Be Like Mike

I’m auditing a course on Coursera called Groundwork for Success in Sales Development. One assignment called for researching a person who has done well in tech and/or sales development. I picked Michael Dell.

Michael Dell got a job with his hometown newspaper when he was 16 years old, selling subscriptions. He noticed people who signed up had two things in common. They were either getting married or moving to a new residence.

Turns out marriage licenses where public information in Texas; including the address the license was sent to.

Michael’s resourcefulness kicked in to high gear when he decided to create his own version of the ‘Baker Street Boys’ by hiring his friends and having them go to the surrounding counties to collect the addresses of everyone who’d applied for a marriage license.

He then sent out a direct mail pitching a free trial subscription.

During one high school summer, Michael had sold enough subscriptions to make $18,000, which was more than the annual salary of his history and economics teacher.


Rather than focus on what you don’t have, look around and find where you can gain leverage through resourcefulness. Be like Mike.

Bootstrapping entrepreneurs should aspire to find ingenious ways of solving problems without having to throw a lot of money at them.

Originally published at




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Pete Weishaupt

Pete Weishaupt

Twitter: @peteweishaupt Website:

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