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NOTABLE! I try, I fail, I try again. Recurring pattern going on 10 years

peacemaker

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I want success. Success to me is financial freedom. Freedom to pick and choose when I work on my business and when I enjoy time with my friends and family and hobbies.

Some people would say I am successful. In my (slowlane) career I have reached the top of the ladder, to the point where many companies and startups want me to join them as an employee. A C-level employee but an employee nonetheless.

In my business endevours I am a failure. Sure, I built up a few things of moderate success, from a couple hundred a month to a couple grand a month but nothing more. I think I'm up to my 6th or 7th business over the last 10 years now and success seems as far away as all the other attempts. I've followed the advice, my businesses meet needs, scale, entry, time and control requirements. I give them all 100% focus and time and don't give up easily, yet still they fail.

Where do I go from here? When I'm feeling negative I think perhaps business is not for me, but those thoughts are fleeting. I know I have learned so much from my previous businesses that each new business gets a step close to success. That experience combined with my technical background I should be able to make anything successful.

I've tried many things to break the pattern. I've worked across industries and media. Bricks-and-mortar businesses to online and mail order. I've traveled the world and spent time at meetups and business groups. I've worked extremely difficult jobs and very boring ones too. I've lived in business hub cities across the world and out in the remote countryside too.

What am I missing?
 

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maverick

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Two things strike out reading your post:

1- You have chosen to be victim: "I am a victim", "I'm feeling negative". You are responsible for how you respond to life. You made choices and now there are consequences. Take control of your emotions or quit complaining and let life beat your around the bush and back.

Stephen R. Covey said this best: We control our actions, but the consequences that flow from those actions are controlled by principles.

2- You lack focus. You've been jumping from one project in another without seeing it through from beginning-to-end. I understand, new shiny objects are.. shiny! The old bandwagon effect is in play again.

Man up, grow some balls, focus on 1 project, see it through to the end and take the experiences as learnings. Stop viewing yourself as a failure as nobody wants to hear that.
 
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peacemaker

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Two things strike out reading your post:

1- You have chosen to be victim: "I am a victim", "I'm feeling negative". You are responsible for how you respond to life. You made choices and now there are consequences. Take control of your emotions or quit complaining and let life beat your around the bush and back.

Stephen R. Covey said this best: We control our actions, but the consequences that flow from those actions are controlled by principles.

2- You lack focus. You've been jumping from one project in another without seeing it through from beginning-to-end. I understand, new shiny objects are.. shiny! The old bandwagon effect is in play again.

Man up, grow some balls, focus on 1 project, see it through to the end and take the experiences as learnings. Stop viewing yourself as a failure as nobody wants to hear that.

Hey, thanks for the feedback.

I'm aware of how it sounds but honestly, I don't believe I am a victim at all. I believe that I am missing some essential piece of experience or information that will take me to the next level. I know the only person who can fix it is me and to be honest, writing this post was kind of a way of getting it off my chest a bit.

As for the focus issue again, I know how important focus is and in every business I have started I have been 100% focused and commited to that one business. Until the point I realize there is no chance of success with it. I have always followed the rule of "if you are going to fail, fail fast" as I believe this is a good way to avoid wasting years with something never able to give you what you want.
 

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As I said, I've never quit yet. But I'd hate to still be trying to do this stuff when I'm 70 years old with no money because of the constant stream of unsuccessful businesses.
I never accused you of quitting. It was just a reminder.

I could list dozens and dozens of my personal and business failures.

But I never stopped pushing ahead. I respect people like you who have a well paying job and venture into entrepreneurship. I personally have never had a "real" job and none since I was 19.

It takes guts. But the problem is that when you have a well paying job you have a safety net. You never need to fully commit to entrepreneurship because you know rent is paid and food is in the fridge.

It can make you complacent and less committed to actually fulfilling a distant dream.

I have never had a secure income. Ever. I'm 42.

And that has always kept me hungry and driving forward.

Maybe your job is in fact your anchor. Just a thought.

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I want success. Success to me is financial freedom. Freedom to pick and choose when I work on my business and when I enjoy time with my friends and family and hobbies.

Some people would say I am successful. In my (slowlane) career I have reached the top of the ladder, to the point where many companies and startups want me to join them as an employee. A C-level employee but an employee nonetheless.

In my business endevours I am a failure. Sure, I built up a few things of moderate success, from a couple hundred a month to a couple grand a month but nothing more. I think I'm up to my 6th or 7th business over the last 10 years now and success seems as far away as all the other attempts. I've followed the advice, my businesses meet needs, scale, entry, time and control requirements. I give them all 100% focus and time and don't give up easily, yet still they fail.

Where do I go from here? When I'm feeling negative I think perhaps business is not for me, but those thoughts are fleeting. I know I have learned so much from my previous businesses that each new business gets a step close to success. That experience combined with my technical background I should be able to make anything successful.

I've tried many things to break the pattern. I've worked across industries and media. Bricks-and-mortar businesses to online and mail order. I've traveled the world and spent time at meetups and business groups. I've worked extremely difficult jobs and very boring ones too. I've lived in business hub cities across the world and out in the remote countryside too.

What am I missing?
You try, you fail, but do you learn?

Are you repeating the same mistakes in different disguises (read: different businesses, different industries etc)?

It's hard to advise where you may be going wrong when we don't know what the journey has looked like, what the businesses are etc.

You've climbed the ladder, gained technical knowledge, do you need to be building a business closer to your core rather than in various industries etc?

How long have you stuck out a business etc, 6 to 7 over 10 years could indicate a year or less in many of them. Have you tried to grow them rather than abandoning them when they don't grow organically?

You say the businesses fail but also that they make a couple of grand a month. What does failure look like to you? Are they *actually* failing, or are you folding them before they flourish? Are you writing them off as a failure for not fast-tracking your ambitions?

Questions, not necesarily criticisms..
 

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As I said, I've never quit yet. But I'd hate to still be trying to do this stuff when I'm 70 years old with no money because of the constant stream of unsuccessful businesses.
How much time do you spend with people who are at where you want to be? Or people at least trying similar things alongside you?

Trying to be successful in a bubble is difficult - I know because I've spent huge swaths of time slogging it out in the trenches alone. Anytime I stick my head up and connect with others though I get a HUGE boost of not only motivation but also ideas, inspiration, a push to step outside my norm, and a look into the habits and efforts of others.

Usually it shines a pretty good light on why what I've been doing hasn't been working.
 
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peacemaker

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Maybe your job is in fact your anchor. Just a thought.
My wife has said exactly the same thing. You're right of course, but I'm not sure how exactly to change that now? Unless I go out in a blaze of glory and burn all my bridges! :) But in all seriousness, I hear you and probably should put more thought into the effect of being anchored to this safety net.

Thank you.
 

JAJT

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Unless I go out in a blaze of glory and burn all my bridges!
Why couldn't you go back to work if your back was against the wall if everything fell apart?

You don't have to burn bridges - there's always going back if you NEED to.
 
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peacemaker

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You try, you fail, but do you learn?

Are you repeating the same mistakes in different disguises (read: different businesses, different industries etc)?

It's hard to advise where you may be going wrong when we don't know what the journey has looked like, what the businesses are etc.

You've climbed the ladder, gained technical knowledge, do you need to be building a business closer to your core rather than in various industries etc?

How long have you stuck out a business etc, 6 to 7 over 10 years could indicate a year or less in many of them. Have you tried to grow them rather than abandoning them when they don't grow organically?

You say the businesses fail but also that they make a couple of grand a month. What does failure look like to you? Are they *actually* failing, or are you folding them before they flourish? Are you writing them off as a failure for not fast-tracking your ambitions?

Questions, not necesarily criticisms..
I spend time thinking about these things a lot actually. Recently a lot too as I have decided to take the next couple of months for some serious introspection and decide on next steps, preferably business related.

