As an entrepreneur for more than 22 years, I’m proud of my mistakes and wear them like a badge of honor. With that in mind, I spoke with Laura Cheek, founder and social brander of Insperience It. Insperience It is a social branding agency specializing in branding and social media management for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
David Mammano: We don’t always hear the stories from entrepreneurs when everything in the business fell off the tracks. You said you have a story you would like to share?
Laura Cheek: Before I started my current company, I had a start up that was a subscription-based accessory company. I had accumulated wholesale-priced accessories and was loaning them out to friends and family. That was when I had the thought that this would be a great business idea! I did some more research, and found out that the subscription-based model was really blowing up.
I spent so much money to purchase inventory. I ended up doing everything backwards. I spent a lot of time online and connecting with bloggers trying to get into the industry. The company was failing, and I had wasted thousands of dollars on getting inventory. It was really discouraging, and all of this was happening because I had started this based on a hunch. It felt more like work than a passion.
I had caught the entrepreneurial bug, but I needed to walk away from this business idea. It’s important to walk away when something is no longer serving its purpose.
Mammano: We call that failing forward. You probably wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, though.
Cheek: I learned so much about myself! By being online to start the subscription-based business, I had found my true passion. So, it turned out to be a good thing. It was a great and humbling experience.