The gift that would change my life

No one can make you a successful entrepreneur, the desire and will to achieve success comes from within; and it determines how far we will go to reach our dreams. Don’t look to anyone else for the motivation necessary to build an empire; and don’t write off organization and team work.

Remember, everyone sees things from a different perspective, reacts according to their own needs; and in many cases believes that the solutions to their own problems can be applied to other people. They will try to get you to set your own dreams aside to build a “stable” life with a fixed salary and a steady job; that was the fastest solution that they found for themselves. But it’s very likely that you are willing to give more and put up with the “instability” of being an entrepreneur with the goal of reaching success with your own business.

There are entrepreneurs who are born out of the abyss of necessity and others who, while having other opportunities; prefer to create what many would call an “unnecessary” necessity and live with the instability of their “projects”.

Deciding to be your own boss isn’t merely difficult; it’s more than a simple “job” with a stable salary and legally protected benefits. Being your own boss is hard work that requires more than 8 hours a day; requires you to cut costs to increase your business’ purchasing power; requires you to navigate the turbulence of times of crisis to respond to suppliers and employees, requires dexterity to stretch every dollar, and at the beginning there may be very few of them to stretch.

With all due respect for the work they do, an employee is exempt from the worries of a business owner. An employee’s tasks are specific, and the risks of the business generally rest in the hands of the owner; who must decide the best path to follow to avoid going under; and in the worst case scenario, eliminating that “stable” job position.

This is why entrepreneurs are the engine of the global economy; they risk everything and devote a lot of time in the process of creating new jobs.

But what makes an individual willing to lose everything (a legitimate risk); to devote many hours of their time to creating jobs and their own income?

I’ll tell you why, today, I prefer to lead my own business and not dedicate my time and efforts to working for someone else.

First, I’ll show you the “perfect conditions” that led me to become an entrepreneur.

My mother was an excellent teacher, that’s how I see her; she gave everything for mine and my sister’s education. She was both mother and father for us as she raised us by herself, and, although part of the reason for my love of entrepreneurship I owe to my father, it was perhaps the only and most unexpected gift that I ever got from him. And I don’t mean the physical gift itself; as I’m sure the gift was not intended to usher me into the world of business.

Nonetheless, when I was 14, a gift arrived that was every teenager’s object of desire: a Nintendo console, a video game console that would change my life.

I learned that I could satisfy a need and not just a whim.

At that time, it was very difficult for low-income families like mine to be able to own a video game console; back then, it was easier to “rent” than to own, and for many neighbors, history repeated itself. Some of them decided to offer me a few “sucres”, our local currency, in exchange for being able to play.
 We thought about selling the console, but my mother decided that I could keep it on the condition that I bought the games and that I saved for my education.

I saved and grew as an entrepreneur

Maybe I didn’t do it thinking about the future, but by saving up to buy new games; I attracted more customers. Pretty soon, I was the owner of a console and a variety of games that I couldn’t even use anymore because the demand was so high. My savings were stable, so I changed my strategy; with the help of my aunt and my mother, I was able to get a television on credit and a second console with the intention of being able to play; never thinking I was on the path to understanding what independence meant.

I didn’t change my lifestyle

I had my own income; a stable customer base, and the savings were now coming from two consoles instead of two; I didn’t change my spending but I did increase my savings, because by now I was thinking about expanding, not having fun.

This didn’t happen overnight; but with a combination of a bit of luck and a kid perceiving a need that others had; which naturally gave birth to a business endeavor, an unplanned endeavor, from which I learned that the strength of an entrepreneur is in being able to see the needs in their environment.

Originally published at on October 23, 2016.