Raising an Entrepreneur

    People always come to my store, meet me and ask where did I get the courage to open a business in these times.  This question always surprises me until I really think about it and realize that for most people starting a business in any economy is a somewhat un attainable goal. I was lucky that my parents raised me to be an entrepreneur, workaholics who rolled the dice on about 25 different business ventures, my parents made it feel normal. My childhood was spent squished in the back seat of some real estate agent’s car looking at properties to flip or potential business locations. We spent our evenings coming up with funny slogans, and tag lines for pretend company’s. We made up products and planned out whom our imaginary customers would be and how we could serve their needs. You could say I replaced imaginary friends with imaginary customers. My first venture was collecting pretty rocks in the ditch next to our long driveway out in the country, painting them with clear nail polish and selling them. I would drag my desk out of the house into the driveway, merchandise my rocks and then advertise by yelling “rock store”. My mother would call the three neighbors that we had out in the country and tell them that I was out there again and could they please come to my rock store. I guess at age 7, the lesson location, location, location was still to come. When I was about ten years old the highlight of my day was putting on my most professional “grown up” voice and answering the telephone at my parents office “Thank you for calling, this is Adelle how may I help you”. I got a total rush from fooling people into thinking I was a 20 something employee.

 I attended my first trade show at age 12, it was a shoe show and I loved the way it felt to have all the vendors courting “us “ for our business. It didn’t hurt that my size 6 fit into all the tiny high heel shoe samples. I remember my parents asking my opinion and feeling so important, like I was a junior buyer in this company with a valued opinion and good fashion forecasting instincts. What I was, was a little girl with great parents who knew how to make work fun, life interesting, and how to raise an entrepreneur.  I thank them daily for this invaluable education.