Becoming the First Millionaire in Your Family

Becoming a millionaire is a great feeling. Becoming the first millionaire in your family is an even better feeling. We can all do it. We just need to do the right things. Recently, I sat down for an interview with YoungBiz. The following is the transcript of the interview I had. I hope you like it and learn something from it.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background as a young person and how you grew up and how it relates to money.

A: So, our family comes from the Philippines. So I am the first generation born here Filipino and the conversation about money was that you don’t talk about it! I was raised in the Chicagoland area. I lived in a city which technically, is a suburb but if you go there you won’t think that it is a suburb. It’s right next to the city and to make a long story short, that’s Al Capone territory. He was a mafia so it was a mafia area.

My last name being Sapaula, it made me taller than most Filipinos in the Latino-African American Italian Bohemian Polish neighborhood. They could never tell what I was. They thought I was a dark Italian. To make the long story short, we never talked about money, we never had conversations about money and I never really wanted to ask my parents what they made. The way I made money was by crushing cans and recycling newspapers. If I wanted money, I wouldn’t ask my parents for it as the answer would always be no.

Q: So, growing up, were there any members in your family that were business oriented or had a business mindset, that you could lean on them?

A: Zero. Everybody wanted to say “go to school, get good grades, be a doctor, be a dentist, be an attorney, be an accountant, be an engineer, be a nurse (if you are a Filipino woman)”. It was never that you have your own business. It was never about setting up shop or learn how to sell, create scale, create a distribution, make your brand. Zero. It was just about getting a job.

Q: So, how was the school system?

A: It was basically the same thing. I do credit, however, my two main teachers. I mean, I love teachers. I just think that teachers need to be overpaid in our country. They are just not! They even have to pull money out of their pockets to buy supplies to be able to teach.

Anyways, I do want to give credit to my two teachers. One was my seventh-grade teacher and the other one was my business 101 teacher. I was inspired by them in my student life. I was able to understand that there is more to life than just being a doctor or an engineer of that kind of stuff. I learned that there was this business side of things as well. So, that’s what inspired me growing up.