Small Business

Joe Jarvis, 5-Year-Old Entrepreneur, Runs A Successful Garbage Business

One small business owner is getting an early start.

Joe Jarvis runs his own local garbage service. He's busy expanding the company's customer base and he's considering adding two more employees.

But while this may sound like just another small business success story, there's something remarkable about the founder: he's only five years old.

'Garbage Man Joe,' as he calls himself, serves neighbors who want help hauling their trash cans to the curb every Sunday evening. Customer service seems to come naturally to the precocious entrepreneur: "He has never failed," one neighbor said. "If he's going to his grandmother's, he comes and brings a note and says there will be no service this week."

With the earnings from his services, which cost customers 25 cents per week, Jarvis has purchased Legos and other trinkets - seemingly a good choice for an aspiring engineer. "I think I'll cook in the morning, be an engineer in the afternoon, and then paint in the evening at dinner time," Jarvis says of his career plans.

Jarvis's early business experience might serve him well in the future. Several other CEOs started off young, from Seth Goldman of Honest Tea to the famed weight-loss entrepreneur Jenny Craig. Goldman recovered lost golf balls and sold them back to empty-handed golfers, while Craig caught and sold crabs during family vacations.