I am not sure how big Charms Blow Pops are in todays culture, but when I was a kid they were the best suckers you could buy. They were two treats in one. You got the hard candy part, just like all suckers, and then you got the gum in the middle. Now, let’s be honest, you could only chew the gum for about five minutes or less and all of the flavor would be gone. But they were still the best suckers.
At the time, the only comparison I had was the Tootsie Roll pop. Which I personally thought were gross. They were similar to the Charms Blow Pop except they had a chocolate tootsie roll in the center versus bubble gum. I personally never liked the taste of any kind of flavored candy on top of that chocolate. So the Charms Blow Pop and the Dum-Dums suckers were my go to, and the Dum Dums didn’t have any thing in the center. It was just a sucker.
It must have been when I was in middle school that these Charms Blow Pops became popular in my neighborhood in Louisville, Ky. All of us kids loved them. I loved them a lot. To this day, my mom still teases me that I spent all of my money on candy while growing up. While my older brother, the smarter one of us two. Spent his money on actual tangible things that lasted and didn’t give you a tummy ache or acne.
Between my love of candy and my love of making money. At this young age, whatever middle school age is. Is when I started thinking entrepreneurial. At the time my local grocery store and the local Walgreens sold a bag of Charms Blow Pops for ninety-nine cents. For that ninety-nine cents you would get four Charms Blow Pops. I would buy that bag and then take it to school the next day and sell the suckers for fifty cents a piece. So I would double my money.
My biggest challenge was holding myself accountable to take my profits and invest them in to more suckers for the next day. Instead of, taking my extra dollar or my original investment of a dollar, and buying myself something. I am not much different from I was then, I like to spend money. And even then, I would be in that candy aisle and be motivated to buy myself a Hershey’s chocolate bar instead of buying more stock for the next day.
So each day, I would put those suckers on the inside pocket of my blue jean jacket and sell those four or eight suckers to my friends and other people on the bus, in the cafeteria, or in the halls. You could only fit so many suckers in those pockets.
I am sure there were other examples as a kid when I thought entrepreneurial, but this is the one that sticks out to me most. I am not sure how long I had this candy store business in the pockets of my blue jean jacket, but I do remember during my seventh and eighth grade years at my middle school being the guy that people would come to and knew they could purchase a sucker from. Over time a friend of mine and I actually combined efforts and expanded our product lines to include candy bars and other little snacks.
To this day, although I have worked for companies for a long periods of time, and I have also owned my own businesses and still do. I still have that entrepreneurial spirit inside me.
And it is a pretty simple philosophy that I have when it comes to business and being an entrepreneur. How can I invest a dollar into something and get my money back and a dollar more. My biggest challenge is that I have to continue to think bigger and say how can I invest two hundred thousand dollars and get four hundred thousand dollars back in return. This is where I am today. Where are you?
I am curious to know what your first entrepreneurial experience was? How has that impacted you to this day? And are you running your own business because of these early life entrepreneurial experiences?
To your success and your future.