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What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share)

How much money did it take?

Are you doing your business full time now?

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one?

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others?

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business?

What things did you have to give up?

Anything else you would like to share.

Thank you


[–]TFWnoLTR 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I had a small drywall company for a few years. It fell through because I got cheap and decided against consulting an accountant and ended up in debt to the IRS enough to have to liquidate and close.

The startup cost varies depending on your business. I went about 10k into credit card debt in a month. I had to beg suppliers to give me credit. It was stressful and occasionally humiliating, but it payed off big time when I had a few big money maker contracts come my way.

If you're going to start a business you have to be ready and willing to go all out on it. You can't have any reservations or doubts. You'll be on the verge of financial ruin for most of the first two years and even after you think its stable things will happen that make you worry and want to quit. Don't quit. You can't. The only thing keeping your business going is usually your own will to make it work.

I became more driven than I ever thought I could be. I also had a kid on the way which helped with motivation. Don't recommend that part.

Just be ready and able to work 70+ hours a week even while your ahead and you'll be fine.

[–]superbad4life 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I am working 40-50 hours/week, but wanted to start a side business to (hopefully) set myself up for not needing that job. What would you recommend I do? And buying out my contract isn't really an option...

[–]morescoobysnacks 1 points1 points [recovered]

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one?

Always start another one. Very few entrepreneurial guys can do day jobs. You hate yourself too much knowing you're donating your time so some asshole can fuck and party 24/7 on your time. Plus it's a rush building businesses no matter how many times you do it. It's just fun as fuck.

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others?

The largest benefit every successful business owner experiences is the same- time. On the way up, everybody thinks about whores, cars, vegas, whatever, but the real payoff is that you bought your freedom. Of course, a lot of businesses just get you a job--whatever you do, it has to be able to scale, whether that's software, a sales operation, affiliate marketing, whatever. Outsource worthless positions to the Philippines. Slave labor is great.

People ascribe you very high value. Women are turned on by it. I hear, "it's really hot how ambitious you are" a lot. Girls don't flake or disappear on me after they know. That's one thing I just don't experience often. Of course, I don't live in NYC or LA where guys have money so I'm a snowflake here. Caveat is that self-qualifying is the death of value (you want to MOG a guy? get him to self-qualify) so either your wing helps you out or you don't use it on the initial approach.

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business?

Nothing you're going to be able to prepare for. First few are always a fucking rollercoaster. Lot of stressful shit.

What things did you have to give up?

Everything. I moved to BK when I was 24 with 0 in the bank and lived in a basement for 2 years. I'd go to sleep and wakeup in that cold ass room getting yelled at by pissed off clients. Hated every second of my life. On the upside, you can't beat NYC sushi or pizza or faucet water, although I couldn't afford the former two often. But those two years were worth more than any Harvard education.

[–]woke_wizard 4 points5 points  (3 children)

I’m graduating in may with a marketing degree and I’ve always planned on being a business owner.

Would you recommend that I work in the marketing field for a few years before I attempt to start a business? Or would it be better to start one while I work.

I did start a dropshipping business that failed because I ran out of money for marketing. I learned more doing that for a few months than I have in 4 years of business school.

[–]morescoobysnacks 1 points1 points [recovered]

Just keep starting businesses and studying. Read some John Caples and/or whoever the modern John Caples is, read a good web analytics book and know how to run tests, learn unbounce or an alternative, know how setup basic non-dev dog shit like wordpress for your landers (kinsta + cloudflare makes life easy), read some Paul Graham stuff (like http://www.paulgraham.com/die.html), read a good sales book, figure out how to hire a Filipino for $300/m that speaks and writes fluent English, obviously be familiar with fb/ig/adwords, but try smaller platforms like spotify and pinterest and reddit too. Offline still works. Don't tunnel on any one source. I'd suggest taking a course like odinproject so you understand how the web works too so you know how everything connects. I completed that course in ~5 months and it's been invaluable when outlining what I need done for devs and when needing to do some stuff on the fly that I'd of otherwise had to pay someone to help me do.

