I was 11 years old, and my mother worked a local hair salon underneath the Subway in Brooklyn.
What my mom asked me to do was to hand out circulars that had a special deal for haircuts at the salon. Between 4-7 at night you would find me handing out these circulars as people got off the train.
One day though my mom saw me hanging out in front of the salon when I was suppose to be passing out circulars.
I remember her looking at me and saying "What are you doing, you're suppose to be passing out circulars underneath the train right now?"
I responded simply by saying "I'm working."
She then responded by saying "But you're not underneath the train right now."
My reply being "I got people working."
She didn't understand what I meant by this.
I answered by saying "Listen, you told me to hand out circulars, so I found additional stores that wanted to hand out circulars."
See what I did was hire six kids to stand at each entrance to the Subway, and have them hand out not only circulars to the salon, but for the other stores as well.
My mom remembered that my friends parents did not want them to work, and she was right their parents did not want them making money on their own.
Me thinking about how I can provide value for them, I decided to pay them with fireworks.
So while they were passing out the circulars, I was getting paid in cash for them to hand out these circulars for the price of fireworks.
That was the moment my Mom said "There's something wrong with you."
For me I have always been thinking ahead, and trying to find a way to provide value for other people. Once you are able to do this, that builds credibility, which leads to making money.
You see, talent acquisition and the art of bartering are two lessons I learned very young, and still remind myself of everyday.