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Describe your first sale as an entrepreneur!

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TreyAllDay

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First major sale was in 2017 and I had already quit my job to work full time on a software that was already failing - and I had heard an old colleague mention he was seeking an intranet product (similar to our product, just needed to tweak it a bit).

Being a developer and obsessing over product features, I had always worked so hard to promote every single feature of our product - but I took time in 2016 to really polish my sales skills and in this sales call, I sold the solution and how it tied into their vision without even demoing the product, and it WORKED and has worked ever since. I have since sold thousands of dollars of products before even putting work into their development.

Anyway - the first sale is always awesome because it was my first $500/month of passive income. As long as I built the service and kept it running, I would keep getting that cheque and my 6 months of runway turned into 14 months. Time to work your stategy is key. I laugh because I used to always calculate how much money I was making and then use it to calculate how long I had until I would have to go back to work, the service has grown to almost $14,000 a month since then.

I do remember jumping up and down, thinking "WOW THIS FASTLANE THING REALLY WORKS I CAN'T BELIEVE IT " lol.
 
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Fpm9

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I realized something this morning while eating breakfast. I woke up and quickly checked if I made any sales during the night. For the first time, a customer bought not one, but two of my products.

Of couse, I was happy that I made money while I was sleeping, and that a tiny part of my income ( I still have a day job as my business doesn't bring me enough money yet, a few bucks in profits per sale ) isn't related to the hours I spend at my "real job".

But what makes me happier is that people actually buy my product. I spent time doing research, engineering the product, designing the label, finding suppliers and manufacturers... and it cost me money too. But now people are spending their money on that product and hopefully it makes their life better. Impacting the life of total strangers, bringing value to their life, even a tiny bit, feels amazing ( especially when they give you more positive feedback by buying again or leaving a review ).
 

• nikita •

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Had a user subscribe to my mobile app for the first time yesterday after launching on 15th August. It deals with mental health (I guess it's in the realm of apps like Headspace), so I'm happy I'm helping someone enough for them to subscribe! I was just checking my dashboard and a nice little $7.49 popped up. It felt amazing, honestly I felt like crying after 6-8 months of development, having my app actually validated in the wild.

My mood has been sky high these past 24 hours, and I have more belief in my business. Validating an idea before you build it is nice, but you don't really feel confident until you make your first sale. If one person wants it, more will!

In hindsight, I would have done a better pre-launch. It would have led to my first sale much quicker. If I were to give anyone advice on making that first sale, it would be to hustle hard those first few weeks, and don't give up. That sale will come. I underestimated how stressful it would be launching a product.
 

Crexty

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My first sale was with my first maid business when I was younger.

It was for someones apartment cleaning (they were moving out) and I charged them $180. I had an independent contractor down there and she told me it was a HUGE mess, so I called the client and up-selled him to $295.

I paid my contractor $100 and the rest was profit baby.

I remember my first sale, it was so exciting. I thought I had made it already haha.
 
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Thomas Baptiste

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What’s the story of your first sale?

How did you feel in that moment?

What changed from that moment onwards?

What has it lead to?



In hindsight:

What would you have done LESS of?

What would you have done MORE of?

What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?
Looking back on it, my first real entrepreneurial sales were in high school. Before school I would go down to my local supermarket and buy a pack of gum for about $3 with 24 in a pack. During recess I would sell 1 gum for 25¢ making $6. I had two other dudes selling the gum for me and I would give them $1 each. At the end of the day I would get $1 profit + enough to buy another packet the next day. This went on for about 2 weeks until the principal announced that the selling of gum be stopped cause there was an increase in gum being stuck under desks and shoes, etc. I don't think anyone other than my two employees knew I was the one in charge of it all.

Felt liberating really and I saved enough at the time to treat myself to some good lunches the following week. This really shaped the way I looked at business and actually made it a viable option in the future. I think really since then I've been business oriented and probably that's why I came across TMF in the hopes of gaining more knowledge to go down that path eventually.

Really the first sale is as simple as just doing and it and being uninhibited. Gum is really insignificant but damn as a high schooler with no income it made a difference.
 
