Well, I saw this as a golden opportunity so I said, “Hey Mike…why close the store? Let me take over your equipment loan, assume the building lease and then pay you a small percentage for the first two years. You’ll make more money that way and save a lot of headaches.” And just like that, I was a business owner of a store that was losing money hand over fist.
I knew the industry extremely well though and within 48 hours, I fired the entire staff, closed the restaurant and got to work cleaning up the image. We repainted the building, walked for miles and miles handing out flyers and I personally introduced myself to every business owner/manager in the town. We re-opened 2 weeks later and my sales were almost 300% higher than before the business closed- which was a really, really good thing since I literally spent every penny just getting the doors open.
Over the next five years, we steadily grew. I got all the local school accounts, worked out deals with all the bars and venues that didn’t sell food, and I got in good with the local police and government. Things couldn’t have been going better until the storm of the century descended on Chensee, South Carolina and dropped almost a foot of solid ice. My business was without power for a solid month in December (a restaurant’s busiest month), and when I tried to open on the 23rd we learned that the water main was busted. I easily lost $40k between spoiled food and missed business…and we ended up selling the store to get out of debt about 10 months later.
Now, you may not read that and see me as a failure, but I sure did feel like one. I was devastated that I let my staff and the community down and depression kicked my white butt. For several months I really didn’t do much other that pout and watch TV. At the time, it felt like the whole world collapsed in on me.
Then one day, I just woke up angry at myself. I was not a quitter….and life was not going to get the best of me. So I sat down in front of my computer and started writing, and after six days I cranked out a 70k word novel. Now, it was nothing to really brag about and I never tried to publish it, but it was the exercise of taking serious action that got me over the hump.
And guess what? All that writing led me to search for online writing jobs…which started an amazing 10 year career for me. All from taking one action in life and seeing it through.
Here’s a little secret- the best thing that can ever happen to you as an entrepreneur is failure. Because if everything goes well right from the start, then you’re probably not going to be thinking outside of the box and looking for even bigger ideas to make your customers happy. Sometimes it takes being kicked in the (you know what) to really open your eyes to possibilities and failing is easily one of the best educators in the world today.
I see so many people post here that act exactly how I felt back when the pizza restaurant failed, so I know where you guys are coming from. It’s scary to take a leap of faith, especially when you’re depressed and struggling to believe in yourself. People do it every single day though and rise to greatness.
I’ll even help you out. Step one if find something you want to build a site around. I can be anything- a place, an industry or even a hobby. It doesn’t matter, because there are people out there that love everything in this world. If it exists, then there are ways to monetize it.
Step two is to figure out what you can eventually sell on that site that people would truly appreciate. I’m not talking about educational eBooks either…that’s far too played out to try and build an entire business around. If it’s a skateboarding site, for example, then you affiliate with online skate stores, clothing manufacturers and sponsors that run tournaments. You can do this with ANYTHING on Earth…anything at all.
Step three is to look at the competition…can you build a site that’s better than what’s already out there? If the answer is yes, then get to work. If you’re not sure, then go back to step one or do a little more research. But not too much, because profit can only come from taking action. So figure out that yes or no pretty quick....give it a week tops.
If you make it to step four, then you should be all-in. No more doubts, no more hesitation…just keep grinding until you’re successful. It could take three weeks or it could take three years; but as long as you did steps 1-3 properly then it is IMPOSSIBLE to fail. And the best news is that you do not need any technical knowledge to complete the first three steps…just common sense and some motivation.
As silly as that sounds, that’s the honest truth if you choose to stop thinking about failure and take drastic action. Now stop playing on the forum and get your butt to work.