A $500,000 Internship For A High School Student Who Was Really Ready To Graduate

by Pat "HappyPat" Smith
(Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines)

I started working for myself at the age of 12, fixing lawn mowers and cutting grass until I had my first taste of alcohol.
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I barely finished high school. In fact, I hated school. I was a country boy from mid-Ohio. Over the years I tried to do many kinds of work. But I never completed any of them. Why?

I had been recognized as having Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder way before much was really known about it. This was in the early 1960's.

It was at age 12 in 1960 that I had my first drink. By 15 I'd had my first blackout. At 17 I tried suicide twice. From then on until September 13, 1993 I drank and was an alcoholic. I was homeless, jobless, broke many, many times. Lost my wife. But in 1981 I got desperate.

A Look At A Lifetime Internship For A High School Student

internship for high school soap box derbyI was living in a buddy's shop and wanted to make money real bad. I may not have had any college degrees. But I had a pure love of racing. I'd had it since my dad and I built a soap box derby when I was 5.

I'd had it since he used to take me out in his 40 Ford to spin donuts in the sand while I looked out the rear window, seeing the world pass in a blur real fast. When it came to racing, I had a desire to be the best. I'd taken auto shop my last 2 years of high school and I'd been into automotive racing part-time between bouts of drunkenness.

I'd learned about mechanics and how to control the power of a vehicle's transmission and when it should shift gears. I'd go to the race track with a notebook and a pencil in hand. I'd walk from pit to pit taking notes of the cars that I saw and sketching their frames the way they seemed to me when the car body was taken off. And I would ask tons of questions until I felt that I was no longer wanted around.

With this determination, I gained an idea to build a shifter for automatic transmissions that would not allow you to put the car in reverse even when using two hands. This was a critical operation for drag racing and speed boats.

With all this knowledge I created my custom shifter in 1982 in Paramount, California. It won races. It got a car to travel from 0 to 160 MPH in 8.5 seconds for a quarter of a mile. The car could move 60 feet in 1.5 seconds from a complete standstill. Do you think my shifter would sell? Well, I sold my first 5 to a friend that owned a race shop. Yes, I was off and running!

By 1982 I was able to set up a shop with a friend. My company was called PS Performance. By 1985 I had gained a good name in the industry. And yet I was not making good money but just paying the bills. So I grabbed on to an opportunity, when I was invited to build a shifter for a big business in the South.internship for high school Roger Toth Hemi Hunter We agreed on price. We agreed that they'd carry my name on the product.

SlickStick was my shifter's brand name. I had my first BIG order for 50 shifters. Four months later the order came for 300 shifters a month! Then came a worldwide market expansion into 5 different countries.

At the end of 1987, 5 years after I had built my first shifter, I was making $500,000 in 1 year alone, but I drank it all away by December 1989. I was broke once more.

Graduation Day

internship for high school alcohol addiction bottle destroyedI moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, with $3,000 in my pocket. I could not hold a job for very long. I lost my apartment. I was in the street penniless, weighing 115 lbs., wearing the same clothes for months, drinking myself to death. I needed help. I'd hit bottom.

I called my mother. She was in Florida. I began detox.

By 1993 I was sober. September 13, 1993, in fact, is my sobriety date. God had a plan for me. I was to help as many people as I could for the next 17 years, and I did -- thousands of them from 5 different states.

But there came a time that I needed to become independent and learn to make money once again.

Arturo, I have wanted to do just what you are doing so well here, and that is to help new people learn how to start a home-based business. There are millions out there that can't make a dime, myself included, because I have never come across anyone that would give the exact instructions on what to do from the very start.

For instance, what must I do to become ready for a business? How to find private label rights products? How to have an e-book written for me to sell, so that we can have a true chance at starting a business without all the guru crap and thousands of dollar in courses that so commonly suck people dry before they even start?

pat smith happypatI just need someone to help me with a plan on what I need to do to make it all happen. I don't care about being rich. But I do need an income other than social security.

I love to help people get what they need and to motivate them to become better in themselves! I would love anyone's feedback on this.

Thank you so much for your stories and your insights on business, and God bless you.

----- Arturo's Reply to HappyPat -----

Pat, you've shared one of the most powerful stories that I've been privileged to post at this site. It is inspiring, severe and humbling in helping, first, those just starting out in life's "internship after high school" and in demonstrating, second, the importance that we all must place in addressing our mistakes to continue learning and striving for improvement no matter how old we are.

I like the idea of considering a grown man's life experience as an internship for a high school student to learn from. I was raised to believe that we must learn from other people's mistakes, because we will never live long enough to repeat them ourselves. So it's best to avoid making them, especially in our youth.

I'm glad to see you striving for a second wind at trying to get a new business going. Given your previous business background, with a little focus and some sound techniques your efforts will pay off! With so many people that you've helped in the last 17 years, your network of trusted contacts must be large. This is a good place where to start. These are diamonds in your backyard.

  • Learn their wants. Identify who in their midst is most intent in paying to have them satisfied. Reach out to find out what big itch they'd like scratched.

  • Be unique. Don't imitate to a point where no one can tell you from your competitor.

  • Make sure you're superior to anyone else proposing a means to fulfill their expressed desire.

You've made a wise choice, especially as an expat, to venture online to build an Internet-based business. You're doing well to avoid get-rich-quick schemes. Be very judicious when it comes to multi-level marketing as well.
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It is possible to build a business quickly, if your market is strong, your offer is spot-on and your profit margin is sizable. Wealth builds up as a by-product of building a sound business, however. I'm glad to learn that you're not after quick riches but after an alternative source of income to a government check. With diligence, you'll accomplish this.

Online business development, nevertheless, is very similar to brick and mortar business development. Technology indeed empowers you to reach untold numbers of people and to deliver information for outrageously low cost. But this only makes greater demands on you regarding who to serve and how to become visible to them and how to engage them in productive dialogue that leads to their trust in you and in your products or services. But it's really you that they must trust first before they make a purchase.

You've asked me for help to plan what you need to do to make it all happen. I'll be happy to help you, Pat, beginning with asking "What is this 'all' that you want to happen?" I'll begin my assistance as follows, because I want to help my readers as well, by modeling for them what it takes to get going in starting their own businesses online:

  1. For every question that you ask me publicly, I'll give you the best answer that I can. For the rest, you can reach me privately.

  2. For the best insight on how to start building an online business, not just another website, go here. Come back to ask me questions, if you wish.

You've also asked for feedback from others readers. I look forward to what others have to say to encourage you.

Click here to post comments

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