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FAILURE My story (Farming to the Fast Lane)

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kkompoti

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I have a slowlane job , my wife also, well paid. I am married and a father of a girl. Currently waiting for the second girl to be born(wife is 5 and a half months pregnant). At some point at the start of the first pregnancy i realised that nothing ends up in the terms of the financial situation i have right now and the one i will have when my girls will be grown up and going to college. I did the math and found out that with my salary and my wifes i will not have something to show for my kids. For example buy them a house or make some investments for them. I did the math a lot of times. Then it hit me. one of my friends was trying to get me in a mlm pyramid cosmetics company, and he suggested a book to read. I do not want to advertise but it is a book about dads.. So my mindset strarted changing. That was the very first baby step for me. Did not join the pyramid!


Started looking at everything i could get myself into. and then an article in the newspaper was talking about beekeeping. It said that it is the new trend in my country for people who want to live more intepentedly. Started looking at that.Bought books, read them, went online, read every single site about beekeeping, found a coworker that had bees, went with him for some months as a helphand. Learned a lot. Met the people from the local beekeeping club. Talked with A LOT of beekeepers about their job. Started to realise somethings:
1.- Lots of lies from people(maybe because they are affraid of competition)
2.- Not much of initial investment compared to other ag
3.- The cleanest job compared to other ag
4.- The easiest job in terms of time consumption compared to other ag.


Started making my business plan. Businnes plan was a five year estimation till i could hire someone to do want needed to be done from me and i would just go and manage things only for the selling and marketing of my product.
Contacted big wholesale buyers and big packagers before even having one hive.for information into making my plan.very helpful


Then i bought my first 2 beehives. Started taking care of them.People in my job learned that i had bees and were eager for my product.So did other people i know. Long story short... mistakes frrom time of buying to location to almost everything concluded with about 5 kilos of honey. Not so great but Really great! despite the problems i had made something out of nothing.


2year bought another 10 beehives. Mistakes were less .. Really learned the aspect of swarming! (the beekeepers in here will understand) Also did the same mistake with the buying time. Went through with the plan exactly as it was first written.
Then in October 2015 decided to sell my car for 5000 euro, and buy a old used 4x4 for 3200 euro.Plan was a month or two later to buy a trailer for the car.to move the hives.



And now the DRAMA.
End of November 2015 , first visit of my new used car to the hives. One bee finds its way inside the veil and strikes in my neck, at the very end of the visit at my beeyard. Being bitten a lot of times in the past, continued working. THEN. All of my body was covered with some red marks, lots of itching, and other stuff. Called the emergency number.,found the ambulance in the middle of my way home. Went to hospital... Generally Survived.Thank GOD! From that time on things changed a little.
Went to the allergy doctor. Told me after blood exams that i am allergic to bees and that my incident was an anaphylactic shock. After that my pchycology went down and down and down.
And on top of that the cars engine went off about a month after the event and i spent all my money there.


One friend also beekeeper and my mentor helped me a lot with the carrying of the bees till now. Made about 40 kilos of honey. Sold some ,gave some as a present to atract costumers. Should have made around 150 - 200 kilos if things were made right, but struggling between slowlane job, little baby and pregnancy n2, and the above Allergy thing... that was the result.
Everyone i know say i should sell them . I disagree. I had some rough times with my body since the incident. I thought i had heart attacks but as it turned out i had panic attacks. I get a lot of pain in my nerves near the chest area. Checked by a lot of doctors.No problem there. Only my mind is playing games on me due to i am overstressed after the incident and until now.


Trying to find a new way out of the slowlane for a while now. Searching a lot of options. In April i rented a small 1/4 acre plot with a 40 sq.m. warehouse, as the start of my new plan. Egg selling. Again made the numbers.again made the plan. again talked to local groceries store to buy my product. But due to the doctors visits for myself and for the pregnant wife, and due to some unfortunate events, there was a lack of money to be invested in my plan from the family budget. Now i will be paid in August 1 and i will go and buy my first ten chickens. Going slow at first and watching were it goes. Still have a five year plan on this project too. My beehives will be moved to a new location in about a month,10 km close to home, and i made arrangements with a man that is a hobby beekeeper and currently unemployed to be my assistant. Me in the car and he in the yard.


