Conrad was in his third year at USC when his marks started to slip. If truth be told they had been steadily going down since the previous year and although his marks were pretty good initially, he didn’t have a ton of room to go down.
It was getting harder and harder to hide the poor grades from his parents, who were paying his tuition. The irony was he didn’t need them to pay his tuition, but he didn’t want to raise their suspicion by not having them pay. Quite a predicament Conrad found himself in.
No, he hadn’t discovered drug dealing, though not that far off, he had started a small craft smoothie empire. It started in his first year when Conrad lived in an off-campus house with seven-plus other guys. Every day he made himself a healthy and delicious smoothie, after trying it each roommate wanted one as well and soon, he was making eight smoothies each day.
It can get expensive with all the ingredients going into so many smoothies, so Conrad started charging his roommates a small fee. Conrad found it to be moderately profitable and better than waiting tables, so he quickly expanded to 20-25 per day with extra’s for girlfriends and neighbors who also starting to get in on the action.
So, in year two at school Conrad decided to rent a bigger place to himself and with the help of his good friend Mike they started delivering the craft smoothies each day to his old roommates, friends and neighbors and a quickly expanding base of customers and soon they were making over 100 smoothies each morning!
In his third year, Conrad rented a commercial kitchen with all kinds of smoothie making equipment and started pumping out over 200 smoothies a day with some customers getting two a day. Even splitting the profits with Mike Conrad was making really good money plus they were about to expand to other campuses as well as news of their amazing smoothies was spreading fast and their app was getting many signups daily.
The best part of it all was their customers, mostly students who traditionally don’t have the best diets were benefiting from the very healthy smoothies made from organic fruits and vegetables, yogurts, protein powders, nuts and more.
All things cannot be good forever and the dreaded day the parents found out finally arrived. He had ignored a couple of calls from his mom earlier in the day now she just phoned three times in a row, so he thought he’d better pick up. “We need to talk”, she said. Conrad quickly stepped into his office, “We received a letter from the school” she continued. “You are flunking out with only one year left?” she questioned.
“Does Dad know?” Conrad asked. “Not yet”, Mom replied, “but I can’t keep this secret for long.” Conrad and his father had always struggled to get along. Dad or “Joe” as he was known was a track star from USC himself as well and a successful lawyer. Those were some big shoes to fill and Joe didn’t let Conrad forget it either.
Meanwhile, the expansion of the smoothie business to other campuses around town they added several kiosk locations in addition to the thriving delivery business. They had already expanded to a second commercial kitchen and were entertaining franchise offers to expand into neighboring states.
Despite so much going on Conrad’s friend and business partner Mike was aware of the pressure to finish school that Conrad felt from his father, so he offered to run the business for a year while Conrad finished. They had already hired several key staff members he assured Conrad and they could hire more.
Conrad met with school officials about his current grades and pleaded for an extension to pull up his marks and write exams late. USC agreed after taking into consideration the benefit the healthy smoothies had been giving students – and some faculty members as well.
So after successfully (and closely!) passing this third year, Conrad went on to finish his fourth year and graduate with honors while his smoothie business continued to grow while he was busy with school. How impressed was his Dad Joe to not only see his son graduate but also have started a successful business at the same time!