I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur since I was 23. My first business was an ice cream store. It was a complete failure. I didn’t want to listen to anyone’s opinions about this business and I never did any research. I’ve been saving since I started working when I was 14. I just wanted to be a business owner. I’ve dreamt of owning my own business since I was 14 years old. I thought that all business owners had a lot of money. The ice cream store was in the neighborhood I grew up in. I was excited but had no idea how to run a business. I ended up losing my life savings that summer. I was devastated and felt like a loser. I never thought about getting a job. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next and then another business fell into my lap. My mentor at the time(who I never told about the ice cream store) knew someone selling a cleaning company. He said it would be perfect for me. My son had just turned 1, I was still in college, and now I was broke.
Even though I was extremely busy, I've always had the entrepreneurial itch and so I jumped into the cleaning business. This was only possible because I was able to finance the business over the next 5 years. I had no money, only my work ethic. My mentor vouched for me and so my journey into the cleaning industry began. It was a multiple six figure loan that I had agreed to repay in 5 years. Again, I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to be a business owner. This was an enormous loan for me and did cause me to be even more stressed out since I was now expecting my second child. I was still broke, had a large loan to pay off, one child with one on the way, and still in college full time. My daughter was born a year later.
I only stayed in school to keep my mom happy. I’m glad I did though because it was a huge accomplishment. I did eventually graduate after 7 years and I was the first in my family to get a bachelor’s degree. Although I was very proud and always worked hard, I found myself busier than ever because I was trading time for money. I thought to myself, there must be a better way.
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