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Siddhartha

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Everyone wants to claim freedom, everyone wants to claim financial security and freedom from the script. Some have done this; but most of them gloss over what they started with, what they came from, and some of the worst battles. Popular biographies and blog posts tend to be some of the worst offenders.

This thread is going to be different.

I am exactly like all of you; a random 23 year old who has a base desire to make a change and gain his own freedom, and improve the lives of his family and provide value.

I've been reaching for the fastlane for a few years, but have fallen short; I'll kick off the thread with my past failures from before the forum; and will document my new ideations, explorations, and processes as time goes on. I know who I am, but I'm just as lost as anybody else.
Part of the process to get where I'm at involved some failures, I'm much better now with everything I've done since college and in the past year, but looking back on these still stings.

Venture #1 (Failed) Commission artist
In 2015, after taking a digital art class in college; I started providing portraits for people's personal use and commercial use. I managed to make one big sale of 150$ dollars to a vape juice company, took my payment in vape juice, and never got another project after that point.
I failed in large part due to the fact that I had no processes in place to 1) Keep steadily improving and 2) reach out and find new clients, nor the motivation to (??? I know right?)
I had options to do work for the Company owner's friends, but the work seemed insurmountable to me at the time, and I passed on it without ever bothering to try

Venture #2 (Abandoned?) Amazon PoD Niche T-shirt Business
After an FTE moment and a month of face to the grind wheel at work; I binged through some basic "passive income" resources (4HWW and /r/entrepreneur on reddit) and set up a PoD Niche amazon store; I never put product onto amazon as I felt I needed an instagram following. To this day, 7 months later, the instagram has never gotten more than 120 followers.
I failed here due in large part to 1) Niche was too small, and already capitalized by a media conglomerate who have had hands in the niche since 2011 and overlap with other niches and 2) Never getting the courage to actually put something up. In the time since I set this all up last september, the PoD amazon space has EXPLODED, with even 3,000 subscriber youtube gaming channels hucking shirts. I assumed I needed to gain enough of an edge to rise above the crowd, instead, I sunk to the depths.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now: I've just read through TMF and almost finished with Unscripted. I've identified 3 potential avenues forward, and have selected an avenue involving a web platform and content-aggregation service targeting a niche that has has services and resources all over the place, but not concisely aggregated and curated. I need more time to ply myself with platform building, but I want to set up a wireframe and test it with friends who are regular users in the space. If this seems to get positive reviews, I have no issue with renting a virtual private server and putting it out into the world to see the public reaction. Should that not succeed, fail fast, pick it back up, and get going at the next one.

Au revoir, Á demain
 

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NMdad

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I want to set up a wireframe and test it with friends who are regular users in the space.
Customer discovery & market validation are extremely useful. Asking friends/family for feedback--even if they're your target market--is dicey though, since they're won't give you unvarnished feedback. Talk to strangers in your target market--if strangers love it & want to pay cash for what you offer, you've got a winner.
 

caromorgan

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I've been reaching for the fastlane for a few years, but have fallen short; I'll kick off the thread with my past failures from before the forum; and will document my new ideations, explorations, and processes as time goes on.
My first reaction is that you might be making the classic mistake of deciding on a product/service and then taking it to market to see if there is a demand.
Rather look for a demand, or a problem, and develop something to satisfy that.
 

caromorgan

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My first reaction is that you might be making the classic mistake of deciding on a product/service and then taking it to market to see if there is a demand.
Rather look for a demand, or a problem, and develop something to satisfy that.
Here's one of my fave bits of advice, from my fave business book:

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
|
Said another way, the Entrepreneurial Model has less to do with what’s done in a business and more to do with how it’s done. The commodity isn’t what’s important—the way it’s delivered is.
When The Entrepreneur creates the model, he surveys the world and asks: “Where is the opportunity?” Having identified it, he then goes back to the drawing board and constructs a solution to the frustrations he finds among a certain group of customers. A solution in the form of a business that looks and acts in a very specific way, the way the customer needs it to look and act, not The Entrepreneur.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

