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Entrepreneur in doubt


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Well I was wondering if there are any entrepreneurs or someone with advice.


We have been running our company for 2 and a half year.


We are looking for investors and have proof of concept.

Its even gone that well that it has provided 4 workers with pay most of the time.


But it becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on. We have had great results, good clients and good feedback.

But since we funded our self it has been hard.


Now it still is hard and we are looking for investors. I find it harder and harder to continue on.

But I feel like we are just a few steps from breaking through.


How do you find strength?

I burned out once and my confidence is back to like 90% of what it was. I was unable to take a break to recover but recovered non the less.


But I dont want to burn out again.


Is it worth it to keep pushing, how long does it take to break through(I know hard to answer)


I have some good partners and some La la partners we are 5 in the company.


Sometime I feel like selling out, wouldn't get much maybe 200k for my piece as stands.

If we push through and get our investor that would be in the couple of millions in stead.


I want to keep pushing but Im afraid of failing and also to be honest waiting my time if this fails.

I have been offered other jobs and I know I have a lot of other good ideas.


But pushing mid 30´s and feel time running out.


Hope someone can give some words of advice or something.

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I think it matters how much you believe in your idea. That's the question for you. The bigger question is how would an invested think? You might think it's a great idea but others might not. Also you have to find the correct person to believe in you. I wouldn't give up if I believed but if I talked to a bunch of people who said it's not feasible I'd have to listen.

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As an entrepreneur you could fail but that is what makes us entrepreneurs, because we get back up and try again and again.


I myself have had 2 businesses fail and now I'm on my 3rd with slow progress, some would ask why do I do this to myself and family..... because I have learnt from the past mistakes, don't try to rush it comes in it's own time and yes you do give up a lot of your own time now.


Not many of us have made our fortunes overnight so don't fret.

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My husband and I were older than you when we started our own biz and had two young kids to take care of. You think you have it bad now! What kept us going was the kids, knowing we had to take care of them and provide for them and so we worked harder and smarter to make a go of our biz. My husband was the one on the road, I was at home, as administration, and as mom. The first year or so was really hard but we hung in there.


The biz became a success and about year 10 we sold part of it off to a friend as it was too much for us to handle, we were just that busy with customers! At year 21 my husband "changed direction" as he calls it. Not retirement, as he wasn't old enough for that, but the kids were grown and out of the house and we wanted to do other things. We closed the biz and had set up an online biz about 5 yrs before that and we've devoted ourselves to it now. It's doing very well and we expect even bigger success with it this year.


You dont dwell on failing, you work hard to make your biz a success, you dont run the other way because you got scared. If it's worth doing it's worth hanging in there for! Hard work never killed anyone. If you want it, you can do it.

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Years ago I took a small business management course and I remember the instructor saying that there is a 3 year hump to get over, many businesses fail before the 3 year mark (I've heard that about relationships, too), and another one around 7 years, or maybe it was 10. That's not much help advice-wise, but I think that there is something about a learning curve, learning the business and growing it, and overcoming the challenge of growing pains. Maybe that's like the terrible two's. Your business is maturing. Do you have any business advisors? What about it is making it so difficult if you are having good results, good clients, good feedback? (I assume those interpret into good cash flow.)

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OP, I totally understand your struggles. I've always worked on my own since I was 16, never had an actual job and have done OK but I think working at a legitimate fulltime job maybe better for me somedays. Here's my past (failed) entrepreneur ventures...

1) started my own business in my skill of trade, failed to find longterm steady work

2) joined an IT project through a college friend that hired me to work from home, was promised a six-figure stake in the company and permanent residence in the job, one day got kicked off the project completely out of the blue and barred from everything as investors weren't interested in the project

3) I spent five years making a video game that no one wanted to play and crashed and burned on that idea

4) My latest stint, scarified four months of income for a gigantic stake in a environmental-related business with an engineer at Boeing. So far it has made zero dollars and gained zero interest from anyone in the sector it is developed in.


Being an entrepreneur is hard and scary work. The sad reality of it; you don't always succeed. Some people never succeed at it. And it's important to know when it's time to take a step back. Now, I don't know what the business of what your idea is. But one thing I have seen a lot of business, especially IT business fail in... they always want investors. Investors like things that are already built and established, and are making some kind of money. It sounds to me like you have an interesting idea, but in a few years now it hasn't picked up steam.

