Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rekindling the 11-year old financial mastermind that lives somewhere inside me

Long-term observers of Michael Melcher are probably aware that in 1974 I was Paperboy of the Year for Scottsdale, Arizona. Actually the official title was "Carrier-Salesman of the Year" and the paper in question was The Scottsdale Daily Progress.

I was simultaneously a very sincere and determined paperboy, and a crafty one. I never missed a delivery, and at the same time plotted things like making homemade Christmas cards for my customers on the theory I would get higher tips.

Looking back, it's clear that I had a very entrepreneurial bent. I grew my route from my starting number of 37 customers to a high of 168, saved money, bought stocks (seriously), and lent my mom $600 when we moved to California the following year. This is an interesting memory for me since I tend to compare my financial skills unfavorably to those of the various bankers, venture capitalists and internet zillionaires that were my classmates in the Stanford MBA class of 1993.

What's my point here? I think it's that whatever we think is the truth about ourselves may not be the full truth. And whatever identity we have is probably just one of the many potential identities available to us, should we decide we'd like to shake things up.

I am having these ponderous thoughts after doing an interview for a cool website called QueerCents, which is a bunch of GLTB financial advisors -- who cleverly have realized that putting real, useful content on a site is more interesting than just having a bunch of people talk. They have a "Ten Money Questions" series that is interesting. Here is their interview of me.