But this is from my perspective and I'm a marketer. Somebody who's rich off some bullshit startup would tell you to learn to raise money and he wouldn't be wrong.

[–]dongpal 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Seems like this kind of stuff still seems to work? Do these affilitive marketing still work? Reminds me of Dan Lok who said without internet it wouldve taken him way more years to reach his wealth.

[–]clausternn 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Caveat is that self-qualifying is the death of value

Fuck, really? I need to stop saying anything that might vaguely imply I have money then. I'm always telling chicks about how I love to travel, live in a condo, work in finance, that kinda thing. Not in an arrogant way, just in a matter-of-fact way. Still, probably need to change it up.

[–]creating_my_life 55 points56 points  (4 children)

What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share)

Technology.

How much money did it take?

About a half a million in cash and 4 years 1 1/2 FTE.

Are you doing your business full time now?

Yep

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one?

Either. Working for someone would be easy and comfortable.

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others?

I have little tolerance for lack of ambition or passiveness now.

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business?

Significantly more discipline. Ability to have uncomfortable conversations. Willingness to abandon bad ideas or people.

What things did you have to give up?

Comfort, luxury, security, a social life, etc. You're all-in.

Anything else you would like to share.

Most small business owners I know wouldn't do it again. Too much work and risk, not enough payout.

[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Hire me after I’m out of college

[–]DanielAPO 25 points26 points  (0 children)

"I have little tolerance for lack of ambition or passiveness now."

I relate so much to this.

[–]InstigatingDrunk 1 point2 points  (1 child)

what field? what made you think "I can be my own boss"

[–]creating_my_life 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had been doing a side project for a client for a while, and that had been going well. I saw a gap in the marketplace and decided, "fuck it, I'm going to give up a few years of income, blow through all my cash and then some, and buy shitty health insurance and see if I can make something here."

so, yes, several years and lots of cash later, I'm now making what I could have been at a job, but it's a deep hole to dig out of.

Oh, I'm also really fucking good at what I do, and pretty good at sales & people.

[–]nabosch 11 points12 points  (2 children)

What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share) Digital marketing, primarily paid social advertising and Google Ads.

How much money did it take? About $500 for my website hosting and to organize as an LLC in my state. I built the website myself so saved money there.

Are you doing your business full time now? No, this is a side hustle to my full-time job which is also digital marketing at a local agency. I do the same thing I do both at work and at my freelance side hustle.

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one? I currently am working.

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others? I've always been charismatic and willing to talk with anyone which carried over very well to business. Being the CEO of a small business and feeling that sense of accomplishment through self-reliance and making your own cash is a huge confidence boost. It's a major drive to work for myself one day and set my own hours so it's a good start. I walk taller on Saturday night knowing more than 90% of the people out here are doing less than me.

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business? You have to be organized, especially with your time management.

What things did you have to give up? I don't watch TV or play video games unless it's much needed to decompress. I don't go out as much anymore since I'd rather be working on my business.

[–]creating_my_life 14 points15 points  (1 child)

No, this is a side hustle to my full-time job which is also digital marketing at a local agency. I do the same thing I do both at work and at my freelance side hustle.

Make sure you have a written agreement that states your current FT employer has no claim to your side business. You might be in for a surprise. Just make sure they know about it and consider it non-competitive.

[–]nabosch 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yes, definitely this. I did tell my employer about it and made sure everything was G2G with them. I have my niche that that doesn't overlap with theirs. But very important to get this squared away.

[–]lovs2spuge 21 points22 points  (1 child)

With a small loan of one million dollars from my father.

[–]DntPnicIGotThis 9 points10 points  (0 children)

something not woman related finally

edit: very insightful

[–]downvotesanimals 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I run an engineering consulting business.

Luckily, engineering businesses have very little overhead. I began working out of an office in my apartment. I needed to purchase some codes, software, computers, licenses, etc. Likely less than $10k to get things up and running.

I run the business full time.

