I’m blessed to be able to wake up every day and chase my dream of making my startup, WeMontage, a household name. As is often the case, the path to realization of this dream has been circuitous, to say the least, and it has taken a toll on family relationships.
Birth and Death
After raising investment capital in 2013, the business ran out of cash last spring and my investors, after giving indications to the contrary, decided at the last-minute to not re-invest in the business. It was a financial disaster for my business. All I could think about was if I could’ve invested in a better business insurance policy to pull me through this, and what I could’ve done to reduce the companies huge loss in money. Because we ran out of cash, my partner quit, and I’ve been mostly alone, grinding, trying to turn things around. It was when I felt truly alone that I regret not being courageous enough to find coaching for small businesses. I let my pride get the better of me and my business failed as a result.
WeMontage Rising. The Rebirth.
Since the business downturn, I’ve been laser focused on a few new customer segments for which WeMontage solves a very specific problem. I know that sounds kinda ridiculous to say I’m finally focused on solving a specific problem for customers. But, yeah, that’s the deal.
For example, I’m targeting college students in dorms, who have tons of photos, but can’t put nails in dorm walls. Here’s an example of a promotion for college students I ran on Instagram that had some success:
Despite the recent challenges, things are looking up. Way up. There are a few great national television features for WeMontage that have me extremely confident the fourth quarter will be a turning point for the business (e.g., DIY Networks, and another HUGE one that I will disclose at a later time).
So, yes, there is presumably life after the would-be death of a startup. But time will tell for sure.
The business situation obviously sucks, but maybe even more important is the impact it’s had on my family life. I’ve been a lot more edgy these past few months and extra moody (I was already edgy ever since I started the business). And I’ve been super impatient. I was telling one of my business owner friends about how on edgy and moody I’ve been recently due to the added stress of the business. He thought it might be helpful for me to outsource parts of my business to reduce my stress levels. He said to me that sites like dua.co.uk do great bookkeeping, but I wasn’t sure it was for me. I like to do things my own way and at my own speed. Being from New York originally, patience has never been my strong-suit, but now it’s occasionally non-existent.
Of course this affects my relationship with my wife and other family members. I find myself regularly apologizing to my wife for being such a dick. It’s been so bad, my mom came to visit this past weekend (she was here for national grandparents day) and I had to ask her to be extra patient with me, on the ride from the airport. Luckily, she was very understanding and her visit was awesome.
The only thing that really helps me manage my negative disposition is meditation, and sales (ha!). But I haven’t been disciplined about meditating regularly. I intend to do so.
Family Support Makes a Huge Difference
I’m extremely fortunate to have the love and support of my amazing wife during this journey, and I thank God for her. Without her, I would be lost now. If you are an entrepreneur and are starting a business, you need to have a supportive spouse or partner.
Have you had to bring your business back from the brink of failure? If so, how’d you do it and what happened? Tell me about it in the comments section.
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P.S., As a special bonus, here’s a video of the twins. They were having a great time in the crib today and I was lucky to capture the moment. I hope you had as much fun today as they were having here: