Making a Profit

It seems that some people are born knowing how to make money. My youngest son was this way. His brother said he had more money than anyone he knew that didn’t have a real job. He saved his money and bought things only after thorough consideration.

On his eighth birthday he asked if I would build him a small store in our backyard. Not having much experience in construction, I built a small plywood store about 4 x 4 feet wide and 8 feet tall. It looked somewhat like an old fashioned outhouse. I put shelves in it and built a small counter that opened to the front with a swing door which he closed when he was not doing business.

He was thrilled. This was probably the best gift I ever gave him. There were a lot of children in the community and he felt he could sell to them. He knew that you could purchase goods wholesale at the farmer’s market in Forest Park and his next request was for me to take him there. He had his own money and he bought candies, gum, a couple of kites and some kite cord.

As soon as we got home he was eager to get in his store and put his goods on the shelves. I watched as he finished and opened the swing door that let him look out over the counter. He was very quiet as he seemed to be figuring on a small pad. I asked him what he was doing. He didn’t look up but said, “I’m figuring how much to cheat’em.”

I tried to explain to him the difference between making a profit and cheating. I found it difficult to do.

His business was an immediate success and we made other trips to the farmer’s market.

I really came to understand the significance of his childhood experience when recently his only child, aged 8, went into business on the internet selling tin toys and his dad’s computer enhanced artwork. ( Of course, he’s lovingly supported by his Dad’s experience and expertise.