A Child Salesman
One of my wife's most treasured mementos of my childhood is a note that I left for my mother when I was about 9 years old. The words, written in crayon reveal my early experience with selling.
Gone over the bridge to sell seeds.
Back before dark.
As a adolescent, I sold seeds, Christmas cards, miracle cleaners, Grit newspapers, magazines, candy, cookies, and fruit cakes. School fund-raising activities introduced me to the concept of commissions and of income tied to performance.
I was always good at selling. Folks would say that it was because a was a good talker or because I was so aggressive. Personally, I credit these early successes with simply being a cute kid, hard to say no to, and asking a heck of a lot of people to buy from me. Rejection never really seemed to be an issue. From the beginning, I intuitively sensed that it was simply a numbers game. One out of five people I asked would buy. My mother was a single parent on welfare and sales provided a welcome source of income that didn't interfere with school or social activities. It was also a heck of a lot easier than being chief cook and bottle washer for Allen Humphrey at the Hamburger Castle in front of the old ice plant (age 9 - 50¢ per hour.)
Copyright © Ronnie Oldham 1998. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 01, 2011.
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