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Zero sales, not enough $ to move out from parents


Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
May 19, 2015
You're putting the cart before the horse. I actively do influencer marketing etc but you cant do it with a single product and no brand... Here's a reality check that I hope helps you understand more.

1. Review the need your filling, yes you may have competitors in the same niche but are you better? are you actually providing something that is different than everyone else to the market. If you are not, liquidate your inventory, take the lessons you've learned and start another brand.

2. If you can address the issue and fill a need you MUST have a paid traffic source to build your business. Whether its FBA, FB ads, or Google Ads, you can't scale a business effectively (like the way you are describing) without paid traffic. Influencer marketing doesnt count because you cant reinvest profits at a known rate for a predictable ROI.

* This is where I see alot of people fail and was why I failed because I was scared to spend money and didnt have a method of achieving growth otherwise. Spend the money.

3. Once you have a predictable paid traffic source that can scale that is when you can reinvest those profits and test with influencers. I pay influencers a flat rate each month and they post my products and represent my brand and in turn I get spikes in sales, social proof, and brand recognition/following.

4. You're going to need a 30%+ margin because at scale you will need to pay for overhead like warehousing, utilities, process improvements, employees etc not to mention the volatility that can be experienced with ad spend on various platforms. On top of that if you are building a brand and releasing new products the profits need to be reinvested.

5. To point 4, you probably can expect to not pay yourself a liveable wage for years. I'm 3 years into my business and I still do not pay myself anything over what is required by law and to get to where you're describing it will be a few more years at the current growth rate. I work a day job that gives me flexibility and allows me to live on that while I build it.

If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Initially, I thought that’s how you build a brand through influencer marketing. There are too many examples of single product influencer marketing though. I don’t think that is the variable. Example are watch brands. Most of the time all they have are just a watch and promote it through influencer marketing. Since I have determined a loss already, It’s hard for me to justify spending ad dollars on this product. Hopefully the development of my new product will be better and use the traffic I am going to generate for that to sell them.

Just from reading the initial post, you have a product problem. The influencers and marketing etc is a push not a pull. Is your product simply a clothing line with your logo on? Why would anybody want to wear that? What problem does it solve? What value does it provide?

No the product is not just a logo slap on. Design difference and function difference. Problem? It’s the same problem that all clothing/fashion solves, people like different designs. As time goes on, I have seen multiple brands just become successful selling just like you said. A printed at shirt with their logo. They are selling it for 70...
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New Contributor
Dec 28, 2017
Brooklyn, NY
You want it to work really bad that is clear but what I also read from your concerns is that you have set expectations. You seem unable or unwilling to let go because you are so invested and locked in to what you have seen on other trajectories. You need to take a deep breath and understand that things are not one size fits all. Your path will always be different from others. Additionally, if you fell short of expectation its as simple as you have been doing already, revaluate and redo. If its still not working just let it go you're not set in stone. You can move. (zen successfully transmitted)


Legendary Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi guys, thanks for all the GOLD advice. Even though I read the books, I was taking actions differently from what i read. So I wasn't blatantly ignoring everyone's advice, but the thought of having this much invested and losing it tended to overpower everything else at the time. I have listed everything at a loss.

Reading and and taking action what I learned in the books is different with all the real world variables in terms effecting my decision.

Should have made the cost and time frame more clear.

For the 10k costs, it was like this. 7k in development. 3k in actual inventory. It was about 2 years of other business failures that amounted this frustration. But this specific venture I am 7 months total. 6 months development, but a little over a month into the "market". I guess that explains me still having the hope before.

Developing an entirely new product for this brand.

How did you end up at 7k in development for a product that costs $65? Did you even calculate the return that you needed to break even? You would have to sell 500 units at $200 a piece just to break even. There should have been a big red flag somewhere along the way that there was no way for this to be profitable ever.

Now, maybe you included development costs in your $65 product cost. In that case, you ordered 150 units at $20 a unit? If this is the case you could breakeven on this run and profit on the next run at $20 a unit.


Digital Marketer
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Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Mar 11, 2011
Planet Earth
One of my side projects is exactly like what you are trying.

Have tried tons of projects before and had the experience to decide whether it was worth pushing on.

Gave it 1 month and decided to drop it.

Started another business and have done very well in the few months we started.

In the meantime, have learnt considerably from the "failed" venture and once ready, might dive back in and do something similar but that incorporates the lessons learnt.

"Be like water, my friend."

On another note, I think fastlane forum is the ONLY place where you could post a story like this and have everyone chiming in with golden nuggets. Some of the comments might not make you happy but you should take it.

