Do You Like Money as Much as I Do?

Posted by 2 October, 2008

DCF 1.0

I’m not sure why I’ve always had a fascination with money. I’ve always liked making money and I’ve always been careful with spending it.

It all started when I was in the 4th grade. I do not recall why I wanted money, but I tried to figure out how to make money. I assume it was for baseball cards or the like. I started selling candy to other kids at school. The bus driver even gave me the nick name, “The Candy Man”. I would go with my parents to Sam’s where I would buy laffy taffy and blow pops, then mark them up 100%. Looking back, I was proud that I was able to pull in $40 a week, which is a lot of money to a 9 year old in the 80’s.

Between the age of 9 and 16, my quest for money became more urgent. Once staff at my elementary school told me to stop selling candy to other kids (they didn’t like the competition 🙂 ), I started mowing lawns. In middle school and prior to turning 16, I also worked at my dad’s baseball card shop. I usually had to work for credit so I would use the credit to buy packs of baseball cards that were of high value to other collectors. I had the inside scoop on whether the good cards had already been plucked from a box or not and thus I was able to tilt the chances of opening a pack of cards with a valuable card. I then sold the valuable card either to my dad or to friends.

Once in high school, my first “real” job in was at a dollar theater. I started out asking people “would you like butter with that”. Yes, it was lame. I was covered in all sorts of neon colors because it was owned my Cinemark Theaters. My starting pay was $4.25 per hour which was enough to pay for gas and insurance on my car (which was REALLY expensive ~$200/month). I quickly moved to projectionist which was more up my ally. During my second summer of work eligibility, I had 3 jobs. I worked at the movie theater (my main job), at Winn Dixie bagging groceries and at RGIS as an auditor (REALLY boring).

That fall after I had maxed out my “potential” at the movie theater, I left Cinemark to bag groceries at Tom Thumb. I quickly became a cashier where I was pulling in $5.25/hour. I was only there for 6-9 months before starting at Flashnet (a 1995 internet provider) where I was a salesman. It was actually my best job during high school. I made $8.oo per hour plus commission. With commission and my base pay, I was making $12.00-$15.00 per hour. I’m not much of a salesman, but it made the job a lot easier since the calls were inbound and therefore the callers were already interested in signing up. It was just really a matter of services provided.

I had various jobs working for professors in college. My next business took hold in 1999. I started selling Pokemon cards through my website and Yahoo! Auctions. I had originally wanted to start a website for my dad’s business. Everyone, especially a business, NEEDED a website. It was the big thing. Well, my dad wouldn’t commit to move forward on a website, so instead I asked him to could order more cards than usual so that I could buy the excess (at the time a seller had to have a store front to be able to buy Pokemon cards from the manufacturer). My first internet business was born. I did fairly well considering I had a part time job and a full load of engineering classes. I pulled in around $12K in about a year. Unfortunately, I jumped into the business towards the peak of the short-lived popularity. It was interesting that most of my customers were overseas. That business lasted about a year prior to dying out. It was an interesting ride though, and thankfully that entrepreneurial spirit has persisted.

Do you have any childhood or college money-making adventures? I’d love to hear them!

photo by theritters’


Don't miss the next article, add our RSS feed
If you enjoyed this article, please Stumble it!
Follow me on twitter

Categories : Entrepreneur Tags : ,

October 3, 2008

This article gave me warm, fuzzy feelings becuase it reminded me of the jobs I had as a teen.

I went about finding a job not because I needed the money, per sey, but to prove my father wrong.

You see, I was born deaf and my Dad thought I couldn’t work becuase of that. I set out to prove him wrong.

My first job was at a gas station, just down the road from my house. Unfortunately I got fired 3 months later becuase I was caught goofing off with the boss’ son.

Then I worked at a pizza place, pimply faced and all.

Don’t remember how much I made per hour but I was happy as hell that I had a job in those days.

Posted by Stephen Hopson
October 5, 2008

I seem to remember whenever I read a story about a person who is successful in business, his or her childhood and youth sounded just like yours. I guess constantly looking for ways to make money is one of the necessary ingredients, but it may not be enough. – I for one did the opposite when I was younger. I always spent my savings on collecting interesting experiences (traveling, sports adventures, art events, and the like) and I did not have enough time to think about making money.

Posted by vilkri
Leave a comment