I think successful businesses are ones that you build from scratch and you don't need investors to bank on it succeeding. You ever watch "Shark Tank?" Very seldom do those people ever invest in something that isn't already well established. Sometimes they get ones that are making a profit but then you look at their expenses, who and how they are making money... the business isn't really that great. I mean, think about it; if you walked on that show and pitched whatever business you have, you think those guys would REALLY give you a phat check to continue building it? And what are you going to do with all that money? Are you confident you can pay them back? Here's another dumb obvious question; are you paying yourself back money you lost out of that investment or is it going to help the business keep growing? People often think they will get back something they lost, but that's not necessarily good economics, or how economics works. There's a term for it; a sunken cost or something. Your money you invested is worthless and what you are making and doing now is all that can really be looked at.


From what you said, especially with you losing 90% of your confidence in the product/business, maybe it's time to let it go. That's a BIG red flag actually. A truly great business to me is one that you are 110% committed to. If you lost that much faith in it, why are you still doing it then? And if you're not committing to it with everything you got, it's doomed for failure. You want to know something else; all the projects/businesses I listed above; there was always a voice in the back of my head that said "this idea isn't going to work". Do you have that voice in your head ever? The IT project my friend sent me; although they were trying to convince me how great an idea it was, I always thought it was a terrible idea in the back of my head. It sounded very technical and complicated, too hard to pitch to people that weren't extremely tech-savy. The environment business, I'm still in it, but I put zero time or energy in it. Even that one... I never truly thought it was THAT good of an idea. The product this guy had me made, I don't see that many people really wanting to use it; either that, or they would be lazy to use it. I always ignore those questions and give faith in people but maybe I shouldn't. Also; I'm often put in roles where I depend on other people to make the project big or pitch it to investors and not myself.


There's another question for you to ask; who's idea was this product? Yours, others, or a combination effort? Sometime's those other people are the ones that drag you down; they keep telling you how great it is, all the money it will make, and how big it will get. But it never seems to get there. Use your own judgement/common sense. Act in your head as if you don't have partners; how would you feel about the product/business you are trying to get investors in?

I hope that helps you some, or gets you thinking about this deeper. Let me say this to wrap it up; don't be afraid to let it go. If it's not working, it's not working. Like I said above; you're losing your passion to do this already, and when you do that you really doom yourself for failure. My video game, that was hard to quit. But I realized it was probably never going to make money or have any success. But, I am still an entrepreneur at heart; I have other ideas and I even want to try to get into real estate to break way from IT. Be adventurous, try other things if it's not working.

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Why not hold onto your mental and emotional investment as you allow potential investors to make this decision for you, over time?


'Over time' are key words, because your first few pitches are essentially information gathering for feedback and improvements. I'd try to line up least likely investors first, or 'mock' investors who's business plan sense you trust but who may not necessarily be in your market for buy in at this time. From there you can work on your pitch and your plan by learning your weaknesses to improve before presenting to your most likely investors.


Another option might be to contact colleges and universities who offer business degrees and speak to their professors. See if they'd be interested in having you pitch to their students or submit your plans for their study to gain valuable critiques from them. Sometimes the most obvious weaknesses are not transparent to us, but students who are fresh and in the process of studying business plans can help reveal what you would not want to expose to potential investors.


Head high.

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Hey everyone thank you for your replies helped to read them


I haven't lost confidence in the idea. Its amazing and the future.

To answer some we have had great results with clients and have grown insanely much since we started.

Also I have spoken with MANY advisers that have and would tell me if I was on the wrong track.


Usually they tell me I need more patience. Like my psychiatrist said "I use your product and this is the future. But you guys are about 2-3 years a head of everyone else. Also you are attacking a market that hasnt changed in 20 years and your messing with peoples food plates. They are pushing back. You want to build an empire, it takes longer then 2 and a half years."


He is right I mean Tesla had a push back from the industry. NO I´M not compering my self to Elon musk just making a comparison.


He is right. And as we expand we are going to get push backs. This is a disruptive tech, but its unstoppable the changes in the market place that will make us even more necessary.

I saw this with my partners 2 years ago and I think we went in with the idea that everyone else would see it and work with us. But realistically it takes longer.


We didnt get investors early on. And we have funded everything with our own sales and less then 30.000 usd. We didn't want early investors to hold on to equity and we are feeling the pinch now.


I think that after my burnout I just lost confidence in myself. But I feel its coming back. I also in my effort to get better tried to change how I´m in stead of being myself.

After that light bulb moment I feel more energy. Also have been testing my investor pitch and that has increased my self confidence. Its also not weird when money is tight for a long time it will have an effect on once self esteem.


Thing is also. If we dont do this. Someone else will and they will make a ton of money.

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