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

INTRO Growing and learning

Schonox

New Contributor
May 25, 2019
3
4
14
Hi everyone,

I'm a middle aged guy with two loving children and a partner.
Used to work as a security officer for more than a decade, usually working night shifts.
Quit my job at the end of 2017 when a lot of stuff happened. Rode a bit on the XRP (Ripple) wave, and... my father passed away.

Since then my life has taken a whole different road. I am now working at home, doing investing/trading mostly. I have a caravan and a rental home we let out and our own home too ofc.
For two years I had a company called 'Bugsexpress' . We bred cockroaches, tarantulas, mantids,...
I like to invest in p2p lending, crowdfunding and I am also investing in equities through different brokers.
On eToro.com for instance, I am a so-called 'Popular Investor' >> So far I've made about 33 percent this year, after making a lot of mistakes last year on that platform.
You can see my profile @ https://www.etoro.com/people/sanogoal .

I love to learn from better people than myself. I remember those shifts I read these forums for hours on hand...
Hopefully I can learn here some new tricks, and I hope I get into real entrepreneuring again ;-)
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

mindsetferg

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 29, 2019
24
16
23
California
www.chanceandconfidence.com
Hi everyone,

I'm a middle aged guy with two loving children and a partner.
Used to work as a security officer for more than a decade, usually working night shifts.
Quit my job at the end of 2017 when a lot of stuff happened. Rode a bit on the XRP (Ripple) wave, and... my father passed away.

Since then my life has taken a whole different road. I am now working at home, doing investing/trading mostly. I have a caravan and a rental home we let out and our own home too ofc.
For two years I had a company called 'Bugsexpress' . We bred cockroaches, tarantulas, mantids,...
I like to invest in p2p lending, crowdfunding and I am also investing in equities through different brokers.
On eToro.com for instance, I am a so-called 'Popular Investor' >> So far I've made about 33 percent this year, after making a lot of mistakes last year on that platform.
You can see my profile @ https://www.etoro.com/people/sanogoal .

I love to learn from better people than myself. I remember those shifts I read these forums for hours on hand...
Hopefully I can learn here some new tricks, and I hope I get into real entrepreneuring again ;-)
Hi Schonox,

Thanks for sharing your story and awesome to hear from someone who has experienced so much and taken on so many forms of entrepreneurship from real estate, to an "unusual niche" business, to even more modern investing in cryptocurrencies!

Out of curiosity, what does it take to create a company like Bugsexpress and how long did it take to become profitable? Is it something you could start in your own garage, or a small office/living room? What sort of risk is there to breed those types of things (they escape and affect the ecosystem?)?

Look forward to hearing about your story!
 
OP
OP
Schonox

Schonox

New Contributor
May 25, 2019
3
4
14
Hi Schonox,

Thanks for sharing your story and awesome to hear from someone who has experienced so much and taken on so many forms of entrepreneurship from real estate, to an "unusual niche" business, to even more modern investing in cryptocurrencies!

Out of curiosity, what does it take to create a company like Bugsexpress and how long did it take to become profitable? Is it something you could start in your own garage, or a small office/living room? What sort of risk is there to breed those types of things (they escape and affect the ecosystem?)?

Look forward to hearing about your story!
Most welcome, Also very curious to learning other people's story. Most entrepreneurs have one I guess?

Well at first I was breeding caridina and neocaridina shrimp! I had 7 aquariums of which one was a really big one. It got a hassle because of the time x work I had to put in there, so I thought if I switched to terrariums, the upkeep would be less.
At first I started with about ten terrariums in all shapes and sizes. Made a lot of mistakes, wanting to breed everything really. Ditched the reptiles and decided to focus on inverts alone, also due to their low maintenance, generally, and diversity.
Some of the breeding took off and I was able to sell some of the offspring. Inverts usually have a short lifecycle so that's an added bonus. At the time, someone I knew was starting a pet shop together with her father and uncle. They didn't live too far away and weren't into inverts at all. So I pitched my business and I started delivering there. That's the point where I started bugs express officially.
The business grew and grew some more. I had deliveries of 30-50 terrariums coming in from Poland by truck. Had a part of my house dedicated to the animals, and at the top I guess I would have had 250? terrariums or so. Excluding all the small plastic boxes for solitary animals, mind you.
We went to fairs in Belgium and the Netherlands and our inverts went to the US, to Sweden, Japan,... all over the world. It was one of the last things I said to my dad before he passed away, how well things were going with the business.

Unfortunately, we became victim of our own success. The breeding went a little too far and too well.
At a given time I was taking care of 3.000 mantids, most of them solitary, so opening boxes, spraying, putting food in, closing the box x3.000. Plus all the rest... Had around 26 roach species too. Magnificent creatures really, but to me the hassle outweighed the profits and the animals started to suffer because I couldn't keep up with their breeding. Thinking back, I should have had someone dedicated to selling more and shipping them off for me. That would've been excellent. That whole process is something particular too btw as they are live beings often on the road for a longer while, and you need to really take care of their wellbeing ofc.

I think I could've made a lot more from Bugsexpress if the surrounding situation was right.
In the end I sold it all, stock worth more than $8000 for a mere $200, just because I was fed up and the house was beginning to look a mess due to all the critters (don't let predator bugs escape ;-) )
I used a large bedroom on the ground floor, and then we kind of contracted other breeders for us.
We had a team of 6 other breeders who bred for us. We all specialized in our own species. That aspect could also be made better given if I had found other people to be honest...

Well I live in a temperate climate here in the Netherlands, and there are only about 6 species of roaches that can cause some sort of a pest to break out ' ' one of which I held : Shelfordella lateralis, the so-called 'Red Runner' . They escaped and managed to breed in the room for quite a while, until we found a very effective roach 'poison' - sort of chalk you put on the floor - on aliexpress/alibaba.
We also had a couple, clients, stealing two tarantulas. My girlfriend thought they escaped while I knew very well what happened. Didn't know the tarantulas were gone until I didn't see them anymore. Anyway, for most part of two years the gf was afraid we'd run into these tarantulas, lol.

The whole experience was entertaining to say the least! People interested in inverts, reptiles etc most of the time are Ehm... shall we say alternative? Had a lot of laughs but also a lot of frustration. Learned a lot about doing business in the process. I don't think I will start that line of work again though. It has it's advantages but also it's disadvantages.

I want something that's more scalable and where I can remove myself from the process faster.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom