I know what you are probably thinking as you read this. Here we go with some huge, one in a million, success story that this guy is trying to make profit from. Not true. I have done over two million dollars in gross business in the years I have been in this business, but I am far from a millionaire.
My Initial Failure
Before our daughter was born, my wife talked me into joining a bowling team from her work. I suck at bowling, but I did it more for the beer and socialization, plus, it was a cheap night out. Anyway, we bowled with a bunch of her co-workers and their spouses. One of these spouses was an elderly gentleman named, Lou. He saw I was eager to make money and we became friends. He had purchased a formula for a collagen based cosmetic line and approached me with the idea of marketing it. The only reason I went with it was because he offered me part ownership in the business. Please stay with me here as this is one of my failures, but it is important that you see how I ended up where I am today. Anyway, he seemed to be honest with some financial resources to get this company started. He brought on another young guy that claimed to be some marketing genius….he wasn’t. But, he did design the packaging, the pamphlet and the strategy before he slipped away with money Lou paid him never to be seen or heard from again. His strategy was to do mailings generated from leads which were generated from, and I hate to admit to this…computerized phone dialers. Lou purchased a $5,000.00 machine and I made myself a little office from a spare bedroom. I would run the machine and listen to the responses. Most were people cussing me out for interrupting their day with this stupid message, not very cleverly disguised as a survey (our disappearing marketing genius’ script). Crazy as it was, some people would actually respond with their name and address and I would address the envelope, stuff the pamphlet and send it off. To my knowledge, we never sold one bottle of the magical collagen cream. But along the way, I was getting the itch to own and operate a profitable business. I wish I could say I took this opportunity and now own a Fortune 500 cosmetic business, but that’s not even close.
Part of my frustration was the dialer machine didn’t work very well. I would check it at night after it was supposed to have run all day only to find it had been stuck in some kind of sales call limbo. We took it back to the manufacturer who tested it, tweaked it, tweaked it some more and finally told us that was as good as it gets. The company that sold us this piece of garbage went out of business.