Stealing from My Mom, and Selling
Now, before I share this story with you, I have to admit something. I had a couple year stretch as a kid when I was a bit rotten. Not mean to people necessarily, but up to no good on a regular basis.
Ok, so it’s fall 1994 and I’m in 8th grade, here in St. Louis. I’m out shopping with my mom at Sam’s Club. While we’re wandering through the aisles…a thought pops into my head.
Hey, I’ve got a birthday party to go to this weekend! (I forget if the birthday party was for Sarah or Becca…but that’s not an important part of the story.) I should get a present to bring!
But the plan I’m pondering isn’t really so benevolent…
I stumble upon the candy aisle, and discover a massive case of Airheads. If you don’t know what they are, just trust me…kids love them.
I grab a case, and ask my mom…“Hey, I need to bring a present to this party. Can you buy these for me?” With a suspect gaze, she cautiously agrees.
But the plan was never to bring the Airheads to the party and give them as a gift. Nope, I showed up to the party empty handed. (See, rotten.) Instead, I took the Airheads to school the next Monday and started selling them between classes, for a quarter each.
Sure, the school had a candy machine…but it was all the way down by the lunch room. I had Airheads on demand, right there in the classroom! Needless to say…business was good.
Here’s the thing though, selling Airheads you get for free (by stealing them from your mom) isn’t really a long-term, viable business. In the real world, it takes a lot more than showing up with a product to start piling up gobs of cash. Not only do you have to position yourself to have the opportunity to make the sale, you also have to be good enough to actually CLOSE the sale.
But in 8th grade, it worked…
Until that day it all came crashing down…
I should have seen it coming, but instead, I made one fatal mistake that took the whole operation down. It’s a lesson that I can still apply, and often do, to business to this day.
To be continued next time…I’ll tell you all about that lesson and how you can benefit from it in my next post.