I wouldn't go back to working for someone else if I could possibly help it.

It hasn't changed my interaction with people much at all. Only to some degree if I know I'm talking to a potential client, but my approach is to not be overly pushy since I can't stand those types of people.

I had to learn to take on new challenges I hadn't expected, to learn different skills and to generally be much more flexible than I thought I had to be when diving in at first.

I truly think I've gained infinitely more than I gave up, but one thing I gave up for certain is being able to go off the grid. Even when I travel to Europe I need to ensure I get a travel phone plan, check emails constantly, etc.

[–]KidWonder101 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I've been trying to find a qualified engineering consulting group. Are you in the industry of aerospace engineering or materials science?

[–]downvotesanimals 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No, sorry.

[–]1atticusfinch1973 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Have been self employed for most of my career and now am opening a larger gym (3500 square feet on two levels) in about two weeks. Personal trainer.

The new larger space took about 200k in capital for lease, renovations and equipment upgrades. Bank loan and I have a partner.

There’s pros and cons. Pros are I make my own hours, but at the end of the day I’m responsible for clients and satisfaction. Don’t take a lot of time off. Money is obviously way better than working for someone else.

I’d always suggest someone start off doing their own thing part time and see what level you can handle. Running a business isn’t for everyone, in fact 95% of people in my industry have no clue how to run a business at all. Or they are just lazy.

[–]ProFriendZoner 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Went to vocational school, graduated.

Hung my shingle out.

Hustled for business.

Got a sweet deal on an office.

My second business but the first I do just for fun. This is the serious one and is a big shock after working the 40 hour a week paid every 2 weeks jobs. Now everything is my problem instead of someone else's.

Didn't give up anything. GAINED freedom. Make my own hours. LOVE what i'm doing.

One of my brothers usually says about things "The talkin' part's over". Meaning it's time for action. You can talk about it or do it. Do it.

[–]russelln 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I too would like information like this. I feel like I have to drive to run a business but the actual logistics of setting it up seem to escape me.

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

If you truly have the drive to run your own business, you will learn. Intense desire always finds a way to get things done.

[–]Lambdal7 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Before you want to start a real business or a tech startup, you should try to start to start 10 mini businesses throughout high school and college to learn how it all works.

Try small things like

  1. Building a lawn mowing business in your neighborhood for your neighbors lawns
  2. Selling candy at school to your friends at a profit
  3. Sell merchandise or electronics from China in West for a 50% margin
  4. Make a small app that takes you 2 weeks to build for $1,000 with an outsourced Indian guy. Don’t try a bigger one.
  5. Consulting for a specific niche. You need to build clients for that. This takes years to build a good client base, but can be done on the side.

Each of these small business should only take you a few weeks to get off the ground and you should quit it as soon as you see it’s hard to get it to make decent money ($50/h of your time).

Then, after college or in your late 20s/early 30s, you should have enough capital/social skills/network/experience to launch a larger business quickly.

The thing is, even if youre a top business graduate from an Ivy league university and you start uour first business without any prior experience, you will fail for 3 years.

If you already have experience and made all the mistakes, then you can build your prosuct quickly without all the bullshit, don’t listen to friends and family who have no idea of business, but want to give you tips all the time and get traction quickly or see that you need to change it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Where do you find Indians to program?

[–]Lambdal7 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Upwork.

[–]xrKles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This

[–]DanishApollon 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share)

- I'm a hypnotist/hypnotherapist. I help people overcome all kinds of issues, such as depression, anxiety, pains, phobias, etc.

How much money did it take?

- Not much, really. I took some affordable classes, and learned a TON from online resources. Google REALLY is your friend. Also, lots of colleagues who are willing to educate and share online are ALSO great friends. Be a positive person, and everyone wants to see you succeed.

Are you doing your business full time now?

- Yes.

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one?

- I am very much counting on doing this one way or another until I retired. I don't see it slowing down. Only time will tell. I would probably build another business if this one shut down.

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others?

