I might currently be a bureaucrat, but there are certainly days that I vehemently wish that I owned my own business. This desire is generally the strongest when there are sub zero temperatures, and the idea of putting on work clothes seems about as appealing as contracting leprosy (in my alternate, business owner reality I get to wear sensible shoes and jeans to work in the winter). It is on these days that I fondly recall the summer sun, bare feet, and my first venture into the business world.
I was young. I was hungry. I was ready to take the world by storm. Reality check: I was 6. It was summer, and I lived one door down from Ed’s Bait Shop aka The Candy Store. I was looking for an extra 35 cents. *Don’t scoff. 35 cents could get you a tootsie pop, a blow pop, and 3 gummy worms OR 35 tootie fruties OR 5 peachies and 2 gummy worms. The possibilities were endless. Like any self-respecting 6 year-old, I liked to hit up the candy store around 3 pm after having a nice little rest. My mom was certainly willing to finance this daily venture, but 25 cents was all I got. I had big dreams; 60 cents could buy a full bag of skittles. Summer is always full of possibilities, and the summer of ’96 was no exception.
What was my business you ask? Lot’s of kids go for the lemonade stand, but not me. Well, I should say not us. At 6, I wasn’t ready to give up all of my time to growing a business. I had a very active social agenda, and I saw the value in having a few partners to lean on and help with math that went beyond simple addition and subtraction. It was a family venture. My older brother and I boldly entered into a partnership with a brother/brother combo. Our business was critter catching. The neighbors no longer needed to worry about that pesky raccoon getting into their garbage. We were prepared to trap it.
How successful was our business? Well, we caught every critter we went after–we had a 100% success rate. This meant, of course, that we caught one raccoon. Why didn’t we stick with it? I really couldn’t tell you, but I like to chalk it up to differing management styles. My career as a varmint hunter and a principal owner of a successful business was short-lived, but I know what success (and a full bag of skittles) taste like. So who knows, maybe someday I will once again be struck with the entrepreneurial spirit. But, it’s tough to imagine a better career for me than varmint control.
**Correction: After posting I was reminded that the 3 pm trip to the Candy Store came after rest time rather than prior to it.