Also all this time i am constantly trying to find ways out of the fastlane. Trying to be educated about things i want to go out for, i found a forum about realestate, bp are the initials, and from there in a discussion i found this forum. I think it is a great forum. The ideas of MJ are basically trying to help people like me understand what you should really been looking for in your life. Did not have any idea i was wasting my life so far,but i am really greatful i found people that are of the same mindset.


I forgot to talk about my wife. She is a wonderful person and she stands by me the whole time. I think she sometimes thinks i am crazy when i talk to her about the mistakes that we did only storing our money in the bank and not investing to nothing. I hope she will also change her mindset after the first euros come in from another source and not from the slowlane job.


Anyway that is my story so far. Currently writing the greater plan on how to become fastlane through ag in my country through multiple ventures and continuous reinvesting. Will explane that with a new post in the days to come in order to get some feedback from you guys.


My point:
Don't quit! Plan everything ahead. And if you find yourself in the bottom of the bucket, just remember there is no other way than up!




p.s. sorry for the metric system
 

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kkompoti

kkompoti

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i am really hoping of getting some feedback on my story.
 

superb

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Hi kkompoti,

Welcome to the fastlane forum. Be patient. Your post was less than 24 hours ago!

You may want to break up your story into paragraphs with a blank line in between. It will make it easier to read and most likely more people will read it. A lot of people will hit the back button if they see a wall of text.

I read your story and I admire your perseverance and tenacity! Keep going!
 
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kkompoti

kkompoti

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i will edit it. thanks a lot!
 

VDon

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i will edit it. thanks a lot!
Hey kkompoti!

Just to encourage you: one of my friends produced 90 tons of honey last year and planted a few acres with raspberries - his plan is to make around 500k per year in the near future.


Sent from my Swagphone with Tapatalk
 
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kkompoti

kkompoti

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Hey kkompoti!

Just to encourage you: one of my friends produced 90 tons of honey last year and planted a few acres with raspberries - his plan is to make around 500k per year in the near future.


Sent from my Swagphone with Tapatalk

thanks!
i am trying to put my self in the fastlane. trying with honey and eggs right now. giving some time until all the fundamentals are right with my business yesterday talked with the store that will supply me with the chickens. a store with good reputation. they will arrive until wednesday. also arranging a beehive transfer for the next week to their last point for this year. i will probably pull some more honey out of them the other month. trying to find the right person to work with is really difficult in greece.

your friend is doing very good. is he working his way to the fastlane or is he working continously with his employees? i mean is he working in the business or on the business? also how many beehives does he own? 90 tons is a really really really big number in beekeeping! say to him congrats from a fellow beekeeper in greece! i am amazed!
 

timmy

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I have a slowlane job , my wife also, well paid. I am married and a father of a girl. Currently waiting for the second girl to be born(wife is 5 and a half months pregnant). At some point at the start of the first pregnancy i realised that nothing ends up in the terms of the financial situation i have right now and the one i will have when my girls will be grown up and going to college. I did the math and found out that with my salary and my wifes i will not have something to show for my kids. For example buy them a house or make some investments for them. I did the math a lot of times. Then it hit me. one of my friends was trying to get me in a mlm pyramid cosmetics company, and he suggested a book to read. I do not want to advertise but it is a book about dads.. So my mindset strarted changing. That was the very first baby step for me. Did not join the pyramid!


Started looking at everything i could get myself into. and then an article in the newspaper was talking about beekeeping. It said that it is the new trend in my country for people who want to live more intepentedly. Started looking at that.Bought books, read them, went online, read every single site about beekeeping, found a coworker that had bees, went with him for some months as a helphand. Learned a lot. Met the people from the local beekeeping club. Talked with A LOT of beekeepers about their job. Started to realise somethings:
1.- Lots of lies from people(maybe because they are affraid of competition)
2.- Not much of initial investment compared to other ag
3.- The cleanest job compared to other ag
4.- The easiest job in terms of time consumption compared to other ag.


