Grand Island, Neb.
Major: Management (Entrepreneurship)
Minor: Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: Dec. 2014
Business: Stahla Services, stahlaservices.com
What is your story?
I joined UNL and Farmhouse Fraternity in the fall of 2011. I grew into a man through the other men at Farmhouse and realized that I wanted to start a business during the fall of 2013 as I took four entrepreneurship classes. I was tired of theorizing about business ideas and God began to put a strong desire to start a business on my heart. At the end of the semester I had an idea that I thought was doable. It was an entertainment trailer that I would bring to tailgates and parties and it would have a small bathroom inside. I flew out to visit family in Virginia and as I told my uncle the idea he suggested separating the ideas and having a restroom only trailer. I liked the functionality of the business and started doing heavy research at that point. I decided it was worth the risk and that it would be a profitable business and so I purchased a $30,000 restroom trailer January 31st, 2014. The business has grown since then and has become a full time job. I am grateful for this opportunity to work for myself coming out of college and to have the time to put first what's most important to me as I create my own work schedule. Current Inventory: 25 Deluxe Portable Toilets with sinks, flushing toilets, lights, etc. 3 Flatbed Trailers 1 Restroom Trailer 1 Pump Truck Finances: Originally working with Nebraska Enterprise Fund to get loan until grandparents offered to finance ($60,000) Won CBA's New Venture Business Plan Competition ($50,000) Personal investment ($10,000) 2014 Assets (- $100,000) Expenses (- $40,000) Revenue (+ $35,000)
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
All of my family members that own their own businesses: Grandparents, Parents, Uncles and Aunts, Cousins. It is what originally spurred me on to know that I could do it and helped me see what running a business looked like years down the road.
If your story were made into a movie, what actor/actress would portray you and why?
Jim Halpert from The Office. He is a lot more cautious than I am, but I love how he leads and cares about people.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Seek a lot of wise counsel but ultimately go with what you feel in your gut. I thought going into this that people would be able to tell me what the right decisions were in putting this business together but quickly found out that their role was to input their advice and my role was to make the ultimate decisions.