I believe I learn new things and don't repeat mistakes but it is difficult to judge yourself, right? :) I know that I have become much stronger at evaluating new business opportunities now I've had a lot of experience with various kinds. People actually come to me for business advice and tend to do well using it. Somehow I'm failing to translate this knowledge to my own success.

You're right a couple of the businesses didn't last long at all. One was a partnership with a friend I realized early on that could ruin our friendship so stopped it (lesson learned!) and another was a coffee shop I actually rushed into the location and found the footfall lacking to the point I was earning less than minimum wage for a 80hr work week. Again, valuable lessons learned on trading time for money and evaluating the business properly. Nowadays I don't make those kinds of mistakes anymore.

The couple of grand business was my biggest success and in hindsight maybe I could have stuck with it to fix the things that took up my time so much. In the end I sold it and the proceeds have enabled me to be more picky about what I do next so there was some good from it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, really useful.
 

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peacemaker

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How much time do you spend with people who are at where you want to be? Or people at least trying similar things alongside you?

Trying to be successful in a bubble is difficult - I know because I've spent huge swaths of time slogging it out in the trenches alone. Anytime I stick my head up and connect with others though I get a HUGE boost of not only motivation but also ideas, inspiration, a push to step outside my norm, and a look into the habits and efforts of others.

Usually it shines a pretty good light on why what I've been doing hasn't been working.
I have several good friends that are running their own businesses and I keep in touch regularly. I have a close friend who I see weekly who is a multi-millionaire from his own business sale. I am also friends with several very wealthy guys who invest in tech startups who I met through my career.

I know exactly what you mean, being with people who have the success you want does give you motivation and understanding that these things are totally possible. These guys are just normal people and often they don't have any special skills, just the motivation and determination to go out and build something for themselves. I'm just like them and have never been afraid of taking risks and starting a business. The only difference is none of my businesses have taken off the way I want them too yet.
 
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peacemaker

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Why couldn't you go back to work if your back was against the wall if everything fell apart?

You don't have to burn bridges - there's always going back if you NEED to.
That has always been my attitude but I think what the above poster meant was that because I have that possiblilty, I will never truly give my all to a business because I never have to worry about it failing and me being homeless etc.

Perhaps it is too easy to rely on always having that safety net... not sure.
 

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Perhaps it is too easy to rely on always having that safety net... not sure.
Anyone with confidence and ability has a safety net, employment or not.

I'm 99% sure that @GlobalWealth KNOWS that if he lost every dime to his name he could build it back through his own efforts. His safety net is his confidence in his own abilities.

The only people who have no safety nets are the folks with no personal marketable skills and choose to go "all in" in a large way. If you go from flipping burgers to selling your house to start a restaurant - there's no safety net there. If you burn all your bridges, piss off all your friends and family and co-workers, and do something foolish that gives you no way back - there's no safety net there. You've put it all on black and if you lose you are coming out of the other side of that spin in tears. Those kinds of things can take 10-20 years to build back from if you have nothing else going on because you have to basically start life over again.

Most talented folks have safety nets. Either they can go back to decent paying traditional employment or they can freelance or shoestring their next business or whatever.

Consider it a positive that no matter what you do, and how hard you fail - you can recover. Some folks believe that having no way back is the key to success but personally I find I take more risks and chances knowing I'm not shooting myself in the foot. Maybe I'd do better with a financial bullet to the back of my head saying "make it work or you're dead" but personally I'm much happier trying 10 times in relative safety knowing I can try 10 more times if needed than putting it all on black and having 1 chance to make it work "or else".
 

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I've followed the advice, my businesses meet needs, scale, entry, time and control requirements.
For real? Very few actually hit all 5, especially at first.

When I'm feeling negative I think perhaps business is not for me, but those thoughts are fleeting.
Maybe it isn't.

If it was, you'd be "all in"...but it doesn't seem like you are.

Safety nets and all that, don't be stupid for sure, but are you really "all in"???

You're right a couple of the businesses didn't last long at all. One was a partnership with a friend I realized early on that could ruin our friendship so stopped it (lesson learned!) and another was a coffee shop I actually rushed into the location and found the footfall lacking to the point I was earning less than minimum wage for a 80hr work week. Again, valuable lessons learned on trading time for money and evaluating the business properly.
These don't meet the time, scale, or control points. See my point above.