Started making my business plan. Businnes plan was a five year estimation till i could hire someone to do want needed to be done from me and i would just go and manage things only for the selling and marketing of my product.
Contacted big wholesale buyers and big packagers before even having one hive.for information into making my plan.very helpful


Then i bought my first 2 beehives. Started taking care of them.People in my job learned that i had bees and were eager for my product.So did other people i know. Long story short... mistakes frrom time of buying to location to almost everything concluded with about 5 kilos of honey. Not so great but Really great! despite the problems i had made something out of nothing.


2year bought another 10 beehives. Mistakes were less .. Really learned the aspect of swarming! (the beekeepers in here will understand) Also did the same mistake with the buying time. Went through with the plan exactly as it was first written.
Then in October 2015 decided to sell my car for 5000 euro, and buy a old used 4x4 for 3200 euro.Plan was a month or two later to buy a trailer for the car.to move the hives.



And now the DRAMA.
End of November 2015 , first visit of my new used car to the hives. One bee finds its way inside the veil and strikes in my neck, at the very end of the visit at my beeyard. Being bitten a lot of times in the past, continued working. THEN. All of my body was covered with some red marks, lots of itching, and other stuff. Called the emergency number.,found the ambulance in the middle of my way home. Went to hospital... Generally Survived.Thank GOD! From that time on things changed a little.
Went to the allergy doctor. Told me after blood exams that i am allergic to bees and that my incident was an anaphylactic shock. After that my pchycology went down and down and down.
And on top of that the cars engine went off about a month after the event and i spent all my money there.


One friend also beekeeper and my mentor helped me a lot with the carrying of the bees till now. Made about 40 kilos of honey. Sold some ,gave some as a present to atract costumers. Should have made around 150 - 200 kilos if things were made right, but struggling between slowlane job, little baby and pregnancy n2, and the above Allergy thing... that was the result.
Everyone i know say i should sell them . I disagree. I had some rough times with my body since the incident. I thought i had heart attacks but as it turned out i had panic attacks. I get a lot of pain in my nerves near the chest area. Checked by a lot of doctors.No problem there. Only my mind is playing games on me due to i am overstressed after the incident and until now.


Trying to find a new way out of the slowlane for a while now. Searching a lot of options. In April i rented a small 1/4 acre plot with a 40 sq.m. warehouse, as the start of my new plan. Egg selling. Again made the numbers.again made the plan. again talked to local groceries store to buy my product. But due to the doctors visits for myself and for the pregnant wife, and due to some unfortunate events, there was a lack of money to be invested in my plan from the family budget. Now i will be paid in August 1 and i will go and buy my first ten chickens. Going slow at first and watching were it goes. Still have a five year plan on this project too. My beehives will be moved to a new location in about a month,10 km close to home, and i made arrangements with a man that is a hobby beekeeper and currently unemployed to be my assistant. Me in the car and he in the yard.


Also all
Oops !!!!!!sorry
 
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VDon

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your friend is doing very good. is he working his way to the fastlane or is he working continously with his employees? i mean is he working in the business or on the business? also how many beehives does he own? 90 tons is a really really really big number in beekeeping! say to him congrats from a fellow beekeeper in greece! i am amazed!
The "agricultural" business is just a second leg he is trying to develop. His main income comes from his construction company. All in all he probably has more than 100 employees, but he started from the bottom - no education, no money.

Next year we might start a property development company. He is always busy trying to find new ways to make money.


Sent from my Swagphone with Tapatalk
 

timmy

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Hi Pal

What a lovely heartwarming story. There might be a movie in that yet.......Well done


Provide first for your family. It's so so easy to get distracted with STUFF. Bees and Chicken eggs will not provide a passive income and so therefore are short term solutions to short term problems. Thats fine really...

IMO..........

Stay focuses on 1 project at a time and build it out until you have something that can be sold on/create a small passive income from. Rince & Repeat.


In the meantime find a product /service that people will spend their hard earned cash on. Make sure it is has scalability. You are a sales man . We all are these days. Focus your studies on marketing /salesmanship.

