About Me

Full Name

Nick Friedman

About me

Cofounder and president of College Hunks Hauling Junk. Friedman, 31, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College in California, where he competed for four years on the basketball team. He cofounded CHHJ in 2005 and began franchising in 2007.

Professional Details

Your Job Title

President

Company Name

College Hunks Hauling Junk

Number of Employees

500-999

Annual Revenue

$20 million – $50 million

About your company

CHHJ is an eco-friendly junk removal and moving business with two company-owned and 46 franchise locations nationwide.

Your business or industry

Automotive/Aviation/Transportation

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Your biggest recent mistake:

We recently launched a large-scale software development [project], which took my focus away from growing our sales and marketing. I came to learn that if we don’t get the basic blocking and tackling correct (sales and marketing are important cornerstones of our business growth), the advanced software is superfluous.

What's the one weakness you try hardest to disquise?

I am extremely obsessive-compulsive when it comes to details, which leads to high levels of anxiety and stress that I try hard to disguise. It is something that I continue to work on and hopefully will be able to eliminate.

What notable leader do you wish you could have had a beer with?

Charles Barkley. He doesn’t care what other people say or think about him.

What do you do for your health?

I play pickup basketball whenever I get a chance. I’ve also started to try meditation. We put a “dream room” in our new world headquarters where employees can escape during the day to reset their stress levels.

Who is your most significant mentor?

I’d have to say that it’s a three-way tie between Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth series of books; Fred Deluca, the cofounder of Subway; and Kevin Harrington, the infomercial pioneer.

We created a list of people we wanted to meet and that we wanted to be on our board, and we sent them formal invitations. We told them the story of our business, the vision for our business, and our goal to assemble a board of mentors to help us make our vision a reality. Several people declined graciously, but some accepted the invitations, to our delight. We first met Fred DeLuca at an international franchise association conference. He had actually heard about our company previously because he had seen us on ABC’s Shark Tank, and he was familiar with some of our competitors.

How has your management style changed as your company has grown?

The economics degree and the liberal arts education were extremely helpful for my problem-solving skills and creating a work ethic that is all about finding a solution and working through numbers. Most of the education was theoretical and did not have a lot of real-world application in hindsight, but I would absolutely not be where I am today without it.

Tell us about how your company evolved.

My cofounder, Omar Soliman, and I met in high school during the 10th grade and became best friends. We were partners in crime in high school, and now we’re partners in business. The best way to describe the difference between us is that Omar owns an iPhone and a Mac, and I own a BlackBerry and a PC. I am the obsessive-compulsive, nuts-and-bolts businessman, and Omar is the spatial-thinking, creative visionary.