How I Started an Online Business and FAILED

How I Started an Online Business and FAILED

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Hey everyone, Katarina here and in this video I'm  going to be talking about how I started an online business failed and lost 2 300 dollars in seven months. I  will be sharing all my mistakes, my ups and downs   what business models I tried out, what kinds of  problems I faced along the way and if I'm giving up  after spending all of this money and getting  barely any results. So my answer to the last   question is - absolutely not, but more importantly I really feel like it's necessary for people to   hear about the not so glamorous side of business, which is failing and losing money, so they can have   a more realistic picture that is not being talked  about enough on social media. I'm making this video  

because I really want to warn anyone who is also  considering pursuing a business about how hard it actually is to succeed, how much money it takes  and also prepare you for all the challenges and   everything that might go wrong once you launch,  because trust me, it most likely will. So if you are   someone who has an entrepreneurial drive who wants  to start an online business then keep watching the   video and if you're not, also please continue  watching the video till the end or even let it   play in the background because I'm really close to  being monetized on youtube and it will mean a lot   if I reach those 4 000 hours of watch time that  are necessary to start making money on YouTube. If you can't, it's fine. I'm still very thankful  for everyone who's been supporting my channel   even when I was busy during the last few months. And I know that i haven't been posting on social media for a while, but hopefully you will understand  after watching this video, that right now   I'm trying to build a career for myself. I really  want to make this a priority until I succeed, so  

I can work from home which will then allow me  to travel to almost any country in the world,   and also make content on youtube for you to watch  and enjoy. And with that being said, let's get back   to the topic of today's video which is why and  how I failed, but before i share that with you, i really want to address a few topics around  online business and why i felt like it was   an opportunity that i had to take advantage of in  the first place. So why should someone start their own business ? Well i think that this sentence  explains it all. The reason why you should be  

self-employed and work for yourself is because - When you work for someone else at the beginning   it's easy and over time it gets hard, but when you  start your own business at the beginning it's hard   but over time it gets easy. And yes, starting an  online business means more responsibility, but   if you succeed, it also means a far greater  payoff and much higher potential for reward and   also if it's an online business, it also means  that you can achieve location and time freedom   which means that you can work when you want  and from where you want. So once i started educating myself on the topic of money i realized  that it is definitely worth it to try it out and   make it work now, while i still have the the energy  the time the resources and barely any risk or   responsibilities. So now that we've established  that building a business is the key to freedom   this is why you shouldn't start just any business,  but an online business that is in my opinion   the number one best business opportunity of the  21st century. So as we all know we are currently   in the digital revolution which is moving at a  very fast pace and where computers and phones   have gotten so much better in the last 30 40 years  ever since the internet has been made and where   some of the biggest companies today have been  started only in the last five to ten years.

We are living in a world where things are changing  so rapidly that people who start with nothing   today can disrupt businesses that have been  around for centuries. For example like Airbnb   that doesn't own a single piece of  property but that is bigger than some of the   hotels combined that have been around for hundreds  of years. Online or e-commerce industry has been   growing at an exponential rate in the past 20  and especially in the past few years, but has exploded in 2020 because more people have  been traditioning to shopping online due to the pandemic. While physical retail stores were forced  to shift their businesses online and hundreds of   thousands of brands were either closing or filing  for bankruptcy; e-commerce has been growing at a 20% rate each year but when the pandemic hit the total  number of sales tripled and 10 years of e-commerce growth has been reached in the span of only 3 months. That upward trend is only going to get bigger each year from now by 2045 over 90 of transactions  will be online and most people will be shopping   online as it is projected that another 1 billion people will join the internet in the   next 3-4 years. All of this shows us that  online shopping is not going anywhere anytime soon   and that opportunities on the internet such as  building an online business, selling things online   and getting into e-commerce are amazing for  anyone who wants to make money online.

