Ronnie Oldham
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.)


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Copyright Ronnie Oldham 1998.  All rights reserved.
Revised: April 01, 2011.

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