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How I Found My CENTS Business Model. Tips to Help YOU Find Yours.

Hanabi

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Hello, nice to meet you:smile:!

My name is Yoshina, and I’m 24 yrs old. I’d like to tell you my story of how I came up with my business idea that fits the CENTS model and my thought process towards entrepreneurship through the years, if you don’t mind;). (Tips at the end:smile2:)

When I was around 13 years old, I started having some skin issues such as acne and other skin disorders, which led me to see a dermatologist for the first time. In the reception room, there was a large pamphlet display full of pamphlets ranging from skincare product information, aesthetic procedures, to skin cancer prevention. Out of curiosity, I decided to read them. I was so starstruck to learn that sunscreen, a topical product, helped to prevent skin cancer (which can be deadly btw) and slowed down signs of aging. I become obsessed with learning about anything related to skincare to improve my skin, and because I found it brought me happiness. I had my fair share of getting caught up by deceptive marketing and misinformation, which led me to spend too much on products that did nothing for my skin or worse, almost destroyed my skin:inpain:.

Thankfully, I came across a cosmetics brand that had comprehensive skincare educational content that was science based, which I soaked in like a sponge. Anyways, I followed the science-based advice and my skin got better. No surprise. Teenage me was ecstatic, though:rofl: . I learned a valuable lesson that the truth in skincare and skin health will be found in science.

Seeing my skin improve and my self-esteem soar caused me to want to help other people with their skin needs and concerns in a very impactful way. When I entered college, my thought was to create an innovative science-based skincare brand that was more affordable than the brand mentioned. My plan was to major in biomedical sciences for my bachelors then complete a masters degree in cosmetic science, so I could formulate the products myself. In the meantime, I would learn how to start a business by reading a bunch of articles on Inc., Forbes, and Entrepreneur.com and by watching celebrity entrepreneurs on YouTube. Cringy, right:arghh:!? I was doing okay in my science classes, until I enrolled in intro to chemistry. I just about died in that class!!

Realizing that I wasn’t naturally good at science and panicking over my lack of business knowledge, I changed my major to business administration and discovered that I didn’t like the curriculum at all. It was too theoretical for my liking, and I wanted more hands-on learning. I read a bunch of articles saying entrepreneurs should double down on what their good, which the only thing I thought I was decent at doing was communication, so I switched my major again to “hands-on” communication and media. By this time, I had a lot of doubts about starting a skincare brand. “Will people need this brand?” Probably not. There are already hundreds of thousands of products on the market, and there are already good science-based brands out there. “Will this be impactful?” Unless if I distributed my product through cosmetic retailers, I won’t have drastic global impact staying DTC. I also noticed in social media skincare communities that many people were complaining over excessive product launches.

The doubts stayed with me; and in between my sophomore and junior year, I was starting to be spiritually lost and not certain on what I should truly do with my life. I took a year off from my college and moved to a small town in another state to attend a Bible college with my childhood friend. While there, I secured a job working as a cosmetics sales associate with a prestige brand in a small department store. I learned a lot about creating a good client/customer experience, selling, and behind the scenes stuff on the brands side, which unfortunately didn’t have the client/customer best interest at times. It definitely bothered me. One thing I loved doing was teaching clients about skincare and creating skincare routines for them much more than selling products. I researched online if there was a professional career for this and discovered the esthetician profession.

After I finished the semester at the Bible college, I came back to Florida and got a job as a cosmetics sales associate at a few fragrance counters in a higher end department store, as I waited to be enrolled to esthetician school. The job was DREADFUL! It was a cutthroat environment. One time, I remembered my coworker screaming at me, “That’s my sale!” then running to beat me to assist with customers I was already approaching. The customers heard her too:wideyed::humph::arghh:! A lot of my coworkers were living miserable sidewalk or slowlane lives. I knew I had to get out of retail for good.

When I started esthetician school, I really adored figuring out which products to use and which procedures to do during a facial for clients. A favorite of mine was using extractors to pop pimples. What? You think it’s gross? No, you’re wrong. It’s cool:cool:. Anyways, I was especially ecstatic seeing clients’ skin improve over the course of a few months. It led me to want to open my own spa business. Throughout the education and training, I noticed I was getting taught some deceptive “facts” and discovered a few red flags about the profession and the overall spa industry. For example, my instructor said people need facials once a month to have or keep good skin. The reality is there is no scientific evidence to prove a person has better skin having facials done than a person that doesn’t. The purpose of this statement is for estheticians and spas to make more money. I didn’t blame my instructor at all. She genuinely believed everything she taught.

After I passed the program and received my esthetician license, I changed my major again to nursing. The reason was so I could open a medspa as a nurse practitioner. Estheticians can only prevent skin damage, which is limiting. Medical professionals, on the other hand, can do more invasive procedures to reverse skin damage. I wanted to do as much as I can to improve people’s skin. After looking into the profession more and seeing how medspas normally do marketing, I changed my mind to become a dermatologist and have my own clinic, so I could have complete control over deciding the best treatment for patients and to be more aligned with scientific evidence. I switched my major back to communication and media to get to med school faster.

