Looking back, I realize now that I’ve actually always been a side hustler; even in high school and college. Earlier today, I published an article declaring that my 5 SEO side hustles all made me a minimum of $1,000 each in 2018. But that mentality has been a part of me, undeniably, since at least when I was a teenager in high school. (See picture above.)
Here on the first day of 2019, I am learning a little bit more about myself. The fact that I have 5 side hustles as a 37 year-old man makes perfect sense, considering my scheming ways back to when I was a teenager.
When I started high school, I couldn’t help that notice that chewing gum was high in demand in the halls of my high school. It just so happened that it was weekly tradition that I would accompany my mom in buying groceries. I noticed that I could buy a multi-pack of Wrigley’s gum at nearly a wholesale price for $1.25; which contained 10 packs of gum (each of which contained 5 sticks of gum), then I could sell each pack for just a quarter. By the time I sold the 10 packs, when I could easily do in a 10 minute break, I had made $2.50. In other words, I was making 100% profit!
It didn’t took long before I became known as “the gum dealer.”
This was great for me. I got to social with all the different groups of friends, and met new ones, by offering them the best deal on chewing gum during each of our two breaks each day during high school.
It was also during high school that I began making my own videos, on VHS. Not only did I direct a horror movie, called “Frosty Bites”…
Then when I moved into my college dorm, Dorm 15 at Liberty University, I took my gum dealer experience and opened up my own convenience store, using two micro fridges, and buying all my products for wholesale price at WalMart.
I sold soda, Little Debbie snack cakes, Ramen noodles, Hot Pockets, and frozen burritos. I even let my customers heat up their food in my microwave, so they could hang out with me while their food was preparing. I appropriately named my store, The Freshman 15.
Those profits went to financing my mission trips to Thailand in the summers of 2003 and 2004, where I was a 4th grade teacher specializing in ESL…
then teaching conversation English to high school students and adults.
Some things just never change. I am and always have been a side hustler. This is simply part of my identity.
Unlike Indiana Jones, you are clearly not afraid of snakes.
Last week, you found an old key chain I brought back as a souvenir from Thailand, when I was in college. I had bought it from this man who professionally hunted and skinned snakes. He used the leftover heads for key chains.
Realizing you could disconnect the crystal arrowhead necklace that you got at Ruby Falls during Spring Break, you then replaced the arrowhead with the snake head.
In your own initiative, you had created a cobra head necklace and decided to wear it to school.
As you were leaving that morning for school, I assured you that you’d be the only boy in America to wear a real cobra head necklace to school.
No, this story doesn’t end with me saying that your teacher told you not to wear it to school anymore. You totally got away with wearing the head of a poisonous snake to school.
You came home and bragged to me, “Daddy, on two people thought my cobra snake wasn’t real!”
Coincidentally, just a few days later on Sunday, I had put your sister down for her afternoon nap and decided to take you to play in the creek at Brenthaven in Franklin.
As we were walking across the bridge over the creek, you and I both noticed something we assumed was a rope that had surfaced on a rock, in the middle of the stream.
But as we made our way closer, I announced to you with both caution and joy, “Jack, that’s a real snake!”
I tossed a few pieces of mulch at it- but it never budged. Then I tossed some rocks at it- it still never budged.
Finally, I found a stick long enough to pick it up with. It was obvious the snake was not only dead, but it had been dead there overnight.
You pointed out to me that its tail looked like it had been chewed up. My theory is that a neighborhood dog found the snake and broke its neck by slinging it like a whip, then the snake crawled onto the rock to die.
Turns out, it was either a venomous Cottonmouth or a harmless Brown Watersnake.
But since it was definitely dead, I let you throw rocks at it. I’m pretty sure you’ll remember that day as a highlight of your boyhood.