Brian Scudamore: How I Built A $700 Million Business Collecting Junk

Brian Scudamore standing in front of 1-800-GOT-JUNK truck

Founder Brian Scudamore shares the story

“Well, ultimately, I was looking to pay for college. I was actually one course short of graduation, and I talked my way into university. My parents were not going to fund my education because I didn't finish high school.

One day, I was in a McDonald's drive-through. In front of me was a beat-up old pickup truck with plywood sides built up on the box. The truck was filled with junk. I looked at that truck, and I was like, “I need a way to pay for college. I've talked my way into college. That was my ticket.”

But in my life savings, I only had $1,000. I put $700 towards a pickup truck and the rest towards business cards and flyers. A week later, I had a business. We were called the Rubbish Boys. It was really just me, but I had a name and a vision for something bigger, and off I went, hauling away junk funding my college education, quickly realizing I was learning much more about business, running a business than studying in school, and made a tough decision to drop out with just a year left of my degree.

The future that I saw was to build an incredible brand with awesome people. And today, to have a $700 million company across three countries, I feel proud. Not because of the size of the business but the people we brought into building this dream of business ownership for other entrepreneurs. We did this through a franchise model.

Similar to McDonald's, you've got people who have skin in the game with ownership. So, we've done that with all three of our businesses. Not just 1-800-GOT-JUNK, the first baby in the family, but we entered the painting business with Wow 1 Day Painting, where we paint people's homes in a day. Then we have Shack Shine, which is windows, gutters, power washing, and Christmas lights. All three businesses afford us the opportunity to attract other entrepreneurs who don't have a formula to follow, and they join forces with us and build great businesses and great lives.”

You can listen to my full interview with Brian Scudamore on Apple Podcasts or Spotify below.