My cousin ‘Dennis’ was murdered a little over a week ago and we just buried him over the weekend (Jun 16), and I bring this story up because it was his death that triggered memories I had all forgotten.
My cousin came and lived with us while growing up in Georgia. We grew up learning and failing at lots of things. We’ve done our share of dumb and stupid things and when I look back on those things I realize how young and dumb we really were.
But of course, the older you get the more wiser you become. I later joined the Air Force for 4 years (got out 6 months early) and came back home and my cousin Dennis was there waiting for me!
He was working at a supermarket and I was delivering pizzas for Pizza hut (i was 22 at the time). We both worked hard and after getting our paychecks each week, we were still broke.
It was during this time we figured that in order to get ahead, we had to drastically change what we were doing…
So we started our first legitimate business together… I say ‘legitimate’ because I’ve dabbled in other stuff prior to this, like mail order, selling candies and wholesale stuff at flea markets, but this was our first ‘real business’.
I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a carpet cleaning business — I think we name it DC Enterprises (DC stood for Dean (his legal name), and Cartess) or DC Carpet Cleaning.
We didn’t know what the heck we were doing but figured we’d learn as we go.
We went out and purchased a carpet cleaning machine along with all the chemicals/supplies that go along with it.
We paid someone to come to our apartment to clean it so we could see how they used their machine and to look at their routine. We asked how they got phone calls and a bunch of other stuff.
I think we had 2 different people come out (one to our apartment) and another to a friend’s apartment to clean.
After we thought we knew what we were doing, we made up some flyers and passed them out and waited for the phone to ring.
Our first call came in the same day… Can you believe that??? We got business the first day — but we didn’t make any money and here’s why!
When that woman opened that door, my cousin and I just stood there looking.
I mean this woman was so FINE you’d offer her FREE carpet cleaning for a year!!!
She showed us the rooms she wanted cleaned and asked us for the cost and my cousin and I stepped out to discuss pricing.
Keep in Mind — we were young, full of testosterone and didn’t have a lick of sense. All we wanted to do was just look at her all day, so to ensure we got the job, we told her we’d clean her carpet for FREE.
I ain’t lying when I say this woman as FINE…
Doing her carpet for free was our 1st mistake… Halfway through the job, we realized we were messing up her carpet (2nd mistake). We didn’t have insurance (3rd mistake), and had to pay for the damage.
Still none the wiser, we took a 2nd job (4th mistake)… All white carpet — it was high-end, I can’t remember the name of the carpet type. But, we screwed that up too… It was at that point we realized the carpet cleaning business wasn’t for us.
So we took all our equipment to a pawn shop (5th mistake) and got pennies for the stuff we paid soo much for.
Now… We made some dumb and stupid decisions — but we were smart enough to take action… While everything didn’t go the way we planned, this action alone set everything else in motion for our future
It was that initial taste of entrepreneurship that set us on course to working for ourselves.
We later started a pager company reselling pagers and collected a percentage of the monthly billing… We then expanded into cell phones…. While we didn’t make a fortune, it was our hustle and kept us from having to really work full-time jobs — although we eventually started working for employers again temporarily to build up cash-flow to fund our ventures and new ideas. Because some of the things we started just didn’t work out — while some did. We did what we had to do to try and make this thing work.
After my mom turned me on to the t-shirt biz, I later left and started my own t-shirt biz… This cousin later came on-board with me.
You might have heard a portion of this story before – but as our t-shirt biz grew, my cousin Dennis and I flew in another cousin of ours to help us with the super growth spurt we were experiencing. Bringing that cousin into the biz would later prove devastating; it later turned out he was stealing from us and basically sabotaged and destroyed the company we both worked so hard to create…
It was all of these experiences collectively that has allowed me to put a site together like Tshirt Riches to teach others about getting into the t-shirt business.
Nothing happens by accident and every action we take is for a reason/purpose.
Never in a million years did I think the actions I took back then would be the things that allowed me to be successful.
I’m a husband and my wife and I have 5 children — we support them with the revenue generated from the businesses we’ve started… Some of it is passive income and some we have to spend some time working the biz.
If you want to have your own business — and it doesn’t have to be t-shirts… But whatever your goals and dreams are, you must take some calculated risks. You must take action!
My cousin was fearless… Whenever I had some crazy way to make money, the only thing he asked was “will I have my money back in 2 weeks”. If the answer was ‘yea… I think so’, he was in…
He knew we had to take a chance… We didn’t have much growing up, but my God — he and I enjoyed some of the finest things in life… There were times when money was coming in so fast we couldn’t spend it all… And we tried too… Whatever we spent that day was replaced by the time we got home.
And then there were times where we didn’t know how we were going to pay the rent/mortgage… Again, we were young and only knew what we knew then. We didn’t know about investments and diversifying money/assets. We blew it all on foolish stuff.
Put a kid in a candy store and he’s going to eat as much as he can and that’s essentially what we did.
My cousin and I lived and took chances — some were calculated and many were just downright foolish — but those foolish ones seemed to give us the greater return, while they also cost us the most in terms of loss.
My cousin Dennis was my best friend. My brother. My cousin.
You only live once folks — don’t live another day hating your job, or hating your life or circumstances. Change it, and change it now — you have absolutely nothing to lose.
Looking at him in that casket made me realize how important it is to be living the life you want to live RIGHT NOW… Tomorrow ain’t promised and I never saw this coming.
Plan like you’re going to live forever and live like you’re going to die tomorrow, because you never know when your last day will come.
The older we got, the more responsible we became.
He had a life insurance policy that took care of his burial expenses without having to be a burden on his family. After he was killed, I immediately contacted an insurance friend of mine to upgrade my policy because I hadn’t in a long time. I wanted to make sure everything was square.
If you don’t have a policy, give my friend Mr. Wilson a call: 770-881-4006 — don’t leave your family members holding out cups to collect money to bury you… It happens more often than you think. Do that right now before you even think about buying my course. Just get enough to cover your burial expenses at least. This was the first funeral I went to where monies didn’t have to be collected — we were able to mourn without the added stress!
Folks… Change your life… Do it Now, Don’t Delay.
Whether it’s starting a t-shirt business or starting an earthworm composting company, do whatever makes you happy. Whatever actions you take today towards reaching your goals will set in motion the life you’ll have 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now.
It’s starts today with a decision to do what you want…
If t-shirts is your thing….. Take a look at our course – my experiences will help you move along faster!