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Gepi

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Looking back on it, my first real entrepreneurial sales were in high school. Before school I would go down to my local supermarket and buy a pack of gum for about $3 with 24 in a pack. During recess I would sell 1 gum for 25¢ making $6. I had two other dudes selling the gum for me and I would give them $1 each. At the end of the day I would get $1 profit + enough to buy another packet the next day. This went on for about 2 weeks until the principal announced that the selling of gum be stopped cause there was an increase in gum being stuck under desks and shoes, etc. I don't think anyone other than my two employees knew I was the one in charge of it all.

Felt liberating really and I saved enough at the time to treat myself to some good lunches the following week. This really shaped the way I looked at business and actually made it a viable option in the future. I think really since then I've been business oriented and probably that's why I came across TMF in the hopes of gaining more knowledge to go down that path eventually.

Really the first sale is as simple as just doing and it and being uninhibited. Gum is really insignificant but damn as a high schooler with no income it made a difference.
This actually sounds so cool. Thinking of giving value like that even like a kid...nice.
 

El Príncipe

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First sale...

Selling apples from our tree in the backyard to our neighbors, lol. Age 8 or something.

Selling chocolate to school mates. Selling cigarettes. Later on selling t-shirt that we designed.

Never a real success experience. Too few sales or too small a markup, or just not a great enough product.

Fast forward to a couple days ago; sent my first invoice for a monthly digital media deal for a business. Pretty sweet but still a bit of cheating, because I was already doing this work for them as an employer. Just switched it to a package deal instead of being payed an hourly wage. Which is still great, because now it pays to automate and streamline further.

Time to get first REAL clients now.

Great thread, inspirational.
 
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Andy Black

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First sale...

Selling apples from our tree in the backyard to our neighbors, lol. Age 8 or something.

Selling chocolate to school mates. Selling cigarettes. Later on selling t-shirt that we designed.

Never a real success experience. Too few sales or too small a markup, or just not a great enough product.

Fast forward to a couple days ago; sent my first invoice for a monthly digital media deal for a business. Pretty sweet but still a bit of cheating, because I was already doing this work for them as an employer. Just switched it to a package deal instead of being payed an hourly wage. Which is still great, because now it pays to automate and streamline further.

Time to get first REAL clients now.

Great thread, inspirational.
I don’t think it’s cheating. I’ve done the same quite a few times. It makes sense to make the most of the relationships you already have.
 

Shea

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What’s the story of your first sale?
I wanted a record console because I didn't want some piece of shit Crosley Cruiser.

Found this one for $100. Restored it, posted it to my IG and it got 160 likes which was way more than anything I ever posted. Then I had an idea to try and sell it sold it for $700 on Etsy. Made $600 and then got addicted to it.
unnamed.jpg


How did you feel in that moment?

I was like wow that was way easier than making $15 an hour.

What changed from that moment onwards?
Well, I was still just doing it because it was fun and I made a bit of money. I never thought it could go anywhere. I was honestly embarrassed by it because I worked in finance and the other interns were going to work at Goldman Sacs while I was messing around with wood boxes in my living room.

What has it lead to?
All of my dreams coming true.
- Freedom from corporate slavery.
- Using my creative mind
- Making more money than doctors or lawyers
- Work when I want
- Customers are wealthy people which builds my network
- I have my soul back and hope again

In hindsight:
I would have dropped out of high school and started selling on ebay. Rather than taking the slow lane to find entrepruership.

What would you have done LESS of?
Stressing about what people thought of me. Stressing about how I'd get to the next step. Stressing about never making it.

Schooling, Jobing,


What would you have done MORE of?

Get around more entrepreneurs earlier, listen to them, take action

What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?

Just sell something, anything, then take it from there. Listen, learn, implement, experiment, repeat.
 

Andy Black

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@Timmy1990

You've just made your first sale!

Let’s see if we can inspire other forum members to make their first sale.

What’s the story of your first sale?
  • How did you feel in that moment?
  • What changed from that moment onwards?
  • What has it lead to?
In hindsight:
  • What would you have done LESS of?
  • What would you have done MORE of?
  • What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?
 
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Andy Black

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Anyone made their first sale last week?
 

Johnny boy

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I was 18 years old and I just had finished watching 5 hours of wordpress tutorials. It was time to monetise this new knowledge!

