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INTRO I am stuck!

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TriathlonDreamer

New Contributor
Feb 18, 2020
4
5
11
Hello entrepreneurs,
Please help me. I am stuck and am looking for recommendations on how to progress.

Since I red ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’, I have put together a 5 years plan to move from a 9-5 job nicely remunerated, to a life as an entrepreneur. I am doing this because I have the dream to retire at 55 y/o as a millionaire and open a bilingual elementary school in Paris. I love children , this is not a well remunerated occupation, so I want to become a millionaire that owns one as a passion.

I’m 49, I have a family with 2 children and a mortgage, so I have planned a gradual transition based on two revenue streams.

First, real estate investments that will bring a rent that covers our basic monthly expenses. I am half way there, I have purchased a property that I will transform in a co-living. The renovation is ongoing, in 4 months it will open and will generate a revenue stream that covers 40% of our monthly expenses. By replicating this once or twice in the next couple of years I will have replaced my monthly base salary (bonuses excluded).

Second, launching an eCommerce company to become millionaire. Before I dive into the deadlock that is blocking me, consider that I have been practicing the 5am morning routine (Robin Sharma’s 5am Club) for the past 9 month pretty consistently. This means that every day I dedicate 2 to 3 hours in the morning to personal growth and to my start up. So far the amount of time that I have put into conceiving my startup is 200 – 300 hours. The problem is that I have changed my mind at least twice about the business model.
I first started with a focus on Amazon FBA, with the goal to sell in the UK and France (maybe expanding to all European countries in a second phase). The amount of education I have done in the past months on the topic is ridiculous. Now I know how to search for new products, source them from China (I have received already 2 prototypes from suppliers found in Alibaba, etc), using Jungle Scout to speed up how to find niches, etc. However here are the blocking points:
  • Most of the education I follow online suggests to start with easy by picking easy products that have a high demand (oven gloves, brushes for pets, bamboo sticks, accessories for air conditioning, etc). However, while these products allow a seller of FBA coaching to show the first revenues to his clients, they don’t really correspond to my idea of building a 10 million revenue company that generates value for clients.
  • The good old days of FBA magic margins are gone. Today if you find a solid product, you should be happy with a 100% ROI, which means that to earn a $ 1M profit you have to anticipate expenses (buying in advance the products) for $ 1M. I don’t think I can earn a $ 1M profit a month by focusing on such returns (happy to be challenged here if I am wrong)
  • Given the above, I have considered to start small and reinvest profits for growth. However the real estate project I have started requires a significant budget for renovation, and I cannot risk to deviate funds from that until it is generating revenue.
I have parked for the moment the Amazon FBA idea and have then turned my attention to drop shipping as a strategy to startup the website at zero costs (or very little). I have understood the problems with using Oberlo or AliExpress to source from China products for European clients. So I have decided to search for selected suppliers, ideally located in Italy and France, so that shipment and returns with European clients will be managed more easily. Since I start from scratch, good suppliers will not consider me until we give a proof of being a solid partner, so I have built a demo site with Shopify. At the moment I am going through the process of contacting suppliers to start listing real products, but am realizing that (as may gurus say on YouTube, and unfortunately I have not listened to them), margins are very thin (less than 10% , before subtracting losses from product returns). Drop shipping is so crowded today, it is not the opportunity it was 5 years ago. So again, a new blocker. I may pursue for few months the drop shipping idea to learn (I have learned tremendously just working one month to set up a demo site with 50 fake products). However, due to the thin margins (please challenge me here) this is not a model that allows to build a company that I will sell for 5 or 10 million in 5 years.

So, back at square one. If Amazon FBA is a no, ad Drop shipping is a no neither, then I have considered to launch a product. I have read tons of books (including DeMarco’s) that suggest to search for a “problem to solve for a consumer”. If I can detect a daily life problem that I can solve with a product that will bring added value to a client, then bingo. This is a riskier business to start up (product development, owing the whole supply chain, etc), but it is much more exiting that selling phone covers in Amazon or pet brushes in drop shipping.

I would love to say that this is the course of action that I have chosen. But it is extremely hard to find a product to launch. I understand there are two ways. Either you look at your passions and find a problem in a domain you master, or you look at daily life and consider all the times we complain for something (here is a consumer problem that waits for your solution). But I have not found my firs product yet…

Apologies for the rumbling, but now you know where I am stuck. I would love to receive advises (and even criticisms to understand where my tough process is flawed). I am sure that exchanging with like-minded people I may find the response.

Thank you in advance.
Max
 

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sparechange

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 11, 2016
2,051
2,905
685
Canada (Vancouver)
Hello entrepreneurs,
Please help me. I am stuck and am looking for recommendations on how to progress.

Since I red ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’, I have put together a 5 years plan to move from a 9-5 job nicely remunerated, to a life as an entrepreneur. I am doing this because I have the dream to retire at 55 y/o as a millionaire and open a bilingual elementary school in Paris. I love children , this is not a well remunerated occupation, so I want to become a millionaire that owns one as a passion.

I’m 49, I have a family with 2 children and a mortgage, so I have planned a gradual transition based on two revenue streams.

