Becoming a Second-Generation Entrepreneur
I was raised with two hardworking parents who loved me, and did everything they could to provide for me and my younger sister. We were never rich, but we always had enough so me and my sister would never be hungry, we had roof over our head, and we got almost everything on our Christmas list.
The interesting thing was, my dad never had a job, but he was always working. When the other kids asked me what my dad did for work I never had an answer, because my dad was always doing something different. My dad was an entrepreneur, but at the time I didn’t truly know what that meant. All of my friend’s dads worked for really big companies and had stable jobs, and my dad didn’t. For a long time, I thought success meant having a great job and making a six-figure income. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I realized my dad taught me what it means to live outside that status quo of a nine to five job.
It turns out he was always working on really big ventures. At one time, he was working with the president of Chile to create affordable housing for low income families. Another time he was in the process of buying bulk coal in order to provide energy fuel for large oil companies. Not all of these deals came through, and I was never able to say that my family grew up rich, but through all of my dad’s ventures, he instilled values into me I will forever be grateful for.
He taught me the value of having a vision for the future, and when that vision was strong enough, nothing can stop you and other people’s opinions do not matter. Most importantly, he taught me to make time for what is most important in my life. One thing I could always say about my dad is that he was always there for me. He always showed up to my soccer games. He was there for my first break up, and he was always there when I needed him the most. Not many kids can say that about their parents. The reason why dad chose to be an entrepreneur and not settle for anything less, is because his wife and kids were the most important things in his life. He wanted to make sure that he could provide for his family, but at the same time he didn’t want to miss out on the precious moments that money can never buy.
When I first got out of high school I knew clearly that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. By this time I had read a bunch of books and I thought I knew all the answers. I never once went to my dad for advice. To be honest, I was embarrassed to go to my dad because I didn’t think he had the level of success that I wanted. So I dove into multiple businesses and failed hard. At one time, I started a business in the farmers’ market. I bought a bunch of coconuts at five dollars a box, and sold each coconut at the market for 5 dollars each. Funny thing is that when I bought the coconuts, I didn’t have anywhere to store them, so I was running around town trying to find friends with extra refrigerator space that would be willing to hold my coconuts for a couple of days.
For three years I tried to start multiple business that never went anywhere. I was always wondering why I wasn’t successful and always looking for a book or program that would give me the missing link. I didn’t feel like I was good enough, and thought my age and lack of experience had me at a disadvantage. What I began to realize, is that people didn’t actually care about that. I didn’t need to pretend to be someone in order for people to like and trust me. What really made a difference was that I had a vision of where I was going to be, and that I wanted to create something that made a difference for people. People didn’t really care about how much money I had in my bank account. They cared if I was someone they could trust and if I could get them closer to their own goals and dreams in life.
When I changed my mindset about myself, my disadvantage turned into my greatest advantages. I started to attract the right people in my life. I found 3 different mentors from different industries in business. I was no longer embarrassed of how I grew up, and I became proud of my parents for teaching me how to work hard and to go for my dreams. I started to ask my dad for help and we ended up getting into business together. We run a fitness and nutrition program and have organization of over one thousand people that joined us through word of mouth. I am still young and I have a lot to learn, but I no longer see that as a bad thing. Authenticity and belief are what made a difference for me in business, and having great mentors like my dad.
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