Oh yes.  I’ve made a ton of mistakes.  Like with anything in life, it’s a matter of perspective.  Are mistakes really failures?  Or are they opportunities?

  • My first real estate investing mistake
  • My first software business mistake
  • What became of those?

Transcript:

Good morning everyone. Welcome to the path to 1 million. This is episode 132 because we’re having a wonderful Saturday. Today I want to share with you something probably I’m going to share with you a story about like my really first business venture and what I learned from it. So this is kind of interesting. So it was back in the day the iPhone had just come out and Steve jobs announced that you could release third party apps on the iPhone. And I never really was interested in an iPhone before that. It was like 500 bucks and I really didn’t want to spend $500 on a phone when Steve jobs said that they were now accepting third party apps, meaning you can create an app and put it on the iPhone. I immediately had this vision in my head of creating a real estate investing application and the real estate investing application came because a handful of years earlier I decided to get my first piece of real estate investment property and I’d spent all these years doing all this research on it.

And, and trying to figure out what’s a good property, what’s not a good property. And really I got stuck in analysis paralysis, which was a huge mistake. And then I decided one day, I dunno, I just got super emotional or something like that. And I said, I am, I’m getting a piece of property, which was another mistake. So I pushed forward and I get the property. And the one rule that I break, and the Richard dad poor dad book, he always talks about how you never buy a piece of property unless a cashflow is positive, unless it’s putting money in your pocket every single month. And I didn’t know how to calculate the couch, the cashflow, the internet at that time was in its infancy and I couldn’t figure it out, but I was so sick and tired of waiting that I just pushed forward, which was another mistake.

And of course I get my property and before too long I start to figure out how to calculate a cashflow on it, which put me in a little bit of a bind because my property did not flow in a cashflow positive state. That was another mistake. So I thought, you know what, if I could create a real estate investing app that can help people avoid the mistakes that I made, then that would be totally awesome. So I wrote up a spec and I sent it out for a quote and this company, these programmers and Russia of all places said that they could do it for about a thousand bucks. Well, I didn’t have $1,000 cause I just got done renovating my house. But I said, no problem. I’ll just stick it on my credit card. There’s another mistake. So these guys built the app and I was getting ready to put it on in the store.

And then I realized that you a w in reading Apple’s instructions, you had to actually be a corporation before you could put an app in their app store. Well, I didn’t know anything about a corporation. So hired a guy to start a corporation for me in the state of California, which California is the worst state in the union to have a corporation. There’s another mistake. So I get the corporation all set up and I get everything set. I get the app built and it goes into the store and I get like 1500 downloads of my app, which I think is pretty good. I didn’t put a price on it, I just gave it away for free just to see if people would be interested in it. And they were, the problem was that with that app is I was thinking that I could release a pain version of the app a little bit later, but I would use the free app as a way to let people know that there was a pain app.

Well, that was another mistake because I didn’t know anything about marketing, which was another mistake. And I didn’t know anything about messaging, which was another mistake. So went ahead and I created the the, the paid version of the app, which could do all these like really cool features in it and created that version of it. And that was roughly about 3,500 bucks, which I didn’t have. So I put it on my credit card, which was again, another phenomenal mistake. I pushed it out there and I think I made like 1200 bucks, so 1300 bucks. So I invested by this point in time. Now I’ve invested close to five grand in a real estate app for the iPhone and I’ve made about 1500 bucks and I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do. So I thought, well, maybe I should build a website, you know, now I’m starting to get desperate.

So I built a website and of course, you know, the guy that’s helping me build the websites, like, well, what do you want the marketing message to be? What do you want this? I didn’t know. I didn’t understand anything that was going on. So I just kinda, I just said, let’s, you know, let’s do this. And of course I was getting feedback from people that were like, well, I don’t like this and I don’t like that, which was another mistake. Anyways, you know, serious mistakes happen through there. And then the whole thing, I actually wound up closing the entire business I had, the big thing that came along that I didn’t realize again was the fact that like for instance, iOS 13 is coming out and the next few days they’re always pushing out updates for the phone and you have to keep updating your apps. If you don’t update your apps, they’re going to not work on the new version of the phone.

You just have to keep pushing out updates. And here I was, I had an app, I wasn’t making any money on it. And then every time that they would push out a new update for the iOS, I’d have to go back and pay the programmers and they’d come back and say, Oh, well it’s going to be like know $500 for us to make your app work. And you know, I didn’t want to let my, you know, my 200, 300 customers down. So I just said, well, okay. And I put that on my credit card, which turned out to be another mistake cause I had no way to get recurring revenue, which was another mistake really. At the end of the day when everything’s all said and done and I finally closed up that business and closed on that corporation and I did all that other stuff, got all that stuff, you know, done and you know, out of my hair and I had invested all this money.

What was interesting was that I was really kicking myself because, you know, it was just mistake after mistake after mistake and I felt like an absolute abject failure. I mean, I had never done anything in my life before where I had failed like so many times. And I remember at that point in time I had stumbled across a Tim and Tim Ferriss has written, wrote, written like four or five New York times best selling his books. He has the number one rated podcast on iTunes right now. The Tim Ferriss show, he’s an extremely smart guy. And he actually wrote in there about the alternate MBA where he actually thought about going out and getting an MBA, but then you realize that that quarter of a million dollars that he would spend on getting his MBA he would actually just apply it to the real world. So he would start investing in stocks and he would invest in businesses and he would you know, get real estate and do these other things with that $250,000.

And mentally in his head, he already had it prepared that he was going to lose that $250,000, cause he would spend that anyways to get his education. But anyways, this gave him like a real world MBA. And when I read that and I was like, you know what? I’ve put all this money into, you know, this app and my business has failed and things aren’t going really well and stuff and dah, dah, dah, dah. But you know what, I really did learn a lot and that’s absolutely true. I learned everything about how corporations, how corporations work, how stock works. I actually started learning a lot more about marketing and about messaging and you know, the big mistake there was, you know, I should’ve gotten people’s email address rather than just giving away a free app. I understand now how the app store works inside and out and how to submit applications.

And that actually helped me when I started creating podcast and putting the podcasts on the iTunes. So that really started helping me out there. So even though it was like an expensive mistake for me to do all those things, I really did learn a lot and it really did help to move my, you know, my personal education, forward, my business education forward and be able to understand better how to, you know, how to do, you know, other businesses moving forward and all those lessons actually paid off in the future. So it’s, it was a matter of turning around and saying, you know, I at one point in time, mistakes or failures, but then I said, you know what? Mistakes are opportunities because I really could have just sat and did nothing and I could’ve just gotten stuck in analysis paralysis versus, you know, just pushing forward anyways. Cause at least if you’re gonna make a mistake, make a mistake going forward. So anyways, just wanted to share that story with you guys this morning. I hope you’re all doing well on this Saturday and I will chat with you again tomorrow. I have a great day. See ya. Bye.