The entrepreneur journey is not all sunshine and roses. In fact, there are a lot of failures and pitfalls.
Here in this video, I will share with you three business mistakes I made in the past. Hopefully you will avoid these mistakes for your own business.
Mistake #1. Shiny Object Syndrome
Once I registered many domains and they went nowhere. For example:
ForeignerInUSA.com: I wanted to use this site to provide useful information for foreigners living in USA. But the scope of the site was too big and I just didn't have time to write content.
EffectiveHeadlines.com: this is a site for sharing copywriting tips, especially tips on writing headlines. But I didn't know what audience to target for.
ChineseInSeattle.com: I thought local websites like this will be easy to do and monetize. For example, I could put up ads for real estate agents or other local small businesses. But, again, I didn't have time to write content.
LightsMatch.com: I wanted to do shopping comparison site for lighting fixtures and monetize by affiliate sales. But, I found it hard to get traffic.
CoolPosting.com: this is a site for searching deals on 6 or 7 deal websites, such as slickdeals.net, fatwallet, bensbargain.com, etc. The site actually did get some decent traffic, and one day someone sent me an email wanting to buy this site for $3000. But the search technology behind this was too valuable, so I didn't sell this site. However, I couldn't figure out a business model, so I ended up shutting it down.
Mistake #2. Appeal To The Wrong Clients
I once worked for a friend of mine to build his personal site. It took quite some effort, and although I charged him no more than a thousand dollars, he was not satisfied at all. Since he was expecting more features for the site and didn't know what was actually involved in building the site.
It is better to work with clients that are somewhat savvy about websites, that way, they have better expectation for the project and could appreciate the hard work I put in.
Mistake #3. Building Marketplaces
Marketplace businesses are platforms where you have buyers and sellers, or you have content providers and content consumers.
For example, Amazon and eBay are marketplaces; discussion forums are also marketplaces.
These type of businesses are among the hardest to build, because you not only have to attract the buyers, but you also have to attract the sellers. The effort doubles compared to a business where you provide a product or service yourself.
I had several failed attempts trying to build discussion forums. After being burned out, I realized that you just can't rely on users to generate content because the economy doesn't work. Users have no incentive to provide great content for you for free.
So, don't build marketplaces, be a provider yourself, that's the easy way to get started.
Other than these, I made a ton of other mistakes as well, from pricing my products too low, to not focusing on customer needs.
So, as you can see, running a business is not easy at all.
However, let's end this on a high note: mistakes are like lessons, the more mistakes you make, the more you will learn and be better in the future.
With more experience under your belt, you will become a better entrepreneur and, a better person.