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Convenience Store

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Daniel Karpantschof said, "working in a convenience store, you learn a lot about people."

He adds, "It's one of the few places in society where all people meet on equal terms."

Reminiscing on when he and his business partner were teenagers without marketable skills.

Daniel goes on to say about his experience, "You get a closer relationship to the homeless guy who wants to buy a beer than the CEO that wants to buy a beer. It’s honest work at a convenience store."

These two teenagers were unaware of how large an impact they would one day have on their peers and the world at large. From convenience store clerks to CEOs.

The secret to success is not a college education, in some cases, a college education teaches you to become less capable of reaching your true potential, being more original, and innovative.

Daniel's first project was to make enough to build a consulting firm. The pair of teenagers were not instantly successful. At first, the two struggled to get a single client, but once the two were able to get people interested in their consulting business it took off.

All the while, Karpantschof stayed very humble, even when the success was happening in his life, nothing changed, he still lived in his native Denmark and his parents were still just as critical about his decisions.

Meanwhile, Daniel continued to do his own thing.

The idea of the consulting firm scaling seemed far-fetched to many skeptics and totally unrealistic; however, perception is hardly ever reality and the business expanded tremendously.

If someone is interested in succeeding, one must be permitted to fail and even go broke several times.

When asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement, Daniel admitted that the organizing strategy was flawed, "the movement has peaked and is fading out," he said. "Occupy won't even be part of the upcoming election."

Karpantschof insisted, "a more appropriate term for the movement is 're-boot' Wall Street."

"How do we solve this problem?," Daniel asked rhetorically.
"How can we get Wall Street to be apart of the future that everyone wants?"

I asked, "what would you say to a college graduate who has student loan debt and gets an offer from an investment bank?"

"You are not evil, but work within a framework and have to make ends meet," Karpantschof noted.

Daniel and I both nodded. Daniel doesn't blame people that have to work in investment banking as a means to an end.

But, this response reminded me that college teaches students to aim low, to compromise their dreams in favor of a short-term solution. Although lucrative, most investment bankers complain that the hours and treatment is inhumane.

Daniel reminded me, "Money makes us do things that we would otherwise not do, at some point a conversation will take place about what the future of the financial sector and financial services place actually does."

Ideally, those involved in the recent movement and the actors in corporate suits should be involved in a dialogue about how to reform the industry. Mr. Karpantschof remains an idealist. "The system is going forward, but sitting on a stage outside of the building will get you attention, but it's not getting you any change."

If working at a convenience store was an honest living, we will admit that the nuances of banking remain a mystery to most and have enslaved millions of people trying to get ahead in this country.

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