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8 Failed Businesses in 6 Years

despairI left the retail world in 2005, and since then I’ve been out on my own, making my own way, however I could.

People always say: “Get a mentor, it helps so much” and it couldn’t be more true. Well, I’ve always been a genius ‘self-learner’ who prefers not to ask others for things. I spent 6 years in a life of mediocrity, with barely one word of truly useful, truly actionable advice offered to me by anyone in my circles.

I was out there, on the bleeding edge, alone looking for an oasis in the desert of the market, attempting to master my life purpose and financial destiny.

No Mentor, No Model

I think someone said the word ‘business model’ once, but they’d never even tried to start a business. I think someone mentioned brand, but they worked in retail, the world I’d left. Someone spoke of marketing, but they lived jobless, 100% off their working parents.

I had no mentors, for so many years.

I had role-models though. I had my insane Google chops, hunger for wisdom + success, and the billions of bits of data shared on the internet.

I learned everything ‘the hard way’, and I know my story is powerful, and I want you to learn from it.

Keeping in mind that I only believe in success, and there’s no such thing as failure (only ‘stepping stones’), let’s take a walk down ‘failure lane.’

Note: All these failed businesses had websites, Facebook pages, logos, names, taglines, etc. – but they did NOT have a sustainable business model.

1. Personal Art Career

Name: Jason Fonceca

I’m masterfully creative and multi-talented and I always felt like I could succeed. So first I launched out on my art career. I put up an online portfolio, did a few commissions, and worked at an art gallery. It was exhilirating to bring in any funds at all, or have gallery owners interested in my work. My brother even invested $600 in art (thanks Nick!), that ended up in the garbage, somewhere along the road.

Business Model: None.

Resources Gathered: I made art connections, got around the city, and honed my ability to create sexy art. Faith in my own abilities.

With no business model, this eventually had to ‘die’.

2. Airbrushing + Portraiture

Name: Flare And Edge

This one barely got off the ground, models + photographers are a demographic I am very passionate about, and who I feel a deeply underserved. “Just wanting to help” wasn’t enough though. I needed to be clear on my offer and have a solid business model.

Business Model: Trade time for money.

Resources Gathered: Model Mayhem account and connections, photography, CD Cover clients. Higher hourly rates.

Trading time for money is not a sustainable model, and will stop you from growing. The discomfort, the feast-or-famine hamster-wheel is brutal.

3. Design Company #1


I made a bunch of beautiful pieces ranging from re-designing forms to videos to websites over the next couple years. I did okay, people liked my stuff.

Business Model: Trade time for money, push my wares.

Resources Gathered: Expanded client base, testimonials, my first book, invoicing, hiring. Haters 😉

I had no way to capture leads, no way to follow up, no newsletter to build a list. This a more aggressive way of trading time for money.

4. Clothing Line

Name: Evolved Clothing

A brilliant clothing line, much like Christian Audiger, Diesel, or Affliction, but more positive, spiritual, and uplifting. Beautiful original art by rising star artists.

Business Model: Make something edgy, cool, and uplifting, pour my heart into it, and hope.

Resources Gathered: Investors, a beautiful physical product, basic understanding of niche markets.

The interest in this was huge. This will definitely be making a comeback, transforming the fashion world, but for now… it’s another ‘failure’.

After this, I couldn’t keep up with my rent, and moved in with my aunt.

5. Life-Coaching


My whole life, my clarity and insight have shed light and magnified anything life-giving, and people love it. One conversation with me opens floodgates of value, and I knew deep down that this was an important gift to share. I created an amazing product called The Rock Your Life Tools, which help people shed light and solve almost any problem under the sun.

Business Model: Products + services, vague branding + marketing materials. Content-heavy but unfocused, blog

Resources Gathered: Strong web presence, millions of words written, multiple products created, advertising knowledge, higher hourly rate, amazing testimonials. Clarity on my gifts.

Some of my greatest testimonials came from this. I’ve been blessed with some of the most glowing, responsive, inspired testimonials I’ve come across, appreciation deep from people’s souls.

Still, just having a product and service, with some sexy brand assets without a true core foundation and business model, is not really sustainable, so bye-bye life-coaching.

