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What is your startup story? What stage are you at? What were/are the major barriers to your success?

journey Starting a business can be daunting, isolating, stressful, it can also be very rewarding, fun and life changing.

Every business has to start somewhere. For some the journey is straightforward and success comes quickly but for most it can be a long drawn out battle (mentally, physically and financially). What is it that drives someone to want to start out on their own? What keeps them motivated when times are hard?

No two journeys are ever the same and that's what makes them interesting. Some of the best, most inspirational movies out there are those that tell the story of someone, who against all the odds, achieves success.

We love David and Goliath battles where the little person wins, we love reading about people who (against all the good advice of family and friends) pursue a dream and make it a reality, we love watching inspirational YouTube videos from people who have made it, overcame hurdles and are now sharing their tips for success. Motivational speakers and others willing to pass on their knowledge have never been more in demand.


Share your startup story


Wherever you are at in your journey we would love to hear it. Whether you are just starting out and full of anxiety, have a flourishing business and are now prepared to share some wisdom, or are somewhere in between - possibly still battling against the odds and not knowing where to go next.

We are particularly interested in startups within the real estate industry which includes suppliers to the industry. If your not sure what to cover then here are some questions to get you started.

  1. When did you come up with the idea to start your business and what was the inspiration?
  2. What was the original concept and is it still the same?
  3. How did you fund it (bootstrap/savings, loans, investment, crowdfunding etc.) 
  4. What impact has this journey had on you, your family and friends?
  5. Has the process had any impact on you personally in terms of health and well-being? 
  6. What were/are your main barriers to success (if you overcome them how did you achieve this)?
  7. What support did you receive and how useful was it?
  8. What kind of support do you wish you had/could have to help you with your business?
  9. What would you do different? What are your biggest regrets?
  10. What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a business?


The following video is brilliant/must watch - most startups will definitely be able to relate to this


How to submit your startup story 


To add your story simply register (a Basic User account is fine and is totally free) and then come back to the Startup Stories section and select Add article at the top right of the page - that's it.

Prefer to submit a video? That's fine too. Simply submit it to the videos section of our site under startup stories.

You can register as a service provider if you want to promote your business in the Marketplace - this is free for your first 6 months

Otherwise, just email us your story and we will publish it on your behalf.


We look forward to receiving your stories!

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Comments 18

Guest - bizman on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 16:13

This would be interesting. I am not brave enough yet to put myself out there (sorry guys) as we are still in the battling to survive and open doors phase. So much stuff out there bangs on about the amazing things that can happen if you start your own business, this is our experience so far.

My Uni friend and I started a new business nearly 4 years ago. We live in Canada. We still just about make ends meet. Fresh out of uni we didn't have a huge amount of money, we just had this idea. Ours is an online business that provides an on demand service for agents. I don't want to give anything more away for fear of competitors with stacks of money stealing our idea. Greg (not his real name) is an IT grad and took care of all the techie stuff. I studied engineering. Neither prepared us for what was to come (my engineering helps not one bit). couldn't afford office space so have worked out of both our homes for the entire time. Greg still lives at home and I share a small flat with my (very patient) girlfriend.

Some days we just want to throw in the towel and other days we get this massive buzz. We have both had to learn loads of new skills like marketing and sales which neither of us are comfortable with. The effects of rejection when someone slams the phone down on you before you even get a chance to speak is bad and can put you on a downer for the rest of the day. We, well mostly me get so many 'oh not another one' responses and the more polite say send me it in an email and never get back. We were both pretty cool with social media anyway, but using it as yourself and using it as a business are two different beasts. Friends got sick of our posts about it saying enough guys! So we are still learning there.

It is all very disheartening particularly given that those who do buy take on our service are really happy with it. We ask them to pass our details on to others but they rarely do and we put it down to the fact that agents wont tell other agents about something good as they want to keep a competitive edge.

We tried to get funding just over 2 years ago but was unsuccessful. To be honest our pitch was dreadful, we didn't know our numbers and didn't have a proper plan. We thought the idea would sell itself - because we knew it was good so other would see the same right? WRONG. The experience crucified us. We have considered crowdfunding but not sure how it works and after our first experience we are wary. So to finish by answering a couple of your questions.

What was the original concept and is it still the same?
The idea we started out with was considerably different from the initial one. We feel it became much better.

