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INTRO Almost went slowlane for parents and societal pressure, but changed my mind

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Isti

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Jun 23, 2020
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Denmark/Hungary
Hello everyone,
I'm excited to be here!

So here comes my story till this day.

The beginning

I was born and raised in Hungary. If I remember correctly I was around 15 when I read Rich dad poor dad and since then I became interested in earning money. Around 17 I went to a few finance and business-related student competitions with some friends. I was so happy that I could finally learn something useful (such as the monetary system and taxes) instead of the bullshit taught in the mandatory Hungarian literature classes. I thought that this is something that I want to do in the future because salaries were high in this sector, and you didn’t need to study something extremely hard like biology or physics.

The rise and fall of my First Venture

About one year later on the summer of 2018, I ended up watching some youtube videos about how to start an online business so I decided that when I turn eighteen I’m going to start one.

A few months later, in October I started my first venture, with the money I earned helping my father that summer, and with the cash, I got for my birthday.

I made my first online store with Shopify, ordered some products from Alibaba and started running some Facebook ads. Since my budget and knowledge was very limited, the ads weren’t so successful but in late November, I got my first sale. I still remember that day, it was a really good feeling that someone I’ve never met just spent 80 dollars on a website created by an 18-year-old.
BTW I read TMF around this time which just gave another push to do this business.

Since I kinda run out of cash to spend on Facebook ads I had to find a different way to sell my products, so I came up with the idea of influencer marketing. I approached a Youtuber if he would be interested to make a video if I give him some of my products, he said yes, so we met and made some plans. (it was a weird feeling to tell someone 30+ to do this and that, as an 18-year-old)

(Side-note: the whole business was inspired by Anson belt, which I saw on Alpa M.’s channel)

This influencer campaign went so successful that I had to reorder some products quickly before Christmas so I could fulfil the orders. I was so happy that I had around 600 dollars in sales and 200 dollars net profit in one month with only a few hours of work that month. (A student salary was around 3 dollars an hour in Hungary back then, so compared to that it was crazy good money for me)

A few months later I tried another influencer but it wasn’t as successful as I expected, only got 1 or 2 sales from his campaign. Also, high school final exams (a.k.a. GCSE) were coming and I focused on them instead of the business. (where I got a bit demotivated due to lack of sales)

Since then I didn’t do anything with this business except fulfilling the few orders (averaging 50 dollars a month) that somehow came in every month from SEO probably. For some reason, I haven’t spoken about this business to anyone except my parents. Now I’m thinking about ending the Shopify subscription and stopping everything since I don’t do anything with this business anymore.


Moving to Denmark a.k.a the country of the happy slowlaners

Going to university was not even a question in my class and family (although none of my parents went), every one of my friends wanted to go so did I. But I wanted to study at university in a different country than Hungary because: I had a feeling that they won’t be a good fit for me, because I won’t like their educational system and I also wanted to study in English in an international environment, plus they didn’t rank so high internationally.

So I’ve applied to Universities in Denmark because education was also free there just like in Hungary, plus you get paid by the state (around 800 USD after-tax) if you work and study, so I wouldn’t need my parents to pay for my living expenses.

Yes, you guessed right from the subtitle that I got accepted to Denmark, back then(August 2019) I was happy that I made it, my parents were proud, my friends thought it was cool that I take on such an adventure.

The bachelor program I applied for in the first place and got accepted to was called Market and Management Anthropology (such a fancy name I thought). I had no clue what was anthropology (still don’t know a lot about it) so I ignored it when I read the curriculum and focused on the business-related subjects.
Around the end of the first semester, I started to realize that this program is not for me and I also realized that I don’t want to do spend another 2 years studying for a masters degree after I finish this one in 3 years.

BTW, In my opinion, Denmark is the best country to live in if you are a student from the EU(although it’s hard to become friends with Danes). I had an after-tax income around 1200 USD a month from a part-time job and state grant, with free healthcare and no student loans. I felt like a king that I could spend 300 USD of my own money a month on travel and other fun stuff. There is a similar reason why Denmark is also a good country for slowlaners but not for entrepreneurs, you get free healthcare, a lot of paid holidays with a 37 hour work week and a great salary, and you get large unemployment benefits for 2 years if needed, on the other hand, if you work hard and earn a lot you can get taxed up to 70% and I didn't even mention the 180% VAT on cars, guess why I haven't seen a single Lamborghini here.

I started thinking about entrepreneurship again (January 2020), so I restarted a course about online business, that I bought back in March 2019. I finished an almost ready website of an online store I made back in April 2019 and started running some ads to validate the product before ordering stocks from Alibaba.

The idea of this new venture seemed to be valid, so it gave me the courage to finally drop out of university in April of 2020 after only 7 months. My parents were not so happy about this, which I completely understood since they helped me out financially in the first few months when I didn’t have a job.
Dropping out had another big disadvantage, losing the 800 USD monthly grant, so I had to work more to cover my expenses, (the business does not generate enough profits yet and it needs reinvestment)

Back to entrepreneurship (and Hungary?)

My original plan was to bring the business I started in April 2020 to Denmark (yes I set up a business in Hungary while I was in Denmark) where buying power is much higher. There were many problems with this idea: coronavirus slowed down everything and travel was impossible between the two countries, I can’t speak Danish, the time to learn business rules in Denmark and make a website could be used to improve the Hungarian business.

Now I’m considering to move back to Hungary (to my parent's place) so I can focus all my time on entrepreneurship and don’t have to work part-time as a delivery guy. There is also a business grant that I could receive in Hungary and it could help the business grow even faster.

In the future, I want to share monthly updates on the progress I made with the business and personal developments.
 

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