- Jun 11, 2015
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.
Going by the above list:
-Drop shipping stores
-Website for artists
-Community for gamers
I can see a few trends. With the exception for the software businesses they're all low value (read: alternatives exist, not necessary, already done 'easy' businesses), some time consuming, or effort hungry if they're going to go anywhere. You can't often build a community in such a short timespan especially if it's not unique. To establish a community it often takes years not months. Coffee, Internet are almost novelties nowadays.
Sales and marketting in the real world are honed with a myriad of micro successes and failures themselves so its often not enough to just know the theory, it takes time to dial it in.
Define what success looks like to you both short and long term. is growing from zero to a few grand a month a success? I'd say it would be if it shows it can grow even further.
You say you're not good at marketing which is something you can work at - but in the mean time exploit what you are good at - it's not just coincidence that the software business was the one with the most success. Stick at one and continually improve it rather than bailing before you've even penetrated the surface, but take the time to identify whether your proposed business is actually a need or a 'would be nice'.
Sometimes a vision of 'a business that will let me have this sort of lifestyle' instead of 'a business that will succeed - and then I can have this sort of lifestyle' is what keeps you trying to take superficial options rather than grinding out a real niche.
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.