How hard is it *really* to make money?

by onethousandprojects. Posted on Sep 13, 2020    89    39

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but once you have a decent product to sell it's all just a game of sales and marketing... right?

How difficult is it actually to make money?

I used to run a small, hobby, Etsy shop and would take home a couple hundred dollars a month. I did very little promoting of myself, so I'd like to think that it was mostly luck and a good product listing that did all the work for me - this was a few years ago before the market became saturated and I lost interest in that niche.

Now, I am wholeheartedly serious about entrepreneurship and honestly borderline desperate to work for myself and quit the soul draining 9-5 life.

I am pretty close to launching what I consider a very lean startup business, but I'm wondering to those of you that recently launched businesses (or not so recently):

  1. What category of business are you in?
  2. Are you making enough money to survive or is it still an investment/hobby? How long have you been at it?
  3. How hard is it really to make money?
  4. Tips/advice

Thanks all!



Simple businesses work; also if your in a luxury good market then price up for more sales.


It's not hard at all....
I am getting profitable help from this!
My Benjamin's


Undoubtedly there are few successful online successful business preneurs who have made it all the way to top six-figure income and there are many Youtube videos with their money making tips.

However, what is challenging is how well you did and how made the plan go click to make money is your success rate.

I have been working as a freelance writer since 2006 and no doubt I earned and still earning. But in small proportion. I set my big targets, but it takes time as I work independently.

But it is definitely not a difficult path. We can achieve our targets.

How well we structure is what is most important.

My affiliate website

Hope this is helpful.


agustinl 1

It’s hard but you can definitely do it with the right mindset. I was able to finally do it, but I did struggle with mindset and believing all the get-rich-quick schemes out there.

The key is to start and fail fast.

qualitycastle 1

Hey i am not in USA but looking for someone in Usa who can ship my product because shipping single product from Asia cost me more profit will divide equally.

aproule 1

Send me a message

xxbearillaxx 1

Send me a message.

surffreak336 2

Seek people doing what you want and do everything you can to learn from them. Then the hardest part after that is implementing what you learned.

You will fail a ton and that’s ok. You will also eat a lot of shit along the way through trial and error

omenoracle 3

What’s the total addressable market for your product or service? How much of that can you capture?

What’s really make money? $10M? 200k a year?

yokotron 6

Hard. It takes years and years.

Don’t listen to the get rich quick bull. Go find a passion you have and just do!

tomorrowisyesterday 20

Making money is not hard, scaling to make a living is not easy.

You need a product or service that people want, a price someone is willing to pay, and a way to get people to know about you, your product or service.

The first two are easy. The third is also easy, but instead of selling one thing try selling thousands of it. You need a different mindset.

You need to build a brand, a following, pay for marketing, fail a lot, if you succeed youll need to find ways to make thousands of products, ship thousands of products. Deal with returns, unhappy customers. Deal with competition trying to do the exact same thing as you.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I'm talking about the obstacles you will encounter. Have a plan and be ready to think on your feet. Be ready to get disappointed and ready to hang up the towel.

I've started several businesses over the years and failed more than enough. Its not an easy road. You need to be ready for an uphill battle and failure.

You also need some luck. If you are passionate about it then jump in and do it. There is no book to ready or webinar to take that will give you the answers. You need to start.

I wouldn't quit your job and expect to make a living when just starting out unless you have a safety net.

Best wishes!

SpadoCochi 55

I've started 11 LLCs and 7 hit 6 figures and 1 hit 7 figures.

4 were acquired.

I honestly believe I could have made any of them work.

Why? Because I work simple businesses in established markets.

With that approach, you gotta hustle, learn, work hard and apply knowledge...but its not that damn hard to make sales.

Get in there and do it.

I started one company that went from idea to first sale in 15 hours.

Didn't have an email list or anything.

Just get it done.


You can get onto r/thesidehustle for guidance

opensourceai 20

I almost hated reading that because I feel like such a failure and an idiot that what you just described is SO DAMN HARD for me to do.