That has always been my attitude but I think what the above poster meant was that because I have that possiblilty, I will never truly give my all to a business because I never have to worry about it failing and me being homeless etc.

Perhaps it is too easy to rely on always having that safety net... not sure.
Another safety net, that is hugely detrimental and often overlooked, is the fact that you have a boss at work. (boss being actual human boss, or the process itself)

Big difference between executing an already in place process and system, and building those processes and systems YOURSELF.

Your story reminds me of mine. Excellent executor, but lacking the system and process building skill. With myself, that means I ended up chasing money instead of building systems that naturally bring in money. Since discovering TMF, this forum, and the advice/attitudes of those in this forum, I am pivoting to building systems and processes, not chasing money.

I suspect your coffee shop and business with your friend/biz partner are examples of chasing money.

Not trying to be harsh with you here haha.

Welcome to the forum.
 
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peacemaker

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For real? Very few actually hit all 5, especially at first.

Maybe it isn't.

If it was, you'd be "all in"...but it doesn't seem like you are.

Safety nets and all that, don't be stupid for sure, but are you really "all in"???

These don't meet the time, scale, or control points. See my point above.

Another safety net, that is hugely detrimental and often overlooked, is the fact that you have a boss at work. (boss being actual human boss, or the process itself)

Big difference between executing an already in place process and system, and building those processes and systems YOURSELF.

Your story reminds me of mine. Excellent executor, but lacking the system and process building skill. With myself, that means I ended up chasing money instead of building systems that naturally bring in money. Since discovering TMF, this forum, and the advice/attitudes of those in this forum, I am pivoting to building systems and processes, not chasing money.

I suspect your coffee shop and business with your friend/biz partner are examples of chasing money.

Not trying to be harsh with you here haha.

Welcome to the forum.

Thanks for your thoughts.

The coffee shop was before I read TMF, as were a couple of the other businesses. The partnership was actually a web business that did meet all the requirements except Control I suppose as I was 50/50 partner. I get what you're saying though but yes, I tend to have pages and page of business ideas and am always adding to the list. Then when I have a little free time I narrow the rough list down to those ideas that meet NESCT and then I narrow it down again to those that I have an interest, passion or skills in. I have no lack of ideas, I guess it's the execution that is lacking.

I hear what you're saying about going "all in". I find myself questioning how far to throw myself into businesses sometimes because you don't want to go into something that might not be what you want. At the same time, you don't want to get stuck in "analysis paralysis" constantly evaluating the business because that can get you stuck as well. It's a hard balance I think.

Perhaps I am chasing money as you suggest because when I think about ultimate goals I think of having freedom and control over my life, and this leads to the obvious conclusion that money is what gives you those things. But what is the alternative? Instead of chasing money you're building something you're passionate about and that has it's own problems. Not least of which it is usually very difficult to make a passion profitable and you risk burning out that passion when it needs to pay the bills too.
 

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Perhaps I am chasing money as you suggest because when I think about ultimate goals I think of having freedom and control over my life, and this leads to the obvious conclusion that money is what gives you those things. But what is the alternative? Instead of chasing money you're building something you're passionate about and that has it's own problems. Not least of which it is usually very difficult to make a passion profitable and you risk burning out that passion when it needs to pay the bills too.
You're looking at passion the wrong way.

We don't build things we are passionate about.

Our passion is building things that solve problems.

The difference:

"I like bicycles. I'm gonna start a bike shop."

"The current way companies distribute automobile tires to mechanics can be done differently. If I distribute tires this new way I can make things easier for my clients... and I'll make a bunch of money."
 

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I tend to have pages and page of business ideas and am always adding to the list. Then when I have a little free time I narrow the rough list down to those ideas that meet NESCT and then I narrow it down again to those that I have an interest, passion or skills in. I have no lack of ideas, I guess it's the execution that is lacking.
When I got married, I had to dump all of my girlfriends and commit.

