My Hustle Struggle

in HiveHustlers3 months ago

Hey Hive Hustlers

My story sounds like the average millennial, I came out of Uni found a low paying internship at an eCommerce site and worked my way up from there. It worked for about four years before I became disillusioned with the job market knowing I was never going to be a C-suite position EVER unless I owned the company.

No one was ever going to consider me for the big bucks and the big decisions; I was 27 at the time. I decided I would take this last year of work to save up every penny I earned and create a buffer for myself to leave the job market and start my business.

I had no job, no income, no clients and no idea what I was doing.


Generating and income

So arrogant little me thought hey I have these savings I'll use this and build my business and then cash in once it's big and pay it back. But luckily my business partner was level headed and said we should first look to generate an income before we dip into savings.

So that's what we did, we started a digital marketing agency and bagged a few clients that started paying the bills and took it from there.

As we earned money, we built up reserves to build the site we wanted and the business we wanted—a place where South African business owners can list their services and advertise for free.

Note: Search in South Africa is still relatively new, and not many businesses have an internet presence, so we wanted to help them get online as easy as possible and then later expand from there.

The struggle is real

So we had the cash, we started with the wireframes and what we wanted and then tried to build it ourselves.

Attempt 1: WordPress theme

Arrogance and stubbornness is a funny thing, it can help you push through a lot of the naysayers, but it can also lead you to bumping your head into walls. I think a business owner needs to have it if they are to survive since you will always face obstacles.

So the first site builds we downloaded a WordPress theme we thought could work and tried to customise it ourselves, that didn't take long before we noticed our limitations and the product wouldn't be what we wanted.

Attempt 2: Customising WordPress theme

Next, we hired a team of 3 people to develop the site using the theme we bought and a few extra bits of software they requested; it turned out to be a complete waste of time and money. We learned a lot from the attempt, but we could see it was going nowhere.

Attempt 3: WordPress theme from scratch

A few months later, we hired another WP developer to build a theme from scratch with all the features we wanted and less use of plugins. He had a car accident while he is fine the laptop and data in the car got fried as the car went up in flames. He was also out for some time, and we couldn't wait, so we had to find another option.

Attempt 4: Custom built site

Next, we found a team of developers in Turkey, we paid the deposit, waited months with delays and then one of the devs left with part of the code, and there were even more delays.
Eventually, we cut our losses and asked for our money back and went looking for another provider.

Attempt 5: Custom built site

We went through company after company pitch after pitch, and some either didn't have the expertise or cost a fortune. We then decided to hire a UX to prototype the entire site with every single page and function we wanted so you could see a so-called working product.

We took it to various developers for pricing and then one day we took a flyer on a company we found searching on Google, had a meeting struck a deal, and a few months later we had our first site.

Progress, not perfection

So we finally got the site we wanted and launched in January of 2019, we're now one year and eight months in, and we've got 3300 local businesses using the website, and it continues to grow. As the site increases in size, we can then launch new features to keep our user base happy and coming back.

Our last big launch was our free ads platform in November 2019, and since all the drama we've had to focus on user growth before we launch our next service.

There were many times in those five attempts and two and a half years to get this site going that we wanted to give up, but we didn't we kept going and I don't regret it one bit.

It's a lot of work, a lot of fun, I wish I could put more time into it, but we also have the agency to run in tandem. Sure we still have a lot to learn before we crack the big time.

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Nice one for finally getting it through and hopefully your next release will go smoother :)

I don't know if any release gets smoother I think you just get more battle-hardened over time and don't freak out as much as in the beginning

Good shit mate, nice one for sticking at it and looks like the struggles have been worth it for sure - keep going!

Also, I have a contact in SA (Port Elizabeth area - 15+ years or so of web developing and hosting experience) and built my website which I've had for like, 6 or 7 years, so if you are looking to get another site set up, I'll put you in contact, just drop me a line on Discord.

@fionasfavourites started using his services after my recommendation too

Lol how nuts is that you got a dude in SA to build your site?

So my site is a bit different the front end, the admin back end and the main back end is a custom code base writing in C# so they will manage it still and still happy with their service!

But always good to have new contacts who knows what we want to build in the future

Great read and I need to check out your site again...Well done, Che. Hard work, especially here. I've had may fair share of website dramas over the last nearly 20 years and before Nick's mate rescued me after the @gmuxx debacle and a really bad experience with Afrihost, I am very happy with Ed - Nick's mate. That said, I do just use a simple WP site and have build and manage it myself, so Ed's just hosting and providing any "complex" support I need. I also have a Google site for Destination McGregor but am rethinking that because it's expensive - among other reasons and because I don't code, is quite limited. That said, I couldn't be happier with Ed - gave me a great deal, too. Oh, and happy to support another Saffa small business....

Umm...and why isn't there a link to your site in your post? #justasking 😜

Websites are always drama from the little one to the big one I’m sure im still in for more drama in the future but for now it’s good, I keep soldiering on

I see it was the greater the resistance the more you battle test your idea

Lol I spend so much time shilling it with other channels and it’s in my bio, but I guess an extra shilling never hurt it’s nichemarket

for now it’s good, I keep soldiering on
Great. Especially now.

Lol I spend so much time shilling it with other channels and it’s in my bio
doh! my bad....

Haha yeah the guy in SA was on the same record label as I was back in 2011 when I first started producing music properly and I wrote the newsletters/blogs for that label, he maintained the label site and the label owner was free to then build connections and grow the label (fond memories). Then I said I'd like to have my own blog and he just set it up for me, showed me how WP worked and that was it!

I couldn't tell the first thing about coding, Ed does all that haha! But yeah, if you need it, let me know, will put you in contact.

You don’t give up. That is awesome. Keep going!

Thanks, the way I see it I know what happens when I quit but I don’t know what happens if I keep going so might as well find out

Oh and thanks for the tip

It honestly isn't easy not to give up or throw in the towel no matter how many motivational quotes you may have read or come across especially when faced with reality. Wish you all the best. .

You've done better then I mate :-)

Running my own business would be one of the better struggles I think, I mean that way I am at least choosing the struggle and not allowing myself to be a cog for people who don't even know who I am.

Perhaps in the future, right now I am slowly entering into the crypto market to begin to build an investment.

You’re right and I think it’s up to people to decide which struggle they find better! I don’t know how these other people do the own business laptop lifestyle with only money they earn but for me that hasn’t been the reality

I work every day of the week, I’ve taken like two short holidays since but other than that it’s just been work

I’m glad you’re trying it out, maybe use some HIVE just to stack some Sats too! I think getting used to using it is an important part of getting into the space!

Yes we can sit on it and wait to sell but you don’t want to make that your first sale when it’s all frantic and slow networks! I think it’s also about learning how to use it all!

Glad you didn't give up👍

In glad too, once you see you can overcome it you become a lot tougher and less things phase you

When someone without an entrepreneur background looks at this post, it would say that you were stubborn and push through 5 attempts until you see the result... But, what they don't know is all the other obstacles that you didn't write down in this post, and you probably had... lol...

Great post, and it's usually as you said... But, only the most persistent do this and succeed... A lot of obstacles, mistakes, wrong moves, but finally, the results come if you push through all that...

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Lol spot on, I didn’t want to bore people with all the minute details but there’s nights when you second guess, Days when you want to give up, it’s been a crazy 4 years and hoping the next 4 will be ones of progress too

I think at points you have to believe so hard that any other person would quit and you have to keep going!

It’s not a path without hard lessons

Perseverance requires patience my man. You have the right mindset that is required for success so I believe that as long as you are willing to continue grinding and hustling to see great success in life, you'll eventually receive it 💪!

I hope so, It was never a smooth ride but I’ve never enjoyed it for the most part and don’t regret it!

I’ll keep grinding as long as I can possibly do it, either I go nuts or make something of this

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