“I bought my first car with bubble gum money –the real bubble gum car” says Carmazzi who explains he made US $2500 in his last six months of Junior High school selling bubble gum.
“At the time there was this new bubble gum on the market – “Bubble Yum”. The kids couldn’t get enough of it, but it was not sold at school. Nothing was. The kids could only eat at the cafeteria, no snacks – only healthy food – if you can call cafeteria food healthy.
“To look the part of a businessman I picked up a briefcase at a garage sale and half of that was filled with the usual student books, papers and pens; the other half was my first business
“I’d sell a half a briefcase of bubble gum a day. I was buying it at nine cents a pack and selling it at 35 cents a pack. I even ran credit where kids could go on the debtors list and take their gum today and pay 50 cents for the privilege. It was a great little business that bought me my first car,” says Carmazzi, acknowledging that bubble gum was banned at his school at the time so he innocently found himself dealing in contraband.
He adds that making money was something he could not help doing, “I was entrepreneurial from the very beginning. I loved working and finding niche markets that gave people what they wanted and gave me pretty good pocket money at the same time. Making money was my hobby,” Carmazzi says.
But his bubble gum business paled into insignificance when he graduated and started at university. Like many young men in their late teens, Carmazzi had a passion for explosives – anything that went bang was ripe for exploration.
“So I started making and selling bombs; you could call them fireworks if you want to be polite, but they were still bombs and as undergraduates we had a ball blowing things up,” says Carmazzi.
He stresses these bombs were small with more bark than bite, but packing enough punch to charge up people’s reactions.
“I remember one frozen Montana night – we were in our dorm and the guys from across the way were playing this song, Dead Puppies VERY LOUD. It must have been about one am and we were all really sick of the sound of this thing, played repetitively over and over again.
“At the time you could still get hold of a lot of good bomb making materials and I had some magnesium powder. Now this stuff does not explode by itself, but attached to a smaller bomb it erupts in a flash of fiery sound that lights up the world as the magnesium blazes the oxygen around it.
“The guys and I thought we’d silence the Dead Puppy song once and for all. We opened the window of our 14 th floor dorm and threw a blast of magnesium bomb out the window. The explosion and fire storm looked like the Battle of Britain all over again.
“All the fire alarms went off and we were all herded out into the dorm grounds – freezing our asses off at 2 am. Needless to say that little event was one of the best ads I ever had in selling fireworks, but it also killed the grades as I was suspended for ‘being a danger to other students’, well, it was still a lot of fun!”
A job with Deco & Company was on offer and Arthur’s foray into the buzz and bubble that is direct marketing was launched . Later he bought a small company, Frontier Corporate KT Ltd, which dealt with creating corporate structures for various businesses, including tax-related and legal aspects. Within 1½ years, he increased revenue by 3000%, and developed Frontier into the third-largest company of its kind in the US.
Life and riches were piling up very nicely, rather like Midas everything Arthur touched turned to gold. He was the pride before the fall. And his fall came in the fairly spectacular fashion of a knife blade into his lung during a mugging in Puerto Rico.
Close to death, feeling his life blood draining from his body, was an epiphany for Arthur, who looked back at his life in the cliché manner of those on death’s door and saw that for most of his life he had been a down right prick; insensitive and selfish motivated only by money and ego.
A fairly unattractive portrait of himself that he swore to redraw if he lived through the attack.
He lived and on returning to America Arthur sold off his company and possessions, in exchange for the opportunity to travel around the world for 2½ years. During this period of time, Arthur gained a wealth of cross-cultural experiences applicable to both personal and business aspects. However, his cash resources started dwindling, and he decided to join Curtis, Han, and Bradshaw Inc. as a partner. This was an international business development consulting firm that assisted organizations in maximizing their resources through international supply change management and trade.
One year later, Arthur joined Grail Corporation as managing director in Seoul Korea, and developed international franchises that created higher margin distribution channels for numerous Asian multinational organizations. During the 5 year term, Arthur created over 38 successful franchise organizations across Asia with a 100% success rate.
When Arthur left Grail Corporation, he founded and managed two franchises from previous successful business models he had created. However, due to his lack of focus and ego-tactical approach to his new business, within 1½ years, Arthur had lost everything and was half a million dollars in debt. As a result, Arthur sought employment as a means to repay his debt and maintain basic subsistence.
During this trying time, Arthur encountered numerous challenges in his new organization, particularly the work environment of this new organization. He quickly became dissatisfied with the dynamics at his workplace, and sought to find a solution to the lack of fulfillment from work for both him and his colleagues. It was in this search for a solution to increase job fulfillment via group dynamics that the Directive Communication ™ methodology was born.
When Arthur left this job, he was still in massive debt. He used his knowledge and experience from dealing with, consulting with, and developing a variety of business entities. This experience from service, retail, trade, and manufacturing businesses, applied with a creative twist, pulled him out of debt.
The severe difficulties of trying to build a business while having no cash resources and trying to eliminate debt was instrumental in finding leverage opportunities that allowed Arthur to become completely debt-free, and build an international training franchise within only 6 years, while using only non-cash resources that he was able to leverage on. Arthur is currently CEO of Directive Communication International ( Asia) Pte Ltd, and sits on the Boards of several organizations dedicated to business development.