One might wonder what on earth you could possibly learn from a newspaper boy when starting a business. In layman’s eyes, this appears to be a simple job of picking up and delivering newspapers from one point to another by a student. Famous businessmen like Walt Disney, Warren Buffett and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all started out their careers as newspaper boys and have gone on to achieve unparalleled success in their chosen fields.
There must be a few lessons that these entrepreneurs have learned and developed during their days as paper boys that have laid a solid foundation for their triumphs. Let’s have a quick peek at the values that can be learned from this experience.
Transforming Aspiration into Action
For a 10-year-old kid, becoming a newspaper boy may seem like the biggest decision of their life. How did he come to that decision? He may have gotten this idea from his parents’ encouragement, or by looking at the other kid delivering newspapers on their block. This signifies that one must always back their intuition and decision with rock solid action.
Leadership Through Responsibility
Expectations are the norm and they come in different forms from different customers. Some want their newspaper on time, some want their paper to be dry, while few others want the paper to be kept in a particular place in their front yard. As a paper boy, you need to meet these expectations day in and day out, even during harsh weather conditions. A true leader is someone who religiously follows his/her duties. By sheer discipline towards their work, newspaper boys symbolize leadership.
Managing Difficult People
One must expect to encounter a customer who always delays that crucial payment to meet your monthly target, or one who is never satisfied with your work, even if you have gone above and beyond your capacity to deliver the goods. The lessons learnt from these experiences are priceless: people are unique, accept criticism, develop patience and politeness, and most importantly understand how to deal with people in difficult circumstances.
Money is the crucial part of any entrepreneurship. As a paper boy, you have to deal with money on a daily basis – collecting it from customers, keeping an account of cash flow, having a basic budgeting idea and taking that small but important risk of shelling out cash from your pocket in order to fill the holes left by delinquent customers. All these augurs well for a sound knowledge of how to handle money.
Supremely Organized Individual
It is a proven fact that human beings are creatures who stay true to their habits, and habits have a huge impact on personality development. As a paper boy, you learn how to efficiently manage your most precious resource – time. Handling the paper route and doing well in school: you can’t do it if you don’t have it in you.
P. Ganga | The Edge Blog