I searched for local businesses that didn't have a website and very quickly found a flower shop about 5 mins away from where I live.

I get on my bike and cycle down there. I lock my bike to a nearby lamp post as I prepare to walk in. My heart is pounding before I walk into the shop.

I walk into the shop, dark place, 2 people standing there.

"C-c-c-an I speak to the owners please?"

"We are the owners" (It was a husband and wife)

"Um.. oh.. I noticed you didn't have a website... you wouldn't want one made by any chance would you?"

"Yes, we have been meaning to get one for a while actually"

SOLD :D

I walked out of that place feeling like I had conquered the world.

I cycled home to make the website.

This was it! I was going to make an income that was separated from my time! :)

Back then I had no idea how to charge, so I just asked for £10 monthly, that seemed fair.

I'm still getting paid to this day (about 4 years later)


28hhn3m.png


I really really like this story. This is how you do it right here.
 
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Johnny boy

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I was working collections at the hospital and was sick of it. I had a business idea (making portraits out of LEGO). People had already asked how much to buy one. So I quit my job and decided to sell LEGO portraits instead.

View attachment 20045

At the time I didn't have any systems or processes. Only the ability to take a picture and turn it into a portrait made from LEGO. At first I only made people's faces, but soon realized I could make words and logos too.

I knew my savings wouldn't last long. It was only a couple thousand dollars. So I needed to make sales fast. I decided the best way was to go back to one of the businesses I worked for in the past and try to sell my old boss. He always seemed supportive in the past.

So I created a design of the business logo and mustered up the courage to walk into the old office. When I did, the boss wasn't there. So I just talked with my old colleagues and showed them the design. They were pretty excited about it and got the boss on the phone. We talked for a minute or two and then he invited me over to his house to learn more.

When the day arrived, I went to his house in a nice part of town. It felt very awkward because of my introverted tendencies and because he's an extremely social guy. He showed me around, and took me on a tour of the renovations. He offered me something to drink, and made small talk. He asked about the design, and wanted to see pictures.

So I whipped out my laptop and showed the designs. I explained the process and how long I thought it would take to build. Then he said something like, "Cool, how much?" and pulled out his checkbook. At the time I was really nervous about losing the sale, so I cut him an extremely good deal (one I would later regret). He wrote a check on the spot and handed it to me and a short time later I was out of there with my first sale!

Later when I started buying materials and assembling the product I ran into a problem. I'd underestimated the costs. By the time I built the portrait I wouldn't make any money even though I sold it for over $100. In fact, I would lose money. So I met up with my old boss again and showed him some options. Basically it was, "I can make this X size for the price you already paid, but for just X more I can make the portrait bigger and better."

He seemed skeptical at first and asked, "how much more?" I gave him a price and he agreed. It was still less than I should have asked for, but what did I know. I was a total amateur. At least the costs to make the product were covered now. So I built it, finished it, and delivered it to my first 100% satisfied customer.

View attachment 20046

In hindsight:

- Didn't know what I didn't know at the time
- Should've spent less time trying to sell and more time on our relationship
- Should've ate the expense of the project for the mistake I made
- Should've asked for referrals afterward
- Should've spent more time meeting with local business owners
- Should've learned a bit about pricing and set prices that would actually make sense

The biggest takeaway for me was probably the relationship. I came away feeling like I'd tried to make a sell and get out of there too quickly. My old boss values relationships, is well established in the local business community, and probably has a million connections. Plus he likes to help entrepreneurs. If I would've realized this at the time I might be on a completely different path today. Instead, I soon ran out of cash and had to go back to a "real" job until I could build up enough to try again.

How much for one for my lawn care company logo?
 

AgainstAllOdds

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I was 3 years old. My mom gave me a book of stickers. I wanted money. I went to the tenant that lived downstairs. Knocked on his door. Sold him 5 stickers for 50 cents each.

Over the course of the next few years I'd guilt that guy into giving me a lot of more big bucks.
 

Process

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I love reading stories of how people got started, especially the turning point where people make their first sale and get hooked.

Let’s see if we can inspire other forum members to make their first sale.


