With the college graduation class of 2009 entering the worst job market in modern history, there are an abundance of young idealistic thinkers finding it hard to find an outlet for their newly-trained minds. Back when I was in my twenties, I just knew the world was waiting for my ideas, and as luck would have it, I had multiple opportunities to share them and grow professionally. How frustrating it must be to not have an outlet for all the new-found knowledge and energy innate in our graduates today.
I didn’t think about business ownership as a career option back then. It wasn’t in my family, nor was it ever introduced as a valid way to earn a living throughout my education. We were told early on to work hard in school, get good grades, and find THE good job. Society echoed over and over again that a job was the only respectable way to earn a living and make good money.
There are more and more entrepreneurial programs in our colleges today — a good sign of the times. Why not! There are many great examples of young entrepreneurs creating success through hard work and a solid vision. Bill Gates comes automatically to mind.
And then there’s Omar Soliman, who at 23 became a franchisor of College Hunks Hauling Junk” and who now at 27 runs a business supporting 24 franchisees in the United States. He and his partner Nick Friedman started hauling junk in a beat-up cargo van during college to earn extra beer money.
“I did get the corporate job after college for a short period of time, but it never felt right,” says Soliman. “What did feel right was taking the small business we had in college and making it work as a real business. So both Nick and I quit our jobs and put our time and energy into making College Hunks Hauling Junk (CHHJ) the profitable business it is today.”
With overall jobless rates for Americans ages 20-24 at 15.3 percent, maybe it’s time to change the way we think about business ownership careers for our young people. Yes, there’s a learning process that they would need to go through in terms of how to manage their business, how to manage cash flow, and how to manage their time. But corporations flourish because of young people’s ideas and contributions. Why not help them understand at an early age how they can benefit directly from hard work and dedication?
And, when considering franchising, the time-tested operations of these systems work in their favor. Franchises have pre-defined strategic direction and operations manuals for all franchisees. They encourage an entrepreneurial spirit while also establishing guidelines for success in the system. Guidelines that are critically important for those ‘green’ to the business world.