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NOTABLE! Your worst entrepreneurial failure... details please!

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What is your worst entrepreneurial failure... please, let's hear the details!

If you share, please let us know how you ACTED, ASSESSED, and ADJUSTED, if at all.

I'll start...

I mentioned this story in Unscripted but it is what I'd classify as my worst failure...
fail-story.png

More recently, my worst failure would be in dealing with translation licenses for foreign book rights. Early in my publishing business I was open to having regular entrepreneurs who were passionate about the book do translation, marketing, and publishing. In other words, TMF was their first and ONLY book.

Big F*cking mistake.

Most of those deals failed badly in execution. I should have known not to allow a "passionate" entrepreneur take the reigns. In my quest to get the book "out there" in every market, I made some grave mistakes.

Now I refuse any such offers. If you own a publishing company and have published books before in the translation market, then I'll consider your company for a license. I want to see lists of books you've already done. If you have none, sorry, I won't sell you the license.

ACT
ASSESS
ADJUST


ACT: Yes, let's get this book in every country!

ASSESS: Damn, most of those translations by individual entrepreneurs are failing -- while the publishing companies are killing it.

ADJUST: Never sell licenses to newbies, passionate readers, or anyone without an existing pub company with books already on the market.
 

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Eric Flathers

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What is your worst entrepreneurial failure... please, let's hear the details!

If you share, please let us know how you ACTED, ASSESSED, and ADJUSTED, if at all.

I'll start...

I mentioned this story in Unscripted but it is what I'd classify as my worst failure...
View attachment 23716

More recently, my worst failure would be in dealing with translation licenses for foreign book rights. Early in my publishing business, I was open to having regular entrepreneurs who were passionate about the book do the translation, marketing, and publishing. In other words, TMF was their first and ONLY book.

Big F*cking mistake.

Most of those deals failed badly in execution. I should have known not to allow a "passionate" entrepreneur take the reigns. In my quest to get the book "out there" in every market, I made some grave mistakes.

Now I refuse any such offers. If you own a publishing company and have published books before in the translation market, then I'll consider your company for a license. I want to see lists of books you've already done. If you have none, sorry, I won't sell you the license.

ACT
ASSESS
ADJUST


ACT: Yes, let's get this book in every country!

ASSESS: Damn, most of those translations by individual entrepreneurs are failing -- while the publishing companies are killing it.

ADJUST: Never sell licenses to newbies, passionate readers, or anyone without an existing pub company with books already on the market.
Great Lesson MJ I'll keep that in mind when my book comes out.

My worst failure was a dating site I tried to build back before APPs and swiping was a thing. Hell, it was before social media came on the scene I think MySpace was the only one around,

Anyways I did all my research, I went on like 500 dates to find out what girls didn't like about dating sites. I already knew what I didn't like and what other guys I knew told me.

I build out all the pages in Word, what the layout was, where each link would go, how the user experience should flow. I registered the domain, registered the business name, researched all the photo equipment I would need, bought the equipment, learned how to use it.

I hired a web developer who said all the right things, had a list of websites on his site and had built a dating site before. He even brought us some things about API's and things I didn't know about. All in all, it seemed like the right company to go with.

So I let him do his thing and moved on to the next part of the plan which was to start searching for local photographers and event sites in the cities I would be visiting. Basically, the main thing everyone men and women hated was old or fake photos. My site was going to have verified photos taken at events with date stamps on them.

Then things went south. Every time I asked to see how the site was coming along I got nowhere. He would ask me a bunch of questions like they were working hard at creating my site and they would tell me they were working on the back end and it was all just code so there was nothing to see.

After three months of no progress, they said they couldn't create what they said they could. I threatened to ruin them by reporting them to the BBB and a bunch of other business regulatory bodies and they gave me back my deposit.

ACT
I went to a bunch of other companies and the cost to create the site from a company that could actually do it was 250K (Which I didn't have) this was all before being able to hire coders on the internet, or crowdfunding or VC's everywhere.

I tried to learn to code but only got as far as hello world. That took two weeks of 8 hour days. After getting 20 pages into the Javascript Bible I had to go to the library to get the Idiots guide to Javascript. I never ended up learning to code or getting the site built.

Access
Sadly at the time, I accessed that I would have to raise money which never happened.

