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NOTABLE! How many Business Failures did you have before success?

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How many failures before your first success (Profit!)

  • 1

    Votes: 29 7.9%
  • 2

    Votes: 22 6.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • 4

    Votes: 13 3.5%
  • 5

    Votes: 12 3.3%
  • 6-7

    Votes: 15 4.1%
  • 8-9

    Votes: 4 1.1%
  • 10-14

    Votes: 8 2.2%
  • 15 or more

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Still failing (no success yet)

    Votes: 238 64.7%

  • Total voters


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 3, 2017
Ontario, Canada
What I consider success has changed, before I considered just a time for money side gig was a success. Took me 4 attempts to find something that got me "profit".
Now success is something that I will be able to scale and separate from my time and location, so still failing..

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New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 28, 2019
Well, 4 big fails to date and...

I don’t believe success is “balance”, but honest self-awareness + keeping family + financial freedom seems to be a “win”

BUT Holy Crap

I feel like I’m knee-deep and still in the “3B” quadrant.
Habits..God help me.
In the last 3 years I’ve generated millions and due to “consumption” and soft self-generated “fake FTE’s”,
Along with great goals punctuated with poor “Act, Assess and Adjust” follow-thru, I sit with failing business, struggling to pay bills.

I grew up with a great, loving family and inherited position in a community.
However, I inherited nothing but debt.
Typical, but my biggest failure has been that I simply felt I deserved “things”. Add Marriage and kids to my kind-hearted upbringing and I only wanted to give them the life I had. My parents did a great a job of providing a loving home, but I was NOT prepared to lay down my comfort zone or even know how to look pragmatically at my own silly greedy tendencies toward “status” and “seeking comfort”.

There is an absolute perversion in the “I want to work for myself” mentality.
I’ve learned entrepreneurship begins with shear emotion and ends with real wisdom...if you’ve got the right mindset.

In fact, I think we should all draw a bright line between what we consider our own skill and personality “gifts”.
You have a gift but you also have a per version of that gift. MJ does an incredible job of creating a wake-up call to the 3B’s.

I think you could take it a step further by assessing yourself on the things you or you’re business is gifted at. Such as:

Leader vs Tyrant/Manipulator
Steward vs time waster
Giver vs Waster
Servant vs Push-Over
Attentive vs Micro-Manager
Visionary vs Detached from reality

This caused my “FTE” in the last 90 Days. WOW I’ve felt like ...a child.
I brought a flower to a gun fight.
Imagine leaving food out on your doorstep at night thinking your feeding homeless kittens...only to realize you’ve been sustaining a mother cobra and her babies
...and by the way, those kittens were tasty too.

Now that I’ve begun to simply be real with myself, I’m just beginning to stage 3 “Adjust” my own habits with new ones.

I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. ..Rich is better.

0 and 4.
Now let’s begin again, Mr. Edison.

...and Thanks MJ

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

David 964

Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 10, 2019
Los Angeles
This is so far 4th business, none of them failed but they transferred from one to another. None of them failed in making money, however every one of them fail to provide real wealth (time, finances , freedom and life on my terms).

MJ DeMarco

Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
Fountain Hills, AZ
Wow the poll is a bit shocking to me, most of the people who have businesses haven't failed a lot. Now I feel like a failure! :oops:

ZF Lee

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2016
Wow the poll is a bit shocking to me, most of the people who have businesses haven't failed a lot. Now I feel like a failure! :oops:
MJ, probably its because they define mistakes differently.

Maybe a mistake let them learn a new trick that raised sales by 10%.

Or a mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
For instance, I dropped a client from Upwork recently even though he was offering nearly four-figures for pay.
Could have been considered a mistake by most folks who just want the money....but I found out that by doing so, I actually freed up more time to go after better work.

Plus, not every mistake closes down the biz. If they did, well, we're f*cked...

And if you want to think about the exponential growth graph, the folks with businesses are most probably at the rising end of the line, as a business pushes them to take so much action and progress so much, that any mistakes that actually holds them back just become more and more insignificant.

On your feelings, though,I think that the best teacher is he who never forgets that he has to learn better and faster than his student. :)

lunga ngcobo

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 29, 2019

How many business's have you all had before you found your breadwinner?

My first business was a success by normal standards (200k a year +) but not by fast-lane standards.
half the businesses ive tried became a sucess but only problem is they could'nt be scalled to fastlane levels because they violated most of the fastlane commandments.

Our young bodies make fools out of us: When you are young you have a hole lot of energy and make a mistake of thinking that you will forever be young. As i grew older i realised that i was running out of energy so i started thinking of businesses which can bring income even when im 95% absent. That shift in my thinking alone made a big difference.

My turning point: I started reainding blogs about how to handle money, then escalated to full length books and now im on entrepreneurial forums.

I would say its not only about succeding in business but its about succeding in a fastlane business.


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 21, 2019
It's to do with personality defects that disproportionately and causally affect the poor.
Holy shit. I've been thinking this for so long, just never really been able to articulate it.

Personality defects exist in the rich as well. I guess money can get to your head. I know you can't generalise, but here it is.

