I come from a family of little means. A family of immigrants. I'm an immigrant myself. We were not poor but we were not rich. I guess the same applies to many of us. When we came to this country, I was 9 years old and my brother was 7. We were raised by a single mother, who incredibly managed to pull through in one of the roughest cities at that time, Brooklyn, NY.
My mother's first job in the U.S.A. was caring for an elderly woman. She was paid $40 a week. At the time we lived with my aunt who required my mother to giver her half of her weekly salary for expenses. That left my mother with $20 a week to raise two kids. Even though that was all she made at the time, I remember my mom taking us out for ice cream sometimes or to a matinee movie all on those $20. I also remember that at times, we would go grocery shopping or out to purchase basic necessities and before we would leave the house my mom would tell my brother and I not to ask for anything while we were out because there was no money to purchase it. My brother and I could accompany my mom and if we saw a candy bar or a toy we would want (like any child would) we wouldn't ask my mother for it because we knew there was no money to buy it.
My mother suffered a lot. We all did. However, we became really good people. Hard working people. My mother is who taught us that. That's why I work so hard today. One of the main reasons I have this business is because I have lived the definition of hard work for most of my life. I want my mother to know that she made one of the best decisions by bringing us to this country because even though the beginning was hard, with backbreaking work and sometimes filled with tears, it all paid off in the end. And the best part is... I'm just getting started.