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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Work, Work, Work

Starting a business from scratch is almost impossible.  You need the right idea at the right time,  the right people and the physical energy of a nuclear power plant.    More...

Key Question:


Keep your job, ask your family to work for you for free and work long hours.

Q:  Why would anyone want to life this type of life?

A:   Some of us get an idea in our head and we can't let it go.  The idea might be that we want to work for ourselves or we might want to invent a new product or service because we think it will help people.  Owners will always tell you that they saw their business in their head then just keep doing what needed to be done to make the picture in their head come true.

If you don't have any cash, you can be inspired by Darlene and Eddie Jeter. Not only did they not have any cash, they didn't have friends or mentors with cash either.

Think about it

If you launched a new product or service, who in your organization would commit to sleeping at the office if that was needed to succeed?  Do you love to work or would you rather be on the golf course?  Is work invigorating for you?  Do you look forward to  Monday?

Clip from: Jet-a-way

Host-producer, Hattie Bryant, with Jesse Jeter, the son of the founders

Boston: In this episode of the show we take you inside Jet-A-Way, a recycling company for construction and demolition waste, commercial waste, and recycled paper. They are also a transportation company to pick it all up and, then when it is all sorted, to bring it to refinement centers and sanitary landfills.  You'll meet Darlene Jeter and her family. 

Darlene and her husband have been recognized by their community and by the nation for their achievements.

With over $10 million in sales and 50 employees, this business has been in  operation since 1969.  Darlene has endured enormous setbacks -- the death of the love of her life,  her husband and business partner -- and major swings in the construction business in Boston. It is a dusty, tough industry. There is a lot of heavy metal -- trucks, tractors, and front-end loaders. Darlene not only survives, she thrives with grace and dignity.

Darlene Jeter has tenacity. No moaning, blubbering, sniveling, whimpering or whining; she gets the job done and then gives back to her community.

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Jet-A-Way, Inc.

Darlene Jeter, CEO

47 Kemble Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:
transportation, waste management, recycling

Year Founded: 1968

Work, Work, Work

HATTIE: I'm Hattie Bryant, and this is SMALL BUSINESS SCHOOL, the place to be if you're interested in how business works from the inside out. We're about starting, running and growing a business from the point of view of ownership.

Darlene Jeter has been running a business for over 30 years, and you'll see by watching her what it takes to sustain any business over the long haul. You'll hear from a viewer, and our resident marketing expert John Wargo advises us how to keep customers.

Every week, we take you to our SMALL BUSINESS Master Class. This is not a classroom like you went to in school. This is real life. A master class leader is not a traditional teacher but a person who has already experienced what it is you want to know about. Join me now in Boston to meet master small business owner Darlene Jeter.

(Voiceover) It looks like "Jurassic Park," but come in close and you find tons of stuff people don't want anymore. One person's trash is cash at Jet-A-Way.

Unidentified Man #1: The metal is pulled out and sold, the stone is pulled out and sent to be crushed up as aggregate and then...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jet-A-Way waste disposal and recycling picks up trash from commercial buildings, construction and demolition sites and runs a paper sorting and baling operation. We went to Boston to meet the founder and CEO, Darlene Jeter.

DARLENE JETER (Jet-A-Way): I was working as an LPN at Beth Israel Hospital and some nursing homes in the Boston area.

HATTIE: And then what was Eddie doing?

DARLENE: Eddie was working with one dump truck. His brother, Ralph, had a dump truck. He took down buildings by hand in those days. So that's how--what gave Eddie the idea of getting started in the business.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Darlene and her husband Eddie started the business in 1959.

DARLENE: He wanted to do something to ensure the family's survival. That's the easiest way to put it. So he had a job and I had a job. As a matter of fact, Eddie had two jobs and I had one making three jobs and we still were barely surviving. So he thought he would get the dump truck and that would bring in just--you know, an extra money to do some extra things with.

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