Day 8: I am a Millionaire. Bikes and bottles.

Welcome to Day 8.

Yesterday we talked about priming the pump. It’s a basic example but it serves us well.

When I was a kid if I wanted something I worked for it. I remember when I was a kid I used to walk past a bike shop in Ormond Road. In the window was a gold Dragstar with silver mud guards, Stermy-Archer stick shift gears, chopper bars, a long white saddle and white rimmed tyres.

I used to plaster my face to the window and stare. I saw myself riding the streets, cruising’ the neighbourhood. I saw myself riding up past the dairy and down through the woods. I saw the neighbourhood kids gathering around all wanting a turn on my bike.   I have to admit it was a whopping $15.00!!! Unbelievable! $15.00!!! Who had that sort of money? That was a King’s ransom. But I wanted that bike. Oh yes, one day it shall be mine!

But if I wanted a bike I had to save up for it. So I put down 15c as a deposit and the man created a card and I started paying it off. Almost immediately I started thinking about how I could raise that kind of money fast!

The first thing I did was talk to other kids who had a nice bike. Most of them had a paper route or a job car washing or mowing lawns so hi-ho, hi-ho its off to work I go. So I did a paper route and moved lawns. I washed windows, washed cars, trimmed hedges.

Then I discovered that the local corner store paid a 5c refund on soft drink bottle empties so I went door knocking. I remember carting a bunch of empty bottles to the corner store and he gave me a whopping 75c! The man then said he would pay me 25c if I washed and stacked the empties. I was raking it in!

Out the back of his shop was a mountain of dirty bottles which Coca Cola would not collect unless they were cleaned and racked.

The first hour washing and stacking bottles was OK but by the third hour I was hot and exhausted and had barely made a dent in the mountain of bottles. I also realised that I was being paid 25c for the lot not per hour.

I finished the job and got home late for dinner and discovered my parents were worried sick. They thought I’d been abducted and had the neighbours and police out looking for me.

When I explained dad took my $1.00 and pit it in the jar in his study which was off limits.  And my dream of owning a bike evaporated. The next day I crossed the road and avoided the bike shop and somehow that was the end of my Dragstar.

I told myself, I wasn’t going to own that bike. It was stupid to even think about owning a Dragstar. What kid has $15.00? AT 5c a week it would take me … 5.7 years to pay it off. What was I even thinking? Only rich kids own Dragstars. Kids like Paul O’Keefe who get everything he wanted from his parents. Rich kids like Darren Smarts. I didn’t really want a Dragstar anyway.

And on and on it went.

Your turn   What are the key elements of this story that grabbed your attention?   By the way, did you do seven minutes of desk searching yesterday? Did you type How to become a millionaire into Google? Did you make notes? What did you find?

Some people emailed me and said this is amazing and how astonished they were at how many great ideas they suddenly identified.

Some have said that this is making them nervous about failure.

Others are critiquing the programme and have already concluded nothing to see here yet, aand are expressing annoyance at the repetition. When does the good stuff happen?

Some said seven minutes wasn’t long enough.

Today do another seven minutes.


Andrew Priestley is an award winning business coach, best selling author of The Money Chimp, Awareness, and Starting! and listed in the 2017 Top 100 UK Entrepreneur Mentors. Check out and @ARPriestley on Twitter. Disclaimer: It goes without saying that this is for information only and does not constitute clinical, legal, business or financial advice. The author is not responsible for any losses or damages that occur as a result of reading this material.


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