Author Topic: Introduce Yourself!  (Read 3986 times)

swick

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Introduce Yourself!
« on: February 28, 2017, 04:48:44 PM »
Welcome, Mustachian Entrepreneurs!

This thread is your opportunity to introduce yourself and share your business with the community.  Keep in mind the forum rules on spam: if you'd like to link to your own stuff, a single link in your signature is acceptable.

Please tell us:

Who you are
What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Your best piece of advice for others
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

Looking forward to getting to know you all!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 02:50:49 AM by arebelspy »

maizeman

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 06:13:40 PM »
Who you are
Tenure track but pre-tenured academic. Involved in launching two start ups neither of which has failed (nor been acquired or gone public) so far.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Honestly probably balancing time commitments between my "day job" and the two start-ups (although that became a lot easier once each of them started taking on more dedicated staff).

Your best piece of advice for others
Ummm.... writing business plans is surprisingly fun?

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
All of the essays on this page: http://paulgraham.com/articles.html
"It’s a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My source code & my journal

MaryByrne

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 02:13:11 AM »
Who you are
I am a 19 year old female freshman college student in Portland, Oregon.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I WILL create and maintain content websites/blogs with affiliate linked products and my own digital information products (ebooks, printables). Also developing educational games for my Mom.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Startup capital (150-200 dollars) and just buying the things like domain and hosting already, always a "not now" moment when in college paying stuff

Your best piece of advice for others
Would you encourage someone else to do your business idea? Aka, is it possible for others to do? If so why not possible for you? Make it happen

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Blog tyrant's blog. Great tips on blogging and strategy for content. Made me realize I need an ebook or other product to actually make decent money w/o obsessing over traffic amount to make money with adsense.

Not sure if I count as an entrepreneur because it will be blogging with products to sell... but I'm definitely a motivated side hustler.

Goals for Revenue/Income
$4000 profit/month by March 2021 (4 years)
Pretty much a small solo informal business setup with just my Mom and I running it. (that's enough to support both of us living together). Planning on the "business" things I do online being the main income source. (have backup plan too)

Now: nothing set up and nothing is making money. Buying website hosting and domains in the next 2 weeks.
Find the next good thing, do it/make it/follow.





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Smokystache

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 09:34:46 AM »
Who you are
I am a 40 something, tenured, social sciences professor living in Smoky Mtns of US.

What you do [elevator pitch]
I:
- use my previous research and area of academic expertise to try to help business build relationships - have created some print materials that companies use to help their clients and to generate more sales for their business
- have begun consulting with some of these businesses about how to improve their customer service (on one specific topic)
- present at professional conferences, go to trade shows, and write articles for trade journals

I'm in the early stages of working with 1 or 2 companies as a long-term consultant, product-development, trainer. My goal is to eventually do this full-time and stop being a professor.

And I make most of my current side income at home by stuffing envelopes (seriously)


Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge(s)
- Translating academic research, knowledge and skills into products and services that businesses will actually pay for
- Creating enough consistent income that it makes sense to give up a job-for-life with decent benefits
- Breaking in to a very traditional business field that doesn't like change

Your best piece of advice for others
- Start lean. Get out there and start selling and talking to people.
- Be ready to adjust your plan/services/product to what people will actually pay for (I know have income from things I'd never thought I'd do (even though I'm happy doing it and it fits my skillset))
- Things will likely happen twice as slowly as you expect
- Don't underestimate the power of relationships and familiarity
- Don't underestimate the power of hanging in there, being visible, writing for trade journals, etc.

Your favorite Entrepreneur resource
MMM forum and now this subforum
- books like 4 Hour Workweek, $200 Startup, The Lean Startup

Goals for Revenue/Income
- From my side gigs I currently net the equivalent of 50% of my regular salary. I hope to grow that to 130% of my regular salary and then switch to my sales/consulting/speaking full-time. I hope to quit my day job within 2 years.


Extra: This is a thread where I asked advice about consulting with big companies, fees, agreements, etc. and provides some disguised background about my field.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/new-to-consulting-help-me-avoid-beginner's-mistakes/




bullcitybro

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 01:22:43 PM »
Who you are
Young-ish Raleigh/Durham dude with a lot of hobbies, an adorable dog named after a scientist, and a dishwasher full of Ziploc bags.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
My day-job is running the marketing operations department for a well known global technology company.  I also have a consulting company that does marketing automation and CRM training, implementations, and campaign creation.  I've been working in the marketing automation space for my entire career, usually splitting my income 50/50 between working client-side and doing consulting projects. I call this "diversification" but really it's because I'm in an industry where you can only learn platforms if you have multi-million dollar budgets, so the barrier to entry is astronomical for people w/o enterprise client-side experience.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Finding time for major on-site client projects that don't overlap (too much) my day job commitments. 

Your best piece of advice for others
Being an engineer or code-monkey is all well and good, and is where I got my start too, but there is a very, very, very low ceiling on your earnings when you are valued for a product (code) instead of a business line-item or process improvement.  Presentation skills helped me a ton when I was just starting out right out of college.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Can I give my least favorite? Anything from Reddit. So sick of low barrier-to-entry wantrepreneurs extrapolating their $100 profit from a weekend of scammy affiliate marketing into a "HOW I MAKE $100,000 a year and quit my day job" posts and info products.  We get it, it's cool to have no skills and still make money, but sheesh.

