Over the years I’ve learned a lot about business from ventures that I embarked upon. Many were not profitable or successful by society’s standards but I learned a lot about business along the way. Others would have continued to be very successful but I moved in other directions taking with me only the “lessons learned”. These ventures included network marketing (Amway, Natures Edge, and Nikken). I also developed a successful veterinary supplies catalog business (Discount Vet Supply) that was later merged with Animal Health Alliance, my first attempt at merging 4 successful small businesses, owned by separate individuals, into a singular catalog supply company. Publishing costs were high back then but we secured agreements with product manufacturers that ran ads in our catalog offsetting printing costs. Today they would be internet companies but three decades ago no one had heard of the internet and catalog purchasing was at the time – the wave of the future. I’ve probably forgotten the names of a few of my other ventures but not the lessons.
Lessons Learned: You’ll learn something from everything you do, every business you start. Take those lessons and build upon them, and if you’re up against a larger company competing for your customers find a way to beat them at their own game.