What I'm Seeing Now

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I Have Always Been Self Employed

Even as a kid I was self employed and made my own money.

When I was 13 we had a 6 week shop class called "Printing."  We learned how to select type styles from the various drawers of movable type, how to set it up and to print.  It involved type and a printing press which, believe it or not, looked a lot like the photos below.  It was a very old-fashioned printing process.  I loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our type was set upside down and backwards.  We selected the color we wanted for the printing.  The press spread the ink all around the plate.  We located our card on the press so that the project came out properly centered, and went to work, one printed piece at a time.

We had two projects to complete.  One was a silk screen and another something on the printing press.

I was the only kid to print a business card!

A scan of one of my original cards is below (circa 1966).  Look carefully and you can see that the "n" in "and" is incorrect.  But I didn't notice then.  I printed 100 cards.

I passed this card all around the neighborhood and got a lot of business from it!  Most kids just mowed - I did a lot more, trimming and edging.  I carried tools!

Having money, I needed capital for my new business - a lawn mower and tools.  My mother made me pay for 1/2 of the lawn mower, a Lawn Boy, "because you will use it on our yard too."  I picked out and bought my own tools.  She also demanded that I buy all my own gasoline and oil.  That required riding my bike one handed to the gas station with a 2 gallon tank in my left hand!  Two or three times a week.  I rode my bike everywhere and anywhere.

In addition to mowing the entire neighborhood, early mornings I delivered the newspaper, through college.  Some afternoons I went to local golf clubs and got balls out of the lakes to sell back to the golfers.  And at night I rode my bike to a Burger Chef nearby and flipped burgers.  Busy kid!  My bike was my car.

This is the money I used for college!  After college I earned other degrees, and after a brief stint in an office, which I hated, I started my own businesses.  And home inspecting has been the business since 1981, full time since 1987. 

My childhood, and the Boy Scouts, taught me self sufficiency.  Every job I had as a kid and since has helped teach me different aspects of employment skills and personal leadership.  Each has taught me valuable lessons regarding service and self discipline and dealing with others.  Life experience can be a cruel but effective teacher.  You don't always get an "A."

Now you know more about me.  I have no clue as to how to go about finding a job!  And hopefully I will never have to find out!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 20 commentsJay Markanich • May 17 2010 10:20AM

Comments

Thanks for sharing your motivation and passion that you share with us.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 10 years ago

Thanks Harry.  We are all different people and motivated by different things.  I guess I wanted to be me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, this was a great read and a good story.

This is truly what America has been built upon -- the backs of entrepreneurs.  When we stop having the entrepreneurial spirit and start having an employee mentality, or even worse, the welfare mentality, that's when our nation as we know it will cease to exist.

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 10 years ago

Jay, Great story, When you love what you do you never have to work a day in your life! You're mother was one smart cookie! jay

Posted by Jay Lloyd, Allpro Home Inspection (Cape Coral Florida) over 10 years ago

Brian - lest I be perceived as a small child, are we there yet?

Jay - she got smarter the older I got.  I don't know how it happened, because when I was 13 she was really NOT smart.    ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay - looks like you could have gone to the same jr high as I did, but I was 12 when I took printing, and also printed business cards. I have not always been self employed, but, except for time in the navy, I always owned my own employment. The two companies I worked for when I was not self employed were both very performance based.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 10 years ago

I don't remember what everyone else printed Mike, but I had the only business cards.  Not very well done, by my current thinking, but great for then!

And I notice you say "junior high school!"  Not bad...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

I have had a few jobs, but I have spent most of my adult life owning my own businesses...  I can say one thing... I've NEVER gotten an unemployment check. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Me too, Lane, and that is the way to be!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

  Self employment and reliance....you like it or you don't...you do it or you do not...you are self motivated....or wait for someone to crack the corporate whip.....the pleasures are all ours...and we too would not have it any other way.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

But, S&D, we work harder for ourselves than we would ever work for somebody else!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay- I'm going to have my two sons read your history, motivating indeed!

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

I was really busy Eric.  I also found time for girls, baseball and the swimming pool.

Also, I still have the Message Holder I made in wood shop and the metal address number holder I made in metal shop that year!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay,

Great post. I had forgotten about the printing class. We printed business cards and personalized notebook paper. :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) over 10 years ago

I thought it was a lot of fun, although a lot of work to clean up at the end of class Steve.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay,

As I recall it was a lot of fun except when we dropped the drawer of type or had to sort through the type that had been put back wrong. :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay,

Congratulations on a very refreshing free enterprise post. Now featured at "Celebrating Free Enterprise." :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) over 10 years ago

Thanks Steve!  I remember that a drawer was in fact dropped during one of our classes.  It was a big deal.  It was swept up and we spent a couple of days as a class getting things resorted!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

I like your mother already.  Wish there were more like that today.  Her techniques obviously resulted in a self-motivated, independent and creative individual!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Thanks very much Kathryn.  My brother and I are very similar, so lots of mothering must have been instilled.  I wish she were still around to see us now.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

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