Like, I don't even know where to begin. I literally have no idea. Should I just pick up a phone, dial a random number, and ask them to buy something from me? Like what does it even look like?


I would be willng to bet you haven't read 20 non-fiction books in your life. That's why it's so hard for you. you've got to learn first. You aren't learning and because of that, you aren't taking the right actions. That's the only explanation.

Lots of online infornation is total bullshit and regurgitation from uneducated college professors that never sold a damn thing in their lives. Pick any book by Dan Kennedy or Joseph sugarman, and read the damn thing. You'll figure it out.

fleech26 5

Act, access, adjust, fail.

Act, access, adjust, fail.

Act, access, adjust, succeed.

andrewscherer 5

When you can sell and/or market products/services effectively, the world is your oyster. You can do anything you want.

kylytyx 7

I'm figuring this out too. I think marketing is the key subject we should be researching when it comes to figuring out how to sell a product. There are lots of free resources to learn about marketing. I'm planning to study a course on Coursera and read whatever credible books I can get my hands on

SpadoCochi 1

I did a post on this recently if you go through my history. It's the low-information high implementation diet.

You don't really need to take in too much before you get started. Continue to study AS you're taking action, so that you have CONTEXT for the information you're taking in.

00Anonymous 1

To understand your customer, just talk to them. Often times, they will just tell you what they are looking to buy. You don't even need a business or idea. Just an idea of who you might want as customers.

wiwoo 8

Don't study things - find what you're selling first. you don't need general knowledge, you need knowledge specific to your situation. And your initial marketing knowledge can just be asking a focus group of 1: yourself. Don't sell something you wouldn't buy, and then just pitch people how you'd need to be pitched to buy it.

Salaciousavocados 34

It’s easier than it sounds.

Plan, act, reflect.

That’s the basic framework for human adaption.

Plan: What can you do? What can you do right now? What will have the most impact?

Act: If all you do is plan, then nothing will ever get accomplished. Assumptions are also usually wrong. Without experience, which is only gained after action, you have nothing for which you can base your assumptions on. There is no data behind your decisions. If there is no data, then you are wrong nearly all the time. Failure is important because it provides data that you can use in order to help you make better decisions. Without action, you cannot fail. Without failure, you cannot know. If you do not know, then you cannot achieve.

Reflect: Take time to examine what happened. What was good? What was bad? What could you have done differently? What evidence is there to support your claim? What evidence is there to falsify your claim? Use this as a time to extract as much data from your experience as possible. More data helps you make better decisions.

Here’s an example:

Plan: I can buy a paint brush and a few gallons of paint. I’m going to try knocking doors to get customers.

Act: You buy your supplies. Knocking doors results in nothing.

Reflect: Okay, I have the supplies. I’m one step closer. Now I just need to get customers. I tried knocking doors, but everyone immediately shut the door on me and said not interested. I’m not super personable or good at sales. Maybe if I can get them interested first, then I might have an easier time talking to them.

Plan: okay, how can I get them interested before I talk to them? I can hang flyers on doors. How will this get their attention? I’ll use bright colors and an attention grabber with big bold lettering. What’s my goal after I get their attention? To persuade them. Okay, how do I do that? I’ll explain the benefits of working with me. Well, what are the benefits? Well, I’m clean, I have a color deck they can use to pick colors, and... I use paint that lasts 10 years.


SpadoCochi 1

Great answer!

crazyrepasian 1

Thank you so much, this was incredibly encouraging and inspiring.

cubic-dissection 8

This is the way

jdoyle13 23

Would you be willing to share what those businesses did? Would be really interested to hear more

SpadoCochi 3

Well, I'll talk about the ones that I eventually sold.

