I was about nine years old when one summer day I overheard my uncle saying to Mom that the peppers she used to cook were really hot and would sell in his Bar. Right there and then, the ‘idea’ of starting a hot pepper garden occurred to me. “I could use few dollars”, I thought.
It may have been the same day or the next when I collected pepper seeds mom had thrown into the garbage. Unsure about not having enough seeds and unbeknownst to Mom, I took a few peppers from the refrigerator. Yes, I know it was stealing and I felt a little guilty. But the excitement of starting a garden was too much to contain. I wanted to have as many seeds as I could get.
At the time, I was just starting a pepper garden. However, in retrospect, I was actually starting a business; a business based on a single and simple idea; start a pepper garden, sell hot peppers; make money.
But, as with all business ventures there are steps to follow if the business is to get off the ground. Still, the idea was not a “business venture” to me and I did not have “steps” in mind. I just did one thing after another to get my pepper garden growing.
As I started, it never crossed my mind if the idea was a good one or not and this may have been a good thing. Because, had I given the idea a lot of thought I may not have started at all. But this is the focus of a child’s mind and there is a lot we, as adults, can still learn from our inner child.
Nevertheless, the moment I gave the idea some thought, I realized that the work would be hard. But here is where the desire for making a few dollars and having to work hard to get it, clashed. But I was already in deep. I had made up my mind. This is where the meat of success (hard work, dedication and passion) between two slices of bread (Idea and result/reward) would make the sandwich I hoped to have to eat and enjoy sometime into the future.
Anyway, it took more than an idea to get my business off the ground, literally. First, I needed a “business license” (permission from Mom). Then, I needed to “buy” or “lease” farm land; Well, not really. I had the land I needed right there in my own back yard. Still I had to get a “permit” from the “zoning department” (Mom again). She had to OK the spot. Then I needed “equipment” to be able to clear and prepare the land for planting. I would need a pick axe, a hoe and a shovel; none of which came in ‘child size’, but I had them. Then I needed “factor inputs” (seeds) which I also had. Finally and most importantly, my new business called for “capital” in the form of time, muscle, energy, hard work, sweat, dedication and follow through. By the way, I also had to comply with “regulations” (Mom’s admonishment that I still had to do my homework and daily chores).
My business model was simple enough. Start a hot pepper garden, pick the peppers and take them to “market” (my uncle’s Bar) on Saturdays. I already knew that the going price was three hot peppers for a quarter. That’s $1.00 for 12 hot peppers.
Two days wielding man-sized equipment to clear and prepare the land and planting pepper seeds; sweating bullets, baring the burn of blisters in my hands, a sore back and little sleep was what it took start to my business. It took another couple of months to produce “inventory” and one Saturday morning to make my first few dollars. I had become a “Business Boy”.
Starting a business is really that simple. It all starts with the occurrence of a single thought/idea that you can visualize; an idea that ignites the passion of success to see it through.
You would think that today, with all the sophistication, education and technology available, that starting a business would be simple enough, and it is. People start businesses all the time.
However, in spite of statistics showing that most startups fail within five years, I strongly encourage you to believe in yourself, your idea and be patient. It is in your belief that the passion you need, will rise. Let your inner child have a seat at the table and a voice in your mind. “Be” mindful that success is first a story of life lived, not money made.
“Trust God, and as you do your best, believe in yourself, be patient and Trust your destiny”.
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