Adjust
Now I do more due diligence. After that company couldn't do what they said I sought out one of the clients they had on their website. When I talked with the lady she said, yes they built their site but that they had to have it redone by someone else because they did a poor job. Lesson learned, now I talk to other clients of a company before hiring them.

Hope this isn't too long a reply for this forum, sorry I'm a bit of a talker.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Anyways I did all my research, I went on like 500 dates to find out what girls didn't like about dating sites. I already knew what I didn't like and what other guys I knew told me.
Lol.

How did those dates go?

I just find it hilarious that these girls are out looking for love, and meanwhile @Eric Flathers is charming them into telling him all their darkest dislikes of dating sites. :rofl:
 

Eric Flathers

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Lol.

How did those dates go?

I just find it hilarious that these girls are out looking for love, and meanwhile @Eric Flathers is charming them into telling him all their darkest dislikes of dating sites. :rofl:
Some went well others I got catfished. The whole verified photo idea got reinforced on some of them. Hey you have to do your market research and give people what they want.
 

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My worst failure: All my business ideas in my life

I cannot count how many business ideas I have had in the last 10 years. And all of them failed because of action faking and over thinking. I know this thread is about specific examples, however, I still hope that someone gets something out of this post.

ACT: During the past 10 years I have tried to start so many thing. The best example I can give is when I tried to start a web design company 5 years ago. At the same time one of my good friends was starting a company creating animation videos for the B2B market. Our journeys went completely different. While I was action faking with working months on setting up the correct website, doing free portfolio work and focusing on the wrong clientele while just being lazy, my friend was just taking action and following through from the first moment. Do I need to say that my webdesign company closed down after around 6 months. This day today my friend has one of the biggest animation video companies in our countries. We starter at the same time, yet this is how different our journeys went.

ASSESS: At that time my mindset was completely wrong. Because it had to be the business and the clientele there was something wrong with. It couldn't possibly be me and my lack of action taking. So I spent the next 5 years doing the same thing over and over again. Almost starting a business....

ACT: Now when I have finally realized that the problem this whole time has been ME! A couple of months ago this same friend convinced me to just take action and start my own little agency. I am still far from being where I want to be, but I have learned some many new things in the past 2 months and gained so much discipline and so many new skills. All by not over thinking and taking action. Imagine if I had done that 10 years earlier!

What I want to say is don't be like me. If you feel you can bring value or solve a need then just go for it. Start doing and adjust on the way. Taking action is the best way to learn and to grow.

A huge thanks to @MJ DeMarco, my good friend @Natural and the rest of you forum members for changing my mindset and soon my life for the better. Hopefully more people in my shoes will experience the same aha moment and valuable advice when joining this forum!
 
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Eric Flathers

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My worst failure: All my business ideas in my life

I cannot count how many business ideas I have had in the last 10 years. And all of them failed because of action faking and over thinking. I know this thread is about specific examples, however, I still hope that someone gets something out of this post.

ACT: During the past 10 years I have tried to start so many thing. The best example I can give is when I tried to start a web design company 5 years ago. At the same time one of my good friends was starting a company creating animation videos for the B2B market. Our journeys went completely different. While I was action faking with working months on setting up the correct website, doing free portfolio work and focusing on the wrong clientele while just being lazy, my friend was just taking action and following through from the first moment. Do I need to say that my webdesign company closed down after around 6 months. This day today my friend has one of the biggest animation video companies in our countries. We starter at the same time, yet this is how different our journeys went.

ASSESS: At that time my mindset was completely wrong. Because it had to be the business and the clientele there was something wrong with. It couldn't possibly be me and my lack of action taking. So I spent the next 5 years doing the same thing over and over again. Almost starting a business....

ACT: Now when I have finally realized that the problem this whole time has been ME! A couple of months ago this same friend convinced me to just take action and start my own little agency. I am still far from being where I want to be, but I have learned some many new things in the past 2 months and gained so much discipline and so many new skills. All by not over thinking and taking action. Imagine if I had done that 10 years earlier!

What I want to say is don't be like me. If you feel you can bring value or solve a need then just go for it. Start doing and adjust on the way. Taking action is the best way to learn and to grow.