Pleasure Operator
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Mar 30, 2019
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Good points that both of y'all bring up. I may have worded it oddly, but this is something that has been fomenting in this niche for about 2 years now; egged on by the actions of the biggest actor in the space that holds a near monopoly. Posting in the niche's forums with my proposal stirs up some excitement.
The main thing I'm bringing to the space is a few types of value-skews and more user-freedom and community guidance.
If I'm not distributing to friends and family, I'm assuming the best choice of action will be to just throw it into the market space then.
If that's the case, I need to really spend some time brushing up on wordpress, SEO, and google adwords to help get the word out.
Looking at all this over the day and running it against some of the models in unscripted I'm starting to see some barriers that will need smashing, but I want to do something over nothing though.
 

caromorgan

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If I'm not distributing to friends and family, I'm assuming the best choice of action will be to just throw it into the market space then.
If that's the case, I need to really spend some time brushing up on wordpress, SEO, and google adwords to help get the word out.
Unless you have an enormous family, and a zillion friends, you are going to have to "go to market". Otherwise you don't have a business.... am I right?
(Also, friends and family will encourage and support you...because that's the nature of their relationship with you... but when you present the product and ask for payment, they won't be nearly as keen)

Something else to consider - if you aren't great at Wordpress, SEO, Adwords, etc it might be a better use of your time to outsource that, while you stick to working on the actual product.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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Again; I may have mis-worded. Per TMF "start out by showcasing to the people around you and people immediately close to you in the community". This is about easily gauging the potential reaction of the marketmind without setting up extensive campaigns.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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The PaaS has been scrapped; here's why:

Kept doing some thinking this week, and as I was cooking up some things in my journal; I had a thought come to me. It's been about two days but I now have a product that can be pushed to a gap in the market. I haven't interacted with this space before, but I've been using Act, Assess, and Adjust quite a bit.
I already have a prototype sitting on my desk, and I'm re-acquainting with physical labeling and Govt compliance right now. The few friends who I have spoken with about it have gotten extremely hyped and fully agree that this space is completely bare and something *is* needed. By the law of Scott Adams, anything that generates intense interest and support, even in the earliest stages, is something that is probably worth doing; fingers crossed.

My first and foremost goal for this is to get something out the door. I'll need to get more raw material and make at least 20 units of my product; and then cook up a packaging solution for those. Once it is packaged, I can focus on the label (already did some research due to possible legalities and govt oversight).

Within the week, I'm going to claim a domain once I settle on the name, and build the shopify site as soon as possible. After that, I'm going to have to come up with *some* form of campaign, of what I do not know, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I'm hoping to use an early-access campaign for this to get enough feedback to re-engineer this MVP completely, and re-launch it with 2-3 companion products. Depending on market reaction and how much I can learn about SEO and marketing and copy in the next few months, I'd like this to be successful enough to be pushed to amazon and physical stores across the nation.

I feel pretty excited about all of this, but there's still a ways to go.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

Pleasure Operator
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 30, 2019
179
231
158
With a wind that's starting to pick up my sails; I've been pushing through with more in my off-time from work and school.

Have a decently solid framework for what I want to do with this venture; I'm now going to building up both product this week. For the immediate moment, my lost likely avenue will be a wordpress site with a shopify layer on top; as this allows me to write SEO optimized blog posts to get more attention.
Before that, I'm going to validate the idea with the validation splash page, enumerated here: Case Study: How to Validate Your Product With 500 Preorders Using Only a Splash Page - Be a WiseMerchant

Validating the product will give me more time to develop it and decide on branding and packaging It will also allow me to look more into legal structure (Christ Guillebeau advocates just taking sales as personal profit until you can turn around and make full use of an LLC; I personally prefer legal Protection). Another option I've been mulling is possibly doing a kickstarter based on customer feedback. This would allow for me to put more into packaging, branding, and manufacturing; and also give me more weight when negotiating with distributors.

For now; gotta get something out the door.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Finally got up before 4am to get work in on my product site and integrate mailchimp; haven't done either of these things before but squarespace is helping to compliment my webdev crash course and I've heard enough entrepreneurs on the TF podcast or elsewhere mention it to get a vague idea of it's use.

