The title of this post is from a conversation this week at a Reddit Denver Business Owners meetup/meeting. When I first heard it, I nodded my head in agreement, but today when I was speaking with my accountant about my failed business, Survival Gift Shop, she said, “Did you make any money from it?” The sad answer to that was no.
I’m not terribly proud of this fact, especially since I sunk $700 in product, fees (PayPal and Shopify), and advertising, not even counting my time (because really, what startup actually places a price on their time in the beginning). Results? Not a single person clicked BUY over the 6 month period where it was heavily marketed and even got some organic search traffic. At the very end, I even tried unloading them at cost on ebay and still no takers over two 7 day auctions. Now I grant you, a wise woman who loved the idea and built a Lady’s Personal Survival Kit of her own once exclaimed that it was more of an impulse buy, so the method of delivery was possibly wrong (not the idea), but I didn’t have the capital or the faith to try it again.
I wrote it off as a 100% failure. I want you to read that again. 100% failure. Zero profit. An utterly inconsequential business.
And yet, to this day, when I mention or show someone one of the kits, they love the idea and want one. This is of course, when I am giving it to them for free. Hey look, we’ve circled back around to the top, “Until You Ask For Money, You Don’t Know How Serious They Are.” This is why I waved goodbye to an idea after one year and moved on. I had better things to do, where people had already spoken with their wallets and I was listening (intently). So what’s the point? An idea is just an idea until someone literally pays for it, then you have a chance at a business. It’s an obvious lesson that’s repeated every day by an entrepreneur somewhere in the world, and the best ones know how to let go, move on, and drive on until they succeed.