Fail, Reflect, Repeat. Launch.
Four years ago I co-founded a business with some friends. The idea was to support ecommerce businesses that had great products but no idea how to maximize their profits online.
My experience is in website design and marketing, one of my partners had a pretty successful Amazon store, and our third partner was the financial brains behind the operation. We started with a very strong team and about $8,000 dollars. Before we started offering any services we wanted prove that we were capable of taking a product to market and doing well. We tapped personal connections to find product ideas. After lots of research, we decided on selling succulents online.
Over the next year, that succulent business grew to be our primary focus. What started as just a test product became so successful it was impossible to let go.
For me, something was missing. We were doing very well and continuing to grow, but I wasn’t excited anymore. The joy I felt from every new order was dwindling. Most days were just packaging and shipping orders; holidays were absolutely insane. I needed a change.
After many long, difficult conversations with my partners, I decided to leave the business.
I had no plans for what I would do next, I just knew I didn’t want to be doing that.
Over the next 3 years I tried many business ideas with varying degrees of failure. I would constantly reflect on the previous business and think about how things could have been different; what I should have done to improve the situation.
Last year I opened up to a friend about all of this. Where it went wrong, what I did wrong, and what I think it could’ve been. He was very interested in my experience and specifically about what it could’ve been. We had some drinks and continued to discuss that part of it.
I told my friend how we were selling succulents through every possible channel and consistently adding more. No matter which new marketplace or flash sale site we added, the same problems would occur. Succulents need their own categories, buyers need to be better informed, and there needs to be a much larger selection. No marketplace offered those things. Customers had no good options, so they were forced to settle.
It was from this problem that the idea of a succulent marketplace was born.
During the discussion of what that might look like and how I would do things differently, my friend said “Let’s do it.”
Even 3 years later, I still felt very low energy on the subject.
I told him I would guide him on the proper steps to take, but I didn’t want to invest any time or money into the project.
We came up with a plan to start building our audience first. We set milestones that would trigger actions on my part. For example, at 500 likes I’ll buy a domain name, at 2,000 likes I’ll start designing the website, etc. This strategy ended up being very successful for us and ended up slowly restoring my lost motivation. My friend, now co-founder, took this challenge, ran with it, and built the foundation for our company.
I know for a fact I would’ve never done this on my own and it wouldn’t be anywhere close to as good if I had.
After a very long and exciting year, we were able to set and announce the launch date of our new site; Harddy.com, the first and currently the only online succulent marketplace. The website launches today!
We have almost 30,000 followers across social platforms, 8 vendors selling 500+ different products (more vendors and products are still being added), 1,000 customers on our mailing list, and everything is growing daily.
I have never been so excited and nervous for a project launch in my 12 years of entrepreneurship.
I wanted to share my story with you today because I finally feel that even past failures were very much worth it. Multiple failed experiences taught me something each time. Learning each time what I would do differently finally added up to something amazing.
If you enjoyed this, we invite you to subscribe to keep posted on our new business venture, and the many ups and downs I am sure we will experience along the way. Thanks for reading!