I didn't do the same with business.

And I'm paying for it for sure.

Know what I'm sayin'?

I have "shiny object syndrome" worse than a dog chasing a squirrel.

Idea's are worth zip, zero, nada. Trust me, I have tons of them.

Pick one and commit.
 

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What are you actually expecting?

If you're making a C suite employee level income minus all the problems that come from running a business I'd just try to figure out what you're wanting to create and base it in reality.

There's very few businesses that grow to the point where you make $150/yr after even 2-5 years. You need to figure out what your reality looks like and where to best position yourself with where you currently are in life. If I was making that kind of income I'd build a real estate business because I could buy quite a few income properties. I probably wouldnt start an e-commerce store right off that bat because the time involvement and attention it needs when starting wouldnt pan out not to mention the skills you need to develop at first.

Just my 2cents
 

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Your story is similar to mine: A slow-lane success that can't stand working for someone else any longer. Although I've worked on side projects for probably over 10 years, I think it really hit me about 5 years ago that I really cannot do the slowlane thing anymore. That's when I started feeling the sense of urgency, so I really started getting serious about building a business.

The important thing is learning from each failure. I look back at the projects I used to start and I laugh at how ignorant I was to think they would work. I've learned so much from the failures that each new project is better than the previous.

So, don't give up. As long as you keep learning, you're not a failure.
 
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peacemaker

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What are you actually expecting?

If you're making a C suite employee level income minus all the problems that come from running a business I'd just try to figure out what you're wanting to create and base it in reality.

There's very few businesses that grow to the point where you make $150/yr after even 2-5 years. You need to figure out what your reality looks like and where to best position yourself with where you currently are in life. If I was making that kind of income I'd build a real estate business because I could buy quite a few income properties. I probably wouldnt start an e-commerce store right off that bat because the time involvement and attention it needs when starting wouldnt pan out not to mention the skills you need to develop at first.

Just my 2cents
I hear what you're saying and it's part of my problem. It sounds like such a "first world problem" but I simply can't keep going back to the jobs, even if they are well paid C-level jobs. I know a smart thing to do is hunker down, get the best position I can and earn loads of money to invest in business and real estate and believe me, I have tried this approach. In fact, this is how I tend to afford my various business opportunities. But there are only so many times you can go around that same process and not succeed before you have to be honest and figure out what is wrong.

As for your question to what I'm expecting.... well, I'm expecting that with my skills and experience I should be able to build a solid business that at first can at least replace my salary and has the potential to grow to make me financially independent. I've built a bunch of them but I'm not there yet. I still truly believe I will get there. I wonder though if I'm going about it the best way.
 

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peacemaker

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Your story is similar to mine: A slow-lane success that can't stand working for someone else any longer. Although I've worked on side projects for probably over 10 years, I think it really hit me about 5 years ago that I really cannot do the slowlane thing anymore. That's when I started feeling the sense of urgency, so I really started getting serious about building a business.

The important thing is learning from each failure. I look back at the projects I used to start and I laugh at how ignorant I was to think they would work. I've learned so much from the failures that each new project is better than the previous.

So, don't give up. As long as you keep learning, you're not a failure.
Yes exactly, well explained. I just can't do the slowlane job anymore even if it is well paid. It's not what I want out of life. Life is too short to sit counting the hours and wishing I was out doing my own business rather than working for someone else. I actually think this feeling is magnified when working in upper management because you more regularly deal with investors and wealthy CEO's who have already got what you are looking for.
 

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Yes exactly, well explained. I just can't do the slowlane job anymore even if it is well paid. It's not what I want out of life. Life is too short to sit counting the hours and wishing I was out doing my own business rather than working for someone else. I actually think this feeling is magnified when working in upper management because you more regularly deal with investors and wealthy CEO's who have already got what you are looking for.
I can imagine what you mean about being in management. In my case I'm just a software engineer, and decided a long time ago I didn't wanna go into management because I get so much freedom (at least in my current job) just being an engineer. I don't know anyone with the desire to be an entrepreneur so they don't get it. To them, this is the perfect life. Earn six figures, enjoy the weekends, and eventually retire.

