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If You Want to Start a Business in LA, This is the Family for You: A Homestay with Michael


Michael, who has managed six of his own businesses, has been working and excelling as a handyman for five years. It would probably be a great idea to ask someone who loves starting their own business (like him!) for any tips or advice they have when it comes to the business world!

Host Name: Michael Ryan
学校までの距離:ローズミード・カレッジRosemead Rollege(10分)、ジオスGEOS(15分)、エルエスアイLSI(20分)

The thing Michael enjoys the most is getting to engage everyone in conversation over dinner. His family and him have dinner everyday regularly at 7:00 PM, and this dinner would be a great chance to talk about a wide variety of topics in English!

Having Run Six Different Businesses Over the Years, You Can Learn All About Starting and Managing Your Own Business

Michael’s very first business was running a T-shirt shop while he was in university. His second business was selling jewelry, third was a trucking business, fourth was a restaurant, fifth was a shipping introduction business, and finally now he runs his own own handyman business.

Michael’s father often recommended him to start his own business over the years, and that became his main inspiration for becoming the businessman he is today. He loves taking on new challenges, and has become quite skilled at starting a wide variety of businesses.

This doesn’t really happen so often in Japan, but in America businesses are often bought then sold for profit. For example, you can stsat a business using one million yen, run it for several years, then sell it for 10 million yen once it is successful.

Instead of making money simply by starting a business and doing a job within said business, you can create a basic form of the business and then sell that. This is how Michael has made most of his profits it seems.

According to the Los Angeles City Hall, there are around 250,000 different business around the city. Furthermore, Los Angeles has the highest amount of women and foreign business owners in the country.

So for his current handyman business, it all started when he was 24 years old and bought an old house that the ended up fixing up himself. From there, his friends started asking him to fix things, and as more and more people started to ask for his help he eventually ended up forming his own company.

The main thing Mike does as a handyman is take care of repairing and fixing up apartment rooms that people move out of before new tenants move in.

Furthermore, the stage and concrete in the backyard were made by Michael himself. The other day his friend came over and played jazz and reggae music.

Behind and to the Right is the Stage

Michael’s wife Sharon is an elementary school teacher. Just up until a few years ago she did work training teachers, but since three years ago she has returned to teaching.

Michael really is a people person. For the sake of making money, most homestay families only take in students who plan on doing a long homestay, but since Michael enjoys meeting new people he also accepts students who want to do short stays as well.

Michael likes making new friends, and he will accept anyone regardless of race, gender, or religion. He has never even once rejected a potential guest from his home. He has taken in guests as young as 10 years old and as old as 50 years old.

The reason Michael and his family chose to become a host family all started with the empty room his children left behind once they moved out. They thought about renting it out, but while shopping at a local market someone from a language school by the name of EF called out to them. The rest is history.

Although it was only three years ago he and his family decided to start hosting international students, they have already had 35 guests stay at their place as of this writing. Michael’s family also always makes an effort to remember everyone so that each guest and the memories they made with them are not forgotten.

And on top of all this, Michael and his family often add each other on Facebook after their stay, and in this way he and his guests continue their relationship not as host and guest, but as friends.

Jerome, a student from Switzerland who stayed with Michael and his family, came back to visit one year after his stay finished. He had this to say: “The year I spent there was amazing, and the things I learned from my conversations with Mike were the absolute best.”

Other students call Mike on his birthday, and even on just normal days some people call him just to talk (which Michael said makes him really happy!) When one student (a girl from France) stayed with him, they watched baseball every single day together.

Michael would explain the rules and what was happening as they watched baseball together, and this led them to playing games of catch outside, and then finally when she went back to France she joined a baseball team!

All About Mike’s House

The Front Yard

The first guest bedroom. The bed frame was made together with his daughter.
A chest of drawers Michael’s mother bought back in 1920. Michael is still able to use it, even today.

The second guest bedroom. Michael for the bed frame from one of his friends, and he fixed it up himself to make it look nicer.

The living room. There is a large TV, and after eating dinner everyone usually watches TV here.

The backyard is set up to be able to host parties very easily, and there is a sofa/TV here to make it easier to do so.

The dining room. Everyday at 7:00 PM everyone gathers here to eat dinner.


Today we took a look at Mike’s homestay, and got to know the business minded (remember, he has started and ran over six businesses!) There are also many women business owners in Los Angeles, and with Michael knowing so many of the them there is a good chance you might get to meet one!

This is a great homestay not just for those who want to study English, but also for women who want to start their own business.


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