RetirementManifesto

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 01:30:11 PM »
Who you are:  A 53 year old Commodity Trader, who's going to FIRE in June 18.

What you do Get paid well for a job I'm tired of, my real passion is blogging about retirement planning!

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge  Continuing the awesome growth on my blog, perhaps monetizing it post-retirement.

Your best piece of advice for others Start Young!  Spend Less Than You Make!!

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource:  Radical Personal Finance Podcast
I'm retiring in 2018, read about it at The Retirement Manifesto.

CargoBiker

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 03:19:33 PM »
Who you are
Former middle school band teacher. Parent of two. Now self-employed and running business from home 4 days a week.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Run a business selling products via ecommerce and wholesale to retail.

Getting into a new manufacturing business.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

Social media!  I'm in my 20s, but I may as well be my grandpa when it comes to marketing via social media.

Your best piece of advice for others
Help People.  Make Money.

Also, don't tell people on the internet the specifics of your business.  Trust me on this one.  :)

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 09:37:54 PM by CargoBiker »
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Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

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SwordGuy

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 05:06:31 PM »
Who you are

Hi.  My name is SwordGuy and I am a serial entrepreneur.  I am a 59 year old male currently living in NC.

My wife and I run several businesses, some of which are more active than others.  Our current push is real estate investment, with 4 rental houses and one property to be flipped.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

I'm  a lousy salesperson when I'm selling my own products -- and I doubt I'll ever get much better at it.

Your best piece of advice for others

Fail forward, not backward.

The odds that your business will not be able to support you and your family are pretty high, particularly if you have not already failed before (and learned from your mistakes).   

Structure what you are doing so that if you fail, you will not seriously damage your ability to try again.   

Would you encourage someone else to do your business idea? Aka, is it possible for others to do? If so why not possible for you?

Absolutely!   There is lots of money to be made in real estate in the USA.   And, surprisingly, it does not REQUIRE a large amount of capital to do so, though having available capital to put to use doesn't hurt.   

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

Sorry, can't help you there.

Goals for Revenue/Income

$24,000 in annual profit by the end of 2017.
$29,000 by end of 2019.
And an additional $5000 five years out of six after that.   (Every 6th house will go to charity.)

I'll do up a thread listing more details about other business activities.

CareCPA

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 06:45:15 PM »
Who you are
I'm a CPA, just starting to strike out on my own.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I take care of the numbers, so you don't have to. I provide bookkeeping services, and roll them right into tax preparation, saving you multiple headaches. My specialties are small businesses and their owners.
I offer financial planning as well. It really peeves me that most "financial advisers" in my area are just insurance salesmen.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Finding clients. Any advice on this is appreciated - posts or PMs.
I'm currently bound by a geographical non-compete which makes it tougher.

Your best piece of advice for others
You never know until you try, so get out there and see how you do.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
This forum, along with a couple podcasts. I haven't found anything yet that I thought I just couldn't live without, so I'm looking forward to exploring some of the resources mentioned in this thread.
Always happy to help with tax or accounting questions - feel free to private message me.

I am a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. However, any tax advice I give should be considered general information and not used in the avoidance of tax. There is most likely information about your situation that I do not know, and thus you should do your own additional research.

Yes, in case it confuses you, I did change my forum name.

Genevieve

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 07:29:05 PM »
Who you are
28 y.o. women living in NYC w/ my high earning husband and two adorable dogs. I'm currently freelancing with 3 clients.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Basically a really fancy, specialized assistant to other business owners.
I'm planning to start a business less reliant on my time this year -- currently thinking real estate. Also have ideas for potential info products and a blog/YouTube channel but I'm less sure about those. 

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
What's the right way to invest in my business, and how much should go to the business vs. personal savings?

Your best piece of advice for others
Focus on validating your idea in the marketplace as quickly and as cheaply as possible. For example, with a service business, pitch clients & talk to them before you set up a website, business cards, etc. Talk to established business owners in your niche to pick their brain about your idea. With a product business, what's your MVP? Get sales first, then do the rest.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

Tropical MBA podcasts. Ramit Sethi's stuff.

village_local

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 12:40:23 AM »


Who you are
Mid thirties digital marketer/strategist with 16 years agency and client side experience looking to leave the rat race and strike out on my own.

What you do
I have previously done consulting/freelancing but am looking for something more scalable. Currently investigating info products but very wary of sheer amount of crap out there and the ability to stand out and look legitimate amongst all of that.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Fear of failure and the above dilemma!

Your best piece of advice for others
Never ever stop learning, read more, practice more and focus on providing real value to real problems.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
I've always found Seth Godin extremely motivating - both his books and blogs.
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber is also an oldie but a goodie.


J Boogie

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 10:10:11 AM »
Who you are
31, Married and we have a baby boy.   

What you do

Packaging Data Analyst with a focus on Sustainability Metrics at 3M.  Building solid wood furniture is my side hustle and hobby and passion.  I also own and occupy a duplex and manage one other rental property.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

The idea of walking away from a high paying job with great benefits with great friends that I ultimately don't get much satisfaction out of.  I plan on doing this in 5-10 years.  My wife wants to support me but she has concerns.