Ultimately you make the call but bear in mind the wisdom of everyone who has chimed in.

Beats the results of a random survey, asking your friends, and your own perception.
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Read Fastlane!
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Dec 25, 2017
Perspective is needed I think. Some great advise in the replies above. I've been slow-lane financially secure and more recently slow-lane business poor. It sucks, sure, but I'm still here, still willing to start again, pick my sorry a$$ up and get back on track. These are YOUR lessons. Every story has them. You can't avoid them. Climbing a mountain isn't easy, but imagine the views when you get there. And when at the top, the world looks so different, not because you are at the top, but because YOU made the ascent!


Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 17, 2013
Los Angeles
Because so far I have not lived my life at all because of entrepreneurship. I have delayed all instant gratification. Starting over again would mean sacrificing several more years again. Don’t know if I should take a break and start living. All money made has went to investments, business, books and education.

Well, if you don’t have money you really feel it. I look at my situation as logically as possible. Why am I in this situation and what can I do to get out? I break down the variables and what is the limiting variable holding me back? Money. I don’t have enough to live at all. It’s just mathematics. Money enables a person to just about anything. Why can’t I move out? My mind is 100% ready to do this, but unable to do them because of lack of money. It’s just the harsh reality and pretty much red pill of life.

Wow man you better go get a day job because entrepreneurship is not for you. You don’t have the moral strength to do it and you are too close minded.


Platinum Contributor
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Speedway Pass
May 28, 2014
I tried all the tactics that all these people used to grow their business and this venture has no sales. The influencer marketing is hard as hell when you just starting out. Nobody wants to promote a nobody brand, but then again you need influencers to promote so I become a somebody.

How long have you done this? Are you hoping to have short gains over long-term gains? And may be you're focusing to much on that, instead of building a product that sells itself. Word of mouth is usually because it's awesome, and you can't wait to share it with someone else. Influence is what authentic buyers say, and if you just have fake influence, I'm not sure you'll make many sales off them, if they didn't actually like your product and you just paid them. If it was me, I'd take your money, post once, and be off doing my own thing. I can see the dilemma.

Everyone starts out a nobody, and frankly, it's long-term gains and trial and error. Adapting, adjusting, problem solving, do the opposite of what you've been doing, and spread your horizons.
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Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
May 19, 2015
How did you end up at 7k in development for a product that costs $65? Did you even calculate the return that you needed to break even? You would have to sell 500 units at $200 a piece just to break even. There should have been a big red flag somewhere along the way that there was no way for this to be profitable ever.

Now, maybe you included development costs in your $65 product cost. In that case, you ordered 150 units at $20 a unit? If this is the case you could breakeven on this run and profit on the next run at $20 a unit.

Was planning to sell it for around $120-$150, but obviously that didn’t work out. With that price point, It would have worked out. So with the $65 price point, this product wouldn’t work out. I’m F*cked.

I am in the process on building the new product and they are just clothing items, but they are quoting me these crazy prices just to get prototype and not sure how anyone can be profitable in a decent time frame.

For this product, I have learned not to go deep into this. All I am going to do is get a rough prototype and just an email capture landing page. Nothing more. I was going to get units for influencers to hype before release, but thats not feasible ordering less than 10 units, price would be way too high. So I was just going to run Facebook ads on the product, if no email could be captured then I guess I will drop it. Prototype costs seem unavoidable. I want to test without spending money on development.


talk less, listen more.
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Speedway Pass
May 5, 2015
@MakeMoreMoves sorry if this has been mentioned, but is this a product people can sell in a store/at a kiosk?

If I were you I'd stop worrying about influencers and start talking to real people. Hit up stores in person and on the phone, try to push your product through a store. Have you done that yet?


Gold Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Jan 27, 2016
Lyon, France
Also this mentally isn't helping you. Money isn't everything. Freedom is. Freedom can be attained in a multitude of ways, one of which is money.

The end goal isn't money, but to do cool sh*t.


ahah my man

only an INTJ can spot another INTJ

and only an INTJ can understand another INTJ

because the main point is freedom and time

not billions of dollars in the bank, wich by the way is just scam money since 1971 and president nixon's speech.

the point is meaning , the point is superior goals and values.

human evolution and occult teachings grounded in yang : nature and so on

the awakening of intelligence and so on and so on. etc.

you get the point .

from secret societies point of view, this society is just filled with smart animals looking for material things

not humans.

you now understand why you probably love to be alone , as an INTJ



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Feb 15, 2017
United Kingdom
So i don't understand the comment above to much, but based on your product being the problem, I don't totally agree. I believe the value proposition is not working.

