Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Story Of Entrepreneurship: Caine's Arcade

I imagine a large portion of the readers that come to this site are either already entrepreneurs or have a strong desire to be one. The short video below is the story of a 9 year old named Caine who decided to create a business out of what he was passionate about: Arcade Games.

What I took away from the video is that when you are creating your own business, as anyone that has attempted to do so in the past knows, there is a long period of time when you are getting out of bed in the morning and putting in long work days with absolutely nothing to show for it (This is the exact opposite of what occurs if someone decides to get a job). Then there is a "moment", which looks like a lucky break for those that did not see the endless hours that led up to that moment.

When I was about Caine's age I would take extra cash that I received for doing chores around the house and I would walk to Wal-Mart to purchase chewing gum. Every day before school I would load my bag with books and gum and try to sell it throughout the day to other students. For a long period of time I sold 1 or 2 packs a day, and then one day a line began to approach me at the back of the bus and I had "the moment" when the business took off. Soon there was a line every day, and I added candy bars to the store. The story ended when my business spiraled out of  control in size and an enormous bag was confiscated by a teacher (chewing gum was not allowed during school hours). I guess it sounds corny now, but I still remember the first day the huge lined formed on the bus.

I am at the point now in a current business project I am working on where I wake up every day and work very long hours that show very little monetary result. In fact I still have to watch money go out every month, a terrifying process that every entrepreneur has felt at some point.

The first year I was writing here on this website I was spending just as much time studying the markets and writing as I do today (a ton) and many days back then only 10 to 20 people would visit per day. Today there are days when I get thousands of views on a single day from people all over the world. Articles now get re-posted on major sites, chat rooms, and discussion boards. The site has progressed through the process where there was a tremendous amount of work with no page views (though that was never my original goal) to the point today where it has hit the "moment" of exponential growth that can take place with the interconnected world we live in.

It is obviously never certain that a gum business, arcade, website, or any new start up will ever get itself off the ground. Most do not because they don't have someone like Caine who will work on the business with no result day after day. I wake up in the morning extremely excited to see what is taking place in the financial markets and to discuss it here on this site, and I get goosebumps thinking about making sales for my company. It is not "work" for me. I understand now why some business people who have years of proven success and endless amounts of money (I am not one of them) would much rather wake up and work on building a company than taking a vacation.

This mindset is what is needed to get anything to that "moment." My business may never get to that point. So I will start another. And if that business do not get there, I will start another. I was told leaving college that starting a business is stupid because 9 out of 10 fail. My psychology going in was that I needed to be ready to start 10 companies, so I better get to work.

Everyone will take something different away from the following story, and I wanted to discuss the thoughts it triggered for me. If any of the projects I work on tirelessly every day hit the point worth discussing I will tell you the story here. After all, no one likes to hear or watch videos of a kid sitting alone in a gym shooting jump shots, they just want to see the final shot of the game go in and talk about how he got his lucky "moment."

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