The Young Entrepreneur

It was 1987… I had no clue what an entrepreneur was let alone that I was one! I was only 12 at the time. My family was beyond poor, but I never knew. Dad was a painter by trade but could fix damn near anything, and my mother was too sick to work. I’m sure I’ll share that story with you another day.

It was a hot Alabama summer. I could have opened a lemonade stand and sold gallons! But we were poor. So how do you start a business when you have no money? This is where the true entrepreneurs are born. I wanted nothing more than money for baseball cards. They were my passion growing up. I was sitting out on the front porch (where I spent most summer days hiding from the sun) when I noticed a kid pushing his bicycle. Eager to make a friend I quickly introduced myself!

“what’s wrong with bike?” I asked. “Stupid chain won’t stay on,” he said.

I offered to fix it using the tools in my dads shop, and a few minutes later I had the bicycle fixed!

“Good as new” I said, to which my newfound friend offered for buy me a coke.

This got me to thinking.

If my new friend was willing to buy me a coke, would others be willing to pay me?

The answer was yes! Not only were they willing to pay me, but I was paid quite well for my services. This lasted throughout the summer of 1987. I would ride my bike for miles around, looking for junk bikes in people’s garbage piles, and I made daily visits to the landfill looking for usable parts. New parts I would buy at the local Western Auto.

That summer was one of my fondest memories as a kid. I was able to have what my dad called “walking around money.” But better than that, I was able to treat my mom to a weekly trip to Dairy Delight for chicken fingers and ice cream!

Sometimes it’s not about making a fortune. It’s about being able to provide for the ones you love.

Find your passion – By: Robert Martin