By this time, C0VlD-19 was rapidly spreading around the world, and my mental health was starting to decline. My GPA wasn’t competitive enough to get into many med schools, and the possibility of getting tuition scholarships was low for me. On top of it, dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine in the U.S. The people who normally become dermatologists tend to be high performers in premed and med school, so they were the crème of the crop in their classes. My resume didn’t have any clinical experience either, which med school admissions committees required. During this time, I met a primary care physician who warned me about the dark side of medicine. He stated hospital administrations and health insurance companies have been stripping physicians of their autonomy to decide treatment for their patients. Basically, they turned medicine into one-size-fits-all. My heart dropped when I heard this. I wanted to do what was best for patients and have complete control over their treatment. The possibility that I wouldn’t get into med school, the possibility of getting into med school and getting into over $70K in debt, the possibility of graduating and possibly of not getting accepted into dermatology, and the possibility of getting into dermatology yet dealing with losing medical autonomy was causing my stress and anxiety to go through the roof. I convinced myself to stick with it, since the world always needed more dermatologists.

That fall, I was required to complete a course called tech entrepreneurship. I enjoyed the class a lot, which during that year, I wasn’t enjoying much of anything courtesy of my deteriorating mental health. My professor assigned us to think of a business idea and analyze it in relation to market needs, our skill sets to execute the idea, and our passion to sustain us through executing it. With quarantine, skincare on social media blew up with many new content creators and viewers being interested in caring for their skin. I noticed a pattern of these statements being echoed: “I’m trying to put together a skincare routine for myself, but I see so much conflicting info from dermatologists, estheticians, cosmetic chemists, and skincare influencers. Why is this so hard?”, “I’m tired of getting deceived by content creators and marketing claims, I just want better skin without spending so much money. I hate it!”, “There’s so many skincare products on the market, I wish I know which one was right for me.” The solution I thought was to create a skincare routine customization app and have it also be an educational platform. I wrote about it in my assignment. I wrote that it perfectly fits market needs, and I had passion for it. For skill sets, I wrote my skills weren’t good enough. I also wrote that I would need to find a cofounder knowledgeable about software development/AI. I submitted it to her. When she sent me back my grade, she sent me a message with it telling me she thought it was a brilliant idea. She also told me my skill sets were good enough and encouraged me pursue this. I bawled my eyes out.

I had to do this. As a dermatologist, my income would be tied to the time I’d be working on patients, unless I hired other derms to work for me. The problem with owning a medical practice is scaling it and finding qualified professionals to work in additional clinics. It would be extremely hard to scale it and have drastic global impact. With the skincare app, well, you know.

My direction changed. No, I didn’t change my major again:happy:, thank goodness! I was looking for information on the internet and was overwhelmed. So many “entrepreneurs”/ “business gurus” were giving advice. It took me years to become a “good detective” in the skincare industry; I was starting to wonder if I needed years to become one in the entrepreneurship world.

On YouTube, I was recommended some of James Jani’s videos, and I watched them out of curiosity, which led me to MJ’s books. I was wondering if my business idea fit the CENTS model and how wealthy people view and use money, so I got the books. I was pleasantly surprised the app idea already fit the CENTS model, and I was blessed with so much more than what I expected to get from the books, like being aware of my beliefs and biases (I need to work on this) that would destroy my business. The books are the real deal. If you happen to read my post MJ, thank you so much for being one of the very few entrepreneurs that actually explains the truth in entrepreneurship! James, thank you for the work you do, too!

Tips to Finding Your CENTS Business Model:
  • Obviously, read the CENTS sections of the books. Really analyze and be honest with yourself and your business idea. People treat you horribly by lying to you, don’t treat yourself horribly by lying to yourself.
  • Always keep your eyes and ears wide open to how consumers interact with whatever industry you potentially decide to start a business in, look for growing industries not dying ones, and how the producers in the industry interacts with the consumers.
  • Stay curious. Curiosity will lead to solution discoveries for consumers.
  • “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs. This is the realization I had with my life experiences and how it helped me come up with my CENTS model. When I went through these experiences - collecting the dots and looking at the dots - I thought they were useless and a waste of time, until I connected all of them together. Everything in your life happens for a reason.
Have you read everything? Congrats! I wish you glowing skin for the rest of your life:playful:.

I don’t know much about business, but if you have any questions about skincare, ingredients, marketing claims, anything related to the skincare industry. Please let me know.

Thank you for your attention and for reading my post!
 
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wyattnorton

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This is awesome Yoshina!

What stage are you at now with your idea? You stated that you submitted the idea and your professor loved it, but are you beginning to proof and prototype your idea?

I love the action!!
 

Hanabi

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This is awesome Yoshina!

What stage are you at now with your idea? You stated that you submitted the idea and your professor loved it, but are you beginning to proof and prototype your idea?

I love the action!!
Thank you! I'm definitely in the beginning stage still. I've did a lot of research on building the "backbone" of the app which will be discerning people's skin types, so it will need to be built in the future and will take time. I've thought of lots of features to enrich client experience, so it's a matter of figuring out what will be in the MVP for friends and family to test.
 

tenacity

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Hello, nice to meet you:smile:!