My father in law was a big time shopfitter, managed hundreds of projects ranging from kitchens in Miami to entire airport wings in Panama, and he ended up losing his business (hundreds of thousands in capital) for various political reasons in Nicarauga.  Her parents recently got back on their feet and they were dead broke for the past 5-10 years before that.  She sees this idea as a risk and even though we wouldn't be putting significant capital on the line and our net worth will be safe, she has strong emotions here so I tread lightly.

Your best piece of advice for others
Go out and do the thing that inspires you most.  If you are single, take advantage of the fact that you can devote enormous amounts of your free time into your creative endeavors. 

Also, if you just want to be your own boss, and that's your primary motivation to be an entrepreneur, that's more a sign you need to do some self-reflection.  Aversion to authority doesn't necessarily lead to business success, and is quite likely to lead to problems in other areas of your life.  Besides, you'll still have bosses - your customers.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
I like the From Scratch podcast.  It's very entertaining.  My favorites have been Warby Parker and Thomas Keller.  Plenty of great stories to choose from though.  Instagram is great for woodworkers to learn more. 

bullcitybro

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 07:44:28 AM »

I'm currently bound by a geographical non-compete which makes it tougher.

Oh man, been there.  The standard advice that everyone gives people like us (Do your day job... but like, at night, and for people in your network) is hard to follow when you have a non-compete.  I'm lucky in that my current non-compete is pretty specific in that I just can't do side-work for one of our competitors, but when I was just starting out, I actually moved to Boise, Idaho because I knew that I could take a job there and not worry about getting restricted in consulting in that area since I'd be moving back to the Triangle eventually.

Papa bear

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 01:46:48 PM »
Who you are:
Papa bear, an early 30's FI, not truly RE, with 1 kid and a wife who still likes to work.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch):
A lot, but for these purposes here, I am a managing partner of a boutique Staffing and Recruiting firm that focuses on Healthcare and Medical clients.  In essence, I am an expert in finding and getting you a job.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge:
Business Challenges: The high volume clients are large hospital systems.  These are "whales" to go after from a sales perspective.   They can be difficult to get contracts with, are bureaucratic, and can be slow to pay.   
Personal Challenges: Balancing being the primary care provider for my son while also trying to grow a business.   How much extra work do I want to put into being an entrepreneur as opposed to making sure my son is not in daycare?  I have enough to ER myself, but I can't get my wife to join without a more conservative bucket.   What to do!?!

Your best piece of advice for others: 
Bootstrap and self fund.   You don't need to have a loan or give up equity to start your business.   Use your mustachian experience to keep your overhead low.  Also, it helps to have a solid passive income built on the side that is completely independent of your start up. 

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource: 
I have mentors in the industry and a large group of similarly minded, FIRE goaled individuals that I talk or meet with on a regular basis.   Get yourself a strong network. 

Axecleaver

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 03:34:15 AM »
Who you are
I'm mid-40's, I live near Albany, NY with my wife. My daughter is a junior in college, and will be graduating next year at age 19. My journal has more details into the rollercoaster I've been on for the last year.

What you do
I run a healthcare reform consulting practice. We launched September, 2013. Most of our work is for state departments of health, implementing Medicaid and Health Insurance Exchange projects. We provide policy guidance, project management and support services. The change in administration should be very good for business. At our peak last year, we had seven employees (four full time, three part time). We also provide research support services. We recently did work on patient compliance with chronic disease states.

In 2016, we did 954k in revenue with 540k net. Our margin target is 40%, although some project roles tend to be extremely competitive.

Biggest Challenge
Politics and risk exposure to individual clients. 80% of our business was for one customer last year. In August, my primary client got into a disagreement with his boss. I was perceived as loyal to that client, and when my client was moved to a different division, I was replaced, and my research project was canceled. I still have one employee on the project, but we're not sure how stable that situation will be long term.

Advice
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/axecleaver's-steps-for-starting-your-own-services-business/

Favorite entrepreneurial resource
www.score.org - Their business plan templates are great. I used their templates to start my company in 2013. It got me to ask questions I hadn't thought to ask yet.

monstermonster

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2017, 10:12:52 AM »
Who you are
I'm a few months out from turning 30. I live in Portland, Oregon and my life pretty much resembles what you probably know about Portland - bikes, donuts, kombucha, dressing up in costumes, making zines for a living, etc. My career has been a collection of nonprofit & creative jobs (usually I have at least 3 jobs at a time), extremely geeky data work, and making ridiculous community projects happen. You can read alllll about me on my very-active forum journal.

I was working in American politics last year, and that was terrible as you might expect. I left to turn my side hustle into my own business in October of 2016, and I'm on a sharp learning curve about entrepreneurship.

What you do
I teach personal finance to millennials - I focus primarily on college speaking gigs, a radio show/podcast, and "money bootcamps" for creative small business owners. I'm known for my approachable flare to personal finance - Bowie costumes, comic books, etc. Essentially, I aim to be the Dave Ramsey for urbanite, atheist millennial feminists.

This year is my real startup year, since this was previously just a side hustle, and I'm launching a video/TV series, comic workbook, AND online course this year. Yes, it's a lot.

Biggest Challenge
Marketing & PR are a big learning curve, as is shipping instead of perfection.

