Once upon a time I started a business with my best friend Tamika. We were both single and we attended a speed-dating event together. When we came out of it we both had comments on how it went and shared our ideas on how we could make the experience more interactive and more fun. We agreed that if we started a speed-dating event business we could do it better and that we owed it to ourselves to at least try. As it turned out a speed-dating event is not an easy endeavor but we set out to start this business and grow it. Neither one of us had ever hosted an event, although we both have significant business experience, Tamika being a photographer and myself a fashion designer, we thought we could surely figure out how to throw a successful event. We found a venue first, discussed the activities and the concept, and finally came up with a name and logo. We then started to market the event. This is where we hit a wall. Where do single people go? How do we market to them?
We handed out flyers blindly to anyone that would take them. We pounded the pavement (In the winter mind you) to meet people on the streets. We went to local clubs and bars to hand out our flyers.
We ended up with 10 girls and 1 guy; not much of a speed dating event right? And even when we made the event free, we received no additional sign ups. Our efforts were in vain because our first event never even happened. We canceled and refunded the money to the few that paid.
I tell you this experience not to discourage you, but to encourage you. I have about a million failed businesses under my belt. It’s not something I am ashamed of; it is the reality of being an entrepreneur. You can’t allow your failed projects to prevent you from pursuing your next idea. If you do, than this entrepreneurial life is not for you. Start something and learn from it. This is a better strategy than dreaming about an idea and never pursuing. I guarantee you right now that if Tamika and I started up “The Dating Game” again, this time it would be a hit because we actually know what we did wrong and how to fix it.
One of the things that you should consider as a rising success is that you may fail. I know that is scary and that it’s not what you want to hear, but it is the truth. Yes, you may fail. But that does not mean that you stop. Failure is a sign that you are on the right path. Whether you are trying to start a business, finish school or get a promotion, to succeed means you have to make some mistakes, fall down and get hurt. However, to succeed also means you get up and keep going, not staying down, sad, disappointed and broken.
To all my successes- Stay strong. Stay beautiful. Stay powerful.