Originally Posted by Don Alm
My first "job" after Engineering School was at General Electric Corp in downtown Chicago.
2 weeks into the "job" at an Office Luncheon, a secretary came up to me and told me that "I was hired to replace an engineer who had been with GE for 29 1/2 yrs. He was FIRED just short of receiving his full, vested, retirement benefits."
I went home that day and asked my young wife, "Let's see....if I stay at GE for the next 30 yrs and just b4 retiring....they fire me! I don't think so!"
So.....I spent the next few mos hunting for a way I could start my own biz. I found a company in Florida that had a new kind of "Home Burglar Alarm System".
I flew down...took a look and became a Dealer. Went to my bank and opened a business account with $500....and proceeded to sell Burglar Alarms to homeowners on the North Shore of Chgo.
8 yrs later I sold the biz and moved to the mountains of Colorado....where I found 2 Alarm Cos handling the sparsely populated town (7,000) of Aspen.
So, I learned a little "secret" about finding the "pulse" of a community; Go to the fanciest Bar in town at 3pm.....a time when the "movers & shakers" were stopping in before going home.
While sitting at the bar I overheard some guys talking about "How were they going to promote their new Radio Station".
I remembered a promo program the radio station in my Chgo suburb town (Evanston, Ill) put on every year to promote their station. I won't go into details. I called it "BUMPER BUCKS" which involved 20 biznesses paying me $495ea for a 13 week program that not only got local consumers into participating biznesses and.....also got them to Listen to the Radio Station.
I then proceeded to set up the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Annual "Aspen Home Show" and.....MANY, MANY more Promo Programs.
I considered my "Advertising & Marketing" biz as a sort of "HURDLE RACE"! When I got one of my "Hot Flashes".....I jumped in and DID IT!.....then, got another "Hot Flash" and Jumped that one.....etc.....until some yrs later I had started over 50 Programs.
Sure....I had some failures along the way. I termed it; "Failing Forward" and "Ya Never Know unless ya Tries!"
One of my best was "Putting Ads on Video Rental Cases". This was when Videos were placed in Plastic Boxes.....given to local consumers who took them home.....put the videos into the VCR and the boxes on their coffee tables!
I found I could ft 6 business card size ads (3 on each side) on the plastic boxes. At one time I had 20 Video Rental Stores handling my "Ad Cases".
Anyways.....I've had an "exciting ride".....looking for "opportunities" rather than "jobs".
Thanks for reading,
Don Alm.....long-time entroopreneer
Right on, Don!
The "Secret", if there is one, is to take ACTION.
MOst ideas never get beyond the fantasy stage because
of the failure to take ACTION.