The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

INTRO Come read about my many failures (and successes) as an entrepreneur.

Accelerate wealth. Build a business that pays freedom. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs and register for the Fastlane Entrepreneur forum. Remove ads? Join the INSIDERS.

integrity

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 6, 2014
121
370
177
Here's a quick rundown of my journey so far into entrepreneurialism. But first, some brief into about me, and how it all got started.

Early Childhood and Adolescence

As a kid I can remember always dreaming about being a millionaire, owning my own business, bringing my immediate family out of financial struggles (have a lot of family here from Cuba), and pretty much having that financial freedom we all dream of. Growing up, my parents tried getting into a few MLMs and I went to all the meetings with them. My parents are Cuban immigrants without any real business knowledge, and like many others, were trying to get into the "fastlane" and out of the 9 to 5 rat race.

First "Business" Experience

It wasn't about 12 or 13 that I started my first somewhat "real" business. I was really into computers then and thought of a way to score free computer parts. I decided on making my own hardware review site, and convince manufacturers to send me free parts in exchange for free advertising.

I got as far as setting up a hackjob of a website I made in Microsoft Frontpage and posted 2 reviews of some parts I already had. I didn't know anything about SEO, marketing, ect.. so unsurprisingly, I only got like 2 or 3 real visitors to my site, and called it quits after the hardware companies didn't want to bother with me, and subsequently got an adsense account banned (my fault).

We can fast forward to my post-highschool days, as I was too busy hanging out with friends and trying to get a girlfriend then to try and pursue another business idea.

First Jobs

Fresh out of high school in 2009 I got a job at a new Best Buy store, and managed to get a few close friends hired with me. I was having a lot of fun and was really enjoying having my own money to spend and blow off. Like most other guys, I spent most of my money on food. I was also trying to impress my high-school crush, so I spent most of my money buying her food as well.

It was also here at Best Buy where I started to get good at sales. They pushed us pretty hard to sell warranties/protection plans there, so that's where I put most of my focus on. I wanted to be the best sales guy there -- it was fun competing, and I'm naturally very competitive. It took a few months of busting my a$$, but I was soon hitting some badass numbers. Until I looked at my paycheck and saw that it never changed. I made the same amount as the new guy who spent his entire month sitting in the training room.

That was a huge demotivator, and my sales numbers started dropping. I didn't see myself growing there anymore, and working nights really started to suck, so in 2011 I eventually left Best Buy for Bank of America where I became a teller (wanted to be a banker, but they stared me off at the bottom). In the beginning, I HATED the bank job. I dreaded going into work every morning. I honestly considered quitting in the beginning, but I hate quitting on something just as much as I hated the job. So I kept at it.

In the beginning I sucked big time, which made me hate the job even more. But I knew it was a learning experience, and would be in my best interest to get good at it. Looking at the bank job from a competitive standpoint made me not think about how much I hated it.

Long story short, in a few hard months of busting my a$$ at the bank, I was recognized with being in the top 2% of tellers in our region, which was a pretty big deal. The atmosphere was great and they were really happy with my progress. But then I looked at my paycheck -- it was still the same as when I had started. Yeah, I got some gifts for hitting the big numbers, but I wanted more. So just like it had happened previously at Best Buy, I lost my motivation to sell.

My numbers didn't drop off too significantly, but I had a lot more in the tank than I was giving. This got me into thinking about ways I could go to work for myself, but I was too scared to do it and didn't know what I could even start doing.

Gonna grab a quick bite to eat so I'll continue it on the next post. That is, if you're still reading.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

integrity

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 6, 2014
121
370
177
Getting My Feet Wet in Entrepreneurial Waters

While I was working at the bank, I started looking into making money online. I started getting into blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, and everything else related to that. I got on the WarriorForum and started buying some WSOs (lol, who hasn't?) and started trying everything I could. But that was also my first problem:

I never finished anything.

I would start projects and leave them half-assed when I wouldn't see any progress. It also didn't help that for one reason or another, things would just fail. After I had finally gotten my first semi-successful website up and making about ~$250 a month from it, I thought I had figured it out. I would just replicate my success over and over.

Wrong.

The Google panda/penguin updates hit and wiped my sites away, shrinking all my income substantially. That was another pretty big demotivator, as my hard work from a few months had literally evaporated overnight.

The Turning Point

During this time I was still working part-time at the bank while investing some money into my internet biz which was seemingly going nowhere.

Then my dad got sick.

He had a county job that payed pretty well (almost six figures a year before taxes) and we were pretty comfortable. Due to his unexpected illness, we was forced to retire early and cut his income down to 1/4 of what it originally was. Not going to give a sob story as I know everyone has them, but that was the one of the hardest times I've had to go through. Just to give you an idea of what my mental state was.

I watched my family go from being well off to being at the brink of losing our house in the blink of an eye. In 2 years my parents managed to deplete their entire savings and go into $50k in debt. Miraculously, we didn't lose the house, thanks to a family member that lent us some money and having my dad's disability kick in, right at the point when we basically had no more money to make any more house payments. Thankfully he's gotten better now, but emotionally he's not ready to take on another job.

During this time, I did probably one of the stupidest things anybody in my position could have done.

Seeing what my dad had gone through made me re-evaluate my life and what I was working toward. If I had to stop working for whatever reason, I'd be in his same shoes. So would my family. And seeing my parents financial situation, if I continued to work at the bank and were to give them my entire paycheck to help pay off their debt, the interest rates would make the debt grow faster than I could help them pay it off. So...