6. Design Company #2


I partnered up with a beautiful girl, who was as creative and clueless about business as I was. I was focused on success, and eagerly invested in any project she wanted to try. Thing is, she wanted to try a whole bunch, but commit to none.

Business Model: Invest in training my team to do the work, help them learn skills, and reap the benefits.

Resources Gathered: Increased design knowledge, expectation of success, ability to attract people (partners, hot chicks, etc.), connections to bold entrepreneurs, famous clients + collaboration, masterful ability to calmly walk out on Presidents, rappers, celebrities and anyone else who felt like they were under-valuing what I had to offer.

This business model isn’t so bad, but taking a cut of nothing is still… nothing. I invested without thinking, completely trusting that my team would deliver.

I was homeless when I started this business, and shortly after I started it, the girl I was working with brought in some capital and we moved to the hills. Our overhead was not sustainable by our income – I could come close, but it took all my effort, and I was becoming burned out.

7. Food Blog


This was all about reviewing places in secret, not giving a review til we’d had 3 visits, taking ‘real’ pictures, not posed. The reviews were openly subjective, every review was 5 stars. If we had nothing nice to say about a restaurant, it wouldn’t make it on the site. If it made it on the site, it got 5 stars, and we explained what we loved about the experience. There’s a million food blogs, but TryThisToronto is unique, uplifting, and ‘real’.

Business Model: Review restaurants with a ‘real’, ‘honest’ review, make money off advertising, and publish a book.

Resources Gathered: Fine restaurant connections, made friends with “The Next 36”. More solid business models.’

You’re probably noticing the pattern, once again, no sustainable business model, and so, the business wasn’t sustained – this was destined to become another one of my failed businesses.

8. Gaming Community


I’d been playing an online team video game called League Of Legends, and I noticed that like many team games, it had a huge community of… well… assholes. You could find some kind, respectful people but they rarely met each other easily. SpiritGamers was created to train people on how to co-operate and have FUN. The interest was substantial.

Business Model: Make a splash in the community, attract members, leverage gamer reputations, offer a $1.00 guide and in-game training.

Resources Gathered: A global distributed team, high traffic in a short time, testimonials, expectation of success through doing what I love, no compromise.

My team was a bunch of kids, who could only offer whatever they had. They were busy with school, not fully invested in the business, and that caused some problems, but that was minor compared to… here we go… no sustainable business model. We made some sales but not enough to keep me living 😉

This idea is still completely viable, and it shall rise again, believe it.

During these last two failed businesses I got charged with made-up, imaginary charges by the girl I’d partnered with, and when I got out, I forgave her for her craziness, and we went back to work. Shortly after that we were evicted.

I got us a stable place to live, but decided to re-invent my business and social life, in a new, sustainable way.

Big changes. The girl took herself out of the picture, and I focused on sustainable success.

Lessons Learned

I learned so much from my experiences. I learned basic things like “being homeless while maintaining a relationship and clients, is a bit intense” and inspiring things like “know myself.”

In the next few paragraphs you’ll be given the distilled, purified lessons that I took from my 6 years of failure. Get psyched, ‘cause they’re life-changers!

1. I learned to prioritize mentors. Not because you need to learn from someone, but because you have so many moments in life + business, and if they are not spent around people who are focused on success, then you’re spending them in the influence of failure.

Life abhors a vaccuum and will fill it, (but maybe not how you’d prefer.)

2. I learned to setup filters for the people who are in my life. This goes hand and hand with the mentors lesson, most people choose their friends and social circles by default. “Oh, they’re just people I’ve met over the years.” – Don’t do it. Successful people are very clear on the qualities they want in the people around them. Do they want thieves? Lazy people? Those who settle? The mediocre? Or do they aspire to hang around great human beings who encourage them? Exactly.

If you don’t care who you hang with, they won’t care about you.

3. I learned that business is relationships. Products, services, dollars, failure, success, none of it matters, it’s all and hard to sustain if you’re not focused on building relationships that suit you and your business. That includes relationships with customers, relationships with your team, and your relationshp with yourself.

You want to succeed? Build relationships.

