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INTRO Previously successful young entrepreneur. Failed hard, I need your advice.

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elusive97

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I love being an entrepreneur. I have ever since I was age 12 and made my first £££ - I made a website using skills I'd taught myself for my uncle. He was impressed and after seeing that first lil bundle of cash and being proud of my work (and seeing it be used for actual business!) I knew my desire to be an entrepreneur would come true.

I turned the hundreds into thousands and, before finishing school, into tens of thousands. I loved creating products people loved, growing audiences, monetising assets, engaging with customers, etc. Almost everything I invested in before I turned 18 turned a profit, from a £1200/mo eBay store (it was an hour's work a day, but for a 16 year old £40 an hour was INCREDIBLE) to a passive £800/mo blog.

At 19 I got into Facebook marketing. I knew if I wanted to make 'real money', money that would provide me stability forever, I had to do something more than what I'd done in school and college. In the 6 months, I grew a 'just for fun' page to 400,000 likes. I made some awful decisions however kept pushing on and invested into monetising the page, and a year later I was making $4k a month from the website (Blog articles) and $2k a month from video (Video ads). In my final month, I also started a dropshipping store which made $4k a month. I almost cried with emotion as I was making $10k a month, way surpassing my goal of £30k/year.

For the first time in my life I felt overwhelmed with happiness/contentedness. I thought 'wow, I can really grow this to be a million dollar business'. I could almost taste the stability I so desired, all the physical things I wanted were almost in my grasp, then disaster struck. My page was scammed by a social media guy who I never even met after he 'invested' in a group I'd started which allowed him to use a loophole/'glitch' (I call it a glitch cause it absolutely should not have happened, but I guess technically it was a loophole, hence why FB were unable to help) to take multiple of my pages, totalling 1.5M+ likes.

After that, I was heavily depressed. I didn't know what to do with myself, and after my family kicked me out (they are catholic and didn't agree with 'life choices') I was in a panic and spent the majority of the money on a house. I understand now a house is a liability, and especially as there was tens of thousands of pounds unexpected work, it's one of my biggest regrets. Regardless, now - despite still not being complete with the renovation - I try look to the positive and appreciate the roof over my head.

I'm 22 now and my side hustle pays the bills and buys me food - just. I am great at saving money and good at investing, however when funds are as tight as they are now I'm only able to save around £50 a month or less. Unexpected costs are killer, a £120 repair on the house lead to 2 months eating less food! Besides the side hustle, I have around £400 in savings, £0 in credit (so borrowing isn't much of an option for me). I've always thought I could turn £2000 into £10k quite easily, but turning £50 into £250 is much harder.

After the theft of my last business, I begun growing a new audience with the goal of doing a similar thing. I knew if I make enough money for two months outgoings I would success. I will probably be in profit the first, but if not DEFINITELY the second month. I've done this multiple times before and I know how Facebook works inside and out. I also know if I don't make the same mistakes last time, I can make what I made last time, and more.

That audience is now at 350k likes, and gets 15M+ monthly reach, 500+ new group members monthly. I know this audience well and there's no reason I can't monetise it with my skillset/experience.

The problem I have is lack of funds. Saving £50 avg a month I'll need to save for literally 2-3 more years to afford the necessities for those vital and lucrative two months of content creation. Upon talking to the audience, analysing their interests, what they buy, what they're into, I came up with a possible way of making money with very little.

This is where I need your advice, as I don't know if this is the right thing to do. Getting a job is not an option. I've screen-printed in the past and knew it's a cheap way to get started making tshirts. I analysed the existing offers in my niche and they are all aimed at a difference target audience (mainly a different age demographic). I know this is something that could grow with the more money I put into it, and could actually be huge. There's a big gap in the market! I have the screen printing setup done, and everything is almost ready to go.

The problem is, I'm not a designer. I have experience with graphic design but I'm in no way an artist or designer. My four designs are good, but not amazing. Truthfully I'd love to hire an artist to create an awesome brand and a few incredible designs, but that's so far from where I'm at. My designs fit the target market's interests, and are on-brand. The quality of the tshirt and the print is good.