The reason I know this is because I see this in my patients I come into contact with people from all walks of life. After a while, you definitely see patterns.

Trust me, the middle class is the easiest to deal with.


Mar 31, 2018
at 21 years old , Italian restaurant Failed due to the 2008 rescission, and i didn't save money for emergency, it was crazy for me, didn't lose money as i started it with only 5k. was doing good for a year, and half.
after that, a lot of small mall kiosk businesses , never lost money in it, just closed them after they stop making money.
kids amusement rides inside the malls, sold last one last year at the right time. malls are dying in general. it was successful businesses for 5 years, but to make me rich.
back to 9-5 again till i start on something good, this time i am going to be more patient before i go all in again.
i am sure there is other small business ventures i forgot.

Entre Eyes

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Sep 7, 2019
Traveling to Higher Conciousness
Offline I was driven Salesman of the Month most of the year but had no life and hated every minute of it. Is that Success?

Online is a funny story....I stumbled into Success right off the bat with a hit. BUT....had no idea on how to capitalize at that time. Blew it. Had 3000 buyers that trusted me in a very short time, momentum, could have hired a Mentor, expanded, but I coasted.

Been a salmon swimming up stream for years, sometimes the entrepreneur in us needs to have a slice of humble pie and think long game ha.


Losers make excuses. Winners find solutions.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2019
Pokemon: Gotta Sell Them All!
In 6th grade I got the bright idea to buy and resell pokemon cards to my class mates. I saved up my lunch money for a few days and started buying cards from my friends and tried to sell them for a higher price to my other friends.

I ended up broke and hungry. Turns out no one wanted the cards I had bought!

Lesson Learned: Know your customer! Don't go to market with Pikachus when all they want are Charzards!

I decided to save up some more lunch money and try again. The very first day of my second attempt someone had told the teacher what I was doing and I got in trouble! The teacher told me "We dont do those kinds of things in THIS school! Its forbidden!"

My First Service Business!
Pokemon was still a HUGE thing at my school so I decided that if I couldn't buy and sell, I would host a pokemon tournament during lunch. I told my best friend, Kyle, that I would organize the tournament and let people compete for $2. Kyle told me that my idea was stupid and no one would pay me money.

I'm also pretty sure that he stole my juice box!

Kyle was wrong. By the end of the week I had six friends sign up for my pokemon tournament!

Lesson Learned: I was pretty decent at sales!

It was then I realized I had a problem... I had NO IDEA how to set up a tournament.

Turns out I didn't have to worry because shortly after my realization I got called into the office.

"Someone told us you were talking kids out of their lunch money!" bellowed my teacher.

I tried to explain but to no avail; I was, once again, in trouble and had to return all the money.

Lesson Learned: My teacher is a socialist! Also, most people don't like salesmen.

Welcome To Candy Land
That summer I tried to sell candy to people passing by on the sidewalk. Surprisingly, it worked! I don't even remember exactly what I sold or for how much; what I do remember is the lashing my Grandmother gave me when she found out!


Lesson Learned: My grandmother was also a socialist! :p

The night I told my parents what I did and asked about my grandmother's puzzling reaction. My dad was amused that I had found a way to make money. My mother, on the other hand, was furious!


So much for that sweet idea...

My First Car Flip Flop
It was 9th grade when I noticed that my neighbor was big on buying cheap cars and flipping them for a profit.

After a little cajoling I convinced my parents to allow me to buy a car using the allowance I had been saving. It took a week of searching but I had finally found my 'used and abused' Ford beauty! $250 dollars later my dad and I drove away; money signs dancing in my mind. This rust bucket was the KEY to my fortunes!

Long story short, a mere two miles down the road the car caught fire and with it burned up my ambitions of ever flipping cars.

Lesson Learned: It helps to have a little knowledge of something if you're going to sell it. I didn't, and still don't, know anything about cars.

A String Of Small Successes
For the rest of my 9th grade year, and the entirety of my 10th grade year, I had a string of moderate successes.

I sold water at local sporting games on hot days.

Organized yard sales for family members.

Even had a brief stint of buying Jack Russel dogs, breeding them, and selling them for hundreds of dollars each.

Lesson Learned: It is possible to make money without having a "real" job.

Online Poker and P*ssy
The late computer nights during the summer between my 11th and 12th grade years allowed me to discover two big things: Online poker and the Pick Up Artist community.

I convinced my dad to let me sign up to a poker site with his credit card and play under his name. Within weeks I turned a $20 deposit into almost $500. A few weeks later and I was making a steady $350 (averaged) a week.

Lesson Learned: I was REALLY good at poker!

When I wasn't playing poker I was out with a buddy hitting on women and trying to apply things I read about on PUA forums. I quickly learned that most of the advice I read was clearly given by men who have probably never talked to a member of the opposite sex before.

I hit on close to a 1000 women that summer! If I wasn't playing poker I was out with a friend at malls, bowling alleys, shopping centers, the city center, and parties! Lots of parties...

I got so good that guys online were now asking for MY advice.

