The right to be your own boss


Seven years ago, a father, a mother and an eight-year-old daughter were spending their winter at a campground in Florida. About one week before they were to go back to their Indiana home, the father became ill and needed surgery. It was an emergency, and the operation could not be put off. After the surgery, the father was told that he could not travel long distances or go back to his job as a car salesman for six weeks. The family was 1,500 miles from home.


When the father was laid up with nothing to do, he and his daughter began making shell jewelry.


The father and his daughter, who shared a close relationship, had always been great fans of the flea markets in both Indiana and Florida. They had made a hobby of collecting “good junk”from garage sales and auctions, cleaning it up or repairing it if needed, and selling it at the flea markets in their spare time.


As soon as the father was able, the mother, the daughter and the father took their jewelry to a flea market.


The first day at the market, the little family took in $300. Custom Jewelry, a family business, was born.


Now, seven years and lots of hard work later, the “little family business” has grown into an extremely successful one which provides the family with a reasonable livelihood.


Custom Jewelry now sells wholesale to shops in 12 states, as well as maintaining an established retail business at a local flea market. Besides featuring many different styles and types of jewelry, they also offer over 15 other items to their customers.


Today the business is in good financial standing and enjoys an excellent reputation for quality and service. The father, the mother and the daughter are living a comfortable life on the beach, and they consider themselves extremely fortunate. They are a close and happy family.


Free enterprise has changed the life of the family, I know. The father is my dad, the mother is my mom, and the daughter, now 15, is me.


My family and I, working together as one, have supported ourselves for seven years with no outside help. There have often been times when we have felt so exhausted and emotionally drained that we just wanted to give up. At times we have worked as much as 20 hours a day. We are constantly striving to expand our business. We never gave up, and we have achieved success.


Free enterprise means to me, quite frankly, food on the table and a roof over my head.


At this time of economic despair, citizens of the USA should feel privileged to be able to start their own business and work for themselves toward their goals. If more people would take advantage of the free-enterprise system, the United States would be a much more prosperous country and a much better place for all of us to live.


But starting your business is not easy. You are the boss, so you must be self-disciplined and responsible.


Much hard work is also required to start your own business. You will probably work harder after you start your business than ever have before. You must strive for perfection and if you fail, you must try again. You may have to try any number of times and work endless hours before finally becoming financially stable.


In order to go into business for yourself, you must also be willing to make many sacrifices. Practically all of your free time will be gone, as well as your vacations and days off. You must go through some pretty hard times in order to get to the good times.


For the first couple of years, all the money you make will have to be turned right back over into the business.


Free enterprise means lots of hard work, but also many rewarding opportunities and experiences.


It may be sound hard to do, and it is, but I strongly urge you to take advantage of the free enterprise system that your forefathers have provided for you. The independent spirit of owning your own business, and accepting the challenges set before you in order to reach your own goals, is impossible to understand unless you have experienced it yourself on a first-hand basis.


What free enterprise ultimately means to me are the most important things in my life: My family, my home, my independence and my survival.