A Small Business Blueprint

This morning, we read a story from the Washington Post that really struck us, so we wanted to share. It is the story of Jerrell Brown, a Washington D.C. landscaping entrepreneur and the subject of a “feel good” story in the December 18th Post about a young man who overcame a troubled past to become a successful businessman. (There’s a link to the story at the end).

It’s Like a Story We’ve Heard Before:

Frankly, our interest wasn’t so much in the specifics of this one guy’s story. Yes, Mr. Brown is having success, and good for him, but our interest was really in how much his story reminds us of other success stories we’ve heard. Brown’s business history has many echos of the multi-million dollar entrepreneurs we’ve met in the landscaping and paving industries.

Maybe In Your Town?

Take a look around many cities in America and I’ll bet you can find $1 million+ service industry businesses that started out with similar stories… one, driven founder with an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to work hard starts from nothing and through force of will and a desire to grow as a businessman builds a successful and lucrative company.

So forget about the “Feel Good” spin of some poor kid who’s turned his life around and is making his way in the industry… Focus instead on one simple fact.

The Example, and Your Blueprint:

Here’s a guy who made a $200k residential landscaping business from scratch in just a couple of years. And this story provides the basic blueprint for how he did it.

Jerrell Brown here seems to share some of the traits we’ve seen in many successful entrepreneurs we’ve met like:

Started From Next to Nothing – Even worse, from jail.
Has Tremendous Focus – He’s all about the goal.
Willing to Work Hard – In pursuit of the goal.
Seeks Help, Wants to Learn – He recognizes what he doesn’t have some of the skills he needs and looks for ways to acquire them.
Has Gut-Level Business Savvy – He instinctively understands the profit motive and complex business ideas like diversification, profit margins, capital expenditures, budgeting, and separation of cost centers.
Entrepreneurial Spirit – Understands that he’s a micro-capitalist. So he’s looking for other ways to make money.

Will Brown be a multi-million dollar landscaping entrepreneur in a couple more years? Who knows? It certainly seems possible, but that’s not the important thing. What’s important is that his story shows that with the right mindset, some hard work, and a willingness to grow as a person, the potential is out there.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can take a lesson from his story and maybe some inspiration as well.

Click Here to read the story from the Washington Post Online

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