My name is Yoshina, and I’m 24 yrs old. I’d like to tell you my story of how I came up with my business idea that fits the CENTS model and my thought process towards entrepreneurship through the years, if you don’t mind;). (Tips at the end:smile2:)

When I was around 13 years old, I started having some skin issues such as acne and other skin disorders, which led me to see a dermatologist for the first time. In the reception room, there was a large pamphlet display full of pamphlets ranging from skincare product information, aesthetic procedures, to skin cancer prevention. Out of curiosity, I decided to read them. I was so starstruck to learn that sunscreen, a topical product, helped to prevent skin cancer (which can be deadly btw) and slowed down signs of aging. I become obsessed with learning about anything related to skincare to improve my skin, and because I found it brought me happiness. I had my fair share of getting caught up by deceptive marketing and misinformation, which led me to spend too much on products that did nothing for my skin or worse, almost destroyed my skin:inpain:.

Thankfully, I came across a cosmetics brand that had comprehensive skincare educational content that was science based, which I soaked in like a sponge. Anyways, I followed the science-based advice and my skin got better. No surprise. Teenage me was ecstatic, though:rofl: . I learned a valuable lesson that the truth in skincare and skin health will be found in science.

Seeing my skin improve and my self-esteem soar caused me to want to help other people with their skin needs and concerns in a very impactful way. When I entered college, my thought was to create an innovative science-based skincare brand that was more affordable than the brand mentioned. My plan was to major in biomedical sciences for my bachelors then complete a masters degree in cosmetic science, so I could formulate the products myself. In the meantime, I would learn how to start a business by reading a bunch of articles on Inc., Forbes, and Entrepreneur.com and by watching celebrity entrepreneurs on YouTube. Cringy, right:arghh:!? I was doing okay in my science classes, until I enrolled in intro to chemistry. I just about died in that class!!

Realizing that I wasn’t naturally good at science and panicking over my lack of business knowledge, I changed my major to business administration and discovered that I didn’t like the curriculum at all. It was too theoretical for my liking, and I wanted more hands-on learning. I read a bunch of articles saying entrepreneurs should double down on what their good, which the only thing I thought I was decent at doing was communication, so I switched my major again to “hands-on” communication and media. By this time, I had a lot of doubts about starting a skincare brand. “Will people need this brand?” Probably not. There are already hundreds of thousands of products on the market, and there are already good science-based brands out there. “Will this be impactful?” Unless if I distributed my product through cosmetic retailers, I won’t have drastic global impact staying DTC. I also noticed in social media skincare communities that many people were complaining over excessive product launches.

The doubts stayed with me; and in between my sophomore and junior year, I was starting to be spiritually lost and not certain on what I should truly do with my life. I took a year off from my college and moved to a small town in another state to attend a Bible college with my childhood friend. While there, I secured a job working as a cosmetics sales associate with a prestige brand in a small department store. I learned a lot about creating a good client/customer experience, selling, and behind the scenes stuff on the brands side, which unfortunately didn’t have the client/customer best interest at times. It definitely bothered me. One thing I loved doing was teaching clients about skincare and creating skincare routines for them much more than selling products. I researched online if there was a professional career for this and discovered the esthetician profession.

After I finished the semester at the Bible college, I came back to Florida and got a job as a cosmetics sales associate at a few fragrance counters in a higher end department store, as I waited to be enrolled to esthetician school. The job was DREADFUL! It was a cutthroat environment. One time, I remembered my coworker screaming at me, “That’s my sale!” then running to beat me to assist with customers I was already approaching. The customers heard her too:wideyed::humph::arghh:! A lot of my coworkers were living miserable sidewalk or slowlane lives. I knew I had to get out of retail for good.

When I started esthetician school, I really adored figuring out which products to use and which procedures to do during a facial for clients. A favorite of mine was using extractors to pop pimples. What? You think it’s gross? No, you’re wrong. It’s cool:cool:. Anyways, I was especially ecstatic seeing clients’ skin improve over the course of a few months. It led me to want to open my own spa business. Throughout the education and training, I noticed I was getting taught some deceptive “facts” and discovered a few red flags about the profession and the overall spa industry. For example, my instructor said people need facials once a month to have or keep good skin. The reality is there is no scientific evidence to prove a person has better skin having facials done than a person that doesn’t. The purpose of this statement is for estheticians and spas to make more money. I didn’t blame my instructor at all. She genuinely believed everything she taught.

After I passed the program and received my esthetician license, I changed my major again to nursing. The reason was so I could open a medspa as a nurse practitioner. Estheticians can only prevent skin damage, which is limiting. Medical professionals, on the other hand, can do more invasive procedures to reverse skin damage. I wanted to do as much as I can to improve people’s skin. After looking into the profession more and seeing how medspas normally do marketing, I changed my mind to become a dermatologist and have my own clinic, so I could have complete control over deciding the best treatment for patients and to be more aligned with scientific evidence. I switched my major back to communication and media to get to med school faster.

By this time, C0VlD-19 was rapidly spreading around the world, and my mental health was starting to decline. My GPA wasn’t competitive enough to get into many med schools, and the possibility of getting tuition scholarships was low for me. On top of it, dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine in the U.S. The people who normally become dermatologists tend to be high performers in premed and med school, so they were the crème of the crop in their classes. My resume didn’t have any clinical experience either, which med school admissions committees required. During this time, I met a primary care physician who warned me about the dark side of medicine. He stated hospital administrations and health insurance companies have been stripping physicians of their autonomy to decide treatment for their patients. Basically, they turned medicine into one-size-fits-all. My heart dropped when I heard this. I wanted to do what was best for patients and have complete control over their treatment. The possibility that I wouldn’t get into med school, the possibility of getting into med school and getting into over $70K in debt, the possibility of graduating and possibly of not getting accepted into dermatology, and the possibility of getting into dermatology yet dealing with losing medical autonomy was causing my stress and anxiety to go through the roof. I convinced myself to stick with it, since the world always needed more dermatologists.

