We all have failures (some more than others).

This post and podcast episode showcases mine…and it’sย exactlyย what it sounds like: a long list of failed projects, blogs that went nowhere, crazy online business ideas that noone bought into, etc.

Hope you enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Why did I publish these?

First, to boost my own confidence.

You read that right. While some of these are quite embarrassing (sharing failures usually is)…I’m actually happy and honored to present these.

After this, I have nothing to hide from the Do You Even Tribe. Now you know where I come from!

Second, to boost your confidence.

We all fear failure, and hopefully, by laying out my worst entrepreneurial failures, it will give you hope in your own projects ๐Ÿ™‚

Last, it’s entertaining.

I mean, come one…who thought funblee.com was an awesome business name?? Or that millions would flock to my first blog dailyantidepressant.blogspot.com??

๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a list of *most* of the failures (definitely missing 5-10):

80% of the blog/biz fails

Some fun pictures

Most of these projects are no longer findable on the internet (thank goodness)

my first blog!

The Daily Anti-Depressant was my first blog, and lasted almost a year! lol

Note the killer Matrix background. So awesome.

my first podcast! (sorta)

Actually, you can go to iTunes and listen to Sports Chop Shop today ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

You won’t hear me because I sucked so badly in the 1st 5 episodes…they assigned me to “producer” only.

SCS logo. Did it myself.
that logo took me foreverrrr

Leanbacker never took off because it was a horrendous idea noone wanted to be a part of ๐Ÿ™‚

Even WITH Noah Kagan’s advice.

logos are getting better…..maybe not

The idea behind funblee was simple enough…

  1. Collect $1 a month from 1,000,000 different people
  2. Donate all profits to cool non-profits and organizations that need it.

Turns out people want to know where their money was going. Who woulda thought.

RIP The Smarter Dollar…you taught me much

Ah The Smarter Dollar.

The personal finance blog that led to where I am today.

I still believe with a little more experience and patience, I might still be running TSD to this day. I really do enjoy talking about money, and still have warm feelings for the personal finance community.

But it wasn’t meant to be…

I was impatient, losing interest and thus focus. I quit just BEFORE I found my top post ranking #2 in Google for “passive income.” That post alone brought in 200-350 views and a few dozen email subscribers every day of the week.

After I quit >_<

The original logo for TSD
Blogpilot!

Blogpilot! was so much fun to create and market. Turns out I didn’t enjoy doing the work people paid me for.

I still think someone could make a great living running Blogpilot…especially the “blog flight plan” part.

(For those who didn’t listen, it was pretty much a document I sent to people w/ 3-5 content ideas for their own blog…as well as various headlines, images, resources, links, summaries, etc….everything they needed to write killer blog posts…every month).

It was fun ๐Ÿ™‚

****

The biggest lessons learned from these failures

There are a few:

1 – Patience is mandatory for entrepreneurship

We all get “shiny objective syndrome” every now and then, but I suffered from this more than most.

I would work SUPER hard during the first few weeks of a project, only to fizzle out when I saw no one was interested (I never gave them a chance!)

Blogging (and starting any business I think) takes patience and focus.

2 – The more you fail, the more you learn

All of us have heard something like this before…but how often do we practice it?

How often do we try risky things that MIGHT fail? How often are we afraid of failure?

Constantly.

The truth is this: I HATED the exact moments when I realized something I did was a complete failure. Hated it.

Those times make me depressed and even angry.

But I did learn things. Valuable lessons.

I learned:

  • the importance of a pre-marketing build up
  • the importance of persistence (especially in the first 12 months)
  • how to pitch people for things
  • how to write 10x quicker
  • how to use 100+ different software/tools
  • who I’m supposed to be in life
  • who my Tribe is
  • what I’m good at,
  • and what I’m not.

***

None of these lessons would’ve been learned if I hadn’t failed.

