2018.09.27 13:36 | Sean Carter
Most people know Warren Buffett as the successful billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. However, long before Warren Buffett was one of the richest men on earth, he was a young budding entrepreneur. At only six years old, Buffett sold packs of gum in his neighborhood. He also had business throughout his youth in which he sold items such as refurbished gold balls, and stamps. He even had a car buffing business. Perhaps his most successful business in his young career, however, was his pinball machine supply business. In the year 1946 Warren Buffett was a 17 years old. Buffett found a used pinball machine for sale and purchased it for $25.
17 year old Warren Buffett then approached a local barbershop and offered to set the machine up in the shop for customers to play in exchange for half of the profits the machine generated. He told the shop owner he represented “Mr. Wilson's Coin Operated Machine Company”, a business that did not actually exist, but gave him credibility. The first day, the machine made $4.00. The following week, Buffett came back and collected $25 for himself, and gave the other half to the barbershop owner. With this money, he was able to purchase another pinball machine for sale and set it up at another local barbershop. Through this venture, Warren Buffett was able to see the effects of money compounding. He eventually had his pinball machines placed at barbershops throughout the Washington DC area. After one year, he sold his business for a $1,000, which was a lot more than his original $25 investment. Warren Buffett is extremely proud of this business, and even put the story of his pinball machine business in his biography, “The Snowball.” Warren Buffet, when speaking about this business to Bill Gates, stated “"It was the best business I was ever in. I peaked very early in my business career.” From a young age, Warren Buffett was clearly a self-made businessman. The businesses young Warren Buffet started helped inspire him to form one of the most successful businesses ever.