- Having the business got me freedom. Sure, I still work 5 days a week, but completely different circumstances. I basically have nice, cozy conversations with 2 or 3 people a day. They love being here. I get to work in my kitchen and have my dog with me.

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business?

- Absolutely nothing. Just had to work on my skills.

What things did you have to give up?

- Hmmm... the commute?

Anything else you would like to share.

- I would like to say that this is the best thing I have ever done for me. I work for ME, I make my own money. I'm good at doing what I do. I charge premium price, but I also see that my clients are MORE than happy paying for my services. I can only recommend it.

[–]AdenDark 3 points4 points  (1 child)

My biggest problem is figuring out the "grand idea". I try to be observant and see what people need, buy I guess that's why I wear glasses. lol

[–]JarHeadJoseph 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You’ll never make it anywhere with a big idea. It’s 2018, everything as been made and every accessory for that thing has been made. If you do happen do have a “grand idea” and carry it out, you’ll end up getting copied by other people with 500x more money than you, making it better and advertising it better.

[–]self-medicate 1 point2 points  (2 children)

What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share) Talent Management Software

How much money did it take? Averaged about half-a-million in projected sales

Are you doing your business full time now? No, when the recession hit in 2008 our investors pulled and we had to sell

Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one? I'm back to doing what I was before.

How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others? The sheer amount of knowledge I amassed from the venture is absolutely insane. I wouldn't trade the practical knowledge for anything. Going into the venture I had no business background, and now as I'm preparing for my CFA I basically know the entire curriculum because of my experience. The loss was tough financially though, still paying back the personal bank loans etc.

What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business? Originally I felt super insecure going to angel investors and networking with other CEOs who all had way more credentials than I basically had none. I had to change the "I don't belong here" mentality p quick.

What things did you have to give up? Financial independence, sanity. Its tough when people tell you "don't take it personally, its just business" but the business is tied to your livelyhood

[–]AnAbsoluteSith 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Did you have a finance background originally? or did you decide to pursue your CFA after your business experience? Which level you're at now?

[–]self-medicate 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Level 1 Candidate writing in December. No finance background originally. Going to law school next year so I’ll do my level 2 in June and then defer my level 3 for a while

[–]Joeboard 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was supposed to take over a family business. Had to get out of it though, running your own business just isnt worth it IMO unless your making millions a year.

Too much stress. Youll never have a day off, ever. Work will be the first thing on your mind in the am, last thing on your mind before you fall asleep. When you dont need the money, youll always be your busiest. When your hurting for money youll always be slow. No time for personal life, your business will take 100% of your time. You can just about forget about gaming women, youll rarely have the opportunity to venture out for pleasure.

I left the business alittle over a year ago, and am very happy I did. It feels SO GOOD to be able to punch out and leave your hectic day at work, at work.

[–]UsernameIWontRegret 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I quit my job as a truck driver which I was doing in between my junior and senior years of college right before I started my senior year.

I could not take it anymore. The 70 hours 6 days a week for $14 an hour. I literally could not do it anymore, I quit on the spot.

Realized I hated working for other people. Of the three jobs I had I quit two of them and got fired from the other.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to start my own business. I had some ideas and had always been entrepreneurial my entire life, ever since middle school at least. I knew the paperwork would take a while so I just filed the paperwork while thinking of what to do.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to know what you’re doing to file the paperwork for a business. A business legally is a skeleton, a shell, now licensing is different.

Eventually settled on dropshipping to start. Low cost and low risk with high upside. It was the perfect tester/starter business.

Cost me less than $600 to start and less than $150 a month to maintain.

Now I’m making about $1,000 a day in revenue.

Worth it?

Fuck yes.

My goal is to snowball companies into real estate and high dividend stocks and retire by the time I’m 30.

While it’s actually more work than I’ve ever done, it’s actually enjoyable.

But here’s the thing. You must be honest with yourself. You are everything when you’re an entrepreneur. You’re the CEO, the accountant, the investor, the lawyer, the everything. It’s simultaneously thrilling and overwhelming. But it was one of the changes I look back on and can’t even remember life before I decided to do it. It was liberating, and before that moment I never knew what passion was. I always thought it was BS propaganda. Then I got it.

