I love listening to podcasts and reading entrepreneurial material that inspires and challenges me in my business interests but I’ve never really identified myself as an entrepreneur. I think that’s because I’ve associated being an entrepreneur with building a global size empire turning over millions of dollars with hundreds of employees.
It came as a surprise to me to remember some experiences recently from my earlier years and realise that I’ve actually had the entrepreneurial spirit since a very early age.
I saved every bit of pocket money I earned as a young child and my parents nicknamed me the “The Count” because I would tip out my money box out regularly and count my savings.
I loved my stuffed toys when I was young, I used to sleep with about 13 of them laid out across my chest, in the same order, every night (my obsessive compulsive tendencies started early!). At the time I think I was receiving about 50 cents per week in pocket money. In an attempt to encourage me to reduce my reliance on my fluffy companions, my mum offered me 10 cents per week increase in pocket money for every toy I gave up. I did the maths and that night, to my mum’s shock, I gave them all up at once. Chaching!.
When I was in grade 4, the Rubik’s cube was released in Australia. My mum taught herself how to solve the puzzle and she taught me her special technique. Kids at school would pay me 50 cents to solve the cube for them. And they’d bring their messed up cube to me, every day. I had the repeat customer thing down pat with that venture!
The following year I had a wholesale business going at school selling a couple of toys that were all the rage at the time. I don’t actually remember what they were but I just remember buying the toys myself with my pocket money and then selling them for a profit to kids at school.
I created numerous businesses selling my handmade creations to friends, family and even door to door in the local neighbourhood. I made polymer clay jewellery and spruiked them to stores hoping to sell them. I remember offloading a batch to one store on a commission basis.
I then sold shortbread and hand decorated chocolates at Christmas door to door in the local neighbourhood. In my late teens I started selling my exquisite gingerbread houses to everyone I knew.
My mum taught me how to sew at an early age and I made and sold hundreds of leotards for my gymnastics club over many years.
I had a very small business printing personalised children’s books just after my first son was born.
- a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
Ha. Who knew!