becoming an entrepreneur isn't easy

Is Becoming an Entrepreneur Easy?

Erik Become an Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Thoughts of a Mastermind 11 Comments


Sitting down to write this post is making me anxious. My entrepreneurship story is made up of some bad decisions, a few successes, a decent amount of poorly spent money, and a little bit of failure. I’ve been suckered in to being the sucker, I’ve put trust in others who probably shouldn’t have been trusted, and I’m a horrible salesperson.

At this point, you are probably thinking to yourself, “Alright Erik, I’m out of here. You are being negative and I don’t care.”

Don’t go just yet.

With every failure and struggle, there is a learning opportunity. With every lesson learned, there is a teaching opportunity.

In the month of March 2018, my goal is to provide you with the information to take you from wantreprenuer to entrepreneur.

Today, I will be sharing with you all of the details of my entrepreneurship story. Knowing where I’ve been, and where I am currently, will set the stage for what is to come: 8 actionable and informative posts all on entrepreneurship. Let’s get in to it.

“I’d rather live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying.” – MJ DeMarco

“To some extent, being an entrepreneur is a lonely journey.” – Chad Hurley

“In business, to be a success you only have to be right once.” – Mark Cuban

Let’s Start at the Beginning

My first exposure to sales and entrepreneurship was in Boy Scouts. Like the girl scouts with cookies, boy scouts sell Christmas wreathes. Each winter, I went door to door in my neighborhood asking if people needed a wreath.

As someone who grew up very introverted, it was very difficult to get me out of the door and in front of strangers. I hated this, but it showed me at a young age how getting out and talking to people could actually make you money.

While all of the funds I raised went to the troop, there were certainly some valuable lessons learned in boy scouts.

I didn’t realize it back then, but that was my first exposure to entrepreneurship.

Growing Up- Serving, but Not Selling

Reading the success stories of many wealthy individuals usually goes something like the following, “When I was 13, I started selling trinkets at my school. I realized I could buy these things at 50 cents a pop, and sell them at 1 dollar. If I sold 50 a week, I could make $25 a week.”

This was not my experience.

Instead, I saw my dad and his work ethic. After college, he rose through the ranks to become CFO at a bank in his thirties, and after a tough decision to leave Corporate America, struck out on his own. I don’t know the particular numbers, but knowing where he is at now, I can estimate he had 100s of thousands of dollars in savings, and was willing to risk some of that to create and run something amazing.

When he started working for himself, I was 9. During my teenage years, I saw my dad grinding each and every day. Bookkeeping and doing admin work on the weekends while we watched football, late nights at the kitchen table putting together a proposal, or a Saturday morning run to the post office to drop off an important bill – all of these shaped my vision of how to be successful.

A Grinder Mentality

In my family, we joke about how we are all grinders – working long hours to ensure the work is done. As I described above, seeing my dad work long hours shaped the way I thought about how successful people achieved their goals.

My first job was mowing lawns in my neighborhood. At age 13, I cut 4 lawns each week, and made about $60 from these lawns. I cared about my work, and looked to serve my customers. If the lawn wasn’t cut in the way they wanted, then the job wasn’t done.

If it was 90 degrees, I would be out there. 50 degrees? I’ll still get it done. My money making mindset was trading my time and skills for a check (which isn’t wrong, and typically is a very respectable mindset to have).

Jobs Through High School and the Early Days of College

Once I was 15, I started refereeing local elementary school basketball games – again, trading my time and skills for a paycheck. I earned fairly decent money refereeing, as a single weekend could bring in $50-100, depending on how many games I did.

During the summer, I started working for my best friend’s dad, mowing lawn. This was my first exposure to a small business (first exposure to real work as well).

The work with this lawn service was tough, but also transformative. The owner, as well as his sons (my friends), were true grinders. 6 AM to 8 PM if we needed to catch up after a rainy day. 95 degrees? We are cutting.

