When lecturing at the Harvard Law School, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes told students they could do anything they wanted to in life, if only they wanted to hard enough. Later in a private aside he added, “But what I did not tell them was that they had to be born wanting to.”
Heber J. Grant was born wanting to be an entrepreneur. Young Heber consumed the commercial news of the New York Weekly Ledger as avidly as other boys might have read the sports page. He and his close companion Heber Wells ventured into an ambitious but disastrous egg business (harried by neighborhood dogs and infested with the pip, the hens refused to lay). Heber even became a youthful employer. His keen eye and steady fingers won him a trove of marbles, and he used his winnings with Tom Sawyeresque skill. Less nimble companions were hired to cut wood, haul water, and do his other distasteful chores.