K-Mart used to sell an entire above-ground pool kit including pump and filter for $99. I started installing selling them installed for $399 then went to $499 (financed, pay me a little whenever you can). I could install 3 myself on a weekend. 4 if I hired my friends to dig out the sod and rake up the stones.
I would hit Ryan Homes plans. Nice level lots. Middle class neighborhoods. Lots of kids. Most homes had both parents working. Perfect.
Once I install one, every neighbor in the plan ordered one. I spent zero on marketing.
So one day I’m eating dinner across from my parents listening to them tell me how I’m going to one day make $12K a year some day, if I keep up with school, go to college, and get a steady job (at this point in life, I’m in H.S., but still can’t read. I later taught myself to read). This is 1978 mind you.
Anyway, I just couldn’t take it any longer. So I asked them what they earned. I about fell off my chair. So they asked me how much money I was making installing above-ground pools on the weekend (I was making way more on my weekends than both of them combined). They then fell off their chairs. Well actually, they both stood up out of their chairs with their jaws hanging open and their eyes all bugged out. I looked at their facial expressions and knew right then and there what I had to do. The next day I quit high school.