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My whole life I have been exposed to business, and I keep those lessons with me-Now that I run my own businesses.
I remember early in my life, I lived in the dirty state of New Jersey, above a terribly dirty bar. The bar often kept us up at night with loud, live music and drunk patrons. It was one of the greatest decisions my single mom made to move us to Florida. It was from that bar that I learned how your business can affect your community- for better or worse.
In Florida, I often babysat my cousins and children of the neighbors. Babysitting taught me how much work it is to be responsible for another person’s life. Babysitting also helped me make the final decision not to have kids of my own. EVER.
I picked up another odd job, at around twelve years old. I was cleaning up construction sites-mostly houses, just after they finish the electric.
My aunt brought it to my attention that my construction clean up could become a very lucrative business, by stripping the wire scraps I was collecting, and selling the copper. I worked very hard at this and added another couple of hundred dollars every two weeks to my pocket. Little did I know back then, my aunt was profiting several times that off my work. That taught me to be in charge and to always check after people.
The housing construction industry nose-dived, so I grudgingly went back to baby-sitting.
The overall job market was rough, and several people that I worked for became slow paying me. Of course kids have no rights in a workforce where kids are not supposed to work. I learned many tactics to convince people to pay me on-time or in advance, although overall I hoped to be out of that market altogether.
I focused the incredible work ethic that I learned from my single mother, and rocked in high school. I learned shortcuts, and finished 35% of my college AA degree in high school. This was a tremendous help, because I struggled with math, and high school dual-enrollment professors were very helpful and personally attentive.
I threw myself into working and neglected college after high school. The job world led me to believe that college was no longer a big contributing factor to the success that I wanted, so I have that up. I steadily worked three jobs and worked over 80 hours per week.
My big dream was to be a serial entrepreneur and multi-billionaire. I was working at a bookstore, which offered a check-out system. I preferred getting the new books from the bookstore than the outdated texts from the library. I obsessively read business books, investing, and Internet books. From 2008 to 2011, I read over 400 books, and saved over 900 word documents of notes! In between work shifts, at lunch breaks, ANYTIME I wasn’t working- I would likely be reading.
This obsessive hobby led me to excell in my bookstore job, often the resident expert that my co-workers referred to and a brilliant up seller to the customers. I had immeasurable passion for that job, and stayed with it long after it was really helpful to my growth.
My mother put me in Head Start at three years old, and despite dyslexia, I picked up reading and excelled very fast. My cousins craved expensive video games for entertainment- I merely wanted a good book.
I learned the power of networking in my last job-working as a debt collector. That was a company full of politics. Friends promote friends, and share strategic advantages. It was during that job that I decided to make powerful friends, and to be very good to them.
A friend of mine introduced ne to a photographer named Dave. He and I became inseparable friends, and later on- business partners. He involved me in his companies because he recognized that I had exhaustive research behind me, and the creative ingenuity to make successful enterprises. For exactly two years, we worked in-sync, until we had to accept that we each wanted different things for our businesses, so we cordially split.
Now I’m still learning lessons daily, and I am a risk-taker, so the lessons come more often to me than someone who lives monotonously.
I’m working three businesses, each of which I hope to establish thorough processes that allow them to run independent of myself. My greatest passion comes now from helping other small businesses grow as I do, with my consulting company Your Business Allies at http://yourbusinessallies.com