Jerell Brown is a born businessman. Today, he uses this business know-how to run a small, but profitable, landscape company. But only a few years ago, he was selling marijuana on the streets. He was making good money…until he was caught.
After he was busted for distributing pot in 2012, he faced up to 60 months in prison. That was his wake-up call. “After I heard ‘five years,’ I was already a changed person in my mind,” Brown says. “I said to myself, ‘I already know what I got to do.’”
For the eight months of house arrest, Brown figured out what he needed to do to make an honest living. He completed training programs that focused on essentials for getting a job, including resume building, interviewing, and the importance of showing up on time.
He ended up spending a month in prison, and he used that time to figure out what direction he wanted to go. He says, “The fastest and cheapest way I could think of was to get a lawn mower, a string trimmer, and a blower and go to work.”
What was initially the “fast and cheap” way to make money has blossomed into a full-blown company in just three years. SML, which stands for Save My Lawn, has five employees—including an administration assistant—on the payroll, along with four used trucks, $10,000 worth of landscape equipment, and a 2016 revenue of $180,000. All of this is mostly due to Brown’s innate business sense.
In addition to a landscape company, Brown’s also looking into the world of real estate. He’s got his eye on a four-unit property he aims to own and rent out.
“I want to get some passive income,” he says. “I want to start making money by thinking, using my brain, instead of my muscle and labor. I want to let someone else do the work.”