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How many Business Failures did you have before success?

How many failures before your first success (Profit!)

  • 1

    Votes: 38 7.1%
  • 2

    Votes: 27 5.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 34 6.3%
  • 4

    Votes: 17 3.2%
  • 5

    Votes: 15 2.8%
  • 6-7

    Votes: 21 3.9%
  • 8-9

    Votes: 8 1.5%
  • 10-14

    Votes: 8 1.5%
  • 15 or more

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Still failing (no success yet)

    Votes: 366 68.2%

  • Total voters
    537
D

Deleted85763

Guest
MODERATOR NOTE: POLL ADDED!! PLEASE VOTE!!

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.
My first 3 ventrures were not actual failures - I just found that it wasn't for me. Investment "lost" was very small. Exceptional value for practical education.

My billionaire friend failed I think he said 50 times before he got it right. He was "washed up"at about age 40 but by 50 he was extremely wealthy. Everyone looks at him now in awe but they have no idea what he went through.
 
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thechosen1

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Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
3,320
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Republic of Texas
All of my ideas have made some profit, but none of them so far should be considered a success.
 

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,552
5,889
Alaska
I have had three different types of failures. The first is where the business failed and I closed the doors. The second is where a high-risk investment failed. The third type of failure is where one of my normal investments fails. The differences between the three are profound. Here's an example of each:

Business failure: When the real estate market collapsed in 1980, I owned two RE offices with a partner. We closed one, and the other we sold at a pittance to someone else who ended up closing it. Both were franchises and both failed. I lost almost all my investment in both.

High-risk investment failure: I bought an oil lease from the State of Alaska a few years ago. I started an LLC and I bought 4 contiguous surface lots to support the investment. It should have worked and I thought I had a winner. It was located contiguous to a working natural gas field. I partnered with an active oil development company that did seismic studies. That company owned other adjacent leases that they wanted to develop. When the ground was studied, my lease was outside of the gas deposit and it had NO prospectus. So, I surrendered the lease back to the State, terminated the LLC, and sold the surface properties at less than I had paid for them. I lost the investment money that I spent on the lease and the associated costs. I also had spent a lot of time and effort in the situation. NEXT...

In my normal investments, I rarely lose, unless I buy a property with a hidden problem. I always buy opposite of the market. When others are selling, I am buying. Then I sell, when most are buying. I do quite well with my normal investments. I am conservative and thoughtful.

I have only had a few total business or normal investment failures. BUT, I have had a bunch of high-risk investment failures. And I treat them totally differently.

Failure is part of the process. I try a lot of things. I know that many, if not most of them will fail. The trick is to NOT bring down the whole business or normal investment over one idea or a direction change.

Concerning high-risk investments, I have some rules. The amount I risk must be small enough for me to lose without it hurting me too much. The upside must be huge. It must be big enough to make it all worth the risk. I know that almost all of these investments will fail. I call them pie-in-the-sky investments. Most of them require me to be a "qualified investor" so they are not for a beginner. I reserve a small percentage of my cash flow to make that class of investments when they come up.
 
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thechosen1

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Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
3,320
7,226
Republic of Texas
I have had three different types of failures. The first is where the business failed and I closed the doors. The second is where a high-risk investment failed. The third type of failure is where one of my normal investments fails. The differences between the three are profound. Here's an example of each:

Business failure: When the real estate market collapsed in 1980, I owned two RE offices with a partner. We closed one, and the other we sold at a pittance to someone else who ended up closing it. Both were franchises and both failed. I lost almost all my investment in both.

High-risk investment failure: I bought an oil lease from the State of Alaska a few years ago. I started an LLC and I bought 4 contiguous surface lots to support the investment. It should have worked and I thought I had a winner. It was located contiguous to a working natural gas field. I partnered with an active oil development company that did seismic studies. That company owned other adjacent leases that they wanted to develop. When the ground was studied, my lease was outside of the gas deposit and it had NO prospectus. So, I surrendered the lease back to the State, terminated the LLC, and sold the surface properties at less than I had paid for them. I lost the investment money that I spent on the lease and the associated costs. I also had spent a lot of time and effort in the situation. NEXT...

In my normal investments, I rarely lose, unless I buy a property with a hidden problem. I always buy opposite of the market. When others are selling, I am buying. Then I sell, when most are buying. I do quite well with my normal investments. I am conservative and thoughtful.

I have only had a few total business or normal investment failures. BUT, I have had a bunch of high-risk investment failures. And I treat them totally differently.

Failure is part of the process. I try a lot of things. I know that many, if not most of them will fail. The trick is to NOT bring down the whole business or normal investment over one idea or a direction change.

