Beyond the Classroom: Meet the WPU Senior Who Runs His Own Business

October 17, 2023
William Sullivan Headshot

Meet William Sullivan, also known as Billy around campus, a proud native of Cary, North Carolina. Sullivan is a senior at William Peace University, set to graduate in December of 2023. He’s not only a student but also the owner of a thriving business, Sullivan Soft Wash, specializing in top-rated soft washing and pressure washing services for both commercial and residential properties.

Around campus, you can spot Sullivan sporting his company’s distinctive T-shirts, and it’s clear that students know his name. Sullivan, who has been successfully running his business while pursuing his degree, even employs part-time employees from WPU. His vision extends beyond graduation, with plans to transition to hiring full-time employees once he earns his degree this spring.

Sullivan’s academic focus at WPU is in Exercise and Sports Science, a field that complements his long-term dream of opening his own gym. Currently, he’s gaining valuable experience through a coaching internship, preparing him to guide others on their fitness journeys when his gym becomes a reality.

His power washing business isn’t just a means to an end; it’s a stepping stone towards realizing his dream. Sullivan’s entrepreneurial journey began when he was exploring ways to make extra income, from assisting people with moving to providing lawn care services. It was a chance encounter with a neighbor’s power washer that sparked his passion. 

In his own words, “Not even a month later, I bought my own. I loved it so much and I could see potential. I saw a potential market to grow a business.”

In September of 2021, he took the bold step of creating his LLC, and fast forward two years, his business has flourished, driven by his unwavering commitment and passion.

Notably, Sullivan’s impressive accomplishments aren’t limited to power washing. He’s self-taught in the art of creating a business and even designed his business website, Sullivan Soft Wash, with the assistance of his old WPU roommate who helps create content for Sullivan.

Originally drawn to WPU for baseball, he made the decision to step back from the sport to concentrate on his studies and business. Most of his employees are fellow students he initially met through the baseball team.

Balancing academic commitments with a thriving business hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly this semester, with the added demands of his internship. However, Sullivan has learned to effectively manage his time, scheduling his responsibilities to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Looking forward, Sullivan hopes to continue nurturing his business until it can operate independently, allowing him to concentrate on making his dream of opening a gym a reality. His heart is set on staying in North Carolina to establish the gym, a testament to his commitment to his community.

Sullivan Soft Wash boasts a roster of over 200 repeat customers annually, serving the Cary and Raleigh areas, with some commercial jobs taking him as far as Wilmington. Many of these loyal clients are commercial entities and contractors who appreciate the top-notch service and professionalism that Sullivan and his team consistently provide.

While baseball may no longer be a part of his university life, Sullivan’s love for fitness has only grown. He attributes this growth to the strength and conditioning program and dedicated fitness coaches at WPU, who have played a pivotal role in shaping his passion.

For those considering his services, Sullivan has a simple but resounding message: “If you need something washed… then (919) 208-1733. You name it, we’ll wash it.”

He imparts invaluable advice to anyone pursuing their dreams: “Take the risk. There was a point in time when I took the leap, but there were many times when I thought I had put everything into it and wasn’t getting anything out of it, but I kept going, I kept pushing, and I kept taking the risk, and it has paid off. If you want to do something, just do it. If you have a dream, do it.”