In the truck between lawns, my friend and I would always think about starting some sort of business (and we actually did, we ended up doing a few moving gigs through Craigslist), but neither of us understood the fact that if you want to make a lot of money, at some point, you have to stop trading your hours for dollars.

My First Exposure to Business

I kept working for the lawn service through my 3rd year of college (which was my last year of my undergrad – I came in with 23 credits, and went straight into my major… but that’s a story for another day).

As a math major, I was positioning myself for a job in which I would trade my expertise and time for money – again, not necessarily entrepreneurial.

At this point in my life, after spending multiple years with my friend in going around to different lawns all over the city and discussing potential business ideas, I was ready to try something.

“You look like a Very Sharp Individual”

time I joined a multi-level marketing organizationDuring the fall semester of my 3rd year, I was working at a local financial advisory firm as an unpaid intern doing a lot of office work, and would wear a dress shirt, dress pants, and a tie every Tuesday. This was my first exposure to a somewhat corporate environment, and I was learning about mutual funds and how different investment products worked. I was excited about building wealth and wanted to become rich.

One day, after getting off the bus, I was walking back to my apartment and was approached by two younger folks who thought I looked sharp and wanted to chat about their small business opportunity.

As someone who had started to learn about building wealth, investing, and small business, I was eager to jump into learning about how others were making money and building their business.

I wrote about the time I joined a multi-level marketing organization fully in another post. You can read the full post here: Reflecting on the Time I Joined a Multi-Level Marketing Organization.

3 Months and $200 Later, My First “Failure”

After meeting up at Starbucks, a meeting with one of the highly successful managers who doesn’t have to work anymore because of his business success, and another recruiting event, I paid my fee and became an Amway business owner.

I told my parents, and they were a little dumbfounded. They basically told me, you got conned and are wasting your time and money.

A few cold calls, trying to get hype with my friends (which was really painful), and $200 later, I called it a day. It was a waste of time, and wasn’t something I should have gotten in to in the first place.

Oh well, it was my first business experience and first failure.

Result of Entrepreneurship Attempt #1: -$200

Lessons Learned: With every experience, there is a lesson able to be learned. Here, the lesson was to be skeptical of easy work and money. Get a mentor and bounce ideas off them like this. Making money through selling products is hard work – it’s not as easy and creating a website and recruiting your friends.

Back to School and a New Job

In the spring of my 3rd year of college (senior year), I was accepted into a Master’s of Financial Math program, and had started work as a bookkeeper at my dad’s hospitality firm.

Bookkeeping, at it’s core, is trading time for money. That being said, I was making $16 an hour as a college student and was gaining some solid business skills to add to my technical math, programming, and statistical knowledge.

Now that I was actually making some decent money (about $20,000 a year at that point), I started doing research into how to build wealth. This was back in 2012/2013 when the personal finance and financial freedom movement was just starting.

Since building wealth was my goal, the first blog I came across was Financial Samurai and I was hooked.

Becoming a Financial Samurai Follower

I’m going to fan boy real quick here. From 2013-2015, I probably read 90% of the content on his site. I needed to know everything there was to know about investing in real estate, how to get rich in your 20s and 30s, how to build a brand online, and how to achieve financial freedom.

After getting through my Master’s program, I started my first real job in Corporate America as a risk analyst at a large regional bank.

I was getting paid pretty well, and life was good. I was on my way to wealth – I was getting a paycheck, contributing to a 401k, and starting to pay down my student loan.

From Banker to Blogger – Part 1

March 5th, 2015, I registered the domain (don’t go there, I don’t own it anymore.)

I was influenced by Sam to start building my brand online, and also thought it would be interesting to start a blog. (you are welcome for $65 from BlueHost, Sam 😉 )

Throughout March, I was posting, commenting, and working on growing my site. I wanted to share with the world my networking, interviewing, and career tips (because I knew so much about this subject at 22…).

There’s only so much you can say about the interview process, and I got burnt out.

In the summer of 2015, I tried to pivot into personal finance, but couldn’t figure out my angle. It’s kind of sad; many of the bloggers who are still around from 2015 are getting 10s of thousands of page views a month!

