Sure... it took what felt like forever. Even when we had some success and sales, we had more problems. Like -- we have to hire somebody to do all this customer service. Or: we have to spend all of our money to buy more products! We had to learn about the #'s, watching our inventory turns, and taking big money risks (for us, especially at the time, any money was a big money risk).
I think one of the baked in advantages for us was that we weren't doing software or information products or blog blog blogging. We were building hard goods products that solved a problem for people. Shitty parking equipment? Buy mine. Hate carpeted cat furniture? Check out my cool cat furniture.
No product = no conversation. No information. No money.
Once we decided on our first products, we pushed as hard as we could to get some market assurance they'd sell from our photoshop mock-ups (landing pages with PPC campaigns) and on the development side with suppliers to deliver a workable prototype. Once we got something half-sellable, we got a loan and orded a less than container load first order run. We made just enough money on some sub-par quality stuff to order our second round. Most important thing was that we had customers, and we were in business.
1) Get in business. 2) STAY in business. 3) Keep innovating.
It takes a long time to pay off, generally. Our first 2-3 years were very, very difficult. Constant hustle and cash constraints. Hence the 1,000 Day Principle. Full time focus past your first invoice for 1,000 Days, and that's pretty much what it takes from what I've seen (and in my position I get to see 100's of businesses annually). That's 1,000 days till you come up for some air and make some decent money. That's just the beginning...
I have seen some wizards do it faster
Also, small point but, you aren't trying to build something for yourself.