A huge thanks to @MJ DeMarco, my good friend @Natural and the rest of you forum members for changing my mindset and soon my life for the better. Hopefully, more people in my shoes will experience the same aha moment and valuable advice when joining this forum!
Yes, mindset is a huge part of the process. And I think all of us have been there where we are doing busy work and not doing the things that need to be done to move the project forward.

I'm happy to hear things are going in a better direction. Keep up the progress and know that all the other failures are simply lessons you needed to learn for this new business to be the one that succeeds.
 

404profound

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Desert of Desertion
ACT: I tried to build a leadership training app on WordPress... LOL. I spent weeks writing the content, drafting sequences for modules, and writing questions. That was all good fun, until I realized I'd have to pay for an expensive WP plugin that couldn't do half of the features I wanted to implement. Once I got passed that hurdle, I found out most leaders want classroom-based leadership training.

ASSESS: Well, it was evident that I went for a walk down dumbass lane. I didn't do any initial market research, nor did I select suitable technologies for what I assumed would be a profitable opportunity. So two lessons; validate your idea before committing to development & learn the correct tools for the job.

ADJUST: Since late October I have taught myself javascript on a painfully deep level and am about 60% done with an app that has market validation. I am excited to get the first round of user tests in later next month.

- Cheers
 

Eric Flathers

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ACT: I tried to build a leadership training app on WordPress... LOL. I spent weeks writing the content, drafting sequences for modules, and writing questions. That was all good fun, until I realized I'd have to pay for an expensive WP plugin that couldn't do half of the features I wanted to implement. Once I got passed that hurdle, I found out most leaders want classroom-based leadership training.

ASSESS: Well, it was evident that I went for a walk down dumbass lane. I didn't do any initial market research, nor did I select suitable technologies for what I assumed would be a profitable opportunity. So two lessons; validate your idea before committing to development & learn the correct tools for the job.

ADJUST: Since late October I have taught myself javascript on a painfully deep level and am about 60% done with an app that has market validation. I am excited to get the first round of user tests in later next month.

- Cheers
Let us know when it's ready to test I'm sure The Forum would be happy to give you feedback.

~ EF
 

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Ernman

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My worst failure to date:

I started an eco-friendly car service in NE Florida. I had lived on Cape Cod for several years and used a company called Green Shuttle. All their cars were hybrids or electrics. Their drivers and customer service were fantastic - still are. I had moved to Florida to help start up a small logistics company and the eco-friendly car service seemed like a reasonable expansion. Fortunately for my business partner I kept it separate from the logistics company. I had several meetings with the Green Shuttle owner on Cape Cod and we had a great plan for customer sharing, connected websites, etc. I was concerned about Uber, but was reassured by the county licensing folks they had no intention of allowing Uber to start up there. Within one year Uber was eating everyone's lunch. Established car services had to shut down. My guppy of a startup was swallowed by the Uber shark - and they didn't even know I existed. I also failed miserably at understanding the very strong "conservative" leanings of this region. Let's just say, GREEN is about as far away from RED as one can get around here. Not making excuses - these were all my failings. But damn I learned a lot.
ACT: Provide an environmentally friendly alternative to taxi that provides superior service and up front pricing.
ASSESS: Yes, Uber is coming to this county and no the politicians cannot/will not stop them. Sometimes politics does matter in business.
ADJUST: Learn to make social changes an enabler to success, NOT a potent competitor. That and don't trust politicians ;)
 

Ernman

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Let us know when it's ready to test I'm sure The Forum would be happy to give you feedback.

~ EF
404 - thank you for sharing. I had considered doing something like that with Public Speaking. Combining small group sessions with online/interactive sessions. I eventually convinced myself it wouldn't scale properly and have since dropped the idea.
 

