“The best garbage collector is a multi-millionaire” is a statement I have used for many years, and this thought might be of interest to those of you looking to take things to the next level in whatever you are doing and at whatever point you are at. Sometimes you meet people who want to knock you down and tell you that what you are doing is not worthwhile and that you won’t succeed. I say tell them about The Millionaire Garbage Collector.
So how do you become a multimillionaire from something as simple and boring and dirty and manual as rubbish collection? Here’s how
Upside Potential – The market is there.
Our trash collector started his garbage removal career on the back of a garbage truck jumping off to grab the rubbish and bring it back. It could have been cleaver planning, but more likely just good luck that his efforts were needed by every household. This is a massive market and he eventually realized the upside potential of this market when he later saw the opportunities to take on new suburbs and offer new services.
What is Upside Potential?
Upside Potential is simply the possibility that if you do things right, the potential and the market is there to achieve scale. The scale can come in any form, but at the end of the day, it translates in to the potential to earn millions.
- higher margins (profit)
- higher volumes
- new product offers
Remember: Markets can be much larger than they look especially with technology making new markets more accessable and new products easier to create.
Hard work – There is no substitute
The first day collecting the trash was pretty tough. Running, lifting heavy bins, copping the jokes from the others about his puffing and panting to keep up while they were going slow just for him. But after a week, his fitness picked up and he could keep up with the garbage truck more easily. After a month, the garbage collection was no longer physically tough, he had shown that he was willing to work hard and hard work pays off eventually.
There is no substitute for hard work. You can fast track your education through training and buying systems, but you have to do the hard yards first and make a system of your own that works for you before you will make serious money.
The harder I work, the luckier I get
Thick skin – the recipe for respect and results
Being thick skinned turned out to be really handy over the years. Our Garbage collector was never really one to worry much about what other people said, but despite this, there were times when someone would get under that thick skin. After a big night when he wasn’t feeling 100%, the other trash collectors would push him extra hard. Of course there was the boss who liked to give “constructive feedback”. Sometimes an idiot resident would yell out abuse – “Low-life dirty scum you’re only fit for collecting rubbish you idiot” was a little harsh but he figured that they must have been talking to themselves. And even-though his family didn’t say much, he knew they were embarrassed by him being “the garbage collector”
Anyway, he handled these incidents and a thick skin pays off in spades through:
- Ability to stick it out
- Staying in one role long enough to become the best
- Remaining calm (most of the time)
- Earning the respect of those around him.
Willing to take risks
It wasn’t long before our garbage collector was offered the role of a team lead. He wasn’t really a risk taker and the pay wasn’t much more, but after some prodding, he took it on, and he learned a bunch of new things. Suddenly people management skills were needed. He found himself negotiating disputes where previously he had just looked on with a smile.
Open to opportunity
The break came when he took on his own trash collection contract in a neighboring suburb and he became a waste removal contractor. It was a stretch and a risk, but he worked out that if you stretch yourself a little taking small risks, usually you find you can stretch yourself even more and it’s a good feeling. Opportunity knocked again and again over the years.
Moving with the times – actively seeking opportunity
Garbage removal got tougher as the economy went down, so our waste management entrepreneur combined his willingness to work hard his being open to opportunity and his risk taking into actively seeking opportunities. He tried:
- waste collection
- council contract garbage collection
- waste management consulting for companies
- on-call trash pickup
- rubbish and refuse clearance
- demolition clearance
- commercial waste
- solid waste disposal and even processing and treatment
- and finally, he got a contract for waste recycling
His waste recycling contract allowed him to grow his business 10 fold he became a multimillionaire in under 2 years.
Balance – Work hard, play hard, give back, stay fit
Sometimes there was a lot of stress as his business grew but the simple garbage collector who now managed multi-million waste recycling contracts took enough time off and was always ready to look on the bright side when things went wrong. Taking time off to let off steam cleared his head from the day to day of the waste collection and recycling business and gave him the space to see the upcoming issues and opportunities more clearly. He also took time to keep up his fitness and got involved in the community “World Garbage Day” activities. They called him “King trash” which stuck and he loved it!
Be the Best – Be it or stay average forever
People told the garbage collector lots of things over the years about rubbish removal, waste disposal, etc. and he always listened and took an interest in what his customers wanted. This turned into a natural empathy and even intuition for what people needed and wanted over time. He began to get a feel for his market as well as team, and naturally got better at offering his various garbage and waste collection services. But he also always pushed himself to be the best.
Being the best meant different things at different times:
- the fastest garbage collector
- the best team leader
- The best trash collector in the district
- The best manager when personnel issues needed sorting
- The fastest at improving a services that wasn’t working
But being the best is really about consistency striving to be the best possible in whatever you are doing.
So summarizing, Work where there is upside potential, ignore what other people say about you, never give up, be open, take risks and always aim to be the best.