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First Step Towards Entrepreneurship

Life was great at Virginia Tech, where I met my amazing girlfriend, Brittany (now my fiancée), and was at the top of my class for finance. I learned so much, not only from classes, but from my college jobs. I worked as a calculus tutor my freshman year. And I had two incredible summer internships -- one at a Wall Street bank and the other at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. But the best job I ever had was working during my junior and part of my senior year as a Domino's pizza delivery driver. Unlike Brittany, who worked in the dining hall on a set schedule making barely more than minimum wage, I chose to take a job where I could create my own schedule and have no limits on my hourly income since most of my pay came from tips.

I had learned that this particular Domino's near the Tech campus was one of the highest producing on the East Coast, with over 40,000 hungry college students living within a 10 mile radius. That spelled potential. So, instead of going out drinking with my friends every Friday, I chose to deliver pizzas well into the middle of the night. In fact, this Domino's was so efficient that, on a good night, I was able to deliver 5-7 pizza orders per hour. With a typical order of around $15.00, my tips ranged between $3-5 per delivery. Sometimes, students simply handed me their parent's hard- earned money and said "just keep the change, thanks," then closed the door. Sometimes students gave me higher tips because they knew me from the many social and academic activities I was involved with. Some nights I would come home with $150-$250 cash in my pocket after only a six hour shift. It was incredible! I was making $30-$40 per hour, roughly 3-4 times what Brittany was making in the same amount of time during her daytime hours at the dining hall.

In some ways, my experience as a pizza delivery guy was life changing. I knew it was risky to take a job where I might have not even made minimum wage. But I had done my research and saw the potential for making bigger money by relying mainly on how hard I was willing to work. It was a life lesson that led to where I am today. Plus, I had finally made enough money to dabble in stock options trading -- which was also great because I bought Apple before Carl Icahn got in and got to ride that wave. But we will save that story for another time....

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VT Domino's!

-JB

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