What’s the story of your first sale?
  • How did you feel in that moment?
  • What changed from that moment onwards?
  • What has it lead to?

In hindsight:
  • What would you have done LESS of?
  • What would you have done MORE of?
  • What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?


In 7th grade everyone wanted these giant cookies the school sold. This made the line really long.

The school made each table go up to buy their lunches and snacks in order. The last tables didn’t get enough time to order their snacks.

I noticed the pattern and sat at the first few tables each day.

I would order the big cookies and give them to a few people I knew for 50% extra.

This helped me save up for a cheap laptop to surf the Internet with.

How Did It feel?
It only netted 2-5 bucks a day so no competition emerged. Many people laughed, but I knew the math would add up quickly. Proving them wrong was very fun.

What Has Changed?
Ever since then I’ve always seen myself as meant to do business of some sort.

What Did It Lead To?
At that moment I didn’t realize how much eliminating frustration is the key to selling high value things.

I lapsed for many years until I was sick of my mediocre life at 19. I was searching Cold Calling and found this site. Then I became much more serious.

Studying TMFL and other books over the years showed me I had to think bigger and in terms of process.

TLDR: Snack lines were too long. So I saved people time for a price. It was sweet revenge since no one believed I would be able to save it all and get a Satellite.
 
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Devampre

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One of my first online sales was like 5 years ago:

I found an electric guitar for sale on amazon canada that was selling for around $700. Every other website (including amazon.com) was selling it for significantly more. At least like $1700. I knew a little bit about arbitrage/dropshipping and recognized this rare/unique opportunity.

So I listed it for sale on eBay canada and offered a buy it now option. The very next day I had my buyer. So I bought it as a gift and shipped it to them through amazon.

Made a little under $1000 profit for maybe 10 minutes of copy paste work.

Never have I seen such an easy opportunity again. However, this unfortunately was something I could only do once, due to the limited supply and lack of control I had.

Edit: Will better answer OP questions once I'm at my PC tonight

Update: I am back at my PC :smile:

  • How did you feel in that moment?
I remember feeling awesome and much smarter than I actually was lol.
  • What changed from that moment onwards?
Unfortunately, I didn't pursue entrepreneurship the way I probably should have. However, this experience gave me insight that someone as young and unskilled as me (at that time) is capable of earning money online.
  • What has it lead to?
I don't dropship, so it didn't really lead me beyond being part of my self discovery process.


In hindsight:

  • What would you have done LESS of?
I would not be so easily suckered into the notion of "easy" money.
  • What would you have done MORE of?
I wish I would have committed more strongly to becoming an entrepreneur. I didn't understand at that time that my mindset played a big part in some of my other "entrepreneurial" failures. I came from more of a computer hacker type community. Making money online was something treated like finding exploits. The problem was that it was money chasing rather than actually trying to create value that a market would actually want.
  • What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?

Find a buyer first (don't create a product or do a service people aren't willing to pay for and/or don't want.) Of course I do also believe in leading with value. But, it depends on who you are giving to. There's a line in the book Superconnector by Scott Gerber & Ryan Paugh that really like. The gist is that both the poorest people in the world and the wealthiest people in the world are givers.
 
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Xavier X

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First noteworthy business was at 12.
I used to rent out movies on VCDs and DVDs to my classmates in middle school, in the late 90s.
They were still relatively new back then, and many could actually only watch them on computers.

$1 a pop overnight rental.

We had so many of them at home that no one missed them. :cool:
 

Andy Black

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Bump. Anyone had a first sale of a new product or service recently?
 
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Andy Black

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MTF

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How did it feel getting your first client for your new service?

Actually it's not a cause of celebration for me yet. It's a complex project that will take several weeks. I won't be getting any money until the first half is done. Maybe then it will feel "real."
 

sonny_1080

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How did it feel getting your first client for your new service?
It's hard to describe.

I felt a sense of freedom from my j.o.b. because now I have options. I was exhilarated because I realized the possibilities are endless. I felt relieved knowing that all my hard work up to that point hadn't been a waste of time. I felt reassured because that first sale verified for me (and everyone else) that I have a real business and I'm not just running my mouth about an idea.

