I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, always wanting to make extra cash. So when CD burners first came out, I convinced my parents to buy me one and I would pay them back. So I started copying various types of CDs, software, music, Playstation games, mixed tapes etc. Not long after, this $700.00 burner was paid off. This money was ok for a 12/13 year old, but I wanted to see what else I could do. Everyone started having mobile phones at that time, so I seeked out good second hand ones to on sell. Not long after, I started to hang around new, older friends. They had older brothers that had access to firecrackers from Chinese New Year celebrations. As you can probably gather, there was a demand for these and I was the best candidate to fill this gap to the kids around my age. So I start selling firecrackers. This didn’t last too long, as I got caught selling them at school, and was suspended for 4 days.
As I continued hanging around these older guys, I start to see that firecrackers wasn’t all that they were into. They also sold drugs. It seemed like what I would earn in week, they would earn in a day, and what I would earn in a month, they would earn in a week. So I started selling drugs. The funny thing was, it wasn’t because my family struggled to provide, in fact they were quite comfortable financially. I just really had a passion for making my own money, but not thinking of the consequences. Which is where my entrepreneurial journey began.
I was making a couple thousand a week, which was awesome for a 14/15 year old. As time went on, I started to see the other side to this business, from both my own experiences and other people’s. It really opened my eyes to the path I was on, and showed me that’s not where I want to be. I was selfish, only thinking about myself, and not considering the consequences of my actions. The amount of people harmed using the drugs I sold, and their families. All the money my friends’ made eventually went back into lawyers when they got caught. All their cash and assets confiscated by police. But what affected me the most was seeing the disappointment in their family members. They couldn’t see this from their perspective, but I could looking in from the outside. To imagine me in that position, and putting my family through all that, and for what? To make some quick easy money, that would eventually be gone anyway. So I did a complete 180, refocused my goals, concentrated on my education (had to play massive catch up initially), and never looked at trying to make quick easy money again.
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