When I was 11 years old, I had an idea. I was walking around Sam’s Club (a new idea at the time – 1989) and something caught my eye; a large plastic jug with all the blow pops I could ever want. Enough sugar to get a sloth jacked up and twitchy. Each blow pop splattered in colorful plastic wrapping – I could almost taste it.
So the original idea was “They will be mine! ALL MINE!” which is expected from a 11 year old. Then, on the way home in our family van, another idea shot into my head; “I can’t eat all these, that’s crazy. Maybe I should sell them.”
What would follow became my first venture into business. I shoved the jar into my jansport backpack and tottered off to the bus stop. I proudly announced that I was selling blow pops to the 8+ kids gathered around the street corner waiting for their ride to school. By the time I got home, I had sold half of the jar and it was completely gone the next day.
The routine became habit and I quickly learned a lot and stashed the goods in my middle school locker. At one point my mom stopped me as I was counting all the cash I had wadded up. “Where did you get all that?” I explained that the candy I was buying from Sam’s was selling like hot cakes at school. She looked puzzled and shrugged. To my surprise my parents let me continue and I continued to make more money.
Eventually all good things come to an end. The Vice Principle caught up with me in the hallway and very nicely asked me if I was selling candy. I confirmed and then led him to my locker. He then took my candy and ended my business immediately.
At that time, I wasn’t creative enough to find was around the system. I dind’t pursue selling candy outside of school. I didn’t try to sell on the bus and hide it under a seat. I didn’t try a lot of things. What’s even worse, is I learned nothing from my experience. I just felt crushed.
I think back to that event to try and extract my mistakes and what I can do moving forward. I think the best thing I could have done was to keep going and continue selling candy. I also think I could have learned something about authority, but at that age, I was scared stiff of adults. Ironically, I sort of still am.
The silver lining of this post is that I still have something going for myself. I also love what I do and can really turn a website out in record time. I also like where I work during the day and find myself often joking with an easy crowd. Dad jokes FTW.