Last night’s first episode of “Blue Collar Millionaires” was titled “A Whole Can of Worms.” These millionaires are not the old money type of Americans, but those who became millionaires by the sweat of their brow.
The Purser Family of Durham, California is a family of three worm farmers who make their living in a dirty place; their property that turned into millions for them. Worms make tunnels and farmers who love them for their ability to aerate the soil. They sell them to farmers, landscapers, gardeners. The worm castings are made from poop and make a great fertilizer. Before John joined his parents, they were making about $25,000 a year profit. Since he joined them in the business, they now make $600,000 a year on sales of $2.5 million. Just what do they do with their money; John has a home he just finished having built. It is 3,000 square feet and because he loves sorcery and medieval swords and weapons, he has the interior decorated like a castle. His parents have a home worth $1.2 million. Their home is 6,000 square feet with six bedrooms and six baths. Ardita collects silver and gold coins worth about $40,000. Mark has an RV worth $25,000 and he likes to take it to the desert with his dune buggy that he has put about $100,000 into with upgrades. She initially bought a BMW 5 Series, but Mark liked it and wanted it for his own, so she went and got a Mercedes and after a year she still does not know how to operate all the bells and whistles. They never dreamed their business could be so profitable and it reminded her of the days when they wanted to go to Olive Garden, but had to settle for Jack in the Box.
Louis Bruno, 26 is the Captain of Cool and lives in Bonita Springs, Florida. He runs a multi-million dollar air conditioning business. He turned the desperate need for air conditioning in Florida to dollars. The first year in business they did $2.5 million in sales. Louis has been a hustler since he was a kid, and he grew up in New York City; where his parents were street hustlers selling knock-off products to everyone who would buy something. He thought everyone lived like that way; running from cops, and getting busted for selling knock-offs. It wasn’t until his family moved to Florida that he saw possibilities of change. He was playing baseball and his dream of a major league contract was nearing fruition. He pulled a hamstring in his junior year and that ended that dream. When he started working for an air conditioning company. Going into attics that were over a hundred degrees; he knew he could do better. So he went out on his own. With his savings of about $40,000, he started from his house. He could not afford to hire skilled workers, so he trained them himself and taught them customer service skills that were far and above the competition. Now with over ninety trucks on the road and 150 employees, their sales are in the millions. His home is worth $1.3 million and when their sales reached $5 million, he bought his first Rolex for $18,000; a far cry from selling fake ones. Now his wife and toddler son are happy to see him when he comes home, no matter how long his day will be.
The Titan of Trash is Brian Scudamore of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, founder of 1-800-Got-Junk? This operation is in the United States, Canada and Australia and last year collected $174 million in revenue. Brian’s father is a liver transplant surgeon, but school was not for him. He never graduated from high school, but did want to go to college because his friends were all going. In Quebec, a mature person 18 or older can apply to college without a high school diploma. Knowing he did not complete high school, his parents would not pay for college, so he had to find a way. So he saw a truck filled with junk and decided to do the same. With $1,000 and his beat up pickup truck; he started his business. He canvassed the area looking for customers with little luck. So his girlfriend at the time, told him to go to the newspaper and tell his story. In one day, he had 100 jobs, so he quickly quit college and became a full-time junkman. Now he has 174 franchises and two spin off companies. His house is 3,500 square feet in wealthy Vancouver and his vacation home is in Whistler, British Columbia where the family enjoys skiing and just having a great time. For his 40th birthday, he took his family and some friends to Italy where he rented a villa and drank wine and had a memory to never forget. His father is very proud of him and he proved that by following your dream, you too can be one of the “Blue Collar Millionaires”