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Whether you think you can or can't, you're right

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Burning Beard, May 31, 2011.

  1. Burning Beard

    Burning Beard
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    Should still be lurking

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    After reading the 'Put the gun down, it's not that kinda huntin' thread, it got my entrepreneurial side active again. Right now I am working in the banking industry and am not sure if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. The Girlfriend and I were going through a list of ideas we could possibly turn into a small business. We've spoken about the idea of our own business before, but it has always boiled down to something we weren't 100% passionate about or the cost involved in starting one.

    Focus: Are any of you (or have you been) entrepreneurs? What are your experiences?

    Alt-Focus: What are some of your ideas for small businesses?
     
  2. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    Too much uncertainty for me. I'm happy to do things on the side but throwing everything after a single idea - haven't found the right one yet.
     
  3. Solaris

    Solaris
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    Disturbed

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    My dream is to start my own business, probably web based.

    The idea of working for other people fucking repulses me, granted I'm going to have to work for the foreseeable future until something I start kicks off, but long term employment? No way.

    About two years ago I started with the ebook commerce site, clickbank. I put a fair bit of effort into a number of sites and although I only ever made one affiliate sale ($50), I felt I learnt a lot and I've recently been re-using those skills to try to get some more idea's off the ground.

    Although I've been broke for the last couple of months, I bought a domain a month or so ago <a class="postlink" href="http://www.bigredrose.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">www.bigredrose.com</a> from which I hoped to build numerous locally targeted sites for local business. I put a bit of effort into <a class="postlink" href="http://burnleyplumber.bigredrose.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://burnleyplumber.bigredrose.com</a> but have been having real trouble getting it to rank well at all. Even when the local competition have done next to no SEO work themselves. I guess Google just doesn't like multiple subdomains from the main domain, so I'm hitting it up to buy burnleyplumber.net or whatever is available.

    Over the last few years I've done several similar idea's to these, including a ton of freelance writing work which has made me enough money. But for me, working freelance is still pretty much working for other people and so I want my efforts to pay off repeatedly.

    So I'm gonna keep trying, I'm willing to fail continually until I actually succeed, and of course I'm learning along the way too.
     
  4. rei

    rei
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    I want to create a cloud-computing DVR.

    Currently upspeeds make this not viable.
     
  5. hooker

    hooker
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    If selling fake sterling silver Tiffany and Links of London jewelry to rich house wives on weekends constitutes entrepreneurialism, then yes I was an entrepreneur.

    I started doing it because I attended one of these “jewelry parties” and the whole time I was thinking, “This bitch must be making a shit-ton of money, because all this junk pretty much sells itself.”

    So I looked into getting the cheap knock-offs myself (from China, of course), and let people host parties, with my jewelry on display for order. This all equated to zero work on my part, aside from showing up with the jewelry, taking the orders, and taking the money.
     
  6. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated
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    I guess you could call myself and my business partners entrepreneurs, but we certainly don't style ourselves that way. We currently own a number of businesses and investments and seem incapable of focusing on one thing at a time (I believe this is called diversification of risk). Any investment can be a crapshoot, especially in today's society, so we've had our ups and downs. Our model hinges off a primary cash cow business that helps bankroll the startup in new ventures. It's risky, but we've gotten past the heart attack stage of wondering where the money is every week (now it's just every quarter...).

    We're fortunate in that of the three of us, I'm a lawyer and my brother is an accountant. There's two big money savers as paying fees to these professionals can be a big hit to any startup.

    I see two major issues with any business that people commonly fall for; overestimating revenue and underestimating the effort needed. Very basic, very simple and utterly disastrous. Sometimes the business that looks like it'll "look after itself" requires more hands on time than you ever thought possible.

    And don't ever think that you can set and forget a venture. It is almost guaranteed that as soon as you take your eye off things, something or someone will fuck up.

    I also think that it's important to realise that while anyone can be an entrepreneur, it takes a certain type of person to make it work. I, for one, am not that type of person but I'm within a group where collectively we are. A famous businessman (I forget who) was asked once what he would do if he was down to his last $1,000. He said he'd by a $1,000 suit and go hang out with millionaires. That's the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit.
     
  7. Harry Coolahan

    Harry Coolahan
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    Disturbed

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    My dad has been teaching me about business my whole life, and I'm sure I'll return to it eventually. When I was 16 in high school I netted about $25,000 from a few websites I made that focused on affiliate marketing, unfortunately that type of stuff doesn't really exist anymore.

    But, I definitely learned a lot about the essence of business from making those websites. I was pretty poor at the time and spent my last $300 getting the sites set up. I think at one point I had less than $1 in my bank account and was buying gas for my car in quarter-gallon increments. It took a couple months of hard work (like 60+ hour weeks, basically spent my whole summer on it) and the first sale I made was for about $200, after about a month of work. People told me I should cut my losses and walk away, instead I reinvested all of it and expanded, focusing on making the process more efficient.

