As we live, we write our stories. Beginning at birth, we grow, we get older and, hopefully, wiser. We make many decisions along the way and always hope to make the best of every situation, doing our best to make the best of our lives and our future. As we get older — and many of you are experiencing this right now — we begin to consider things that lie outside of us.
We begin to consider having a family of our own and the sacrifices that it will require. First and foremost, a steady income is a necessity. Our parents had to make these same decisions when it came time for them to settle down and create a family. Most parents have careers, but some are entrepreneurs that own their very own businesses. Small businesses especially were on the rise back during the days of our parents' youth. Many, like my very own parents, ran their small business, putting their sweat and energy into making it successful.
Something interesting that I have come to notice is how little faith people put into their parents' business. Of course, if your parents have managed to grow their business to a considerable size, then you may very well keep your tongue still. On the other hand, if your parents decided to keep their company's growth to a minimum in order to preserve the personal touch, then it is likely that you have no plans on taking over the business once you are of age. Or rather, when your parents become of age to retire.
There is a significant difference between the thought processes of our parents and our own. The fact is that the world has gotten much smaller in the last 30 years and it continues to do so rapidly. While the thought of conquering a city like New York was once a grand endeavor, we no longer even consider expanding nationally to be sufficient; we want to conquer the world.
It's important to keep in mind that ancient saying: Rome was not built in a day. You want to be a billionaire? Well, you'll have to become a millionaire first. You want to become a millionaire? Do you have your first $100k saved up? Of course not — you still haven't paid off your credit card bills. I wish it weren't so, but it does take money to make money.
Which is why I am a bit perplexed why so many people do not take advantage of their parents' hard work and choose to start off on their own entirely. The idea is surrounded by an aura of independence and excitement. You're going to build yourself up from scratch and make yourself a fortune! But why not make it easier on yourself?
There are many stories circulating — tales of self-made men and women that had to struggle to survive before they were able to overcome their obstacles and create their success. They were orphaned at a young age and had to survive in the bad part of the neighborhood on their lonesome. If you find yourself in such a difficult situation, then I admire you for having the determination and hunger to achieve greatness.
However, if you are putting yourself in this type of situation in order to live out some fairytale that you heard, then you are an idiot. Your parents worked their asses off so that you would have it easier. There is nothing wise about deciding to make your life more difficult. If there is an easier route that you can take in order to achieve what you wish to achieve, then that is the path you ought to follow.
There is no need to trek over the mountains if you can just take the tunnel through them. Life will be difficult no matter what decisions you make — why the hell would you add to the hardship? Life will give you a swift kick in the ass without your help — or your permission, for that matter.
Why not take over your parents' business — assuming that you have a feasible growth strategy and exit plan — and expand your wealth from there? It's not so much about showing your parents respect for their work and effort, although respect is deserved. It's about being mature enough not to let your ego get ahead of itself and not to miss out on an opportunity.
The reason why most people aren't as successful as they once wished themselves to be is because they fail to grab onto opportunities when they present themselves. Sure, you never wanted to be in the button making business, but if you can see that it continues to make a nice profit for the next decade, then at least you have a steady source of income.
And, since the business is already established, you will more than likely have to put in a minimum amount of work while you decide whether you want to grow the business or use the profits to start a new venture.
There are certain responsibilities that each of has to our parents. They raised us, clothed us, fed us and gave us a roof over our heads. Even if they say they never want to retire, they will eventually want to retire. As their child, it is in your power to help them, and at the same time help yourself. You do not need to have a love for their business.
If it is a business that is somewhat successful then all you need to do is keep it running the way it is now. If the business has been struggling, then you — being younger and more in tune with trends — will have an easier time of turning things around. Whatever the case, if you hope to one day have the company that you wish to have, there is no better place to learn than while behind the wheel of another company.
As long as you stick to the standards your parents stuck by, or improve them, then that business will continue to survive and bring a profit while you figure out what your next move will be. Business is a game of strategy. Making decisions is easier when you have fewer worries — such as starting a business from the ground up.