At an early age I learned that complaining about not reaching a goal and then passively waiting to reach said goal would not help me. It took years for me to put what I had learned into practice (and I still have to work on keeping my focus sometimes).
I remember as a kid asking for a pair of specific sneakers. Given the economical hardship my family was going through with my dad being in the hospital most of the time, purchasing sneakers was a luxury we could not afford. I started to find ways to generate money in order to buy the small luxuries I wanted. I remember my first attempt at making money was selling pencils and pens to classmates in third or second grade. My direct competitor was a cart (called the school store), which was dragged from one room to the next with some fancy pencils, and office supplies which where sold to my classmates.
I was usually one of the kids who could not afford to buy something from the store so I choose to become the cart’s competitor. Every once in a while I would get my dad or mom to make small investments in office supplies. For the most part I funded my business with the small gifts I received on holidays.
When I was age 12 we moved to Puerto Rico and I was put in a private school. I was given enough money to get something to eat during my breaks ($1.50 approximately) to buy an empanadilla or whatever was the daily special and a soda (probably not the healthiest meal for a kid).
My classmates where handed a lot more than $1.50 every day. I identified that they where all into basketball cards and I use to collect baseballs cards. I started bringing them in so they could see my collection of sports cards and in a short time, I got them to buy the extra cards I had in my collection. I would look at the price guides of cards (ex. Beckett) and based on the guide I would set the prices of the cards that I chose to sell.
I remember creating one of my first business processes to track how many of each card I had, average price, what it had sold for in other places, etc… I also created a spreadsheet on a notebook that was fairly complex.
Over time my daily allowance of $1.50 for a quick meal was supplemented by at least $20 to $40 a day selling sports card. This gave me the freedom to buy me the latest sneakers and even get me the privilege to get some deep discounts at the local Footlocker.
My First Small Business
After I stopped selling baseball cards, at 15 I worked as a dog groomers and shortly after, set up my first dog grooming business. The owners of the grooming shop moved to the United States and for the rest of my time in High School I had my own Dog Grooming business. This allowed me to buy my first car and one of the few kids in High School that actually had a car (a very beat up car but it was mine).
I Can’t Wait for Things to Happen
I have never sat and waited for things to fall my way. It worries me greatly when I see very talented people waiting for the next big break but they are not going after it. At an early age I understood that remaining inactive was not going to get me very far.
I ask you to go after your dreams (if you are not doing so already). If you feel you have not gotten their yet let me know how I can help get you there.
For the most part if you stay focus and remain active, the possibilities of things improving are big.
Go for it!