For being idealistic, Rizal was a good businessman. He had the gift to meet life as it was. He realized that political independence without economic self-sufficiency, and without endeavors on the part of his people would be but a mummery. He saw that while business may not be the noble pursuit, a citizen might bring about the conditions that could produce economic independence, and then produce scientists and men who would build a strong nation.
He realized that living itself was big business. One woke up everyday to face new obligations and new problems. Other men supplied him his needs and he paid either in kind or in money. Life cycle could spin in a give-and-take propositions which could be further transformed to money and property. .
He thought of being a businessman. He told himself that as long as a man worked hard and developed business courage, he could bring material wealth to his community.
Rizal was a merchant, a farmer, a vegetable gardener, an orchard owner, a fisherman, and a brick manufacturer. Rizal was exiled in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896, a period of approximately four years. During those four years, he proved that even the best of minds and the most famous of men could engage in business enterprises, not only to help himself but also to help the people in his community. In a letter, addressed to his sister Trinidad written in Dapitan, Rizal remarked: "To while the time away, to help the people a little, I have become a merchant." In the same letter, he said: "I buy abaca and ship it to Manila. I have been lucky this month; I made $200 in one deal.".
It is the too common belief that when a person gets into business, his one wish is to earn a living and pile up a fortune. Rizal's line of thought is public service and be a help in attainment of economic independence of our country.
Rizal realized that individual businessman do not have enough power to dislodge foreign businessman.