Think about why your businesses failed. If it's true that they met all the criteria, then was it your lack of marketing knowledge that was the problem? Is there anything else you need to learn that would help you, that you don't already know?

That's always been my issue. I would spend months working on a project, and once I finished it and tried putting up a few ads, I would get discouraged almost right away, and would drop the project.

Did you give up too soon?

My current project I left for dead after feeling discouraged. I created the website 2 years ago, and gave up on it way too soon. Then I got a few monthly subscribers sprinkled throughout the years. Then I realized that I hadn't given it my all and I would always wonder whether the project could have worked. I decided to create an iPhone app so I wouldn't wonder what would have happened if I had built an app and targeted people on the App Store. I finished the app like a month and a half ago, and it has given new life to this project.

I don't know if I'll be successful with this one, but I currently have 11 monthly subscribers (some are paying annually). My point is that even if it turns out I can't turn this into something big, I'm using it as a way to learn Apple Search Ads, Facebook Ads, Adwords, and Google Analytics.

My other point is that this current project is already the most successful one I've ever created and that alone is something to feel good about. So keep learning. You only have to be right once.

If your projects did meet all the criteria, then as MJ says, did you put your product in front of enough people? That's where I am right now. If I can get 11 subscribers to commit to paying a recurring fee without having put my product in front of enough people (because so far I've sucked at it), then I'm thinking I may be onto something...But I need to get better at promoting it. What do you need to get better at? Where exactly did your projects fail?
 
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Maybe you're bad at sales and marketing?

You mind sharing the ideas that failed and making quick summaries for each one? Including reasons why you think they failed? The more details we have, the easier it will be to pinpoint why you failed, give advice, then you adjust, and hopefully make money.
 
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peacemaker

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Maybe you're bad at sales and marketing?

You mind sharing the ideas that failed and making quick summaries for each one? Including reasons why you think they failed? The more details we have, the easier it will be to pinpoint why you failed, give advice, then you adjust, and hopefully make money.
Yep, I think that's definitely a major problem of mine. I do know a lot about sales and marketing in theory and from working alongside some really amazing sales people but I'm not so good at turning the theory into practice. I understand at first you must do things that don't scale like hitting the streets and meeting customers, cold calling and emailing and so on. I know about SEO and can use PPC and A/B testing to get good results there. I've tried content marketing, drip campaigns, reaching out to influencers. I've sat with customers and implemented what they want right then and there. But still, it all doesn't feel like I know enough. Perhaps it's simply I don't stick with those methods long enough?

It's a lot to list everything out but early on (before TMF and when I was quite naive) I opened a internet cafe and later on a coffee shop. As I learned more I decided to stick closer to my skills and built a couple of dropshipping stores, then eventually a software plugins business which I sold. I built a car parts website, an event booking system, a website for artists to share their work, a football game, a community for gamers. Recently I built another software plugins business but it isn't having the success of the other one. Some of these things I've done around my full time job, others I have quit my job to focus on. I've also tried a few really small things I wouldn't really count as full businesses such as affiliate marketing and building an ad-supported content site for one of my hobbies.

I think lots of failed simply because I was unable to attract enough customers. Maybe others are solving a problem that didnt exist. Or going into areas that the competition was high and much better than what I built.
 
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peacemaker

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I can imagine what you mean about being in management. In my case I'm just a software engineer, and decided a long time ago I didn't wanna go into management because I get so much freedom (at least in my current job) just being an engineer. I don't know anyone with the desire to be an entrepreneur so they don't get it. To them, this is the perfect life. Earn six figures, enjoy the weekends, and eventually retire.

Think about why your businesses failed. If it's true that they met all the criteria, then was it your lack of marketing knowledge that was the problem? Is there anything else you need to learn that would help you, that you don't already know?

That's always been my issue. I would spend months working on a project, and once I finished it and tried putting up a few ads, I would get discouraged almost right away, and would drop the project.

Did you give up too soon?

