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Why I’m Closing My Subscription Box Company

Erik Entrepreneurship, Thoughts of a Mastermind 6 Comments


This past week, I made a necessary and tough decision.

Over the last 20 months, I’ve been on a winding entrepreneurial journey.

During the month of May in 2017, I started a do-it-yourself kombucha tea subscription box company with my friend. After successfully doing a Kickstarter, learning how to create, source and fulfill a physical product, and setting up all of the different business accounts, we were off and running.

This month, I’ve had a few posts talking about my Personal Truth and life mission.

My Personal Truth is I believe I’m capable of providing amazing value, through my actions and thoughts, to help other people achieve their goals in life. This value can be manifested in many different ways: through my daily actions, through how I interact with others, and through what I put out into the world through my work.

I have no doubt that I could have made my business and company a success, but also, we live in world where time and resources are finite.

I wasn’t fully living my Personal Truth because over time, I started to lack the passion to fully give and serve my customers.

It was time to make a change, and I’ve made the decision to stop.

In this post, I’m going to be vulnerable and share with your my thoughts on why I’m closing my subscription box company. I’m going to share some of my thoughts on why I have no regrets from doing this work, why it was important for me to quit, and what is next.

Why I Started a Subscription Box Company

personal truthFirst, let’s talk about why I started.

A principle of mine is ACTION is important.

Ideas are great, but they are worthless without attempting and taking action.

I started this blog back in December of 2016. I was looking to start a hustle, create multiple income streams, and learn about running a business.

My thought was if I wanted to get experience managing a profit and loss statement, then I should just do it on my own. At the time, I was 24 years old, and at work, while I was seeing some great gains as an individual contributor, I probably wasn’t going to become a manager anytime soon.

During the first few months of 2017, I started meeting with a friend from high school and in April, he asked if I wanted to start working on a do-it-yourself kombucha subscription kit company.

Looking back, this was probably stupid of me to jump into, but I was excited to start something new.

While I wasn’t super compassionate about kombucha, I love building and creating new things where there wasn’t something there before.

We started and launched in July 2017.

Launching a new project requires a ton of focus, energy and effort. This blog certainly suffered through the summer of 2017, and none of my projects and work were growing like I wanted.

It’s been quite the experience, but the key lesson I’ve taken from this all is focus is incredibly important for success in this world. 

The Importance of Focus and Doing What Matters

I have 4 different side hustles and am constantly hustling. I love it – I love learning, doing and creating.

With these different hustles, it takes a lot of energy switching, starting and doing the different tasks associated with these hustles.

My statistical consulting side hustle is different than my freelance web design work. Writing a blog post is different from recording and editing a podcast episode. House hacking is a completely different hustle than all of these.

With my kombucha kit, sourcing the different ingredients and equipment was always a challenging experience, as was creating a physical product, thinking about how the customer will receive it, and making sure everything was perfect.

Adding to this, I wasn’t 100% passionate about the product or mission.

Over time, the stress and apathy towards something I was spending 20-40 hours a month on and pouring thousands of dollars into became not worth it anymore.

Even though the company sold $10,000 of product in 2018, we were not profitable and things were not looking promising for 2019.

Businesses take 2-3 years to become profitable, but really, there needs to be the thought of what makes the owners happy.

I realized, through thinking about my Personal Truth, I needed to make a change.

While the do-it-yourself kombucha kit subscription box idea is a fantastic idea, was well received from our 150 customers, and unique, I’m not a kombucha expert and not the person to be running this sort of operation.

My Personal Truth is that I have the ability to provide amazing value to other people and during my time sending out our product I did. I received some amazing customer feedback, but

I decided it was time to quit, and now am working through the process of closing down.

Call it an Attempt, Not a Failure

I’m a believer of reframing situations from negative to positive for obtaining a better perspective on a situation.

Failure is a very strong word and has a very negative connotation.

Did I fail?

I gave this company a great effort, poured roughly $20,000 and many hours into it over 3 years, and have nothing to show for it.

You could say I failed.

I’m going to say it was a great attempt.

When thinking about failure, I like to reframe it as an attempt. It was an attempt that didn’t result in success.

However you want to look at it, I tried, I learned, and I’ve now decided it is time to move on.

Really, it’s like I got a $20,000 MBA. I experienced first hand business finance and accounting, had a primer in operations and managment, learned about agreements, negiotiations, and product development, and met some awesome people.

This experience will not be wasted, and will also not be forgotten.

Every day is a learning experience and can be used for better or for worse.

I’m going to choose to use it for the better.

Next Steps in My Hustles

Let’s go back to my Personal Truth.

I believe I’m capable of providing amazing value in my work through helping others.

Now that I’ve taken something off my plate which doesn’t align fully with my purpose, Personal Truth and goals, I can focus in on what does matter to me.

Personal finance, self improvement, and helping others on this blog give me so much joy. Helping other people with their websites brings me joy. Doing great work at my day job brings me joy.

I believe the meaning of life is about bringing happiness into your days, and bringing happiness into the days of the people around you.

This happiness starts with understanding yourself, understanding your goals, and making tweaks over time.

I’m not saying sadness, anger, or stress is bad, or if you experience these emotions, you aren’t living life right (there are days where I’m sad, angry and stressed out all at the same time!)

Experiencing all emotions is healthy and it means you are self aware and human.

What I’m saying here is living a meaningful life can happen through spending time on your passions, helping yourself, your friends and family, and living out your Personal Truth.

For you, I have a ton of takeaways, but I’ll leave you with 3:

  • Taking action will lead to learning and new experiences. You will never know about something until you try.
  • Reframing situations can bring clarity and peace.
  • It’s okay to quit. It’s okay to move on and do what you want to do in life. Life is short!

I’m very excited for the rest of 2019. I’m going to be digging deep and look to provide you with the best content I can on The Mastermind Within (and a new project 😉 more on this to come on Monday!)

When one door shuts, ten more doors open. With a growth mindset, anything is possible and I’m ready to crush it.

Thank you for reading!


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Comments 6

  1. Sorry to hear about this Erik. Sometimes it’s good to move on from things you aren’t as passionate about. I love how instead of focusing on “failure” you see the many positives of the experience and what value it will bring you going forward. Excited to hear about the new project!

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      Hey YFK, thanks for the comment! There’s opportunity in every situation for learning and growth. Hopefully I can learn and not make the same mistakes going forward.

  2. Enjoyed the recap of your attempt at the subscription business. I think you probably are on to a good point in there about passion around your side projects or businesses. I am not sure if it always needs to be there but I think it could help at may crucial points along the way. On the flip side if you were too passionate about it you might not know when to stop. I do agree that even though some could call it a failure, you gained a lot of knowledge and experience for your next hustle or the next! Good luck with the next thing and can’t wait to hear about it Monday.

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      Thank you for the comment Eric!

      We all have limited time on this Earth… that’s an interesting point about “too passionate”. Too passionate might definitely lead to having blinders on or something like that…

  3. You learn something with every setback! With your hustle, I’m sure you’re going to stumble upon another great opportunity. You already have the pf aggregator site up:)!

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