Inspire

The Drive

I was always an Entrepreneur.  As far back as I can remember anyway.  I was an only child, until I turned twelve years old.  That gave me plenty of time to develop my imagination and creativity.  It also gave my parents time with their friends while I sharpened my sales skills.

One weekend, they had friends over from NYC (we lived on Long Island).  My six-year-old self decided I was going to design perfume and sell it. I grabbed old, sample perfume vials and rinsed them out.  I grabbed pine needles that had fallen outside, and crushed the fresh ones down into a pulp with a rock.  Then I added water and let it sit.  After about five minutes, (which in six-year-old time is three days), I poured the formula into the vials and ran to the dining room where the adults were.

I grabbed one of our guests by the hand, and immediately tapped the “potion” on the inside of her wrist.  (This was all done mid-conversation, mid-drinks and mid-day.  I wasn’t very tactful with the art of the approach.) She’s still talking, but curiously understands that this is meant to be perfume, because she brings her wrist to her nose to smell it. “What is this?” She asks.  “It’s Christmas. Now you can have it everyday.” I confidently reply.  The adults humored me and all asked for a sample.  Alas, I only had one vial and went out of business as quick as I started it. Looking back, this is where I started to learn how my intuition worked.  I knew what to say to create a buzz and I had the confidence to show it. I just needed more product for the next venture.

My next idea came rather quickly.  A few weeks or so later, I grabbed my play table and chair and set them up right in my front yard.  I went back in the house, past my mom and grabbed my crayons and a stack of coloring books. “Whatcha up to Tiff?” Mom asked.  “Playing in the front yard!” was always my reply.  The front of our house had plenty of bay windows overseeing the yard.  (Those years were a little safer for kids to play outside until midnight with no worries.)

I sat down at my table and faced the street.  I picked a page out of my coloring book that inspired me.  Mind you, these were not blank pages.  These had the outlines of popular cartoons.  My role, was to fill in the lines with color and sell them as artwork to passerby’s.  Can you imagine- a sweet little, long blonde haired child being able to sell pre-colored coloring book pages for 10 cents a page? Well, you don’t have to imagine it, because I did it.  I made $2 that day.

Looking back, I learned quite a few things.  One, I don’t like to color.  Two, walking up to strangers in a car makes mom nervous. Three, it wasn’t about the money.  It was the fact that I was successful with my ideas and products. I knew how to communicate and use my voice as an influencer.  “Bring this home and put it on your fridge for 10 cents!” “Have your child color the other side of the paper! We can be pen pals!” I learned very early to build a “WHY” for the customer.  Being able to connect with an emotion of someone I didn’t know, was fascinating to me.  Fulfilling an unknown need of a stranger, became my art. This would be the start of the drive for my journey.

Create A Great Day,

T.Rufino