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Homeschooled to a Million Dollar Business - The Jason Geiman Story

February 05, 20246 min read

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Q: What types of trade skills may help someone thrive as a Christmas lights installer?

A: Experience in areas like electrical work, construction jobs and general hands-on trade skills can provide a great foundation for learning lighting installation and running the operations. Troubleshooting issues that arise on complex displays comes more naturally to those with that hands-on background.

Q: Is it feasible to quickly scale up revenue with Christmas lights?

A: Yes, within a few years dedicated installers have grown from $0 to over $1 million in annual revenue through season expansions to holiday parades/events, pursuing commercial projects and effective customer retention. High quality work leading to strong word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business has been key.

Q: What is the best way for new installers to gain holiday lighting clients early on?

A: Concentrating on flawless installation quality and friendly service leads tocustomer referrals for trusted, reliable installers. Making a strong first impressionis critical to being recommended.

Q: Should installers offer summer lighting services too to sustain revenue in between seasons?

A: Expanding into general ambient lighting projects, landscape uplighting and summer events has been an effective strategy for reducing income fluctuations between busy fall/winter months and summer.

Q: Is investing in new equipment and techniques worthwhile long-term?

A: Absolutely - the innovations in LED technology, animations, custom structures and ease of controls are compelling reasons for continual professional development in this sector. Safety certifications also matter.

Q: Can premium pricing work for custom light installations?

A: Specialization in advanced displays and custom holiday themes allows proven installers to justify above-average service fees given the expertise required and wow factors achieved.

Q: How complex is scaling up multiple installation crews?

A: Managing logistics across teams, quality oversight and customer communication for concurrent holiday projects is very challenging. Investment into leadership/management capabilities has enabled some firms to expand smoothly.

Q: Do options exist for selling such seasonal businesses?

A: Depending on brand value established regionally, selling to another installer looking to expand territory or even a landscape lighting firm trying to diversify seasonally tends to be viable exit strategies.

 

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Jason Geiman

Jason Geiman parlayed his early passion for festive lighting into a thriving Christmas décor installation company which he founded and grew for over 4 years before selling the business in 2018. Now, he draws from his experience scaling a holiday lighting venture to help other Christmas lighting companies maximize their success. Jason feels compelled to share shortcuts he learned running his decoration operation. Jason has made it his mission to enable both residential and commercial clients to execute jaw-dropping lighting displays more easily. He loves experimenting with the latest high-tech LED bulb innovations to incorporate into his instructional programs and resources for those running their own Christmas lighting businesses. After selling his original company, he reinvented himself - driven as ever to spread seasonal magic, but now by helping others grow their holiday lighting ventures successfully. Follow Jason for regular tips on taking your Christmas lights business to the next level!

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