Towards the end of summer I decided that since I was so good at online poker that I would take all my money and move up to the high stakes. I wanted the big money and wanted to play with the big boys!

A few short days later I was left sitting there trying to figure out what the hell happened...

I had lost ALL my money. Every. Single. Dime.

Lesson Learned: I was actually pretty BAD at poker. People in the lower stakes was just so God awful horrible that I was able to make money off of them.

Lesson Learned: I was bad at managing money.

Becoming a Cog In The Machine
After losing all my money I attempted to persuade my parents to give me a loan. Instead, they suggested I get a "real job."

Couple weeks later I'm now working at a mail sorting center for DHL on the weekends. To say I hated it would be a massive understatement.

Lesson Learned: Having a real job sucks and I never wanted another one.

It didn't take me long to get fired from that job. Good riddance!

It was then I took some of the money I made and went to the book store. Hour later I came out with several books on poker and one on money; "Rich Dad, Poor Dad."

To Be Continued...

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Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
Not really sure how to define failure...

For example, I've had plenty of businesses that were "profitable," but that didn't generate enough income to make them worth continuing (and perhaps paid me less than minimum wage on my time). Is that considered a failure? If so, dozens.

I've had a lot of individual investments that have been failures -- angel investments, one real estate deal and a bunch of other assets. But, the portfolio has been profitable. Are those failures?

That said, I've had one business that I think could objectively be considered a failure -- I lost six figures and a couple years of time/effort.

And within my businesses and investments, I've had hundreds (thousands?) of missed opportunities, bad decisions, money losing sales campaigns, etc.

So, depending on how you define failure, I'm somewhere between 1 and many thousands... :)


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 17, 2019
North Dakota
I have an folder on my computer I keep all the different business ventures and ideas I have or am working on. I for the first time just looked through it and counted each section.

Successes(high ROI): 3
Failures: 7
Ideas I researched but decided not to pursue: 18

I am currently working on a new venture that meets all the NECTS commandments, really hoping I can add this one to the successes category.


New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 6, 2017
At 17 years old I created a platform to help entrepreneurs meet investors and other experienced entrepreneurs to help them build their company.

The platform arrived to (almost) 1000 users, there were 11,000€ deposited from investors that were looking for startups and 3 entrepreneurs who shared their business ideas looking for help.

Eventually I had to shut down the company.

Is that considered a failure?


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Feb 28, 2020
Melbourne, FL
I was part of multiple business attempts that failed, even though I was not the founder, so I'm counting those. :)


Legendary Contributor
Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
Gulf Coast

How many business's have you all had before you found your breadwinner?

My first business was a success by normal standards (200k a year +) but not by fast-lane standards.
OP last seen June 2019. I often wonder where people end up.

Not this guy in particular, but I suspect some people move on to the next shiny object.


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 27, 2016
Currently 2.

1. Amazon FBA with plastic part cups: Very tough competition, low entry.
2. Proofreading agency: I still have not given up on this, I need to find another marketing channel than G Ads. Currently busy with other stuff though.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 29, 2013
London, England
Needed this thread!!!

Just wrapped up on attempt number 4, been feeling very discouraged for a few months now like it’s “just not meant to be” (even playing the self-pity victim card at times).

But I have this Bill Burr clip bookmarked for whenever I catch myself on the verge of tapping out which usually snaps me out of it.


As @MJ DeMarco says “Failure is the sweat of success” must keep moving forward with the experience and knowledge gained from the failures.


Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
Nikiski, Alaska

How many business's have you all had before you found your breadwinner?

My first business was a success by normal standards (200k a year +) but not by fast-lane standards.
I went to Los Angeles to make my fortune when I was 19 years old. I've made and lost several in the real estate business. I'm a lot smarter now about how to build things up and then hang on during downturns. I hear that the average is that you must make it 3 times. You lose the first two and hang on the third on average.

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Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 25, 2019
Barcelona, Spain
Probably 4 and still trying.
First one, I tried selling handmade plush toys and polymer clay jewellery with a friend. Cute stuff but took soo many hours to produce, and we had to put a super low price.

From this I moved to giant dragon sculptures for folk performances, also too time consuming and clients with very low budgets so also a "failure", even though I made 4-5 very cool pieces and I got 3,000 profit on each, but for a year of work each (and I've "made history" in a way, this pieces will probably be used for hundreds of years).

On parallel I did custom resin trophy commissions, which worked quite well (500-1000 a month on the good months), but once I tried raising prices to match with a good hourly rate (20€/h), I started having problems with clients.

Also random commissions (portrait paintings and theatre props mainly) for some of which I've been able to charge that hourly rate, some others which have been major fails. But overall well paid.

And, for a year, I've been both preparing for a scripted backup plan (at college to become a high school teacher) and developing a CENTS based business on my own.

Chinese alligato

New Contributor
Sep 22, 2019
[报价 = & quot;
;有点让我想起我做准分子激光原位角膜磨镶术的时候。& Nbsp;一天早上,我以完美的视力醒来,不记得我看不到的时间。
眼睛近视手术真的安全吗?我的老师说如果100% 是安全的。为什么比尔·盖茨还戴着眼镜?

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