My current project I left for dead after feeling discouraged. I created the website 2 years ago, and gave up on it way too soon. Then I got a few monthly subscribers sprinkled throughout the years. Then I realized that I hadn't given it my all and I would always wonder whether the project could have worked. I decided to create an iPhone app so I wouldn't wonder what would have happened if I had built an app and targeted people on the App Store. I finished the app like a month and a half ago, and it has given new life to this project.

I don't know if I'll be successful with this one, but I currently have 11 monthly subscribers (some are paying annually). My point is that even if it turns out I can't turn this into something big, I'm using it as a way to learn Apple Search Ads, Facebook Ads, Adwords, and Google Analytics.

My other point is that this current project is already the most successful one I've ever created and that alone is something to feel good about. So keep learning. You only have to be right once.

If your projects did meet all the criteria, then as MJ says, did you put your product in front of enough people? That's where I am right now. If I can get 11 subscribers to commit to paying a recurring fee without having put my product in front of enough people (because so far I've sucked at it), then I'm thinking I may be onto something...But I need to get better at promoting it. What do you need to get better at? Where exactly did your projects fail?
Thanks for sharing your story. I've been a software engineer for a long time before moving into management although I do still write code everyday. So I know exactly what you mean.

"Did you give up too soon?" - Yes, probably. If there is a pattern coming from the replies on this thread I think that might be it. Perhaps the answer is to FOCUS and PERSEVERE.
 

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Thanks for sharing your story. I've been a software engineer for a long time before moving into management although I do still write code everyday. So I know exactly what you mean.

"Did you give up too soon?" - Yes, probably. If there is a pattern coming from the replies on this thread I think that might be it. Perhaps the answer is to FOCUS and PERSEVERE.
This has been tough for me too. You read so much about "fail fast" and at the same time, "persevere." It's tough to know when you're not failing fast enough vs not trying long enough.
 

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I think lots of failed simply because I was unable to attract enough customers. Maybe others are solving a problem that didnt exist. Or going into areas that the competition was high and much better than what I built.
This is your answer. You're not solving a need. If you're headed into "areas [where] the competition was high and much better," then you're not solving a need. The competition already solved the need and you're just money chasing. Stop money chasing and it'll get easier.

Let's run through the businesses you listed:
  • Internet cafe
  • Coffee Shop
  • Drop shipping stores (coupe of them)
  • Software plugins
  • Car parts website
  • Event booking system
  • Website for artists to share
  • Football game
  • Community for gamers
  • Software plugins business again

Here's why you did not (or did) fill a need:
  • No one needs an internet cafe when there's internet at home, on mobile, etc.
  • Coffee shops are everywhere. This is a "me to" business. You're not solving a need but money-chasing.
  • Drop shipping stores used to be profitable. But the past decade or so, the internet made it really easy to import from overseas and stock product. You're competing against individuals that have inventory on hand, at better prices, and higher margins which they can use to crush you via ad buys, etc.
  • Software plugins: sounds like a winner. Can you talk more about this one? What problems were you solving then and why do you think this one was successful?
  • Car parts website: Did you have inventory? Or were you selling others' products with horrible margins? Drop shipping again?
  • No one needs another event booking system. For simple things you have Facebook and Google Calendar. For more important events you have Eventbrite, etc.
  • Website for artists to share: Artists already have a lot of options to share, and they rarely spend money on marketing.
  • Football game? Like Madden or Fifa? Did you really think you were solving a need?
  • Community for gamers: I'm sure there's already a ton of communities out there.
  • Software plugins business again: What's the difference this time from before? What need are you trying to solve? Why are you not getting traction? Start a progress thread and you'll get feedback.
So to summarize why you're not making money: You're not solving a need. Furthermore, I'd bet that this statement is false: "my businesses meet needs, scale, entry, time and control requirements," considering that you don't solve a need.

Start a progress thread for what you're currently doing. You can do it on the Inside if you're scared of someone knocking off your idea. Find out this week if your idea has potential or not from veterans.

You can't polish a turd. You need better ideas that actually solve problems.
 

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