In our July issue that hit stands last week, we introduced you to four young and promising entrepreneurs who each face the challenge of starting a new, sustainable, profitable company. We played matchmaker with them and established names in comparable fields to hear the analysis and discussion.
The story of another start-up also included in the July issue, JB Sweeping in Houma, Louisiana, was told in the form of a first person account. Jerome Boykin, Jr., the 24 year-old accidental entrepreneur, first contacted us in January to share his remarkable journey from unemployed and homeless to owner of a half-million dollar company. The sage advice in this case came from Jerome's father, Jerome Boykin, Sr. In the countless conversations I had with the younger Jerome, I was struck by their relationship: how much Jerome appreciated his father's advice, really listened to it, and then in some way implemented it into his business and his life.
Jerome called me this week to tell me that he had been contacted by people all over the country who felt inspired by his success, and by people who wanted to learn more about getting into parking lot cleaning. A student in Florida found Jerome on Facebook because he was interested in expanding his own commercial sanitation enterprise. I find this development to be incredibly fascinating. Lately, it seems like all you ever hear about are a couple of kids fooling around on their computers and striking Internet gold. You hear about Web 2.0 this and Silicon Valley that, neat little tools online that make our lives a little bit easier or at least more fun. But the media doesn't shine a whole lot of warmth on those guys we only notice when they don't do their jobs, like the ones who pick up our trash. I love the irony of someone connecting through a hypermodern communication method to find solutions for his completely off-line company.