I Learned All of My Business Lessons From Selling on a Street Corner

TIME

For about six or so years, I hocked goods I had made on the street, at state fairs, county fairs, art fairs and festivals up and down the state of California.

It was the late 1970s. I was 21 years old. I had dropped out of college at San Jose State University, needing only three units to graduate. I had loved studying sculpture, but I was dubious, to put it mildly, about my employment prospects. Who was going to hire me?

When I looked in the paper, the only jobs were for graphic artists and art galleries — neither of which I was qualified for. I knew I would not be creating fine works of art, but I decided then that if I could make things with my hands and make a living — I’d be satisfied. I’d be more than satisfied: I’d be rich.

At the time I was…

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