Bad Business

What the Ski Mechanic Did Wrong

Consider one rule which is the most often violated by the people who fail: You must bring in more money than you spend!

I knew a guy who was an expert ski mechanic. He bought some waxes, some plastic, an iron, some files, all the things he would need. He rented bench space in a store and put up a sign in the store window. Sure enough, skis started coming in. At the end of the first day, he earned $160. Did he spend it on advertising? Or maybe on more materials, or tools to expand his available services? No, he bought himself a pair of fancy cowboy boots and went to a party. His business lasted about a week. When it was time to pay the second week’s bench rent, he didn’t have it! Now that’s just plain bad business! You laugh, but it’s a true story, and variations of it are surprisingly common.

You might enjoy knowing the crazy story of the shop where this happened. It was a bike shop in an eastern city, looking for some kind of business that would bring in people during the winter. The amazing and unexpected true story of that bike shop is here: 5 Years In The Bike Shop.

Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were the result of the pranks of a group of teenage girls. Some people of the town started saying that the girls might be “bewitched.” When the adults seriously wanted to know who had bewitched them, these girls named about 150 random residents of the community. Twenty-two “witches” were put to death, mostly by hanging.