[blockquote cite=”Pete Kanaris” type=”center”]”Start small and when the door opens, go big and never look back.” [/blockquote]
The world is filled with opportunities, and when you are enterprising businessman there are a lot of business ideas out there. As one entrepreneur said, “businesses are like buses, there’s always one after the other.” But despite the quantity of business ideas out there things don’t always work out as planned. And for entrepreneurs failures are just a part of the game.
Take for example this one English entrepreneur that took on a variety of different ventures in his career. Many looked like great opportunities. Many failed.
From a young age this said Englishman was entrepreneurial. At the age of 16 he quit school to start a magazine. When the magazine first debuted the headmaster at his school sent him a letter saying, “Congradulations. I predict you will either go to prison or become a millionaire.” The magazine itself never made any money, but it did put the wheels in motion for a later venture that would eventually make this 16 year old a future millionaire. From that point on he never slowed down. Business after business was started, and they all weren’t successes.
For example, he created a cola to take on giants Pepsi and Coke, it failed. Sticking with the drink theme he tried his hand at other products like vodka and energy drinks. Those didn’t work out either. He tried getting into the wedding dress business and the cosmetic business, but those didn’t pan out. Neither did the clothing business nor the lingerie business. Nor the online car sales business.
That’s a lot of businesses and that’s a lot of failures.
But guess what?
When you compare the all of the failures to the successes, the failures don’t matter.
Because those failures belong to none other than billionaire Sir Richard Branson.
Branson is the consummate entrepreneur, taking on failure after failure as part of the game stating, “for every success story there’s 100s of near-misses. Every entrepreneur fails before succeeding.” That quote at the beginning about businesses being like buses, there’s always one after the other, that’s his. As an entrepreneur Branson knows this and accepts that everything might not work out as planned, but learns what he can in the process and pushes on. For him it is a strategy that paid off. With that first business being a reason for leaving school at age 16 he has lived a life starting businesses (now well over 100). They all weren’t successes, but overall he has been successful and he now has an estimated net worth of over $5B dollars.
He is one of the many examples of famous entrepreneurs that embrace failing; failing as a necessary step on the road towards success. But that idea of failing, challenges our psyche.
Let’s face it, failing sucks. No one wants to fail.
Putting a lot of time, sweat, and love into something and not having it work out, resulting in emotional and financial loss and all of the baggage that comes with it. That sucks.
And to do it again and again is even harder to stomach. Most people aren’t wired that way. We aren’t Tyler Durden showing up for Fight Club asking to be punched in the face again and again and again.
Paradoxically though, that is the way to ultimately succeed. If you aren’t failing then you probably aren’t trying anything, and you can’t succeed unless you try something. And that is the subject of today’s show, taking on new businesses in the face of uncertainty.
My guest Pete Kanaris is a serial entrepreneur. He has started a whole bunch of businesses, some have worked, some haven’t. Despite the failures, he has always found a way to push on and try new things to ultimately get to where he wants to be.
That also references another unique point in Pete’s story. One of Pete’s most successful businesses was a lawncare business. It was a business that Pete ran for over 10 years and it was really successful. But it wasn’t something that Pete liked doing anymore. Along the way he became exposed to permaculture and it became clear that the pathway into the future didn’t involve cutting grass, it involved permaculture. So he put it all on the line and started a permaculture design company, Green Dreams. It wasn’t about the money; he wanted to do something that he loved doing and something that he believed in.
Given the risk and uncertainty involved in starting any new business it would have been easy to take the safe route and stick with what he had, a thriving lawncare business. But he didn’t take the easy route, and he put in the hard work to make Green Dreams a reality. Pete’s continued push to innovate and try new things has already paid off and Green Dreams is growing. His story is inspirational for anyone out there looking to take that hard first step. As he says, “start small and when the door opens, go big and never look back.”
Lawncare to Earthcare. Building Businesses, Embracing Failures, and Transitioning to a Career in Permaculture
- Introduce housing track customer to permaculture via the permaculture mullett. Business, HOA compliant in the front. Permaculture part in the back.
- Consider approaching residential customers through edible landscape. Start small and then expand from there.
- Butterfly gardens make a good starting point to introduce permaculture.
- Paying workers by the job has worked better than an hourly approach.
- He charges a consult fee and then credits it back if the job is landed.
- He bills at 50% down and 50% at the end.
- Free consults might not pay off. Value your time.
- Get the sticker shock out of the way on the phone to save time. Estimate on the phone if possible to give the customer a rough idea of costs, are they interested or not.
- Be blunt and honest.
- Utilize Craigslist as a great free resource for selling stuff.
- Realize the importance of educating customers and put in the time to do so.
- Consider offering a maintenance package. Gives the customer value and keeps you in contact with them.
[blockquote cite=”Pete Kanaris” type=”center”]”We try to give the client all of the tools they need to have success. Success for them is success for us.“[/blockquote]
Richard Branson on Embracing Failure
“Fear is something everyone must learn to cope with when tackling life’s challenges, but this is especially important for entrepreneurs, who are likely to face many hard choices in the process of getting a business off the ground. And in the early stages of running a new enterprise, the way you handle pressure can often make the difference in whether it survives.
You may need to make some tough calls. During Virgin’s early years, one difficult decision we had to make involved Virgin Records, which at one point was in desperate need of cash to sign bigger artists. My partners, Nik Powell and Simon Draper, were split on what to do: Nik wanted to conserve our resources and slowly collect money through our retail operations; Simon wanted to invest heavily in Virgin Records, betting on the notion that we could find the next big artists that way. We needed quick growth, so I took the riskier gamble, following Simon’s advice over Nik’s. It turned out to be the right decision, but it took a lot of courage — and not just from me, but everyone on staff.
I’ve always found that the first step in overcoming fear is figuring out exactly what you’re afraid of. In your case, I wonder: Is your anxiety a reflection of doubts about your business plan? Or is it rooted in your experience with your previous venture?”
More information on Pete and Green Dreams Florida:
You can contact Pete HERE firstname.lastname@example.org
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