4. I learned to play to my strengths. I’m good, really good, at so many things, and so I got confused along the way. I wasn’t clear on what business best suited me. Before you start a business — which can feel like a child or an expression of yourself — you may want to get clear on yourself and your strengths first. I’ve always been creative and success-focused since I was little, and when I realized this, I had a much stabler platform to create a sustainable business.

Don’t worry about your weaknesses, fade them out by shining brightly in your strengths.

And the most important lesson to avoid 6 years of failure…

5. I learned to have a sustainable business model. You could get every little detail of a business right and get so caught up in all the knowledge available on the internet, that you miss one of the vital foundations: a sustainable business model.

Whether you build castles in the sky, or start on the ground, strong foundations are key.

Don’t go the learn-the-hard-way route, life is a very clear teacher. I have a super high-IQ but I was not listening to the lessons. The world needs sustainable, win-win creations. Be a smarter entrepreneur than I was, and do it earlier if you can.

One thing to remember though, was that I was able to be happy and accepting of my life, through this intense, emotional roller-coaster ride, because I always knew, there’s…

No Such Thing As ‘Failure’

To me personally, none of these are a failure. I’ve poured my heart into more busineses in a half-a-decade than most people attempt in their entire life time. Not only that, most of them are game-changingly viable opportunities, which I’ll capitalize on in the right time.

They’re all passionate expressions of who I am.

Each of the failed businesses got me skills and resources more precious than money, they also got me a life-story that blows people minds. On top of that, I expect most of them to reach sustainable success when I revisit them with a clearer business model and a proper community and energy behind them.

I’m young and these failed businesses will all unfold at the right time, as part of my empire.

What’s Next?

What I want for you is success. Hopefully, I failed so you don’t have to, or so you can ‘stepping stone’’ in an easier way, on an easier scale.

Do yourself a huge favor and get clear on your business model and brand, number one priorities, before engaging in any entrepreneurial pursuit.

Does it take time? Yes. Does it take energy? Yes. Does it take research? Yes.

Will it save you from 6 of the hardest years of mediocrity in the world? I don’t know, but it will definitely HELP. If you need expertise and a personal mentor, I know that Danny offers some powerful guidance in this area.

I didn’t have a mentor or guidance, and it nearly killed me… take an easier path.

About Jason Fonceca

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca (@ryzeonline) is a positive badass, shedding light on taboo topics to help game-changers ryze past plateaus. He's been featured on,, and Get more "Sexy Success" from him at Ryze Online.

53 thoughts on “8 Failed Businesses in 6 Years

  1. Well said, Jason. We learn so much more from our so-called failures than our successes. I think that’s because with success, it’s tempting, as your post implies, to treat the entire enterprise as a paradigm, a recipe to be slavishly followed. What that misses is the eternal truth that every business is a little bit different — every market requires a slightly different approach — every product line needs a slightly different set of development and shipping tools — to name but a few.

    • I love your focus on the ‘eternal truth’ Annie! Well said!

      I’d like to expand on it, and I didn’t touch on this heavily in the post, but what I teach is there is no such thing as failure, everything is success, and the only difference is perspective.

      I think we can all list many things that one group sees as a failure, and they remain stuck by that view, where others view it as a success, and they launch themselves forward from the same event/experience.


  2. This is a great article Jason – one I can definitely relate to!

    Hind-sight is 20/20 – I can clearly see your skill, knowledge, passion and energy behind the words you wrote here and like you, every experience, whether a good one, or a bad one are valuable building blocks to your entrepreneurial future and ultimately the kind of person you become…

    Sustainable business model – I hear you loud and clear… What stands out most to me in this article is the tenacity, endurance, resolve, persistence and perseverance to accept nothing less in life than everything you’ve ever imagined. These are rare ingredients that just can’t be taught.

    Keep changing the world one business at a time : )

    • Thanks so much Mark, it’s really nice to feel understood, and you definitely helped me feel that with your comment 🙂

      (You ‘get’ me, man :D)

      Also, I love your opening paragraph about all experiences being valuable — I was just telling Annie about this in the comment above us 😉

      Success is perspective, every experience is as valuable as we view it.

