How Stephen Hightower Went From Janitor to Owner of a Multi-million Dollar Oil Empire

Stephen Hightower. Photo: Wright State Newsroom – Wright State University

“If you don’t think that you can be great, you’ll never be great,” said President and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Stephen Hightower.

Hightower is one of America’s top oil tycoons with $434 million in revenue but life wasn’t so smooth for him at the beginning.

His first job was working nights and weekends for his parents’ cleaning business. But, “I wanted more,” Hightower said.

“I started as a janitor. I started cleaning floors and toilets and doing those things that most people would never even dream of doing,” Hightower said on CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires.”

In 1978, Hightower graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and he started his own small construction company.

While trying to grow his business amidst the struggle with access to credit, Hightower learned about a program to sell gas in Ohio.

Discouraged with the hurdles he was encountering in construction, Hightower developed an oil and transport business, “Hightowers Petroleum Co.” in 1983.

By 1984, he had just one employee, an accountant. The business didn’t immediately grow as expected but when Hightower saw the company’s first $100, he was super excited.

“I remember when our first one hundred dollar bill came in, I just remember our excitement,” he said.

Today, his company buys oil products from refiners and delivers those products to corporate customers such as FedEx and GM all over the country, with 85 employees and sales of 140 million gallons of oil per year.

From those humble beginnings and through persistence, drive, and determination, Hightower has grown his wholesale fuel distribution business into an energy solutions enterprise.

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Source: Face2Face Africa