[–]obbimauler 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I'm considering doing dropshipping as a hustle next year. How did you go about finding and securing wholesalers/suppliers and what kind of upkeep is required to maintain those connections?

[–]UsernameIWontRegret 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Honestly, almost everything is automated in terms of maintenance. Most wholesale websites are super familiar with drop shippers, it’s a very common thing.

[–]obbimauler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good to know, thanks. I know since you're buying wholesale you buy the item at a wholesale price. Do suppliers bill you periodically for items bought over a certain amount of time, or is the system automated so that you receive a margin post-sale?

[–]BittyMitty 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Dude, I just gathered some quality people.
We got a small project on the roll. And several leads.

If you need some small java project, I can do it for you.
Either way, having the right people for the job makes things easy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What all have you done for people in Java?

[–]BittyMitty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Backend for sites and apps.

[–]no_shops_no_masters 0 points1 point  (0 children)

*What does your business consist of? (Without going in too much detail if you don’t wanna share) I am a tattoo artist working in my own private studio.

*How much money did it take? Supplies, tools, business overhead (rent/licencing/etc.) all cost about 3-5K. Training and skill development took years of unpaid work and constant practice.

*Are you doing your business full time now? No, it started out as a hobby and has grown to a part time job over the last few years. Ny regular job in research is very interesting (as well as great health/retirement benefits) so there is no incentive on my part to quit and tattoo full time.

*Would you ever go back to working if your business failed or start another one? I have never put all my eggs in one basket. I always have had at least two jobs or side hustles for this exact reason - you can always fall back on a solid, soul crushing 9-5 gig while you're building yourself and growing a business. I like having the income from both, and if one fails for an unforeseen reason I am not left without an income stream.

*How did having/starting a business change your life and the way you interact with others? I became much better at communicating with people than when I started. I had to become firm with my expectations and boundaries. I had to learn to work with a client on their artistic ideas in order to render them into designs that translate into good tattoos. I learned a lot about how people will waste your time if you let them, and how to read from interactions whether people are genuinely interested in your skills/product, or if they are just stealing oxygen from the room.

As an addendum to this, my entire business is word of mouth (I do not spend anything on advertising) - this has afforded me some interesting social opportunities. People who I have never met in my city know who I am, my social status has increased by orders of magnitude, and I have a reputation and mystique that precedes me in social interactions.

*What things did you have to change about yourself to start a business? What things did you have to give up? I had to unlearn people pleasing behaviors, become more upfront with my expectations, and more firm with my boundaries. I had to become more organized with my time, more clear with my goals, and more dedicated to my art. I became much more frugal with my money, much more organized with my time, and much more satisfied with how I spent my downtime/free time. I had to give up comparing myself to others (which is a downward spiral), and learn to be ruthless with self-improvement by only comparing myself today with myself from yesterday/last week/last year.

I had to give up a lot of long time friendships that weren't congruent with my mission and goals. Evenings previously spent listening to records, bullshitting about nonsense, and cracking open cold ones with the boys are now a luxury I don't even miss. I would much rather be reading, relaxing, or working on art. I had to give up big portions of my ego - situational anger, frustration, and entitlement no longer shake my frame.

*Anything else you would like to share. I didn't set out with the goal in mind to start a business. I had an interest and hobby which fueled by passion and and disciplined self-improvement positioned me to to recognize the opportunity to meet an unserved need/niche in an over-saturated market. Nature abhors a vacuum. When I started years ago, I was only person in my area serving that niche market. Others began to imitate and infiltrate this market, but I've stayed relevant and profitable by keeping myself humble, disciplined, and true to myself.

TRP principles are applicable in all aspects of your life - it's repeated ad nauseum here that if you're internalizing and practicing the sidebar principles, the same principles are applicable to achieve results in whatever sphere you apply them.

If anyone requires further clarification or questions please feel free to PM me :)