Today we can make thousands of dollars on the internet  and we should definitely take advantage of that. If starting a business seems scary to you there  are also jobs online that you can apply for. If where you live there is not much work opportunity  you don't have to be limited to only looking   for a job in your city. You can also have remote  income and work from home for countries such as  

the us uk canada australia and be able to spend it  in your country where your money goes a longer way. So those are the reasons why you should start an  online business in 2021 and what are the 3 main and most popular online business  models and how does each of them work ? First you can sell products by having your  own e-commerce or online store. And this is a   great business model but it requires that you buy  products beforehand and that you also ship them to   your customers either by yourself or by hiring a  3pl company to do that work for you. If you are a   creative person you can also sell custom products  and paint shoes, nails, make clothes, accessories but   again you will first need to buy a certain amount  of products to customize and then ship, which   requires a high startup cost because you need to  buy all those products and supplies for the store, whether they sell or not. Secondly, you can sell  directly from the manufacturer without having   any inventory which is called drop shipping. Here you also have your online store, but you   don't physically own the products that are listed. When a customer places an order on your website  

you don't ship it yourself because you don't have  any inventory for it. You use that money to order   it from your manufacturer vendor or seller and  have them ship it from their warehouse directly to   your customer and you just pocket the difference  which is now your profit. This is a great business   model that is cheap to start because there is  no inventory that you need to invest in upfront   or ship yourself. You just need to build a website  and use marketing tools and your marketing skills  

to acquire customers. It's very low risk compared  to the first option where you have to buy a bunch   of products worth thousands of dollars, not  knowing if you're going to sell any of them. With dropshipping you only purchase a product  after your customer orders it, which is great   but one of the negatives is that you have no  control over your fulfillment time, meaning   that shipping can sometimes take over a month to  deliver, which of course will make your customers   angry if you don't disclose it, and also that  you have to run ads to your products and handle   a customer service yourself. Another business model  is to sell or promote other people's products   for commissions in return which is called  affiliate marketing. In this business model you  

will be marketing other people's already existing  products for a cut of the sales or commissions.   Some affiliate programs such as amazon gives  you 1-10% commission rate and   others like clickbank gives you 50-75% commission rate. So you basically just refer the   sales between the purchaser and seller, which  is great because it doesn't require any inventory   and has a low startup cost. But the only negative  is that you have no control over the products  

and that those products may discontinue after  some time. The next point that i'm going to make   is going to further prove why starting an online  business is better and less risky to pursue than   a physical retail business, like a boutique,  a coffee shop, a restaurant, a physical store. There are many reasons why but some of the most  important ones are - the low startup capital, the low   cost of maintenance, more profit, the reach and the  scalability of the business. So why do brick and  

mortar retail stores have a high startup cost? Well, it's not only because of the cost and the amount   of inventory that they need to buy in bulk and have available from the very beginning and at all times but it's also because they need to fix up  and lease the office space for the next few months, to buy utilities and employ people even before  they sell their first product. As a retail business   owner, you need to get yourself in 10s or 100s  of thousands of dollars in debt, to get a loan from   a bank or raise funding, but as an online business  owner, you can start with less than 5000 or 10,000 dollars and scale to tens and  hundreds of thousands or even millions in sales.   Aside from very high risk investments, physical  businesses also have a lower margins and earn   less profit, because of all the high expenses that  they have, that online businesses don't, which is   again why online business is not only much more  affordable, but also much more profitable compared   to a brick and mortar business. And lastly when you  have a physical business, you can't reach people  

outside of your location from other countries  for example. But an online business has an   unlimited potential and is the easiest and  quickest to scale since you reach customers   using online marketing and social media that  is available in any country of the world. The fourth reason is for all my subscribers and  anyone watching who is not from the united states, this is why you should do business in the us and  not in your country. So in my opinion, you should   only do business outside of countries that are  in communism and socialism, and where people are   not hesitant to use their credit card to  make purchases online. Trying to make money  

