Birds-N-Buds This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Why don't you get a bird instead of another dog" my father said after the death of Shakespeare, our Springer Spaniel. Little did I know that at 12 years old, this would be the start of not only my first business but several wonderful life-enriching experiences. Since then my company, "Birds and Buds," has expanded from small finches and cockatiels to exotic parrots. Throughout the past five years I have learned to deal with the frustrations, disappointments and rewards that go along with running a business.

The business first started taking care of a few birds. Initially, cleaning, feeding, and observing were the extent of my duties, but by the time I was a freshman, I was responsible for the well-being of over 50 birds. As time passed I was required to handle more responsibilities including construction, negotiation, sales, research, and travel. I was even required to act as a veterinarian for minor emergencies.

Several times after having lost a chick, despite the best of care, the thought of quitting crossed my mind. Yet the desire to see the others survive prevailed. In early days these pets were a source of enjoyment but within a short time they multiplied. In order to handle them, I hand fed these chicks with the frequency of any infant. The reward however was a sweet, gentle companion who wanted nothing more than to be perched high on my shoulder. Soon the flock multiplied and I found that a profit was possible as I began supplying the local pet shop with chicks. It was then that I expanded and thus began a commitment far greater than I realized.

This challenge I had set for myself, at times, seemed impossible with everything that I had to do. It became an every day, odd hour job. I had to adjust to early mornings and late nights to care for new hatchlings. I had to make sure food was plentiful, and supplies were ordered. Sacrifices had to be made with friends, sports, and other things I was involved in.

The biggest challenge was dealing with customers. At a young age I was conversing with adults. I had to learn how to talk and negotiate with these people. This helped me develop into a more mature and professional person at the age of fifteen. As a result I feel I can now handle and talk to adults comfortably.

Facing the challenge of successfully running my own business helped me to gain insights about myself and the business world. Time management, hard work, and effective communication were the major skills I gained with knowledge of hundreds of different breeds of birds. This experience helped me understand better all the necessaryfactors in starting and continuing a prosperous endeavor. These skills will hopefully carry me through life with a better grasp of important tools. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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