My Dad was a hobby beekeeper who never wore a bee suit or veil. As a deeply spiritual man he felt he would be more likely to irritate / kill bees by accident using heavy uncomfortable clothing/ gloves. He did get the odd sting but seemed to suggest that it was perhaps his own fault. As a child he and I often collected renegade swarms in cardboard boxes in the cool chill of the evening and brought them home in the boot . ........I kid you not


Beekeeping is becoming popular again from a propagation viewpoint, as Europe has a low population of bees following years of excessive use of pesticides. EU regulation has finally be introduced. It would be foolish (health wise) for you to continue as a beekeeper. You have gained valuable insight and that will stand to you as you continue on in the management side of the business. That has to be more financially viable option now. Not fastlane but more profitable.

Wishing you luck ....and keep us posted on the new arrival
 
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kkompoti

kkompoti

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I am currently meeting people that will want to work for me in the beekeeping business.
didn't find a good one yet. still looking and probably will find him.
as for the egg selling. i started it immediately after i put my mind in the course again. that is right about now as we speak.
i found the best bred chicken i could find from my area.
i found the place where i will have them stay (away from houses-thieves in a 1/4 acre lot with a structure in it)
i rented the place
i found the right equipment for my situation (feeders waterers etc)
i also went out and talked with 5 different groceries stores owners without even owning one chicken. they all said they will buy my product. (the worst case scenario is that i will eat a lot of omelette!)
and made a lot of calculations and a business plan based on the business plan from here: http://www.farmstart.ca/wp-content/uploads/Business-Plan-Template_CFBMC.pdf
The real worst case scenario is that i will be eating the most expensive chicken soup in the planet for 2-3 years!
the allergy that came as a really big problem made me see things in a blurry way. i did not make the best decision when i rented the place in april. should have waited as i now think of it. also i made the step really quick and should have waited for the beekeeping part to take its path!
now from the next month i hope i will be only executing the egg collecting, feeding and egg selling. that should take about 2 hours total every 2nd day as the worst case scenario. i have a friend that is working in cleaning stables here in my area. he will do the cleaning for a pay.

i believe i am on the way of figuring things out to my advantage! will keep this thread posted of all the new details.
and of course of the new arrival!

p.s. caching swarms can be a lot of fun!
 

Texan

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Have you considered creating a honey brand and purchasing the honey of other beekeepers? You could still raise your own...but create a unique (local, organic, flavored, whatever) brand, obtain your product in larger quantities from various growers (if you can get them to produce the honey the way you want them to) and then sell your branded product online or to local (or preferably) chain grocery stores. That way you get scale and you aren't spending all your time trying to produce the product.

In order words, brand and scale if possible.
 

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kkompoti

kkompoti

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Have you considered creating a honey brand and purchasing the honey of other beekeepers? You could still raise your own...but create a unique (local, organic, flavored, whatever) brand, obtain your product in larger quantities from various growers (if you can get them to produce the honey the way you want them to) and then sell your branded product online or to local (or preferably) chain grocery stores. That way you get scale and you aren't spending all your time trying to produce the product.

In order words, brand and scale if possible.

i believe it is better to put magnitude in the product through a unique production system of it(scale through units price not units sold). having to create a big network of producers and make regulations to their production system and also make quality controls is something rather difficult to do and you have to rely on employees to make the controls. the control commantment applies here i think. having other producers and employees talking with the other producers to guarantee for your product is difficult!(lots of scam to find there!) also i am trying to find the specialty honey i want to sell. have some ideas about branding it. talked with a friend that is a designer.After i finish this process and when my company will have a good reputation then i will scale and as a big distributor. opening the market area abroad. (selling to millions a great specialty product produced with a specific organic way)

also in my country everyone have 70-200 hives only to have a side job.(you cannot buy wholesale honey from them-small amounts - they sell it themselves) very few people scale up to 600-800 (you can buy from them but they already have their systems and are too stuborn to change them) hives. and a handful have about 3000-4000 hives each(they already have contracts with big wholesalers).

it is easy to make an excelent product with people working for you.

the phase i am right now and for some years to come will be reinvesting the profit.

p.s. it is really easy to put sugar in the honey and demands a lot of expensive exams to find it!
 
