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EXECUTION Eager to Launch - Is it better to do it first, then ask permission? Or wait politely?

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advntr_king

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Apr 18, 2020
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Hello to everyone in the Forum.
I read The Millionaire Fastlane about 6 months ago, and it was a great book! Through the book, I discovered the forum, and have enjoyed the various conversations and lessons in the here ever since.
I'm grateful to be a part of this community, and wanted to reach out to everyone for input on the situation I am facing:

I have 2 ideas for an ecommerce business. I won't go in to much detail about the ideas, except to say they are both original, and do a pretty good job passing the CENTS test. There is one idea I favor over the other because the market it would serve is huge, no one is doing what I'm proposing, and it is more simple to execute. The issue with this business however, is it is in a highly regulated industry.
You see, before deciding to pursue the idea, I did what I thought was sufficient market research. I scoured the laws pertaining to this industry, and learned that there were no rules or regulations in place prohibiting me from what I wanted to do. Excited by my findings, I built out my website and social media, and prepared to launch. At the last minute, I decided to consult with an attorney about my potential liabilities, and he advised me to contact the relevant state offices directly. I did just that, and now I feel like the future of my idea lies in the hands of state officials who are over burdened with the Covid-19 situation, and have no reason to go out of their way to understand some random persons business idea, much less take the time to work with me to bring this idea to life.
When I initially contacted the main office in charge of this industry, I spoke with the sales director Tom. Tom took some time to understand what I was proposing, but because my idea is so new, he feels completely lost on how it fits in with current regulations. He now feels the need to involve two of his bosses, plus the Colorado Attorney General. In short, I feel like the future of my idea lies completely in Tom's hands. I have never met Tom in person, nor do I have any way of contacting any of the people he is trying to involve.

I take the time to explain the situation because I am hoping for some insight on the best way to proceed from the community. The way I see it, I have 3 options:

1) Wait patiently for Tom to get clarity on the situation - This would be the safest way to play things for long term success. I would be doing everything I could to keep state regulators happy, and wouldn't risk getting myself into unforseen legal issues. However, who knows how long this could take. It could take months, or even years. Or, they could come back to me and say they don't like the idea, and they're going to make it illegal. Then all of the time I've spent waiting would have been for nothing. In this scenario, I have no control over their decisions, and no way to lobby the decision makers directly.

2) Focus on my second business idea - This business would still be an awesome business, but doesn't have the same money making potential as the one I've been discussing. It also requires much more time and energy to execute. I also have some personal baggage (insecurity, fear of not being good enough, feeling inferior) in relation to the target consumer. So it would take more effort on a personal / emotional level to thrive in this industry. Overall, I think it would be a very fun business to be in, but in my heart I just want the other more.

3) Launch the business without the consent of the state regulators - Like I mentioned previously, I read through all of the laws pertaining to this industry. There are no rules or regulations stating what I can and can't do with this idea. Because I am an honest and sincere person, I was already planning on running the business in a very transparent way, and I structured the business to give the maximum value to the customer. Although I'm sure issues will arise, I don't see anyone having any legitimate way to complain about me doing something illegal.
As far as the state regulators go, it could be beneficial because I could have a few months (or years) worth of operating experience to prove to them that I am a legitimate business (as well as some revenue in the bank to put toward attorneys and legal stuff). OR, I could just piss them off because I didn't wait for their answer and (more or less) went behind their back to do it anyways.


I feel anxious to get started because I am in a very unique position right now. With the whole Covid crisis happening, I am currently receiving a very generous unemployment check. This is a rare event where I have lots of free time AND money coming in. It is the perfect time to launch a business, and I really don't want to miss out on this opportunity. The unemployment checks stop the last week of July, which means I have about 4 1/2 weeks to get something going. If I don't have anything in place, then I will have to go back to a J.O.B. And while I know I will succeed no matter what (because I am willing to work as hard as I have to), having to go back to work will obviously make things much much harder.

I look forward to any insight anyone can give. I'm not scared of constructive criticism, so please be frank and straight forward.

Thank you!

(((P.S. some people might be thinking that my loss of control to state regulators means the business fails the "Control" requirement of CENTS. This could be true, although it could also be argued that the regulation is more of a barrier to entry, making it ideal in the "Entry" category of CENTS, and that once I am approved by regulators to go in to business, I will have full control of all aspects of the business from start to finish. It's true that regulators could change the laws at any point and put me out of business, but couldn't you say that about most industries??)))
 

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MHP368

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Just start. If you're idea is so confusing that they can't just give a straight yes or no then the answer is yes until someone legislates.

The state would be more capable of functionally acting on that then the fed but I wouldn't hold my breath (or my wallet) waiting on them to act.

I highly doubt these state officials who couldn't give you an answer are going to hold a grudge because you started without waiting for them , they're paper pushers - they aren't losing sleep over this stuff.

If you wait for someone else's approval to get going on your dream its never gonna happen.
 
OP
OP
advntr_king

advntr_king

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 18, 2020
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14
Colorado
Thank's for the input. I spoke with an attorney for awhile and we came to the same conclusion.
 

Bekit

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The other thing you could do would be to work overtime to make it super easy for Tom to say YES.

Since it's basically a gray area for him, it's up in the air. You don't want to leave it to chance whether Tom will say yes or no.

Now is your chance to present to Tom the best watertight case you can put together for why he should say yes to you and why it should be easy for him to defend his decision and look great to the Attorney General and anybody else who might question his decision of permitting you to go forward.

So whatever evidence you can put on his desk that argues in your favor, do it.

Excited to hear about your progress!

Welcome to the forum.

Edit: I just reread your post and realized you said Tom is a "sales director."

There's your leverage.

What is a sales director doing in the state offices?

He's selling businesses on doing business in the state of CO vs. elsewhere.

So just start negotiations with other states on whether they will do business with you. Say Wyoming.

And then let Tom do his best work to compete to win your business instead of having you set up shop in WY or wherever.

Also - It's worth noting that Tom is not a lawyer. So no wonder he's lost on how it fits in with current regulations.

Have your lawyer supply him with why it makes perfect sense that this is legal and fits in with current regulations.

I think you can lobby Tom right now, which will be much easier than lobbying the whole beast of a government machine later on.

@Rabby is a good example of going up against a state government and winning.
 
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