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Why I Failed At Business... And What I Learned

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TStrike

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Aug 19, 2017
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It was 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Without an alarm clock, I woke up after a night of barely sleeping at all. Just one... please just one. I opened my laptop, navigated to my admin page, and took a look at my stats for my landing page.

34 email addresses. I was so happy I almost started crying.

34 emails. I can't believe it worked so well. I navigated off the stats for my landing page and went to the stats for my actual product. Email addresses were all well and good, but it didn't matter so much if I didn't actually make any money. As I clicked the link leading to the sales statistics, I could feel every heartbeat. And then I froze. A metaphorical cannon ball smashed me in the stomach. I felt my heart sink.

I had just spent $600 on Facebook ads (a lot of money when you're 18!) and in exchange, I had ended up with 34 email addresses... and no sales. This pattern was repeated in the network marketing company I joined the next month, and in the Amazon FBA program I joined two months after that.

I failed. I utterly, completely, abominably failed.

I don't want to spend much more time talking about myself except to say this: I failed. Here, I want to tell you why, so that you may heed my mistakes and RUN.

Reasons I Failed:

1. Laziness - I was unwilling to put hard work into learning, researching, and marketing. I wanted a quick way to wealth and a way without much work involved.

2. Uncommitted - I was willing to chase dollars. In fact, that was all I was willing to do. Value was secondary to the almighty greenback. This led to me not sticking with good plans and quickly pursuing bad ones that had great copywriting.

3. No Due Diligence (DD)/Common Sense - My first product (the one I spent $600 on to get 34 emails) was a financial product. I consider myself skilled in the financial realm. I was doing well in stocks, could reasonably explain why a traditional home was not an investment, and knew how to reduce tax burdens pretty well. The problem? I was 18. No one wants financial advice from an 18 year old, particularly the kind of financial advice that says "hey, what you're currently doing is stupid".

This theme was reflected multiple times in multiple ways. I did not do research on the value of my product, on copywriting, on landing pages, or on marketing in any business I was in.

What I Learned

1. Most online courses are useless (I haven't found any that have helped me, but surely someone somewhere has something online that is pretty decent) so do not buy them. Almost everything you pay for can be found for free (podcasts, Youtube, and just plain internet diving are great).

2. Find an idea, research it until your eyes bleed, and if it's a good one, stick with it until it can be proven to absolutely not work. My mistake was that I went from one idea to the next, when in reality, I probably could have made some income from all three of the listed ideas. In my opinion, it is better to give one bad idea 100% instead of giving ten good ideas 10%. This goes with what MJ says in both TMF and Unscripted : do not chase dollars. Provide incredible value.

3. We are exactly as wealthy as we deserve to be. This will probably stir some pots, but I have found that net worth is directly correlated to how much someone deserves it. There are some flukes, to be sure (like winning the lottery), but in 90% of our lives, our average net worth is exactly what it deserves to be. If you want to be wealthy, you have to become someone who deserves to be wealthy. Fight for your life.

4. Never let others determine who you will be. My family and friends told me that every business I tried would fail. They said it was impossible to build a business that could fund my lifestyle. They said it was "so much hard work" to do something and have it fail. They told me that they didn't want me spending my life building "businesses". They were wrong. They were (sorry mom) stupid. And after failing, I finally did it. I built a successful website that funds most of my life and is growing daily. Trust yourself most of all.

5. Fail daily. If you do not fail at something daily, you will probably not succeed very often either. Learn constantly, love generously, ignore the loud people, and listen to the quiet voices. Fail daily. I had to fail multiple times before I finally succeeded, and each failure taught me something new. Never give up on the life you want. Fight to the death for your dreams.

I'm new here (joined August 19th), but I hope that this positively impacts someone. Please feel free to ask me questions below, agree with my sentiments (or disagree. Whatever works for you), and tell the rest of us about some of the failures you've had! I think that many times, our greatest victory comes right after our greatest failure.

Have a great read!
 
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Shortypants

Contributor
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May 15, 2017
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It was 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Without an alarm clock, I woke up after a night of barely sleeping at all. Just one... please just one. I opened my laptop, navigated to my admin page, and took a look at my stats for my landing page.