How did you fund it (bootstrap/savings, loans, investment, crowdfunding etc.)
Parents, part time work

What impact has this journey had on you, your family and friends?
We would both agree it feels like we have aged a hundred years. The stress is incredible. The fear of failure keeps me awake at night. We miss out on most of the social events, parties and haven't had holidays. On my girlfriend it has a financial impact as she pays most of the bills. She is cool and believes in what we are doing and is as frustrated as me that it hasn't got to where it should be by now.
Has the process had any impact on you personally in terms of health and well-being?
Yes, me more than Greg as I wasn't as confident as him to start with. It is mostly the rejection bit.

What were/are your main barriers to success (if you overcome them how did you achieve this)?
Getting enough time with principals to tell them about or demonstrate our service. Money we just about survive, no real business skills, no pitching skills, poor at marketing and sales.

What support did you receive and how useful was it?
Other than family helping towards the funding in the early days we haven't had any support. We did go to a couple of events and got one client but again we were unsure about how to approach. We have lined up some more events and working on a different approach. Ideally we need a stand but the costs are way beyond our budget of zero!

What kind of support do you wish you had/could have to help you with your business?
First of all some kind of funding or loan that we didn't have to pay back straight away or at all . Training in things like marketing and sales until we can afford to pay someone, training in other areas too. Somewhere we can share our thoughts and ideas and get emotional support. Friends switch off soon as we mention the business because it hasn't made it big time like we originally said it would, big mistake. Something like this site would be pretty cool over here

What would you do different? What are your biggest regrets?
Some days it would be not to have started it in the first place. But when we get feedback it drives us on.

What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a business?
Don't go into it thinking it will be an instant hit as we did. Be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Believe in your idea 100% as the passion is what gets you through from one day to the next.

This would be interesting. I am not brave enough yet to put myself out there (sorry guys) as we are still in the battling to survive and open doors phase. So much stuff out there bangs on about the amazing things that can happen if you start your own business, this is our experience so far. My Uni friend and I started a new business nearly 4 years ago. We live in Canada. We still just about make ends meet. Fresh out of uni we didn't have a huge amount of money, we just had this idea. Ours is an online business that provides an on demand service for agents. I don't want to give anything more away for fear of competitors with stacks of money stealing our idea. Greg (not his real name) is an IT grad and took care of all the techie stuff. I studied engineering. Neither prepared us for what was to come (my engineering helps not one bit). couldn't afford office space so have worked out of both our homes for the entire time. Greg still lives at home and I share a small flat with my (very patient) girlfriend. Some days we just want to throw in the towel and other days we get this massive buzz. We have both had to learn loads of new skills like marketing and sales which neither of us are comfortable with. The effects of rejection when someone slams the phone down on you before you even get a chance to speak is bad and can put you on a downer for the rest of the day. We, well mostly me get so many 'oh not another one' responses and the more polite say send me it in an email and never get back. We were both pretty cool with social media anyway, but using it as yourself and using it as a business are two different beasts. Friends got sick of our posts about it saying enough guys! So we are still learning there. It is all very disheartening particularly given that those who do buy take on our service are really happy with it. We ask them to pass our details on to others but they rarely do and we put it down to the fact that agents wont tell other agents about something good as they want to keep a competitive edge. We tried to get funding just over 2 years ago but was unsuccessful. To be honest our pitch was dreadful, we didn't know our numbers and didn't have a proper plan. We thought the idea would sell itself - because we knew it was good so other would see the same right? WRONG. The experience crucified us. We have considered crowdfunding but not sure how it works and after our first experience we are wary. So to finish by answering a couple of your questions. What was the original concept and is it still the same? The idea we started out with was considerably different from the initial one. We feel it became much better. How did you fund it (bootstrap/savings, loans, investment, crowdfunding etc.) Parents, part time work What impact has this journey had on you, your family and friends? We would both agree it feels like we have aged a hundred years. The stress is incredible. The fear of failure keeps me awake at night. We miss out on most of the social events, parties and haven't had holidays. On my girlfriend it has a financial impact as she pays most of the bills. She is cool and believes in what we are doing and is as frustrated as me that it hasn't got to where it should be by now. Has the process had any impact on you personally in terms of health and well-being? Yes, me more than Greg as I wasn't as confident as him to start with. It is mostly the rejection bit. What were/are your main barriers to success (if you overcome them how did you achieve this)? Getting enough time with principals to tell them about or demonstrate our service. Money we just about survive, no real business skills, no pitching skills, poor at marketing and sales. What support did you receive and how useful was it? Other than family helping towards the funding in the early days we haven't had any support. We did go to a couple of events and got one client but again we were unsure about how to approach. We have lined up some more events and working on a different approach. Ideally we need a stand but the costs are way beyond our budget of zero! What kind of support do you wish you had/could have to help you with your business? First of all some kind of funding or loan that we didn't have to pay back straight away or at all :). Training in things like marketing and sales until we can afford to pay someone, training in other areas too. Somewhere we can share our thoughts and ideas and get emotional support. Friends switch off soon as we mention the business because it hasn't made it big time like we originally said it would, big mistake. Something like this site would be pretty cool over here What would you do different? What are your biggest regrets? Some days it would be not to have started it in the first place. But when we get feedback it drives us on. What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a business? Don't go into it thinking it will be an instant hit as we did. Be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Believe in your idea 100% as the passion is what gets you through from one day to the next.
Guest - joel on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 16:30

