Homeschooled to a Million Dollar Business - The Jason Geiman StoryFeb 04, 2024
Jason grew up poor but happy in rural Kentucky. Homeschooled from an early age, his family struggled financially but found joy in simple pleasures - like delivering phonebooks to earn money for a family vacation each year. In this raw tell-all, Jason recounts his inspiring journey from those humble beginnings to building and selling a million-dollar pressure washing empire.
Getting His Start
Though money was tight, Jason kept busy as a kid with activities like Royal Rangers (a Boy Scouts equivalent) where he earned top honors. He discovered a knack for mechanics by taking things apart to see how they worked (though often failing to properly reassemble them!).
Lacking traditional education due to homeschooling, Jason got hands-on trade experience in high school by attending a vocational auto mechanics program. Excelling there with some dedicated study habits, he won a statewide Ford mechanics competition - earning a full college scholarship as a result.
Jason blurred through diesel technician school, completing an associate degree in just 18 months. He then bounced between jobs in heavy machinery and industrial mechanics, struggling to find fulfilling work. After marrying young and divorcing several years later, Jason was seeking more stability when he decided to pursue a childhood dream of becoming a firefighter.
The Leap Into Entrepreneurship
Taking a large pay cut to enter the grueling training academy, Jason began working as a firefighter in his mid-20’s. He started a small business on the side repairing firetrucks but lacked the confidence and sales skills at the time to gain new customers.
When a fellow firefighter shared plans to launch a pressure washing company, the idea sparked Jason’s interest. Diving into pressure washing forums, he armed himself with as much self-education as possible before taking the entrepreneurial leap.
Jason managed to barter deals for an old trailer, used pressure washer, and other basic equipment to build his first rig. With just $2,000 invested, he began operating ProServe Pressure Washing in 2012.
The Growth Years
Growing slowly at first, Jason offered general residential power washing services as a one-man show. Word spread about his quality workmanship and strong ethics earning business in the small Kentucky town.
Within a couple years, he expanded into Christmas lighting installations each holiday season. He discovered a real passion for creating beautiful displays that brought joy to clients. Though humble about his skills, Jason has a natural creative eye and knack for wowing customers.
He began taking business and marketing courses to sharpen his skills outside the technical work. Gradually Jason improved in areas like lead generation, branding, and social media. He also invested in professional development like attending industry conventions to network and keep innovating.
Over time Jason built an impressive local reputation, allowing his company to command premium pricing due to high demand. While managing a packed schedule himself, he began finding talented employees to train - slowly building up a small fleet to add more crew members in the field.
Hitting the Million Dollar Mark
With a relentless work ethic driving growth each year, Jason reached over $1 million in annual revenue in 2017. He was running a streamlined operation of 4 vehicle crews with a passionate team focused on impeccable service. Most new business came organically without extensive paid ads needed thanks to a heavy referral flow and 5-star online reputation.
Selling His Prize
Sadly in 2018, Jason faced a crossroads moment. With a business partner wanting out and lacking capital to buy his equity share, they made the tough choice together to sell the business.
The sale marked a gloomy period initially for Jason after pouring so much of heart into building his “baby” from the ground up. However, as part of the acquisition deal he stayed on board in a limited role assisting the new owners where he could.
This allowed him to see the operation thrive beyond his exit, demonstrating the company’s vitality didn’t depend wholly on his involvement anymore. With that personal affirmation lifting his spirits, Jason felt ready to step away completely by early 2020.
Onward to His Next Venture
Now Jason has turned focus toward his latest passion project - empowering other tradespeople to find freedom through starting their own successful small businesses. He leads a popular community providing mentorship and premium training to pressure washers and Christmas light installers worldwide.
When asked about his incredible transformation from a cash-strapped kid to business mogul, Jason humbly suggests nothing about his path has been extraordinary. In his mind success doesn’t require innate talent, formal education or ample financial resources - just persistence and a willingness to learn every step of the way.
If his life has taught Jason one lesson best, it’s that limitations exist mainly within our own minds. Each time he defiantly refused to accept “no” as a final answer, it opened the door for growth.
Now he aims to motivate others in trade professions to push beyond self-doubt, take bold risks and manifest their entrepreneurial greatness too. Because Jason believes unconditionally that if he can achieve this level of prosperity springing from hardship, then anyone with real desire and grit can do the same in America’s small business economy.
Q: What types of trade skills may help someone thrive as a pressure washing entrepreneur?
A: Experience in areas like auto mechanics, machinery repairs and general hands-on trade skills can provide a great foundation for learning the pressure washing craft and running the operations of a company. Troubleshooting equipment issues that arise comes more naturally to those with that hands-on background.
Q: Is it feasible to quickly scale up revenue in the pressure washing industry?
A: Yes, within a few years dedicated entrepreneurs in the pressure washing industry have grown companies from $0 to over $1 million in annual revenue. Strategies like offering complementary services (e.g. holiday lighting), effective marketing outreach, premium pricing models and providing 5-star customer service have allowed some pressure washers to scale quickly in their local or regional markets before expanding further.
Q: What is an effective way for new pressure washing companies to gain customers when starting out?
A: Focusing on impeccable work quality and strong customer service to generate word-of-mouth referrals can be more valuable early on than expensive online ads. Satisfied clients are likely to recommend a reliable pressure washer they trust.
Q: Should pressure washers offer related seasonal services to boost revenue?
A: Expanding into holiday lighting installation and decor has been a smart growth strategy for some pressure washers, as it allows them to provide additional service offerings during slower winter months.
Q: Is investing in professional development important in this industry?
A: Ongoing learning is key for pressure washers to stay atop the latest equipment innovations, safety standards, technique improvements and changing compliance considerations in the industry.
Q: Can premium pricing models work in the pressure washing space?
A: Demanding higher prices has boosted profit margins for pressure washers who focus intently on customer satisfaction and high quality results customers rave about.
Q: Is scaling a large pressure washing crew team complex?
A: Thoughtful hiring, extensive training programs and an experienced operations manager have allowed some larger pressure washing firms to onboard and develop employees successfully to fuel expansion goals.
Q: What exit strategies exist for selling a pressure washing business?
A: Owners seeking retirement have managed to sell thriving pressure washing companies to both individual buyers and larger landscaping corporations looking to acquire respected local brands.
Q: Is it possible to build a highly successful business if you grew up poor?
A: Yes - many famous entrepreneurs like Howard Schultz of Starbucks and John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell rose from very modest upbringings to launch incredibly prosperous companies through perseverance. Your circumstances early in life need not define your potential later.
Q: What key mindsets help drive that dramatic career transformation?
A: Developing an abundance mentality instead of scarcity thinking is crucial. View obstacles as temporary rather than permanent setbacks. Adopt grit through the many rejections faced. Consider out-of-box solutions drawing from hardship lessons. Remain focused on serving others rather than self.
Q: How important is formal education versus self-education for these massive life turnarounds?
A: While formal education is no guarantee of success in business, structured learning can help considerably to build knowledge. However, resourceful entrepreneurs tend to self-educate constantly through books, courses, podcasts and mentors - often surpassing peers who rely solely on degrees. Curiosity and initiative drive breakthroughs.