Eric Flathers

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My worst failure to date:

I started an eco-friendly car service in NE Florida. I had lived on Cape Cod for several years and used a company called Green Shuttle. All their cars were hybrids or electrics. Their drivers and customer service were fantastic - still are. I had moved to Florida to help start up a small logistics company and the eco-friendly car service seemed like a reasonable expansion. Fortunately for my business partner I kept it separate from the logistics company. I had several meetings with the Green Shuttle owner on Cape Cod and we had a great plan for customer sharing, connected websites, etc. I was concerned about Uber, but was reassured by the county licensing folks they had no intention of allowing Uber to start up there. Within one year Uber was eating everyone's lunch. Established car services had to shut down. My guppy of a startup was swallowed by the Uber shark - and they didn't even know I existed. I also failed miserably at understanding the very strong "conservative" leanings of this region. Let's just say, GREEN is about as far away from RED as one can get around here. Not making excuses - these were all my failings. But damn I learned a lot.
ACT: Provide an environmentally friendly alternative to taxi that provides superior service and up front pricing.
ASSESS: Yes, Uber is coming to this county and no the politicians cannot/will not stop them. Sometimes politics does matter in business.
ADJUST: Learn to make social changes an enabler to success, NOT a potent competitor. That and don't trust politicians ;)
Ernman,
Being a fan of Eco-friendly endeavors I applaud you for your attempt. The big lesson I think people should take from your story is NEVER to trust a government official unless you get it in writing and even then it's a crapshoot.

~ EF
 

robotunicr0n

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500 dates? I'm wondering how many years you committed to this...
-
My failure was a small dropshipping business I started on Amazon. I started out researching products on Amazon, found a few I liked that met specific ranking criteria, and eventually settled on infuser water bottles. Got a brand designed, and a bunch of other custodial tasks, and then found a factory in China that would make and brand the bottles. Thankfully I only ordered about 8 large boxes worth for the first shipment. Had no where to store them so they stayed outside under the carport for at least a month while I was setting up FBA. I got it all set up, fees paid and product split between Amazon's warehouses and kept a box for myself to do product images among other things. While I was doing all of this though, the category I had selected started filling up with more privately branded options, killing the rankings I had analyzed before I started the whole process. Mixture of that and depression I ended up not doing the images, not posting the description on the product page, or doing any ad time online to get buyers. When Amazon introduced liquidation, I caught them during a special and got a few hundred bucks to take all of the bottle stock off of my hands. I had put in $5000 and got maybe 300 back. I still have the box of bottles, unopened actually even after like... 6 years. I partly keep it to remind me of the failure, but I also didn't want to just throw them away, so trying to figure out if I can donate them at work or to friends or family or something.
 

Johnny boy

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My worst failure: All my business ideas in my life

I cannot count how many business ideas I have had in the last 10 years. And all of them failed because of action faking and over thinking. I know this thread is about specific examples, however, I still hope that someone gets something out of this post.

ACT: During the past 10 years I have tried to start so many thing. The best example I can give is when I tried to start a web design company 5 years ago. At the same time one of my good friends was starting a company creating animation videos for the B2B market. Our journeys went completely different. While I was action faking with working months on setting up the correct website, doing free portfolio work and focusing on the wrong clientele while just being lazy, my friend was just taking action and following through from the first moment. Do I need to say that my webdesign company closed down after around 6 months. This day today my friend has one of the biggest animation video companies in our countries. We starter at the same time, yet this is how different our journeys went.

ASSESS: At that time my mindset was completely wrong. Because it had to be the business and the clientele there was something wrong with. It couldn't possibly be me and my lack of action taking. So I spent the next 5 years doing the same thing over and over again. Almost starting a business....

ACT: Now when I have finally realized that the problem this whole time has been ME! A couple of months ago this same friend convinced me to just take action and start my own little agency. I am still far from being where I want to be, but I have learned some many new things in the past 2 months and gained so much discipline and so many new skills. All by not over thinking and taking action. Imagine if I had done that 10 years earlier!

What I want to say is don't be like me. If you feel you can bring value or solve a need then just go for it. Start doing and adjust on the way. Taking action is the best way to learn and to grow.

A huge thanks to @MJ DeMarco, my good friend @Natural and the rest of you forum members for changing my mindset and soon my life for the better. Hopefully more people in my shoes will experience the same aha moment and valuable advice when joining this forum!
What's hard about a web agency?

-Make a website
-Post ads on craigslist in major metro areas
-Post simple youtube videos for businessnes "how to grow your dildo business" and use some SEO hacks to get it ranking quickly.

I did it and made a grand from a 2-hr conversation. No web design work. Just "consulting" lol. Should take you no more time. It's easy bro just stop doing it the inefficient way.

