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How do you get out of a funk as an entrepreneur?

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TheJVConnector

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I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old and selling crayons. But, I’ve been supporting myself as an entrepreneur for almost 7 years.

I will be 25 in January. I’ve been paying my own way from businesses I’ve started since I was 18. I even paid my way through my last two years of college.

Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

I closed the business in August 2019 after refunding the 30 clients we had at the time and laying off my team of 6. Because I had reinvested every penny in the business and only paid myself $1,500 a month to cover my expenses, there was nothing left for refunds. So, I took out a loan and after the loan was used up by refunds I told everyone remaining to file disputes with PayPal, which they did.

I was left with $77k in debt. I’m now at $57k. I was able to negotiate $10k off and have spent the last year paying another $10k off.

The issue is I’m just in a really, really deep funk.

With my last business I had people throwing money at me and was doing $40k a month. Now, I can’t even get to $2k a month that I need to pay my rent and make the debt payments.

I’ve even tried starting a new business doing what my last business did but found that $3 an hour Virtual Assistants have filled the market now that sending softwares don’t work.

I’m just in a situation where I’m constantly chasing money to make the next payment. I HATE it. I can’t dedicate any substantial amount of time to any one business because if it doesn’t make money quick enough I have to move on.
 

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Kasimir

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I'm sorry to hear that.
You have to see the positive side even if it's difficult. You're not even 25 years old. Doing business for 7 years you still have your whole life. Grind for another 5 or 10 years and you'll surely be successful and then you're not even 35.
Your situation sucks I get it. But you have the biggest motivator possible. You are broke, you need money.
So, maybe your old business model isn't working anymore. Try something new. You still have a lot of time don't give up and work as much as you can. Maybe get a friend as a co-founder for some extra motivation and then I'd just grind until you finally succeed.
I really wish you all the best. If you need help either ask us or read through some amazing threads on the forum.
 

Lex DeVille

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I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old and selling crayons. But, I’ve been supporting myself as an entrepreneur for almost 7 years.

I will be 25 in January. I’ve been paying my own way from businesses I’ve started since I was 18. I even paid my way through my last two years of college.

Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

I closed the business in August 2019 after refunding the 30 clients we had at the time and laying off my team of 6. Because I had reinvested every penny in the business and only paid myself $1,500 a month to cover my expenses, there was nothing left for refunds. So, I took out a loan and after the loan was used up by refunds I told everyone remaining to file disputes with PayPal, which they did.

I was left with $77k in debt. I’m now at $57k. I was able to negotiate $10k off and have spent the last year paying another $10k off.

The issue is I’m just in a really, really deep funk.

With my last business I had people throwing money at me and was doing $40k a month. Now, I can’t even get to $2k a month that I need to pay my rent and make the debt payments.

I’ve even tried starting a new business doing what my last business did but found that $3 an hour Virtual Assistants have filled the market now that sending softwares don’t work.

I’m just in a situation where I’m constantly chasing money to make the next payment. I HATE it. I can’t dedicate any substantial amount of time to any one business because if it doesn’t make money quick enough I have to move on.

With that kind of experience, you should be able to get a job that pays fairly well at a marketing agency. $2k/mo can be had at most jobs.

If I was in your situation, I might try this first:

 

Kung Fu Steve

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This is obviously a painful lesson (financially and emotionally) but here it is: if you only have two options... you're missing the third... and probably the 4th... and the 5th...

"Refund or no refund"

"Close the business or not"

I know it's going to be a tough pill to swallow but just because Google shut down one way you operate doesn't mean you had to give up and give in.

I know it felt like it at the time and what's done is done so no use wallowing in that anymore because there still is plenty of need and desire for your services.

If you were to go back into that moment, could you have added other services? Did you meet with your 30 clients to see what their needs were?

Could you have made payment plans with them instead of taking out a big loan and going into debt? I understand you wanted to do the right thing and I commend you for that. There's not many people who would've done what you did. You're a standup guy.

But now you have these 30 clients potentially still who got their money back and are probably hurting for business (especially after this year). What could you do for them TODAY that would fulfill their needs?

What could you do to come back stronger than ever?

However, none of that will ultimately matter if you stay in this emotional funk. It's time to get up, get working out, eat healthier, cut out the drink for a bit. Do some priming. Incantations. Do whatever you need to do to treat your emotional state like it deserves because here's the truth: there aren't really any business problems... just personal problems that effect your business.

You're an entrepreneur. That means when there's an obstacle you go around it, under it, through it -- whatever it takes. You're a gladiator. Time to treat yourself like one!
 

WestCoast

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I watch this 2 minute video: Jocko - GOOD

Think of all the experience you gained:

Solving people's problems.
Dealing with money.
Managing people.
Marketing yourself.
Finding a niche.
Building a brand.
Dealing with setbacks.
Understanding customer expectations.
Doing the right thing.
And... you took ACTION.

