For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to own my own business. Something about being your own boss appealed to me and for the better part of a decade I tried to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately, I failed to make that dream come true—and I want to talk about it.
In 2007, my family and I moved from Albany, NY to Delaware. Being the new kid is never fun and as a result, I found myself being critical of a lot of things, but one stood out: food. Weird right? Eventually (probably as a way to get me to shut up) my dad suggested I start a website. I was eight years old and had no clue what to do, but I was enamored with this idea. I ran with it and the next day I created a Google Sites page (that page is still running). As time went on I realized that I really enjoyed sharing my opinions with the world so I decided to take things up a notch. One thing led to another and a decade later the lights were shut off. I failed myself, and my company. So, how did that happen? Well, it really isn't that complicated.
My biggest mistake was content. You see, content is king and when your content sucks, your future sucks. I was so concerned with making money and driving people to my website that I forgot about the most important piece of running a website: the content. I was constantly pushing out content. Every day like clockwork but the content I was publishing lacked any kind of structure, poor grammar, and was oftentimes filled with unnecessary and redundant information. And one day, everything stopped.
I no longer published content on daily basis. Due to that change, the content that was published was much better, but the damage had already been done. The little number of readers I had garnered over the years had moved elsewhere, and I stayed in the same rut I had been in for almost three years.
All this time I am telling you how I failed but I haven't told you what my company's goal was. Putting it simply, my company, which was run by me and me alone, would publish content surrounding the entertainment industry. Movie reviews, technology, television, and news. I am not here to make excuses, but that is a lot of categories to cover for just one person. I failed to live up to my goals and standards and after ten long, loving, and learning years I made the ultimate decision. It was time to go offline—but there is still a desire in me to run my own business.
As of right now, my company's web address is still in my name, and I am planning on taking the website live again with a complete redesign and new marketing. If you are thinking about starting your own business, here is my advice for you: Don't worry about quantity. Worry about quality.
Perhaps my biggest mistake was becoming too money driven. I was too concerned with trying to make money that I had forgotten what made me love writing in the first place—just sharing my opinions. That's what I plan to get back to doing.
Starting a business is hard. In a world where there are millions of websites all claiming to be the best, it is very difficult to stand out amongst them all. Use my failures as a guideline and most importantly, have fun— after all, that's why we do it.