• At 19 years old Dave owned and operated a valet service for 3 restaurants and 2 catering services (weddings, corporate events, large gatherings and/or parties).
• Dave employed, trained, and managed payroll for 20 plus employees – with 10-12 working each night at 2-3 locations. Payment was dependent on the size and duration of the event. Experience increased wages.
• Dave also did many side jobs for other companies that needed his valet services along with regular parking duties for a nearby tourist attraction.
How I got the idea / found the employment:
It fell upon Dave mostly by accident because it was through a family friend who worked for one of the above listed catering companies. It was originally a bed and breakfast that did small wedding receptions. It was a casual job that would only park at most thirty cars for these small receptions. The friend that had originally worked at the catering company left the job to Dave. As soon as Dave took over the following summer, the bed and breakfast built a separate reception hall creating more business. So Dave hired more people and negotiated with the owner of the new reception hall. Other businesses saw his business and contacted Dave to have him work for them. That is when it became a big deal training and employing a large group of 20 +. In the end, he managed the company and did not have to be present at each of the events because he delegated those responsibilities.
Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:
Dave was very young, had no idea what he was doing. He considered himself irresponsible with money and he did not understand the complexities of paying taxes. He found a tax accountant and got into debt after realizing how much you owed the IRS. Once that problem was solved, the company began to see profits, and ended up making about 60,000 dollars a year minus the wages and other minor costs. A great part of the business relied on tips from the customers. This was the first job where Dave did the managing and executed orders to employees. He was the one making all of the decisions whenever people made complaints and he had to solve the problems (dented or scratched cars). When something went wrong, there was no one above him to correct the problems, he simply had to correct them on his own.
What I learned:
He learned how to enjoy working. He became a quick thinker and learned to keep his cool in problematic situations. His attitude affected those who he employed and he noticed that when he became stressed out everyone lost confidence in him. He learned how to manage his money and pay taxes appropriately. He learned how to drive and park very well. Developed communication and people skills to talk to customers and let them know their vehicle was going to be ok.