Brian Scudamore

1-800-GOT-JUNK? Founder and CEO
Turning Point:  Sitting in a drive through at McDonalds

imgMoments of brilliance can happen anywhere.  Brian Scudamore found his inspiration while in the drive through lane at McDonalds.  Waiting for his lunch, he saw an old junk truck pass by his car.  “There’s my ticket”, he thought, “I’m going to offer to haul people’s junk away.”  Brian paid $753 dollars for a beat up old truck with a plywood box on the back and began driving down alleys and laneways and knocking on people’s doors.  The first year “The Rubbish Boys” made $1700 in profit.  “It wasn’t a lot,” Brian admits, “but it helped me pay for college and it gave me momentum.”  It also gave him another idea; franchising. But first he had a tough decision to make. His business was growing so quickly that his studies at college were suffering and he decided to drop out. Brian thought, “I’m taking a risk here but I’m learning more with my business. I followed my heart.”  He formed a board of advisors and put together a new name, logo, brand, and image.  1-800-GOT-JUNK? was about to move into a new era of doing business. 

Scudamore believes in the adage, “work hard, work smart” but he admits that it hasn’t always been easy. He says there were days when he was in a cash flow crisis, he couldn’t meet payroll and had to let good friends go.  “You have to make tough decisions.  Leaders have to do what’s best for the entire company and for your people.  You have to make sure that you’re leading with the direction that is consistent with your values.”  He’s also a firm believer in visualization.  “If you believe in your heart and your head that you can make it happen and never let your idea go, it will happen.  It sounds simple, but it’s true.” So what’s Brian’s next goal? He wants to see his company expand into 10 countries and do 1 billion dollars in sales by the end of 2012. 

Not bad for a guy that went for a cheeseburger and drove away with a billion dollar dream. That’s what I call a Happy Meal.