Sep 09
just do it - the work

I’ve only bought one pair of Nike’s in my life.

I was 12 years old.

It was the beginning of 6th grade, and my mom wanted to buy me some bullshit Pro-Wings from Payless, but there was no way in hell I was going to let the kids at school see me sport some knock-off kicks.

I was terrified my friends would make fun of me.

But the Nike’s I wanted were $30 some dollars.

My Mom told me… “No.”

But instead of giving me no options, she said… “If you want the Nike’s, you can go earn them yourself.”

So, she arranged for me to be picked up by the bus to head out to the strawberry fields to make my own money.

It was grueling labor, and I think I was the only white person in the bunch. All I could see around me was Mexicans and Vietnamese women working like field oxen.

picking strawberries

I can’t even imagine how badly their backs must have ached after a full day of crouching over like that?

To this day, I’m incredibly thankful for this lesson my Mom taught me.

I learned at a very early age that if you want something, you go to work for it.

Shortly after that experience, I began selling Oregonian newspaper subscriptions door to door.

I was still 12 years old, and I’m pretty sure it was an illegal child labor racket. But I didn’t care as long as I got my $20 each day.

At 13, I was making $15 an hour under the table working in a carpet store. That job was epic until I realized the guy had been grooming me for months and tried to molest me on my 14th birthday.

At 14, I got my first legal work permit and began washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant named Ponchos in Portland Oregon. Starting wage was $3.35 an hour. (Riches I tell you)

From that moment on, I almost always had a job (even while I was dealing drugs because I needed a distraction & excuse about where the money was coming from).

My jobs have ranged from...

Cook (and just about every other position in a restaurant), convenience store clerk, construction parts driver, waterproofer, framer, roofer, metal fabricator, cement worker, telemarketer, political petitioner, cab driver, private investigator, warehouseman, landscaper, market researcher, door to door salesman, painter, mushroom forager, mover, commercial fisherman, pedicab driver, tour guide, street magician, carpet and vinyl installer, legal insurance salesman, and more.

I have a list of over 50 places I’ve been employed throughout my life.

Thankfully, I haven’t had an employer in over 15 years.

I credit my mother for instilling the discipline of hard work throughout my life.

She and my father always worked their butts off to provide for us and give us what we needed.

We didn’t always have the best stuff, but we never had to worry about the necessities.

Anything beyond that, I learned to earn it for myself.

I’m so grateful we didn’t grow up with silver spoons in our mouths because my experiences have taught me how to create gold spoons at will.

Sorry if you were expecting a political or social rant about Nike, I just wanted to talk about hard work.

So if you want things in life, remember…

Just Do It (Hard Work that is).



PS: What jobs have you had that taught you something in life? Share below in the comments if you'd like. 


About the Author

Jason Moffatt is a former private detective turned internet marketer who uses his skills of keen observation and deductive reasoning to pinpoint the easiest paths to success online. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs in the health & wellness field along with those in the personal development space. Jason believes we’re all a work in progress and that each day presents an opportunity to be a little be better than the last.

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