We all have failed.
And here’s the story of one of my business failures that then turned into a small success…
I created a website back in 2005 called the “True Raffles.” It was an website that showcased raffles across the country for a fee. The non-profit, or church, or whomever would pay us $50 for listing their car raffles, house raffles, or whatever.
I had spent money on the logo, made business cards, and did all of the typical bullshit I thought I had to do to “be in business.”
I had spent $4,000 on a website and waited four months...
I sent emails, made phone calls, did everything I could to drum up business and after one year, one thing was obvious… it was a dog.
I made a whopping $400 that year!
So after feeling like a loser and falling flat on my face, I picked my pride back up off the floor and I came up with a better idea.
I thought “Heck, let me just teach people how to create and launch a raffle and sell that.”
So I spent a few weeks writing the ebook, interviewing experts in the field, creating the website, then… I threw it up for sale.
And the first week, I made $500 in sales.
I made more in one week than I did all year. Eureka! (Actually, it was more like “Son-of-a-*****! What took me so long!?”)
That simple “failure” went on the make me an extra (and automated) $18,000 per year. I later sold it for a nice profit.
This so-called “failure” taught me a few secrets to success...
Secret 1: You’ve Got To Live & Learn
(Had to throw that in there. If you’re an 80's kid, you’ll know the song.)
So how many times have you failed?
Me? At least 25 times… in many things.
I sucked at soccer, got whooped up in football, but kicked some serious ass in wrestling.
I found the passion and stuck to it.
I learned, studied, practiced like a mad man, and actively went out of my way to camps, trainings, and open tournaments to prepare myself for next years matches.
This in the “trenches” learning and diligence paid off really well.
But get this…
The summer before I went on to dominate my senior year I lost 14 matches in a row doing Greco Roman off-season tournaments. I got my ass handed to me.
I tried changing my strategy, yet still couldn’t win a match. Now this is coming from someone who only lost 8 matches the previous season to 14 in a row.
What did I do?
I practiced harder and made it to the State Championships later that year.
Secret 2: Drop the Dud’s
Ever create a product, website, or piece of software that just never really took off? I’ve created plenty, but after months of “trying” to get them to work, I learned to drop the dud’s quickly and move on.
Not just because it wasn’t working out, but because many of the ideas I had were only for small scale businesses. Small niches that had no growth potential.
If you’re going to spend a great deal of time in and on your business, you’ll want to choose a market that can support a big business.
Small niche’s can be dominated and taken over completely with a few simple strategies, but may not be worth it for the long haul 100% of your time and energy.
Having 100% market share in a $1,000 per year market isn’t a success.
Kill it and move on.
Secret 3: Fail Fast
One of the biggest lessons I learned in marketing and just business in general is the notion of “failing fast.”
Create it, launch it, learn from it, and fail fast.
The first design or prototype you put out will always be the worst it will ever be. Version 1 is going to suck, version 2 is going to be much much better, and version 3 will be 3x more better than the first.
But without first putting it out there, you’ll never know.
So fail fast, learn from your users, and use survey’s to gather feedback of their experiences with your product or service.
Fail fast and move on to your next million dollar idea… :)
It’s there for the taking.
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If you liked this, than you’ve love my other article…
The Single Biggest Reason Why Most Startups Will Launch To Crickets
Hi. I’m Chris Brisson and the co-founder of Call Loop and KickaConference. I failed English class 3 times, not because I’m an idiot, it’s because I didn’t do the work. The FSU parties were more important at the time. I stopped writing in 2011 and started picking it up again. This article is the first of many. If I can write — anyone can. I’m also on the Twitter.