Concerning high-risk investments, I have some rules. The amount I risk must be small enough for me to lose without it hurting me too much. The upside must be huge. It must be big enough to make it all worth the risk. I know that almost all of these investments will fail. I call them pie-in-the-sky investments. Most of them require me to be a "qualified investor" so they are not for a beginner. I reserve a small percentage of my cash flow to make that class of investments when they come up.
This is incredible! You should start another thread ;)

How did you find the company that did the seismic studies? Were they going to be the ones drilling if the results were good?

Also, do you know if somebody else bought it after your go failed? I would be afraid the seismic study would be good, the oil company would downplay it, convince me to sell at a loss, and they would buy it for themselves.
 

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,552
5,889
Alaska
This is incredible! You should start another thread ;)

How did you find the company that did the seismic studies? Were they going to be the ones drilling if the results were good?

Also, do you know if somebody else bought it after your go failed? I would be afraid the seismic study would be good, the oil company would downplay it, convince me to sell at a loss, and they would buy it for themselves.
Actually, I got the oil company who owned the leases around me to pay for the seismic study (by a 3rd party) on my lease when they were doing theirs. That was a huge expense I didn't have. I live in a small, rural community and I know just about everyone here. This is an "oil patch" area. That oil company is known as a reliable, straight shooter. So, I trust what they said. IF my lease had been part of the gas deposit, I owned 4 contiguous lots, totaling about 40 acres, where we could have done straight and directional drilling from my lots for my lease and theirs. I had legal street access from the north and the south. And the gas field next door had a pipeline that we could have used to get our product to market under Alaskan laws. Our agreement was that I would have partnered with them or they would have bought out my lease depending on the drill results. It would have been the "gold ring" of my life. Oh well. It was a great dream while it lasted.

Oil exploration is always a HUGE gamble and this situation just happened to come available -- so I submitted a bid on it to the State auction. (At that huge lease auction, that involved lists and lists of leases, I was one of two private party bidders. The other bidders were there for their corporations.) I knew a guy who had been waiting for that leasehold to come up for bid for many years. He didn't have the money at that time to do it The oil company that did the seismic won the bids on all the leases further out from the working gas field. As the bid envelopes were opened and read, to my amazement, I won the bid on the lease which was closest to the working gas field. It was a very exciting moment.

My investment looked like a good bet at the time. I sure learned a lot about the oil industry and how the leases work here in Alaska.

People who come later have access to the seismic data after a few years. I actually reviewed all the data available at the time that I made my bid. -- but there were no seismic studies. We did do some satellite maps that looked favorable. But, the proof is in the seismic studies. I don't know of anyone who bought all those leases. I'm sure that they figure that if it could have been developed, we would have done that. And they'd be right.
 
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thechosen1

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
3,320
7,226
Republic of Texas
Actually, I got the oil company who owned the leases around me to pay for the seismic study (by a 3rd party) on my lease when they were doing theirs. That was a huge expense I didn't have. I live in a small, rural community and I know just about everyone here. This is an "oil patch" area. That oil company is known as a reliable, straight shooter. So, I trust what they said. IF my lease had been part of the gas deposit, I owned 4 contiguous lots, totaling about 40 acres, where we could have done straight and directional drilling from my lots for my lease and theirs. I had legal street access from the north and the south. And the gas field next door had a pipeline that we could have used to get our product to market under Alaskan laws. Our agreement was that I would have partnered with them or they would have bought out my lease depending on the drill results. It would have been the "gold ring" of my life. Oh well. It was a great dream while it lasted.

Oil exploration is always a HUGE gamble and this situation just happened to come available -- so I submitted a bid on it to the State auction. (At that huge lease auction, that involved lists and lists of leases, I was one of two private party bidders. The other bidders were there for their corporations.) I knew a guy who had been waiting for that leasehold to come up for bid for many years. He didn't have the money at that time to do it The oil company that did the seismic won the bids on all the leases further out from the working gas field. As the bid envelopes were opened and read, to my amazement, I won the bid on the lease which was closest to the working gas field. It was a very exciting moment.

My investment looked like a good bet at the time. I sure learned a lot about the oil industry and how the leases work here in Alaska.

People who come later have access to the seismic data after a few years. I actually reviewed all the data available at the time that I made my bid. -- but there were no seismic studies. We did do some satellite maps that looked favorable. But, the proof is in the seismic studies. I don't know of anyone who bought all those leases. I'm sure that they figure that if it could have been developed, we would have done that. And they'd be right.
There are lots of farmers down south with land that's been in their families for generations, with each generation (usually poor, but with lots of land) saying that this will be the day that the big oil guys start drilling on their land and they all become rich! You know, like the "Beverly Hillbillies."