"free portfolio work"? lmao just find a good site and say you built it. 0.1% of people will follow up and check. After your first customer just change it.
 

amp0193

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I bought a snow-plowing site on Flippa for like $1200 bucks. All 8 of the clients lived in a small city in the Midwest. I live in the south, and have never shoveled snow in my life. Also, none of the subcontractors were interested in working with the business anymore.

I had no traffic plan, no growth plan... just kept those 8 clients on the monthly fee, and managed to convince a subcontractor to work for me, by paying him the $300 that the previous owner had never paid him.

Anyways, the deal was if it snowed more than 2 inches, he would plow driveways. Which worked great, until the days he didn't, and people were calling me saying they couldn't get to work. I had no plan to help them. Eventually the guy would come.

Turns out previous owner was in a lawsuit or two involving customers and contractors he had wronged/not paid/not serviced. And that's why he was selling the business on Flippa in the first place. He wasn't even the original owner. He bought it from the original owner and drove the business to shit.

After one season, I resold the site on Flippa for like $200... to pass it on yet again.

I think I ended up around break-even.
 

UnrealCreative

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What is your worst entrepreneurial failure... please, let's hear the details!
Trying to become a professional musician and record label owner. 6 years.

Good Christ, this was the hugest time sink of my life.

Yeah it was fun, but any other use of my time would've been better. Still cringe at how delusional I was to believe that it was possible to 'make it' by simply existing, irrespective of market realities.
 

minivanman

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What's hard about a web agency?

-Make a website
-Post ads on craigslist in major metro areas
-Post simple youtube videos for businessnes "how to grow your dildo business" and use some SEO hacks to get it ranking quickly.

I did it and made a grand from a 2-hr conversation. No web design work. Just "consulting" lol. Should take you no more time. It's easy bro just stop doing it the inefficient way.

"free portfolio work"? lmao just find a good site and say you built it. 0.1% of people will follow up and check. After your first customer just change it.
It's easy to build a dildo business, just rub it for a few minutes :arghh:

Well, there is one of my failed attempts at being a comedian. No money made there. :rofl:

My latest failed business just came to a quick end today. As I stated in another post I had made a deal to go in to the mattress business. I had even seen the mattresses in their plastic that made them look new and I was SOLD because I've been wanting in the mattress business and the price was GREAT for name brands! I was all excited and was there when the shipment came and even helped with a few.... those damn things are HEAVY!! Then I noticed..... wait a damn minute..... are these new? Come to find out, the reason for the great prices was that they were I guess 'technically' new but not really 'new' as one would expect. They were returns within 30 days and floor displays. So I said, "Hell no! Load 'em back up and take them back". The seller understood and 'said' he was sorry for not explaining it better. Uhuh.... riiiight. So, there is my latest venture down the drain. On the bright side, it only cost me $50 for the labor of unloading and then loading them back on the truck.
 

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Yeah it was fun, but any other use of my time would've been better. Still cringe at how delusional I was to believe that it was possible to 'make it' by simply existing, irrespective of market realities.
Keep aiming for your dreams man - just note that it's easier to go for them if you have the time, and money to afford all the equipment and help that you need to get there.

One of my friends from high school always wanted to be a movie director. He went to college for film. Made one thesis film. Now he's 27 and hasn't made anything since. His biggest limiting factor isn't talent, but having the time and money to afford good equipment and people to work on his desired projects.

With your ambition, consider re-shifting your business a tiny bit to service the clients that can eventually lead back into your originally desired path.
 

Ernman

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My latest failed business just came to a quick end today. As I stated in another post I had made a deal to go in to the mattress business. I had even seen the mattresses in their plastic that made them look new and I was SOLD because I've been wanting in the mattress business and the price was GREAT for name brands! I was all excited and was there when the shipment came and even helped with a few.... those damn things are HEAVY!! Then I noticed..... wait a damn minute..... are these new? Come to find out, the reason for the great prices was that they were I guess 'technically' new but not really 'new' as one would expect. They were returns within 30 days and floor displays. So I said, "Hell no! Load 'em back up and take them back". The seller understood and 'said' he was sorry for not explaining it better. Uhuh.... riiiight. So, there is my latest venture down the drain. On the bright side, it only cost me $50 for the labor of unloading and then loading them back on the truck.
I'm curious, what was your plan for scaling this mattress biz?
 