Advice
I'm terrible at taking this advice but I'm learning that selling with confidence, even when I feel like I don't have my sh*t together, makes all the difference. This is especially true in networking.

Favorite entrepreneurial resource
I love Christy Wright's Business Boutique podcast as chicken soup for the entrepreneurial soul.
Bikes, bowie, and business: using glitter to double my net worth by 30 the journal- with 40 less pages than the old journal!

<$25,000 income, 20% savings rate, traveling from Dublin > Shanghai by ferry/train this September.

My personal finance podcast for millennials (and those who love them)

zazpowered

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 01:23:06 AM »
Who you are
I am a 25 year old software engineer living in San Francisco

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I work full time at a 10 person startup but my side business I'm starting up is https://senzu.io which is a collection of personal finance tools

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Getting customers and retaining customers

Your best piece of advice for others
Most people say they want to start a business but few will actually do it. So my advice is to just start. Once you launch, talking to customers and iterating is really important because your first attempt at a product will probably not get you to product market fit.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
https://indiehackers.com

KES

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2017, 02:21:09 PM »
Who you are
33-year-old mom of 4

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Sell audio bedtime routines for kids

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Figuring out the advertising part

Your best piece of advice for others
Don't let others keep you down

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Not sure yet, still figuring it all out


scienceplayhouse

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2017, 08:13:54 AM »
Who you are
I am a Father of 3 boys under 10 who FIRE'd a couple years ago, got bored, and started a new company.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
My company is a hands-on science and technology lab providing STEM education and enrichment programs for kids of all ages. Our programs include, 3D printing, robotics, programming, science, and stop-motion animation. We offer after-school, home-school, in-school programs as well as holiday camps, and special events. Our goal is to make STEM exciting, interesting, and most importantly, FUN for kids!

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Marketing.Marketing.Marketing...and finding reliable employees.

Your best piece of advice for others
Starting up your own business can be very rewarding but it is a lot of work!

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
The local Small Business Development Center and all their free classes, mentorship, and resources

KMMK

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2017, 11:18:07 AM »
Hello all! Time to take my website blocker off for a while to do more internet marketing.

Who you are
It's mostly in my forum profile - 40 yr female, in Edmonton, AB. I'm no longer expecting anonymity at all, as I sell under my real name. But additional info - have a husband-equivalent (not legally married, but everything else), no kids, the perfect dog. I'm a (non-practicing) minimalist, "scanner" personality type, have recently started treatment for anxiety, which seems to be helping.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I'm an independent fee-based financial planner with the license to sell life, disability, etc insurance as well. I prefer to call myself a money coach though. My ideal client is younger and less-wealthy than what the traditional financial planner wants to work for.
I'm also particularly targeting women, who I think are underserved in this predominantly older male industry. I also focus more on financial education, and dealing with the emotions surrounding money. Telling someone what they should do isn't very effective. You have to figure out their goals and personality.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
There are two. The compliance, CE requirements etc take a lot of time and effort. I'm finally pretty set up in those areas but it took a long time.
Second, getting money from people who are already struggling with money might be a challenge. We'll see.

Your best piece of advice for others
Starting a business is like home renovations. Everything will take 2-3 times longer and cost 2-3 times more money than you expect. Also, it's better to hire out some things early on, as well as try your best to do things right the first time. Redoing items or doing things someone else could do much quicker isn't good.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
I don't automatically think of resources accessible to everyone. Most of mine have been local entrepreneur centres, and individual people. On the forums Axecleaver and monstermonster are especially inspirational and helpful. Just meet lots of people who understand business stuff and other small business owners who serve a similar clientele.
Oh, and I use StayFocused to prevent myself from looking at this site too much when I should be working. That's mostly why I don't comment too much.

You can check out my website, with links to my FB and twitter, from the globe below my profile info.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2017, 10:09:17 AM »
Let me just say I LOVE this sub-forum! Great idea.  Now for the questions..

Who you are
I'm a 27 year old real estate broker, real estate investor, and entrepreneur living in Raleigh, NC. 

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I started buying real estate in 2011 and house hacking (living in one room, renting out the others).  Rinse and repeat.  Right now I have 4 residential rentals and 1 commercial co-owned with a partner.  Once I started investing in college, I decided I liked it enough to get my RE license so I could save myself the commissions.  Fast forward a few years, friends started asking me to help them find a house and business just grew organically from there.  I've had a few great 9-5 jobs that I've left after a few months because I just can't take working for someone else - I'd rather hustle 24/7.  So my income now comes from brokering sales, rental income (rental properties and renting out a room in my townhouse), freelance writing (covering personal finance/real estate topics), dog sitting (so much fun), and I just launched an online lifestyle business called Earn Like A Girl (blog/e-learning products teaching women how to increase their income).  I'm also planning the launch of my property management business in summer 2017.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Taking on too much.  I am a little bit business ADHD and tend to have "shiny object" syndrome.  For the most part I enjoy having a lot of opportunities to work on but sometimes I overload myself, get super overwhelmed/stressed, and have to cut something for the sake of my sanity which I'm aware can make me look like a flake.

Your best piece of advice for others
Just start.  I was young and dumb when I bought my first property in 2011.  I think had I started now, I would get caught up in analysis paralysis (I see a lot of people my age succumb to this). They think they have to be "ready" before launch, but that's the thing-- nobody's ever ready.  I passed the real estate exam but honestly that didn't mean much.. I had to learn on the job. 

