Techno Nerd, Father, Mud Runner, and budding entrepreneur at 50-something
Around the age of 6 or 7, I used to drag an old metal card table out to the front of the garage on weekend mornings and sell anything from the house I thought I could get away with or that wouldn’t be missed. Usually, it was my own stuff, GI Joes, Hot Wheels, Baseball Cards… Sometimes a little nicknack that belonged to one of my three older sisters.
Once I had a buck or so, I’d head off on my bike to the local drugstore and blow it all playing nickel pinball, soda, and chewing gum.
Then I’d be back in scavenge and sell mode again the following weekend.
By middle school, I had two paper routes, in the morning, the Arizona Republic and once a week in the afternoon a free penny saver rag, good money for a pre and then early teen. The reality was, I actually made more money selling the rubber bands I got dirt cheap from my paper route to the kids at school. Didn’t hurt that I gave a friend or two freebies to start rubber band wars in class, at lunch, and at recess. Teachers were unwitting drivers of sales as they frequently made us turn out our pockets and confiscated all contraband including 1000s of rubber bands over the years. By the time I was ending eighth grade, while others were getting awards based on most likely too…, I got one that enshrined me as Rubber Band King.
After that, I got “real” jobs, sometimes better pay, but never the same satisfaction and always making more money for someone else than I did for myself. Gone were the early garage days of 100% profit (and occasional spanking).
In my 40s, I began writing to relieve stress and regained a love for the Commodore 64s of my later teen years. My speculative fiction writing I posted on Yahoo and made a few bucks from reader views, worked out to around .0000001 cents an hour for the wage I think. The C64 craze left me with more game cartridges, floppy discs, disk drives, computers, monitors, 300 baud modems and CPUs than I care to admit. So, I started flipping them on Craigslist and Ebay. I didn’t get rich, but I did find enjoyment and finding, repairing, and flipping and had a nice positive cash flow for my hobby.
Now in my Mid 50s, with grown or almost grown kids, and other big life changes I feel like recapturing the joys and thrills of being an entrepreneur that I learned and loved so early in life, but set aside to be safe and be a good provider for my family.