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Ernman

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Being a fan of Eco-friendly endeavors I applaud you for your attempt. The big lesson I think people should take from your story is NEVER to trust a government official unless you get it in writing and even then it's a crapshoot.
Agreed, but here's a twist. I followed the rules, got the permits, inspections, etc. Uber said screw the rules and used their size and money to plow through. When some cities did try to enforce the rules, Uber let their "contractors" the drivers take the heat. I don't intend this to be an Uber bashing. Simply the observation that if government isn't going to enforce the rules, there's both risk and opportunity.
 

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I spent months designing and developing an online KYC platform for the banking industry. Hired the best talent I could find from Upwork to do UX, front-end and back-end development.

Even worked agile by using scrum, complete with JIRA backlog and process. I was on top of everything and made sure everything was done to the highest quality.

And then.. on a warm afternoon in July.. we launched.

It was glorious. The website looked great. The UX was really sleek. The product had a great flow.

It took me the next 12 months to come to the following realisations:
  • I had no customers or process to attract customers
  • I had not gotten feedback from (potential) customers before, during and at the end of the development
  • The solution was made to scale from day 1. Complete with microservices, APIs and load balancers. It could handle thousands of users at once. Yet we had no users.
  • The solution was overengineered, too expensive and not good enough an alternative to doing stuff manually
It took me the full year to find the courage to pull the plug on this idea. Total waste of money, time and resources.

Still feels embarrassing reading this back...
 

minivanman

Platinum Contributor
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Mar 16, 2017
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I'm curious, what was your plan for scaling this mattress biz?
I was just going to have a store. I'm not sure I was going to scale it beyond what it would have taken to run the 1 location. But, if I would have scaled it, I would have had someone else do all the work and worry. Those days are over for me.... BUT.... this does not mean I'm out of the mattress business. I will be back at another time. I have another source but they aren't name brand.... I jumped on this because of the price for name brand. Lots of money in mattresses.
 

SamRussell

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Dec 3, 2018
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www.SamRussell.co.uk
My guitar teaching business is slowly failing over the last two years after I let it die.

I launched an online teaching membership website over the last two weeks. I had a high quality list of 2000 guitar players that liked my online articles and a free eBook they got. They liked the course outlines... but $29/mo was too expensive. One person signed up, and I refunded him and cancelled the launch today.

I launched a heavy metal album two years ago. Got great reviews... and really struggling to make any sales on that. Had a sales funnel running and came close to making it break even but couldn't get to that point.

I know that I can:
  • write great music
  • play to a very high level
  • teach people very well - you can give me the most musically retarded person ever and if they want to learn guitar I will get them playing, writing and improvising.
But I'm struggling to find the right combination that works from a business perspective and also works for me.

ACT: I'm trying new things and trying to figure out something that sticks and that I can stick to long term without feeling like my soul is being destroyed piece by piece. I'm growing a more engaged social media following of people who really like watching me improvise and my music.

ASSESS: In person 1-2-1 lesson and groups lessons don't work for me (although people will pay astonishing amounts). Selling lessons online is incredibly difficult from the sheer competition and amount of free stuff (the free stuff actually holds people back) - at least, from what I've tried.

ADJUST: Trying some B2B ideas with music (writing an album of instrumental music they can use as part of an opt-in campaign), posting classical style compositions with a tab that people can download for $3 (I have successfully sold some tabs for pieces), will try a subscription DVD and book program for guitar method (partner with a comic book that has distribution, give away the first one for free), a fan membership site, putting courses for sale on my website where people pay per course. I'm also looking to see if I can find people who will pay to have a piece of music written for them (I thought it could make a fancy gift maybe)

I think my audience is too small to monetise from a sponsorship perspective but it's also something that I'm going to look into.


Something needs to work and soon, because at this right I'll be bankrupt and moving back in with my parents.
 

SK1

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 3, 2019
29
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UK
All of my great ideas that have never been realised or even started.
:(
 
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
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getUnscripted.com
I had no customers or process to attract customers
So who was your target customer, the one who pays... bank C-suite-ers? And the end user was just banking customers?
 

maverick

Unorthodox Nonconformist
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So who was your target customer, the one who pays... bank C-suite-ers? And the end user was just banking customers?
So the person buying it would be a C-suiter. The person using it would be part the compliance department of a given bank.