That fall, I was required to complete a course called tech entrepreneurship. I enjoyed the class a lot, which during that year, I wasn’t enjoying much of anything courtesy of my deteriorating mental health. My professor assigned us to think of a business idea and analyze it in relation to market needs, our skill sets to execute the idea, and our passion to sustain us through executing it. With quarantine, skincare on social media blew up with many new content creators and viewers being interested in caring for their skin. I noticed a pattern of these statements being echoed: “I’m trying to put together a skincare routine for myself, but I see so much conflicting info from dermatologists, estheticians, cosmetic chemists, and skincare influencers. Why is this so hard?”, “I’m tired of getting deceived by content creators and marketing claims, I just want better skin without spending so much money. I hate it!”, “There’s so many skincare products on the market, I wish I know which one was right for me.” The solution I thought was to create a skincare routine customization app and have it also be an educational platform. I wrote about it in my assignment. I wrote that it perfectly fits market needs, and I had passion for it. For skill sets, I wrote my skills weren’t good enough. I also wrote that I would need to find a cofounder knowledgeable about software development/AI. I submitted it to her. When she sent me back my grade, she sent me a message with it telling me she thought it was a brilliant idea. She also told me my skill sets were good enough and encouraged me pursue this. I bawled my eyes out.

I had to do this. As a dermatologist, my income would be tied to the time I’d be working on patients, unless I hired other derms to work for me. The problem with owning a medical practice is scaling it and finding qualified professionals to work in additional clinics. It would be extremely hard to scale it and have drastic global impact. With the skincare app, well, you know.

My direction changed. No, I didn’t change my major again:happy:, thank goodness! I was looking for information on the internet and was overwhelmed. So many “entrepreneurs”/ “business gurus” were giving advice. It took me years to become a “good detective” in the skincare industry; I was starting to wonder if I needed years to become one in the entrepreneurship world.

On YouTube, I was recommended some of James Jani’s videos, and I watched them out of curiosity, which led me to MJ’s books. I was wondering if my business idea fit the CENTS model and how wealthy people view and use money, so I got the books. I was pleasantly surprised the app idea already fit the CENTS model, and I was blessed with so much more than what I expected to get from the books, like being aware of my beliefs and biases (I need to work on this) that would destroy my business. The books are the real deal. If you happen to read my post MJ, thank you so much for being one of the very few entrepreneurs that actually explains the truth in entrepreneurship! James, thank you for the work you do, too!

Tips to Finding Your CENTS Business Model:
  • Obviously, read the CENTS sections of the books. Really analyze and be honest with yourself and your business idea. People treat you horribly by lying to you, don’t treat yourself horribly by lying to yourself.
  • Always keep your eyes and ears wide open to how consumers interact with whatever industry you potentially decide to start a business in, look for growing industries not dying ones, and how the producers in the industry interacts with the consumers.
  • Stay curious. Curiosity will lead to solution discoveries for consumers.
  • “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs. This is the realization I had with my life experiences and how it helped me come up with my CENTS model. When I went through these experiences - collecting the dots and looking at the dots - I thought they were useless and a waste of time, until I connected all of them together. Everything in your life happens for a reason.
Have you read everything? Congrats! I wish you glowing skin for the rest of your life:playful:.

I don’t know much about business, but if you have any questions about skincare, ingredients, marketing claims, anything related to the skincare industry. Please let me know.

Thank you for your attention and for reading my post!
Thanks for the post, I read it fully and I think the idea has potential as well. I think that changing things sometimes is the best option and shows progression like you changing courses. I had and still have issues with acne (I'm 19) and a simple website or app that recommends a routine and some products is great and I might use it. There's also a lot of potential in terms of revenue (free version with ads vs no ads, monthly subscription, affiliate marketing with companies - not truly fastlane but its not bad and maybe even make a section in the app / website where people can talk to in-house or freelance specialists and you get a % of transactions - acting as brokerage system).
 
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Edgar King

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Haha, this is great! Perhaps you can soft proof your idea by asking more of the target market if they have this problem e.g. on some subreddit or forum. I did this with my latest idea I had, but discovered this problem has already been solved and is outdated as most people with the problem went on to use type A or type B solutions.

Of those that reply, you can then ask how many $x they'd give you to present them this solution. If they reply with $ you know this problem is valuable to them.

Then with enough interest and soft proof, go on to create a solution in confidence people really do need your app. More so, you could have a few potential core testers or audience for early launch.
 
