You can lose a lot of money by chasing women, but you’ll never lose women by chasing money. When my business partner, Omar Soliman and I were first considered appearing on a show called Millionaire Matchmaker, I must admit that I was quite skeptical. I had never heard of the show or seen a single episode, and it sounded like just another TV show that would be a distraction from our daily grind as entrepreneurs. I had never heard of Patti, but from what others told me she sounded like an abrasive woman who simply decided one day that she would put her hand on a rock and declare herself a matchmaker. My mom was also adamant that the show was a bad idea, but Omar had other plans. He asked me, “When was the last time you actually had the opportunity to define your ideal mate and have her hand selected for you?” He had a valid point. Neither of us ever had difficulty getting girls in the past, but we never reflected extensively about the specific characteristics that we were looking for in an actual relationship. We had been so focused on the growth of our business during the past four years that we rarely took the time to find balance.
I decided to go along with Omar to do the show (without telling my mom), and it actually proved to be a rather memorable, fun and introspective experience. The paths that open up in life when you approach them with an open mind are vast. For example, I never said I wanted to be a trash man when I grew up, but here I am writing this as the President of a national trash and junk removal company.
Omar and I went to high school together in Washington, DC. From the very beginning we were best friends, partners in crime as adolescents, and now we’re partners in business. The summer before our senior year of college, we both decided to make some extra money by hauling junk using his mom’s cargo van and putting flyers around town saying “COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK” (http://www.1800JunkUSA.com). We then wrote a formal business plan and won an entrepreneurship competition during our senior year, which gave us much more confidence and credibility. After graduation, we moved back to DC and got regular jobs, but decided to launch the junk removal service on a full scale. We started franchising our concept in 2007, and we now have over 25 College Hunks Hauling Junk locations across the country (http://www.CollegeHunksFranchise.com) as well as a new apparel line for College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Foxes Packing Boxes (http://www.EffortlessEntrepreneur.com), and we were recently named Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 by INC Magazine.
As entrepreneurs, we are faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis. I decided to join Omar on the show, and I am glad that I did. Initially I was skeptical of Patti’s abilities, and I tried to test her authority. I kept expecting her to tell me things that I didn’t want to hear, but it was in fact quite the opposite. She really did have a genuine interest in helping us find our ideal match even if it required me to get a haircut (I needed one anyway). I never found her personality to be offensive, because I can identify with the strong, driven personalities that are necessary to be successful in business and life.
Omar wanted to show his date what it was like for us during the early days of our business when we were still on the trucks. He wanted to see whether his date would be there for him and willing to start all over with him if he lost everything tomorrow. I, on the other hand, was looking for a fun date with a fun girl. Patti and her team made it happen by helping me make the right decision. I think Omar and I both learned from our different dates. He probably learned that hauling junk is not a good date idea, and it’s probably not a good idea to put your potential mate through a test like that, although Rachel seemed to take it like a champ. I learned that Patti really does seem to know what she’s talking about even though her personality seems to rub some people the wrong way. You don’t necessarily have to be a genius to be an expert at something and get paid for it, but you just need to know more than the majority of the general public. I appreciate and can identify with Patti’s brazen personality, because that is exactly the same hustle and drive that it took for Omar and I to reach our current level of success. As entrepreneurs, we are never satisfied and always trying to get to the next level, but we can often get overly focused on the daily grind and not take the time to learn and grow both as individuals and as business owners. This experience was a great growth opportunity for us as individuals, and I am looking forward to the next chapter.