I have over 20 failed businesses - Am I an entrepreneur?

Andrew Thompson
1 reply
What follows here is a story, lesson, fable, moral - who cares. What does matter and who should care is if there is value here in these words. Since I was 10, I have built, started and run (poorly) at least 20 different businesses. I am serious - I have a list. Here are some that were of note: MySpaceSupport.com, Drivable, Perfection Apparel, BEMODEL, Reserved Bottle Service App, Amazon FBA attempt (50k), Relay App, Fuze App, Evolve Fitness, and now here I am with my newest startup right now Gypsee, that launches Monday. 100 percent of blood, sweat, tears and my money went into each of these. One made it - MyspaceSupport.com. This was the first ever Myspace Profile Editor. Ever. That was then. In terms of startups and “the internet,” eons ago (2005-2006). This is now. Now, I am questioning if I have what it takes. Can I get back to that point? Here is why I question it - I cannot fathom the idea of working to make another man rich. Just. No. So, I have struggled to make ends meet to reach that level I once held. The drive and need is taking a toll on me in all three ways: physical, emotional and mental. I am tired. I am tired of wondering if I can afford this month’s bills, groceries, family (I have two children, one of each.) Three years ago, I had raised some substantial capital, and the startup tanked. Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes to build a startup and be an entrepreneur? That concept of getting a j-o-b is just not there. I would sooner gnaw my arm off than shake the hand of a person whom I will see as a boss. Am I going to be the next Elon Musk? Hint: No. I don’t really fucking care if I am or not. The startup that tanked - 1.8 million dollars in the toilet. Money in the toilet because of the person in the mirror. I had absolutely no interest in the business or purpose. Btw, it was a fitness app. I wasn’t even remotely proud to say what I was working on. What I did care about was what was brewing in my head. This passion project I had in my head. I could not tell my co-founders, but the company was turning to shit in short order. I did the only thing I could do. I tossed a few logs into the burning pile and walked away. Why? Simple: Freedom. I could work on what I wanted and not what someone else wanted. This would be mine, and more importantly, I would answer to no man about what or how I did this. I informed the investors I was leaving. I rolled them into my current idea since I lost their money. Then a year passed. I was hardly making it (remember the family part?), but I was building. I was lost in who I am but in love with the concept in my mind. Then finally… After 14 fucking months of struggling and searching for an investor - a wire of $100,000.00 hit my account. Late February 2020. Then - pandemic. Fuck. The idea of traveling was shot to hell. My investors freaked about their cash. For a year, it seemed the virus was destined to screw us all. Any hope I had went up in flames like the previous startup. I about said fuck it, but there was a problem. That problem was in the back of my head that still said - the idea has potential. Spin the bottle, throw the dice - I tried Reddit. God bless Reddit. I found them. Two co-founders, two technical gurus who would compliment me and my skills. We have built a strong relationship via Zoom/Slack over working on Gypsee. Word of advice: Co-founders work. If you are going at this solo - stop, and get help. It makes a difference. We came together in July. We have worked 24/7 since on my idea, which is becoming their idea and our idea. The pandemic appears to be slowing - finally. States are reopening. My faith is returning - slowly. Don’t think for a second this is coming easily - I have fought like the third monkey getting on the Ark, and it is starting to rain. Personal demons. Family. Survival. Seeing everything I have done collapse and burn right before me. Still with the self-doubt. Always with the self-doubt. Guess what? Here I am. My idea is here. Is it going to work? Will it be so incredibly awesome that it will disrupt the travel industry like I hope? (yes there is a lot more that is not on the website, this is just phase 1 mvp) Who fucking cares? I don’t. I did it. I have made it to this point without throwing my hands into the air and saying, “Screw this! I will get a real job!” (Excuse me while I vomit violently in the corner.) I have a team. I did not give up. I spent EIGHT YEARS of no income to get here and to have something I can see, and say, “Fuck yes.” So, what is my point exactly? Don’t quit. Borrow from Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I hope to post positive news here in the next 6 months with my rollout strategy. I have over 20 startups/websites/apps/businesses under my belt. I have made it with only barely three of them in the last 15 years. I am 33 years old. Gypsee is here. It is Travel with Friends: Simplified. (must visit on your mobile browser) If this rant seems too much, I half-heartedly apologize. I wanted to share my entrepreneurial experience with you guys. It is a hope you took something from it. Namaste


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