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Instagram.  If you brand yourself correctly on that platform and authentically engage with users, the leads will start flowing in.  I've met and networked with so many people through Instagram, and even sold houses through it.  It works.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 10:10:49 AM by thedayisbrave »
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway

AK

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2017, 08:11:40 AM »
Who you are

An early 30s guy with a passion for technology, personal finance, helping others, and my family. Started my own company last year and have been enjoying the ride since.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)

Provide software development and consulting services on a well known technology platform. This ranges from doing the software development, to leading development teams, to providing architecture guidance to name a few.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

Deciding how much I want to grow the business. Am enjoying the work-life balance and being able to spend more time with family. If I decide to try and expand, I have to get better at marketing, promoting myself, and negotiating.

Your best piece of advice for others

Just start like "thedaysisbrave" said. I wish I started years ago.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

Your network. Your friends, family, colleagues and others you know will more often than not be willing to help you find business or refer you to people who can help you in different ways.

eatingthewholethirdcoast

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2017, 10:50:58 AM »
Hi! I'm Jen and I'm a 5th grade teacher. I just started a blog to hopefully bring in extra income. It should be no surprise to you all for me to say that teachers do not make enough money! I love what I do, but I'm hoping my blog will help me and my fiancé have extra income for our future and possible real estate investments!
-Jen
eatingthewholethirdcoast.com

zinethstache

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2017, 11:22:01 AM »
Who you are - 49yo female, recently FIREd from sweet day job (20 years at mega corp). DH FIREd at 43 to work on his business that I helped (convinced) him start and that now is our primary FIRE income.
What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch) - I create side gig's that ebb and flow depending on my interest. I also help others with their side gig's (or in the case of DH - I helped him with his new gig)
Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge - Not taking on too much - been there, done that in the worse way possible causing major health issues. I've learned my lesson!
Your best piece of advice for others - Map out a very clear plan/path and stick with it. Be very careful of deviations as they can have a very negative result.
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource- The internet. For every gig I am interested in, I use the internet to learn everything I can about the topic.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2017, 10:15:43 AM »
Who you are - 32 y.o. single female who can't not be doing something...
What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch) - My day job is as a Technical Director at a performing arts center.  It's great fun with great bennies, so I don't forsee leaving anytime soon.  My hobby jobs are freelance concert lighting design and online retail (i.e. I sell crap on Amazon).
Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge - Maintaining motivation.  I don't need the extra money, so I have to push myself to keep earning.
Your best piece of advice for others - Set goals!  Mine last year was to live on just Amazon income during the months of Nov-Dec so I could put my day job money into a 457.  I was so successful that I extended it to January.  I also attempt to freelance enough to max an IRA every year.
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource- The internet. I stumbled into Amazon accidentally after listening to a podcast.  Everything I know about Amazon, I learned online, and I'm still learning.
I have a journal! $10 at a time
And a Kitchen Renovation thread! Kitchen Reno

webguy

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2017, 02:22:00 PM »
Hello fellow entrepreneurs :)!  I've been browsing this sub-forum since it arrived not long ago but haven't had much time to write on here yet. Thought I'd at least introduce myself though..

Who you are

A web developer turned business owner. I graduated in '09 and worked as a web developer for an agency for 4.5 years. I picked up freelance website work along the way and ramped that up in 2013 with the goal of transitioning to be a full-time freelancer and quit my day job. Around the same time I created a software product to try to pay the mortgage and provide a consistent baseline of income. It ended up taking off and has morphed into the company I run today which brings in about $70-80k/month currently.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)

Run a small company from home that develops software products that we sell to individuals/businesses.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

Hiring the right people.

Your best piece of advice for others

Bootstrap as much as possible. Do your research and verify your idea before sinking too much time/money into it. Once you've verified the idea put your heart and soul into it until you've maximized it's potential. Don't do anything half-heartedly.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

I'm a big advocate of podcasts. Tropical MBA is awesome, Foolish Adventure is no longer going but is still great, the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast has great interviews.

FIREby35

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2017, 06:46:33 AM »
Who am I?

I am a 32 year old guy with a wife and three kids in a medium sized midwestern town who is interested in family and friends, financial independence, small businesses, reading and gardening.

What I do?

I am the founder and owner of a fully bi-lingual law office focusing on serving the hispanic community. We also engage in significant community activities including founding a free legal clinic that has served approximately 1,500 people in the last six years and a scholarship program that has provided 32 full-tuition scholarships to young immigrants to attend college in a multi-state area.

What is by biggest challenge?

Making sure people see us as an accident and injury law firm. Working with Spanish speaking immigrants means "immigration attorney" to many people. Immigration cases have small margins, but they have helped us create a large client base. We are trying, hard, to make sure people know, "We take accident and injury cases."

Best Piece of Advice for Others?

You don't have to re-invent the wheel - cough - make an app. You can make a bunch of money in a traditional business. I've done it in the law. You can do it in real estate, construction, etcetera. You don't have to be cutting edge - just good at what you do.

Favorite Business Source -

The E-myth by Michael Gerber. I read it and it revolutionized my thinking. Every small business owner should read it.

CargoBiker

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2017, 09:09:14 PM »
What is by biggest challenge?

