Steps to Becoming a Private Business Owner Series, Part 1

How hard is it to start a business? How much money do I need to begin my own business? How do I get started?

By Armando F Sanchez
Published on LatinoLA: July 10, 2013

Steps to Becoming a Private Business Owner Series, Part 1

How hard is it to start a business? How much money do I need to begin my own business? How do I get started? How long will it take? What do I need to get started?

I taught Economics for many years and I would ask students to consider the questions just mentioned and to come up with viable answers.

I am happy to share that some students as young as 14-years old understood my private business principles and concepts and then went out and started their own businesses.

One story I like to share is that I have two full fledge millionaires in the family and neither one finished high school. This concept was always in the back of my mind, and kept nagging at me, while I was working on my masters and doctorate degree.

I remember several years back coming across a kid who was investing thousands of dollars in a couple of hours and doing quite well. I interviewed his father who was nearby and I found out that his father had quit his day job to worked for his son. I also learned that the new pickup he drove was purchased cash by his son. You see, his son was under aged and not old enough to even apply for a driver learners permit. (Side note; kids can get a private pilot license and fly solo and yet not be old enough to drive a car!)

There was this high school junior and student of mine who understood the principles I was sharing about starting a business and he found his merchandise in his garage that same afternoon and started his business that same day.

I still have that special t-shirt from one of my students who created it by using her artistic talents. They were unique and several of the teachers near my room also liked and bought them from her. By coincidence, her family was having a family reunion so she sold a bundle of them!

So where did I learn about being an entrepreneur? College or high school? Well, actually when I was 6-years old. The little store owner down the street asked me to come in every two days to go through the produce and take out and throw away what was rotten. I remember his words in Spanish, "I am contracting you, not hiring you!". Of course back then I didn't quite understand what he meant. Perhaps he was protecting himself from being accused of hiring a child (child labor issues I guess). Several years latter I learned that my father was actually paying the store owner to "contract me to inspect the produce"! I am forever grateful to my father for this invaluable lesson. I was already contracting out my services. I became a "private media publication distributor" at age 9. In other words, I sold newspapers on the streets.

I remember another event where a man desperately needed a pencil on the US side near where I attended elementary school. I bought the pencil on the Mexican side and I readily accepted his nickel. Thus, I realized I was now an official international businessperson.

The point I am trying to make is that it is very easy to begin a business. It's a matter of having the right business principles.

Unfortunately the K-12 educational system does not teach entrepreneurship! It teaches students to prepare themselves to get a "good job". The Economics book I was provided by the state dedicated about 4 out of 300 pages on the topic of starting and having their own business. Worst yet is that its quite common to find adults who don't remember ever taking an Economic class in high school. It's a four-month class!

Starting a business is a very straight forward approach. Even kids can do it. My father asked me in his retired years to teach him to also be an entrepreneur. He was terrified to start but after taking my advice, applying it and making a few buck he took off! After a while he was in the small personal loans and money exchange business. My father was helping others in need by providing small personal loans to cover emergencies. The student surpassed the teacher! Thanks Dad, I was thrilled to repay back for helping me with my first private business gig!

An education can be very helpful to keep the business growing to its full potential. A great education can help one to make the business grow quicker and further.

I emphasize that anyone can start a business. It's easier than you think.

We must collectively work to create more entrepreneurs in our communities. Future generations will need job opportunities and the workers do not create the jobs. In the US, like most parts of the world, its the small business owners who provide the new local jobs.

I have been asked if the money that employees earn and spend should be counted toward creating more jobs. Unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. We need to realize that we are buying more items than ever before that are made in foreign countries and that those companies on foreign soil may be owned in part, or all, by American business. Either way the business owners make a profit by importing and the workers in this country are loosing ground.

Not sure if you can ever be an entrepreneur? Keep in mind that the technological innovations we readily accept and embrace was primarily developed to displacing workers and jobs worldwide. The technology overall is getting better and less expensive while it can operate 24/7 for 365 days. Let that thought nag you daily and let it also motive us to act.

About Armando F Sanchez:
Executive producer in New Digital Media for global broadcasts
Author's website
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