Quote from Forbes:
Some major financial institutions spend up to $500 million annually on KYC and customer due diligence, according to Thomson Reuters.

This department works very manual. They go through each dossier 1 at a time. The problem is that many people who work here, are contractors. They do not have an incentive to speed things up and/or make things more efficient.

Learning here is to have direct access to (motivated) end-users.

Full Forbes article here:
Know Your Customer (KYC) Will Be A Great Thing When It Works
 

SK1

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 3, 2019
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UK
I stumbled into an ebay business. Realised that I could make +300% markup buying used clothes from charity stores and selling on ebay. Then started ebuying and selling on ebay to build up more stock. Income was pretty good for a part time second job and I enjoyed the "treasure hunting".
Then about 2 years ago ebay started changing fees and selling expectations and sales completely slowed down. The final nail was when looking at the profits and assessing the hours put in - not good.
My method was to add lots of high quality photos and details to help drive sales - which was good, but when I realised that each item took 30 mins to fully list, plus sorting postage, drop offs, returns and items that did not sell - the hourly rate was so poor.
Im now stuck with about £4000 worth of stock but have not desire or motivation to list it all.
Maybe I will gift it back to the charities...

I used to call this business "bottom feeding", I now call it sidewalk!
 

Charnell

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis
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5 years ago I found self-publishing and started out writing my own books, then outsourcing after stumbling onto a few scumbag gurus. Things were going well, I had a few freelancers working with me and I was making around 10x ROI. Most people would go all in and keep it up.

I thought I cracked the code to passive income and "made it" so I stopped publishing. $4k/month turned to $3.2k turned to $2.8k turned to (nowadays) $200/month. Additionally, this was started around the same time @MTF started his progress thread. If you're an insider, check out how he's doing.

Quite dumb of me.
 

Johnny boy

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
300
1,589
465
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Washington State
My guitar teaching business is slowly failing over the last two years after I let it die.

I launched an online teaching membership website over the last two weeks. I had a high quality list of 2000 guitar players that liked my online articles and a free eBook they got. They liked the course outlines... but $29/mo was too expensive. One person signed up, and I refunded him and cancelled the launch today.

I launched a heavy metal album two years ago. Got great reviews... and really struggling to make any sales on that. Had a sales funnel running and came close to making it break even but couldn't get to that point.

I know that I can:
  • write great music
  • play to a very high level
  • teach people very well - you can give me the most musically retarded person ever and if they want to learn guitar I will get them playing, writing and improvising.
But I'm struggling to find the right combination that works from a business perspective and also works for me.

ACT: I'm trying new things and trying to figure out something that sticks and that I can stick to long term without feeling like my soul is being destroyed piece by piece. I'm growing a more engaged social media following of people who really like watching me improvise and my music.

ASSESS: In person 1-2-1 lesson and groups lessons don't work for me (although people will pay astonishing amounts). Selling lessons online is incredibly difficult from the sheer competition and amount of free stuff (the free stuff actually holds people back) - at least, from what I've tried.

ADJUST: Trying some B2B ideas with music (writing an album of instrumental music they can use as part of an opt-in campaign), posting classical style compositions with a tab that people can download for $3 (I have successfully sold some tabs for pieces), will try a subscription DVD and book program for guitar method (partner with a comic book that has distribution, give away the first one for free), a fan membership site, putting courses for sale on my website where people pay per course. I'm also looking to see if I can find people who will pay to have a piece of music written for them (I thought it could make a fancy gift maybe)

I think my audience is too small to monetise from a sponsorship perspective but it's also something that I'm going to look into.


Something needs to work and soon, because at this right I'll be bankrupt and moving back in with my parents.

Try this:

Make as many videos as possible of "how to play ___ by ____" and make as many as you can. Use blackhat SEO tricks from blackhatworld about how to get videos ranking quickly on youtube.

Raise your prices and become an expert offering $300 lessons.

If you need some attention just go run the field at a pro baseball game with a big sign that says "guitar lessons $300 call 555-5555", go viral and then sign up some people. You'll pay $1,000 and a night in jail. Get a friend to film it, watermark it heavily and give it to big instagram accounts and as a condition they have to post your phone number to call for lessons. I bet it would work.

Anything is better than quitting and being a loser forever until you die.
 

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