***

It may have taken me 5+ years to realize HOW I learned from some of these failures, but it doesn’t matter. It’s shaped who I am today.

The blogger. The entrepreneur. The man.

Thoughts? Did I embarrass myself?

Please drop me a line in the comments below. Did you laugh? Cry? Make fun of me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

Join the Conversation

30 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! This gives me hope that if I stick with my blog, I just may see some of the pageview and subscriber numbers I’m hoping for. Persistence and patience are key!

  2. Dude! This PODCAST was GOLD! Ha. My Fail list is not as extensive as yours, not because I am smarter than you but because I jumped into this game later… Here is my short list :Logo Design Agency, Explainer Video Creator, Multiple Teespring Shirt Designs Co, Website Design, and then of course I niched down with lawn care design websites. By the way, I still think building websites for small side hustles such as lawn care is profitable if you want to steal that one… With each of my adventures, I learned a new skillset that has helped me with the next project. My current blog is my first official blog site. Some of my other projects had a website but no content. I am still trying to find the sweet spot on the blog so that 1) I can continue to do it for a year and not get bored and 2) Eventually grow it into something that could be profitable. I appreciate the behind the curtain look at your failed experiments.

    1. Totally agree about the websites. That’s essentially what I do these days when I need cash: hustle around town and pitch people new WordPress sites lol

      Thanks Eric!

  3. Pete, the podcast rocked. Love your transparency in sharing your failures. This one greatly encouraged me. Thanks again my friend. Always enjoy coming to your blog & podcasts.

  4. Not many of these were fails if you think about it. It was just a lot of insecurities and doubt, I think that’s the worst killer really – the self doubt! I should write up something like this, I bet I would learn a lot about myself with this exercise!

    1. I will say this: you will definitely learn something ๐Ÿ™‚

      I went into hoping to find some broad themes or character traits that have worked against me in the past, and what I actually found was peace and confidence ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What an inspiring podcast.

    My first online venture was a web design company I started when I was 20 with a friend from college. It was called, “Blue Gecko Web Design” and we did a few websites for local businesses in upstate New York. That was back in 2002.

    About a year into the biz, we wanted to expand beyond just local businesses, so we launched the BlueGeckoNetwork.com online directory for web designers, where we would list web designers in exchange for a link back to the site. That resulted in top rankings for terms like “Web Designers” in Yahoo; back when Yahoo was still a search engine. That site is actually still online over at http://www.bluegeckonetwork.com, and to this day was one of my favorite designs ever. It even holds its own after 15 years, in my opinion.

    That business ended up making about a thousand a month from adwords, and could have been a legitimate company had I not wanted to desperately get out of the 50/50 partnership I was in.

    Fast forward to 2007, and my wife wanted a wanted a way to set reminders on her phone. This was before the iPhone, where phones just made phone calls. So I created textReminders.net, where you could set a recurring reminder online, and the site would send you a text at the specified time. A year later the iPhone killed it the idea, and I sold the domain for $300.

    A year later I started a site called fluttrs, where you could record video messages through the website, and share it with friends. The idea was solid, but the web-based implementation was too difficult to use. If I had waited till front-facing cameras came out on phones, and developed a native app, it would have been the equivalent to Instagram videos. I just let that site die.

    In 2011, I created Triberr.com with Dino Dogan. The idea was for bloggers to tribe up and share each other’s content. Grew it to 100,000 users, and sold it in 2015. This was my first real online business success and one that I’m super proud of. We ended up selling it because we weren’t very good at raising outside funding, and we didn’t each want to invest the next 5 years of our lives with the slow organic growth path it was one. We liked the startup phase, but the medium-large growth phase wasn’t as exciting for us.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned is that with each failure I’ve added a new set of skills or connections that I can take with me to next project.

    With BlueGeckoDesign I learned how to design websites. BlueGeckoNetwork taught me SEO. TextReminders taught me basic PHP programming. Fluttrs taught me how to outsource freelance work. Triberr taught me more advanced programming, community building and I met a lot of powerful bloggers and influencers.