I also got a kindle unlimited subscription which is letting me burn through every KU book on entrepreneurship on my breaks, which is kind of serving me though they're all repeating themselves at this point which means it's time to get something out into the world.

EDIT: any FLFers or threads mentioning experience contacting suppliers, specifically cosmetics/body products industry?

EDIT2: I was not previously aware 99designs services were mostly 200$+, ouch
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

Pleasure Operator
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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I made some decisions this week.

First of which: a personal-brand site based off what I've seen and read, to provide value via book reviews and a tracking blog that will allow me to get used to buying DNS names/building sites/optimizing SEO and constructing funnels and pitches.

www.shirtlessmillionaire.com

I did this all in the name of not action-faking, but I suspect that even this could be action faking.

Secondly: Tim Ferris' 15-year rule is as prescient as ever; I found out one of the big higher-ups at my firm hucks product for an MLM in their spare time for cash; Who could ever want to follow that example or become that?
I immediately caved in and got the unscripted audiobook and downloaded tapatalk so I could get fresh Fastlane to me wherever I go, even if I'm standing in line at the damn bookstore.

Weekly takeaway: I can lease a domain name and validate a business idea using godaddy and their associated website building tying back into mailchimp, all for 40 bucks and 20 minutes of my time.

Next step: Build out a validation site for MDRco.
 

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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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I'm still alive, and still here. I've been crunching through books as always and running on JA's daily practice.

I had an interesting idea pop up in my lists I made this morning that seems to provide good skews in it's area and seems to have quite a bit of potential magnitude.

The skews?
Form factor similar to other objects people use and take with them every day
Amplifies the effect of these things they carry with them
Turns space into an experience, allowing people to come together and share in what they love
Can be provided at a price point that would provide value to customers while also keeping margins high

CENTS?
C - I would in fact depend on a foreign manufacturer, and because of the trade war, could potentially be risky and also easily ripped off; but I imagine that if I sold through my own website and licensed channels that I could get away from copycats for about 4-6 months. I imagine however with the appropriate manufacturer and protections that this could be relatively safe. Again, easier theorized than actualized.
E - Not everyone knows how to draw things up in autoCAD or contact engineers/manufacturers; the barrier to entry is decent but the design could most likely be outright copied within a few weeks as it would be a commodity in areas that copy-cats happen at a magnitude level, and quickly
N - This is one idea that does address a need I hear a lot of people even in my own life and circles bring up multiple times, as there is a grand pain-point present and multiple pain-points introduced with the currently offered solutions
T - It's easy to theorize , but this would fall in line with a Tim Ferris-style arbitage business after sufficient production/distribution methods have been set up. Aside getting the chain built, my biggest concern would be potential tech support and legal protection of my company and product.
S - I have identified customization options for the product, but because of threat of copycats; this may not ultimately scale unless I can turn it into a brand and build trust and stories, and then pivot into other devices in the area. Much easier said than done.

This post is not a specific promise or action; but I'm glad that more tenable ideas are falling into my lap more often than not and that I have a framework to judge and position how well an idea could do and where it could go.

To be continued...
 

NMdad

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How many non-friends/family have you talked to or presented your idea to?
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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How many non-friends/family have you talked to or presented your idea to?
I have no 'idea' right now. I've had a few attempts in this thread and they died, because I rushed in with the first ideas I thought of instead of things that can be done with my current skills and some polishing.
The latest post is just my morning practice and my march to a beginning on solid foundation.



Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Still Alive.

Had a chance to discover and begin reading the Boron Letters, this with two of Lex's threads (Copywriting freedom in 15 days, become a freelancer in 15 days with upwork) are helping me "gain space" from my opponent (the script, cubicle, commuting), just like in a jiu-jitsu roll.

I've used the miracle morning to set my normal wake-time to 4:20-30 everyday, and use those beautiful quiet 2 hours to work through the threads, read and learn.

I've already been accepted on upwork by some unknown grace (and Lex's knowledge), now it's just about getting to a point of pulling in about 1.2-1.4k a month, easier said than done; but having found out that the self employed-tax rate is in the 14-18% neighborhood recently (and not 40%) I know I can build up something I can sustain myself on in the near future.

