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‘Soft heart, soft head’

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Editor's note: Inman News publisher and longtime innovator Brad Inman has launched a blog at BradInman.com that will carry "stories, ideas and lessons on starting businesses." His third post, republished here, recounts the lessons he learned from being an entrepreneur at a young age. Click here to read the original post. In my first business venture, I partnered with my younger brother Jeff -- we were 10 and 12 years old. With my mother's nonstop encouragement, we started a window-washing business, Bucket & Brush Brothers. We handed out fliers to the small businesses in our hometown, Carlinville, a southern Illinois farm burg. The charge: $1 per business. Our first customer was my parents' business. We washed the windows of their ladies "ready-to-wear" shop on the north end of the town square. My Dad was a tough customer -- he had strong ideas on how to wash windows the "right way." At our peak, we cleaned the windows for 20 businesses, wh...