Making sure people see us as an accident and injury law firm. Working with Spanish speaking immigrants means "immigration attorney" to many people. Immigration cases have small margins, but they have helped us create a large client base. We are trying, hard, to make sure people know, "We take accident and injury cases."

If you haven't done so already,  get some sort of referral deal going with a couple of immigration lawyers.  They give you $x for every lead.  You solve the customer's problem by sending them to another lawyer you trust, and you get paid for doing so.
Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

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Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

FIREby35

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2017, 07:24:01 AM »
What is by biggest challenge?

Making sure people see us as an accident and injury law firm. Working with Spanish speaking immigrants means "immigration attorney" to many people. Immigration cases have small margins, but they have helped us create a large client base. We are trying, hard, to make sure people know, "We take accident and injury cases."

If you haven't done so already,  get some sort of referral deal going with a couple of immigration lawyers.  They give you $x for every lead.  You solve the customer's problem by sending them to another lawyer you trust, and you get paid for doing so.

We work on referrals with other attorneys. But, unfortunately there are some extra rules that all fee sharing agreements between attorneys must be disclosed to the client who has to sign off on them and the split has to be proportional to the amount of work done by each firm. It's really not that big a deal but it is more difficult to get a straight "kickback" for referring cases. Also, many attorneys mistakenly believe they can never split a fee. They are wrong, but you can talk till you are blue in the face most just won't ever get it.

My issue is actually that I have reached the limit (I think) in getting these referral relationships set up with all the various professionals out there (lawyers, doctors, insurance agents, etcetera). I mean, there is always more, but I'm at the point of diminishing returns. It takes a lot of effort to identify a new person and create a steady referral relationship - especially if the person on the other end is not business savvy and has to be constantly reminded to send cases.

Anyway, I didn't mean to put the "kabosh" on your thought, just give further explanation.

RidetheRain

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2017, 02:36:46 PM »
Hi! I'm RidethRain and I'm considering getting a bit of a side hustle going on.

Elevator Pitch
I sew women's dresses with organic linen cloth and finishings (even the zippers are organic!). It's a more polished and clean-lined style of clothing than is standard for linen clothing. I aim to reach a group of women that prefer polished elegant clothing but want to keep it as clean and natural as possible.

Challenges
My biggest challenge is getting started! I'm worried about the amount of time I will need to spend on this hobby/business. I'm considering an Etsy shop or something similar. I work full time and currently make clothing as a hobbyist. I'd like to grow and start selling, but the business side is foreign to me.

The last two questions - advice and resources - aren't my area yet. I'll let you know when I get this thing off the ground. I should point out that I'm working with someone on Fiverr.com for slogan/marketing help.

swick

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2017, 01:06:11 AM »

The last two questions - advice and resources - aren't my area yet. I'll let you know when I get this thing off the ground. I should point out that I'm working with someone on Fiverr.com for slogan/marketing help.

Welcome, RidetheRain!

Just wanted to mention if you are working with someone off of fiverr, make sure you have permissions to use any images or graphics that logos and marketing materials are made out of. It is somewhat common for fiverr folks to use copyrighted images and that could cause you a whole bunch of headaches.

Looking forward to seeing you build your business, feel free to pop in with any questions as you go :)

gredenko

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2017, 10:25:09 AM »
Who you are: Hello all, I'm a college graduate from California with a lot of ambition and a worthless degree. So now I'm just trying to build several things, make money, and enjoy my life while I'm young, hopefully avoiding the corporate ladder completely.
What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch): I have been daytrading futures (perfecting my technique and struggling, but always getting better) and learning for about 3 years now, with the help of some mentors. I'm also experienced in programming and am working on some projects for side income, one being affiliate marketing (ebay/amazon).
Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge: Being undercapitalized. I've made a lot of correct calls on the market but am not able to make much money because I just don't have a lot yet.
Your best piece of advice for others: Dream big and then achieve.
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource: My mentors (other daytraders, successful entrepreneurs, etc.)

jedithunder

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2017, 08:39:08 AM »
Who you are
39-year-old dude from Chicago. One time teacher and outdoor professional, currently building youth sports programs for a not for profit (ie soccer, basketball leagues)

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Working on building an Electronic medical record (medical charting) system for schools and summer camp programs

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
getting just enough funding and finding the person to build V1 - I am not a developer

Your best piece of advice for others
Get a lunch box and an insulated coffee mug

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Looking for one - I would love to find something like biggerpockets.com for more than just real estate  (no bs real just conversation)

Hello everyone
 

h2ogal

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2017, 10:58:30 AM »
Who you are
Post-FIRE, 50+/F, IT Project Manager
 
What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
Corp-Corp Contract IT PM Services to mid to large corporations. 


Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

2 things:  Lack of fast internet - I work from home and live in a rural under-served area.  When my internet is down I am not making money.  And also balancing the stream of work.  I started my business less than 1 year ago.  My goal was to work part time, maybe 24 hours per week.  At first I did not have enough work, then I oversold my services and now have too much work - (Im working 60+ hours per week).   