That doesn't sound like a quitter to me.
That sounds like a winner who is going through tough training.
 

kleine2

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I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old and selling crayons. But, I’ve been supporting myself as an entrepreneur for almost 7 years.

I will be 25 in January. I’ve been paying my own way from businesses I’ve started since I was 18. I even paid my way through my last two years of college.

Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

I closed the business in August 2019 after refunding the 30 clients we had at the time and laying off my team of 6. Because I had reinvested every penny in the business and only paid myself $1,500 a month to cover my expenses, there was nothing left for refunds. So, I took out a loan and after the loan was used up by refunds I told everyone remaining to file disputes with PayPal, which they did.

I was left with $77k in debt. I’m now at $57k. I was able to negotiate $10k off and have spent the last year paying another $10k off.

The issue is I’m just in a really, really deep funk.

With my last business I had people throwing money at me and was doing $40k a month. Now, I can’t even get to $2k a month that I need to pay my rent and make the debt payments.

I’ve even tried starting a new business doing what my last business did but found that $3 an hour Virtual Assistants have filled the market now that sending softwares don’t work.

I’m just in a situation where I’m constantly chasing money to make the next payment. I HATE it. I can’t dedicate any substantial amount of time to any one business because if it doesn’t make money quick enough I have to move on.
Maybe move temporarily sideways to a simple job or service based business to be able to pay the bills without pressure and get into a new headspace.
 

GatsbyMag

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I know you feel like you're going through a lot, and you are

However look at the posts in this thread, it's clear to everyone that you're a high performer and you're doing incredibly well for your age. You're in an emotional funk, so it's hard for you to see how we're able to see you.

With your experience, you can easily find a job to hold you down for awhile. In the meantime, workout, learn a new skill like chess, play video games, read books, go for long walks, reach out to friends/family etc. to revitalize yourself.

Once you've found your passion/energy, revisit what @Kung Fu Steve said about reaching back out to your 30 clients.

I'm in a similar position and will likely also need to get a job soon.

It's depressing, I know.

There are many mistakes and pitfalls I've encountered, many times I wanted to quit, many times I wish I was normal, many times I've actually quit, but at the end of the day it's in your DNA. Otherwise, you wouldn't have the inclination to do this.

On top of it all, you already achieved incredible past success. This is your evidence that success is possible for you.

You're only 25, what would the 30 year old you say, if he had the chance to speak with you right now?
 

Kasimir

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I know you feel like you're going through a lot, and you are

However look at the posts in this thread, it's clear to everyone that you're a high performer and you're doing incredibly well for your age. You're in an emotional funk, so it's hard for you to see how we're able to see you.

With your experience, you can easily find a job to hold you down for awhile. In the meantime, workout, learn a new skill like chess, play video games, read books, go for long walks, reach out to friends/family etc. to revitalize yourself.

Once you've found your passion/energy, revisit what @Kung Fu Steve said about reaching back out to your 30 clients.

I'm in a similar position and will likely also need to get a job soon.

It's depressing, I know.

There are many mistakes and pitfalls I've encountered, many times I wanted to quit, many times I wish I was normal, many times I've actually quit, but at the end of the day it's in your DNA. Otherwise, you wouldn't have the inclination to do this.

On top of it all, you already achieved incredible past success. This is your evidence that success is possible for you.

You're only 25, what would the 30 year old you say, if he had the chance to speak with you right now?
Couldn't agree more!
I'm in a similar situation too. Had some success, sold my last business. But since then I'm struggling too. It's just the process and it will take time.
Also thinking about getting a "normal" job and wishing myself every day that I just did the "normal path. But we are different and we're all still so young and can archive great things.
Funny that a lot of people are in a similar position.
Wish you all the best! And thanks to @GatsbyMag for the motivating word even if they weren't meant for me. :)
 

Mr4213

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I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old and selling crayons. But, I’ve been supporting myself as an entrepreneur for almost 7 years.

I will be 25 in January. I’ve been paying my own way from businesses I’ve started since I was 18. I even paid my way through my last two years of college.

Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

I closed the business in August 2019 after refunding the 30 clients we had at the time and laying off my team of 6. Because I had reinvested every penny in the business and only paid myself $1,500 a month to cover my expenses, there was nothing left for refunds. So, I took out a loan and after the loan was used up by refunds I told everyone remaining to file disputes with PayPal, which they did.

I was left with $77k in debt. I’m now at $57k. I was able to negotiate $10k off and have spent the last year paying another $10k off.

The issue is I’m just in a really, really deep funk.

With my last business I had people throwing money at me and was doing $40k a month. Now, I can’t even get to $2k a month that I need to pay my rent and make the debt payments.

I’ve even tried starting a new business doing what my last business did but found that $3 an hour Virtual Assistants have filled the market now that sending softwares don’t work.

I’m just in a situation where I’m constantly chasing money to make the next payment. I HATE it. I can’t dedicate any substantial amount of time to any one business because if it doesn’t make money quick enough I have to move on.

Maybe this sounds weird.

