Chris delivers groceries. He showed up with four plastic boxes, standing on my front step, waiting for me to open the door in the early hours of dusk on a Friday evening. His smile caught my attention right away, but it was more than the smile. It was the way he gathered up the bags of groceries, carried them through my entry hall into the kitchen and placed them on the counter.
He separated refrigerated items from non-refrigerated items, and put the milk on the top shelf in my refrigerator before he handed me the store receipt.
“Is there anything else I can do to help you, Miss?” He asked politely.
I took the receipt, signed his phone delivery ticket, and met his gaze. “I think I can handle it from here. Thank you!”
We had finished our business, as far as the grocery delivery. But he had something more to say. “I see you have a vehicle on the driveway, and I want to offer my services if ever you need tires changed, or repaired.” He held out a business card, which I accepted.
The realization that the services this young man had just provided as an employee were a bit above and beyond the norm, was even more appreciated when I realized he was also an entrepreneur. He was well trained and fully capable of operating his business with the best services there as well. He’d earned my trust, and I would be calling him.
Often, new business owners still have a day job.
Like Chris, many entrepreneurs start their business on the side in order to make ends meet while still working full time. A few days later when I did need a tire changed, not mine, but my ride to an appointment, I pulled Chris’ card from my wallet. I’d saved it. His prompt and courteous service was no surprise.
Then I asked how he provided such prompt service.
He not only worked delivering groceries, but also at another job where he was full time employed, but he’d made arrangements to leave on a moment’s notice, to work in his tire repair business.
Negotiating skills are part of his whole package.
There was no surprise when I realized he’d worked it out with his supervisors to drop everything and go meet a tire client, or finish the task he was currently on and then rush off, to manage both businesses well. His personality was probably enough to attract clients to his business… But there was so much more. He had skills, work ethic, determination, and the character to see it through, one step at a time.
He would go far, knowing exactly what his next step should be.
I gave him my card and said, “I’d like to talk to you more about your business!” We parted ways and I didn’t see him again for several weeks. When I did see him, he called me by name, remembered that we were supposed to “meet up” and asked if he could schedule a time for that meeting.
The take away from our meeting was an understanding of exactly what it takes to work two jobs, and operate a business on the side. Energy and integrity! WOW.
He is a mighty force in this world of economic woe…
Where some had seen minimum wage jobs as detrimental to his personal growth, he had seen them as an opportunity to grow his own business. Without a degree, he had taken skills developed through part time jobs in high school, and created a solid foundation of comprehensive knowledge, and learned what he needed to know to build a business. He wasn’t working on other people’s money. He was earning his way, buying equipment, and operating his business – quite successfully – on a tight budget, in his “spare time”.
“Until I started my business, I was working four part time jobs, so I could save up enough to buy a truck. I consider those learning experiences, so I’d know more about how to run my business. I make more than minimum wage on grocery delivery, but the other jobs were just dead-end jobs that anyone could do.” His smile had won me over the first time I met him, “But owning my own business… That’s where I’ll make some money. I’m saving up for a 2nd truck now. But I have a guy who also works other jobs, who runs the truck we have now, when I’m working. It’s a good deal!”
Entrepreneurship is alive and well in this economy. And it doesn’t always require a lot of money to get started.
You can build your dream, even at minimum wage, if you’re willing to put the effort in to learn how, and pursue the dream.
Be unstoppable, inspired, and go for the dream!
You really do have everything you need, right there inside of you. Inspiration is yours.
Minimum wage isn’t meant to be your lifetime job. It’s a starting point, where you can earn your way to something better, learn your way to better knowledge, and springboard into your future with a great plan for growing yourself to better opportunities.