    I’m looking forward to the next project!

    1. DINO Dogan(!)

      And that’s amazing Dan. Super impressed you’ve been on the “tech founder” scale since the early 2000s. Your design skills are definitely A+ btw ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Ah, you know Dino? Everyone knows Dino. haha.

        Thanks for the compliment on the design skills. I don’t actually consider myself a real designer or programmer, even though I’ve spent a fair number of hours doing both. I think of myself more as a “starter”. Someone who can take an idea and turn it into reality quickly with limited resources. Sounds like you’re the same way.

        Were you ever on Triberr, or how did you know Dino?

  6. Pete – I listened all the way through, and the arc from hilarious missteps to poignant self-reflection was actually quite uncomfortable. Almost like eavesdropping on a therapy session. Credit for putting yourself out there. You’ve influenced me and I really hope you stick with DYEB.

    1. That seriously means a lot AoFIRE. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t carry any doubt still, so thank you for the encouragement!

  7. Pete, I absolutely loved listening to this. You sure we’re not separated at birth? I too am a disgruntled accountant who wants to be an entrepreneur, lacks focus, starts/stops multiple projects, and suffers from Shiny Object Syndrome!

    It’s been a 10-year journey of considering law school, getting an MBA, working in sports, starting a tax business, starting a baseball blog, starting a personal finance blog (FinancialBin.com), producing ebooks, podcasts, Google Hangout shows, pitching a personal finance game to a VC, starting a real estate company, starting a social network for dog lovers (PuppyDynasty.com), starting a sports social network (NutJobFans.com), starting a Christian blog (DavidTheRunner.com), starting a Christian news site (ChristianBent.com), and it all lead up today with RunTheMoney.com (my latest and most serious venture to date).

    Man, it’s crazy when you write it all out. And I’m sure I’m missing something. Like the ideas I had as a kid … the lemonade stand that made deliveries or the baseball league I tried to start in my neighborhood and made kids sign $0.25 contracts. Haha!

    1. Possible 3rd brother here! I’ve got 8+ years under my belt of starting various businesses and moving on shortly after. My I now have a total of 4 defunct websites, an appliance business (that was actually quite successful), a pilot’s license, a marketing agency and finally into the world of personal finance blogging.

      My experience as a (part-time) agency owner opened up an opportunity to change careers from driving truck doing heavy equipment transport, to now running the marketing department for an online robotics component manufacturer.

      Some people can sit and learn about this stuff from a book/podcast or course. Others, like us need to go out and make the moves, try and fail and learn along the way. No one way of learning is better than another.

      Good on you for making it this far and for starting this blog. You’re definitely going places.

  8. I’ve been on the last half this ride with you…basically from StartUp Dino to the present. Keep grinding…Patience Padawan, Patience.

  9. Ah, I’m so with you with the shiny object syndrome! But I think it’s a good thing really, because it shows that we are creative, imaginative and meant to be entrepreneurs.

    It all teaches us a lesson after all ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a personal finance blog and I love it – so I definitely recommend starting yours up again!

    1. Couldn’t agree more, though I’m 110% committed to DYEB at the moment. No personal finance blog for me ๐Ÿ™‚

      That said, my next episode w/ Dave (runthemoney.com) is ENTIRELY about overcoming past failures, avoid shiny object syndrome, etc. Going to be highly relevant to us ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This was a fun one to listen to as it reminds me of all I have done over the last few years online and for 15 years offline. It is fun to continually start things and see where they go, the difference is that you actually gave them a go and not just talked about them or sketched them out. I was lucky enough to be a follower of startupdino and it inspired me then and still one of my projects now. Without pulling up my old files on that site, I never would have found your new one. Thanks for the many years of great content. I like the blogpilot idea, if you ever want to get that going again. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing. The honesty of your posts is part of the charm.

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