SAAS company started in 2012 sold 2016 7 figs
Cleaning company started 2013 sold 2017 multiple 6 figs (owned 50%)
Event company started 2016 sold 2017 six figs (owned 50%)
Call center started 2015 sold 2019 multiple 7 (owned 100%)

I actually created a course on how to start that call center which launched this year, and a few of our students are already in the six figure ARR.

jplindstrom 1

Do you want to share your "idea to first sale in 15 hours" story? That should be interesting.

SpadoCochi 3

I'm going to post it as a long reddit post tomorrow :). Full details.

The short version is I saw something trending on twitter about a text message concierge service, and decided to jump in.

MrYehaw 23

1) i have a b2b contracting business; i am a contract tree climber/faller

2) i make more than enough to survive, currently paying myself only what i need to and banking the rest in the company to hopefully invest into something worthwhile. Next january will be my companies second year end so part of the reason im trying to save so much is ill be eligible for business lending through my bank and i want the company financials to look awesome

3) its easy if you have a product that has true value, i have been busy as hell through high and lows including covid because my service is in super high demand where i live

4) find something that people need or use on a daily basis, create a product that enhances their life in one way or another. Whether you are making something more efficient or giving consumers a chance to express themselves and their unique identity (for example, a high quality handmade mousepad with a laser engraved or printed image for at the office). Most importantly do a bit of market research and product surveys, and get creative with it, for example; a lot of food based start-ups will set up a stall at a farmers market to get opinions/validation for their new product.

One thing im learning is to do it because your interested in it, not for the potential money. I already work for money, i want something that will consume me just for the sake of doing it.

Henrik-Powers 120

I started a very lean business in 2013, buying used hardcover books and reselling online, amazon eBay... typical story I guess. But I didn’t have that ah ha moment until 2015 when we as a family literally had SHTF... long story short I bought a couple pallets of returned/product/shelf pulls. I spent my last $800, knowing I had to make like $3000 on them to survive.

On one pallet was a very unique product that for some reason the manufacturer stopped making and everyone seemed to be looking for it, it was small and I could ship them for about $3. I sold over 400 of them in 3 weeks for $25-35ea. Needless to say it was perfect timing, but try as hard As I could I couldn’t find anymore, I told the story to a neighbor and turns out his wife is a sourcing agent for Nordstrom’s and she actually found the factory that made these in China. So I contacted them and we basically made our own version of it, I improved a few flaws that I saw and marketed under my own brand.

5 years later we have a multi-million dollar a year brand, warehouse, distributors... it’s really amazing but I can tell you it’s not easy... it damn hard work to keep grinding, I didn’t start paying myself anything other enough to cover our minimal bills until a good 30 months after that initial start of our own brand.

If anyone gives you advice don’t listen to them if they have never done it either, lots of negative people out there.. if you want it you can find a way👍

blackedgetrader 1

you sell your brand on Ebay?

PeteAH 4

So you got ultra lucky basically?

Henrik-Powers 8

Definitely not, 99.99% of sellers would simply move on, I saw a market opportunity and way to develop a product line around this niche. I’ve actually seen several other brands pop up trying to copy us, but none have lasted. There’s a lot more to selling than just having a product, and our product line for its niche is the premium line.. but yea from the outside looking in I’m an overnight success that started years ago🤣

cubic-dissection 3

It takes a decade to become an overnight success :)

erelim 10

Great story, you gloss over these parts but it can't have been easy getting in contact with the factory/designing product/stumping up cash for the first order.

I'm not US but nordstrom is clothes right, so I'm guessing you created your own clothing/accessory brand? And you sell the stuff totally online D2C?

Henrik-Powers 1

It wasn’t that hard actually to get in touch with the factory they were happy to work with us to develop something unique and no it wasn’t clothes, just happened my friend with Nordstrom’s just helped to locate the factory as she’s been in the business for 20+ years.

For the initial purchase I had made a good return on those 400 units so I had enough to cover the 50% down the factory required, I had to pay for some injection molding but they prorated it over the first couple orders.

We sell through several marketplaces from Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target

rexington_ 9

Thanks for this comment, great story.