Last week I paid $10 for a $.50 barrette.  It’s not just any barrette – it’s a BRONCO barrette which of course raises the value considerably for this Colorado native.  However, I would have paid even more for it because of what that barrette stands for.

Bronco Barrette
Bronco Barrette

I value work.  Especially work that comes out of difficult situations.

This barrette was made by the happiest man I have seen in a long time.  I met him on a street corner.  Working downtown every day I walk by countless homeless and nearly every traffic stop between my house and my shop has someone begging for money.  I battle with myself inwardly almost every day “What do I do? Are they being lazy.  Are they truly needy?  Are they an addict? What would truly be helpful?”.  I never hand out money but if there is some way I can actually provide help I will do it if I am able.

This man was different.  As I pulled closer to his sign I wondered what his “story” would be.    Instead of finding a sign begging for money it was colorful and read, “When times are tough a little creativity is called for”.  He was a very large man with an even bigger smile.  Behind him there were numerous hand-crafted barrettes displayed.  I smiled.  I completely related to him.  I started my business in a very similar fashion.  As I passed him I quickly turned around.  I have no need for barrettes.  I don’t wear them.  They weren’t anything I was attracted to; however I wanted to support his effort to change his circumstances.  Work should always be rewarded.  It doesn’t take much to stand on a corner and wait for a handout, but this man knew the meaning of “a worker is worthy of his wages”.

We had a nice chat and I was so struck by his genuine contentment and joy.  He wasn’t feeling sorry for himself.  He was thankful for where he was and the opportunities that he was creating for himself.

That was the best $10 I’ve ever spent.  I don’t suspect he will be there for very long because what I have learned in building a business is that success has nothing to do with where you start (i.e. it doesn’t matter what “side of the tracks” you’re from), success is 100% your attitude and what you DO to create opportunities for yourself.


What opportunities are you creating today?



p.s. I haven’t forgotten about sharing the story of how we started.  I had less time available than I thought last week, but I hope to have it out this week.