I tried some crazy ways to make money growing up…most of the unknowingly illegal. Do you have any? Think way to when you were a teenager, a pre-teen or before? I’m not talking a lemonade stand…what crazy things did you try or plan? Here are 3 of my favorite attempts…
Business attempt #1: My Own ‘Publishing Company’
Before I turned 10 I was reading one of my favorite books and saw the price tag…WOW $19.99 (or something close to that, it was enough to make me think ‘holy, that’s a lot of money’)
My little entrepreneurial brain was cranking…I grabbed some free printer paper from my parents, sat in the basement and started TRACING…haha oh man, I wrote out all the text and traced the images…thinking I could sell this book for even half the normal costs…why wouldn’t someone buy that? Anyways, after many many hours more then I thought…I gave up and realized the time combined with my lack of tracing skills put me out of business…
Business attempt # 2: Why not print money?
I remember hearing about people counterfeit money…more specifically $50 and $100 bills…I was back to the free paper and printer (with-out letting my parent know) – it was time to literally print money. My parents had those photo cutters that did nice sharp edges…I scanned a $5 bill (thinking who would check or care about a $5 bill?) It was genius…I didn’t need hundreds I only needed fives (probably for candy and hockey cards).
After a few attempts at scanning and printing straight….we got pretty close (but I mean come on – we used printer paper) – In the end my parents saw what I was doing and told me how illegal it was…what’s next?
Business Attempt #3: My Bookie Business
Looking back this makes me laugh so hard. In grade 9 my friend Marc (RIP) and I thought we knew everything about sports and hockey. We figured if we made our own odds for NHL games that week and took bets…we’d win. We basically went off gut feel for who was going to win giving odds like 2:1 or 3:1.
We kept track in a binder of all the bets placed. Money was collected upfront and kept in a jar in our lockers.
The first 2 weeks we made a little money and we thought we were going to me rich. We increased or marketing (all viral to friends and friends of friends and even some teachers) and we took on way more bets.
**Note on the teachers – Mr. Kast and Mr. Reid were both skeptical and didn’t want to get in shit from making the bets with grade 9 students. How freaking cool of them to do it. I can only image what they were thinking and telling their friends.
Anyways, back to scaling our business…well…after upping our bets and putting our profits into a contingency fund (just in case) we waited for the games to play out….it didn’t go our way. A few bad losses and we were out of money…after being about 50-100 in the red we shut it down and realized we were not as good at odds as we thought…
Looking back, I laugh and smile. We were out there hustling…trying to make a buck to buy some more candy and hockey cards. I’m so thankful for my parents, teachers and friends that let me try. Even when it was illegal or the worlds dumbest idea.
Do you have any stories or memories as a kid trying to make it rich? If so, maybe you were born to be an entrepreneur…it’s inside you. Get out there and hustle.