wholesaling projects, which helped me recover. In 2007, I started my own investment company in Atlanta, where I continued wholesaling and eventually started flipping residential properties as market conditions improved.
Today, that company is thriving, but I’m still diversifying my income and expertise in other industries, like medical education, where I earn roughly $90,000 per year as a consultant. In total, my businesses earn a few million a year, and I surpassed the $1 million mark personally in my late 20s. I feel great about my accomplishments so far, but there's still a long way to go—more businesses to start and people to help.
His advice for others: "Find a mentor before flipping real estate. I jumped the gun in Detroit, investing in three rental properties before I was ready. Between repairs and decreased home values, I ended up losing about $6,000.
Remember, too, that becoming a millionaire isn’t about status. It’s about having the financial security to spend your time on things that really matter, like family and passion projects."
June 9, 2017
June 9, 2017