My First Business
At the age of six I wanted to buy a pack of gum from the neighborhood grocery. In those days you had neighborhood groceries that weren’t owned by the big chains. I remember mine well. It was Niedhard’s. A place you could get what you needed from a friendly neighbor who was making a living for his family, most of who work there as well.
Anyway, back to the gum. Today was grocery day and like all six year olds, I wanted something and became fixated on it. I ask over and over and over. Finally, (Now that I’m a parent, I know she was just trying to get me to stop asking for the gum), my mother told me that if I wanted a pack of gum, I had to use my own money. She knew I didn’t have any money. Heck, I was only six. My mom figured that was a nice way of saying “no” without actually saying “no” and that the matter was over.
Being the ever persistent “entreprenuer”, I decided not having any money wasn’t going to stop me. I went into our side yard and gathered a handful of sticks. Yes, I said sticks. Those brown things leaves used to be on. I decided if I had them, everyone needed one. I decided to go door to door selling my “sticks”. These weren’t just any sticks, these sticks came from “my yard”. My first customer, Mrs. Caruso, also recognized the value of my product and purchased two of my sticks for 25 cents and bingo, I had enough for my pack of gum.
I decided to close up shop as I had achieved my goal and went home triumphantly to show my mom what I had earned. Boy was I looking forward to buying that pack of gum. When I got home, my Mom asked where I had gotten the money and I looked proudly at her and told her of my “stick business”. She praised me for my ingenuity and motivation and then promptly made me return the quarter. She and Mrs. Caruso had a nice laugh and I had my first entrepreneurial experience.
The lessons I learned at the age of six I still carry with me to this day. Set goals, be proactive, and most importantly, you don’t need money to make money. You just need to find your “stick” and the best “stick” I have found to date, is real estate.
By the way, my mom bought me the pack of gum.