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kkompoti

kkompoti

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Thanks to whoever changed the title to my thread! i like it a lot!
 

timmy

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i believe it is better to put magnitude in the product through a unique production system of it(scale through units price not units sold). having to create a big network of producers and make regulations to their production system and also make quality controls is something rather difficult to do and you have to rely on employees to make the controls. the control commantment applies here i think. having other producers and employees talking with the other producers to guarantee for your product is difficult!(lots of scam to find there!) also i am trying to find the specialty honey i want to sell. have some ideas about branding it. talked with a friend that is a designer.After i finish this process and when my company will have a good reputation then i will scale and as a big distributor. opening the market area abroad. (selling to millions a great specialty product produced with a specific organic way)

also in my country everyone have 70-200 hives only to have a side job.(you cannot buy wholesale honey from them-small amounts - they sell it themselves) very few people scale up to 600-800 (you can buy from them but they already have their systems and are too stuborn to change them) hives. and a handful have about 3000-4000 hives each(they already have contracts with big wholesalers).

it is easy to make an excelent product with people working for you.

the phase i am right now and for some years to come will be reinvesting the profit.

p.s. it is really easy to put sugar in the honey and demands a lot of expensive exams to find it!
Great post......and you will get there for sure.....The time scale issue is the only uncertainty. Most of us here know nothing about honey production ! However we know that you must create space for the delegation of duties so you can focus on what really matters in your chosen sector..... quality control and sales.......Manuka honey is a prime example of what has to be done.
 

Get Right

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Welcome to the forum! A few insights on your post:

1. Focus will do wonders. Search around the forum if you need some examples.
2. My vet is allergic to cats! Somehow he makes it work though.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes!
 

ZCP

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How many hives do you have? How many chickens?

A dozen eggs goes for about $3.23 US. A pound of honey goes for $10 US.

How do you plan to scale this? What is your advantage over the competition?
 
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kkompoti

kkompoti

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How many hives do you have? How many chickens?

A dozen eggs goes for about $3.23 US. A pound of honey goes for $10 US.

How do you plan to scale this? What is your advantage over the competition?

10 hives going to make them 150 for some years and then turn to 500-600
advantage: specialty honey specific source of nectar
making in a different way than usual
branding and marketing for the needs of a bigger market and sold only as specialty (price goes up)

10 chickens first, 100 then for a couple of years selling only in local groceries store and then 1000-5000 working as an external partner with one of the big egg makers here
or make the feed more organic for example (producing earthworms for feed and maketing that also the price goes way up) and then go and sell it solo under that advantage.

how do you find it?
 

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Not sure why, but I did some GoogleU ...... 1 egg per chicken per day with a day off every 10.... so 10 eggs per chicken per two weeks. 27 pounds of honey per hive per year.

10 chickens x 10 eggs x 26 weeks / 12 = 217 dozen eggs per year x $2 US per dozen = $434 US per year.
10 hives x 27 pounds of honey = 270 pounds of honey per year x even $15 US per pound = $4050 US per year.

Cost of living is 25% less than US. $4050 + $434 = $4484 / .75 = $5979 US per year of buying power. So you need at least 10X (and $2 and $15 seem high!).

Can you handle 100 chickens and 100 hives by yourself?

Guess I am missing something. Sounds like a hobby instead of a business. Are there other parts of this that be added to the mix?

Here in the southern US, farms are extremely large corporations with few staff and a lot of machinery to be able to scale enough to be profitable.
 

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kkompoti

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i don't know the cost of living in the states.the average salary here is 700 euro per month. i make more.
i do this as a sidebusiness and already searcing for human resources. i am not going to handle all of that alone.
beekeeping is not a day to day job for the people i need to hire.

the 100 chickens i will keep them by myself. only cleaning the barn will be outsourced.
in the groceries store they sell them for 0,80 to 1 euro per pair..
the prices i talked about selling eggs to groceries store is 0,25 and 0,3 euro per egg so that is 3 to 3,6 for me per dozen

0,3 per egg x 100 chicken x i will say 180 per year not 217= 5400
end plan roughly explained:
0,4 per egg due to higher price x 1000 chicken x 200 due to better barning conditions = 80000 per year.
minus labour (2 workers with health insurance) - 20400 = 59600euro per year
minus 7600 lets say website - networking and maintanance= 52000per year.
minus feed and water - 18250 = 33750
minus 25% taxes = 27000
today as we speak my familys expenses per year are about 18000 per year. so...fastlane?
and i did not talked about the other venture yet.


farm fresh eggs are in a demand always.

