There was this nerdy kid at my school, who was a bit of a loner. He was a follower of the cool crowd and got on fine with most of them but he was always seen as a bit of a teacher’s pet and a ‘know it all’. A nerd, if you will. This nerd wasn’t just good in the class room. This nerd also had an entrepreneurial spirit, which shone from his early years.
When the cool kids were out banging footballs against windows he was putting himself to better use. He ran the school tuck shop and made enough profit to purchase his videos games at the weekend.
The cool kids spent their weekends begging their parents for pocket money but only had enough to get by. Most of them had spent their money in the week. You’ll soon find out why.
Guess who they would run to in order to borrow enough for a can of coke? Yep, the nerd kid. He would always give in because he longed to be liked but maybe this was his way of manipulating the kids for something he may need from them, later down the line.
Even though he wasn’t a popular kid, he MADE himself popular at the times when it arguably mattered most and here’s another way how…
He would collect mountains of football stickers and bring them to the playground. We all knew he wasn’t that bothered about football stickers and it was painfully obvious he didn’t put them in an album like the rest of us die hards. He brought piles of them in, wrapped up with rubber bands, there were so many.
From the sticker selling business to hotel ownership
So, why did he bring so many stickers? To finally bring some attention to himself. To be popular, just for those few moments in the playground, when he was the king. He was the nerd every popular kid would crowd around. He was attracting people to HIS ‘product’. He had every sticker everybody wanted and finally had the power to make or break THEIR day. As the kids begged for him to swap certain stickers for ones they so badly needed, he’d turn them down. He wasn’t interested in swapping for stickers; he wanted to swap for cash!
This is where the popular kids came in handy. The cool kids always had money on them at school. Not a lot; mostly money for snacks etc but they were willing to part with that cash for stickers.
Back in those days, a packet of 6 stickers would cost around 30p. He would sell individual stickers for as much as 50p each, depending on the rarity. That sounds like peanuts to us now, but to a 10 year old kid in the early 90’s, this was a fortune! He must’ve seriously had some big money stashed away for the weekends!
He was still a shrewd ‘wheeler dealer’ at 12. I remember him over hearing a conversation I was having with my friends about desperately needing to sell my Nintendo Game Boy to fund my next games console. I had about £20 left to save up. He fleeced me for the Game Boy and about 6 games for that exact amount, even though I could’ve gotten twice as much, had I advertised it in the local paper. He knew I was desperate. He knew I didn’t want to wait, so he capitalized on it.
Sure, I was happy that I got my new console, but as the days rolled on I started to regret selling my Game Boy so cheaply. I wasn’t a grafter, back then. I wanted a quick, easy fix. I should’ve cut people’s gardens or taken on a paper round!
The success of the entrepreneurial nerd
I lost touch with the lad after school and, ironically, the next time we met we fell out after bumping into each other in a club, one night. I can’t really remember what the ‘feud’ was about but it was certainly enough for him to never add me on Facebook! I can imagine it was harmless stuff and the simple reason we’re not Facebook ‘friends’ is because we have no real need to stay in touch, anymore.
The last I heard, he was running two successful hotels with his Mum. I have no doubt in my mind that he has even bigger plans for the future.