My application for the Top 35 Business Leaders Under 35

From the Features Department:

Esteemed judges, it is with humble pride that I submit my application for your Top 35 Business Leaders Under 35 competition. I have committed my life to excellence in everything I do, especially business, and so I ask that you consider me for your award, which I understand comes with a sizeable monetary prize.

There are many reasons why I feel that I am worthy of being among your top business leaders under 35. First of all, I have started many, many businesses — from my first enterprise, in which I sold books from my elementary school library, to my most recent operation, an ice cream and ski shop that I launched last year with my ex-best-friend Randy.

The ski shop closed recently due to a misunderstanding with the dairy company that supplied our cream. They were insistent on the payment of our invoices by certain dates, and we strategically decided that doing so was contrary to our financial goals.

Another rationale for selecting me for this esteemed prize is that I am indeed under 35! I have opted not to submit the mandatory photocopy of my birth certificate or passport, however, as I feel passionately about the right of all people to privacy. I have been committed to privacy—especially my own—ever since Randy and I opened and soon after closed an operation to assist students in exam preparation and performance.

And even if someone was found to be a few months or years over 35, could they not still be considered among the “top”? Who among us is fit to judge?

Back to the cash prize for a second. If I were indeed selected as a deserving honouree, I would gladly accept the financial component of the award in cash, as opposed to a cheque or email money transfer. Five-dollar bills would be preferable.

It is true that not all or any of my businesses have been extremely profitable, but, like my heroes Steve Jobs and the Walmart family, I have the essential trait that I am confident will eventually lead me to success: determination. As Randy said after our used umbrella shop was forced to close, it is better to pick up and start something new somewhere else than stick with a business that may embroil you in a legal quagmire.

By the way, if Randy applies for this award himself, please call me. He also goes by the name “Clayton.”

Should Randy be selected as an award winner, his cash prize can come to me. I will then relay to him the funds to which he is entitled.

I would like to add that I believe in community. I volunteer philanthropically for several local organizations, including the Documentary Film Festival, which enables me to acquire free tickets to all movies being screened at the festival and unlimited free popcorn.

Regarding letters of recommendation: I meant to acquire such letters from former teachers and business associates extolling my aptness for this award, but my email requests went unanswered. It is possible that I had their emails wrong, as it has been several years since I’ve been in touch. Also, my name has changed multiple times in the interim.

Please do not contact the dairy company for a recommendation, as that situation is still evolving. 

Nor should you contact Randy (Clayton). Although nobody has heard from him since he left town with our cream fund.

In summary, I would like to again thank you, honourable judges of the Top 35 Under 35 Business Leaders Cash Prize and Competition. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further evidence of my deservedness for this esteemed accolade. I am available most evenings over the next two months for any gala celebration buffet dinner and cash envelope handover.

I might not stay for the gala dinner. Maybe I could take my meal to go and eat it on the way to the bank. Or we could just meet at the bank, if it’s convenient for you.

Lastly, should I be named one of the Top 35 Under 35 Business Leaders, I request with humble gratitude that you do not publish my name or photo in the newspaper. If the dairy company finds me it will irreparably harm my future business prospects, limiting my chances for your Top 40 Under 40. 

Illustration by Nick Zarzycki

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