It’s also sad, because June 2015 was when I started my house hacking… I would have been a pioneer of future house hackers blogging about their successes!

That blog’s content is on this blog now, and at some point, I should go back and beef it up a little bit. There’s definitely some Google juice to be gained on some of those posts.

All in all, it was a pretty good experience, but wasn’t for me back in 2015.

Proof I’m not lying – I did have this blog back in 2015!

Result of Entrepreneurship Attempt #2: -$100 

Lesson Learned: When starting something new, pace yourself and find a good balance between work and play.

Buying a House at 22 and House Hacking

June 2015, I bought a house at age 22. After reading Financial Sam talk about real estate and tell me how great it was, I had to get in there.

It was a whirlwind of a week – yes a week. On Monday, I decided I was going to start looking for a house, and that Saturday, I made and had my offer accepted on a house.

I was going to be a home owner, and more importantly, I was going to be a LANDLORD.

House hacking was a great experience for me and my first successful entrepreneurial endeavor. I earned over $39,000 in rental income over the last 3 years, paid down $30,000 on my mortgage, and owned an appreciating asset in a neighborhood experiencing growth and gentrification.

I’ve documented my financial results on this site (which I will link to at the end of this section), but house hacking taught me a ton about responsibility, taxes, and the legal ramifications of providing a service and space to live.

When my pipe leaked, I needed to handle it. If someone didn’t pay me rent, I needed to ensure I had the proper back up (in the terms of my lease), to ensure I could handle it properly. It if snowed? I was out there before work so the guys could get their cars out of the parking spaces.

6 AM runs to Home Depot weren’t out of the norm, but, oh, the passive income was sooo nice.

Being a landlord was a great experience for me, but I was certainly very lucky.

View off the Back Deck (Funny, I still wear these same shoes 3 years later!)

I’ve written multiple times about owning my house and house hacking. You can read more here: Who Says Houses Aren’t Good Investments 1Who Says Houses Aren’t Good Investments 2How House Hacking Gets You on the Fast Track to Financial Freedom, and How I Made $39,000 to Live in My House Before My Roommates Moved Out

Result of Entrepreneurial Attempt #3: ~ +$100,000

Lessons Learned: With passive income and real estate, you have an amazing opportunity to build wealth. Being a landlord is tough, but rewarding.

Blogging Attempt #2

The Mastermind Within Professional Personal FinanceFast forward from June 2015 to December 2016, I had been house hacking for 1.5 years at that point, and had connected with an awesome fellow house hacker who worked in the same department as me.

I had recently switched jobs to become a statistician, but was still hungry to keep pushing the envelope and try to continue to build wealth.

Hanging out on a cold December day, I asked my friend, what if we started a blog? We love reading books, and could post our book reviews on the site, talk about house hacking and real estate, and share with people our passion of self improvement and personal growth.

The Mastermind Within was born December 27th, 2016.

Building a Brand, Learning about Partners, and Striving for Blogging Greatness

For the last 15 months, I’ve been posting content here on The Mastermind Within.

Early on, it was really interesting. My friend and I were both relatively new to the blogging scene (I had my site back in 2015, but you could hardly say I was experienced given my 2 months of actual blogging), and we were juggling a number of other things we enjoyed doing: basketball, working out, reading, work, the bar, etc.

In February of last year, I also started chatting with a friend from high school. He had been messing aroud with entrepreneurship and convinced me to let him help out in exchange for a piece of the pie. Mistake #1 here, as I will go into in a later post in the Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur series.

A few months later, I was the only one posting. I was the only one doing outreach, and I was the only one who really enjoyed blogging. I was meeting some amazing people online and it’s so true, the blogging relationships you form are real. Now, I consider many of the people I’ve met online to be some of my best friends!

Last summer, I had to cut ties and say good bye to those guys. For the last 8 months, it’s been all me, and while it’s been a grind, I’ve loved every second of it.

The Many Expenses of Blogging

There were a number of mistakes on the expense side of things. When my friend joined the 2 of us in March, it was decided we were going to get real about the layout of the site, look into email marketing, and also try our hand at a digital product.

Mistake #2: email marketing software is expensive. I ended up paying $360 for SUMO – which actually, if I was working at a company that actually made money, I’d be okay paying that amount. But for a blog getting 3,000 page views a month? Not worth it.

Mistake #3: email marketing software is expensive. SUMO is an email collection software. To send emails, you need to connect or integrate with another service. Here, I paid $89 for Active Campaign for a year.

To send 1 follow-up email when someone signed up for our newsletter, I don’t think we needed to spend upwards of $500.

Oh well, lesson learned. I now use ConvertKit – and while it’s $29 a month, it’s has everything I need in one spot, and I plan on implementing an email marketing campaign in the coming months. If I was to go back, I would have either stayed with Mail Chimp and sucked it up, or looked into other free services.

Finally, we can lump in my plane tickets to FinCon as expense for the blog (even though I didn’t claim them on my taxes, nor did I claim any of these expenses as business expenses).

I post monthly updates this blog, and also have numerous posts about past mid-month updates and announcements. You can read these here: Blogging Portal

Results for Entrepreneurial Attempt #4: -$1500 (but still a work in progress!)

Lessons Learned: Success in blogging is all about consistency. Figure out what your goals are and get a detailed implementation plan before purchasing software. With business partners, it’s crucial to do your due diligence and ensure they are on the same page (something I learned a little too late as you’ll read in the next section.)

Starting a Real Business

Let me give a little bit of background here. In March of last year, I read the book, The End of Jobs, and  I really had the entrepreneurial itch. I wrote a 3000 word article on this blog about what I was thinking, and even got as far as talking to my direct manager about my thoughts. He persuaded me to stick around, and I’m very happy he did – I wasn’t prepared at all to try and make money outside of a 9 to 5.

As I’ve described multiple times in this post already, I was good at trading my time and effort for money – but in business, it’s a completely different game.

Last April, after I decided to stay at my job for the rest of the year, I was sitting on a pile of cash, and BOY was it burning a hole in my pocket.

I started looking at properties, and I put an offer in on another house. My offer was accepted and I was about to own 2 houses. I was again way too eager to get in to something too fast. Luckily, I’m smart with contingencies and was able to back out of the purchase agreement.

With a fat stack of cash, and an over-eagerness to get started with another entrepreneurial project, I was bound to make a mistake.

Starting a Subscription Kit Business

One of my blogging partners asked me back in May if I’d be interested in starting a real business focused on two income streams: a kombucha subscription kit service and a print-on-demand shop.

Like I said, I was over-eager to start something, and thought it was a good idea.

It wasn’t.

I didn’t do my due diligence, and thought what I was doing was going to work out.

I’ve talked about starting this business a few times on this blog. I won’t be going into the details too much in this post – you can check out these older posts here: Starting a Subscription Box BusinessPhysical Products Suck and A Rant on Entrepreneurship, Becoming a Certified Food Manager, I Only Have $151 in My Business Bank Account, How I’m Building a Business Around Dropshipping T-Shirts, and Focus, Ownership and Consistency.

It was a mess.

I Ended Up in Court

For confidentiality reasons (and because I’m not someone who holds grudges or is hateful), I’m not going to go into the details here.

All I will say, is there was an past relationship/agreement between my business partner and another party which, when I came into the picture, muddied the waters. Litigation was threatened, and ultimately pursued.

I didn’t do my due diligence, and I almost was burned.

I haven’t talked about the kombucha kit business since October because of this situation, but I’m pleased to say that this has been resolved and settled.

Contracts, agreements, and the legal side of business are rarely talked about when people discuss entrepreneurship. I’d imagine that most businesses fail or struggle because of a mistake legally – like I said, it’s something that isn’t taught… and I’m telling you first hand, I was almost burned by it.

(Fortunately, because of this scenario, my documentation practices have become much better. If you are going to work with some in a for-profit way, you NEED an agreement – and you need to follow that agreement.)

Updating You on Where Things Stand Today

The last 10 months have been eye-opening for me. Like I said, I hadn’t provided an update on this blog since back in October, so there’s definitely a lot to fill you in on.

Once I got back from Fincon in November, I was inspired to get on Pinterest and ended up getting an account going, and started to drive traffic to a number of recipe pages I created for the kombucha kit site.

I had worked to optimize the home page a little more, but the pictures were still a lacking, and it wasn’t very clear what you actually got in a kit.

November and December were pretty solid for sales with Christmas and the holiday season in full swing. In December, the business actually was profitable! (to the tune of $2 🙂 )

On December 31st, I ended up shipping 30 kombucha kits out, and was stoked.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all roses and daisies on the customer service front. The website wasn’t clear in some spots about what actually was in the kit, and some people bought the wrong one (there are 2 options).

I had to follow up with numerous additional shipments to make sure the customers were happy – but at the end of the day, I lost more customers than retained with this mistake.

The idea was validated, but I needed to do some soul searching and make some changes to make it work.

Expenses, Dumb Expenses, and a Lack of Focus

Let’s back up a little bit.

Like I mentioned, this business had 2 income streams: a kombucha kit service, and a print on demand t-shirt business.

I actually thought both had potential, but there was a lack of focus and ownership because we were spread thin on time and ideas.

For the print on demand business, we hired a virtual assistant from South Africa . For $1 an hour, we paid him to designs t-shirts and post them in our online Shopify shop.

We also were trying to do business to business sales. We acquired a repository of 7,000+ shirt design files and tried to market these to other shirt businesses.

Here, we ended up spending $500 on LeadPages (again, a great service, but for a business not making money, probably not worth it), about $3,500 on Facebook Ad Spend and a Facebook Ad Assistant (directed to a landing page and customer journey process which was lackluster), and spent countless hours trying to make this work.

In October, I said, let’s drop the B2B component – it’s not working.

Another dumb expense was paying for a business accountant. We got a little spooked about paying taxes since we had brought in about $1,000 in revenue over the summer (which while that may sound good, but at that point, we had spent about $3000 to get there.) With no profit, we didn’t need to pay any estimated taxes. Great – another $1500 out the door for the next year.

The Plan for 2018 and How I’m Executing on It.

Going into the New Year, I needed to make a change.

I met with a college student in November and he made a huge impression on me. He said, if you are doing something that doesn’t align with your values and purpose, then why are you doing it? Why are you purposely depriving yourself of happiness?

I didn’t care about selling shirts, and with the whole legal fiasco, I was ready to part ways with my business partner.

The agreement at a high level was I take the kombucha business and he takes the shirt business.

Now, I’m 100% owner of the kombucha business, and I’m taking action.

Back in December, I laid out a 4 month plan for myself to do the following:

  • Assess the branding of the kombucha kit business 
    • Is the name appealing?
    • Do the colors represent the product appropriately?
    • What are other organic brands doing with their branding and how I can replicate some of that?
  • Re-design and optimize the website for conversions
    • Build out multiple pages to address clarity concerns
    • Improve on the details behind what is in the product
    • Align the new branding with the colors and feel of the site
    • New professional product pictures
  • Go loud on Social Media
    • I’m going to go bananas on Pinterest with kombucha tea recipes.

Execution of the Plan and Where the Business Stands Now

diy kombucha kitThe last 3 months have been kind of crazy and my productivity is on another level. Even though I’ve been crushing things personally, I’ve also started to realized the benefits of outsourcing work.

After assessing the brand, and coming up with new colors, and a new name, I went on Fiverr and had someone create a new logo for me.

Next, I went on Upwork, and hired a web developer to help build out a number of landing pages to help make the new site visually appealing.

For about $1,200, I paid a developer over in India to build out a number of landing pages for me, and I couldn’t have been happier.

I’m a decent web developer and designer, but time is valuable and I couldn’t have been happier – and I’m guessing she saved me a many headaches! 🙂

2 Sundays ago, I spent about 12 hours putting the finishing touches on the layout and text on the site. I still have to get some professional pictures, and tighten up the copy a little more, but I’m feeling good.  DIY Kombucha Kit is live!

Right now, the service has about 15 subscribers. Once the re-brand is completely finished, it’s time to go loud on social media and possibly even paid advertising! I’m pumped.

It sucks what happened, and it sucks that financial loss to this point, but life is a learning process. I sleep well at night and am pleased I’m doing this work.

I’ve learned so much over the past 9 months and I hope that you can tell how relieved I am that I’ve finally been able to tell you what has happened.

Results for Entrepreneurial Attempt #5: -$12,000 (but still a work in progress!)

Lessons Learned: I’m so glad this experience is happening to me at 25 versus 35 or 45. There are so many lessons learned here, it could probably fill an entire blog post.

  • Get a Mentor – This is so key and something I overlooked completely.
  • Do your due diligence on your business partner
    • Are there any conflicts of interest? How are they as a worker? How will they handle stress? Are they the right person for the job?
  • Are you skilled or knowledgeable in the area you are going to try to make money?
    • If so, then it’s probably a good idea. If not, good luck.
  • Legal and compliance risk are VERY REAL RISKS to you or your business.
    • Document everything – receipts, emails, agreements, etc.
    • If you are doing work for or with someone, YOU NEED TERMS AND AN AGREEMENT.
    • You will never think you will need an agreement… until you do.
    • It’s just like insurance – if you don’t have it, you’ll be sorry…
  • The customer is always right,
  • Focus in on answering the question, “What’s the fastest way to $100, $1,000, or $10,000 and execute!” 
    • All of your other money making efforts are not important.
  • I’m not an accountant, but if you aren’t making money, you don’t need an accountant. (If you are making money though, you do need to pay taxes on that money.)
  • Selling physical products is tough. 
  • Consistency is key.

(Side note: Please don’t treat or think of me like I’m the victim of this situation. I made a mistake that I’m 100% responsible for and I’m paying the price. Now I’m sharing my experience with you. If this makes you uncomfortable, then that’s probably good – growth happens outside the comfort zone.)

My Newest Endeavor

Broadcasting live from Minneapolis, Minnesota, this is your host Erik, on The Mastermind Within podcast!

At the end of January, I was on a friend’s podcast, and thought to myself, “Why can’t I do this? How hard could this podcasting thing be?”

4 hours later, I had a podcast up and running.

I’m absolutely loving podcasting. For one, I’m able to talk about things with people that I would struggle to write about. Secondly, I’m able to feature and chat with amazing people who are doing amazing things!

So far, I’ve paid for a month of hosting, and paid for an intro and an outro. I don’t see there being too many more expenses here, unless I was to outsource the editing work.

Results for Entrepreneurial Attempt #6: -$150 

Lessons Learned: You can do anything you put your mind to. I’m a math major who grew up quiet and who is still an introvert. I now have a podcast. No excuses; take action today.

Takeaways for You

Have you ever of survivorship bias? I’ll define it for you here (from Wikipedia):

Survivorship bias or survival bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways.

Looking at my track record, why should I be proud to talk about my entrepreneurial endeavors? Inside, I’m not proud, but I realize that my message and story is much more valuable than my pride and ego.

Here’s why I bring up survivorship bias: you only hear about the success stories. You don’t hear about the failures, struggles, and quitters. Why would you want to? They failed.

Unfortunately, there are tons of people who fail in entrepreneurship. We all have heard the statistic that goes something like over 90% of businesses fail within the first 5 years.

Starting out, you think you are going to make $1,000,000 in the first year. That almost never happens.

Entrepreneurship is a grueling path. I’ve been working at it for the past 5 years, and while I did have a success with real estate, my other pursuits have fallen on their face.

