Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Hickman, Founder of Ryan's Recycling, located in San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I have a recycling business named Ryan's Recycling that picks up cans and bottles from people's homes and businesses, and I recycle those items. I have hundreds of customers over a 30-mile radius.

Tell us about yourself

I got started recycling when I was 3 1/2 years old by just going to the recycling center with my dad. I loved it and decided I wanted to keep doing it. I got all of my neighborhood to recycle, and word quickly spread when my story went viral. I'm motivated each day to recycle because it's something I know that helps the planet, and I still think it's really fun to do.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've recycled nearly 2 million cans and bottles, and I've been featured all over the world in tv programs, books, and websites. I've even been on 3 story billboards in Europe. I think I'm most proud of inspiring millions of people to recycle and take care of our planet. I speak to schools around the world and teach kids how to recycle.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I'm only 13, so my mom and dad handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes details like my media appearances and financial stuff. I'd probably say the hardest thing for me so far with being a business owner has been scheduling and trying to stay on top of pick-ups.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I'd suggest doing something you love to do already and grow it in baby steps, so it's not overwhelming. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's how you learn!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If a kid like me can do it, you can too. Don't be afraid to follow your dreams or try something new.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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