Early Years

By Roger Bryan

I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, OH just a few steps away from the outskirts of the city.  My family life was normal- Two parents; a blue collar dad and a stay at home mom.  I have a younger brother who is about six years younger then me.  I spent most of my early years staying with my grandparents which had a hug impact on my life in later years.

I got my first job at the age of 9 doing a paper route for the Sun News which was a once a week newspaper for the sounding three suburbs.    In those days they dropped off the papers on my front steps the night before and I’d have to throw a bad over my shoulder delivering each paper to my customers front doors.  Once a month then I’d have to walk door to door trying to collect payment.  Things have changed a bit since then.

At 12 I moved to a route with the Cleveland Plain Dealer which is Cleveland’s Daily Paper.   Every morning my father would wake me up at 4am to deliver the papers.  I made it 95% of the time.  Luckily he covered for me when I just couldn’t get the energy to do it.  This job actually paid very well.  I believe I was clearing $100 a week in profits.  Which for a 12 year old in 1990 was a lot of money.  This lasted for about two years.  The Plain Dealer then decided they were going to move to truck drivers and mail in payments.  The age of the paperboy was gone.

During this time I got my first real lessons in business.  Each Sunday my father, my grandfather and I would go to the flea market so they could shop around for parts for their car projects.  I would wonder around looking for baseball cards and GI Joe’s.  My grandfather taught me early to never buy the first thing you see.  Take your time, walk around, look for the deals, and only after you’ve looked at everything for sale go back and make your purchase.  I can’t say I always listed back them… but I do now!

The next chapter in my story can be read by clicking this link My Education Years