34 email addresses. I was so happy I almost started crying.

34 emails. I can't believe it worked so well. I navigated off the stats for my landing page and went to the stats for my actual product. Email addresses were all well and good, but it didn't matter so much if I didn't actually make any money. As I clicked the link leading to the sales statistics, I could feel every heartbeat. And then I froze. A metaphorical cannon ball smashed me in the stomach. I felt my heart sink.

I had just spent $600 on Facebook ads (a lot of money when you're 18!) and in exchange, I had ended up with 34 email addresses... and no sales. This pattern was repeated in the network marketing company I joined the next month, and in the Amazon FBA program I joined two months after that.

I failed. I utterly, completely, abominably failed.

I don't want to spend much more time talking about myself except to say this: I failed. Here, I want to tell you why, so that you may heed my mistakes and RUN.

Reasons I Failed:

1. Laziness - I was unwilling to put hard work into learning, researching, and marketing. I wanted a quick way to wealth and a way without much work involved.

2. Uncommitted - I was willing to chase dollars. In fact, that was all I was willing to do. Value was secondary to the almighty greenback. This led to me not sticking with good plans and quickly pursuing bad ones that had great copywriting.

3. No Due Diligence (DD)/Common Sense - My first product (the one I spent $600 on to get 34 emails) was a financial product. I consider myself skilled in the financial realm. I was doing well in stocks, could reasonably explain why a traditional home was not an investment, and knew how to reduce tax burdens pretty well. The problem? I was 18. No one wants financial advice from an 18 year old, particularly the kind of financial advice that says "hey, what you're currently doing is stupid".

This theme was reflected multiple times in multiple ways. I did not do research on the value of my product, on copywriting, on landing pages, or on marketing in any business I was in.

What I Learned

1. Most online courses are useless (I haven't found any that have helped me, but surely someone somewhere has something online that is pretty decent) so do not buy them. Almost everything you pay for can be found for free (podcasts, Youtube, and just plain internet diving are great).

2. Find an idea, research it until your eyes bleed, and if it's a good one, stick with it until it can be proven to absolutely not work. My mistake was that I went from one idea to the next, when in reality, I probably could have made some income from all three of the listed ideas. In my opinion, it is better to give one bad idea 100% instead of giving ten good ideas 10%. This goes with what MJ says in both TMF and Unscripted : do not chase dollars. Provide incredible value.

3. We are exactly as wealthy as we deserve to be. This will probably stir some pots, but I have found that net worth is directly correlated to how much someone deserves it. There are some flukes, to be sure (like winning the lottery), but in 90% of our lives, our average net worth is exactly what it deserves to be. If you want to be wealthy, you have to become someone who deserves to be wealthy. Fight for your life.

4. Never let others determine who you will be. My family and friends told me that every business I tried would fail. They said it was impossible to build a business that could fund my lifestyle. They said it was "so much hard work" to do something and have it fail. They told me that they didn't want me spending my life building "businesses". They were wrong. They were (sorry mom) stupid. And after failing, I finally did it. I built a successful website that funds most of my life and is growing daily. Trust yourself most of all.

5. Fail daily. If you do not fail at something daily, you will probably not succeed very often either. Learn constantly, love generously, ignore the loud people, and listen to the quiet voices. Fail daily. I had to fail multiple times before I finally succeeded, and each failure taught me something new. Never give up on the life you want. Fight to the death for your dreams.

I'm new here (joined August 19th), but I hope that this positively impacts someone. Please feel free to ask me questions below, agree with my sentiments (or disagree. Whatever works for you), and tell the rest of us about some of the failures you've had! I think that many times, our greatest victory comes right after our greatest failure.

Have a great read!
I love you #nohomo

Verstuurd vanaf mijn ALE-L21 met Tapatalk
 

Walter Hay

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Sep 13, 2014
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What I Learned
1. Most online courses are useless (I haven't found any that have helped me, but surely someone somewhere has something online that is pretty decent) so do not buy them. Almost everything you pay for can be found for free (podcasts, Youtube, and just plain internet diving are great).
I agree with reservations.

Yes, most online courses are useless, mainly because they are written/operated by self professed experts who don't know their subject, except perhaps from some scanty experience. Others are operated by people who have no scruples and recycle what they have learned online or pirated from a real expert's course.

I know some people think that because of the extensive posts on my AMA they can get there all the information they need in order to start an importing business. That is not true.

After selling thousands of copies of my book I have had two people obtain refunds for the reason (excuse?) that they have already found 95% of my book content on Google. All I can say is that if they already knew that much, why did they even consider buying a book on the subject?

A lot of the information I have written is totally original specialist knowledge and would be very difficult to find on Google unless you already knew a lot about the subject, to the point of being what I would regard as an expert.

Walter
 

TStrike

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
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Aug 19, 2017
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USA
I know some people think that because of the extensive posts on my AMA they can get there all the information they need in order to start an importing business. That is not true.

Great point and I definitely agree. Absolutely did not mean to imply that all information that must be purchased is useless. I find books to have the best ratio for price/value :)

Thanks for your excellent addition to my post, Walter.

EDIT: This reply was before I figured out how to quote. Lol.

EDIT2: You still haven't quite worked out how to quote, but I added the opening brackets for you. (A mod)
 
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TStrike

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 19, 2017
36
91
USA
I know some people think that because of the extensive posts on my AMA they can get there all the information they need in order to start an importing business. That is not true.

Great point and I definitely agree. Absolutely did not mean to imply that all information that must be purchased is useless. I find books to have the best ratio for price/value :)

Thanks for your excellent addition to my post, Walter.
 
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J_Cup

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Jun 14, 2017
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That's well written post! And the line about 18yo man financial advice is so true. I see a lot of 18yo life coaches now! It's like maybe you know how to do it, but you have not too much to show. I'm not so older and tried to "teach" friends too. Now I just show it by what I've done so far. And some started to try harder without me saying a single word.
1. Most online courses are useless (I haven't found any that have helped me, but surely someone somewhere has something online that is pretty decent) so do not buy them. Almost everything you pay for can be found for free (podcasts, Youtube, and just plain internet diving are great).
Yeah, youtube got almost everything. And books are the best at price/value but what do you think about sites like u dummy? Oh, I mean Udemy!
 

TStrike

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Yeah, youtube got almost everything. And books are the best at price/value but what do you think about sites like u dummy? Oh, I mean Udemy!

Generally I'm a big fan of free info on the web, but find a lot of it very general. As far as courses such as "u dummy" (lolol) I'm not sure. I've never used online courses like that, so my experience is horribly limited :)

In my original post, I was speaking more towards "bro-marketing" and such: "Make $5000 working from home with this one simple marketing trick" type deal or almost anything that could qualify as a "Make more money doing XYZ" funnel.

As far as my particular skill set, I learned how to build profitable websites from podcasts, internet diving, lots of blog post reading, books, Youtube, and experience. :)
 

The-J

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So you spent about $17.60 per email and got no sales out of it.

Now you can sit back and ask, "Why"?

Did you offer an incentive for them to sign up so they could enter your front-end sales funnel?

Were the follow-up offers simply not worth the money? (This is a hard question to answer, try to put yourself in the customer's shoes when they get the offer)

You didn't fail at business. You learned a valuable lesson. Contact info is only as worthwhile as their willingness to be contacted, and getting a double opt-in isn't a good proxy for determining this.

I'll give you an example. I ran a web funnel for a client and the opt-in got a 47% conversion rate. Ho-lee-shit.

Nobody bought the follow up.

So we decided to go further: send a bunch of traffic to the follow up page, selling them specifically on that offer.

Our conversion rate was about 0.1%. (Less if you count the garbage bot traffic the client sent initially, when he asked me 'Is this good traffic?' AFTER sending it) Nobody wanted the damn thing, except for a very small number of people who had immense interest in what he had to say about it.

I don't wanna burst your bubble, but the tactics you used were fine. Maybe... just maybe...

...your offers just sucked. (Your messaging/copy is part of your offer, and so is the product/service itself.)

The gurus like to present the whole of Internet business as a math problem. It's not. It's about value exchange.