in a country where people mostly buy with cash,  is not a good option, So whatever opinion you have   about them you should always be open to selling  to americans. I've heard that some of you don't   like or want to speak their language, but if you  really want to make a lot of money online you have   to know english and you have to sell your products  to the us market. They are a capitalistic country ,  they have a lot more buying power and also they  are used to shopping online. You should also sell   to the us because of their large population so you  don't create a barrier to how many customers you can reach Your first pick should always be the us  and then other smaller english-speaking   countries like uk canada australia. You  should be able to reach a large enough market   to make enough sales and enough traffic to have a  profitable site. Picking a smaller population can  

make your target market too small to reach  the number of sales that you need to have   a comfortable income from your online store. And also besides selling to the us, I would also   recommend that you open an llc in the us, so you  are not losing on currency exchange and also so   some platforms allow you to do business that  may not accept the country where you're from. Now that I've explained the types of online  businesses, the benefits of having them,   and why it's the best option for those of  you who want to have a business of some sort,   I'm going to talk more in detail about how i got  to into e-commerce and about the problems that I faced along the way each month, so you know  what to expect if you decide to do the same.   So it all started around march 2020, when i came  across videos about selling products on amazon.  

And i've never heard about building an online  business before that, but once i started learning   more about it i was pretty convinced and thought  how it was definitely worth a try. At that time i   was sure that i wanted to go with that business  model, but once i calculated how much it would   actually cost to start doing amazon fba, i realized  that it would actually take a few thousand dollars   to start and then if i fail, i will lose everything  that i've earned working in new york for those few months that i was there. Then in june, i came  across videos about drop shipping, that cost   less to start but it can make you the same  amount of money. So that moment i decided to   go for dropshipping once i get back home, because  even if i do fail after launching my first product,   i can easily start over once more or even a few  times more until i succeed. So i got home by the   end of june, and officially started learning how to  drop ship two weeks later, in the second middle of july. I bought the first course that i came across  and finished it about five days later, but since   i wasn't really satisfied with what they taught  me and realized how serious and complex running   an online store actually is, i knew that i had  to put much more effort in, stop going out and   dedicate myself completely to learning and  watching everything that i can from youtube. 

In august i picked out the product that i was  going to sell and started building my first drop shipping website. I picked out a fun fish toy for  pets, that i knew wasn't going to make me a ton of money, but that would take me through the process  of selling product products online and also that   wasn't too expensive to ship products to my house,  so i could take pictures of it for my website. That month i also won a free 20-minute consulting call  with one of the guys that talks about dropshipping   on youtube, after i left a comment on one of his  videos. And he also helped me a lot by telling me   what i should do next, what changes i should make  and in general pointed me in the right direction.  

So next i bought a domain, a logo, support email, 4 samples for the product that i was selling   and also created a facebook page. I also tried  influencer marketing, where you pay a famous   influencer or a popular page on instagram to  promote your product to their followers. I paid   83 dollars in total for a story swipe up plus promo  post with a link that leads to my website, on over   10 a really big cat instagram pages with hundreds  of thousands of followers, but ended up not getting   a single sale and losing a total of around 235  dollars. Since i didn't get any sales i realized  

that my site probably isn't all that great and  needs improving, that what i know isn't enough and   that i need to keep on learning. So in september  i bought another course and it took me around   20 days to complete it. Then i realized that i have  a huge problem with enabling card payments on   my store. i basically couldn't accept any other  payment method other than paypal which i had at checkout, which is not worth using because it can  be problematic for sellers. So in order to provide   customers with an option to pay with the card, i  had to contact multiple payment processors, who would connect my and my customers cards and bank  accounts once they buy something from my store.

So i applied for multiple payment gateways and got  rejected because i wasn't a little eligible for any of them. After watching countless youtube  videos about this topic, i realized that in order   to be accepted, i actually need to register  an llc (a limited liability company) in one   of the countries such as the uk us, and open up a  business a bank account that's connected to it, not only because of the taxes but because in order to  have a card payment methods set up and available, you need to register your company. So as i said  in order to receive card payments on my website,   i applied for an llc in one of the states with  no state tax and i also bought a VPN which made it look like i was living in the us. I also made  my first sale of around 45 dollars from my facebook page   that month, but still all of the cost in september  left me in another minus of around 315 dollars.  

So in the beginning of september i didn't make any  further changes on my store and i started the the   process of registering my llc and applying for a  business credit card. But what i didn't expect is   that i would have to end up getting a virtual card,  since i got denied by all u.s banks from opening   a u.s business credit card due to the fact that  i had no credit history, and also i didn't expect  

that both of these things  would take me 20 to 30 days each to complete   Once i got my document seven weeks later by the  end of october, i wanted to fund my company's bank   account and send the money from my serbian to my  u.s business account through an invoice, but once   again he has to wait for another few weeks until  the middle of november to receive it and continue   with doing my business. In the end of october i got  another sale of 25 dollars, got in another minus of around   170 dollars and during those few months that it took  me to register my company, open a business bank   account and receive money to it, i found out  about another similar drop shipping model,   where unlike the low ticket option where you sell  less expensive products for less profit, in high   ticket drop shipping your store is like a catalog  of big high-end expensive products like furniture,   that if you sell you get a percentage for from the  seller. So i started learning about them from 2 new courses and started building 2 more stores  around a baby niche in the beginning of november, spent another 205 dollars, but never really got  a chance to finish them, because shortly after   i finally received the money in my new business  bank account. And my new plan was to enable card  

payments on my first tour and only focus on that  one, since it was already done and ready to go   So by the middle of november i thought that i was  finally ready to start doing sales on my first store, but then i had the worst possible unfortunate  events happen to me. So one day i went to change   the general information in my stores from personal  to business, like bank account, address, phone number   and they all got shut down because of it for more  than one month. So because those were so sudden   changes, they flagged and banned my accounts after  suspecting illegal activity, which was absolutely   absurd to me, since that information was taken  from my legal documents. At that moment i felt   defeated like never before. I have been waiting  for over two months to receive all the documents   and was building my source for a few months only  to lose them. So i had to find another solution  

and i decided to register for some other online  platforms and have them just in case. I tried   ebay, but ebay banned me right after i registered  with them, and commerce hq, which banned me first   but then contacted me and after i submitted my  documents they let me open another dropshipping   store with them, which i would use as a backup  in case shopify never let me back in with them.   Aside from that i was still trying to get answers  from shopify for weeks, and then finally after   almost a month and a half, in the end of december i  got my stores back. However, after seeing how quick   shopify was to close down my stores without any  notice, i realized that it actually might not be   worth it to build a drop shipping business with  them, just to have it closed in a critical moment. So while i was banned from shopify, in the middle  of november i also found out and started learning   about another business opportunity, which was  affiliate marketing. i bought another course by  

the end of november and seven days later started  building a blog, which i was supposed to use to   promote other people's products in a health niche  and generate commissions from it. In december i got   another ban, this time from clickbank because  they detected that i had signed in from serbia,   which wasn't one of the countries they allowed  their platform. So next time i use the vpn that   makes it look like i'm logging in from the us  and then they have accepted me. Once i got in on   that affiliate marketing platform i was ready  to focus on learning about it from that course, to finish the course and then after i have my only  focus be that blog and my first dropshipping store. In december i also spent a lot of money on  recurring bills, that i had from all those stores   that i had as a backup, which unfortunately cost  me another around 300 dollars. That month i really started   losing hope and having a lot of doubt because five  and a half months have already passed and i still   haven't gotten the results that i thought i would.  i've experienced a lot of bans, store shutdowns  

and was wondering how many failures do i really  need to go through to succeed and even how maybe   i wasn't even going to make it. Every day i would  wake up with a lot of uncertainty and felt anxious   about the rest of the day. I was afraid to take  any further action, because i thought that   anything that i would do would lead me to failing  again. I felt very defeated by all the obstacles i   had faced and i just had to take a break from  the business to focus on my mindset and become   more confident in myself. What helped me get  through that period were the daily routines   that i learned from watching other successful  entrepreneurs videos, and that was writing down   my goals and visualizing where i want to be  and how i want to feel after in a few months or   years after i achieved them. I got into learning  about the law of attraction and started listening   to success affirmations for entrepreneurs before  bed and while i was sleeping. I read and listened  