      “We see things as WE are, not as *they* are.” – Can’t remember 🙂

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  3. Hey Jason,

    These are great lessons and i like the #3 point – about business relationship. I think business is all about building relationship with other people in your niche and Danny is a perfect example of it 😉 .

    • Thanks Devesh!

      And I agree totally, and I’ve been researching this a lot lately. Relationships are vital, key, and the backbone of our world/society, and I’ve always had really powerful relationships…

      …but not knowing how to Monetize them in a sustainable way is kind of killer in our economy 😀

  4. A great article to share with everyone. From failures to success.. all the lessons learned in the process through failures are very useful if you convert them into steps for success. minimization of mistakes and maximization of strongholds is key to the success.

  5. A truely inspirational read and somethign I can relate to very much. It is refreshing to see someone try and try again without letting the things that life throws at you grind you down

    • Thanks Mike, I really appreciate it 🙂

      I think something about that never-give-up-persistence really gets people 😀

      It seems to me that secretly, most people in society don’t want to hear a story who was effortlessly good and masterful at something ‘failures’ make it ‘more inspiring’, ‘interesting’, and ‘worth sharing’ lol 😀

  6. Great and insightful gist of 6 years story Jason. Many thanks to your courage to share it with others. I think that speaks in itself about your nature. Hats off!!. We all go through ups and downs in life and many chose to get heart broken by the ‘downs’. I feel when we are experiencing the ‘ups’ of life, its important to note what made us achieve those ups. Those also I feel very valuable lessons which we should keep on visiting going forward. Guess could help in minimising the downs to a certain extent. What is inspiring from your story is your “never say never” spirit and “positive attitude” and that is so so important, especially in current tough, tough economic climate around us. I wish you the very best going forward Jason and may all your wishes come true in flying colours.

  7. Hi Jason,

    A very well written post. However, I’d like to “push off” a little bit and see if you can’t clarify some things. Please don’t take this as an attack, but as an attempt to critique and clarify.

    While the post was very well written, it was also very vague with regard to it’s primary thesis – which appeared to be mentorship, but as I continued reading sort of morphed into businesses models. I’m very interested in business models and feel that most of what has been written on the subject lacks necessary details.

    The bulk of your post did well at anticipating an answer regarding business models, but the answer never really came.

    What exactly did you learn about business models? Can you be specific? What are your plans going forward? What business models are you using?

    Honestly, I’d love to know! I’d love to have you on my podcast to talk about these specifics and your story. (See the link above for my show, the Online Business Hour podcast)

    Again, very well written post. It was one of the few that had me reading the entire way through (no, I didn’t just skim it!).

    Thanks for your time,

    • My pleasure Adam, and you’re right! I didn’t get into the meat of Business Models 🙂

      The focus of this article was to inspire and illuminate a ‘business-model-less path’ for what it is… “painful” 😀

      That way anyone reading FirePole can recognize whether they have a decent business model or not, and if not, they can understand the path they may be on.

      As for what I did and further ideas…

      There are some incredible pioneers in this field who Danny references I believe 😀 (Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Steve Blank, etc. – especially when they collab with Dan Roam)

      Alex + Yves have an incredible single-sheet-of-paper napkin-system anyone can use (which I use currently) to create biz models:

      In 9 sections… List your key resources, partners, activities, value offer, client relations, channels, market segments, costs, and revenues.

      That is a clear picture of your business day-to-day, and from that you can see how much you time/energy/money you have to invest to make a sale.

      Because of my experiences and after reading Danny’s engagement from scratch, I’m re-launching my brand (new brand on new years :D), and refining my business model (coaching services), which is okay, but could be (and will be) drastically more effective.

      Thanks so much for your time, attention, and feedback Adam. I really appreciate it! Maybe I’ll write a companion post that gets further into business models 🙂 – and I’d love to connect further and I intend to look into your podcast (good for you, man :D) and see how well we match!

  8. Wow, thank you Nitin. Thank you so much, this is really encouraging, and it sounds like you understand these principles well yourself.

    The article is a pretty intense story, and it doesn’t focus on the things “I’m good at”, but I do do what you say, I am always eager to talk up + promote my strengths.