Last edited:

Hanabi

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Thanks for the post, I read it fully and I think the idea has potential as well. I think that changing things sometimes is the best option and shows progression like you changing courses. I had and still have issues with acne (I'm 19) and a simple website or app that recommends a routine and some products is great and I might use it. There's also a lot of potential in terms of revenue (free version with ads vs no ads, monthly subscription, affiliate marketing with companies - not truly fastlane but its not bad and maybe even make a section in the app / website where people can talk to in-house or freelance specialists and you get a % of transactions - acting as brokerage system).
I didn't think of possibly having a brokerage system, which is an interesting idea for me to consider. I haven't decided how to get revenue. I want to do what's best for the users and that means picking a revenue model that won't favor cosmetic brands' best interest over users best interest. There are already skincare routine customization apps in the market; however, I noticed a few of them prioritize the brands over their users. I'm extremely committed in doing what's best for the users, even educating about dirty business practices in the industry if it will help them save money and help to improve their skin. I know there will be skincare brands and organizations in the industry that will hate me, so I don't even know is any brands will want to associate with my app in regards to affiliate marketing.
 

Hanabi

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Haha, this is great! Perhaps you can soft proof your idea by asking more of the target market if they have this problem e.g. on some subreddit or forum. I did this with my latest idea I had, but discovered this problem has already been solved and is outdated as most people with the problem went on to use type A or type B solutions.

Of those that reply, you can then ask how many $x they'd give you to present them this solution. If they reply with $ you know this problem is valuable to them.

Then with enough interest and soft proof, go on to create a solution in confidence people really do need your app. More so, you could have a few potential core testers or audience for early launch.
Yeah, I was wondering the best way to go about doing this. My cofounder was telling me we should create a Beta app (not the MVP, which I mistakenly said in the other response), then have family and friends test them for feedback. We'd use the feedback to continue building it to make it into MVP then launch it. My friend's brother has an online community with about 48,000 people which I can ask them to use the MVP for feedback or be potential users. The thing is I don't how many of these people have skin issues or would care about the app. There's already skincare apps on the market, but I see weaknesses that I can address in my app. What do you think?

I saw your thread on Alex Hormozi's book, and I actually have the book and read half of it. He said in there to know your exact target market. I know how my users would psychologically be in their skin journey, but I don't know the genders or ages. I want to serve anybody with skin issues and concerns, regardless of gender and age group. It came across to me that Alex was saying that the entrepreneur needs to dial in on exactly who these people are. The best group I can think of to serve is people that frequent skincare forums such as on reddit. When I looked at their profiles to gauge their background, they are teens to 60s, and mostly self-identified women. I don't know if I need get into more detail in pinpointing them. Maybe I should be more aggressive and ask them, what do you think?
 
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Edgar King

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Yeah, I was wondering the best way to go about doing this. My cofounder was telling me we should create a Beta app (not the MVP, which I mistakenly said in the other response), then have family and friends test them for feedback. We'd use the feedback to continue building it to make it into MVP then launch it.
Family and friends test it? This is just my opinion, but wouldn't it be better for the target market to test it instead? Since they are the ones with the problem I reckon their feedback would be the most valuable in the creation of your app.
My friend's brother has an online community with about 48,000 people which I can ask them to use the MVP for feedback or be potential users. The thing is I don't how many of these people have skin issues or would care about the app.
If they don't have the problem, they wouldn't care about the app, and the feedback could falsely represent your target market.

Could you gather a select few of your niche and who have this particular skin problem (e.g. self identified women with skin issues) to test the MVP? If they have this problem, and you present your app as the solution to them I'm sure they'd love to participate if they can get early access. Perhaps run an ad on that community or even just a post about this opportunity. And the number doesn't have to be that high then, 10 people should do I think.

There's already skincare apps on the market, but I see weaknesses that I can address in my app. What do you think?
Where you can provide more value to your customers by doing what your competitors can't do or won't do, I say go for it!
I saw your thread on Alex Hormozi's book, and I actually have the book and read half of it. He said in there to know your exact target market. I know how my users would psychologically be in their skin journey, but I don't know the genders or ages. I want to serve anybody with skin issues and concerns, regardless of gender and age group. It came across to me that Alex was saying that the entrepreneur needs to dial in on exactly who these people are. The best group I can think of to serve is people that frequent skincare forums such as on reddit. When I looked at their profiles to gauge their background, they are teens to 60s, and mostly self-identified women. I don't know if I need get into more detail in pinpointing them. Maybe I should be more aggressive and ask them, what do you think?
Alex emphasised niching because he knows it was important. From niching, you can get lower competition, higher engagement rates, higher visibility and also higher profits (Apparently 10X-100X in his case since you can charge 10X-100X higher) because we humans like to see ourselves out there in the world and basic supply and demand. If you don't really care about any of that, you don't have to niche.

Niching also allows you to have a targeted message and helps in outreach. Your niched message will beat a generic message/ad all other variables held constant and you know who you're advertising to and your target market will be more responsive to it. It has many pros.

Niching need not be so narrow, it can be 3-4 levels down.

E.G. in your case...

Health > Skin care > Skin Care for women > Skin care for women in their 60s

Might be best to go for this niche instead of teenage women, as the assumption is women in their 60s are in more pain due to skin issues and have more money than teenage women with the same skin issues.
 

MJ DeMarco

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A year has passed, any updates?
 
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Hanabi

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A year has passed, any updates?
No sales, not even a working, functioning product exists. I know this is absolutely pathetic. You all are welcome to rip me to shreds, because I probably deserve it.