It's like, while you were doing all of this, you were missing the mark. You learned a lot, and you even mentioned 'the value of your product' in your post. But everything else is secondary to that. If your product had any perceived value at all, you likely would have made a sale.

Rep+ for nutting up and admitting your failure.
 
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TStrike

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I don't wanna burst your bubble, but the tactics you used were fine. Maybe... just maybe...

...your offers just sucked. (Your messaging/copy is part of your offer, and so is the product/service itself.)

The gurus like to present the whole of Internet business as a math problem. It's not. It's about value exchange.

It's like, while you were doing all of this, you were missing the mark. You learned a lot, and you even mentioned 'the value of your product' in your post. But everything else is secondary to that. If your product had any perceived value at all, you likely would have made a sale.

Hi! Thanks for the response. :)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. My offer sucked butt. That was part of what these experiences taught me: value is king. My offer with the example I gave was horrible in a lot of ways because it was what I loved, not what was needed for my market.

I haven't said so explicitly, but I do think it's fair enough for me to say now that I am currently running a successful website that funds my life. So in that sense, I did later "succeed" :)

Thanks for your contribution, J! Much appreciated :D
 

michalo

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Mar 27, 2015
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hi,
could you tell me why should I buy some course from person who is "doing well in stocks" when I can get much better knowledge from someone who is being in stocks for 15-20 years and making millions? Trying to figure it out. It's like learning basketball from some kid on the block who write some course versus learning it from Michael Jordan - who would you choose? Maybe that's the problem - be on stock market for 8-10 years. Make 90-100 Mio. than you can make some courses. Before... well... not bother. Waste of your time.
 

TStrike

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hi,
could you tell me why should I buy some course from person who is "doing well in stocks" when I can get much better knowledge from someone who is being in stocks for 15-20 years and making millions? Trying to figure it out. It's like learning basketball from some kid on the block who write some course versus learning it from Michael Jordan - who would you choose? Maybe that's the problem - be on stock market for 8-10 years. Make 90-100 Mio. than you can make some courses. Before... well... not bother. Waste of your time.

I fully agree :) that was part of my problem. I was chasing dollars in a membership course that I had learned from... you guessed it: a membership course. My product was poorly thought out because I wasn't providing value. I was trying to get as rich as possible as quick as possible without any consideration of what was required of me.

Thanks for your input :)
 
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Andy Black

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I'll second what @Walter Hay said.

I have copious amounts of free content here in TFLF. One guy said it took him 18 hours to go through all the AdWords threads, never mind the 24+ hours worth of recorded calls.

You could work your way through all of that, and *try* to determine how I create AdWords campaigns.

You could take an 18 hour course on AdWords on Udemy for $15.

Or you could pay $299 / $399 to go through my 1-3 hour course.

Some people don't put a value on their time, so will tend towards spending hours reading "free" info, or 18 hours plus $10 on that course.

Other people put a value on 18 hours of their time and conclude it's more than $399, especially when there might not be a step-by-step blueprint in that 18 hour course.

If you value your time, then free info is not free at all.
 

Andy Black

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hi,
could you tell me why should I buy some course from person who is "doing well in stocks" when I can get much better knowledge from someone who is being in stocks for 15-20 years and making millions? Trying to figure it out. It's like learning basketball from some kid on the block who write some course versus learning it from Michael Jordan - who would you choose? Maybe that's the problem - be on stock market for 8-10 years. Make 90-100 Mio. than you can make some courses. Before... well... not bother. Waste of your time.
1) The best stock broker might not be the best teacher.

2) People a few steps ahead *may* better understand your current obstacles and how to overcome them.
 

TStrike

Contributor
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Aug 19, 2017
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Some people don't put a value on their time, so will tend towards spending hours reading "free" info, or 18 hours plus $10 on that course.

Other people put a value on 18 hours of their time and conclude it's more than $399, especially when there might not be a step-by-step blueprint in that 18 hour course.

If you value your time, then free info is not free at all.

Beautifully said, Andy, and I appreciate the 2nd perspective on my experiences!

Thanks for contributing. :)
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Marked NOTABLE, excellent post my friend. (And I got your email, glad to hear my books have made an impact!) Rock on!
 

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