Monday, September 6, 2010

How I Became A Businessman

1943
I had begun to shine my own shoes-doing a good job of it, and, what's more, enjoying it. Folks took notice. Then someone asked me if I would shine his shoes for a dime. (A dime was big money in those days-It would buy the daily newspaper, a double scoop of ice cream, and there'd be two pennies left for Fleers' Double Bubble gum.) A lightbulb went off in my mind. My Father was good with carpentry, and, at my request, constructed a small wooden box to contain supplies for the job: various sorts of polish-black, brown, clear, oxblood, both in wax and liquid form-a few brushes, and the appropriate cloths. The "handle" of the box also served as a footrest-"Just hoist your foot up there and be at rest & I'll take on your shoes one at a time."
I would set up "shop" on the sidewalk outside the Acme Grocery Store, or one of the two movie theatres then in Marcus Hook, Pa. (The Globe & The Congress) -
That was my first "business."
And that's how I became a businessman (or, in more recent parlance, an Entrepreneur.)
More anon about "The Joys Of Being In Business For Yourself"

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