What 15 Entrepreneurs Learned From Their First Summer Jobs

Name: John Demartini

Company: Founder of Demartini Institute

Lesson: When I was 9, I asked my dad if I could do something around the house to earn some money so I could buy a new baseball, bat and glove. He asked me if I had mowed the yard, edged the sidewalk, cleaned out the gutters, weeded the flowerbeds, trimmed the hedges, swept the driveway, cleaned out the garage and my room and shined his shoes. I told him that I had. He had nothing else for me to do and that he could not just give me money without providing a fair exchange of service, so if I wanted to earn some money I would be wise to go to the neighbours to see if they needed some form of work or service done.  

My dad saw me a few days later with my new glove, ball and bat and asked me what I did to acquire them. I told him that I did all of the neighbourhood services. He asked me what equipment I used and I told him the equipment in the garage. He told me about depreciation and that I owed him $ 7.50 for using his equipment.

I was a bit discouraged. To remedy the issue, I hired three friends to help me with the yards and paid them a small percentage for their efforts. The neighbours spread the news of my services and I added six more friends and rented out two other sets of equipment from two other neighbours at the same rental rates as my dad had offered. I netted after all costs, salaries, gas, $ 45.00 a day back in 1963. My dad noticed that I kept spending all of my money and bought me a coin collection set and a large piggy bank to encourage me to think longer term and save my money rather than immediately spend it. My Dad told me that he wanted me to be a free independent young man so he started charging me for room, board and clothes a cost of $ 7.50 a month, but in turn he gave me my freedom to go anywhere I wanted to on my new bike as long as I was home by 9 p.m.

I still have the original piggy bank today. My dad never gave me the combination or the key to open it. It has the original coins from 1963 and before.   

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