Well, the day never comes, people are born and die, they move away, but the land sits there. In some cases, nothing happens even though there are oil wells and deposits everywhere around them. The question is, how do you even know what's under it if you never get a study? Is sitting there waiting and hoping for 100 years the only thing such a poor landowner could do?

(I realize this is a huge derailment to the thread, sorry)
 

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,552
5,889
Alaska
There are lots of farmers down south with land that's been in their families for generations, with each generation (usually poor, but with lots of land) saying that this will be the day that the big oil guys start drilling on their land and they all become rich! You know, like the "Beverly Hillbillies."

Well, the day never comes, people are born and die, they move away, but the land sits there. In some cases, nothing happens even though there are oil wells and deposits everywhere around them. The question is, how do you even know what's under it if you never get a study? Is sitting there waiting and hoping for 100 years the only thing such a poor landowner could do?

(I realize this is a huge derailment to the thread, sorry)
That's absolutely true about the farms. You know by doing seismic studies, which tells you about the possible pools of oil and gas trapped in the underground rock structures. The satellite maps are only an indication of possible deposits. But, even with the studies, drilling is still a huge gamble. There are a lot of "dry holes" that are drilled.

I also learned about a lot of pumping techniques. These pools of oil and gas are not static. When they start to deplete, you can many times let them sit and they will regenerate themselves. I learned that oil to the earth is like the blood in our bodies. If you over pump them, that allows water into those spaces and you can ruin the percolation of the oil forever. Managing a pumping field is a dance on a very thin wire.

Here, because the US government bought Alaska from the Russians, and then we became a state, the mineral rights are almost all owned by the State or the Feds. The only ones that are not are ones that were included in homesteads.
 

Greg26750

New Contributor
Dec 24, 2018
22
2
1. Shopify store selling confectionery (failed, didn't understand my market)
2. Blog on controversial topics (failed, didn't persist and gave up after 3 months)
3. Web design freelancing (didn't fail, but I didn't try to scale so i moved into..)
4. PPC management (currently succeeding, hit 6 figures this year and growing HR so I remove myself entirely from the business)

As long as you learn something, each business is not a failure.
Congratulations.
Sorru but what is PPC management ?
 
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Smith953

New Contributor
Jul 7, 2022
4
3
Because I was unaware of how unsustainable it would be, my first year was an incredible success. However, in my second year, I failed on every metric. In year two, I made so many costly mistakes.
Now that year three has begun, I've learned SO MUCH about running a business that I can't really consider year 2 to be a failure, but it was still a costly experience. I took many risks that more seasoned businesspeople would never take, and I now promise never to repeat those errors. Even though they were very costly errors, the cost was still less than a year of business school, and I already had connections and real-world experience.
Since I surpassed the industry learning curve during those first two years, I refer to them as "my street MBA."
Months have passed before I was able to move past how terrible year two was. But the fact that I now know where to concentrate my efforts gives me hope.
 

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,552
5,889
Alaska
Because I was unaware of how unsustainable it would be, my first year was an incredible success. However, in my second year, I failed on every metric. In year two, I made so many costly mistakes.
Now that year three has begun, I've learned SO MUCH about running a business that I can't really consider year 2 to be a failure, but it was still a costly experience. I took many risks that more seasoned businesspeople would never take, and I now promise never to repeat those errors. Even though they were very costly errors, the cost was still less than a year of business school, and I already had connections and real-world experience.
Since I surpassed the industry learning curve during those first two years, I refer to them as "my street MBA."
Months have passed before I was able to move past how terrible year two was. But the fact that I now know where to concentrate my efforts gives me hope.
I too have had a lot of failures over the years. Many of those were necessary steps for the successes that came later. It takes a real learning curve to make it all work. And sometimes stuff happens that is way beyond your control or experience.
We're headed for a very painful economic moment right now. I saw this coming a few years ago and I started to prepare. I had a bunch of other RE investors around me who told me that I was stupid and didn't understand RE and how to invest. They had 8 or 10 years of experience and were into OPM (other people's money) and leverage. I was getting lean and mean through debt reduction and consolidation. I tried to tell them I had 40+ years, but they were totally unimpressed. I tried to explain the early 1980's inflation fix (21% and 22% interest rates) and the 1990 decade when the bottom fell out of the RE market for years on end. Time will tell. Like Warren Buffet says, when the tide goes out, we'll see who is skinny dipping. I'm starting to find some good RE deals right now so my ship is coming in again.
 

jerrywil

New Contributor
Apr 29, 2022
28
10
3 so far and now it is the 4th. This time i am using all my experience from the previous trials and avoid the mistakes i did in the past. I hope with the twilio slack our marketing will do much better this times and we can have a better communication with our customers. Customer service quality is super important for every single business in my opinion.
 
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