THE BLOG
11/21/2012 03:47 pm ET | Updated Jan 21, 2013

An Immigrant's Ambition and the Lessons Taught to their Children

I'm the son of two immigrants and I grew up being taught that good isn't good enough. My mother is a native of Haiti and my father a native of Trinidad & Tobago, both who came to this country with nothing. They both started off with extremely humble beginnings especially not having high school degrees. My mother cleaning homes and my father as a repairman both met in working in a factory on Long Island. They worked multiple jobs in order to make ends meet with a budding family. I remember Saturday mornings waking up with my brother and sister accompanying my mother to help assemble newspapers and advertisements and then deliver them to homes.

At the time my parents made no more than $300 a week combined, while caring for three children and providing for their families in their native homes. We lived modestly and I learned early on the value of hard work and a dollar. They saved enough for a down payment on a home and were able to get a loan. Both of my parents had deep belief in themselves and took a risk that most people wouldn't take. In 1996 they started their own businesses simultaneously. My mother started a daycare on the first floor of our home while my father who recently graduated from technical school started his own HVAC business. It was a rough start for them. They dealt with many trials and tribulations, as any small business owner would know. Having enough faith in yourself and your partner to invest all you have into something with no guarantees is the definition of bravery in my eyes.

From this point on they worked tirelessly for both of their businesses to succeed. Creating countless relationships and making the right business moves allowed my parents' businesses to flourish. Within a few years my mother was able to save up to purchase another home to open another daycare and my father's business boomed throughout Long Island and all five boroughs in New York City. Since then my parents have raised three children who have all graduated from college and are successful in their respective fields. My parents now have business endeavors in several fields affording them to live very comfortably. Even after all of this success my parents are constantly looking for more. They have completed the renovation of their dream home but are always looking to grow from this point.

This what I've learned from my parents -- never be complacent, always want more. Not in greed but in progression. They've always taught me to strive to be a leader and strive to be the best. If you aren't progressing you are failing yourself. We live in a country where there is opportunity to succeed as long as you're willing to work. My parents knew this best because they came from places where there was very little opportunity for upward mobility. For anyone says they can't succeed, I say they're full of it. Your ambition will always be your greatest driver, because your ambition is what will push you get up in the morning, take that job that might not pay a lot but you will save and plan for your next move. Your next move might be more education to adapt to needs of the workforce or your next move might be starting your own business. Your ambition will cause a creative spark for a new innovation or invention. Ambition will allow you to do anything for your dreams to come true and never accepting any success as the end-all be-all. Making sure the celebrations of your milestones are short and the work to get to the next accomplishment are extensive.