The following article originally appeared in my regular column at Forbes.com:
For every millennial worker (or manager) who has complained about lack of ease, the hard economy, or the trials of working with a challenging customer, here’s a motivational story for you.
In 2008, Josh Skolnick, now 28, was a 25-year-old career landscaper who had started a multi-crew lawn service while still in high school. He was no stranger to hard work, and his innate proclivity to entrepreneurship was clear even then. But it was the challenge of dealing with the hard demands of a customer that led to his most profound business win.
A particularly challenging customer was constantly asking Josh to get rid of the dead trees in his yard. The request was clearly beyond the scope of his business. He had no experience in tree trimming or felling. Yet the client continued to press his demand.
Finally, in an effort to appease his customer, Josh hired a contractor for a day to come and take down the tree. At this point, Josh had already gone above and beyond to meet the needs of his customer. A typical worker would have wiped their head in relief, perhaps complained to a colleague or two about the unbelief of it all, and simply called it a day.
But an entrepreneurial spirit runs deep. Rather than simply watch the process, Josh walked up and down the street as the contractor worked and sold his service to every other house on the block. By the end of the day, he’d closed $20,000 in sales. Eureka. With a need this great, customers ready to pay and no existing solution, the vision for his current venture was clear: Tree maintenance!
Josh created Monster Tree Service, now a national brand and a multi-million dollar business, without ever having cut down a tree by himself. Through Monster Tree Service he not only created a career for himself, but is now creating businesses and jobs for others through his national franchise. Do you have a tree to remove? Do you have the need or the desire to start your own business? You can reach out to Josh via www.whymonster.com.
Well done, Josh. With entrepreneurs like you in the picture, America’s future is in much better hands.