Story of a young entrepreneur: do what you love

I called my Uncle Jim the other day. Actually I have two Uncle Jims. This one is the Penn State Uncle Jim. You know, he’s one of those guys that lives & breathes everything that is Penn State. He and my Aunt Sally live in Annapolis but spend all of their weekends at their home in State College, PA. He listened to Penn State wrestling on the radio Friday night because the team was at Indiana and apparently you can’t get Penn State wrestling on the radio anywhere outside of State College (go figure).

Anyway, talking with my uncle about this past Penn State football season reminded me of my young entrepreneurial endeavors buying and selling tickets in the parking lot prior to Penn State football games during my college years. I went to college three hours west of Penn State in Grove City, PA, so my friends and I would travel I-80 on Saturday mornings, and with a little bit of cash would begin buying low and selling high. I learned more about market economics during the hours before a college football game each Saturday than I ever did in class.

I also found that I was good at it and got the entrepreneurial bug. By game time, we would keep the best seats (always between the two 40-yard lines), pocket enough cash to pay for our weekend and even make a tidy profit. At halftime, I would visit my uncle in his seats at the 10 yard line and he would scowl at me because I had better seats than him, even though he’d been a season ticket holder for 20 years.

Why was I so good at scalping tickets? I had a passion for Penn State football at that time in my life. One of our buddies was the quarterback on the Nittany Lion team that ended up winning the national championship. So I truly enjoyed what I was doing and I was motivated to do well, even in the face of hardship and adversity.

This is one of the key ingredients to a successful small business. You gotta love what you do. Because when you do, you’ll do whatever it takes to make a success out of it. Profit is extremely great, but you must have the proper foundational motivation if you want to attain the highest level of entrepreneurial success.

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