My mother and father had just lost the family business. We had gone from making ends meet to being burdened with bills that we couldn’t pay off. I knew something needed to be done because my family was losing money by the day. All of our expenses were coming out of the little savings that we had. I was a 15 year old with 2 unemployed parents in a desperate situation. I looked for employment all over the city, but no business was willing to hire a 15 year old high school student. My curiosity immediately struck when I heard about a few people making money online.
I had always heard my cousins complain about how expensive their college textbooks were. I figured that there was money to be made in a business like this. I opened my own eBay and amazon accounts and bought old books that were going to be thrown out from the local community college book store. A few weeks later, I was ecstatic to see my business take off. My hard work and months of research had paid off big time. I was profiting more than a hundred dollars a day. I swore to myself that I would give half of any profits that I made in this business to my parents to help them pay the bills.
A few months into the start of the business, my sales took off to more than I was able to even handle. I was making trips to the bookstore buying all of their obsolete items and listing them online. I also started to post ads on craigslist asking people to sell me their used textbooks. I would buy the books and list them and make a profit. Unfortunately, in the meantime, neither of my parents could find jobs in the economic crisis. I tried my absolute best to support my parents while they were looking for work.
About 6 months into the business, my father was still unemployed. I decided to give him an opportunity to come into the business with me. I wanted to see my business and my family succeed and allowing my father in on my business was a great way to do this. With the money that I had saved up from previous months of business, we decided to make a registered corporation in Florida. I did research on some of the largest publishers in the nation and we opened up corporate accounts with many of them. We expanded the business into ordering textbooks in bulk and selling them on the ecommerce channels.
As a 15 year old with piles of books sitting in my garage, I was exposed to a vast array of information. In my free time, I would read about topics that interest me. Almost every weekend I would find myself with a book about law in my hand. What some high school sophomores found lackluster, I found stimulating and fascinating. Books about different law cases would never fail to grasp my attention. Sometimes, I got so attached to some books about law that I couldn’t bring myself to sell them. My interest was immediately sparked. I enrolled in a business law class at the community college as a dual enrolled high school student and my interest in law never went away since.
Just a few years later, I am almost law school bound. I’ve decided that I would pursue a career in law in hopes that one day I can help small business owners, like my 15 year old self, get started with the legalities of their businesses. I decided to give my father complete control of the textbook business. My desperate attempt to ultimately help my family while they were getting back on their feet proved to be successful. Today, my family realizes that the business I created played a huge role in giving our family hope and brought us up back to our feet. It seems like yesterday that we wondered whether dinner was in our budget, today we are thankful to be much more financially stable.
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