When I was nine, my allowance wouldn’t cover the items that I wanted to buy out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Monticello only had two small grocery stores. The only place we could shop was in a catalog, and we could only shop with our eyes.

I thought a lot about how I could come up with the money to buy a croquet set and a pogo stick I wanted for summer. The only option that I could see was to look for a kid’s job. We lived a mile out of town on the way to the mountains. A lemonade stand just would not work for my entrepreneurial spirit.

I kept my eye out for a kid’s job I thought that I could get or create. It seemed like every time I went to the grocery store, there was a young boy stocking the shelves. I know that when my mother brought her groceries home that it was my job to stack them on the shelves. I decided that stacking items on shelves was a job that I could do.

I picked the day that I would ride my bike to town and go in and ask Mr. Adams, the store owner, for a job. After all, he knew my parents and I hoped that would give me an in. When I got to the store, I went in and asked his assistant if I could see Mr. Adams. As he came to the door, I bent my neck back to look up to him as he was 6′ 4”. When I looked up I began to wonder what I was getting myself into.

I did my best to blurt out the words, “Can I have a job stacking cans? He looked slowly at me and smiled. Then he said, “you are far too young.” I felt dejected and did not know what to do but to go home. I got on my bike, and as I rode the one mile back home, I passed a small stream that went right by our house. It was our prime spot to dig worms for all our summer fishing trips.

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All of a sudden and idea flashed into my head. I could start a business selling worms in Campbell’s tomato soup cans. My whole energy shifted, and I could not wait to get home. I ran in the house with all the enthusiasm of a young entrepreneur. My mother thought I had a very good idea. I talked to my younger brother, Jared. He was also excited.

So Jared and I decided to start our small business. We made a little list of the things which we would need. At the top of the list was an advertisement about the worms to be placed on our Federal Baker Ranger Station sign. My older brother Jay was a good artist. We all sat down and began to think how we could make a sign that would draw in sales. We finally had the perfect idea. We made the sign on a piece of poster board; Jay drew a picture of a worm winding its way down the sign. He then drew a graduation hat on top of the worm’s head. Then he put the words, “Educated Worms—12 cents a dozen.” It just seemed perfect to launch our little business. When the fishing people came to buy the worms we always gave them a baker dozen. The people that bought our worms seem to be charmed for our enthusiasm for you new business.

Needless to say, our business took off, and both Jared and I had earned all the money we needed to buy our summer fun.