My Schoolyard Hustle

Back when I was still at school, I didn’t much like being at school (not many did). School seems silly to me, people are individuals but yet they want to teach you all the same thing, my theory is that we wouldn’t have many fools if we allowed people to learn what they would like. I remember I would always be so bored in the classes I didn’t care about I really only liked business and legal studies at school. The other things I wanted to learn about they didn’t teach. I wanted to learn how to make money and how to multiply it, I wanted to learn how to become successful but they don’t teach that. They can teach you how to be like majority of the population though. I just wanted to be a successful businessman and I didn’t want to wait until I finished school.

Before all the fancy phones came out we had one of the greatest phones ever invented (maybe even the best seeing as they tried to remake it this year in 2017) called the Nokia 3310. Everyone had one they were the bees knees, crime rates where down because technically you were carrying a heavy weapon. Every kid in school had one and everybody wanted to have a cool cover for it which gave me an idea. So with the help of my dad we sourced a whole range of unique cool phone covers that I believed teenagers would love. Being that I went to a very sporty school I bought a whole bunch of covers with sports brand logos on them to sell.

At first it took a little bit to sell the covers as I was in my first year of high school so I was mainly telling people in class and at lunch they would come to my locker to have a look if there were any they’d like to buy.

Obviously what I was doing would be frowned upon by the School Coordinators so I told her what I was doing and how things were at home and that I would make contributions to the charity of her choice. With me clearing that up before they found out I was able to continue running and everybody was happy.

After a few weeks word of mouth had spread that people would come looking for me to find out what covers I had in stock. Early on I was lucky enough to realise I was able to get customers easy enough but I needed a way that they would come back to buy more so I started asking “What cover don’t I have that you were looking for or what type of phone cover would you buy?” then I would write down their answer and make sure I got one. Once it arrived I’d obviously go see them to show them the new stock and the cover they wanted, not surprisingly they’d always buy it.

Within a few more months I could barely keep up, as soon as the covers came in most would be sold (due to the list of covers people wanted) and I had even moved into accessories and ringtones. I prided myself on customer service it was simple customers want what they want and you have to be able to provide that and not try to tell them what they want. A great example was one day one of my customers came to me and said “Do you know anyone reliable who can fix my phone?” and a said “I’m reliable and I will have your phone fixed leave it with me” I knew someone who could fix it and I wanted to learn to fix at least the minor issues so I did and a few days later I had his phone back to him.

Now not only was I selling all kinds of phone accessories I had started fixing the bad boys as well. These where phones you could throw at the ground without a worry so usually it was something loose inside that was relatively easy to fix. The funny stories were pool parties, every now and then on a Monday another student would come up to me with a bag of phones that needed to be fixed. Then one day I got another idea, I had another bag of maybe 4 or 5 phones and I had remembered seeing some Nokia 8210 with a blue back light in it and I decided to put blue back lights in these phones. When I gave them they’re phones back to their surprise they had blue back lights and were excited as hell. It was long again before I had people coming up and wanting me to put blue back lights in their phones.

Towards the end of my high school days I had to slow things down quite a bit in order to focus on the final years. But it taught me some great lessens all while having heaps of fun. I learnt that you can create plenty of lucrative opportunities if you just go and find out what people want and that information comes free. The ability to adapt and take on more I’ve always found ends up taking the same amount of energy if you can learn to allocate your times better. I could have said ‘no’ to the guy who needed his phone fixed and put more time into the covers which would have been a waste because they were already selling fast enough.

The world is plentiful with opportunities so don’t fall for the trap that you can’t do anything or there’s nothing left. Funnily enough I saw a movie the other day and there was a quote “A man with no options suddenly has all the options in the world” which I took to mean when you think your stuck and you don’t know what to do, do all the things you thought you could never do because what have you got to lose? Bring a hustlers spirit to your life and you’ll always feel good even when things are going bad you’ll be excited because its just added another obstacle to overcome.