You Can Become an Entrepreneur 9/23/21
A Saturday Car Trip led me to Degnan Street and Leimert Park, and to north Western, near Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Each location held a lesson in entrepreneurship and self-employment. At these two locations, I observed Festival-type booths with people selling their products, books, clothing items, T-shirts with messages and sayings imprinted on them, perfumes, homemade soaps and, Ethnic and Afrocentric art, and Artifacts, and food products, both packaged and homemade.
Many of these business people also have brick and mortar businesses elsewhere, or they are planning to develop a brick and mortar business. The festival-type businesses are stationed in front of brick and mortar businesses. Some businesses are the same as street vendor-type businesses.
Recent laws have expanded the street-type businesses that are allowed. Licenses were previously required. They still may be required, but the requirements have been relaxed. The street businesses are required to make the ability to survive in this Covid Economy. One example of a street business is La Estrella which started as a street cart business and now has two or three sit-down restaurants open for business. Theirs is a great example of business growth from street to solid brick and mortar.
The Pasadena Journal is an outgrowth of business ideas growing into a solid Brick and Mortar business. The Journal was created to provide affordable advertising for my three sons. Each had the makings of a small business. My oldest son had a T-shirt silk-screening business. That business was the result of a class he took in Junior high school. He later picked up a guitar, fell in love with the instrument and turned blues entertainment into a viable business. He works for himself, performing as a Blues Artist. He has performed in Europe, and Korea, as well as in the US. He has at times hired an Agent but depends primarily on his own abilities. He has had long-term engagements with organizations including Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the famous Laguna Sawdust Festival.
My middle son worked in my law office, filing papers at the courts, as a process server and a paralegal. He picked up other Lawyers as clients and turned that into a paralegal business. In College, he was headed to becoming a Lawyer but was stopped due to illness. He took his second choice and has maintained a career as a Los Angeles Sheriff. He is also a talented Saxophone performer and was hired as a trainer for a local high school ban. He also sometimes accompanies his brother by playing at local gigs.
My youngest son was headed to becoming, what I deemed as, well, nothing. His acting career never took off. I insisted he go to Barber College where he finished and he began working in the Barbershop we opened. He later began attending Pasadena City College and ultimately was accepted at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. where he graduated with honors and earned a Bachelor’s Degree. He then earned a Master's Degree from Fuller Seminary and later a Ph.D. from Manchester University in Manchester, England. He has taught at various colleges in Southern California the in the south such as Memphis, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia, and currently serves as Dean at Allen University in Colombia, South Carolina. He is the only known African American expert in the Dead Sea Scrolls and has been invited all over the world to lecture on the subject. When he has the time, he holds Bible studies and summer classes, and guest preaches across the nation.
I’m proud to tell the stories of my three sons. All have a plan and a backup plan. All entrepreneurs must have a backup plan which could become their primary plan. My first plan was to become a Barber. My primary plan was to become a lawyer. While practicing law, I became the publisher of a newspaper. Make a plan. Pursue your plan. Work your plan. You’ll not be disappointed.
I’m proud to tell the stories of my three sons. All have a plan and a back-up plan. All entrepreneurs must have a back-up plan which could become their primary plan. My first plan was to become a Barber. My primary plan was to become a lawyer. While practicing law, I became publisher of a newspaper. Make a plan. Pursue your plan. Work your plan. You’ll not be disappointed.