    I have quite a bit to say about the economy too… perhaps another post 🙂

    There’s such a great community at FirePole and I’m thrilled to connect with people like yourself. Rock on, Nitin 🙂

    • lol, thanks Sean, I made it myself!

      Yep, I totally agree – Perspective is powerful (some say it’s everything :D)

      As for the ‘apparently’, my life is a living example, but it’s all in how people want to ‘view me’, eh? 🙂

  9. Wow what a roller-coaster ride Jason are you sure there are no business openings for multi skilled multi talented, refuse to fail guys like yourself? I’m sure there could be a novel in there somewhere 😀

    Seriously, I have two friends who have been through the same situations more or less and both guys are now settled running their own businesses and killing it.

    You will get your opportunity I’m sure.

    Very inspirational post Jason thanks.


    • Hooray! 🙂 Great to hear Dan, thanks for tihs 🙂

      Actually, I’m glad you said that!

      I’m launching along with my business partner, my new brand called Ryze ( for pre-launch-list) on New Years, and it is the culmination of everything I am to this point (and beyond).

      I’ve always been creative, clearly positive, and success-focused even as a child.

      I didn’t realize it while I was doing all those businesses, but every time I had a team I was coaching along as we worked on the project.

      The businesses may have failed, but the people succeeded. They became massively better people in their interactions with me.

      I’ve coached, encouraged, and refined so many people in my life, it surprises even me (I was a very popular kid).

      Now I teach creative-success, for any goal. You can see me teaching a few people on my youtube channel

      Get ready to RYZE 😀

  10. Really well written post Jason.
    Failing does not make you a failure it just get you one step closer to the right answer.
    However, instead of the term ‘failing’ I prefer to use ‘learning’ 🙂

    • Thank Rochelle! I whole-heartedly agree!

      I didn’t mention this in the post, but the term failure is in quotes a few times because I don’t actually believe it exists.

      It’s a made up word/concept, by people who didn’t understand what they were saying 😉

      I see only success, every mistake is not a failure, but a ‘seed’. And it sounds like you truly understand this, I’m really glad you brought it up 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I know from experience how easy it is to rush to starting a business without a business model. Or just as often without the real will to build the business. The reality hits only after starting the business when it’s already too late.

    It’s often difficult to see failures and hardships as achievements and lessons. But you can learn incredibly much from everything; your own mistakes and hardships as well as others mistakes.

    I get many of my marketing and management ideas by observing what others do. It’s easier to spot mistakes than successes. But both need to be understood to be helpful though…

    • And thanks for your feedback Peter!

      Yep, I think we’re trained – trained as individuals and a society, to spot mistakes, to have that critical eye.

      I’ve poured quite some energy, time, attention, resources, and effort towards training myself to focus and see success and growth.

      It’s going on all around us, and it’s all perspective.

      Thanks for mentioning this, this comment thread is ‘more valuable’ than the article, lol 😀

  12. I started reading your thread as the story sounded familiar. Once I’d got to the Model Mayhem bit and the photography I knew the story like that back of my hand…it was/is my story!

    We’ve trodden the same path my friend, the school of hard knocks. I’ve also tried a number of ventures with my heart being in the creative area. But you’re right there is usually no sustainable business model there unless you’re very lucky, have a long running family business or…well, you know what I mean!

    We pick up so many seo & web marketing skills along the way it seems obvious to go in this direction eventually, even if its just to pick up some spare change and many of us are doing ok with it. But I’m still looking for that killer business idea, as so many are. Trouble is the school of hard knocks makes you more cautious, less able to take risks – probably not a bad thing in many ways.

    I see it like you,those long lost businesses, they’re not failures, merely stepping stones….just be nice to know how many stones lay before our ultimate prize!


    • Hahaha! I love it Jeff 🙂 Sounds like we have a lot in common. I know you’re on a good path if it’s anything like mine 😀

      You sound like a creative soul (copywriting and an image of you with a camera on? :D), and I know that killer business idea is already there inside you, waiting to shine out. Take a breath, relax, and let it flare 🙂

      Heheh, I’m hoping that it shows through in my article that no matter how ‘hard’ I fell, or how ‘burned’ I felt, that it didn’t close me up, shut me down, or get me to stop taking risks. If anything, I’ve proved myself over an 8 year period that I can risk big any time I damn well please, and I’ll always receive benefit from it. It’s always profitable.

