Porta Potties = $
When you’re a kid, you like to bug your parents. That’s exactly what I did when I was one. Day in and day out I would test their patience and try to get away with the littlest of things. Now, you probably can’t say this these days… But my back porch was painted red plenty of times. Am I scarred by this? No! By pushing the limits, I learned that almost anything can be rewarding but be prepared for the consequences. Fortunately for me, an event that helped spark my entrepreneurial journey started back when I was 10 years old and growing up in Nevada, Iowa.
Nevada, Iowa is about 10 minutes east of Ames – where the Iowa State Cyclones play. Growing up, we went to plenty of tailgates outside of Jack Trice, but never actually went inside the stadium to watch a game. Now, where exactly does my entrepreneurial story start? Hold your horses, I’m getting there! My dad was sitting in his old and tattered lawn chair with a Bud Light in his hand talking to one of our neighbors who had made the trip over to Ames with us. I walked up to him and told him I was bored. After many failed attempts at getting him to come play with me, he shouted out the words, “Go over there, quit bugging me”.
I did as I was told and went where he pointed. Unfortunately, where he pointed wasn’t very well placed. All around me were a bunch of drunk college kids, having a blast, and drinking the day away. As a 10-year-old kid, that seemed like weird behavior. In today’s mindset – hell yes sign me up! After watching them for awhile I came to the conclusion that these guys couldn’t hold their bladder longer than 20 minutes. They would stand in line of the porta potties and jump back and forth waiting to get to the front to relieve themselves. That’s when an idea struck. What if I were to stand in line, wait until I got to the front of the line, turned around and offered my spot for $5 to the last guy in line?
Brilliant, right? Of course! Those drunk college kids were literally running to me so they can use the bathroom! This event will forever be burned into my mind as a time when executing what you believed would work was the greatest thing in the world. It still is! All too often we fall into the idea that our ideas are ideas for a reason – they are not meant to come true. They are made up. They would never work. They will not make us money. They will not change the world. If you ever come up with an idea, I am asking you to just remember this: A 10-year-old kid sold his spot in line to drunk college kids so they could get back to partying faster.