When I was younger my mom helped me learn the importance of being financially responsible – and I’m talking very young.
Around the age of 11 I, like many kids, wanted to have some extra spending money (I played tennis and the money helped buy rackets, clothes and balls). Knowing that my allowance would only get me so far I opted to come up with ways to either save or make extra cash.
At first I started saving my lunch money, which was a great idea until I realized not eating hurt me at tennis practice in the afternoon. I even sold golf balls that I found when walking the creek at a local golf course – it was great selling a ball back to someone that had just hit it in the water, theyd’ typically laugh and fork over $1.
But I eventually stumbled on a way to make a decent amount of cash (for a kid) in a much shorter amount of time.
If I remember correctly, I was at a neighbor’s house (still around the age of 11) with my mom and he was talking about the need to paint his mailbox. At some point in the conversation the idea of me painting his mailbox to make a few bucks came up… and I gladly accepted the offer.
All I needed was some sand paper to get rid of rust (all neighbors had the same metal mailbox – this was good for me!), black paint, red paint and a paintbrush. It was pretty simple to do, so simple that I decided to offer to paint other peoples mailboxes as well.
$10 for the black part and $2 extra to have the flag done – I was in business!
Here’s the great part, and possibly my first experience with marketing/promotions.
If I hit a dry spell and couldn’t get anyone on a particular street to let me paint their mailbox, I’d do one for free. Once one of the mailboxes looked nice and new, the others looked less than desirable which prompted people to see the need for my service – it was great for business!
This was a great lesson that I think still holds true today. People may not always see the value, but part of the marketers job is to help them do just that.
That’s it. This is the end of my completely random story.