Cheers
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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I DID IT
I took action

I don't know what happened today, but an idea I dumped two months ago burst back into my mind with a workable and unused brand name and theme.
I rushed home, threw open my laptop, and got to checking Keyword Planner and Trends.
The keywords were mostly 1-10k with one keyword at 10-100k search volume, which appears to be a good niche volume, based on my research.
Double checked with Google trends, this niche has been steady and growing for about 6 years now with no undue activity.

After running the name by a friend whom I've discussed this venture with before, I immediately put down an order for some branding on fiverr (something for leads to look at, I have NO product photos right now), and tore open a mailchimp account and Squarespace account.
I don't have a physical product yet, but having seen some of the amazing progress threads on here like @biophase's, I know it's possible for things to work as long as you do something.

Completed:
Put in order for branding

To Do:
Finish setting up square space landing page
Find a manufacturer whom I can whitelabel or have produce product for me.
figure out how lead generation, advertising, and validation work out
Create business facebook page for lead generation



I've made sketchy prototypes of this product before and even tossed out my first iteration. I would much prefer not to have to ruin my place producing this but I will do it if I have to.

Wish me luck because I don't really know what I'm doing, just that it has to be done.
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

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Spent all week toying with a landing page and not committing.
I did away with all of it and built a new version in 15 minutes.


It's not perfect but it's a start, this will be my market bellweather and validation page for my venture Pits of Power.
I need to find a way to drive traffic with it, the first thing that comes to mind is a simple google adwords campaign.
I have analytics turned on (ergo the big blue cookie notification bar that scares me) which will help me pare down the page overtime.
It's time to see how the market reacts to how I'm displaying how I can provide value to them.

**edit**
Doing some keyword research and trying to figure out how to reach out to customers, a slew of competitor products started popping up on google searches out of the woodwork. They don't go for the angle I'm going for, which is good, and they use a boatload of wierd-chemical additivies that has caused rashes and hives in consumers.

I will need to think of my possible value skews as my validation campaign is cooking..
 
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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

Pleasure Operator
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 30, 2019
179
231
158
Spent some time this morning working the campaign details.
Also completely re-did the copy:

"
You're tired of toxic soup deodorant, We are too.

It's morning.
You hop out of bed, start the coffee maker,
and stride towards the bathroom.
Shave, sh*t, shower - you know the drill.
Combing your hair now, you're almost done.
Then you reach for the deodorant.
You uncap the unassuming plastic container

- and then it hits you -

That foul chemical stench,
What is Seaside glacier supposed to be, anyway?
You turn your critical eye to the ingredients label on that mass-produced stick.

butylated hydroxytoluene?
PEG-8 Distearate?
Butyl Ether?


What the f*** are they trying to do to me?
You think.

But because of the way they want it,
it's the only option you got

-CUT-

This is where we step in.


Here at Pits of Power,
we want to make a difference,
to help people look, feel and smell their best.

Naturally

Hard-hitting Deodorant and Care Products for
hard-hitting bad*sses

Taking natural ingredients borne of the earth, we carefully craft deodorant that is:

  • Rugged
  • Naturally derived
  • Has what your Skin needs
  • Smells like a morning and hope
  • Even looks kinda cool for street-cred

Currently, We're just a few people taking action to put something back out into the world, because men everywhere not only need it, but they deserve it.

You can be part of this journey too, just act NOW, drop us your e-mail below and we'll keep you updated with the latest news and even send you a little something something before we go LIVE.
"


Still trying to think of good ways to drive traffic, I might just nut up and make that facebook account, though I'd rather explicitly not, for privacy reasons.
Whatever happens, it needs to happen *today* to keep that Kinetic execution up.


-Side note-
Still working on doing copywriting as freelancing, have found two local businesses that want to bring me in and do some social media copywriting in return for portfolio listings/references.
I'm not free of 9-5 yet though working on it, and I made very positive steps in just doing something and reaching out.

p.s.
I got my hard copy of unscripted after reading the e-book and listening to the audible edition 4x over.
This book is f******* thicc and I'm ashamed I didn't think to buy this hard copy weeks ago.
It's unthinkable that someone would pick up this book, thumb through it (even on the john) and not get something, out of it.

Thank you MJ
 

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