(HUMOROUS GUEST ARTICLE BY DILLYN DAVIDSON SAURDIFF)
EDITORS INTRODUCTION TO THE WRITER OF THIS STORY:
I met Dillyn, the writer, while looking at renting one of his properties. He was such an engaging young man that we ended up talking for quite some time. Shared some interesting stories and became instant friends. He later called me up to invite me to a meeting of other “creative entrepreneurs” and I accepted his invitation.
I immediately could see that he attracted dreamers and visionaries from all walks of life, and he was a super optimistic guy. Infectiously so…
My next encounter with Dillyn was thru Facebook.
His posts are hysterical, interesting, intriguing, and captivating all at the same time. He has become a diver and a connoisseur of anything edible from the ocean.
He also demonstrates the stomach contents of the stuff he catches in the ocean in videos on Facebook and it makes for some fun surprises.
He will eat about anything he catches…sometimes it goes down a little hard, but he follows thru like a champ. He is full of adventure and curiosity and lacks fear of challenges or adventures.
CATCH A VIDEO OF DIYLLN EATING A SEA URCHIN OR SOME MUSSELS.
I have just never met a guy this cool…this happy and this excited to try anything.
The last time we met up was at his storage/home/rental place and we sat in the garage in freezing cold weather and talked for almost 2-1/2 hours and time just flew by. He is hungry to learn, to listen and to put things to the test! So…everyone meet Dillyn Davidson Saurdiff…a one in a million guy.
The following story is just one of his many unusual adventures that make him so unique…ENJOY…
HOW I MADE MY FIRST MILLION PICKING UP DOG POOP…
My whole life I’ve known I wanted to start a business. 15 years ago, I went to college for my Business Bachelors. Five years later I had a degree, 60 grand in debt, and no clue how to start a business. I quickly realized I didn’t get the education I needed to get into the business I really wanted, which was and still is, to own a real estate investment company.
I decided I should start a small business to get some real-life education and save up money to get my first property. After multiple failed attempts at different side hustles, I decided I needed something that would work. I needed a low start up, high profit margin, and guaranteed clientele business.
I went the direction all college educated entrepreneurs go to make their first million. I started a business cleaning up people’s dog poop.
It was time to get serious. I was going to suck up my pride, and any chances of impressing girls. By Telling the town I’d come over to their homes and clean up their dog’s S&!T every week for a small monthly fee.
I brought this genius idea to my friend
and roommate at the time. I said, “I think I’m going to start a business
picking up people’s dog poop.” She whipped a $50 bill out of her wallet,
slapped it on the counter, and said “how long will this buy me.”
After sharing the idea with one person and instantly having my first client, I realized there was a demand for this service. I assumed it was going to have minimal expenses, and probably make me a little money. Most importantly it gave me a chance to figure out how to do the things business college didn’t teach me.
So I went out and figured out how to start a legit business! Believe it or not, there are two books written on starting a dog poop cleaning service…I read them both. I sought advice from friends, local business owners, and The Clatsop County SBDC. Once they got past wondering if I was serious or not, this local community helped me do everything I needed to create a business. I went to City Hall and got my first business license. I got guidance on registering with the state. I got my first business banking account and even my first business checking card with the name “Dirty Dog Pet Care, LLC” on it. I even found a company that insures pooper scooper businesses. It turns out they don’t see these as high-risk companies; it was only $200 a year.
I told a couple more people I was starting a pooper scooper service, and next thing I knew, I had half a dozen customers waiting for me to pick up their dog’s poop. I went to Petco and got a pooper scooper shovel, some gloves, and garbage bags. Next, I set up a schedule and pricing options ranging for weekly, biweekly, or monthly cleaning visits. I would come over the same day every week, let myself in their yard, clean up the dog’s poo, and throw in a bag which I’d leave in their garbage can.
It didn’t take long for me to get a small-town reputation as the dog poop guy. So, I owned the new title and put a sticker on my truck of a dog turd and a phone number saying, “dog poop pickup”. A local radio company made me an awesome commercial. A friend taught me to do social media advertising. I even got invited to a local dog show contest where I got to set up a booth and display my service.
Sidenote: I brought my roommate/first client’s dog to the show. They let me run our dog through the course. Neither the dog nor I had ever been to a dog show. Laila won 3 2nd place ribbons!
Before I knew it, I had 30 clients. I kept my client list here as it was only a small-time obligation. About 10 hrs. a week of cleaning made me an extra $2000 a month. I spent these 10 hours walking around yards, often in the rain, listening to business and real estate podcasts and audiobooks. I enjoyed that part. The part I hated was doing the bookkeeping and billing. I decided it was time to bring in someone to help me with the things I suck at.
I hired my first ever employee to help
me with the bookkeeping. I was fortunate enough to find out my roommate and
first client was interested in helping with this part.
After realizing how awesome it was not doing the stuff I suck at. I wondered if there’d be anyone better than me at picking up dog poop…I doubted it, but I gave it a shot.
Turns out more people than I thought were happy to make $20 an hour picking up dog poop. My CPA suggested this is a “min wage type job.” He obviously didn’t recognize the importance of what we do.
I now had a small self-running dog poop empire. I had saved my first $20,000 which is about $17,000 more than I’d ever had to my name previously. I found a perfect house for my first real estate investment and had enough money for the down payment. I bought that house where I could live on one side and rent out the majority of the home to pay my mortgage.
This small business idea had given me the financial means, the business education, and I met some great contacts to help me start the real estate investment business. As I gained the confidence to put more time into real estate investing, I was coming to a point where I didn’t have as much desire to run the dog poop service.
I didn’t want the service to go away, because I know a lot of my clients loved it. But I hadn’t built it to a size where it’s of huge value to another owner. I shared this thought with my friend, first client, and first employee. She had an interest in buying the business!
I couldn’t think of a better person as she knew most of the ins and outs of the business, and I knew she had great customer service skills. I only had to show her a couple processes in the business for her to be able to take it over. Since the company had no debt, we were able to agree on a price for the business that she could pay me in monthly payments. I got to sell my dog poop empire to my first employee and first client!
I still think the Price we agreed on for the business was a little low, but $1.5 million was good enough to get started on my real estate investing journey.
I’m just kidding.
However, a year after selling, with my new knowledge and connections, I have been able to purchase four more investments properties. Even more exciting, the new owner of now “Dirty Dog Services” is running a successful local business and can be reached at 503-44-NO-POO (503-446-6766).
I just want to remind everyone that if you have a goal and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it possible, you can achieve it! Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d ever like to talk about a small business startup or a real estate investment idea. I’m not an expert, but I absolutely love hearing what others are working on!
I apologize about this misleading title, I haven’t made a million dollars yet, but this story is to be continued…