Michelle’s Search for Divine Purpose The Early Years (Part 1)

Michelle Vandepas at birth with Mum
WIKI: An entrepreneur………..The newly and modern view on entrepreneurial talent is a person who takes the risks involved to undertake a business venture.

Maybe I was born to be an entrepreneur. My parents are, my grandparents on both sides were, Even great-grandparents and farther back. I’ve grown up to start or co-found over 10 prosperous businesses and a few not so successful ones. Its the creative expression of starting huge projects that I love.

When a dream whispers in my ear I start the process. How do I get from here to there? What will make my vision manifest? Who do I need to help me, and who do I keep far away from these deep dreams? What is the biggest picture and what is the first step?

Can I hop from rock to rock with intensity and single minded focus on my destination? – And still have fun in the process?

Starting a business from scratch is all about trusting your own heart, developing your intuition, and having a lot of guts, (and a pretty strong healthy ego) to go for it – ignoring all the naysayers.

Way back at the very beginning though, I was typical of a lot of entrepreneurs. I didn’t fit in, got bad grades and daydreamed. A lot.

I had the tendencies way back in Massachusetts New England USA were I was born.

Business #1 – The Entrepreneurial Kindergartener
When I was about five or six I set up a library in my room. All my Dr. Seuss books, ABC’ s and the Dick and Jane series, had little envelopes taped into the front cover with handwritten check-out cards inside them. My friends would come to visit and I’d lend them my books. If I remember correctly I also hit up my friend’s parents and my parents staff to please borrow my books. Then I charged a penny for any book that came back late. I don’t remember if the book was late after an hour or a day, but I do remember my mother telling me not to be so stingy.

I’ve since discovered that having a library is typical of small children. – At least amongst the fellow entrepreneurs I know. (Did you ever have one?)

Business #2 – The Pre-Teen Years
My next business was selling hand made jewelry out of a playhouse in my back yard. My friend and I would spend hours talking the phone repair guys out of giving us the plastic cord in red, yellow, blue and green. We twisted the wire into rings, bracelets and necklaces and put price tags on them. They were proudly displayed on hooks we crafted on the playhouse wall.

The playhouse was visible from the street, so there was lots of potential traffic. My name is Michelle and my friends name was Mimi and so we named our store the Mimichelle.

I was about ten years old.

No Business – What? The Wasted Teenage Years?
At twelve my family to England and I found myself working a the corner store selling newspapers, candy and stocking shelves. When the store owner opened a Laundromat next store I was transfixed. You could make money opening a Laundromat?

During my teenage years I always had jobs, and if I could work on commission I was happier. I knew early on that I didn’t want to leave my earning potential to anyone else. I needed to be in charge of my income.

I learned to sell door to door, (it was perfectly safe back then), and business to business. Back then I had no problem selling anything to anyone.

I sold Mary Kay, Wall Decor, Hamburgers and Pastries. I didn’t always get to set my own income, but I did learn about customer service, sales and the value of giving more than you promise to build a loyal customer base. I didn’t own a business during those years but I learned valuable lessons. (and partied a bit too much as well – I was, after all, a teenager)…..

Next in the Series: My life in my twenties, and my first real business!

This post is part I of a series on my life as a Serial Entrepreneur and the Search for My Divine Purpose. Watch this space for the part II.

What about you? Did you ever have a business as a child?


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