Do you have that one friend who seems to be breezing through life? You always try to do your best and follow the rules, but they always think they are above the law. Well, I do.
Let’s call my friend Jane. Jane technically had a rough childhood compared to most people I knew. She grew up around people who had never done real hard work in their lives. I was not prejudiced by saying that, but it also came from her that her parents and other family members Never even had blue-collar jobs. They always relied on government funds or making a quick buck by selling stuff they already had at home.
When I met Jane, though, I admired that she wanted to lead a different life from everyone in the ghetto. She never ran out of a part-time job, which supported her college education. She also talked about her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and building her own empire. Of course, since it sounded like a lovely idea, I urged her to go for it.
How Jane Became An Entrepreneur
The beauty about having a business of your own was that Jane did not have to get a master’s or doctoral degree like I did, considering I wanted to be a therapist. After college, she went on to work some more and saved up money. Still, although her starting salary was quite lovely, she could not save as much as she wanted to because she also happened to be the breadwinner in her family. It meant that a significant portion of her earnings went to the ghetto.
But things began to look up for Jane when she met Luke. He was not the richest man in the world, but he was highly dedicated to his work. Because of that, it was easy for him to earn money. He even helped Jane move to the company that he was working at to improve her salary.
After a few years of dating, Jane surprised me with a wedding invitation. I did not know that her relationship was that serious, but I was happy to know that my best friend was finally settling down. I was no longer surprised when she told me that Luke wanted her to follow her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur instead of working a nine-to-five job that she did not love.
When Shady Things Started
Since I was busy with my therapy practice back then, I did not catch up with Jane regarding her business immediately. When I did, she would not tell me where it was and how it looked during construction. She only said that it was a coffee shop and that the concept would genuinely surprise me.
During the launch, Jane gave me an address. Upon Googling it, I saw that the address was close to the shadiest part of the town. It was even the location of an old garage. Though I found that odd, I did not think much of it and nearly went to the place.
Once I arrived, I was genuinely surprised when I did not even see any physical indication of a coffee shop. It looked like an old establishment with no signage or lights in front. But then, I spotted Luke from a distance, and he ushered me inside the place.
I was even more surprised to see a coffee shop inside that old establishment. It looked as fancy as you could imagine – with warm lights, wooden panels, and all. When I asked Jane why the shop looked like that on the outside, she said, “Well, I did not bother to get business and tax permits, you see. That’s a waste of time and money. I should not be required to give contributions to the government.”
Jane’s ghetto explanation rendered me speechless. It was bold of her to build a coffee shop near the streets without any license to operate. However, she must also be afraid of getting caught because she decided not to break the front wall that could disguise the shop.
When Tears Fall
Jane called me a month later. She was crying over the phone because some local government officials asked her to shut down her business and pay thousands of dollars for fines. She felt that they were unfair and began cursing the system, so I had to calm her down and explain the situation.
“I hate to tell you this, but there are laws in place that we all need to abide by as adults. You are no longer in the ghetto; the shady rules don’t apply to the rest of the world. You need to see that the only way for your business to succeed is by not walking all over others. In this case, you walked over the government, and so you had to deal with its consequences.”
I had to counsel my friend for a few more weeks to help change the way she thought of businesses. It was more difficult than counseling strangers, considering I knew Jane by heart. Despite that, I was glad to learn that she started applying for the legal documents required to reopen her coffee shop.