I am planning on using organic marketing and one-on-one conversations to make 3 sales a day in my first month. I am not sure how achievable this is, but I should be able to talk to 50-100 people a day and convert 5% easily, right? Even converting 1% would give me 22 sales and even at one item each, I'd have close to £300 profit which gets me away from the 'if I make £100 less this month I'm not paying x bill' line and gives me more than £50 to save or invest!

If I get 1-3 sales a day in month 1, and improve in month 2, I should be able to reach 5 sales a day, at which point I'll have £2000 a month coming in from the store alone and can begin to invest in the other areas and start making real money. I can also make the shop better and increase sales there. 1-3 sales a day isn't crazy with an existing audience of 350,000 yet I still have this mental block as I hate the feeling of being this broke. My self-esteem is so low.

I am good at marketing, but after my previous mistakes and having so little cash, I get so defeatist. I know this can work, and that I'm not crazy, I have years experience and I'm not making any of my old mistakes. But on the other hand maybe I am wrong and this is a terrible idea that won't work, and that's why I'm posting here. Sorry for the thought dump, but I'd really love some words of advice or guidance, particularly at this starting point. I'm not so worried about what to do once I have ££££ monthly rather than £££.
 

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BizyDad

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You know what to do. You just laid out your plan beautifully.

The only thing holding you back is you keep beating yourself up for what happened.

It happened, it'll take time to heal, but don't let that stop you from moving forward on this good plan. Talk to people. Sell some shirts. start feeling better about the direction you're going in. Later when you get some more money you can invest in a designer.

You can do this. I know it, and you know it, and anyone who reads this knows it.

Everybody hits rough patches. You probably feel like you lost everything. So two years from now when you're again laughing about your income, you're going to be in an even much better place than if this had never happened, because you will know that they could take it all from you again and it won't take long for you to get back to the top of the mountain.

And that is powerful.

Now go do it.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Getting a job is not an option.
Why?

It seems like the absolute easiest way for you to get the required capital to hire a designer on Upwork and turn your ideas into reality.

Other options include using your credit cards, but that's a lot riskier and dumber than getting a job considering that you have self-admitted low-self esteem. A failure in that scenario could crush you.

I know this can work, and that I'm not crazy
You're not crazy. We've all been there. But you have to be honest with yourself and make the tough choices. The easiest way to do that is to get a mentor and acquire an outside perspective.
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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I agree getting a job is the best/most reliable way of getting capital. I only have 'excuses' per se.

I've only ever worked for myself which isn't desirable in the UK, I have no experience in a workplace, I don't work well timed. The job market here in the UK is insane and even if I aced an interview I can't see myself performing well in a role; I sucked at school and even the 4 hours I worked in fast food lol.

I have no qualifications past school and no experience besides working for myself, which to many employers is just no experience, and fair enough I'd agree. So realistically in a crowded market I'd be looking at entry level jobs, which I'd also struggle to get as they'd see me as 'overqualified' because of my background. I don't have any friends or family who I can rely on for connections either.

Realistically I'd be looking at a few months (to 6 months or more) job hunting, then a few months working to save the cash I need. By the time I make enough money to sell my house and finally move on with life improving and back on the right track it'll be like 2 years lol. If my current plan works, within 3-4 months I should be back on track. I'm not in a good place, so the idea of spending over a year or two just getting back on track makes me sick :(

It makes me question if it's worth it, if I continue working hard for another 6 months and things don't improve I don't feel much of an attachment to anything, I only want money so I can live a peaceful and stress-free life, I never felt much of a meaning but being broke as well as having deteriorating self-esteem and hope makes me understand the counter-arguments I would argue against when I was doing well.
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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What if you took a loan?
I thought about that, although I have never taken out a credit card, no overdraft, no credit accounts, never taken out a loan, bought my house outright, etc. so my credit score is AWFUL! I wonder if despite low earnings and shitty credit, I could just take out a loan against the house? Although I think they inspect/value your home first, so that wouldn't bode well as mine is currently 80% not renovated yet!

I honestly considered messaging an old acquaintance who invests in digital assets but he still owes me $16k (ghosted me) and I'm trying not to make the same mistakes I have in the past. Besides him I don't know anybody else with money, but during my moments of madness I've considered just sending my business plan and requests for cash to people across the internet. If I show them my previous results and detail how exactly I would achieve it, and promise to pay back double if it's not paid back within like a year or two, surely somebody would be interested! Or have enough money to see that it's worth the risk, lol.

The reward is massive and it's a process I know, but man this initial cash is HARD!
 

AceVentures

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I agree getting a job is the best/most reliable way of getting capital. I only have 'excuses' per se.

I've only ever worked for myself which isn't desirable in the UK, I have no experience in a workplace, I don't work well timed. The job market here in the UK is insane and even if I aced an interview I can't see myself performing well in a role; I sucked at school and even the 4 hours I worked in fast food lol.

I have no qualifications past school and no experience besides working for myself, which to many employers is just no experience, and fair enough I'd agree. So realistically in a crowded market I'd be looking at entry level jobs, which I'd also struggle to get as they'd see me as 'overqualified' because of my background. I don't have any friends or family who I can rely on for connections either.

Realistically I'd be looking at a few months (to 6 months or more) job hunting, then a few months working to save the cash I need. By the time I make enough money to sell my house and finally move on with life improving and back on the right track it'll be like 2 years lol. If my current plan works, within 3-4 months I should be back on track. I'm not in a good place, so the idea of spending over a year or two just getting back on track makes me sick :(

It makes me question if it's worth it, if I continue working hard for another 6 months and things don't improve I don't feel much of an attachment to anything, I only want money so I can live a peaceful and stress-free life, I never felt much of a meaning but being broke as well as having deteriorating self-esteem and hope makes me understand the counter-arguments I would argue against when I was doing well.

I just read a whole lotta excuses. I hope you don't take offense in that, and please correct me if I'm wrong. But I see your post on this forum as a request for clarity and possibly hurtful truths, so I felt compelled to tell you.

Here's how it works: you make a resume/CV and you highlight your projects and experiences. As an entrepreneur, boasting about problem solving and turning a profit is a highly desirable trait for any upcoming team member.

If I were hiring, your experience as an entrepreneur would definitely be a plus. Why? Because you've demonstrated your ability to relentlessly solve problems, and effectively too because you'd monetized a solution. Of your own will and capacity, with no friends or family as you suggest.

As a 22year old entering the workforce, you're likely way ahead of your competition. If you go to blackbox application websites and try that route, their resume algorithms might fail to recognize your genius.

Why not go to a few local businesses, and just talk to their management? Find something you care about. Find a product, a person, an employee, a storefront, anything you like, anything you think you could.improve on, anything you could help another soul with. People will pay you good money to help them solve their problems. Go at it from that angle, and forget your whole 6month-2year plan to get a job?

You're building it up in your head. You know how to make money, but today you need to strap your boots and soldier through some shit so you can save up. You said it yourself, flipping 2k is easier than flipping 50 bucks. Get out of starvation mode and get back on top of it. A job is a great way to do that, and doesn't look anything like what you described here.

Cheers mate, you've got this!
 

Tiago

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I thought about that, although I have never taken out a credit card, no overdraft, no credit accounts, never taken out a loan, bought my house outright, etc. so my credit score is AWFUL! I wonder if despite low earnings and shitty credit, I could just take out a loan against the house? Although I think they inspect/value your home first, so that wouldn't bode well as mine is currently 80% not renovated yet!

I honestly considered messaging an old acquaintance who invests in digital assets but he still owes me $16k (ghosted me) and I'm trying not to make the same mistakes I have in the past. Besides him I don't know anybody else with money, but during my moments of madness I've considered just sending my business plan and requests for cash to people across the internet. If I show them my previous results and detail how exactly I would achieve it, and promise to pay back double if it's not paid back within like a year or two, surely somebody would be interested! Or have enough money to see that it's worth the risk, lol.

The reward is massive and it's a process I know, but man this initial cash is HARD!
It's hard because you're believing it's hard. There are tons of people out there who would love to invest their money in you.

If this is a path you want to take, decide how much money you want to borrow, and then go out and ask people. You might be surprised at how fast you can get that initial cash.
 

CrimsonNight

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Is it possible for you to sell the house? This way you will have the capital for starting a new business and a good amount of cash for a few months of rent.

Or maybe you can rent out a guest room to a student if your house has more than one room. (If not you can just sleep in the living room and rent out the master bedroom instead.)
 

BizyDad

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Why not just hire yourself out as a Facebook marketing expert if you need cash? Just contact businesses directly. If you can't sell yourself to businesses, find someone to sell you and pay a commission...
 

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standrews00

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I love being an entrepreneur. I have ever since I was age 12 and made my first £££ - I made a website using skills I'd taught myself for my uncle. He was impressed and after seeing that first lil bundle of cash and being proud of my work (and seeing it be used for actual business!) I knew my desire to be an entrepreneur would come true.

I turned the hundreds into thousands and, before finishing school, into tens of thousands. I loved creating products people loved, growing audiences, monetising assets, engaging with customers, etc. Almost everything I invested in before I turned 18 turned a profit, from a £1200/mo eBay store (it was an hour's work a day, but for a 16 year old £40 an hour was INCREDIBLE) to a passive £800/mo blog.

At 19 I got into Facebook marketing. I knew if I wanted to make 'real money', money that would provide me stability forever, I had to do something more than what I'd done in school and college. In the 6 months, I grew a 'just for fun' page to 400,000 likes. I made some awful decisions however kept pushing on and invested into monetising the page, and a year later I was making $4k a month from the website (Blog articles) and $2k a month from video (Video ads). In my final month, I also started a dropshipping store which made $4k a month. I almost cried with emotion as I was making $10k a month, way surpassing my goal of £30k/year.

For the first time in my life I felt overwhelmed with happiness/contentedness. I thought 'wow, I can really grow this to be a million dollar business'. I could almost taste the stability I so desired, all the physical things I wanted were almost in my grasp, then disaster struck. My page was scammed by a social media guy who I never even met after he 'invested' in a group I'd started which allowed him to use a loophole/'glitch' (I call it a glitch cause it absolutely should not have happened, but I guess technically it was a loophole, hence why FB were unable to help) to take multiple of my pages, totalling 1.5M+ likes.

After that, I was heavily depressed. I didn't know what to do with myself, and after my family kicked me out (they are catholic and didn't agree with 'life choices') I was in a panic and spent the majority of the money on a house. I understand now a house is a liability, and especially as there was tens of thousands of pounds unexpected work, it's one of my biggest regrets. Regardless, now - despite still not being complete with the renovation - I try look to the positive and appreciate the roof over my head.

I'm 22 now and my side hustle pays the bills and buys me food - just. I am great at saving money and good at investing, however when funds are as tight as they are now I'm only able to save around £50 a month or less. Unexpected costs are killer, a £120 repair on the house lead to 2 months eating less food! Besides the side hustle, I have around £400 in savings, £0 in credit (so borrowing isn't much of an option for me). I've always thought I could turn £2000 into £10k quite easily, but turning £50 into £250 is much harder.

After the theft of my last business, I begun growing a new audience with the goal of doing a similar thing. I knew if I make enough money for two months outgoings I would success. I will probably be in profit the first, but if not DEFINITELY the second month. I've done this multiple times before and I know how Facebook works inside and out. I also know if I don't make the same mistakes last time, I can make what I made last time, and more.

That audience is now at 350k likes, and gets 15M+ monthly reach, 500+ new group members monthly. I know this audience well and there's no reason I can't monetise it with my skillset/experience.