Your best piece of advice for others
Just start doing it.  The timing will never be perfect.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

I have a few:
  • Udemy is great for inexpensive training needed for maintaining my certifications
    HubSpot is great for CRM, tracking who reads your emails
    Linked in for keeping in contact with Colleagues and getting leads
    Quickbooks Online for keeping track of costs and invoicing
    Amazon for buying everthing I need for business when Im too busy to shop

Mr. Llama

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2017, 10:02:00 PM »
Who you are

Hi, I'm Mr. Llama! I have 2 little llamas and live in Asia. I grew up in a poor family and left school around 15/16 to run a business. I was a straight A student and wanted to study quantum physics at university, but I realized that would be an expensive luxury with no real financial upside.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)

While I was still in school I started earning money from a call-out computer/electronics repair business. Back then the internet was still something for nerds and it wasn't easy to buy or install computer parts. I would purchase parts on demand from a supplier that offered trade discounts, add 50% markup and offer free installation/service. I got regular business from teachers in my school and did well with older and disabled clients.

I used that money to start progressively larger businesses, moved to Asia and eventually built a niche manufacturing business which is quite successful now.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

Making the switch from being self employed as a one man business into an actual, legit larger business. It's very hard to come up with good systems and processes to hand off work to staff, especially when you're worried about letting go of things.

Your best piece of advice for others

Take risks when you're young. Travel the world. Don't talk about what you're going to do, get off your ass and do it. For every 100 kids I hear talking about starting a business only one ever actually sees it through, and they are the ones who usually end up successful in some way.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

Many of the older business owners I've encountered are more than happy to share their experience, and these contacts are like gold. These days if my business needs anything from carpentry to glass fitting or steam boilers I just have to make a phone call and it's done.

onewayfamily

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2017, 01:55:44 AM »
Who you are
I'm Avi. We FIRE'd last year through mostly traditional salary and investment earnings. Our entrepreneurial income probably contributed around 15% to our stash.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I started on Freelancer.com doing some work on the side in my industry (Finance) and could draw on a lot of the experience I gained at my salaried position as a Financial Analyst. Over time I picked up some continuing clients so I started to work alone and made a basic website (wildrhinoconsulting.com). Now I'm mostly trying to decide how much time I want to spend on it (being FIRE'd now we mostly just want to travel). I've also been putting a greater focus on outsourcing different parts of the work to people with those specialised skills rather than trying to do it all myself.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Finding time to work on growing the business - before we FIRE'd I obviously spent a lot of the day at work, and now it's hard to justify working on something like this when we just want to read, travel, stay fit, cook healthy food and spend time with the kids.

Your best piece of advice for others
Start lean and see what happens.
Focus on what will actually bring in your first $1 or $100 or $1,000, not on building a huge complex infrastructure before you even know if it can actually make you any money, which is the main goal in most entrepreneurial pursuits.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Fiverr :-)
We FIRE'd at age 28 (me) and 29 (Mrs. OneWayFamily) and are now trying to travel to every country on Earth - it takes longer with 2 toddlers!

If you'd like to keep track of where we're at - check out our photos @ Instagram or our lame attempt at a blog at onewayfamily.com

Pohltergeist

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
Who you are

I'm 26, I work a day job as an Engineer in Winnipeg, MB. Just getting started with entrepreneurship and FIRE!

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)

I design and repair electronic light up gadgets (need to come up with a better name for this stuff). Think big bright LED suits, poi, goggles, anything you'd see at a festival or rave. I have a number of clients who have me repair their equipment throughout the year as electronics and partying tend to have a rough relationship.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge

Time and focus! Carving out a hunk of the evening to sit down and do 100 solder connections on a sweaty smelling suit can be tricky. I also need to charge a better rate, I used to charge only a small fee as I was just getting started but now that I'm half decent at this I could stand to make some more money.

Your best piece of advice for others


If you're getting into a crafty field like mine just get on with it! A business plan, goals, etc. is nice, but this field relies on your skill in your craft, so don't get lost in the woods; hunker down and make some neat stuff! Once you have some product and have sold some pieces on the side, then work up to large orders, websites and all the things that come with a serious business. You don't want people breathing down your neck for 100pcs of something that you promised yesterday when you're puzzled by which pliers to get.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource

My family is always a good sounding board, if I can convince my conservative hermit parents that my latest rave toy is a good business direction than I know it's going to succeed!


fibydesign

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2017, 09:53:15 PM »
Hello!
I'm hoping to help out Graphic Designers and other creatives with FI, Personal Finance, Investing, and how to Navigate the world of freelancing. Please share the FI by Design blog with any designers or art students. (link in profile)
http://fibydesign.com/

Who you are
Los Angeles based Freelance Graphic Designer + FI by Design blog author.

What you do
Graphic Designer by day (12+ years experience). Writing FI by Design blog by night, translating the message of Financial Independence to the creative fields (graphic design, advertising, motion graphics, branding).

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Convincing the people that create branding and visuals to sell products, not to buy things and to buy freedom.

Your best piece of advice for others
Save as much as you can, as often as you can. Figure out your priorities and judge every financial decision how it relates to accomplishing your goal.

skippy

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2017, 07:23:18 AM »
Who I am: I was raised by parents that bought on credit and didn't know how to save and live within their means.  I've spent all of my adult life trying to educate myself on ways to avoid living that way, and want to set that example for my son, who is now 10.
What I do: I'm employed full time by Uncle Sam, but I also own a massage therapy business and work there part time as a therapist in addition to the management aspect.
Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge: Finding enough hours in the day to sleep, play, exercise, run a business, and work a 40 hour 9-5 with Northern Virginia/DC traffic involved!!
Your best piece of advice for others: plan Plan PLAN!  There are a million things I wish I had known prior to opening my own business. 
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource: I'm in the market for these, suggestions welcome! 

