5 Things I Learned From Selling Popcorn at 10 Years Old.
I developed an entrepreneurial mind at a young age. When I was 10 years old, I started my first business.
Though my parents were relatively well off, they made me work for every dime they gave me. You know, the whole “Old Fashioned” thing… If I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. It was as simple as that. So, I found ways of creating my own path early on in life.
I grew up in a town where there was a street dedicated to Christmas lights. Thousands of people would come nightly, from hundreds of miles away, just to stand in the freezing cold and stare at Christmas lights on Thoroughbred. Humans baffle me.
I knew the demand was there with literally thousands of people walking these lights. I thought to myself, how can I monetize them? Then, one day, it clicked. They must be hungry, right?
I approached a buddy of mine, who fortunately lived on Thoroughbred, with the idea of renting a popcorn machine from Smart and Final and selling popcorn in front of his house. It was genius.
We rounded up what little money we had, asked our parents to float what we couldn’t cover, and then hit the ground running. We ran an extension cord from his house out to that popcorn machine and set up shop.
The very first night we made $700. I’m not kidding. I was stoked, and rich…for a 10-year-old. From then on, we sat out there every night and sold as much popcorn as people could eat. Soon enough, we were a one-stop shop.
We had enough capital to pay off our parents for the start-up cash and began reinvesting it into the business. We sold everything from hot chocolate, candy, cider, nachos, and of course…our famous popcorn. It was my first business, and I made more money than I knew what to do with.
Good for you, man, and why do I care?
I’m glad you asked.
That was my first taste of understanding how to create my future out of thin air. The excitement and burning desire I felt from that first idea is a flame that still burns inside me today.
An opportunity exists all around us, but as we get older, our vision becomes narrow and we fail to see the positive things this world has to offer. Over time, we let others affect our understanding of the way the world works. We give up hope on believing in ourselves and settle for what the world presents to us.
We lose our ‘childish’ creativity and begin to make decisions based on fear and impulse. We jump from job to job hoping we will have enough to pay rent next month. Survival mode takes over and all your passions go out the window. Soon enough, you’re working a job you hate, in a town you can’t afford, trying to impress people who don’t care about you.
So I ask you, why on earth do we not go All-in on something we actually care about?
Jim Carrey, one of my favorite actors, said something in his commencement speech that will live with me forever:
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it — please…
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12-years-old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.
I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
I failed at doing all the things in which I didn’t want and it resulted in my rock bottom. Once I decided to go all in and take a chance on doing something that I love – I have never felt more fulfilled and happy in all my life. If we are afraid to take the risk at living out our purpose and doing what we love, we will never know the heights in which we could have reached.
Here are 5 things I learned from selling Popcorn at 10 years old.
1. Be a Kid… In An Adult Body
Children can teach us many things about how we should view the world as adults. From my childhood, I learned how to embrace new life experiences and be confident in myself. I was always very motivated to be the best I could be at everything. I learned how to be curious, happy for what I do have, and fight for what I want in life.
We shouldn’t ever lose our ‘childish’ ambition to do amazing things in this life. So, dream. And be a kid…in an adult body
2. You Can Fail At What You Don’t Want
Don’t choose your path out of fear disguised as practicality. You can spend your entire life in survival mode doing something you hate – or you can take a chance on doing something you love.
3. Find The Passion That Drives You
Success isn’t built on what we do occasionally. It’s built on what we do passionately. I now let my passions make my decisions for me. I am passionate about helping and serving people, so I’ve made it my life’s work to do so.
If we are not doing what we are passionate about, and base our decisions on practicality, then we will never know what could’ve happened if we were willing to take the risk.
If you need some help with this one, phone a friend. I have an exercise you can do and I’d be honored to help you.
4. Go All-In, 100% Committed
When I quit my job at the consulting firm to pursue writing, I was terrified. Did I have any idea how I was going to do it? Nope. But that didn’t matter. If I wanted to become the person I’ve always dreamed of becoming, I had to be bold. It was the only way.
Know exactly what it is you want and be determined to get just that. If you want something, and you believe whole-heartedly that it’s what you’re meant to do with your life – then go all-in, 100% committed.
5. Develop a Road-Map
Being goal-oriented was not my strong suit. Sure, I was always ambitious and wanted to be great – but I lacked the fundamental ability to take action, plan, and then execute those plans. If procrastination and being unorganized had a son, it was me (no offense Mom and Dad, it surely wasn’t your doing). But I changed, and so can you.
Start small. I have another exercise to help you find your way, so shoot me an email and I’ll gladly help!
And that’s, that.
Our thoughts and beliefs shape what comes into our lives. The more negative we are, the more negativity we produce. The more positive thoughts we tell the Universe, the more positivity it produces for us. If we have the strength to ask the Universe for exactly what we want, it will give it to us.
I am the proof because it gave it to me.
If you find the passion that drives you, and that particular passion is running a successful popcorn business, I may know a guy
That’s all I got for now. Stay tuned, friends.