I quit my job.

I quit, went full time into focusing on making my internet business work. I had to. I had about $4000 saved up from my last tax return and working at the bank, and knew it would be depleted soon anyways if I kept working at the bank. I knew it would be a struggle in the beginning, I knew I wouldn't be able to go out with my friends for a while, or buy nice things, or go out to eat, or none of that stuff -- but I was prepared to do whatever it took.

You'll find out exactly what it took on the next post.
 
Last edited:

integrity

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 6, 2014
121
370
177
Life Without a Job

Let me start off by saying that hard doesn't even begin to describe it. And not just from a financial standpoint. Mentally, it was very tough. Perhaps it was the looming financial disaster my family was facing that raised the pressure level, but even without it I think it would have still been very tough. If anything, my family's situation only pushed me even harder to make something work.

The hardest part for me was dealing with friends, other family members and failure.

(Btw, I'm extremely thankful that my parents supported me through this. It was a huge, huge help)

I was always used to having money, going out, not being dependent, ect.. That all came to a screeching halt very quickly.

Dealing with my friends for example became very tough. They sincerely wanted to help me, and (naturally) thought what I was doing was very stupid. But in my mind, I knew that continuing what I was doing was inevitably going to lead me and my family where we didn't want to go. And taking this risk, although a longshot, gave me a chance. I had faith that it would somehow work out -- I had to, otherwise I should have just caved.

But I remember them taking me out to dinner numerous times (I couldn't afford to pay for myself) and being told by them how stupid what I was doing was, and I should just go back to get a job. For me, that was incredibly tough to go through, while still sticking to my guns. My personality has always been more submissive when regarding friends, and so I would always do what they did or wanted to do. I would feel more comfortable following their lead, than making my own decisions. They're incredible friends whom I've known for years and we're still just as close, which is why it made the situation that much harder for me.

But that had to stop.

Even though it seemed that the more I tried to be strong the more they pushed, I had to stick by my faith and what I thought I needed to do. And I did that. What originally made it even tougher was that I wasn't even seeing success at what I was doing. So my confidence was very low, and I doubted ever seeing any success at all sometimes. But I couldn't quit -- going back to what I was doing before scared me more than pushing forward. so, I kept grinding.

Eventually, I stopped fearing hanging out with them and started feeling their respect for my decisions. I might not have known it initially, but those uncomfortable experiences totally changed my personality. My mindset changed. My confidence grew, and the fear became easier to control. This translated into me making better business decisions and actually seeing some progress.

Fast forward another year and a half..

During this whole time, I failed a lot. The majority of the things I tried failed or never delivered anywhere near what I had planned. But each failure was a learning experience. In my mind, I had just found another method that didn't work. But the great thing about working 12 to 16 hours a day, every day, is that you try so many things that eventually something does end up working.

Thanks to these little successes I was able to get into other things. Eventually, I quit the blogging/SEO/commenting methods I had been doing and got into paid ads. This was another intense learning experience altogether, and one with countless failures as well. But like I had learned before, failure is only temporary.

Today

It's been about 6 months since I got into paid ads and am really happy with my progress. I was very fortunate to begin working with the right people, which has helped my progress significantly. I recently set up a company to start doing this to save some money on taxes. Thankfully, I've been able to improve every month, and while I'm not where I want to be, I'm definitely a lot closer than I used to be. I still learn a lot every single day, and still have to deal with things not working the way I want, and projects failing sometimes. But that doesn't scare me anymore.

I'm now making more than I was making working at the bank, and am even able to help my family out. My goal is to have their debt erased by the end of this year, and then some.

A good friend (@wade1mil) I met in this industry recommended I join the forum, and here I am. I've been lurking around for a bit and can see there are a lot of you on here that are the real deal. Looking forward to learning a lot from you all, and giving back where I can. My main focus is still on my primary advertising business, but I'd like to branch out into something else as well to diversify and gain a bit more stability.

Expect a progress thread from me when I figure out what new project I will take on.

See you guys then. :)
 
Last edited:

integrity

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 6, 2014
121
370
177
TL;DR

I'm 23, been doing affiliate marketing as an ad agency full-time for the last 6 months, and am hungry for more.

Hope to learn a lot and give back where I can. :)
 
Last edited:

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
12,894
50,129
4,306
Ireland
Great story. Your avatar is very appropriate! :)
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
32,889
125,975
3,751
Alpine, UT
Thanks for sharing and welcome to the board.

The Google panda/penguin updates hit and wiped my sites away, shrinking all my income substantially. That was another pretty big demotivator, as my hard work from a few months had literally evaporated overnight.

Commandment of Control reminder for the aspiring...
 

Get Threaded

On a mission to dominate the world of brows
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Jun 27, 2014
61
134
135
Australia
Wow- what a story! Thanks for sharing. I love your persistence- keep going- you can do this! :)
 

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
What I got was completely unexpected; @LightHouse generously talked with me for 2 straight hours...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  Freelance University: Solve Every Freelance Problem (Especially on Upwork)
FU. 4 DAYS. 50% OFF BLACK FRIDAY SALE! If you're an Upwork freelancer, you'd be a fool not to...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  For Sale: Food Brand with 4 Years of Happy Customers in a Fast-Growing Niche
So to get certified, it cost a fortune? How much exactly? That sucks that these "health...
MARKETPLACE  Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Fox's Web School helps you learn a specialized skill which you can use to get to Fastlane. It's...
MARKETPLACE  Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom