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NOTABLE! The Fail Thread

Longinus

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Everybody on this forum failed multiple times. It sucks on that very moment, but when you look back you can see that it was necessary and you should have learned something from it.

We see a lot of success stories on this forum that motivate us. Maybe we can also share the fail stories that got us up there?

(It would be great to hear some big shots on this forum too ;) )

Let me go first:
- I wanted to leave my slowlane job for 4 years and I'm still "stuck".
- For more than 5 years I spent lots of time and money in chasing a rock star career that brought me nowhere.
- First "real" venture: fitness clothing. Got stuck in analysis paralysis, never launched any product. Fail.
- Second, food prep company. No sales, no interest. Fail.
- Amazon FBA venture: VR goggles which was not my own brand. Took me 7 months to sell 32 pieces out. Fail.
 

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Lex DeVille

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- Dropped out of business classes at local community college
- Quit job to start a Lego portrait business
- Realized I had no idea wtf I was doing and didn't know how to make sales <--- first fail point
- Burned through cash
- Went to business class instructor to ask for help <--- first low fail point
- Business class instructor wasn't much help
- With only 1 client and a little media attention, I soon ran out of money <--- bitch slapped by reality
- Moved out of apartment into parent's house
- Got kicked out of parent's house for disagreements <--- stupidity failure
- Was homeless for a brief period
- Moved in with girlfriend and her parents <--- lowest fail point
- Regrouped, restrategized, designed 5 year plan and began executing
- Discovered The Millionaire Fastlane
- 5 year plan comes to full fruition this year.
 

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Each one of these is detailed in a post on the inside with key learning/ my takeaways. If you have insider access, I think the long version is on the first or second page of the Passive Income thread.

Here's a partial list of my failed previous experiments, and I am sure I am forgetting tons :
1. prepaid taxi cab services / emergency transportation
2. remainder (retail returned) discount books
3. wholesale Christian merchandise
3. physical retail store(s)
5. professional performance audio equipment sales and installation
6. e-commerce refurbished consumer electronics
7. e-commerce bibles

Along with numerous other ones that never made it out of the laboratory. The 7 above are just ventures that I lost time and money on and gained experience in.

I have also had some tremendous wins along the way, but I am not going to list those for 2 reasons : I don't want to seem braggy (as I am not retired yet, so obviously they weren't THAT great), and because my failures positioned me better than my wins for this current and future chapter. I know a lot about what NOT to do. :)
 

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On December 27th 2001 I received a certified letter from Bentonville AR.

I opened the letter to find out Walmart had fired my company and decided to take the service I offered in house.

At that time it was about $2MM in revenue (about half the company ).

I spent the remainder of the year firing half my staff.

.....the week after Christmas.


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Creating a business to "do what I love"

There was a market need, but it rapidly became a chase to the bottom as the service became (becomes) a commodity (I don't know what the word is for a service commodity).

Thinking I didn't need paid advertising.

Hahaha this is just laughable looking back.

Spending large amounts of time/money on crap I didn't need.

An amazing logo, cool business cards, you name it, I thought I needed it.

Man, you learn so fast when you start.
 

Ayanle Farah

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-Dropped out of university studying psychology to pursue a freelancing career
-Became a "content bitch", bought one stupid course after another
-Head was filled with dreams of the lifestyle and becoming a copywriter
-Spent an entire year and got one client on Upwork and it was about translating files
-Made less than $100 in 2016
-Discovered TMF
-Left freelancing for good

Lessons:
-Don't waste time in saturated markets
-Don't listen to idiots selling you a dream lifestyle
-Don't put your success in another person's hand(freelancing gives all the power to a client)
-write your goals down and review it everyday
-Take action everyday
-Listen to your gut more than books and courses
 

MidwestLandlord

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I've made lots of mistakes. I'll tell you about my worst financial mistake ever though.

A product I currently sell falls under certain government regulations that act basically like a "cap and trade" system.

Wholesalers are required to submit X number of these credits to the government per unit they sell. However, the way I have my business set up, I am not required to submit credits, but since I buy directly from the manufacturers, I am still issued these credits.

So I sell them. It's literally free money.

Historically they sell for about $.85 each, and my process is to have my broker sell my entire stock the first week after a quarter, which is when they peak in price.

The year after Obama's reelection, he made changes to this cap and trade system, and the credits shot through the roof. Went from $.85 or so, to over $5 in the course of a week.

The "experts" said we could expect a new average value going forward to be $10-$15 for each credit.

So I timed the market for the first time instead of following my process. I figured if everyone was going to wait to sell when it hit $10, I'd sell at $7

I had 125,000 credits to sell, so big money to be made. And again, it was FREE money.

They got to $6.25 .... and then crashed to $.25 in the span of about 4 hours.

My normal process would of sold them at a little over $5 each. I waited until they recovered to $.75 and sold them.

I made: $93,750

My process would of made: $625,000

So I lost $531,250 by not following my proven process.

Oops.
 

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On December 27th 2001 I received a certified letter from Bentonville AR.

I opened the letter to find out Walmart had fired my company and decided to take the service I offered in house.

At that time it was about $2MM in revenue (about half the company ).

I spent the remainder of the year firing half my staff.

.....the week after Christmas.


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I wish I would have known you then as your story would've saved me a couple of scars and a dozen tears
 

G-Man

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On December 27th 2001 I received a certified letter from Bentonville AR.
Got a dear John letter from our Walmart buyer saying we'd been pulled,.... after we bought a shitload of inventory.

Who cares, they have the worst snack POG in America. It would be like knowingly moving into a neighborhood that has crime scene tape on the sidewalks and bars on the windows. :clench:
 
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G-Man

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More exhaustive list of fails:
  • First business as a teenager, basically failed because I forgot satellites exist.
  • 2nd business as a college student. Went into business with family. Sucked. and failed.
  • First job at a bank out of college, I had my work done every day by 10, and got in trouble with HR for looking for work to do.
  • First NGO job - quit because it sucked and we were accomplishing nothing.
  • 2nd bank job - just did it to get some money so I could gtfo
  • 2nd NGO job - did well, became an illegal immigrant and had to come back to US
  • First startup - burned through 4 million dollars in 6 months, now defunct
  • 2nd startup - did extremely well, burned through my soul in 12 months. Took my bonus and left. This is concurrent with reading TMF.
  • Current startup - hanging on for dear life, but I feel like I've gotten my MBA in the last 6 months. Shit money, long hours, might all be for no payday at the end. Super worth it. I will have my damn liquidation event. Maybe not from this, but I will have it.
 

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rollerskates

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Oh, gosh, I think I can win this thread. I told a bit in my Intro post, but I will list more here. In no particular order:

-Blew through years of savings in about 25% of the time I had meant it to be for (I was moving to another state so left the job and thought it was the perfect time to start my own biz)
-Not having an actual plan for the biz
-Getting sidetracked by a side business I decided to do because I had the time and my BFF was doing it--selling designer goods on eBay. NB: Don't ever do this. Designer bag loving peeps are INSANE. What I could write on this experience alone would fill a book.
-Tying the bulk of my business to my time. I make widgets and everything I did was by hand. I am talented, but I couldn't maintain a pace that would earn me any kind of a living.
-The bulk of my business was on Etsy and in 2013, they started allowing sellers to use manufacturing, and I could have set up a fastlane approach to my business at that time because I had the money and instead went on a crusade because I was offended that any true artist would stoop to outsourcing. The horror of fastlaning your business, imagine! :eek:
-Paying for things and not using them, like a domain and hosting (probably blew a couple thousand on this over the years)
-Not having a backup plan for when things went south. In my case, my health. With handmade widgets, if you don't work, you don't have product, and with no product, you have no sales. My health is better now, but I've got arthritis and can't do the hard stuff anymore.

This is the Cliff's notes version. So many more mistakes. On the plus side, I could probably do an AMA on selling handmade widgets on Etsy, and I am currently working on some ebooks for artists.
 

AllenCrawley

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Many failures along the way. Here are just a few...
  • Straight out of high school I started a "specialty merchandise" business selling overpriced junk. You may have seen the late night infomercials featuring Tom Bosley.
  • Got involved in 3 different MLM's during my 20's. I worked very hard and diligent but all eventually failed.
  • Started a "desktop publishing" company making flyers and brochures for local companies. I used Microsoft Publisher. Yes, I'm old.
  • Purchased real estate to fix up and sell. Did fairly well for about 4 years until I partnered with my accountant who provided rehab funds for a particular project. This project took 6 months. I used up all my savings during this time. My share of the profits was to be about $40,000. Through some slick maneuvering, my accountant received the money at closing without me being there. Refused to pay my share and skipped town. This sent us into a financial tailspin that took us years to recover from. This experience was the most painful of all my failures. We lost our home and I nearly lost my marriage.
  • Took over a home improvement company from my brother-in-law who ultimately sabotaged the business.
  • Formed a partnership with 3 friends to build a digital marketing agency. All 3 of us were working on our own digital marketing companies at the time serving local businesses but thought we should join forces to create a company we would take national. Spent lots of money and many months planning, developing and creating content (professional studio quality videos) and building out the website. We never even launched.
 

G-Man

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Purchased real estate to fix up and sell. Did fairly well for about 4 years until I partnered with my accountant who provided rehab funds for a particular project. This project took 6 months. I used up all my savings during this time. My share of the profits was to be about $40,000. Through some slick maneuvering, my accountant received the money at closing without me being there. Refused to pay my share and skipped town. This sent us into a financial tailspin that took us years to recover from. This experience was the most painful of all my failures. We lost our home and I nearly lost my marriage.
I have experienced some black swans, but damn. Very inspiring that you kept going.
 

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There's a consistency amongst 100% of the high achievers I know in life.

All of them have experienced failure. Nobody in life is immune to mistakes when learning how to hit home runs.

The adages are true about failure. While I don't wish it on anyone, and don't believe that "failing fast" makes any sense, most of lifes best success stories come from a place of experience, scars, and tenacity.
 

GlobalWealth

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There's a consistency amongst 100% of the high achievers I know in life.

All of them have experienced failure. Nobody in life is immune to mistakes when learning how to hit home runs.

The adages are true about failure. While I don't wish it on anyone, and don't believe that "failing fast" makes any sense, most of lifes best success stories come from a place of experience, scars, and tenacity.
I'm not even sure the one I posted is the worst. Just the worst timing.

I could write a failure novel....except it wouldn't be fiction.

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LinorCG

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1999 - got kicked out of university due to no. of failed units
2000 - stopped for two semester trying to find a new university
2001 - joined a networking group and failed to earn money
2007 - got health issues and anxiety attacks
2010 - bought a house due to pressure from ex-girlfriend and I didn't even wanted a house
2012 - failed in first business investment
2013 - failed in second business investment and worst part is I encouraged my friends to invest with me so I had to pay them back
2014-2015 failed in first business with a business partner with other people's money (friends) and had to pay them back until now, this was my depression year
 

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Started a fruit and vegetable delivery company in Uni - failed
Studied construction engineering - massive property crash before I graduated
Moved to Canada and learned Petroleum engineering - good for a while but massive oil crash
Started an app - somewhat failed
Started a cereal company - cease and desist, failed
Wrote an ebook (8 weeks) - 10 sales
Instagram marketing and other online things- failed
Studied web design for a year - overnight success
;)
 

MidwestLandlord

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When I read all these failures I think:

"Oh thank god others have failed too!"

Maybe that's a poor mindset, but it really helps to know that failure is not only normal, but part of the process.

When you're deep into a failure and you feel like shit...this really helps to keep perspective and move forward.

Thanks everyone for sharing.
 

MJ DeMarco

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On December 27th 2001 I received a certified letter from Bentonville AR.

I opened the letter to find out Walmart had fired my company and decided to take the service I offered in house.

At that time it was about $2MM in revenue (about half the company ).

I spent the remainder of the year firing half my staff.

.....the week after Christmas.
Wow, I had no idea you had a business of this type. Commandment of Control anyone?

Straight out of high school I started a "specialty merchandise" business selling overpriced junk. You may have seen the late night infomercials featuring Tom Bosley.
Ha Ha, I remember those! You mean no one wanted to buy terra-cotta figurines of random wildlife? Sad thing is, back in my early 20's, I too probably had my credit card out and the SMC phone number dialed ... just never followed-thru like you.
 

Vigilante

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Wow, I had no idea you had a business of this type. Commandment of Control anyone?



Ha Ha, I remember those! You mean no one wanted to buy terra-cotta figurines of random wildlife? Sad thing is, back in my early 20's, I too probably had my credit card out and the SMC phone number dialed ... just never followed-thru like you.
I also at one point wanted to do SMC... I just didn't have any money to place the order (thank God)
 

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beatgoezon

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2010-Started a Social network, ended up getting 10,000 users (All in China maybe because FB was banned there perhaps) but had no idea how to monetize-First failure

2012-2013- Left ACCA(Accounting), Started a blog, didn't get any traction, made $0, began to hate something I was passionate about(writing)

Late 2013-Discovered Millionaire Fastlane- Perception Shift

2015- Borrowing money to start making games for iOS-Went very half-assed and with no determination

2016(Until April)- Tried rushing the process, lost the chance to publish with a game publisher who was a a total underdog at the time but has become one of the most successful indie publishers of 2016(Publisher of Color Switch)-Learned the lesson in being lazy and not availing opportunity on time...Just got closure with this one

Lost a possible publisher who was willing to invest $25,000 for the success of my game due to negligence and not knowing how to be professional-Learned that perfection isn't everything, don't over promise and under deliver, and a finished app/game that's imperfect is worth more than the perfect idea for a game that's has too many issues

2016(April-October)- Deep depression, regret for the past, regret for laziness, regret for dabbing, regret for trusting the wrong people to support you, regret not utilizing time more efficiently, feeling old and beaten, and living at my lowest- In short; Rockbottom- the lowest point of my life emotionally, health wise, and mentally


2016 October-2017- Making peace with my past, feeling alive once again, starting entrepreneurship from a beginner's mindset and treating it like a marathon, not a sprint...

So with that said, let's leave the past in the past and make it happen...

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” - Janet Fitch


 

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Lets see..

January 2016- Had 25k saved up and quit my job to start a lead gen business that didn't last a week, failed
March-June 2016 - Spent 10k to start a crowdfunding website, failed.
August 2016 - Started selling tshirts, failed.
December 2016 - Started to develop a casino game, found a patent, failed.
January-December 2016 - Kept my car with 600$ monthly payment until I started to run out of money, fail.

January 2017 - To be continued.
 

rollerskates

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When I read all these failures I think:

"Oh thank god others have failed too!"

Maybe that's a poor mindset, but it really helps to know that failure is not only normal, but part of the process.

When you're deep into a failure and you feel like shit...this really helps to keep perspective and move forward.

Thanks everyone for sharing.
Yes, yes yes!!!!! I don't feel alone. :smile2:
 

UnrealCreative

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Lots of recent failures due to believing things were "in my way" and had to be cut out to be successful...boy was I wrong.

• Spring 2014: "Pushed Away" Lots of Friends. Lost most social interaction with people, became irrelatable.
Failed to find new friends, too.

• Fall 2015: "Pushed Away" College. Failed all classes to pursue "business."
Failed Business, too.

• Winter 2016: "Pushed Away" another semester at a new College. Dream College. Failed all classes because of scattered focus on different projects.
Failed Projects, too.

• Spring 2016: "Pushed Away" Girlfriend of 2.5 years. One of the most loving people I know, taken for granted. Instead became a PUA.
Failed being a Playboy, too. Ex goes down the deep end, stops therapy, starts doing drugs. <---this hurt a lot.

• Fall + Winter 2016: "Pushed Away" "good" job. Started Two Businesses.
Both Failed, and burned through savings too.

Moved back in with parents, with nothing to show for all the work.
Knowing what I had done, tried to reconcile with ex. She will never speak with me again.
Closest thing I can imagine to what divorce feels like.

Don't get me wrong, I'm back on my feet, and oddly - stronger than before.
2016 gave a beating. Made the choice to treat every day as a new life, and outlook has improved.

For the people who gave their all, or faced unavoidable circumstance, I sympathize.
As for myself...
It's hard watching everything and everyone you cared about crumble around you...because of you.
 

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Early 2016 - After being inspired by ecom mans eCommerce thread I ordered a bunch of iphone chargers from aliexpress and sold them on ebay. With such a crowded competition item in a crowded marketplace they flopped, but i managed to get rid of all the product

Mid 2016 - Took a second stab at eCommerce, this time on my own website but still in a crowded market. Cheaped out, cut corners, crashed and burned. On this one I also brought in a "business partner" who was a friend that really didn't bring anything to the table, but he made the launch cheaper, and the one real positive was I never would've taken action with out him. Regardless I didn't manage to sell a single product, but I learned some good lessons

2014 - present - Fear of failure prevents me from putting up time and money in something I'm not 110% sure it'll work

I have had a few hustles that worked out well, but I learned more from my failures.

I learned I need to avoid over saturated markets, and equally as important I learned if I want to be successful I need to commit my time, and money, and not search for the easiest, least expensive way of doing things. I also need to have confidence in my ideas.

This lesson didn't come from business failures, this one came from the forum, and a college professor I had last semester, and even after almost two years on this forum, it took until about a week ago to sink in. I need to provide value. I need to fill a need, or a want that will help, or satisfy people.

I'm currently sitting on a few ideas but there's still that voice in the back of my head pointing out all the hurdles and the things that will (might) go wrong. I'm going to have to force myself to take action sooner or later on something or other, and when I do, failure or success, you the members of the forum will be the first to hear.
 

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there's still that voice in the back of my head pointing out all the hurdles and the things that will (might) go wrong.
Hurdles are just stepping stones on your journey.

Watch these videos:


Great thread. Some heart stopping stories (@GlobalWealth, @AllenCrawley).



I find it hard to pinpoint my financial "failures" partly because I haven't had *big* crash and burn ones, and partly because I "trick" myself into seeing failures as "learnings" almost immediately so would have to try and drag them out of my subconscious to see them again.

I've certainly had stomach dropping moments when employers or clients no longer need/want my services *** and I didn't see it coming***.

When I was an IT contractor I always knew when the end of the contract was due, and would set the wheels in motion in case they didn't renew.



I've also been screwed over a few times by clients getting another month or two out of me by running those "the cheque is in the post" smoke and mirrors plays.

I've been left 3 days before my mortgage was due staring at mothballs and an empty pipeline.

Feckers... but I also have myself to blame for getting caught twice with the same trick.

Pre-pay now or keep walking sunshine.



I'm currently going though one of those moments where revenue has dropped overnight due to losing a client that was too much of my revenue. I'm gradually weaning myself off those types of deals, so that's my silver lining - I'll bounce back and my business will be yet another step closer to where my vision is.

Until then, it's hustle mode ON.




I would classify my failures as being whatever I've wasted years at.

Some of those have been:

• Partnering with people who I thought had the business brains only to later realise they weren't entrepreneurs and were waiting for me to make things happen.

• Not being able to distinguish between people who talk a good talk but are arm-chair quarterbacks, from those with genuine wisdom from being in the trenches.

• ANY thinking that made me believe making it up as I go along isn't THE way (from following other people's blueprints, other people's step-by-step courses, heck - even from taking advice from other people who have been where I want to go).

• From not trusting my gut.

• From not following MY path, and getting distracted by too many outside influences (you "should" do this, you "need" to do that - bonus tip: be wary of anyone who utters those phrases... they are telling you they haven't learned we're all on our own journey and we're all at different stages).

• From not thinking I was already enough. (<<< Small, unassuming sentence, but the root cause of all of the above. Believe you are already enough, and just set off on your own journey.)



MY BIGGEST FAILURE IS FAILING TO START EARLIER.

This is why I write about this so much and try to help people just get started already.

Missed opportunities guys... to have spent more time with the people I love because I didn't have the freedom to.

You cannot get that time back.

Do not fail to make the most of it.
 
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G-Man

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2014 - present - Fear of failure prevents me from putting up time and money in something I'm not 110% sure it'll work
The first epic fail I went through, I spent so much time stressing trying to stay afloat (and trying to find the bottom of a bottle), and when it was all finally over, you know what? It wasn't that bad. Life goes on. Maybe that kind of trauma was what I needed to get over the fear of failure, but it doesn't have to be for you.

Start. Today.
 

Mac

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 10, 2015
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First failure - drone photography lead gen business. Not a big enough need.
 

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