I have told this story a few times in the last couple weeks, and it seems to resonate with people:
The newspaper boy stopped to collect his paltry earnings. Abby (the mutt) knocked him off his scooter and tackled him. After containing the dog and ensuring the boy was fine, my only comment to him was “welcome to the business world. Tough, ain’t it?”
I don’t think he thought it was as funny as I did.
My wife does not like this story, and she tells me the boy was probably mortified because he goes to school with my beautiful 8-year-old daughter. (My reaction to that, of course, is I don’t want the boys in her class to feel comfortable coming around here.) I do think there are some useful metaphors to business ownership in the story. It has everything: customer interaction, social branding, receivables management, and given how hard the boy’s older sister was laughing as they walked away: work/personal life balance.
Feel free to remember your childhood business experiences in the comments.