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INTRO Airline Pilot to entrepreneur

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James HB

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Hey guys,

Happy to be here, hope you're all well.

Intro from me,

I've been living it up in the slow lane for the last 3.5 years & absolutely sick of it.
I'm an airline pilot which I've been told for pretty much whole life "is so amazing" & "you've done so well". Which to be honest, if putting yourself into crippling amounts of debt... for a 'dream' of 3am alarms, being shafted by a big corporation, being sleep deprived etc etc I can go on...doesnt seem that wonderful! The usual slow land problems exist.

I've been looking into business/entrepreneurship for nearly 2 years & have had 4 failures to date. One of which lost me £10,000 hooray!

Anyway, to wrap it up, I've learnt alot already from my failures & will be moving forward with my next venture which will be growing a digital marketing agency here in the UK.
It's great to finally find a community of like minded thinkers & I cant wait to get involved.

Let's do this
 

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James HB

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Welcome! What have you learned during your 4 failures? And, what are you going to do differently next time?
Definitely a few things.

You cant go at things half hearted.

Dont go into business with people you have not properly checkout or trust yet.

Perform due diligence on other business & companies properly.

Focus on getting your product to the market to make sales

Not everything has to be perfect

Learn sales & marketing

Believe in yourself & the value you can offer
 

Jon L

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Definitely a few things.

You cant go at things half hearted.

Dont go into business with people you have not properly checkout or trust yet.

Perform due diligence on other business & companies properly.

Focus on getting your product to the market to make sales

Not everything has to be perfect

Learn sales & marketing

Believe in yourself & the value you can offer
sounds like you're well on your way...
 

MJ DeMarco

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Welcome James, thanks for sharing some of your lessons in your early failures.
 

WestCoast

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I read the PPRUNE forums semi-regularly and follow aviation closely.
There seem to be a lot of folks in the industry looking to make the switch this year!

As a 100k+/year flyer, it's exhausting.... I look at flight radar all the time and think about the poor SOBs who are going to Asia and back to NA every 10 days or whatever.
Makes my head spin.
So, good on you for considering a change, 40 years of that can't be good for the bio clock!

--
On the transition:

I see a lot of hand wringing and worrying about 'certainty' and 'stability' though....
I think this trips up a lot of people - who subsequently never take action.

Unfortunately, that's not part of the business world (at least at first).


So, if you've been slogging around Europe or beyond in the left or right seat... I think it's a great time for a career change.

But, respect at first that there will never be the certainty that pilots previously enjoyed.
It's a dogfight in the capitalist world.

Know that the first step off into the unknown is usually the hardest...
That said.... it's totally ******** worth it.
 

Knugs

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Definitely a few things.

You cant go at things half hearted.

Dont go into business with people you have not properly checkout or trust yet.

Perform due diligence on other business & companies properly.

Focus on getting your product to the market to make sales

Not everything has to be perfect

Learn sales & marketing

Believe in yourself & the value you can offer

Hi James,

thanks for sharing your experiences and welcome to the forum! Literally every single point you made I have experienced in my startup.

A digital marketing agency is a complete different breed to your background. Is there any opportunities in your industry where you can exploit your aviation experience?

What were the 4- companies to date?

On a different note, I blew more than 200k of investors money but the loss of opportunity was the greatest pain for me. Is there an option to still fly (part-time/locum-style) whilst building your businesses? Sometimes going in at things "fully-hearted" is not quitting your job. Many granted securities fly out of the window.

I found that a lot of business building is independent of time actually committed. As part of our investors agreement we needed to be in the investors community office. I saw a lot of startups and most that exploded in growth were not really tied to insane work-ethic. It felt they just did it right or worked smart enough to hit the nail on its head. Its just something to think about. My medical career took a hit, because of that break.

Edit: I think the "lean startup by Eric Rice" is a good book you would enjoy. Its a little more tech-startup focussed but is a great piece of work.
 

James HB

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What were the 4- companies to date?
I tried ecommerce & had little to no marketing experience.
i tried this multiple times and realistically had about 3 failures here. But it’s what got me interested in online marketing.