The problem I have is lack of funds. Saving £50 avg a month I'll need to save for literally 2-3 more years to afford the necessities for those vital and lucrative two months of content creation. Upon talking to the audience, analysing their interests, what they buy, what they're into, I came up with a possible way of making money with very little.

This is where I need your advice, as I don't know if this is the right thing to do. Getting a job is not an option. I've screen-printed in the past and knew it's a cheap way to get started making tshirts. I analysed the existing offers in my niche and they are all aimed at a difference target audience (mainly a different age demographic). I know this is something that could grow with the more money I put into it, and could actually be huge. There's a big gap in the market! I have the screen printing setup done, and everything is almost ready to go.

The problem is, I'm not a designer. I have experience with graphic design but I'm in no way an artist or designer. My four designs are good, but not amazing. Truthfully I'd love to hire an artist to create an awesome brand and a few incredible designs, but that's so far from where I'm at. My designs fit the target market's interests, and are on-brand. The quality of the tshirt and the print is good.

I am planning on using organic marketing and one-on-one conversations to make 3 sales a day in my first month. I am not sure how achievable this is, but I should be able to talk to 50-100 people a day and convert 5% easily, right? Even converting 1% would give me 22 sales and even at one item each, I'd have close to £300 profit which gets me away from the 'if I make £100 less this month I'm not paying x bill' line and gives me more than £50 to save or invest!

If I get 1-3 sales a day in month 1, and improve in month 2, I should be able to reach 5 sales a day, at which point I'll have £2000 a month coming in from the store alone and can begin to invest in the other areas and start making real money. I can also make the shop better and increase sales there. 1-3 sales a day isn't crazy with an existing audience of 350,000 yet I still have this mental block as I hate the feeling of being this broke. My self-esteem is so low.

I am good at marketing, but after my previous mistakes and having so little cash, I get so defeatist. I know this can work, and that I'm not crazy, I have years experience and I'm not making any of my old mistakes. But on the other hand maybe I am wrong and this is a terrible idea that won't work, and that's why I'm posting here. Sorry for the thought dump, but I'd really love some words of advice or guidance, particularly at this starting point. I'm not so worried about what to do once I have ££££ monthly rather than £££.
If you're interested in doing some social media marketing for some cash, I have a few requirements on the shelf. Let me know. - Sean
 

minivanman

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There is not 1 reason in the world you need to borrow anything from anyone. There are EASILY 100 workable hours in each week so use them and in no time you will have the money to do what you want to do. You f()cked yourself the 1st time by getting others involved in YOUR business..... are you going to f()ck yourself again?
 
OP
OP
elusive97

elusive97

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 28, 2019
322
357
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Yorkshire
Is it possible for you to sell the house? This way you will have the capital for starting a new business and a good amount of cash for a few months of rent.
The house needed (and still needs) an extraordinary amount of work and I overpaid. If I sell the house now I'll lose £40k, if I sell it when it's complete I only lose about £5k (then I can have all that capital, yay!) - I'm hoping I can get my shit together by the new year/end of Jan and be earning decent money so I can complete the house and get it on the market before the end of summer!

Why not just hire yourself out as a Facebook marketing expert if you need cash? Just contact businesses directly. If you can't sell yourself to businesses, find someone to sell you and pay a commission...
I've been avoiding it because of anxiety, this whole year has wrecked my mental health, but you're right. My main/most successful method of Facebook marketing is organic/viral marketing so I considered contacting Insta businesses who often snub Facebook as too expensive, not worth it, etc. and building their brand on Facebook. I'm not sure about the demand for this sort of marketing though, but it's the one I could provide the best results with.

There is not 1 reason in the world you need to borrow anything from anyone. There are EASILY 100 workable hours in each week so use them and in no time you will have the money to do what you want to do. You f()cked yourself the 1st time by getting others involved in YOUR business..... are you going to f()ck yourself again?
Totally feel that, I've never borrowed anything, don't even have an overdraft. I recently upped my hours, determined not to fck myself again!
 

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