to a lot of books about success, money, personal  growth and thanks to that slow change in thinking, i started believing how i can actually do it, which build up my confidence and gave me the   strength to continue. Another thing that kept me  going was this sentence - someday you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through  and it will be someone else's survival guide.  So i would always tell myself this sentence over  and over again, how i'm doing this not only for   myself, but also because of all the people who  want to hear my story and to know what to expect   based on my experience. So all those things were  helpful, but two men that gave me the most helpful   advice when i came across them in january, were  Dan Vas with his free course on youtube that's   called - How to make your first million, and Tony  Robbins with his - New world new you challenge   that was also free back then. And yes, i  know that i'm a course junkie and i'm sorry, but  

I just love taking courses. But honestly both of them  really helped me improve my mindset completely and   changed my perception of my past failures. Dan Vas taught me that failure is a part of   entrepreneurship and that i need to learn how  to handle it and overcome it without feeling   discouraged or giving up on my dreams. And also that if i do stick with it, i'm basically  

already in the top 5%, because 50% of people quit after their first failure,   80% of people quit after their second  failure and 95% of people quit after their third failure, so if i succeed after three failures i  am basically in the top 5 % of people   who stay after three failures and succeed.  Tony Robbins also taught me that, if you want   to be successful, you have to discipline your  disappointment, you can't let it take over you   and also that problems that we face in business or  life are gifts that make us learn grow and expand   It can either destroy you, if you  let it, or it can create a breakthrough.   So once i was finally ready to move on and move  past all the disappointment that i faced, i went   back to learning more about affiliate marketing.  I came across another traffic source that you can  

use with affiliate marketing products, i bought  a course about native ads, finished it in 7 days, but decided that i actually don't want to try  it out for myself. Right after i moved on from that,   in the middle of january, i wanted to see and check  if maybe i have been finally approved for google   search ads, that i started and planned on using for  my affiliate marketing blog. And when i saw what   had happened, i was shocked! So basically what i did  was, i registered to run ads on google and started   a search ads campaign on december 31st. Usually  it takes them a day or two to approve your ads,   but for some reason mine weren't getting approved  for another 2 days, 5 days, 7 days, 10 days   and i just thought that it wasn't going to happen  at all. Well little do i know is that, they approved   me on the 14th, two weeks later without me knowing  that they started running and spending money,   and when i logged into my account on the 18th, i  saw that my ads have spent a total of 556 dollars, which was never my budget! So obviously i stopped  them and realized that there is just no point in   running more ads to that blog, if i had already  spent so much money and got zero back in sales.  

The sad part is that the 150 google voucher that  i thought i redeemed on the 31st when i started my campaign, i never ended up getting. So i contacted  google support team and asked them if they can return me that money. They told me that  i first need to unban my account, because   yes, google has also banned my account because of  suspicious payment activity, even though i paid off   the full amount that i owed, which made no sense  to me, and only then will they consider doing it. But anyways, even though my first affiliate offer  didn't succeed i still believed that affiliate   marketing was way better than dropshipping, because  there was no dealing with customer service or   shipping out products, only doing paid advertising. So i was willing to give it another shot and this  

time, by the end of january, i came across a youtube  video about high ticket affiliate marketing, which   was promoting high ticket expensive products,  like courses, on youtube ads and earning high   commissions in return. So i did exactly what the  video instructed us to do, which is make a list of   all the courses you see are getting promoted, pick  the one that has an advertising material already made,  that has a webinar for people to watch  and that has a commission cut of over or around   500 dollars. Once i found the  course i liked, i made a youtube ad for it,   which got disapproved at first, but once i fixed  it and it started running, it spent    215 dollars and got me guess how much? Zero in  sales. To be honest, the course i was promoting was   997 dollars, so i was supposed to spend at least  the amount of my commission cuts to find out   if i have a winning offer, which is something that  i found out from watching 2 more free youtube   ads courses, but considering the fact that i had  already lost so much money; in february i just   threw in the towel and didn't want to didn't want  to lose or risk any more money. The way that it works  

