A sweaty startup you can copy in your town

Plenty of high quality wood is ending up in landfills or wood chippers. William Warren and Michael Toret riff with us on a business idea to capitalize on wasted wood, turning trash into treasure.

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  • Great businesses often start with an urgent demand that people are asking to pay for. You just have to notice it and double down on the niche.

  • As baby boomers retire, there is a big opportunity in modernizing “sweaty startups”

Action Steps:

  1. Contact the owner of the Urban Lumber Co and see if he is interested in franchising his model
  2. Become a member of the Urban Wood Network for $50 to learn how to build an urban wood business
  3. Network with the local wood economy and become an intermediary between lumber collectors, furniture makers and firewood users in homes and restaurants.

Follow through on these action steps and email us your results at update@runwithit.fm. You'll get exclusive access to a private Facebook group of action takers and one listener will earn a free mentorship call with our guest, and potentially, a business partnership.


William Warren is an entrepreneur, illustrator, and writer who has spent his career using visuals to help communicate ideas in an effective and enjoyable way. He is the Founder and CEO of The Sketch Effect, a Visual Communication agency that helps make ideas understandable and actionable through animation, live event sketching and graphic design. The Sketch Effect’s client list includes top-tier brands such as Marriott, Walmart, Microsoft, Chick-fil-A, P&G, and Delta in addition to premier consultancies including Boston Consulting Group, Bain, Ernst & Young and Accenture. The Sketch Effect has sketched for thought leaders such as Steve Wozniak, Brene Brown, Malala Yousafzai, Sheryl Sandberg, Peyton Manning, and more. William lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife Monica and young kids, Liam and Gracie.

Michael Toret has been a professional carpenter and woodworker for over 10 years. Most recently, he’s built unique furniture and household items out of large live edge slabs of wood at Ironwood Mills, an urban sawmill in Phoenix, AZ.

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Run With It by Chris Justin and Eathan Janney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.