The concept of earning is an instinct of mine

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My first job was stamping cans at a little grocery market in exchange for candy at about 10 years old. The concept of earning was an early instinct of mine.

During my teen years, I had a car wash on my home driveway, after which I started doing small painting and odd jobs at neighbors’ homes for extra money, but mainly to avoid mowing my own yard by paying the kid down the street to do it. I could make more money doing the other jobs, which allowed me to pay him very little to do something I didn’t want to do that was much more time-consuming. Looking back, that was an entrepreneurial experience.

Later, after I could drive, I started a snowplowing business, expanded my residential painting business, sold things on my driveway and found still other ways to make a profit. In high school it was unusual for me to ever have less than $1,000 in my pocket.
In the business section of the blog, I hope to part with some of what I’ve learned about what works and doesn’t work, some of what I’ve learned from my many mentors, and observations and experiences that have shaped my thoughts on capitalism and the business experience.

Honestly, because I barely graduated high school and didn’t go to college, much of the way I’ve learned has been through the school of hard knocks. I didn’t think of it that way while I was going through it, but I did pretty quickly become a sponge to learn from others who had gone through different experiences, so that I didn’t have to learn everything the hard way. You don’t have to take what I write as gospel, and you can definitely plow your own path, but it’s a tremendous mistake not to seek out teachers and competent mentors and  to read extensively, particularly about subjects that are impacting your present and the future that you want.
For me, I love Shoe Dog, the memoir by Phil Knight, who created Nike, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, political books like The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, and books about the incredible story of our founding fathers, as well as  the presidents, and their White House teams, that have had such an impact on shaping the America that we live in today.

These books and subjects are all related to the United States of America’s singular uniqueness as the land of opportunity, where an honest person using tried and true formulas can start a business, get ahead, and hopefully be inclined to do business that is good for the community. Again, hopefully, they’ll do it the right way.

There are plenty of ways to get ahead. There’s definitely a wrong way and a right way, and my story will hopefully lead people to the path where they follow the golden rule and treat everyone the way they want to be treated. Building a value system and a “Community First” culture can work wonders.

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Bob Clark

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