Are you afraid to fail?
What is stopping you from starting a business? A fear of failure? Don’t let that scary feeling stop you from following your dreams. Failure is not that bad, in fact, it can be a great learning experience!
My Big Failure
I started an online store, Blue Kitchen Canning, in 2014. I planned on selling canning supplies via drop shipping. That is when you don’t carry inventory, instead when a customer places an order you have your wholesaler ship directly to your customer. I built a beautiful store in WordPress (with help!), signed up with four wholesalers, and waited for the orders to pour in….and waited…and waited.
I was doing all I could think of to drive traffic, blogging, SEO, advertising on Google and Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter. All in all I sold less than $1000 in products. But I learned SO MUCH!
After a few months of plugging away I was trying to decide if it was worth continuing or if I should shut the whole thing down when life decided for me. In the span of two weeks I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer and found out I was pregnant. So I shut down the site and called it a loss.
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Can you learn from failure?
I learned more from that failure than I realized at the time. It was a tough pregnancy, I was sick the whole time and had surgery at 20 weeks along to remove my thyroid. I didn’t think about anything to do with business the whole time. I mostly just sat on the couch and tried not to throw up. But looking back now I can see how much of my current situation is because of what I tried to do with that business.
WordPress is King!
I had never used WordPress before creating Blue Kitchen Canning. I hired a designer to help me create my store and he was kind enough to teach me the process as we went along. WordPress is hard! But with his help and a copy of WordPress for Dummies I was soon loading plugins and doing my own backend work. WordPress is the best way to create a complex website or blog for people who don’t know how to code. I don’t know if I would have ever sat down and tried to learn on my own.
Competing with Amazon is hard!
Amazon has changed the way online stores operate. Before you could charge shipping and people did not mind paying it. Now, if you charge shipping you just acquire abandoned shopping carts as people leave your site when they see shipping costs money. Nearly half the households in the US now have Amazon Prime. None of those people want to pay for shipping, they already paid for Prime and expect shipping to be free.
Facebook can really build a community!
One of the things I experimented with while trying to build my business was Facebook. In a few short months I built an active community of over 1500 fans. It was the first time I placed ads on Facebook and I learned quite a bit about how to target them to the right kinds of people.
How one failed business lead to success in another
I took all these thing I learned about building websites, Facebook communities and how to run an online business and created a new business as a Virtual Administrative Consultant or Virtual Assistant.
Now, I help others create websites and Facebook communities for their businesses. I am able to use all these skills I picked up while failing and use them to build success.
So, how do you get past that fear of failure? Just embrace it! Even if you fail you won’t come away empty handed, you will have gained so many new skills and contacts that you can use in your next endeavor.
What is your biggest fear about starting a business?