To be in any kind of business it is not for the faint of heart. Capitalism is the ultimate poker match, it can be stressful, and sometimes you have to risk everything, sometimes you have to be cruel and coldblooded when there is competition, and like poker, you can’t be afraid to bluff and have larceny in your heart.  

Business is a sport; businesspeople are competitive by nature. You have to have swagger and heart. You need to be fearless, and not afraid to be an opportunist, although entrepreneurship is a risky undertaking the rewards goes to the capitalist.  

Here is what I’ve learned:  

Business is heartless: Business is basically war; you need to strategically plan to win all the chips. Sales supplies goods or services for the benefit of profit. Comparable to pro sports there are no friends, there are only alliances or ventures to either boot the middle man or another company. The Redskins don’t weep for the Eagles, or the wolf doesn’t care if a sheep is sick or depressed. Any sign of weakness is an opportunity to take over a new market.  

Build a bankroll: It is better to be the lender than the borrower. The reason I can sell newspapers or any product effortlessly is because I save my money. If you have money when there is an opportunity you will have the capital to invest. In business it is never good to borrow, sooner or later you’re going to have to pay back the person you borrow from usually at a higher price than when you borrowed. I try to save at least five dollars a day.  

Cash flow: I learned to make money in any venture; you want to get the most for the least. I look for bargains and discounts, I try to cut luxuries when times get rough, or get them at a lower price. I look for value when I shop, and try to have little overhead.  

The key to sales: To be a successful salesman you must first build bonds and friendships. If people do not like you chances are they will not buy from you. You have to be upbeat no matter what is going on in your life. You have to be a good listener and have an ability to take criticism and complaints, and be persuasive, not aggressive.  

Sales is entertainment: People never buy the product; it is you they buy. People respond to energy and enthusiasm, nobody likes to hear sad stories especially when you are selling a product. We all have things in our life that are sad and distressing, but when you are out there in public you never let someone see you in misery. Happy people are buying people. I learned its never the product it is the person behind the product, so to be a good salesman you need to show livelihood.  

Businesses is a game of numbers: Vending is sort of like running for office, I look for the busiest areas to sell and I perform. I go by the thirty rule; I sell thirty in the morning, thirty in the afternoon, and thirty by dusk. I pace myself. I utilize my time so I do not get burned out and I look for lucrative areas where no one else goes. I keep a journal and a balance sheet so I can find my improvements.  

One of my thirty rules is 30 percent are loyal customers, 30 percent will not buy no matter what so it isn’t profitable to convince them to buy your newspaper, and 30 percent don’t care. The profits come from those who have never heard of Street Sense, so in order to stay on top you can’t leave a bad impression to first time buyers.