Other Key Points for You

becoming an entrepreneur isn't easyI’m going to write posts on these as well, but want to bring these up now as well. I touched on them a little bit above, but these are some very key points for you to think about now.

    • No contract? No rules. (I’m not a lawyer –  do your own research on this, but I’ll just say, the default laws in a for-profit relationship are not cut and dry.)
      • If you give someone money and there is no contract in place, there is nothing stopping someone from screwing you over or doing a poor job.  Guess what? Unless it’s fraud, it’s your own dumb fault for agreeing to pay or work with them.
      • Every time I go into a new business relationship (be it contractor, partner, investor, etc.), I always require documentation. You can’t afford NOT to cover yourself from a liability standpoint.
  • Get a Mentor
    • Find someone who has been successful in the field you want to get in to or are in
    • Use that person as a sounding board for ideas and as a guide for your journey
  • Do your due diligence on potential business partners
    • Ask yourself the following questions:
      • Do they have the same work ethic as I do?
      • What is the other person’s motives? Are they profit driven or people driven?
      • If things go sour, will feelings be hurt and how will they handle it?
      • Do they have access to capital if the business needs some and you can’t provide any?
  • Be patient
    • Jumping into the first business opportunity you come across probably won’t work out.
    • The second one probably won’t work out either.
    • Success will come someday though – the energy you put out into the world will find its way back to you.
  • Is the business opportunity something you know how to do? Or is it something new?
    • You will be successful if you know what you are doing. You will be in the hole (like me) if you don’t know what you are doing.

I hope these points give you some good food for thought as you reflect on this post.

Your Task

With every post in this Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur series, I will be providing you with a task for you to complete. We are going from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur together.

After you leave this page, please think back on your life and reflect on the times you took a risk and were successful. Also, think about those times you took a risk and failed.

Answer the following questions: why were you successful? What did you do in particular that allowed you to come out on top?

Likewise for the failures, why did you fail? What did you do or what did you not do which turned the tables against you? What could you have done to change the result?


I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes and I’ve not been right multiple times in my life.

One of my responsibilities with being the owner of The Mastermind Within is to provide actionable advice and share with you my life experiences so you can become better. For you to become better, I need to be fully transparent and share with you the good things that have happened and are happening in my life, but also the things I’m currently struggling with and have struggled with in the past.

I hope that this post has been informative, and helps set the stage for where we are going the rest of the month.

I’m not an amazing entrepreneur at this point, but I’m absolutely loving the work I’m currently doing and have no plans of stopping.

At age 25, I’m just getting started, and I’m incredibly excited to see where I end up at the end of the day.

In the next post of this Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur series, I will be talking about why ideas are worthless. After that post, I will be touching on some other things to consider before starting a business. I’m looking forward to sharing with you all of my tips and tricks this month!

Readers: what’s your entrepreneurial story? What have been some of your successes and failures? Do you think it’s valuable that I’ve shared all of my successes and failures with you? Should I have split this up into multiple posts?


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          If you think blogging is something you want to do long term, then I would highly, highly, highly recommend FinCon.

          It was an amazing experience.

  1. Wow, what a beast of a post, Erik! Thanks for sharing the lessons learned from your entrepreneurial endeavors.

    I love the fact that you stressed the legal side is very important. Haven’t revealed this publically (until now) but last month I was hit with the threat of a lawsuit for making a stupid mistake online.

    Looking forward to reading your blog and listening to your future podcasts. Both contain a wealth of information!

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      Thanks PMM – it’s so true, and something that no one talks about.

      We should talk about our negatives and positives – otherwise it’s just fluff.

      Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the support as always!!

      Have a good weekend 🙂

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  2. What an amazing post Erik. I have to say your work ethic and co sister cy never ceases to amaze me. I definitely need to up in this arena.

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  3. I enjoyed your article. Would also love to be in your podcast as a guest, since i also started my entrepreneurial journey a year ago with a coaching business and full of mistakes and learnings.

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