LARGO, Fla. -- Largo business owner Armando Acosta is living his dream, thanks to a local organization helping Hispanic entrepreneurs launch successful businesses

  • Acosta owns, operates "Rompin' Rovers"
  • Acosta bought kennel from previous owner
  • Prospera helps prospective business owners with planning for success

“Love what you do," Acosta said. "This is a job, but for me, it’s not a job."

It's tough to argue with that assessment when you consider Acosta deals with slobbery kisses and wagging tails all day.

“I have a passion for dogs,” he said.

That passion led the Venezuelan native to open his own kennel, Rompin’ Rovers. He bought the kennel from the former owner several years ago, and since then, sales have tripled.

He’s considering an expansion to deal with the influx of customers.

He credits his success in part to Prospera, a local organization that helps Hispanic entrepreneurs launch successful businesses.

“They gave me a grant to do a business plan and a marketing plan. I did that, and since then, sales have grown fast,” Acosta said.

According to a nationwide study by MassMutual, business planning is driving Latino entrepreneurs to success. Experts say they're more likely to focus on key issues, like financial planning and employee loyalty.

That focus is clear with Acosta’s employees and customers alike.

“When they pick up their dogs, their dog has a happy tail,” he said.

In truth, Acosta says, the secret is simple.

“It’s very easy to be successful when you love what you do.”