I spent my entire life up until the age of 19 going to school and doing all the things to land a good job. I was going to be an attorney like my dad, have a corner office, rise through the ranks, finally become a head honcho and then retire to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Then I went to college and Jay came to my dorm room. That’s when things started pulling me off that path.
Back in the day cable used to be analog, so the stations you couldn’t get were just blurry. When Jay knocked on my door, he hooked a little black box to the back of my cable box and presto, I had all the stations. ALL THE STATIONS. He asked if I could sell it, give him $150 bucks, and that I could pocket the rest. Naturally I was completely blown away by this device, so I gave him $150 and kept the thing for myself. I needed to know what the heck this magical thing was, how I could get more, and how I could sell them to the world. This was the day I knew I was going to work for myself.
I’m not going to get into the extremely fascinating story about my Breaking Bad-esque, less than legal, black box empire complete with run-ins with Comcast, lawyers, and encounters with so many interesting individuals. That is a story for another day or maybe even my book, but for the sake of this collection, know that I sold A LOT of black boxes. What I really loved about the whole sales process was making sure the customer was happy with what they bought. If the box wasn’t working right, one of my people or I would swap it out, no questions asked, then fix the broken one and add it to the inventory of boxes to be sold. While I was doing this absolutely illegal business, I never felt like I was working. It was all really fun. I was passionate about doing my own thing.