8-12 euro per kilo of honey. if selling to a wholesaler it goes to 3,2 to 4,2 depending on the honey variety.
lets talk in kilos
12 kilos per hive x 150 hives x 8 = 14400
minus 1 part time labor worker plus insurance - 2500 = 11900
minus 1500 in feeding and medicine = 10400
minus 25% taxes = 8320

27000+8320 = 35320 euro
i now make less than that both mine and my wifes salary

and that are the small numbers. i really hope to make it to this point and then scale even more.
i like your math. thank you that you are trying to help me. sorry that it took so long but i did the numbers roughly.
i am not trying to do this as a hobby. i am trying to do this as a sidejob at first and then go full in.
 
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kkompoti

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here in greece there are a lot of old farmers. the young take the sheep from the father and continue the business. they do not get educated in how to work on the business but they are in the business. and that continues fromgeneration to generation.
also in the agriculture a lot of damage was done because of the funds the EU send to people farming. most of them used it to build houses and buy cars and very few to make a business out of agriculture. the last ones work from an office now. the first ones go on to strikes and close roads because they want more money from the EU ag funds!
for example in the big ag newspapers and sites here first is a calendar that says when EU is sending payments and then in the second page is the stock market... articles are about struggles to find more money from the government to the eu and some here and there talk about the example of a new farmer that went into and made it.

the big farms are up to 1000-1500 sheep and have all the family wok together. as i stated in another post of mine, almost everybody here try to find a way in the pubic sector. and take a salary and not have to worry about a job. wannabe enterpreuners are considered something like people ready to commit suicide!
you are crazy they say
you don't know where you get yourself into they say
i say i have nothing to lose if i try but my free time. and they cotinue their talking me out of this.
 
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kkompoti

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Wishing you luck ....and keep us posted on the new arrival
The new baby girl is here!
born at First of November . weight: 3,475 kg , height: 0,51 m .
Everybody is healthy and back to the house. we are trying to see what the 23 months old first daughter is thinking about the new arrival.. first signs are really good!
 

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The new baby girl is here!
born at First of November . weight: 3,475 kg , height: 0,51 m .
Everybody is healthy and back to the house. we are trying to see what the 23 months old first daughter is thinking about the new arrival.. first signs are really good!
Congratulations! Life's biggest blessing :) Enjoy!
 

timmy

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Ireland
The new baby girl is here!
born at First of November . weight: 3,475 kg , height: 0,51 m .
Everybody is healthy and back to the house. we are trying to see what the 23 months old first daughter is thinking about the new arrival.. first signs are really good!
Hey ....Thats the best news I got all day today.......Congrats
 

ZF Lee

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Jul 27, 2016
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Have you considered creating a honey brand and purchasing the honey of other beekeepers? You could still raise your own...but create a unique (local, organic, flavored, whatever) brand, obtain your product in larger quantities from various growers (if you can get them to produce the honey the way you want them to) and then sell your branded product online or to local (or preferably) chain grocery stores. That way you get scale and you aren't spending all your time trying to produce the product.

In order words, brand and scale if possible.
Takes a lot of work, but the profits and fruits of success are pretty staggering compared to even tech startups. Eventually marketing can become more creative, by creating mascots and cartoon characters. Take a look at Hello Kitty, I'm not sure if there's even a structured storyline behind the character and yet its merchandising in the form of cafes and such is overwhelming!
 

Mr. Gray

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You may be interested in the documentary of Burt (the guy from Burt's Bees Wax) how he got started and you'll be surprised how he is living his life now.

Below is the documentary.

 

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