Successful entrepreneurs all over the world have one thing in common: they are willing to do jobs no one else wants to do. Sam Walton did everything from selling magazine subscriptions to waiting tables.

Donald Trump collected discarded bottles and empty cans from construction sites and returned them for cash. Michael Dell washed dishes for $2.30 an hour.

Business Success

This trait isn’t limited to businessmen alone. In his book, ‘Mastery’, Robert Greene relates the story of Michael Faraday who worked as private valet (i.e. servant) to Humphry Davy before becoming the pre-eminent scientist of his day. Whichever way you look – at artists, writers, painters and businessmen – the fact repeats itself: to do well, you must take on jobs others avoid.

A Load Of Old Rubbish? Or a Golden Business Opportunity?

The life story of Wayne Huizenga is worth relating in this regard. Huizenga founded three Fortune 500 companies (Blockbuster Video, Waste Management Inc., and AutoNation), and owns three professional sports teams. He has an estimated net worth of $2.3Bn and is often hailed as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

Yet, Huizenga got his start doing something most people would shun: hauling garbage. Huizenga’s first company, Waste Management Inc. specialized in garbage collection and disposal.

When he acquired the company in 1968, Huizenga drove the garbage trucks himself. Today, the company has over $12Bn in revenues and is the largest waste disposal company in the United States. No one epitomizes the saying “One man’s waste is another man’s treasure” better than Huizenga.

Finding Gold In Unusual Places

When Huizanga started his garbage removal company in 1968, the waste management industry was still in its infancy. According to one report, the market is worth £9.1Bn in UK today.

The waste and scrap wholesaling market, on the other hand, had revenues of £4Bn in 2008. Furthermore, the market is dominated by a few small players and a couple of large fish. Otherwise, the market remains largely untouched.

Like Huizenga, it is possible to make tremendous fortunes in a business most entrepreneurs overlook. It is easy enough to start in: just hire a skip and like Huizenga, a garbage truck, and you’ll be all ready to go.

Growth can be exponential as you land major industrial and commercial clients. As more consumers become aware of the necessity of recycling, residential clients can become a huge source of revenues as well.

You can also latch onto new trends such as organic recycling. Although the organic recycling industry is just a few years old, it already had revenues in excess of £226 million in 2008-09.

Eschewing standard industrial practices that often utilize chemical treatments, organic recycling relies entirely on natural recycling methods. As a environment-friendly trend, it is expected to grow at a quick pace.

The writing is on the wall: great fortunes can be made by taking on jobs others avoid. Waste management is an easy enough field to start in and promises tremendous rewards with low competition. Just find skip hires at competitive prices and you can start your own business, and perhaps even be as successful as Huizenga.