So – here I am – at 3 in the blessed AM – somewhere in my second month of pinteresting, blogging, tweeting, networking, building social connection points – being social – talking business – setting up deals – designing, designing, designing – and, in general, moving toward my goal of launching Epic in October. All this – and I’m deep in debt from the costs of starting Epic, with the world pressing down on me, plagued by self doubt, and worried about product quality, reputation, production, functionality, translation, needs, wants, desires, etc. Why am I doing this?
I sit here and think about how much my family and I have changed. We’ve stopped going out. No movies. No restaurants. No ordering in. My kids aren’t getting the toys they want, or the clothes they want, or to do the fun things they want to do, because we’re sacrificing everything to make this company come to life. This is my life – and it looks like it will be for at least the next two years. Wow – years. My poor kids. And my poor wife.
I hope people remember this. I hope if I do make it to the big show, that people look at me and say “He earned that! He worked 20 hour days for 2 years, risked everything he had, and gambled it all on an 8% chance of success!” I must be insane. To put myself and my family through this. You know, I’d kill to have a night off – to have all that money back – to not have all this doubt and fear and worry – and to just come home from my day job and just worry about that job. Then – on the news – I still see people angry about the “unfairness” of business owners having so much more than other people.
Where did this belief come from that business owners don’t deserve the wealth they have? People win millions and millions in lotteries, yet they’re treated better than the guy or gal that went out and EARNED their fortune. Why is that?
It’s incredibly difficult to start and grow a company to a size where the owners are tripping over cash. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. I hope you’re beginning to see how much effort it takes. I hope you understand just how much you have to sacrifice to get there. And I hope you understand just how much sleep business owners lose every night, worrying about global markets and competitors nipping at your heels day in and day out – wondering if or when a competitor will swoop in and deliver your death blow – where you would lose everything. And I do mean everything – House – Car – Jewelry – Furniture – EVERYTHING. Usually – it’s all pledged to the bank as collateral against business loans. It’s sickening what you have to pay – what you have to sacrifice – and what people never see.
Look at Mark Zuckerberg. Not the best example, I know, but look at what it cost him to make it to the top. He worked his butt off to get into Harvard. Did you work that hard in school? He studied his brains out, got the best grades, learned the internet and computing like the back of his hand, and drove himself all the way to the top. He’s a clear expert in his field. He worked so hard on facebook, that he sacrificed his Harvard education! Think about that – Mark RISKED the LOSS of a HARVARD EDUCATION to pursue his DREAM of facebook! Do you think he didn’t lay awake at night worrying about the choices he was making?! And regardless of where the idea for facebook came from, Mark set himself up to be in a position to take advantage of opportunity. So – when did Mark earn his wealth? His whole life. He sacrifice his free time to earn his way into Harvard. He sacrificed his dream of being a Harvard grad. And he sacrificed his own blood, sweat, and tears in the daily grind to build facebook up to where it is today.
So – next time you’re feeling envious of what a business owner has, and that anger starts creeping into your heart, remember this message I’m sharing with you now. Remember the sacrifice it takes to get to where these people are. And, most importantly, remember that you have just as much right, opportunity, and ability to work and sacrifice your way to the top.
So – why is there such a gap in wealth between the rich and poor? The answer is: Very few people are willing to pay the REAL price of what it takes to reach the top.
Epic is pleased to announce that EpicHub.com has full functionality! Our Beta site (still not available to the public) has full functionality of its main, integrated components. This is fantastic news! We still have much to do before the product is ready for public testing – but we’re on our way! We’re 100% on-schedule for our October release!
The EpicHub.com logo was created using a simple image I purchased online, and, IMHO, the most awesome graphic text generator available online.Check out www.CoolText.com! Their services are free, and their product is outstanding! Here’s an example I made in 3 minutes:
I’m pleased to announce EpicHub has basic functionality! I made my first phone call through my account in the EpicHub website last night! EpicHub offers telecommunications at a reduction in cost of 66% over standard telephony rates! But that’s just the start! We’re going to drive this cost down till it’s free! FREE! How? That’s a SECRET! And this is still just the tip of the iceberg!
EpicHub uses “Outside the box” thinking to create “non-intrusive” revenue streams! EpicHub uses no spam! No banner ads! No pop-up windows! No selling your personal information to anyone! No selling your friends information either! In fact, no annoyances at all! EpicHub offers “True Internet Tranquility!” You’re data is SAFE at EpicHub! YOU ARE SAFE at EpicHub!
At Epic – We get it!
“You want – What you want – When you want it!”
People will tell you to “Follow your dreams!” and “Life is what you make of it!” and “You never know unless you try.” etc. etc.
But those sayings are only partially true. It is true that you can’t win if you don’t play the game. I’m reminded of that old joke about the man who pleaded with God every day to help him win the lottery. So – every day he prayed – but no lottery winnings were ever pocketed – and on the day he died – he went to Heaven where he met God and said, “Lord, every day I prayed that I’d win the lottery, but you never made it happen! Why not?” And the Lord said – “You never bought a lottery ticket.”
With that said, business is considerably more than just going out and “trying.” True, you can get lucky, but think about this — approximately 50 percent of new businesses fail in the first year. This number has also been held to increase dramatically in the first five years of running a business, when the number is claimed to rise as high as 90 to 95 percent. Those are some long odds!
If you’re considering starting a new business, I highly recommend reading “The E-myth” by Michael Gerber:
Don’t get “The E-Myth Revisited” as the message is watered down. “The E-Myth” explains why and how most new businesses fail in the first year. This is absolutely CRITICAL reading for entrepreneurs! And, no, I am not getting paid a commission for recommending this book. It’s a good read, and the money you invest in this book is a drop in the bucket compared to what you can lose by going into business in the wrong way. I know from experience.
The second piece of advice I have for you is this — either get really good at accounting, or hire a fantastic numbers guy. The biggest killer of businesses in my experience is hidden costs – i.e. you think you’re making a profit, but you’re not — and you bleed yourself to death. A great numbers guy or gal can alert you to all kinds of problems BEFORE they kill you.
And the best piece of advice of all should be the 11th commandment – “Know thy customer, as thee know thyself.” Find a problem the customer has – find a habit tied to the problem – create a system that solves the problem consistently – tie the system to the habit – your product should provide a reward at the end of the habit – manage key indicators – service the customer – and own thy numbers.
Prototype Coding 4 of 4 was successful! That’s it! Technology risk over! Done deal!
Prototype 4 is being delivered to the master coder and will be incorporated into the site. All that remains now is coding in additional existing technologies to create the final product. I am now 3 to 5 months away from a deliverable!
After I have my product up and functioning, I’ll need to load a great deal of data into it to prepare it for launch. This will take about a month. During this time, I’ll be beta testing the site.
Mapping this out, it looks like October, 2012 is my target launch month.
Prototype coding 2 is an absolute success! Prototype coding 3 has suffered difficulties, but a solution has been found. And with prototypes 1, 2, and 3 being viable, I now have a deliverable product! So — Game On!
But it’s not the best it can be. I want prototype 4 to be part of the product. Prototype 4 is the largest, and most time consuming part of the coding. But I feel it’s worth the delay on launch to have it included. I should know by the end of the week whether the full product is a “Go”, or whether I’ll have to settle for something in between.
So – prototypes 2 and 3 are now being programmed into the site! Onward and Upward!