Trent Dyrsmid put everything he had into his first business, a virtual IT firm he started in 2001. He racked up $150,000 in debt, it took him three years to break even, he almost didn’t make payroll once and faced a coup d’etat by his COO and co-founder, but always found a way to succeed.
He ended up selling his first business for over $1 million, seven years after he started it. Today he is the founder of Groove Digital Marketing, a virtual content marketing firm. He’s also the host of the Bright Ideas podcast, helping entrepreneurs understand the latest marketing and sales automation tactics.
Just when you want to give up on your business, success just might be around the corner. Some of the most valuable lessons in business come from fighting for the survival of your own business, as we’ll learn from Trent.
Key UnStuckable Takeaway
Don’t quit your business until you’ve tried everything!
Bankruptcy was a stark reality for Trent. Just as he was about to hit bottom, the revenues of his company turned around and grew year after year from that moment forward. If he chose to throw in the towel, he would have never had such an inspirational story to share.
Quick Action to Get Unstuck
Talk to your potential customers before as your first action for starting a business!
Before you create your product, build a website or print your business cards, talk to your target customers first. Find a problem to solve.
One way to validate your product or service is by pre-selling it to your customers. If you can get paid for selling just the concept, then you know you have a business opportunity.
One of the classic entrepreneurial mistakes is marrying yourself to your solution and not the problem you are trying to solve.
UnStuckable Quotes From Trent
“VCs do not care about you at all. They only care about a return on their investment.”
“I was at my personal threshold. I couldn’t take any more debt than I had because the thought of going bankrupt scared the crap out of me.”
“There were some big skid marks in the road before any of the good stuff happened.”
“Often times when you are at the end, success is literally around the corner and you only have to do one thing, don’t quit.”
“It’s about grit and resilience.”
“It’s entrepreneurial freedom. The freedom to work 24 hours a day.”
“You can have growth or you can have control, but you can’t have both. I choose growth.”
“Someone who is unstuckable is able to compartmentalize their fears.”
More Habits & Actions
- Before you start building your product or service, talk to your target customers first to validate and maybe even fund your idea.
- Trent declined continued investment money from an angel investor in one of his businesses until he was able to show the company had potential for success.
- He used savings he stashed away from his days as a money manger to fund the startup costs of his second business. He had $85,000 saved.
- The biggest lesson Trent learned from his first business was to minimize his overhead expenses, so he can retain full control of his business.
- One of his key habits is delegating tasks by creating processes and systems.
- Instead of going to venture capitalists for funding, try going to your target customer first to see if they would be willing to fund your startup costs.
- Cash flow from selling services is another alternative source of funding for your business.
- Trent likes monthly retainer fee-based business because it provides more certainty about where your cash is coming from and increases the value of your business.
- He runs his latest business with contract workers only and has no salaried employees. Everything is outsourced.
Questions & Feedback
Thank you for listening. If you like something you heard in the show, let Trent, Chris and Stephen know by tweeting us @unstuckable
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Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!