Making Moola with the Pelicans

Probably a zillion inspirational stories came out of the Great Depression.

(I’m talking about the Great Depression that started in 1929 and swept through the 1930s, by the way — not the most recent one.)

Anyway, one of my favorite stories is that of the late George Haylings.

George was a flat-broke 19-year-old kid who drove west from Detroit to southern California in an old jalopy to find his fortune. He camped out near the beach in a tent, with the pelicans, a typewriter, and a radio…

And an idea.

George sold his wheels for 200 bucks, his parents and aunt sent him a little cash, and what he didn’t spend on food he used to launch a business.

Haylings liked hunting down and collecting case studies about unique business ventures.

By the light of a kerosene lamp in his tent, he wrote short reports about money-making opportunities, which he sold through small classified ads in Mechanix Illustrated.

“The mail order concept caught on so well,” George wrote, “that I was earning $100 a week at the bottom of the blackest depression. My first girlfriend had parents who thought I might be a gangster with that kind of money! I thought that was quite a joke, but they were serious.”

George moved from his tent into a Hollywood apartment, then bought a house trailer and shifted his base of operations to Palm Springs during winters and Big Bear Lake in the summers.

He was one of the great pioneers in the mail order and information marketing businesses. And his enterprise prospered for some 50 years.

Here’s what I really find cool…

Today, with a laptop and an idea, anybody with the desire can follow in George Haylings’ footsteps.

So what’s stopping you? All you have to do is stop worrying and take the leap.

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