“Now That’s a Pencil!”February 17, 2010
An Early Start on Entrepreneurship
At age 10 I set up a store called “Pam’s Place” in my room. I had this Dutch half door in my room. I put up a colorful sign for my new business, unlocked the top portion of the door, and swung it open. I was open for business!
Pam’s Place ‘featured’ pencils, bookmarks and magnets. I would decorate them and then try to sell them to my family. One day I tried to sell my Dad a pencil. He said to me, “Now why would I buy this pencil? You need to show me how this is special. Because I can go to Walgreen’s and buy a similar pencil.”
I scurried back to my room. I decorated it with glitter, sparkles, and felt. I came back with my ‘special’ pencil. I was breathing hard for my little body, and anticipating what my father might say….
He took the pencil in his hands and turned it carefully, looking at it, with all the goopy colorful stars smeared on it. His eyes and face lit up: “Now that’s a pencil!” he said. And he bought it for 10 cents. It was my first sale. With his support and encouragement, I kept delving into more and different entrepreneurial ventures.
My Dad taught me about value. And so much more: The value not only of a product, but also values in general. How you treat people, how you work with them, how you care for them during challenges. To this day when I face a challenge he says, ” I don’t want you to stress about this. Let me walk with you. Let me be by your side. Let me be your partner. We will solve this.” His investment of intellect, love, care are endless and make me the social entrepreneur I am today.
It started with a pencil. Make it sparkle.