Started writing blogs on starting up in the property industry which is something my partners family is quite involved with, just didn’t have passion for writing.

the next 2 were property based, as this is something I’m very much into.
Firstly was a property sourcing business, which ultimately failed due to lack of commitment from a business partner & me not having the knowledge to commit to it alone.

second was a serviced apartment business for tourism which we started in November 2019...you can imagine how that went!
 

James HB

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A digital marketing agency is a complete different breed to your background. Is there any opportunities in your industry where you can exploit your aviation experience?
I’m pursuing a few things in the aviation field still. I mentor new pilots in the industry, whilst for free it’s great being on the other side & may lead to opportunities.

I will be writing a book about getting started in aviation, airline assessments and training which I understand is in quite high demand.

and lastly myself and another mentor are working on a fitness in aviation project (I was previously a personal trainer).

so who knows where they may lead.

agreed, it is very different, but I embrace that quite a lot as I feel I’ve lost passion for the industry.

i mean if you have any great ideas other than what I’ve mentioned please fire away!
 

Paul David

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I’m pursuing a few things in the aviation field still. I mentor new pilots in the industry, whilst for free it’s great being on the other side & may lead to opportunities.

I will be writing a book about getting started in aviation, airline assessments and training which I understand is in quite high demand.

and lastly myself and another mentor are working on a fitness in aviation project (I was previously a personal trainer).

so who knows where they may lead.

agreed, it is very different, but I embrace that quite a lot as I feel I’ve lost passion for the industry.

i mean if you have any great ideas other than what I’ve mentioned please fire away!

Over the years I've tried to spin multiple plates at the same time growing different businesses. I think at one time I had 4 and none of them where whey needed to be.

If you're doing Digital Marketing (which is what I do now) then focus on one niche, one platform and you'll scale a lot easier.
 

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James HB

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Over the years I've tried to spin multiple plates at the same time growing different businesses. I think at one time I had 4 and none of them where whey needed to be.

If you're doing Digital Marketing (which is what I do now) then focus on one niche, one platform and you'll scale a lot easier.
I appreciate that advice, thank you Paul.

How are you finding the digital marketing field over the past year?
 

Paul David

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I appreciate that advice, thank you Paul.

How are you finding the digital marketing field over the past year?

Check my thread here which has some information on the model I'm using:

 

McDrummerSLR

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Awesome! Fellow pilot here, although currently working a slowlane gig as an instructor and manager while working on my project. Was set to go to the airlines before COVID but honestly glad I didn't because I probably wouldn't have discovered this community or MJ's books.
 

BellaPippin

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Welcome James! Seeing a pilot walking around the gates is always like seeing a celebrity for some reason. I guess because since you're little everyone is like "look it's the pilot!" I don't think a lot of professions give you such a high status in comparison to how much people know you do (or, I mean your routine, that sort of stuff, not saying piloting is easy. But it's certainly extra-extra glamorous from the outside! :D

I'd suggest you don't give up on your field just yet in terms of seeing if you can discover a need in the industry (not necessarily just pilots, but more as a whole maybe) make sure you've scraped the bottom of the jar for ideas! I'm sure like you described you know a lot of pain points that could be exploited!
 

James HB

Wherever You Are, Be There.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 20, 2020
13
20
21
United Kingdom
Welcome James! Seeing a pilot walking around the gates is always like seeing a celebrity for some reason. I guess because since you're little everyone is like "look it's the pilot!" I don't think a lot of professions give you such a high status in comparison to how much people know you do (or, I mean your routine, that sort of stuff, not saying piloting is easy. But it's certainly extra-extra glamorous from the outside! :D

I'd suggest you don't give up on your field just yet in terms of seeing if you can discover a need in the industry (not necessarily just pilots, but more as a whole maybe) make sure you've scraped the bottom of the jar for ideas! I'm sure like you described you know a lot of pain points that could be exploited!
Hi Bella, thanks for the kind welcome!

I would agree that it does tend to attract attention when strolling up to the gate haha!

I am looking into different pain points still in the industry. It would be good to be in the industry as I have a lot of contacts. But at the same time, a strong part of me doesnt want to 'hang my hat' (pardon the pun) on an industry that is just so volatile.

I'm still focusing on starting up the digital marketing, but a few comments have got me thinking that perusing something within aviation may work out better.
At a bit of a cross road with it all!
 

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