with affiliate marketing is that customers  that i reach with my ads, get tracked with a pixel,   and even if they buy 90 days from now, i still make  a commission for it. So there's still a chance that   i might make back some money, but let's say i don't,  in january and february i lost a total of around   1120 dollars and made only 14 dollars profit of of my drop shipping store. That was actually my last  sale, because not only have my shopify stores   gotten banned completely randomly in january for  the second time, but also the third time because   shopify just decided to stop accepting my debit  cards, even though i was using them for the past 6 months. It turns out that credit cards are the  only method they accept, so in february i just had   to say goodbye to shopify, because i don't own a  credit card, and i also unsubscribed from all   the online platforms that i had registered and  account for. i decided not to use them any longer,   because i was barely even using any of them,  yet they were costing me 315 dollars a month.   And just like that i decided to completely  stop with drop shipping and affiliate marketing altogether. 

So in conclusion after 2,300 dollars invested and 7 months of starting an online business, i still haven't  made any significant amount of money online,   even after going through 8 courses, almost 600  pages of notes, watching endless youtube content,   visualizing myself as a successful online business  owner and trying to manifest sales and profit   using the law of attraction. None of that worked.  i am a great example that even though you are   diligent, dedicated, persistent, willing to learn and  invest your time, energy, money, hard work and have   the right mindset, sometimes even that just isn't  enough. i would love to tell you that you will be   profitable or succeed after your first or second  try, but that most likely won't be the case, and   it probably won't happen, even if you have all  the resources available. Building a business   is not easy or smooth sailing. There will  be a lot of factors that you can't control  

and there isn't a specific formula that will  guarantee your results. Online business is not a   get rich quick scheme, so don't expect this to  succeed with little or no money, especially if   you're a beginner. The nature of doing business  is dealing with a lot of problems and challenges   that come out of nowhere, that hit you the hardest  and make you feel like it's the end of your world.  

But you have to take what you can from it to  improve and bounce back. You can't give up and   you have to have thick skin, because you will  struggle to get to a point of success.   With all that being said, i know it might sound crazy, but  i really am happy to have failed, because failure   builds character. i don't feel like i wasted seven  months because honestly i didn't. i learned so   much about all aspects of online business and i  learned a lot of skills that i know that i can   make money with as a freelancer by offering those  services to other business owners. i'm also happy   that drop shipping didn't work out for me, because  it involves way too much work for one person and   affiliate marketing, which i can't really imagine  doing long term. Most importantly, i'm grateful for  

all the entrepreneurs that are watched on youtube, that taught me about money, finances, taxes, business,   investing and about opportunities there are for  making money online. i find it really inspiring   how they have an income from their online business  and how they can basically work from anywhere in the world, which is something that i also inspired  to do and i'm willing to work hard until i get it.   i know i didn't succeed with my first  two businesses, but i'm ready to try again   and this time a new one. Amazon fba is the one that  i wanted to try out even before drop shipping and   i like how with amazon, if you don't want to,   you don't have to invest in marketing or deal   with all the questions customers have about a  product or shipping, which amazon fulfillment   center and their customer support team handles. it does however require a larger budget, so my plan is  

to first raise that money doing copywriting as  a freelancer, which is a skill that in the past   seven months i've enjoyed doing the most, and then  invest that money into my amazon business. So right now that is my plan and what i plan on making my  next few videos and updates about. Besides that I really hope you got value and learned something  from what i shared in this video. My idea was to  

show that failure shouldn't be a stigma and that  if you do fail, it's okay to start over. Yes it   might suck, but you just need to find another game  plan and then put in even more work into that   new thing to be successful. No matter what you do,  challenges will always come up, but you have to   do your best to deal with them, come out the other  side stronger for what you have learned and pay   the price for the prize. So go after what you want,  don't be afraid to fail and if you do, just learn   from your mistakes and do better next time. Thank you so much for watching until the end, it really  

means a lot to me and be sure to subscribe, to like  and comment and i will see you in my next video :)

2021-03-05 15:43

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