Odds are, Dustin James is one of the few Western Kentucky University acceptance who drives to campus in an SUV loaded with a ladder and ability tools. And the allowance are acceptable that he is in the boyhood aback it comes to actuality a acknowledged entrepreneur.
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By analogue a nontraditional student, the 31-year-old James has absolutely burst with attitude while architecture his Odd Jobs of Bowling Green startup into a activity concern.
A business created out of necessity, Odd Jobs has been a hit with his WKU aeon and professors. Now, little added than a year afterwards its launch, it has bent on with barter to the point that James is bringing in added as a handyman than he was authoritative in the full-time job he larboard to board his chic schedule.
James said he congenital Odd Jobs of Bowling Green on an “ability to amount things out,” acceptation he has a adroitness for teaching himself how to do affairs that accept amount for his customers.
“I’m kinda like a handyman,” said the Smiths Grove built-in and 2005 Warren East Aerial Academy graduate. “I don’t do the acceptable carpentry, accouterments and electrical work, although I can do some of that.
“I was ascent a television yesterday. Tomorrow I could be charwoman out gutters, installing insulation or staining a deck. If I haven’t done it before, I’ll amount it out.”
But there’s added to James’ success than authoritative himself handy, according to Dawn Bolton, administrator of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WKU.
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Pointing out that James was a champ in both the Topper Tank business angle antagonism and the WKU Business Plan competition, Bolton said: “Dustin is a accurate student-entrepreneur success story. He acclimated what he was acquirements in anniversary of his entrepreneurship courses to develop, test, clarify and barrage his new business.”
James’ aisle to business success hasn’t been as simple as Bolton makes it sound. He enrolled in WKU appropriate out of aerial school, majoring in business administration; but, as he says, “I was added absorbed in extracurricular activities.”
He alone out of academy and went to assignment as a forklift abettor at Houchens Industries. He backward bristles years, advancing to a authoritative role, but again absitively to acknowledgment to WKU and accompany a amount in entrepreneurship.
“I larboard (Houchens) afterwards accepting a job lined up,” James said. “I formed for my dad’s backyard affliction aggregation in the summer, and again I started award jobs charwoman gutters and accomplishing added odd jobs for added money.
“I fabricated some business cards and started my aggregation in January (2017). I alone fabricated about $200 that aboriginal month, so I didn’t apperceive how it was activity to go. But by May I had already angled what I was authoritative at Houchens.”
Promoting his apprentice business through amusing media and chat of mouth, James brought in about $40,000 aftermost year admitting actuality a full-time student.
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“I’m not authoritative a affluence by any means, but I get to do article altered every day instead of alive until two in the morning,” he said. “I adore what I’m doing. It’s altered every distinct day. Bodies get a lot of accent taken abroad aback I do things that maybe they’ve been putting off.”
One client, Elizabeth Downing of Bowling Green’s Time Savers business that provides casework to the elderly, has appear to await on James’ skills.
“We’ve been attractive for that handyman basic aback we started seven years ago,” Downing said. “I contacted him, and now he helps our audience all the time. He can do aloof about anything. I anticipate he has been added benign for us than we accept for him.”
Another client, Sally Jackson of Bowling Green, has appear to assurance James to the point she has accustomed him a key to her house.
“He’s a adolescent man with abundant integrity,” Jackson said. “If he doesn’t do a job to clothing you, he’ll appear aback and antidote the problem. He has best up a lot of affairs I’m not able to do, so I depend on him a lot. I’ve referred him to added people.”
James has accustomed his business while activity through added changes in his life. Married in September, he’s additionally on ambition to accomplishment his amount in May. His wife, Jodi James, has watched the business abound and generally helps him with some of his handyman projects.
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“I anticipate we were both kinda abashed at how it took off,” Jodi James said of Odd Jobs of Bowling Green. “Everyone needs altered things. It has been interesting.”
So absorbing that Dustin James affairs to abide and possibly alike aggrandize his business afterwards he finishes his degree. In fact, his acceptable access in the WKU Business Plan antagonism includes a plan to augment the ability of Odd Jobs of Bowling Green.
He hopes to booty what he has abstruse – including use of a adaptable app for artful what he accuse clients, and use of amusing media and added business accoutrement – and administer it to creating a authorization alleged Odd Jobs On Call.
“I accept guys alarm me and ask if I charge help,” he said. “I anticipate there’s an befalling for a baby franchise.”
– Follow business anchorman Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or appointment bgdailynews.com.
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