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INTRO 34, a couple failures under my belt, trying for real this time

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New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 11, 2019
Hey Fastlane Forum,

I was directed to the forum a week ago by a local entrepreneur. I started reading The Millionaire Fastlane, and consumed the whole thing in a week.

I'm 34, married to a wonderful wife, and have two smart but weird daughters. As a kid, I was really into film and writing, with web development and computer science as a secondary hobby. I ended up going to NYU Film School. I did pretty well in my classes, graduated, and stayed in New York with my then girlfriend (now wife). Three years later I was semi-unemployed and editing porn in a basement in New Jersey.

Seeking a change, I went back to school (this time at the more affordable Hunter College) and got a Computer Science degree. This led to a better paying job doing software support for a tech company. A year in, a series of personal crises led my wife and I to move to Pittsburgh. She was pregnant, we didn't want to raise kids in New York City, and her father in law was dying. I spoke to my boss and he agreed to let me telecommute. So we moved to Pittsburgh and I kept the job. I still work there.

So we move into a house. I'm working from home, never leaving the house or meeting people, with my wife staying at home with the kids during the day. I was bummed out. My job was fine, but I had given up on my filmmaking dream and was isolated. I wrote a novel about talking animals who take over the mafia that sold 15 copies.

Then, a couple of years ago, I had an aha moment. We were doing a small family road trip from Pittsburgh to Atlanta (where my family lives), and I got an idea for what was essentially a "financial social network". I taught myself some programming languages and put together a very rough version of a website and iOS app.

In February I joined the Founder Institute, which among other things connects you with successful entrepreneurs in your area. They encouraged me to interview lots of people before I go any further with my idea. So I did, and it turns out that nobody wanted what I was selling. It was a bummer, but at least it happened before I dropped $20,000 on the idea.

But in the process of interviewing potential customers and people in finance, I did stumble upon an interesting problem. People who get into serious credit card debt have a poor understanding of the options available to them. Most have never heard of credit counseling, which is often a better option than for-profit companies or bankruptcy. This affects banks too because when their customers default on their debts, the banks lose money.

So I'm in the early stages of working on a software-based solution that banks could license for educating their customers. At this stage my biggest problem is that I haven't been able to get in touch with many people closest to the problem; bank employees who work in retail credit risk or retail collections. My unconventional solution is to start a podcast interviewing entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh area, discussing the financial problems they've run into. In doing so, I'm hoping it will give me a bit more authority when I reach out to bankers on LinkedIn. The guy who's helping me set up the podcast recommended I come here.

What else? I've started the incorporation process. My wife is supportive but apprehensive. I've assured her that I won't quit my job until I have a company, a product, one or two customers, and some funding. I'm planning on testing out a very rudimentary version of my product in survey form once I'm done with the Founder Institute class

I appreciate any advice you can give me. Hopefully soon I'll be able to contribute my own.

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The Abundant Man

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 3, 2018
Great story. Welcome aboard. Is there a link to your podcast?

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