First, real estate investments that will bring a rent that covers our basic monthly expenses. I am half way there, I have purchased a property that I will transform in a co-living. The renovation is ongoing, in 4 months it will open and will generate a revenue stream that covers 40% of our monthly expenses. By replicating this once or twice in the next couple of years I will have replaced my monthly base salary (bonuses excluded).

Second, launching an eCommerce company to become millionaire. Before I dive into the deadlock that is blocking me, consider that I have been practicing the 5am morning routine (Robin Sharma’s 5am Club) for the past 9 month pretty consistently. This means that every day I dedicate 2 to 3 hours in the morning to personal growth and to my start up. So far the amount of time that I have put into conceiving my startup is 200 – 300 hours. The problem is that I have changed my mind at least twice about the business model.
I first started with a focus on Amazon FBA, with the goal to sell in the UK and France (maybe expanding to all European countries in a second phase). The amount of education I have done in the past months on the topic is ridiculous. Now I know how to search for new products, source them from China (I have received already 2 prototypes from suppliers found in Alibaba, etc), using Jungle Scout to speed up how to find niches, etc. However here are the blocking points:
  • Most of the education I follow online suggests to start with easy by picking easy products that have a high demand (oven gloves, brushes for pets, bamboo sticks, accessories for air conditioning, etc). However, while these products allow a seller of FBA coaching to show the first revenues to his clients, they don’t really correspond to my idea of building a 10 million revenue company that generates value for clients.
  • The good old days of FBA magic margins are gone. Today if you find a solid product, you should be happy with a 100% ROI, which means that to earn a $ 1M profit you have to anticipate expenses (buying in advance the products) for $ 1M. I don’t think I can earn a $ 1M profit a month by focusing on such returns (happy to be challenged here if I am wrong)
  • Given the above, I have considered to start small and reinvest profits for growth. However the real estate project I have started requires a significant budget for renovation, and I cannot risk to deviate funds from that until it is generating revenue.
I have parked for the moment the Amazon FBA idea and have then turned my attention to drop shipping as a strategy to startup the website at zero costs (or very little). I have understood the problems with using Oberlo or AliExpress to source from China products for European clients. So I have decided to search for selected suppliers, ideally located in Italy and France, so that shipment and returns with European clients will be managed more easily. Since I start from scratch, good suppliers will not consider me until we give a proof of being a solid partner, so I have built a demo site with Shopify. At the moment I am going through the process of contacting suppliers to start listing real products, but am realizing that (as may gurus say on YouTube, and unfortunately I have not listened to them), margins are very thin (less than 10% , before subtracting losses from product returns). Drop shipping is so crowded today, it is not the opportunity it was 5 years ago. So again, a new blocker. I may pursue for few months the drop shipping idea to learn (I have learned tremendously just working one month to set up a demo site with 50 fake products). However, due to the thin margins (please challenge me here) this is not a model that allows to build a company that I will sell for 5 or 10 million in 5 years.

So, back at square one. If Amazon FBA is a no, ad Drop shipping is a no neither, then I have considered to launch a product. I have read tons of books (including DeMarco’s) that suggest to search for a “problem to solve for a consumer”. If I can detect a daily life problem that I can solve with a product that will bring added value to a client, then bingo. This is a riskier business to start up (product development, owing the whole supply chain, etc), but it is much more exiting that selling phone covers in Amazon or pet brushes in drop shipping.

I would love to say that this is the course of action that I have chosen. But it is extremely hard to find a product to launch. I understand there are two ways. Either you look at your passions and find a problem in a domain you master, or you look at daily life and consider all the times we complain for something (here is a consumer problem that waits for your solution). But I have not found my firs product yet…

Apologies for the rumbling, but now you know where I am stuck. I would love to receive advises (and even criticisms to understand where my tough process is flawed). I am sure that exchanging with like-minded people I may find the response.

Thank you in advance.
Max
Making your own product would be your best bet, check our Lori Greniers book invent it sell it bank, great read.

What do people need or want in your area? Cycling is extremely popular in Vancouver i.e, so that could mean there is a market for bicycle locks, phone clips for handlebars, helmets etc. Think about what is popular in your area and try to fill that niche.

You could take almost any product out there and skew its value somehow, and people will buy it if you properly demonstrate the value of it. Also, alot of the courses online are smoke and mirrors, there is a sucessfull person on the forum that mentioned studying the typical online courses saying he does the opposite of what the ''gurus'' say.

Goodluck!
 
OP
OP
TriathlonDreamer

TriathlonDreamer

New Contributor
Feb 18, 2020
4
5
11
Making your own product would be your best bet, check our Lori Greniers book invent it sell it bank, great read.

What do people need or want in your area? Cycling is extremely popular in Vancouver i.e, so that could mean there is a market for bicycle locks, phone clips for handlebars, helmets etc. Think about what is popular in your area and try to fill that niche.

You could take almost any product out there and skew its value somehow, and people will buy it if you properly demonstrate the value of it. Also, alot of the courses online are smoke and mirrors, there is a sucessfull person on the forum that mentioned studying the typical online courses saying he does the opposite of what the ''gurus'' say.

Goodluck!
thank you sparechange, really appreciated! I'll read Lori Greniers's book.
BTW, I am triathlon fan and in my area it is fast growing, so your cycling example is an interesting to follow.
 
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