Most of my live I've been plagued with a debilitating skin disorder that has been under control thanks to oral medication. When I made this original post, my medication wasn't working anymore, and I was going back and forth to dermatologist and other specialists to try to find a solution as it came back the worst it has ever been. The dermatologist told me I went thru all the treatments available thru the years, and they couldn't help me anymore. Seeing my condition destabilized brought back memories of being bullied as a kid and being told I was a disgusting human. I don't have social anxiety, but this caused social anxiety for me. I was taking organic chemistry as a prerequisite to get into my grad school during that time, and I found myself having panic attacks to where I couldn't show up to class anymore, so I ended up failing the course. In the meantime, I decided to put myself back on a previous treatment plan that was really painful to endure. I discovered there was a surgery that could fix my disorder, but I found out it had irreversible side effects along with not permanently curing it. The surgery is banned in its country of origin, and other countries have banned it also, except America (no surprise). I started having suicidal ideations, so I got myself in mental health therapy. I did that for a few months and just focused on that along with passing summer classes.

By fall semester, I quit therapy and was really determined to completely finish my bachelor's degree, get a course completed at my grad school, and complete organic chemistry. I felt that semester mentally broke me. Up until then, I was in college for five and a half years. Aside from going to esthetician school and that semester in Bible college, I took college courses year round. I knew I was burned out; but I was ashamed that I didn't already have my bachelors, so I ended up taking more courses than I was able to handle. Yes, I failed organic chemistry again. The only accomplishment I had for 2022 was finishing my bachelors degree.

This semester, I'm taking organic chemistry again for the fourth time. Believe me; I am extremely vicious to pass, haha. I'm studying cosmetic science at University of Cincinnati. It's the oldest cosmetic science program in America, and many cosmetic scientists from around the world have attended there. I'm taking course this semester where my professors are training me to analyze and evaluate scientific studies conducted in the field. I'm really happy to be learning this, because this is a skill I need badly for the skincare app. I don't have a job right now. I want to work in digital marketing, but my skills are not matching what employers are looking for, so I have a few certifications I'm studying for. Of course, I chose this route, because I'll need to eventually do digital marketing for the app.

The Yoshina who wrote the original post was different from the Yoshina writing this post. She was optimistic and really believed in herself. She had what she believed was right for herself and her life at the time. The Yoshina now, while I still want to bring this app into fruition, is lost and not confident in herself. While my knowledge of this field has grown since then, I think some paradigm shifts I experienced last year caused me to likely develop mindsets that may or may not be healthy. I think my self awareness is not astute enough to pull me thru this. I'm probably still a broken person right now.

Whoever reads this. I wish I could've given you an update saying I have maybe around 1,000 people using my app, but this is not my reality. I was thinking of starting an execution thread shortly after making the original post; but I'm glad I didn't, because clearly with how messy my life was last year, it wouldn't have provided value to anybody. Anyways, thanks for reading.
 

Edgar King

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No sales, not even a working, functioning product exists. I know this is absolutely pathetic. You all are welcome to rip me to shreds, because I probably deserve it.

Most of my live I've been plagued with a debilitating skin disorder that has been under control thanks to oral medication. When I made this original post, my medication wasn't working anymore, and I was going back and forth to dermatologist and other specialists to try to find a solution as it came back the worst it has ever been. The dermatologist told me I went thru all the treatments available thru the years, and they couldn't help me anymore. Seeing my condition destabilized brought back memories of being bullied as a kid and being told I was a disgusting human. I don't have social anxiety, but this caused social anxiety for me. I was taking organic chemistry as a prerequisite to get into my grad school during that time, and I found myself having panic attacks to where I couldn't show up to class anymore, so I ended up failing the course. In the meantime, I decided to put myself back on a previous treatment plan that was really painful to endure. I discovered there was a surgery that could fix my disorder, but I found out it had irreversible side effects along with not permanently curing it. The surgery is banned in its country of origin, and other countries have banned it also, except America (no surprise). I started having suicidal ideations, so I got myself in mental health therapy. I did that for a few months and just focused on that along with passing summer classes.

By fall semester, I quit therapy and was really determined to completely finish my bachelor's degree, get a course completed at my grad school, and complete organic chemistry. I felt that semester mentally broke me. Up until then, I was in college for five and a half years. Aside from going to esthetician school and that semester in Bible college, I took college courses year round. I knew I was burned out; but I was ashamed that I didn't already have my bachelors, so I ended up taking more courses than I was able to handle. Yes, I failed organic chemistry again. The only accomplishment I had for 2022 was finishing my bachelors degree.

This semester, I'm taking organic chemistry again for the fourth time. Believe me; I am extremely vicious to pass, haha. I'm studying cosmetic science at University of Cincinnati. It's the oldest cosmetic science program in America, and many cosmetic scientists from around the world have attended there. I'm taking course this semester where my professors are training me to analyze and evaluate scientific studies conducted in the field. I'm really happy to be learning this, because this is a skill I need badly for the skincare app. I don't have a job right now. I want to work in digital marketing, but my skills are not matching what employers are looking for, so I have a few certifications I'm studying for. Of course, I chose this route, because I'll need to eventually do digital marketing for the app.

The Yoshina who wrote the original post was different from the Yoshina writing this post. She was optimistic and really believed in herself. She had what she believed was right for herself and her life at the time. The Yoshina now, while I still want to bring this app into fruition, is lost and not confident in herself. While my knowledge of this field has grown since then, I think some paradigm shifts I experienced last year caused me to likely develop mindsets that may or may not be healthy. I think my self awareness is not astute enough to pull me thru this. I'm probably still a broken person right now.