      Google invested in Google Buzz (gone), Google Wave (did anyone use this?), and Google Knol (Wikipedia killer ) — but all of those things only served to make their other offerings stronger (Google+ FTW!)

      Resources For Creative Entrepreneurs:

      I teach people that they can combine all their creative loves (or a huge chunk of them) into a very unique, strong, personally branded business-success.

      And I believe Emilie Wapnick over at teaches that shifting focus on many interests can be a viable model in her Renaissance Business program.

      Either way, thanks so much for sharing, Jeff, maybe you’ll help me with my copy sometime 😉 Rock on.

  13. Hey Jason,

    I never tire of reading posts like this. I am slowly starting to learn the value of having a mentor (or two!). Although I don’t really have one of myself, I do occasionally get personal advice from people who are far more successful than me, and it is usually worth its figurative weight in gold.

    There is a huge difference between reading a great blog post written by a successful guy or girl, and actually have them evaluate you and your business, and offer tailored advice.



    • Thanks so much Tom, it encourages me to keep writin’ 🙂

      You clearly value people’s time and wisdom, and that attitude will bring you lots, whether in form of a single mentor, multiples, or some other way. (For example, I’ve basically never had one, but it inspired me to voraciously devour any and all knowledge from the world’s success-legends.) 😀

      You’re on the right path man!

  14. Jason, I like the post, I really do. It shows failure is really failure when you give up. Really you WON. however, please don’t take it the wrong way, being confident and believe in your talent is good but sometimes it can blind your eyes and. Please correct me if im wrong, After all, I have no right to judge, after all, I’m just a humble student of you all. Say hi sometimes on my blog;)

  15. Thanks Tram! What a great comment!

    We’re all students in the game of life 🙂 We’re all winners too! 🙂

    Confidence and belief in myself, to me, is never a bad thing, and I think what you’re getting at is this:

    That sometimes we can choose not to see where we’re at, and choose not to realize there’s always more growth.

    That’s a tricky thing 😉

    The way I see it:

    Confidence is a tool that can be used well to keep us making progress, or used poorly to ‘blind’ us to where we’re really at.

    We choose, every time 🙂

  16. Jason – this was absolutely excellent. I commend you for your attempts and willingness to learn from each. When we choose to not absorb the many lessons life teaches us is the only time we can say we failed.

    Keep it up!

    • Thanks so much JK! I believe I read your site recently somehow (maybe even commented? :D)

      People around me may not have viewed it the same way I did, but then, they didn’t live through it. I chose to absorb the many lessons, as you said, and I encourage others to do the same. Sounds like you’re no stranger to this yourself.

      Great to connect with like-minds, thanks man 🙂

  17. Love reading about your “failures” and I mean that in a positive way…. so many lessons learned!

    I love this – “you have so many moments in life + business, and if they are not spent around people who are focused on success, then you’re spending them in the influence of failure.”

    That is so true, and it’s something I’m finally really opening my eyes to in the last year. I’ve always ended up rationalizing people I keep around because of I think it’s the so-called right thing to do. Thing is, it doesn’t feel right – being around the downers, the doubters, the people that could care less about your REAL growth and success, because they don’t even care about their OWN.

    I’ve been really making an effort to expand my network for this very reason.
    Great post!! (once again)

    • HHahahHAHAa… love this Denise: “It’s great reading about my failures” hahah.. never thought I’d hear that 🙂

      But yes, I whole-heartedly agree, it felt great writing about them as well, and I think you took one of the most important ideas here and highlighted it.

      Society has become so polite, so civilized, so politcally and socailly correct, that they will remain in the influence of intensely apathetic, ‘failure-minded’ people, and be numb to it.

      Completely unaware because they’ve been trained not to rock the boat.

      Well, rock the boat I say, before we numb ourselves into oblivion. Your life is yours alone, and it’s meant to be lived and feel good to YOU. Not to society, not to your ‘friends’, not to political correctness and tradition.

