My first business? Yeah, it failed. Here's what happened.
It was New York, it was the early '80s, and there I was: a fresh 20-something, son of immigrants. I didn't run with the most optimistic crowd--but I had a dream of becoming a comic book artist. And I wasn't too shabby, I even enrolled in art school!
But it didn't take long for me to realize I was a long way from becoming Stan Lee.
That's when I got the idea for my first business: a comic book delivery service for serious comic book collectors.
The business idea was solid: "Get your comics for less AND in mint condition!” After all, nothing was worse than getting a ratty, beat-up comic book in the mail.
So, I designed brochures and ran ads in the comic books themselves.
It was a huge hit.
To my surprise, I got a massive list of subscribers. Really fast. To keep up with orders and inventory, I taught myself how to do accounting and software engineering (on an original IBM PC, mind you...)
The business was BOOMING. And then, it all caught up with me.
Delivering mint-condition comics was expensive...and my prices were not.
I was good at getting customers. Not so good at making money from them. Before long, I was in the red. Ka-pow. Gut punch. Game over.
But I learned something so, so important from that experience. Something that seems obvious in the 20/20 rearview mirror:
Business strategy is everything.
Fast forward 30 years, and this is what I've dedicated my life to: helping B2B business owners get clarity on their overall strategy, so they can grow their businesses with purpose and on purpose.