Whoever reads this. I wish I could've given you an update saying I have maybe around 1,000 people using my app, but this is not my reality. I was thinking of starting an execution thread shortly after making the original post; but I'm glad I didn't, because clearly with how messy my life was last year, it wouldn't have provided value to anybody. Anyways, thanks for reading.
After the storm, comes the calm. My words may not mean much but, take all the time you need to heal. Rome wasn't built in a day. It was built brick by brick until it became known for what it is today. Whenever, take it brick by brick and don't think of step 3 before you've taken step 1. Start by laying the weakest brick if you have to, then the next, any action at all in the right direction is progress. One day, you'll look back to find out you've built an empire. You've got this Yoshina.
 

Hanabi

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After the storm, comes the calm. My words may not mean much but, take all the time you need to heal. Rome wasn't built in a day. It was built brick by brick until it became known for what it is today. Whenever, take it brick by brick and don't think of step 3 before you've taken step 1. Start by laying the weakest brick if you have to, then the next, any action at all in the right direction is progress. One day, you'll look back to find out you've built an empire. You've got this Yoshina.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Edgar! I'm not going to lie; I cried while reading your message. I definitely agree with what you're saying. We just need to keep moving forward regardless of how many obstacles slow things down. I hope life is treating you well:)
 
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Subsonic

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No sales, not even a working, functioning product exists. I know this is absolutely pathetic. You all are welcome to rip me to shreds, because I probably deserve it.

Most of my live I've been plagued with a debilitating skin disorder that has been under control thanks to oral medication. When I made this original post, my medication wasn't working anymore, and I was going back and forth to dermatologist and other specialists to try to find a solution as it came back the worst it has ever been. The dermatologist told me I went thru all the treatments available thru the years, and they couldn't help me anymore. Seeing my condition destabilized brought back memories of being bullied as a kid and being told I was a disgusting human. I don't have social anxiety, but this caused social anxiety for me. I was taking organic chemistry as a prerequisite to get into my grad school during that time, and I found myself having panic attacks to where I couldn't show up to class anymore, so I ended up failing the course. In the meantime, I decided to put myself back on a previous treatment plan that was really painful to endure. I discovered there was a surgery that could fix my disorder, but I found out it had irreversible side effects along with not permanently curing it. The surgery is banned in its country of origin, and other countries have banned it also, except America (no surprise). I started having suicidal ideations, so I got myself in mental health therapy. I did that for a few months and just focused on that along with passing summer classes.

By fall semester, I quit therapy and was really determined to completely finish my bachelor's degree, get a course completed at my grad school, and complete organic chemistry. I felt that semester mentally broke me. Up until then, I was in college for five and a half years. Aside from going to esthetician school and that semester in Bible college, I took college courses year round. I knew I was burned out; but I was ashamed that I didn't already have my bachelors, so I ended up taking more courses than I was able to handle. Yes, I failed organic chemistry again. The only accomplishment I had for 2022 was finishing my bachelors degree.

This semester, I'm taking organic chemistry again for the fourth time. Believe me; I am extremely vicious to pass, haha. I'm studying cosmetic science at University of Cincinnati. It's the oldest cosmetic science program in America, and many cosmetic scientists from around the world have attended there. I'm taking course this semester where my professors are training me to analyze and evaluate scientific studies conducted in the field. I'm really happy to be learning this, because this is a skill I need badly for the skincare app. I don't have a job right now. I want to work in digital marketing, but my skills are not matching what employers are looking for, so I have a few certifications I'm studying for. Of course, I chose this route, because I'll need to eventually do digital marketing for the app.

The Yoshina who wrote the original post was different from the Yoshina writing this post. She was optimistic and really believed in herself. She had what she believed was right for herself and her life at the time. The Yoshina now, while I still want to bring this app into fruition, is lost and not confident in herself. While my knowledge of this field has grown since then, I think some paradigm shifts I experienced last year caused me to likely develop mindsets that may or may not be healthy. I think my self awareness is not astute enough to pull me thru this. I'm probably still a broken person right now.

Whoever reads this. I wish I could've given you an update saying I have maybe around 1,000 people using my app, but this is not my reality. I was thinking of starting an execution thread shortly after making the original post; but I'm glad I didn't, because clearly with how messy my life was last year, it wouldn't have provided value to anybody. Anyways, thanks for reading.
I respect the invitation but I don't think anyone wants to rip you to shreds.
In the end we all know ourselves what we could have done or not.

It took me a year to go from "I want to do something" to actually doing something. You have taken the "red pill" by reading the books and being on this forum. There is no going back and on a long timescale you will start to do things. That starting will lead to succeeding.

On a more personal level, don't call yourself a broken person. There is nothing more or less wrong with you than there is with the rest of us here. In the end everything you do is your free will.
Literally, look at your hand and wiggle your fingers. Now ask you problems or "brokenness" to do the same.

I hope this doesn't come across as harsh. It should feel empowering to know that you are the ceo of your life.

All the best to you and your future :)
 

Roy00

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No sales, not even a working, functioning product exists. I know this is absolutely pathetic. You all are welcome to rip me to shreds, because I probably deserve it.

