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Business has come to a halt. No cash flowing and bills are overdue

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PJ Pahygiannis

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Hey everyone! I am a 21 year old college junior. I have a business finding and researching emails for people. People come to me and say they want emails for retail buyers or venture capitalists. I spend hours researching and then compile a list of email addresses for them. It takes me 2 to 3 hours to find 1,000 emails. I have been doing this for two years. I have gotten people meetings with Starbucks executives and got one customers product into Big Lots. I got my mentor featured in the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. I do a couple thousand dollars a year.

I charge 20 cents per email I find. The average customer buys 1,000 emails at a time. Most customers come from my Facebook profile and word of mouth from past customers on Facebook.

I have no job. This is my only source of income. My issue/challenge is that I am completely broke. I am in debt and behind on payments. It is really frustrating and depressing. I'm not here to complain, but money has just stopped flowing and the pressure is on hot. I just want to get my head above water again.

What would you do?
 

amp0193

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What would you do?

I'd get a job, until the business was giving me so much work that I would be literally unable to do both my day job and the business.

Nothing frees up pressure on a new business like having a reliable steady job income that can cover the bills while you figure things out.
 

Iammelissamoore

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Well, what has caused your funds to run out?

Is it a case that business has totally slowed down? Why?
Is it a case that elements (demand) has changed? Why?
Is it a case that you have not re-invested in your business where it was necessary to?
Is it that the dynamics of Facebook algorithms and otherwise may have resulted in a change of requests?
Is it that business was growing and you stunted its growth by trying to be a one-person show where you should have reached out to others to assist with other aspects of the biz?
Is it that, at some point, you began living over your means?

Now, I know I know - it seems as if I'm answering your question with questions, but, what I'm getting at is that it is possible that some dynamics changed which has to be reviewed in order for you to get to the bottom of the issue and based on this you act accordingly; your post actually reminds me of those three important components that MJ speaks about in Unscripted - Act, Assess and Adjust. If you can assess your situation, you'd be able to adjust and then act according to your new findings.
 

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What would you do?

Get a job?

Not being snarky, but real.

Getting a job is not the end of the world. You're young and you have the entrepreneur mind, so it's no big deal to bite the bullet for a short time.

Your business is also more of a hustle / time trade. Nothing wrong with that either, I just prefer time trades to be more lucrative for the time expensed. Do you charge enough per email? If I needed an email list of retail buyers, I might be willing to pay more than 20c per.

Good luck and try not to get down on yourself.
 

Under-Dog

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Get a job, get a side hustle get income rolling in! I'm also 21, and don't rely on my parents for money or anything like a lot of people in my age range do. We all have bills to pay, rent debt whatever it may be... You need income while working on your business venture.

I was struggling with my business because I didn't have much income to put into it but ever since I started earning more and paying bills off its been going a lot better.

I work a 9-5, then I will Lyft for more money, on top of that I do craigslist and ebay flipping as well as garage sale. I use that extra income to invest into my business and get by.

It's all about how bad you want it
 

Lionhearted

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Hey everyone! I am a 21 year old college junior. I have a business finding and researching emails for people. People come to me and say they want emails for retail buyers or venture capitalists. I spend hours researching and then compile a list of email addresses for them. It takes me 2 to 3 hours to find 1,000 emails. I have been doing this for two years. I have gotten people meetings with Starbucks executives and got one customers product into Big Lots. I got my mentor featured in the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. I do a couple thousand dollars a year.

I charge 20 cents per email I find. The average customer buys 1,000 emails at a time. Most customers come from my Facebook profile and word of mouth from past customers on Facebook.

I have no job. This is my only source of income. My issue/challenge is that I am completely broke. I am in debt and behind on payments. It is really frustrating and depressing. I'm not here to complain, but money has just stopped flowing and the pressure is on hot. I just want to get my head above water again.

What would you do?
Charge $2.00 an email, get into another (more profitable business) get a job in the mean time, stack cash and start again.
 

AllenCrawley

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Get a job. Besides the obvious benefit of getting a job, it can provide you an inside look at opportunities to create a fastlane business. (Read the section on finding fastlane ideas in UNSCRIPTED .)
 

