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This is the blog post where I don’t just show you my successes, but I show you my failures. At least, I show you what I’ve LEARNED from my failures.

What Were Some Big Lessons for me in the last two years?

The Song Cycles of 2010-2011: How to fail at business by trying mightily

LESSONS! In 2010 and 2011 I started 3 businesses. Yeah, I’m ambitious like that. And they all failed. Sparing you the gory details, I will share what I learned.

  1. Market Research! You need to do market research before you do anything else. I helped do market research for other businesses, and that was very useful for me.
  2. Motivation? Uh….When you start saying “we could make so much money with this” check yourself to make sure that’s not your ONLY reason for doing it, because if it is, you really don’t have a lot of motivation. You need something more than that. You are going to gravitate towards the things you like to do anyway, so you might as well accept that and stop trying to make yourself do something you have no real interest in doing.
  3. Physical Retail? Maybe not! You can like something, but you don’t necessarily want to sell it retail.
  4. Where are you? What you are already doing, naturally, because you enjoy doing it, is probably worth doing as a full-time business.
  5. Don’t just jump fields! Unless you’re already in the field, or have deep connections in the field and know a lot about it, your business will not succeed.
  6. GAAAAAHHH If someone isn’t open to new ideas unless the new ideas come from their own brain, probably not a good idea to work with them.
  7. Road bump or road block? If you start to realize that your business partner is actively hindering the biz, and you’re plotting ways around them, and they are supposed to be the one who knows about the field, don’t go forward.
  8. Did they do what they said they would do? If a founder of a business quits their job to ostensibly work on the business, and then can’t make progress on writing a business plan after 3 months, they’re not serious about starting the business.
  9. Business plans! I learned how to create a business plan and make a case for funding for an internet startup! Holla slidedecks! Profit and loss statements! Etc!
  10. Connections are key. No matter how good your slidedeck, if you don’t have the connections, the passion, the vision, don’t bother! I learned that trying to start a startup is trickier than it looks when you don’t have any connections in the industry, and the founder isn’t willing to go out and make them.
  11. Constantly arguing? Not a good sign. Also, if the two founders have an argument about every little thing, it probably isn’t going to work out.
  12. Sharks and Angels. Pitching a startup is fun. Pitch competitions are fascinating. Venture capitalists are like sharks and angel investors aren’t exactly angels.
  13. BONUS: Get a mentor. Go to SCORE. You Will Love It.

 

Have you ever really failed at a business? Do you have lessons to share?  Please share them in the comments! Thank you!