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GOLD! How to waste time and money playing entrepreneur

Michael Raphael

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For example, DeMarco LLC (an Arizona LLC) owns a 1% interest in Company X, a California LLC. Such an arrangement will have the CA Franchise Tax board coming after you for taxes. And it doesn't even matter if you ever visited the state. Imagine never stepping foot in that blasted state and having those tax vultures coming after you, and yes, they're relentless.
Oh the beauty of a bankrupt state.
 

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oldkevx

oldkevx

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So, progress update. Today I:

Assembled the 6 brightest and driven professionals I know. We looked at the problems we despise and problems we perceive in markets.

We identified 7 potential fastlane businesses and are short listing the top 3 to go and do the unthinkable to the Kev I killed...talk to customers and ask for presales.

The team consists of diamonds I have collected along my journey over the past 15 years. I opened with the 5 commandments and made all ideas adhere to them.

Surprisingly every idea is not only fastlane, but they are all relatively untapped markets. Go big, fail fast (if necessary), learn and try again. I will share progress on the transformation from playing business to creating value, solving problems for people and building enterprise value on another thread.
 

Iwokeup

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California is worse. I think theirs is $800 and get this, you have to pay it if your non CALI LLC is a member of a CALI LLC.

For example, DeMarco LLC (an Arizona LLC) owns a 1% interest in Company X, a California LLC. Such an arrangement will have the CA Franchise Tax board coming after you for taxes. And it doesn't even matter if you ever visited the state. Imagine never stepping foot in that blasted state and having those tax vultures coming after you, and yes, they're relentless.
California is NOTORIOUS for coming after Veteran's retirement benefits. Example: You join the military from some other state but were stationed in Cali for some period of time. You then retire in, say NV, AZ, VA...California came after Vet's retirement benefits saying that, well, because you were stationed in California.....

I love my family there and it's gorgeous but living there? FUGGEDABBOUTIT
 

biophase

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Here's a quick action list of a new business that I started last week. These actions are alot more "potentially money making" than the OP's list. :)

Someone told me of a need
Ordered sample from China, decent but I want my own design
Hired someone on fiver to design a similar one (charged me $40)
Found a manufacturer in the USA (quoted me $45 to make one)
* Send him the design file
* He makes it and ships it to Amazon FBA for me
* Mo Money Mo Money Mo Money

* - These parts have not happened yet because the $45 quote was too high, so I am redesigning it myself, trying to get it down to $30, will sell on Amazon for $80.
 

Andy Black

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Here I am, two years in "playing" entrepreneur and frankly failing. I want to share exactly how to waste money/time so you can avoid the pitfalls that I succumbed to:

Here's what you should do to guarantee wasting two years and money. I've quantified both elements for you

  • Form an Llc before you have paying customers $500 + 4 hours
  • Hire someone on elance to conduct industry research: $450 + 2 hours
  • Build a killer website: $2,000 + 2 weeks of tuning
  • Design and order business cards: $50 + 2 hours
  • Order checks $100 + 1 hour
  • Order envelopes $75 + 1 hour
  • Buy (and laboriously research) tax accounting app $200 + 8 hours
  • Open a bank account $0 + 2 hours
  • Get an EIN $25 + 1 hour
  • Hire an accountant to do taxes $250 + 4 hours
  • Get a merchant account $0 + 1 hour
  • Get a really cool stamp for depositing checks
  • Buy some BS courses $500 + 2 weeks
  • Download tons of free content and consume it in the car, at night and any other downtime $0 + 6 months
Total time wasted: Over 6 months
Total money wasted: $4,150


What if I would have invested all of this time and money in doing just one simple thing that actually moved the needle vs. made me feel like I was running a business?

Game over...I just killed the inner wanna be. Time to take action. I hope I saved someone else some time and/or money.

K
Awesome post, lesson, and turnaround! Looking forward to watching you build your plane on the way down. Rep man.
 

Franky Neizer

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May 18, 2014
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@oldkevx I totally agree with you on this post especially the first 4, I think I have repeated those mistakes more than once and believe me, I have wasted more than $4k just running around in circles.
BTW: You forgot that you pay internet bill at the end of the month after downloading the free contents from the internet... Lol..

Great post, keep up the work man.... ;)
 

frieden70

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I pay $250 for accountant all day. I had a job, multiple houses, and a business.

What one needs to assess is, for $250, and 1 hour of my time, they are done, or 10 hours of my time to figure it all out, file it all myself, and hold the liability of the filing! Whats your time and liability worth? Pay the $250. Cant afford the $250? Your business model and or income needs reevaluation.
It seems like you are in a very different situation than many people starting out here... I'm sure most people would agree with you if they had a business, multiple houses, etc. but from the sounds of the OP, we're talking about breaking into the biz world and most likely don't have those same assets. Very different scenario.
 

frieden70

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Yeah, I got hosed by LegalZoom and had them do it it was a Texas Llc, one of the more expensive states. Business idea....legalzoom but cheaper!
Highly suggest you stay away from legalzoom. They give you a biz template and each biz is different. Granted I come from a family of attorneys but still. LegalZoom is already cheap. If you talk to any attorney, they'll tell you it's crap.
 

frieden70

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California is worse. I think theirs is $800 and get this, you have to pay it if your non CALI LLC is a member of a CALI LLC.
It is $800. And if you have an S-Corp or LLC, you have to pay that $800 annually, regardless of if you make a profit or not...
 
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oldkevx

oldkevx

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Been on vacation for a week and was grateful to check back on the thread and see it helpful to even more people, awesome!
 

Harley

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The Lean Start Up - Eric Ries
Ready, Fire, Aim, - Michael Masterson
Two books (among many) that espouse the MVP (minimum viable product) and do/ learn|fail /iterate approach to building a business.

