Successful Entrepreneur Shares Start-Up Experiences with Fellow Alumni and Students
September 29, 2010
The School’s alumni and students had the opportunity this month to learn about an entrepreneur’s path to success from Omar Solimon, BBA '04, who founded College Hunks Hauling Junks while still a student at the School. During the session, entitled “The Effortless Entrepreneur,” Solimon discussed how his experiences at the School eventually led him to create the multimillion dollar business with franchises throughout the United States.
While looking for a job during the summer before his senior year, Solimon decided to start a small neighborhood business with some friends removing trash and unwanted items from neighbors’ houses. He came up with the name College Hunks Hauling Junk, and after posting flyers around the neighborhood, business began booming.
“It was a real ragtag operation,” Solimon recalls. “We didn’t really know exactly what we were doing, but we just put up flyers around the neighborhood, hauled people’s junk, and charged a fee.”
Solimon had been unsure of what career path he wanted to take, but College Hunks helped him discover his love for entrepreneurship.
“It was really the first time in my life that I realized I was an entrepreneur and I was passionate about something,” he said. “I enjoyed being out on my own and doing my own thing.”
From there, Solimon enrolled in an entrepreneurship class at the School of Business during the following fall and decided to enter the school’s business plan competition. Solimon pitched his idea for College Hunks Hauling Junk, and ultimately ended up winning $10,000 towards funding his business.
“I really would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the University of Miami, and that’s why our company colors are orange and green,” Solimon said.
After graduating, Solimon began working for a health care research firm in Washington, D.C., and plans for his own business venture were put on hold. However, after three months, Solimon quit his job and began working on College Hunks Hauling Junk again. After purchasing a bright orange and green truck, Solimon began work in the Washington area. Shortly thereafter, The Washington Post published a story on Solimon’s developing company, which helped jumpstart business and take the company to a new level of recognition and sales. College Hunks made over $500,000 in sales its first year, a figure that doubled during the following year. Today, there are 35 franchises nationwide in most major cities.
In addition to his ventures with College Hunks, Solimon wrote a book, also titled The Effortless Entrepreneur, which discusses his experience growing his business and provides advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
“People ask me, ‘Why did you call your book The Effortless Entrepreneur, there’s nothing effortless about starting a business?’ That’s true, but when you’re doing something that you love and you find something that you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work,” he said.