Once I got paid, I got a whole new sense of purpose that @MJ DeMarco describes best:

Continue the value challenge by helping one person in the next thirty days. Add value to just one life, and do so by virtue of your own creation, ingenuity, and hard work. Also, you must do this by learning a new skill, or something unfamiliar to you. DO NOT STOP UNTIL ACCOMPLISHED.

Your value challenge could be as simple as buying an old dresser down at the Goodwill, stripping it down, refinishing, and reselling it on Craigslist. Or you could write a short story and sell it on Amazon for ninety-nine cents. Whatever you do, the key is to create value for someone else AND do it by a new process (or skill) that you must learn on the fly. Again, like the spirited smiling, pay attention to how you feel the moment you accomplish the value challenge.

You should feel good, maybe even a rush of excitement. This same feeling happens in entrepreneurship once your feedback loop transforms into a value loop. I call the experience “entrepreneurial heroine.” And once you feel it, there’s no going back. Countless forum users have reported this “high,” and it’s what happens when your creative sweat creates value for someone else. The value loop confirms with your first sale, your first customer, or your first “your product rocks!” testimonial.

Now imagine if you didn’t provide value to just one person, but thousands… The point is, creating value loops and getting paid handsomely to help people is indescribably rewarding. It’s like watching your firstborn win Wimbledon. Perhaps buried deep behind our “whys,” we all have the same generic meaning-and-purpose—to simply solve each other’s problems and make the world a better place.


DeMarco, MJ. UNSCRIPTED : Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship (p. 217). Viperion Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.
 
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VicFountain

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This came up in my mind the last night.

I was 7 when I made my first sale.

A friend in elementary school was looking for someone to create a CD with 10-15 different artists/songs in it.
So I downloaded the songs on YouTube with a software and registered them on a CD-RW with windows media player.

I then sold that CD for like 8 euros lol. Yes, it was definitely illegal but in that period music streaming wasn't a thing and CD's were still popular.

I simply solved the need of my friend to have his favorite musical artists in one single CD.
 

xmartel

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I had a bunch of small sales with random ventures, but my first real sale was when my wife and I flipped our first home.

Flipping a home was a dream from when I was a small kid. Even before there was flipping shows on TV. I'm not sure why, but it just seemed like a really fun thing to do.

So fast forward many years and we bought our first home to flip, I did almost all the work myself over many months, and then listed it privately (I wasn't about to be giving away profit to a realtor, and I thought it'd be a great experience to have to run open houses, and handle all the selling activities).

It sold the first day on the market for a few K above asking.

I remember walking out of my lawyers office with a cheque for over 400k and knowing that we'd just profited mid $XX,XXX. It was a glorious moment and I felt like king kong.

We took a celebratory road trip through the Rockies. I remember feeling great contentment with life.

We then decided to flip another home before launching our new home construction company, this second flip didn't go quite so well. It took 6 months to sell and we lost high $X,XXX.

Few things that I'd heard before, but were made real to me:

1. You make money when you buy, not when you sell. I overpaid for the home because I wanted it to work. No matter how nice I dressed the home up, there was a max it'd ever be worth, so I left myself too small a margin to make any money.

2. Trust your gut. There was some serious design flaws with the home that were impossible to overcome. I knew it'd be an issue when I went to re-sell, but again, I wanted it to work and so forced the issue and ignored my gut.

3. And above all, don't let success on your first sale got to your head and make you cocky. Don't think you've got it all figured out just because you did one thing right. Stay humble.
There's too many stories out there of people scoring a win and following it up with a failure because they thought they were so smart. Don't become one of those stories.
 

Bruno11

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Just stumbled upon this thread, Maybe a silly one and not the most ethical :happy: but I was a dumb kid

Back in high school(in aus high school is year 7-12 is together as one school) being 15 or so, I went to a really bad school where one of the main sources of entertainment would be smoking in the bathrooms during lunch time.