PJ Pahygiannis

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Get a job. Besides the obvious benefit of getting a job, it can provide you an inside look at opportunities to create a fastlane business. (Read the section on finding fastlane ideas in UNSCRIPTED .)

You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant
 

CareCPA

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant
If you show up on time and put forth effort, it's almost impossible to get fired. (at least in the US, no idea where you are)
Same with getting hired - show up on time for the interview, look professional, and you'll beat 90% of all applicants.
 

JordanK

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You have put yourself out there as a hard working and competent individual. A lot of my friends talk to me about searching for jobs, applying and hearing nothing in return and it's painful to listen to them.

As my Fastlane ventures were just beginning to take off I needed some more cash so I decided to do concert security and working at my local racecourse taking bets for one of the big companies. My first night on security I did an 11 hour shift and then dug my boss out of a hole by pulling a 20 hour shift towards the end of the concert. As a lot of the new recruits walked off the job once they got their staff pass into the expensive event. Since then they have been emailing and texting me regularly offering me literally more work than I could even handle.

Same goes for my local racecourse I worked it at the weekend for a couple hundred bucks and now I'm working their biggest yearly event in two weeks time on some serious money. All of this gives me the chance to turn down the work when my fastlane stuff is busy and accept it during quiet periods to keep my cash flow solid.
 

AllenCrawley

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant
I call BS and victim mentality. Jobs are everywhere. It's a matter of whether or not you'll apply for them and take the job.

FYI, "not being a good fit" likely means you sucked at the job, chronically late or didn't work well with others. That's a reflection on you not the job market.
 

Under-Dog

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"not being a good fit"

Sell yourself during that interview then go in there and work your a$$ off. Don't be the "well that wasn't in my job description" guy be the guy that's willing to do anything to better the team or business. That's the attitude I've taken with every single job... When I started at my current job any single task I was given I'd get it done and get it done fast then I'd ask for more! Don't get by outshine yourself, I am the youngest in my company but because of my work ethic and drive I've been promoted to a lead position (right under supervisor) but earned me freedom to have time to work on my business.

Of course don't forget this isn't forever but if you can have this work ethic earning money for someone else imagine the work ethic you could have earning money for yourself
 

Kwikbitz

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OK sure the 'get a job' is the way to go BUT also reading your post you say

"I have gotten people meetings with Starbucks executives and got one customers product into Big Lots. I got my mentor featured in the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune"

OK if YOU got those meetings/features rather than just the email address with your client got the meeting THAT is a probably a business as many many people need that service :),

As said if you got those meetings/features there is one way you could adapt and move forward with a short term job paying the bills

But above all - be good, be safe and keep the (biz) faith and have a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)
 

Jon L

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What you're doing isn't working. Its time for something new. The problem for you is that what you're doing is easily replicated by thousands of people on Upwork. I used to pay someone $3/hr to do what you're doing. I'm sure you're better at it than they were, but with those kinds of dollar figures, it doesn't really matter how good you are:

If your job is to scoop ice cream at an ice cream store, and you're the best ice cream scooper around, you're still going to make about minimum wage. Being the 'best' really isn't valued by the marketplace. There may be a handful of people willing to pay a bit extra just to witness your superiority every now and then, but if you can't sell the experience enough, you're not going anywhere.

So, pick something else. If you're starving, get a job. Anything less than that, though, I would stick with entrepreneurship. But, that is a very personal decision. For me, its paid off. There was a time where I took a bag of quarters I'd found in various drawers in the house to buy gas at the gas station. I think it was about $8-$12. For me, it was worth that pain to stay 'in the game' no matter how foolish I looked like from the outside. I knew that going and working for someone else would have completely killed my motivation. And, I wouldn't have changed my business into what it is now.

Bottom line? Keep trying new things. Keep improving. Fight tooth and nail. Connect with people. Develop good relationships with business partners.

... and, not for nothing, you've done business with an executive at Starbucks. Um. Perhaps you should go talk to them and find out what else they need? Explain that you're looking to grow your business into other areas. "What are your most pressing concerns right now? or, What other similar services would be valuable to them?" If they liked you, they'll talk. drill into whatever they talk about.
 