AspiretoFIRE

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2017, 09:37:09 AM »
Who you are
A 34 year old desk jockey with dreams of FI.  I have recently decided to pursue my interest in real estate in the hopes of generating enough passive income to support myself and future family (soon-to-be DW).  I currently live abroad but plan on moving back to the States int he next couple of years.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I plan to purchase buy and hold investment properties to generate rental cash flow.  I have chosen a few markets around the USA to begin with including Des Moines, Salt Lake City, and the beautiful Pacific Northwest (I know large area, refining based on potential relocation) to start with but trying not to limit myself at this point.  I will obtain my RE license after moving back to the states to assist in my entrepreneurial endeavors.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
I think my biggest challenge currently is one of location, everything is just a bit harder from abroad.  In a more general sense just getting started is the biggest hurdle. I believe that once I close on that first (second, currently renting out prior primary residence) property I can begin the process of refining and replicating for maximum efficiency. 

Your best piece of advice for others
As I have not yet started it would be brash of me to offer any advice!  To offer something, I feel much more comfortable taking this leap due to a strong track record of saving, I have some F-you money.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Given my direction of travel biggerpockets.com has been an invaluable learning resource, but the journey all started here with MMM, this blog changed the way I was looking at the future, if not the way I handled my current money.  Hopefully I can give back to the community here as well in the future!

Roxysmart360

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2017, 03:00:10 PM »
Who you are
 I am a way to busy, behind a desk scientist with a little dog and a husband with a taste for large DIY projects ->doesn't help that I keep encouraging the habit ;-)

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I work for a large biopharma making life-saving drugs.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Figuring out what I want to do! Too many ideas and not enough time to get any started with current job.

Your best piece of advice for others
Stay positive. The biggest detraction from someone doing business with you can be attitude. 
 
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Honestly, all the best advice we have gotten has been from the forum! lol. I come from a family with three generations of entrepreneurs, it drives me nuts I am in the daily grind, but its done well by me so far. I'll make my break sooner or later.

aetherie

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2017, 03:10:04 PM »
Who I am: 25 year old living in the greater DC area.

What I do: My day job is in software engineering. But the reason I'm posting here is that I just launched an Etsy shop, Captive Chaos, where I sell knitted wall art made using a true random number generator. If you’re into math, science, and/or weird modern art, check it out!

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge: Figuring out how to get my art in front of people who want to buy it.

Your best piece of advice for others: I'm not in any position to be giving advice, haha.
 
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource: This forum!
Want to buy some truly random art? https://www.etsy.com/shop/CaptiveChaos

oakvilleman

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2017, 09:34:59 AM »
Who I am: 48, married, FIRE, live in west end of Greater Toronto Area, Canada between Hamilton and Toronto.

What I do: My wife Angela and I own and operate several small businesses - an IT consulting firm, market research firm, book keeping services, and a few cottage & property rentals.  Before FIRE, I mixed contract IT consulting roles with corporate gigs. I specialized in management consulting, product & project management, IT service management, Agile scrum master, and Design Thinking design sprint master. My wife was in business development & sales, and helped a startup grow to be Canada's largest career website, Workopolis.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge: Launching The PopUp Business School Canada. MMM recently hosted the UK founders of The PopUp Business School at his new HQ in Longmont, Colorado. My goal is to launch The PopUp Business School in Canada where we have lots of government programs to help small businesses. The main challenge is to differentiate PopUp Business School from these programs.

http://www.service-zen.com
http://www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk

Your best piece of advice for others: Get going and ship something! Don't ask your friends or family if they'd buy your product or service...of course they will. You need to get your product in from of real paying customers quick and ask them "will you buy this?". Make a sale, then iterate your product/service based on customer feedback. "If you're not embarrassed by first version of your product, then you've shipped to late" - Reid Hoffman
 
Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource: : http://tuckermax.me/the-only-entrepreneurship-lesson-reading-list-you-need-asshole-to-ceo-3/
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 09:38:27 AM by oakvilleman »

M0ntana

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Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2017, 03:24:33 PM »
Who you are
27 year-old lawyer from Canada with a new-found passion for entrepreneurship.

What you do (commonly known as your elevator pitch)
I do wine vulgarization. I essentially write blog posts and ebooks to make wine culture accessible to time-starved, ADHD-prone millenials.

Your biggest entrepreneurial/business challenge
Figuring out the best way to monetize my blog without going the overly obvious service/consulting route.  I'd love to grow this into a passive asset even if I have to work 1000s of hours before to get there - I just need to find out how. Work/side hustle/life balance has also been quite hard - the hustle is real.

Your best piece of advice for others
Just do it. I never thought I could build such a successful website in a matter of months. Analysis paralysis should be left for what requires heavy capita investmentl - and a blog is just not one of them. Just get writing already. Also, if you do the blog route, don't expect to make anything more than pocket change from Google AdSense.

Your favorite Entrepreneurial/business resource
Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi was a total game changer for me. Highly recommended.