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And now, Page 2 and the rest of the story. (Apologies to Paul Harvey).
Connecting the dots via GJA. Brief summary.
At 10 introduced to ELMERS, Wheeler and Leterman, via their books on selling...wrote about in SPIDERS, SNAKES AND MICE, OH MY.
15, Fran Renner, KRISTEE PRODUCTS and OLSON Electronics all intersected. Gary Halbert and Dennis Haslinger at Kristee Products.
19, long summer in Newport News VA, many a weekend at Edgar Cayce center.
20-22 Reading and practicing all things METAPHYSICAL, including Astral projection and Eastern "thinking".
70's. While in college at Golden West, met Joe Karbo, he "introduced" me to Melvin Powers, Jerry Buchanan and Jim Straw, also Dean F.V. DuVall. These were active MAIL ORDER businesses of the day. Actually met Melvin, and talked to Jerry and Jim. Also Gil Turk in New Jersey and some others.
So that is my foundation background on all this. Add in 15+ years of Social Work, 25 years of teaching golf, and dozens of jobs and there you have MY whole story.
I think it was around 1978 that I bought the big Harvey Brody course, if memory serves, it was hundreds of dollars. By that time I had accumulated a decent library too. The promotion for it was a booklet, I think over 50 pages, or something like that.
Also from 76 for a decade a member of Akron Writers Club and local Toastmasters. Now you all know more than you ever wanted to about me.
I've always had several irons in the fire, due to ADD or ADHD or extreme curiosity, as I prefer it.
Along the way, I saw 4 very different paths that people took. Here in Akron, OH, at the time, many chose to work for the rubber companies, they employed tens of thousands of people. These were divided into two groups, blue collar and white collar. White collars were more likely to be COLLEGE educated and were on salary, and earned more.
So WORKER bees of 2 varieties was one group.
Social workers. They might be a sub group of WORKERS, or in their own group BECAUSE they had a tendency to be less about making money and more about (in their minds) doing good work for others.
Business people. Mom and Pop. Pizza shop, dry cleaner, barber shop, beauty shop. Small little business. BIGGER ones, and very big.
INDEPENDENTS. Now this is my classification, explaining how I saw things as a young man. After the Navy and a four year retirement/adventure, I knew I wasn't cut out to work in a rubber company or any other cog business.
I went into social services, and always had a side hustle going too (sometimes several at a time),
Enamored with MAIL ORDER, this was my first and ongoing choice of a side business, easy to do from home and I followed directions, creating and selling information products, reports and getting writing gigs, often ghosting for businessmen in the area.
Here is what I learned from all this, so as to connect the dots.
See, after WW II, the returning GI's went to work, and housing boomed, marriages and KIDS B O O M E D, thus, we BOOMERS. The Happy Days of the 50's (for White America) had arrived.
The thing was: DISPOSABLE INCOME. Massive advertising, TV...and magazines where things were sold in hundreds of classified ads.
There was a decent sized Mail Order business from 1864 on, which had the first boom with the continental trains, which allowed delivery anywhere. But the sheer number of people with money to spend exploded after WW II for the Western world, especially USA.
So, guys like Joe Karbo, who were of an INDEPENDENT nature, started buying and selling surplus. As did the OLSON Bros in Akron (electronics), as did Mace Levin in Erie, PA. Joe Cossman was one of those guys who also was an INDEPENDENT, and I think most of these guys just didn't want a boss, and wanted to do their own thing.
Cossman and Karbo saw the huge potential of mass markets and how easy and cost effective it was to reach them, via ads in magazines, newspapers and even in comic books. I want to point out, there were HUNDREDS of Mail Order companies, we just talk about those who went on to sell
as to how to sell via Mail Order. So, we have a lot of WW II Veterans returning and falling into one of those paths, most being workers...Autos, Tires, Steel, Mfg. with retail booming.
Harvey Brody left the Air Force, went to college, then being of the INDEPENDENT spirit, started his career, and one of things he did was work with Joe Cossman as a consultant/per diem type. Now Harvey had already created the zoom spout oiler in college while repairing typewriters for extra income.
So, back in the 1950's, there was a time of disposal income and a lot of Entrepreneurship.
Small Mail Order companies expanded and smaller shops like KRISTEE PRODUCTS added employees and lines. OLSON Electronics, a mail order house, opened up a retail store. And the 50's saw the rise of the Strip Shopping Centers, Montgomery Wards (a mail order co), JC Penney's, Sears (original big mail order catalog company).
The 60's and 70's saw the INDOOR mall era, and this curtailed some of the bigger mail order houses, like SEARS, but there arose the specialty shops, and mail order catalogs contained everything from jewelry to food.
OK, are you bored yet? So what? Right?
I believe that by looking back and seeing what happened, the so called footprint in the sands, that we can predict and project where the footprints of the future are going to be.
No one needed an Ant Farm. I had one.
No one needed a hula hoop. I had one.
No one needed a frisbee. I had one.
No one needed a BB gun. I didn't have one, my parents were sure I would shoot my eye out, ala Ralphie of Christmas Story. I did get a Daisy air rifle, and would stick it in the dirt and YES, I shot myself in the eye.
I worked hard, because if I wanted anything, I had to buy it myself, but as a teenager, coming into contact with both KRISTEE Products and OLSON Electronics, I was given opportunity to make a lot of money for a kid, or had access to mail order products.
See, REMOTE DIRECT MARKETING really took off post WW II, mainly because of TV, and in the early days, before they were banned, all those infomercials. YES, they were banned for a long time, which made magazines and newspapers the go to mail order marketing media.
There were pioneers in Remote Direct Marketing, Ben Franklin being one of the first. The 20th Century ushered in a new era too. Along with World Wars, we got world commerce, or the start of it.
Then there is a period, where the people born before WWII NOT boomers, or peace time military, like Elvis, came of age. These became what we now call our modern masters. Gary Halbert, Ben Suarez, Bud Weckesser, Dan Kennedy (although he's a boomer), Jay Abraham etc. et al.
These were all PRE INTERNET, ALTHOUGH computers were a thing, certainly not home computers. Harvey Brody, Ben Suarez were of the computer ilk.
But MAIL ORDER was still a way, the path anyone who wanted FREEDOM and to be their own boss, could find their way
Now, if there are questions, ask now, before I continue.
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