ZCP

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1. Find the Hustle Threads and get to it to raise capital (and eat).
2. Since you are trying.... PM me. We'll hire you to scrape emails and r&d for mkt.
where are you located?
 

G-Man

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant

If you got fired from foodservice, you gotta consider maybe you weren't doing a very good job. You're not cutting muster at an establishment that is probably used to hiring adolescents. That should give you pause for honest self-evaluation.

If you get a 9-5 to pay the bills you'll still have plenty of time to surf the web for email addresses.
 

DaveC

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It takes me 2 to 3 hours to find 1,000 emails.

I charge 20 cents per email I find.

What would you do?

So you are 21 and earning $66-$100 hr? That's pretty darn good. How are people finding you? How well are you converting them? See if you can amp up that piece (leads & sales) with some more legwork. $100/hr is a lot more than minimum wage. If you can't find a good way to grow it, you can always pivot but you should see if what you have is really at a plateau IMO.
 

The-J

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant

It's not 'easy' which is why you should do it and put your all into it.

You shouldn't be too proud to cold call, or knock on doors, or fry chicken, or flip burgers, or deliver newspapers; nor should you be too proud to sit down in front of a 40 year old man, wearing a shirt + tie, and sell him on why you should be hired.

You also shouldn't be too proud to look into how your skills can be useful for a better position. Scouring the web for email addresses might not sound like it has a carryover, but if you're doing it with the help of a script, you might be able to get into some sort of coding position.

While you look for a job, hustle harder. You've got bills.

You're still in school. Maybe look into TA opportunities and/or work study to help you float.

If you cannot pay the bills, you need more work. Period. Get some.
 

Fred Chevry

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Hey everyone! I am a 21 year old college junior. I have a business finding and researching emails for people. People come to me and say they want emails for retail buyers or venture capitalists. I spend hours researching and then compile a list of email addresses for them. It takes me 2 to 3 hours to find 1,000 emails. I have been doing this for two years. I have gotten people meetings with Starbucks executives and got one customers product into Big Lots. I got my mentor featured in the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. I do a couple thousand dollars a year.

I charge 20 cents per email I find. The average customer buys 1,000 emails at a time. Most customers come from my Facebook profile and word of mouth from past customers on Facebook.

I have no job. This is my only source of income. My issue/challenge is that I am completely broke. I am in debt and behind on payments. It is really frustrating and depressing. I'm not here to complain, but money has just stopped flowing and the pressure is on hot. I just want to get my head above water again.

What would you do?

Hey buddy,

I've been in a similar situation after I cut a good stream of income, thinking my newest product would be SOOOOOO GOOOD that it would surpass sales from everything I've done before. I was wrong and ended up broke. I gave myself a deadline and ended up having to take a job in a garage changing tires for chump change from dusk till dawn. It turned out being a great move; after a couple days I felt good. I was happy to do something, earn money and be useful. The job and pay was shit, but PRODUCING jump started my entrepreneur drive and I got back on track.

I say get a job and work; your wallet and your soul will thank you. It doesn't have to be permanent.
 

Fred Chevry

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant

Maybe it's time to flip burgers.

edit: more burgers
 

Nicoknowsbest

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You guys talk about getting a job like it is so easy. I have been applying for jobs for two years with no luck. I had job for one week in June and was let go for "not being a good fit" at a barbecue restaurant

I totally agree with all the others and especially @G-Man and his advice here:

That should give you pause for honest self-evaluation.

Something is not working out.

Have you looked closely at what you could change?

Have you changed up your approach?

Have you manipulated all variables to your favor in this equation?

Maybe it helps to check out @SinisterLex's threads (on copywriting).

I know you are not into copywriting.

But the magic about his sharings is that they are universal.

Have you tried applying a Y.O.U. focus instead of a M.E. focus when applying?

Have you tried approaching a business owner with something like this:

"Hey, I found that you are losing money doing X. You could save some money doing Y instead. If you want, I can help you do Y. I even started already and prepared this for you."

Compare this to:

"Hey, I need to pay my bills so give me a job."

Disclaimer: I am not saying this is how you do it, I am just comparing two scenarios.

Have you tried not waiting for permission and just helping people?

Hope this helps :)
 

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