Instead of lowering the price, how can you add value to your product which will then add value to potential customers and make them more willing to buy. Tip the scales to provide more perceived value than you are asking for!


All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
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Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2017
The amount of GOLD nuggets here is insane.
If OP doesn't wants them, I'll help myself...

Leave some for me too!

I actively do influencer marketing etc but you cant do it with a single product and no brand

But if you don't do influencer advertising and put their photos on your website, you won't have any social proof right? I was reading this book Cashvertising and it says that you can have the best product, best copywriting and everything, but you can still end up selling zero product because nobody believes you. And it says the way to counter this is to get social proof (in this case, influencers). Correct me if I'm wrong.


Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 8, 2017
One thing to note is that market payoff follows a power law. The top few in a space make most of the money.

If you've legitimately given the play your best shot, it's probably best to discard it, and try something else.
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Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Oct 23, 2017
Here are 10 Ideas I think can help you my friend:

1. Sell all your inventory at some loss and start a youtube channel about what you have learnt in 2.5 years .Try to teach people about what you have learnt and be ready to selflessly help them .
2. Give 5-6 Shirt/Jeans (whatever your product is) to poors, make videos about their reaction . Share it with people and make offer like every product they purchase you will help 1 poor person .Again make videos of this .(Not sure if it is unethical . If it feels unethical chuck this idea)
3. Send 4-5 shirt/jeans/product to Syria for free. At least you will be happy that you did something for hapless people .Don't think about money just think about helping your fellow human being.
4. Hire people on commision basis and ask them to sell your product door to door.
5. I am sorry to say my friend but you also need to change your mindset . I read the whole thread and for every suggestion/advice you had an excuse ..remind me of one very powerful quote ..either you will find a way or an excuse .
6. Just read this thread :GOLD! - Bought a huge house with a 3 car garage and a pool! (Effect of being open minded and following advice of great people on this forum)
7. You seem disappointed that you could not earn millions in 2-3 years . Don't put such limits ...just get to work and enjoy the process. Money will come once you have hustled enough .
8. Just try to make 1 sale . If need be you go door to door and try to sell it .
9. Go for a vacation for 1-2 weeks . Don't think about your business for sometime and enjoy
10. Last but not the least ...we are all mortals at the end of the day . Stop worrying and take this situation as a challenge ..enjoy the process . You will feel so proud of yourself thinking about these moments of struggle/confusion/frustration when you succeed.


Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Mar 23, 2017
I might settle for 15% margin and see how that works.

What?!?! You're 10k in the hole, for whatever amount of time, and you're still trying to have a profit margin? Get real dude.

What you MIGHT oughta do is keep lowering the price until it starts selling. The market sets the price, not you!

Looks like you need to recoup as much money as you can, at this point. Maybe off-load a bunch of it cheaply, then put that money into adwords for your website.
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New Contributor
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May 10, 2018
It's just that I am seeing these case studies of people building a million dollar business in 2 or less years. This is why I have this type of time frame. I am basing that as the average time frame.

You only hear about the 0.001% of businesses that reach this valuation, you don't hear about the flops in the news, about those who never made it. Your expectations are based on biased data and are simply unrealistic.

I'm not saying you can't get there, but just opening a business and expecting millions is simply not the reality. You need to have smaller milestones and have a direct plan on how to reach each milestone. Also consider money invested in a business as an investment, that's all it is. Investments can go to zero and it's okay if you can take experience that you can reflect on out of it.

Who's taking care of marketing for you? Are you doing it yourself? Do you know anything about marketing? You have a product, that's more than many will ever have, but how are you attempting to reach your audience in the first place? Asking other people to promote you is not sufficient, it should only be a minor add on on top of a business that's working already.

I just finished the book Cashvertising via Audible, I just realized that I knew nothing about marketing or advertising, I recommended it highly. Even with more knowledge in the area than before I'd always strongly considering having a professional to help with the matter but simply having an understanding on how customers think is crucial if you want to be anywhere near the representational part of your business, whether it's your website or the ads you run.

Once you get the hint that the market doesn't want you (hint: you should simply ask them up front) move on to the next thing and make sure it's a product or service that is needed. You may not have what it takes to sell a product that no one really needs, some can but it's a rare talent, but there's a good chance that with some basic marketing skills you'll be able to, easily, sell a product that's really needed.

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