The founder of a junk-removal company combines a memoir with a business guide.
In his nonfiction debut, Scudamore, self-described as the most normal guy in the world, lays out parts of his life story and the grounding business principles that helped make his junk-removal company, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, into a multimillion-dollar behemoth that’s on track to become a billion-dollar enterprise. Growing up as an awkward outsider in Canada and falling short of graduating from high school, the author at one point in a drive-through line saw a truck sign advertising a trash-hauling service and thought, “I could do that.” Over the next two decades, he steadily grew his fleet of junk-hauling trucks, broadened his networking, and slowly built his company into “the FedEx of junk-removal.” The story delivers a classic, intriguing business arc. Scudamore is a natural raconteur, smoothly pivoting from his own “ordinary guy” status to the formidable triumphs of the company he started from nothing, with almost no money, while at loose ends for what else to do. There is of course an enormous amount of serendipity that can never be duplicated in almost all such accounts. But his “If I can do it, so can you” approach rescues much of this book—written with Williams (co-author: Pendulum, 2012, etc.)—from the smugness that usually afflicts business success stories. Still, Scudamore can’t resist doling out the kind of platitudes that are endemic to this genre (“Possibilities are the beginning of every adventure,” for instance, or “Let yourself be shaped by the people who love you the most,” or “I believe things always work out for the best”). Fortunately, the volume evens out any sententiousness with plucky optimism and winning anecdotes from the years the mogul spent with his colleagues building the business, including the tactics he has used to motivate his increasing number of managers and partners. The end result may well inspire budding entrepreneurs.
A magnate’s friendly and accessible account of how he rose from rags to riches.