A large portion of kids came from families that smoked and they did too, a lot of kids being underage wouldn’t be able to buy their own cigarettes unless they knew which shop to go to, they would obviously still find a way to get them or just ran out of their own and needed some more throughout the day.

a friend of mine would have tailored cigarettes and sell them for 1 dollar each, a 20 pack would run out fast when you’re selling 90% of it in the first break, I myself didn’t have much money so I would roll my own and when my friend would run out/be absent i got asked to buy one off me but I didn’t feel like 1 dollar was right for something that was so much cheaper So I charged 50 cents Including the expertise of me rolling it for them :happy:

Very quickly everyone decided they would rather have 2 for the price of one , and I would get pulled out of class or hassled on the daily(To the point where I would preroll the whole pouch just to make it a quicker process)

being not very well off this meant I could buy a pouch at the end of the week and then some
 
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TheGreek

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My first sale was very simple.

Started a blog, I wrote almost 100 posts in ten months and got my first affiliate marketing sale. It was a nice $8 profit for 10 months of work.:rofl::rofl::rofl:

Ok, I made more sales later.

My first freelance sale was on Upwork. I created a profile, sent a few proposals, and got a job for $5 per hour.
 
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Ing

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I don’t remember, what my first sale was. But what my first sale as an entrepreneur was, is that:
A friend had a flea market and I thought of selling french fries.
From my parents I took a chair and a desk, salt, cables.
A neighbor had a small deep fryer And loaned it.
I bought some fat, fries , paper bags and ketchup for about 30€.

Than I installed the fryer on the desk, Put a long cable From a neighbor to my desk.
Than I started frying. We had a lot of fun and ate much fryes, but so sells So far.
Than I recogniced, that my advertisement sucks.

I loaned a pencil, took a piece of carton and wrote „ Pommes 2 DM“ ( at that time we still had Deutsche Mark) on it.

About an hour later, I hurried to the super market to buy more fries, katchup, bags.

I don’t remember, how many 100s I have earned that day, but it wasn’t the last time I did that.

Unfortunately I didn’t realize the scope of that story at that time.


  • How did you feel in that moment?
    it was a great feeling seeing to differ the incomestream from spended time. Other than I was used from holiday Jobs
  • What changed from that moment onwards?
    In the time that followed, I really was an entrepreneur for the time of my studies.
    Unfortunately, after than getting myJOB, I canceled my entrepreneurship. I hadn’t realized, that that way really was a way. Maybe than my life had run an other path
  • What has it lead to?
    Welth while my studying time

In hindsight:
  • What would you have done LESS of?
    Nothing in relation to THAT business
  • What would you have done MORE of?
    Well. It was right at that time. Maybe now I would have tried to scale that business and get a truck and visit bigger markets.
  • What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?
    When you habe found anything that anyone wants to have, just do it.
    And start at a time, where you have not much to loose!
    Whne you have a good job and built a good life, its faaar harder to risk the possibility of failure.
    Than you will allways compare your revenue to your salary. And when your salary is high, you will not do a business, where the revenue is lower in money per hour.

    So just do it! As early as possible! NOW!
 
Last edited:

Keivo

New Contributor
Aug 27, 2020
14
14
Estonia
I love reading stories of how people got started, especially the turning point where people make their first sale and get hooked.

Let’s see if we can inspire other forum members to make their first sale.


What’s the story of your first sale?
  • How did you feel in that moment?
  • What changed from that moment onwards?
  • What has it lead to?

In hindsight:
  • What would you have done LESS of?
  • What would you have done MORE of?
  • What one piece of advice would you give someone about making that first sale?
I started a dropshipping store a few years Ago (Yes I know). When someone actually bought something and I heard the "ding" on my phone I just couldn't believe it. Someone found my wacky store and bought a product. I didn't think about the money. I was just amazed that a person trusted my store and me with his personal info. Right then I knew I can build something from nothing. It was the feeling of "damn, it IS possible".
 
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Andy Black

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May 20, 2014
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Right then I knew I can build something from nothing. It was the feeling of "damn, it IS possible".
I love it! This is why that first sale is so important.
 

Oxx

New Contributor
Dec 7, 2020
12
12
I emailed Alibaba Express about a security flaw on their website about 2 years ago, didn't think i would see any money since it wasn't exactly dangerous (you could bypass their captcha system). Few days later, i received 1000$!

I was broke back then and my self esteem was already down, but i would describe this moment as some sort of turning point in my life.

Not exactly a typical sale so sorry if this doesn't count. :)
 

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