Golden Anniversary of My Paper Route

50 Years Lessons Learned

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

Managing Director

KnowHow 401(k), LLC

January 2019


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