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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Get A Small Loan

When Eddie borrowed $200 there was no such thing as a credit card or an ATM.

Key Question:


Most companies get started on money put in by the owner or the owner's friends or family.

Q:  Why did Eddie start so small?

A:  That was all he could do and there is a tremendous lesson in his example.  If you have an idea that you think you can build into a business and you have no cash you can use Eddie's strategy.  Keep your job to cover your cost of living then work your business in your off hours.

After doing this for several weeks or months you should be able to prove to a banker or even a family member that you have earned the right to seek a loan.  However, don't go after thousands of dollars so you an quit your job.  Go after a small amount that will take you one step closer.

Too many people today want everything right now.  We suggest that you enjoy the journey toward ownership as we know plenty of owners who look back fondly at those lean days when they struggled.

In a session at a Small Business Development Center once we heard a consultant say that the reason immigrants succeed at starting their own businesses is they put no value on their time.  The consultant said it as if the immigrant is stupid and naive.  Well, why is that immigrant who placed little value on his time now wealthier than the consultant who is a little government worker bee?

Remember that when you begin you'll be short on cash and long on time.  As you become successful, you'll be long on cash and short on time.   Don't worry that you are working long hours to make a little now.  As long as you have a viable business idea, you will get rich.

Think about it

How much money do you need to land a customer?  How long will it take for you to collect from that customer?  Are there vendors who will allow you to pay when you are able to collect?  Do you need to borrow money to grow your business? How much? Do you have the collateral and the capacity to repay the debt?

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

Get A Small Loan

HATTIE: How did he get the dump truck, though? How did he...

DARLENE: We borrowed $200.

HATTIE: You borrowed $200. Who...

DARLENE: Yeah, from Shawmut Bank

HATTIE: The bank loaned you $200.


HATTIE: How did he get his first piece of business?

DARLENE: He solicited from real estate companies to clean up the back yards, clean up basements and so forth. And it just grew. One person told another person. Then it just mushroomed.

HATTIE: And so when did...

DARLENE: And we bought a second dump truck. And we hired a person to help Eddie. Matter of fact, the kids and I used to go with him to clean up the banks and all. But then it outgrew, you know, the family type of thing. So anyway, he hired a couple of people and then he bought a third dump truck.

HATTIE: Well, did he still have his daytime job?

DARLENE: Yeah. Eventually, it did get to be too much and he quit his jobs against my advice, I might add, because I thought...

HATTIE: Were you nervous?

DARLENE: Yeah. Yeah.

HATTIE: Were you afraid?

DARLENE: Oh, yeah. I thought...

HATTIE: Because you had four children.

DARLENE: Right. And I said, `Suppose that fails?' And he said, `So what?' You know, `I'll try something else.'

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