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Knowing when to keep pushing vs knowing when to stop

Zcott

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I ask this with genuine curiosity, not to be negative.





When starting a business, how do you differentiate between when you have a good idea that you need to keep pushing and persevering with, compared to when your idea is stupid?

You drown out the negative talks and surround yourself with positivity and motivation.

'Don't give up!'
'The harder you work for something, the greater you'll feel when you achieve it!'
'Good things come to those who go out and get it!'

You're in the desert, you have no feed back loop, the market isn't buying your idea... but you're convinced it meets CENTS you're like 'I gotta persevere! #hustle'

Being blunt, how do you know when your idea is just plain dumb and you need to drop it?

For example, make successful entrepreneurs say they had multiple failures before their success. How did they / you know when to stop and change course?

I'm hoping for some insightful wisdom and perspective from fastlaners, since they've been there and got the t-shirt.
 

Zcott

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Just a side note to say that this isn't an issue that I'm facing, I'm just genuinely curious and looking to learn.
 

DaDream

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Apr 24, 2019
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I would suggest trying to break down the bigger goal into a smaller more manageable set of tasks/steps in order to achieve it. Also, set a realistic timeframe when you would expect to complete the project. Very likely while trying to complete some of the smaller chunks of tasks you will find obstacles and problems that will need to be addressed. Try to be resourceful and resolve all the problems whichever way possible.

Suppose you are spending a lot of your energy trying to reach your goal. A lot of grinds. Burnout is to follow. If you are halfway into your timeframe and there is not much advancement I would probably step back, reevaluate the situation. Learn from it as much as possible and then try some other way or entirely a new idea. Burnout is the cause of spending so many resources for little or no return in terms of results/expectations. Sometimes failure is good. It teaches so much. The people who learn to grow through failure and don't get depressed when their ideas fail are actually the ones that go on to change the world.

Keep committed and keep trying. @487 where are you?
 

Zcott

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I would suggest trying to break down the bigger goal into a smaller more manageable set of tasks/steps in order to achieve it. Also, set a realistic timeframe when you would expect to complete the project. Very likely while trying to complete some of the smaller chunks of tasks you will find obstacles and problems that will need to be addressed. Try to be resourceful and resolve all the problems whichever way possible.

Suppose you are spending a lot of your energy trying to reach your goal. A lot of grinds. Burnout is to follow. If you are halfway into your timeframe and there is not much advancement I would probably step back, reevaluate the situation. Learn from it as much as possible and then try some other way or entirely a new idea. Burnout is the cause of spending so many resources for little or no return in terms of results/expectations. Sometimes failure is good. It teaches so much. The people who learn to grow through failure and don't get depressed when their ideas fail are actually the ones that go on to change the world.

Keep committed and keep trying. @487 where are you?
I know what you are saying, but in that situation that person could then just read a few quotes and a few YouTube motivation videos and convinced they're an entrepreneur solving problems and ignoring the naysayers.

I guess when you leave a pursuit behind it's more of a mental change from 'I'm gonna make it!' to eventually one of '...this idea is just dumb.'
 

LinorCG

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I think this is where other people opinion's come into play, not only random people, but those who has experience in the field you are treading.

This is where a supportive like-minded community comes in, to provide their feedback, suggestion and opinion. From there, it's up to us to decide.
 

throttleforward

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Unfortunately I think the answer is "it depends." Both the entrepreneur graveyard and the NASDAQ are filled with ideas that "would never work."

For me, each time I stopped it was for a different reason. One I stopped because I realized I knew nothing about ecommerce and was wasting what little money I had. Another I was so successful in my pilot phase that I was threatened with a lawsuit from competitors (I had no money for a lawyer at the time plus my day job required a security clearance). Another I gave it a good 3+ years and had some succeses, but after $50k in debt and a bunch of missed time with my young boy I decided to go back to the 6 figure day job. Another it became illegal for me to continue to operate (fed government laws regarding super PACs and govt contractors). Some of these I would maybe have tried harder at today because I have more financial resources, but I don't regret stopping any of them at the time.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that the average successful self made millionaire started their first successful company in their 40's. That to me indicates, on average, a lot of failure and false starts before achieving success.
 

MTF

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That's precisely the reason why I stopped looking for new breakthrough ideas and/or looking for new markets, new products, etc. Find something that works for your competition and you don't have to worry whether you have a stupid idea.

The best business idea validation there is is operating in an established market with strong demand and competition. Of course, there are benefits of getting into uncharted waters, but IMO, for the purposes of building a Fastlane business, it's just best to find something that's proven to be lucrative (demonstrated by a lot of market demand and established competition) and learn how to do it at least on the same level, and ideally better, than the competition.

If you want to change the world and build a "disruptive" company this advice is probably not useful, but if you want to shorten your desert of desertion and start making money fast, I'd opt for a proven business model in an established big market.

Copy whatever is working for your competition—this will most likely help you become profitable—and then focus on innovation to capture a bigger share of the market. Seems to me like a more sensible approach than being too creative and wondering if there's even a market there (particularly if you're doing something that takes more than a few weeks to develop).

Related to the topic:
No, Your Market Is Not Saturated (Wisdom From a 19th Century Book)
 

Matt Hunt

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May 9, 2019
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I'm kind of in this boat right now with my YouTube channel. It's growing, but slowly, and not exponentially. I'm just about to hit 1,900 subscribers. It's been a year and a half of pretty consistent weekly uploads. I do enjoy it, but I wonder if my time would be better spent on something else.
 

Coff33Add1ct

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Feb 25, 2019
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I'm at the end of the first week into my new venture. I've tried out other ideas before, but none of them were successful. But to be honest, I didn't give my 100% to those other ideas.

My biggest lesson so far from my past failures has been that I can push so much harder. I'm kind of applying the suggestion of @DaDream. I'm breaking down the big goal into smaller steps. In the past I would get desperate so fast, and blame the location, the idea, the market, etc. But now that I have experience I've come to the conclusion that it was me that was wrong.

My new venture is an old idea with a new twist. So I know there's a market for the problem I'm trying to solve. What I'm afraid of, is that potential customers won't like the new twist. So far I have only distributed flyers around. I've gotten zero response so far. But I've put just 1% of my energy into this. My purpose for next week is to approach people on the street and get clients, this way at least I can see their reaction face-to-face when I try to sell them my service. This will provide me with a lot of information about the true potential for this idea.

I think that if you want to know if you should keep pushing, or you should pivot or just stop, you need to find out the answer to these two questions: 1. "Is there a real problem that needs to be solved?" and 2. "Is people willing to spend money to get this problem solved this way?" If the answer is yes to these two questions I say keep pushing.
 

Kevin88660

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I think MFL and MJ’s life story is useful to illustrate.

There must be profit to prove a concept. We are not relying on generous VC for exit.

It can be modified and improved into a bigger business (scalable and fine-tuning).

MJ’s lead generation business was an example.
 

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