      Fantastic comment, so glad you talked about this. I’ve written many many articles about The Art Of Friends and being aware and conscious of relationships.

      I love the path you’re on Denise, your blog always uplifts me 🙂

  18. I tend to think sometimes that I am a failure when I don’t get what I want. But what I realized from the past few years is that these failures are what made me stronger and much better person. And one great thing about these failures, is that I met the man of my life. 🙂 Who would’ve thought of this sweet failure I had. I’m inspired by your post! 🙂 Thanks! 😉

    • That’s really beautiful Angel! You’re comment’s pretty inspiring itself 🙂

      And as for ‘not getting what we want’, I’m a firm believer that we can delay it, but we’ll always get it, in one form or another 😀

  19. I could never really find a mentor for myself, although I wanted to. I wanted to learn from someone who’s been there and done that and I never could. Almost no one here knows what I do. They don’t understand, know, or use the Internet the way I do.

    I know one guy who was my mentor for corporate training( that I used to do). He does freelance writing sometimes — something similar to what I do. He is too busy competing with me instead of helping me. He takes all the help he can but rarely returns the favor ( not that I expect it, but just saying).

    The string of business models are indeed great lessons for you Jason. I am on my 2nd Business right now. First one died a miserable death. Tons of mistakes I did then.

    The present one isn’t much of a “business model” either. Like you say, I am “trading time for money”.

    • That’s a familiar experience for a lot of people, Ashwin – most people everywhere just don’t have experience or a real understanding of the way business is done online.

      On the plus side, though, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to connect with like-minded people who are happy to help out and lend a hand.

      And don’t knock trading time for money. It gets a bad rap, but it’s usually the smartest thing that people can be doing, especially if they’re starting a business.

      I wrote a post about that – maybe this will be helpful:

    • I’m a bit late on this Ashwin, but thank you very much for sharing.

      I’ve been there man, and like Danny says, you’re in very good company here – Danny has a community of helpful people, which is super-inviting 🙂 You may even be interested in Danny’s training, his wisdom is astounding!

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  21. Wow Jason, really awesome of you to share all your experiences with everyone. You bared your soul here but I know other people can definitely relate to what you’ve been through.

    I too can see the passion coming through your writing so I know although these were hard lessons to learn, they were necessary to get you to where you are now. Sustainable business model! I have no doubt that you have conquered that one now.

    I use to look at failures as something I just didn’t do very good at but I have a new appreciation for it. Failure to me is if you just quit. I know for me that I have just been failing forward because each wall I hit, I eventually found a door a little further down that space. It’s taken me awhile but it’s obviously something I needed to go through because now I have a better appreciation for where I am. I think we live in a society where everyone wants things this every moment without learning the lessons that will keep us there.

    Thanks for sharing your journey Jason…


    • Amen to that Adrienne, I feel that the time I spent in failure, mediocrity, and out-of-the-zone all contributed towards guiding me to a very worthwhile lifetime of “in the zone” success. I’m on fire, things just fall into place non-stop, and I effing LOVE IT.

      ‘Conquered’ (lol) is close: Things feel fun, passionate, and effortless, everything I touch turns to gold, and my appreciation for my life runs deep.

      I launched my new brand ( on New Year’s Eve 2011 — it is the culmination of everything I’ve come to, and it keeps growing!

      Now, just over 10 days later it’s got 2000+ page views. 10 days, from basically unknown to what feels like all eyes on me. (or the right eyes :D)

      And we’re all in this together, you share your journey as well 🙂

      I loooove what you said about ‘failing forward’, this whole discussion reminds me of Derek Sivers brilliant talk on Why You Need To Fail:

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  23. Inspiring story to share with us!
    You are really a persistent guy.Having so many failed ventures and here you are standing up right. It is not easy to overcome that failing part and I am glad for you that you managed to stand up whenever you fell. Every falls that we have encountered will only make us stronger and better when the next attempt.

    I also learnt from your story that having high intelligence does not really work for creating a successful businesses. It is the business model, mindset and having a mentor to guide you along to make sure that you are going the right track that will make you successful. Once again, thanks for sharing with your inspiring post and I hope those who are reading this, including me, will be able to get back up whenever we encountered failures.

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