Most of my live I've been plagued with a debilitating skin disorder that has been under control thanks to oral medication. When I made this original post, my medication wasn't working anymore, and I was going back and forth to dermatologist and other specialists to try to find a solution as it came back the worst it has ever been. The dermatologist told me I went thru all the treatments available thru the years, and they couldn't help me anymore. Seeing my condition destabilized brought back memories of being bullied as a kid and being told I was a disgusting human. I don't have social anxiety, but this caused social anxiety for me. I was taking organic chemistry as a prerequisite to get into my grad school during that time, and I found myself having panic attacks to where I couldn't show up to class anymore, so I ended up failing the course. In the meantime, I decided to put myself back on a previous treatment plan that was really painful to endure. I discovered there was a surgery that could fix my disorder, but I found out it had irreversible side effects along with not permanently curing it. The surgery is banned in its country of origin, and other countries have banned it also, except America (no surprise). I started having suicidal ideations, so I got myself in mental health therapy. I did that for a few months and just focused on that along with passing summer classes.

By fall semester, I quit therapy and was really determined to completely finish my bachelor's degree, get a course completed at my grad school, and complete organic chemistry. I felt that semester mentally broke me. Up until then, I was in college for five and a half years. Aside from going to esthetician school and that semester in Bible college, I took college courses year round. I knew I was burned out; but I was ashamed that I didn't already have my bachelors, so I ended up taking more courses than I was able to handle. Yes, I failed organic chemistry again. The only accomplishment I had for 2022 was finishing my bachelors degree.

This semester, I'm taking organic chemistry again for the fourth time. Believe me; I am extremely vicious to pass, haha. I'm studying cosmetic science at University of Cincinnati. It's the oldest cosmetic science program in America, and many cosmetic scientists from around the world have attended there. I'm taking course this semester where my professors are training me to analyze and evaluate scientific studies conducted in the field. I'm really happy to be learning this, because this is a skill I need badly for the skincare app. I don't have a job right now. I want to work in digital marketing, but my skills are not matching what employers are looking for, so I have a few certifications I'm studying for. Of course, I chose this route, because I'll need to eventually do digital marketing for the app.

The Yoshina who wrote the original post was different from the Yoshina writing this post. She was optimistic and really believed in herself. She had what she believed was right for herself and her life at the time. The Yoshina now, while I still want to bring this app into fruition, is lost and not confident in herself. While my knowledge of this field has grown since then, I think some paradigm shifts I experienced last year caused me to likely develop mindsets that may or may not be healthy. I think my self awareness is not astute enough to pull me thru this. I'm probably still a broken person right now.

Whoever reads this. I wish I could've given you an update saying I have maybe around 1,000 people using my app, but this is not my reality. I was thinking of starting an execution thread shortly after making the original post; but I'm glad I didn't, because clearly with how messy my life was last year, it wouldn't have provided value to anybody. Anyways, thanks for reading.
Hi Yoshina,

Thank you for both the original thread and your update. I found them very relatable and honest. I just joined the forum, but I found them human, which is the best thing IMO.

Don't beat yourself up about not starting your idea. I don't even have an idea yet, so you are well ahead of me!
Look after yourself first and heal, so later you can help others through your Fastlane idea.

I don't think you are broken, you are just human!
 

Mikkel

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If everyone on their entrepreneurial journey was successful on their first try, the Fastlane Forum would probably not exist. Personally, I think I have failed at least 10 businesses so far. With each failure, I have learned something new and valuable. With each new business I try and start, it comes closer to success. Self doubt happens to the best of us, but perpetual self doubt will ruin your goals, dreams, and aspirations. I'm no psychologist, but my inner dialog greatly impacts my confidence. If you speak negatively about yourself, it is no shock that you have lost your confidence and that optimistic energy.

From only knowing you based on your thread posts here, you have a clear talent for writing. I initially saw your first long post and though... "Nope. I'm probably not reading this whole thing." Well, I read every word, and that is saying something coming from someone with dyslexia(I read slowly). You also are clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about skincare. In a world filled with people who want to take advantage of others, you choose to go a more ethical and client focused route. That is something that cannot be taught and is integral to being a successful entrepreneur. You have a lot going for you, don't convince yourself otherwise.

As for chemistry. The class is hard. What makes it worse, the teacher. I have found that in both physics and chemistry, the teachers tend to be to smart for their students own good. Find a tutor who can help students pass the course. True story, I was in Chem and had about 24-48 hours before my final exam. I was very confident I would fail(which means I would not become a physical therapist), like below a 65% because I understood nothing. A future friend walked up to me in the hallway, asked if I was ready for the test. I said that I was probably going to fail. He told me to meet him in a study room the next morning and we would study EVERYTHING as his high school teacher apparently had a study guide that was incredibly helpful even though we were taking chemistry in college. Long story short, it wasn't that I was bad at chemistry, it was that my teacher was bad at teaching as within 48 hours I study EVERYTHING and got a 90%. Most if not everything I learned for that final was learned in 48 hours. So find a good tutor. It really makes a difference.

Lastly, trying to create an app seems like a daunting task. Why not try and start a personalize service where you will personally tailor people's skin care routines for them. If people like your recommendations and think your service is valuable, then by the time the MVP is ready, you will already have an audience to launch too. Go for small wins first. Just my opinion.

I wish you the best on your journey, Yoshina.
 
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burrex

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すごいな!めっちゃ勉強になった。ありがとうございます。
 

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