My First Job Was My first job to make some money was when I was 13 years old during my first year in boarding school. I had a camera -a Range finder. I enjoyed photography and would take pictures of other students for a small fee. I would have the pictures developed on Saturdays when we were allowed to go out. They were in black and white only. Everyone would be so excited when I came back with the prints! I still have some of those pictures today!
Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned I have learned many valuable lessons during the many years of my career. Too many to list so I will select just a few. I learned that failure is an indispensable prerequisite for success. In the business world, there can be no major accomplishments without some major setbacks and failures. Overcoming failures and major obstacles are what make a good story. So, I always ask – what’s your story? You have to have enthusiasm and love what you do. If you have passion for what you do, then it’s not work. You should never be afraid to change your mind if something doesn’t work. Someone once told me that the only person who can change their mind is a person who has one! Something else very important that I learned a little later in my career is the importance of surrounding yourself with a good reference group. A good reference group, to me, are people with different knowledge and skills that you can tap into from time to time. They should be people who don’t always think like you do because when we all think alike, no one thinks at all! Finally, I learned that especially in retail, it’s all about the customer. I used to tell my employees that we’re in the business of customer service, if you’re not serving the customer, then you better be serving the person who is!
Best Advice I’ve Received My first mentor would video record me during my presentations (VHS back then). Later he would replay the video on the screen and discuss with me all the mistakes I was making. That was tough to swallow ( i was pretty bad) but it helped improve my presentation skills tremendously. I was later able to be rated an “A’ speaker in my industry and was able to be interviewed on national Television, testify before the US Congress on several occasions and even testify before The United States Senate judiciary committee.
The physical business location – maintaining higher image standards
Product (or services) – Assisting in creative ways to increase sales of products or services offered
Profit – Understanding small business financial statements, challenges, and ways to maximize profit by better control of operating expenses -fixed and variables.