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The Kool-Aid Stand

Neither my mother or father was a bit entrepreneurial. They grew up during the depression and were just happy to have a job. Back then, it was possible to go to work every day, even if you hated the work, and expect to have your job indefinitely. My father was a tinkerer. An intelligent man with an engineering mind he constantly played with ideas and made prototypes of objects. Perhaps one of his best inventions was the forerunner of a truck camper. His was not very sophisticated and he called it a box which pretty well described it. As he built these and put them on his pickup people asked about them and soon “boxes” were appearing everywhere. Had he been entrepreneurial he might have found a way to turn it into a business. Unfortunately, he left that for someone else to do.

For me, early on I was interested in business and always on the lookout for opportunities. I sold seeds in the spring and still have a cuckoo clock I won as a prize for my selling accomplishment. I sold Christmas trees with the help of my father who would go to the mountains and cut trees for me. He even built stands for the trees, so I could sell a complete package. I was given a lead about a prisoner who tied flies for fishing. I bought hundreds of these flies and sold them to local fisherman.

One of my favorite experiences is when I decided to have a Kool-Aid stand. In my usual way, a board across two boxes was not enough. I enlisted my friends to help me build a Kool-Aid stand. We gathered wood from around the neighborhood. laid out a 12' x 14' structure and went to work. It was a kind of “pole-building” before I knew anything about pole buildings. It had a counter at the front for serving customers and shelves with jars full of colored water. We thought this would make it look like we had lots of inventory, but the real product was in a pitcher under the counter.

Despite our labor, we didn’t sell much Kool-Aid but it was a great experience of having a dream and making it happen.

This was early training for my future life. I learned how to persuade others to help me achieve my dream. I took my vision of a Kool-Aid stand and brought it to fruition. Much later in life, I learned that this was a perfect picture of my personality — take an idea and build it. This has served me well. It will also be the key to building Music Lovers Shop. Keep your eyes on www.MusicLoversShop.com.

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