    At the height of it, I was putting maybe 10 hours a week toward maintaining my sites and making about $1K-2K per week.

    I think international business would be really interesting, and potentially more profitable since it has such a large barrier of entry, and I'd love to get involved with that once I have some experience working abroad.
     
  8. shimmered

    shimmered
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    I'm partnered with someone, but I head the CrossFit affiliate in my area.
    I don't have a 'traditional' job, and I don't make ridiculous bank, but it makes me (mostly) happy.

    I can't imagine working in a structured environment. I'm too out there.

    That said, making the affiliate take off is a labor of love, education, salesmanship, blogging, writing, reading, learning, and open mindedness I never thought it would be. I fell into it, to be honest. When my partner and I got started, we agreed that if it didn't take off, it'd be because I didn't work hard enough, because he's the one who handles the money, I'm doing everything else.

    It's flourishing, and I'm loving it. I spend my time honing my coaching, learning my craft, and trying to make every month better for every one of my clients.
     
  9. Kubla Kahn

    Kubla Kahn
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    Id always kind of thought that Id like to take a try at opening my own restaurant. Honestly Id probably buy into a franchise at first, here in Cincy Skyline Chili is relatively safe, but you need the money upfront to built/refurbish a building plus 1.4 mill or so in the bank and 5 years restaurant owning experience just to be considered. The flagship franchised Skyline was just sold a few years ago. My brother and I would have gone to our grandpa for the loan as he had done really well for himself owning his own TV repair business. But it was sold to the long time head manager and family friend of the original owner.

    From what I hear those lunch trucks are super popular in LA. Not sure about the licensing it would take but that seems easier to get off the ground and much much lower start up cost for your want to be business owner.


    As for whackier ideas an all "green" taxi service is one of the more out their ideas Ive had. Basically, either retrofitting or buying diesels vans that could handle the fuel derived from left over frier grease. Hoping to try and save cost on gas. Maybe find a lib politician that will foot some of the cost as a new form of "green" public transport. Having no clue about the cost involved it is probably just french fry smelling pipe dream.
     
  10. Degenerate

    Degenerate
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    Average Idiot

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    In College I convinced the student group that manages the 3000+ freshmen living in dormitories to let me supply them with Ethernet cable to sell.

    Every September I noticed that the surrounding retail stores would sell out of Ethernet cable, because little Johnny or Susy forgot to bring one from home. I offered the student group a cut of the profits and sweetened the deal by agreeing to take back any unsold merchandise.

    I did it during my last 2 years of College and was amazed at how successful it turned out. The margins on ethernet cable at retails stores is ridiculous (6 foot cable at Radio Shack goes for $20-25 and they get it at cost for around 35-40 cents).

    Since College, I've sold a few different products on various Shopping Channel networks and have had some highs and lows.

    I do work in a salaried position too, but I must say that a dollar earned in a side venture is a hell of a lot more satisfying than a dollar earned there.

    If I were to impart any advice it would be to do double the amount of research you think you need to do before pursuing your idea.

    Oh and FUCK Patent Attorneys.
     
  11. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    I love coming up with entrepreneurial schemes to do outside of freelance writing. The only ones I've actually followed through with so far have been a couple of Etsy shops, but I made a grand total of one sale for each shop. Usually I don't even start because of the costs involved, but I have been working on one idea that I would like to eventually put out there. It would be a site where you can download alternative/off the beaten path walking tours of New York that you can listen to on your iPod so you don't feel like such a tourist. There's one site that does this that seems to have made it work, but mine have a bit of a different spin to them. I've written a couple already - like a ghost tour, a Coney Island history tour, and a guide to Redhook - and have a couple more ideas I haven't worked on yet. I think they're pretty good, and when I had a friend visiting and we were walking around, I was playing tour guide and told him a couple of the stories I'd learned and he thought it was really cool so that revived my interest in following through with it. The original idea was to also have downloadable mini-guidebooks for themes that are too spread out to be a walking tour, like one for thrift/vintage stores, crafty things, and abandoned places. But now I don't know if I should stick to just the one thing first.
     
  12. hooker

    hooker
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    Ok now that some of you think I'm a scam artist! I sold the fake jewelry as fake jewelry. The rich housewives knew they were buying fake silver, but they didn't care because it was hundreds less than the real cost, and it was exact replicas. I'm an asshole, but I'm not THAT much of an asshole.
     
  13. GTE

    GTE
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    This is a utility light that my friend and I are going to market. Its LED's and a rechargeable battery molded in a tough as nails proprietary, flexible material with 10 neodymium magnets. We've beat the crap out of it with a hammer, thrown it in the pool, ran it over, beat it against random things etc. and it just takes the punishment.
    These are the only pics I have on this computer and they are from a few prototypes ago. The switch has been changed to something more robust and less "Radio Shack" looking among some other minor changes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]