I think most entrepreneurs create inefficient time sucking busy work when they begin their journey, replacing their old unfruitful habits with equally frivolous activities, however these new actions provide a false sense of accomplishment.

"Hey, I have a logo (I spent two minutes contracting out on fiverr). Now I have a REAL business I can show my friends and family." Yet no sales, no product/service, not even an audience or market.
Ready Aim Fire is a great book
 

FLYmk

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Small businesses have a major impact yet so many states make it difficult to start and operate a company. Yes, if everyone could simply click a button that says "Open a Company Immediately!" with no restrictions and no financial investment, it would be a bit dangerous. However, annual fees of $500 or $800 despite ANY revenue? Completely ridiculous.


As stated...
What if I would have invested all of this time and money in doing just one simple thing that actually moved the needle vs. made me feel like I was running a business?
...that's the key here. Rather than spend the time and money in places that only make you a company, not a business, focus on building a Business. Why go down the road of investing hundred or thousands without proof of concept?

Start out as lean as possible, that's the way (with little to no capital) you can prove yourself.
 

RBefort

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Well, I'm 2 years in and still reading and watching vids...at least mine was somewhat free outside of books? Thanks for the lesson!
 

scatterbrain

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On a side note, a seasoned LLC will have some value in the future. So even if you don't use it, keep it active.
i have a LLC that i have had for four years. i basically did the same thing as the above op. my neighbor accountant says its wise to dissolve and not claim anymore, due to consecutive years of losses claims on my taxes. i might get audited if i continue to do this. however, i have a credit card with a 10,000 limit and no debt on this account with the LLC business name. what should i do with it?
 
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oldkevx

oldkevx

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I'm happy to report some great updates. Since this post I have joined a hybrid incubator/accelerator as a mentor with equity in 80 early stage companies today and 80 per year planned through 2019 in two markets. Goal is for a few to have liquidity events. Happy about the exchange of 4-5 hours per month to invest in local companies I can influence with potential upside. Mi was going to do it gratis.

Coinciding with this effort I have validated a subscription box niche product. Starting small to document processes so that everything except curation of products in the boxes can be outsourced. Only challenge has been trying to negotiate shipping rates with no track record of volume. USPS is not a service I trust with my product so UPS will be taking some of the pie.

Total expenditures. $12 for a domain name
 

GregK

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Aug 10, 2014
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I went down this road to give me an added incentive to get of my a$$.

Filed an LLC, I'm in south Carolina so this cost ~160.
Started an e book- slow progress.
Kept looking for opportunities but didn't come up with anything until months later.
Sourced some samples for China, samples were well received. Ordered more and customer approached me about other items they needed help with. made a good sale.
Ordered business cards and reworked website. ~30$
Now selling very little of the same product on eBay and online but got now an agreement with the supplier to ship direct.
Things are shaping up and the sales coming in are passive.

Got quick books online for a year for free essentially so I can use it to learn about accounting. (Mail in rebate)


All in all, getting off my a$$ and and getting committed has given me a lot of experience and helped me to explore.

I guess it can go both ways.
 
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Harley

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So is his Palm Beach Letter... lots of insight, heavy on copywriting/,marketing... but you'll gain some nuggets from it all.
Isn't palm beach letter a newsletter subscription about making money?.
Does this have an affiliation with the Michael Masterson book? I can't see the link.
 
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oldkevx

oldkevx

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Progress update: Changed the subscription model to selling just one product. Also changed the model from B2C...to B2B...back to B2C after talking to business customers. The initial feedback from talking to them helped refine the model. Most don't want to share ideas and actual businesses but I don't care as anyone who wants to copy is lazy: http://www.retirementadventurekits.com/

Sales have been organic via my personal network. In the kit resides something special :)
 

AlterJoule

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Have you made sales? Not trying to slam it but what makes this worth 149 dollars? Seems like a gag/novelty product that could be put together for 30 bucks.
 
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oldkevx

oldkevx

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Yes, we have made sales..all word of mouth in the past three days since launch. The kit contents are approximately $90 wholesale + $6 shipping/box, etc...the clock by itself retails for $39 on Amazon. The kit is not the actual product, which is why I'm not afraid to share it. The kit is a way to earn trust and start a conversation with our audience (while netting $54 per kit). The Fastlane component is the aforementioned "something special" in the kit. The kit is essentially a trojan horse to build a channel for much larger monetization. The buyers are adult children thus far.
 

Bowden

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Fisher Space Bullet Space Pen - Great idea to throw those in the kits for the older folks.
 

chipmx

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"The kit is essentially a trojan horse to build a channel for much larger monetization" what a fantastic quote, I see that bussiness model In a recent book I`ve read its called "Launch; an internet millionaire secret formula".... by the end the author encourage you to buy a coaching video course or something similar.
 

Justincredible

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Found this post through search bar as I knew the fastlane community would be able to shed light on the topic of creating an LLC. Thanks for sharing your story! Best of luck. How's things going?
 
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oldkevx

oldkevx

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The kits sold mediocre to individuals but the customers we wanted (businesses) thought it was interesting but they would not purchase. Learned a lot about how companies don't really give retirement gifts anymore. A symptom of our evolved workforce which was insightful. Through the process we found a sleepy company with an aging owner. Planted the bug that we would be interested in purchasing his company and patented product when the time comes for him to exit. We pulled the plug after validating that the market didn't respond. 20 hours invested....on to the next problem!
 
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RazorCut

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In a recent book I`ve read its called "Launch; an internet millionaire secret formula".... by the end the author encourage you to buy a coaching video course or something similar.
Jeff Walker is a master at that.
 

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