I’ll never forget the day in 1969 when my Mom told me that she had arranged for me to become a paper boy. It wasn’t my idea to spend less time playing and become more responsible. I was eleven and my Mom had five other kids in the house. She was looking for ways to keep us busy. When I sold my route two and a half years later I had doubled deliveries and revenue. I learned many lessons fifty years ago that still apply today.
- I learned that I had within me the will to succeed. I didn’t know during the first couple of days, and especially the first Sunday if I could physically do the job. After early assistance from my older brother and ongoing encouragement from my parents, I learned that I could do the job by myself. And from then on it was a matter of continuing to show up. This laid the foundation of all of my future successes. The feeling of accomplishment and freedom was and still is addictive.
- Your customers complain if you don’t deliver.
- If you don’t collect you don’t get paid. And it was OK to be aggressive with late payers. I paid for the papers before delivering them. I was going to get my money.
- Persistence allows you to improve, make work lighter and build a successful business.
- It’s always good to be the guy with money.
After being a paperboy I went on to be a school janitor, shoe shine boy, dish washer, landscaper, liquidator, Financial Advisor and then a series of 401(k) marketplace sales positions. All positions taught me lessons but none provided more than my paper route. Thanks Mom.
Christopher H. Barlow
KnowHow 401(k), LLC
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