But I'd take a step back for a moment.

The most important relationship you have is with yourself.

I've learned to be happy no matter where I am and no matter what's going on.

Sure I have feelings that can fluctuate like everyone else, but ultimately there is no such thing as a "big deal" and I enjoy every moment of my life and do my best to appreciate the gift that it is.

Even the bad things that I've experienced in life. Yeah it was painful to go through BUT it's great it happened because I'm the better man for it.

We can't have the ups without the downs.

Cherish ALL of the experiences because it's those experiences that shape who you are. I think we grow the most from our difficult experiences.

Accept and embrace it all for what it is. The fact that we are even here on earth is absolutely amazing.

Ultimately, those numbers on a bank account are completely made up and arent real. Most of our problems are usually made up in our heads or exaggerated.

You know what's real? The stars and the moon. The air. This gift of life. Its beautiful and full of awe and mystery if you take the time to appreciate it.

One day we'll all be dead. All we have is the moment right here right now. Enjoy it. The whole point of entrepreneurship is to enjoy life right? Don't let BS distract you from that fact that you have the biggest treasure of all, your life. Does money control you to the point where you can't be happy without it?

Are your problems really so big that you can't be happy?

Does your happiness come from within or outside of you?

In the grand scheme of things our problems are nothing at all. Sure I have concerns at times. Living situations are important. I get it. However, you do what you can each day for the issue, and then move on to other things.

Don't let those concerns flood into your entire day. Don't dwell. Don't let the BS become a distraction.

If you can't accept and let go of the past, you'll keep living that past, which no longer exist. Thats what some refer to as "poor in spirit" if that makes sense.

The future doesnt exist outside of the thought I have about it right now.

The past happened but no longer exist.

All that exist is this moment right now (and by the time you read this it shall have passed into a new moment)

Give yourself some little wins. Maybe create a new habit you can start doing each day to progress yourself.

The real success is in completing our daily process and getting just a little bit better. It can help if you give it a chance.

Maybe spend some time meditating with yourself.

Just spend some time talking shit out with yourself.

"Yeah some of this crap is difficult to deal with, but I'm glad it happened because I'm a better man for it. I'm proud of myself for taking action each day to improve the situation instead of dwelling in it and spiraling out. Each day I do what I can to grow and improve where I'm at. What is there to worry about? I take action when and where I can, so what is there left to dwell on? Why be hard on myself? I'm glad I'm alive and I appreciate this gift. I'm going to enjoy it as best as I can."
 

The-J

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Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

What do you know about LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

I ask that because I've seen people do pretty well doing cold LinkedIn marketing automation services. (I'm going to be a customer pretty soon actually.)

VAs build the lists and automation software sends the connection requests & the follow up pitches. You can do a few thousand per month, which means the client's ability to make money depends on how good their list & their offer is... but that's no different from any sort of outbound now is it?

It's a little bit more involved than that but there are a ton of people in the space. Can you innovate on this, knowing what you know about B2B marketing? Can you leverage outbound sales opportunities in a more effective way somehow?

(My answer to your question, by the way, is to just get going. Don't do nothing. Coming up with business ideas is better than nothing. Writing business plans is better than nothing. Applying to incubator programs is better than nothing. f*ck, applying to jobs is better than nothing. Just don't do nothing.)
 

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ProcessPro

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I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old and selling crayons. But, I’ve been supporting myself as an entrepreneur for almost 7 years.

I will be 25 in January. I’ve been paying my own way from businesses I’ve started since I was 18. I even paid my way through my last two years of college.

Last year my longtime B2B marketing agency failed. It crashed and burned. We were a cold email agency that ran cold email campaigns for marketing agency’s. It’s a long story, but essentially Google started blocking the sending softwares we depended on.

I closed the business in August 2019 after refunding the 30 clients we had at the time and laying off my team of 6. Because I had reinvested every penny in the business and only paid myself $1,500 a month to cover my expenses, there was nothing left for refunds. So, I took out a loan and after the loan was used up by refunds I told everyone remaining to file disputes with PayPal, which they did.

I was left with $77k in debt. I’m now at $57k. I was able to negotiate $10k off and have spent the last year paying another $10k off.

The issue is I’m just in a really, really deep funk.

With my last business I had people throwing money at me and was doing $40k a month. Now, I can’t even get to $2k a month that I need to pay my rent and make the debt payments.

I’ve even tried starting a new business doing what my last business did but found that $3 an hour Virtual Assistants have filled the market now that sending softwares don’t work.

I’m just in a situation where I’m constantly chasing money to make the next payment. I HATE it. I can’t dedicate any substantial amount of time to any one business because if it doesn’t make money quick enough I have to move on.
Wow, you've done all that at your age? That's awesome, and no doubt you'll make it in the long run.

Was there a time you made a decent amount of money outside of your B2B marketing agency? If so, what thing(s) were you doing?

If you can answer that question, can you resume doing that now perhaps?
 

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