We are in Spain simula story. Feel your pain man!

We are in Spain simula story. Feel your pain man!
Guest - Callum on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 16:40

Hey bosman you story could be ours. 4 of us. Took us 5 years before we started making proper money. Hang in there dude. We got an investor who opened doors. Before that it was as you say. Think the message here is that you need people on the inside who can make those connections for you so something that helps that happen is needed. Good luck and don't give up

Hey bosman you story could be ours. 4 of us. Took us 5 years before we started making proper money. Hang in there dude. We got an investor who opened doors. Before that it was as you say. Think the message here is that you need people on the inside who can make those connections for you so something that helps that happen is needed. Good luck and don't give up
Guest - Kendra on Friday, 19 April 2019 03:38

Your advice is true. We thought we would be earning by now but can see it will be another 6 months at least before that happens and even then the money would need to go back in to the business. It will be worth it in the end I keep telling myself/ourselves

Your advice is true. We thought we would be earning by now but can see it will be another 6 months at least before that happens and even then the money would need to go back in to the business. It will be worth it in the end I keep telling myself/ourselves
Guest - Gavin NY on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 17:21

bis #metoo
I was thinking just the other day about the way legals offer probono and it got me thinking. Some of the successful companies out there that have the skills and services entrepreneurs need early on could offer what they do for a small number of startups for free or payback when can. Think about it guys, it is a great marketing opportunity. If you are in advertising and your campaign took a startup from zero to hero how good would that look! It is easier to promote a big brand than a nobody and would show just how good your company is. It could potentially be part of training up new intakes and looks good giving newbies a helping hand just a thought

bis #metoo I was thinking just the other day about the way legals offer probono and it got me thinking. Some of the successful companies out there that have the skills and services entrepreneurs need early on could offer what they do for a small number of startups for free or payback when can. Think about it guys, it is a great marketing opportunity. If you are in advertising and your campaign took a startup from zero to hero how good would that look! It is easier to promote a big brand than a nobody and would show just how good your company is. It could potentially be part of training up new intakes and looks good giving newbies a helping hand just a thought
Guest - Terri on Thursday, 04 April 2019 15:04

Gavin I like the idea but in practice I don't think companies would be up for it, not here in Darwin at least. Someone tell me otherwise?

Gavin I like the idea but in practice I don't think companies would be up for it, not here in Darwin at least. Someone tell me otherwise?
Guest - dancollins on Friday, 19 April 2019 03:21

OMFG the man in the video could be telling my story. Every thing he says rings true for me. I kinda got a bit depressed watching it but when i got to the end I felt better. It is hard but it is also worth it. We have just turned a corner and are now thankfully making profit

OMFG the man in the video could be telling my story. Every thing he says rings true for me. I kinda got a bit depressed watching it but when i got to the end I felt better. It is hard but it is also worth it. We have just turned a corner and are now thankfully making profit
Guest - Kendra on Friday, 19 April 2019 03:35

Agree felt like he was explaining my life. This is exactly what we are going through now. Not easy with no money coming in but everyone says our business idea is good so we just keep plugging away. Where do we actually submit our story on here or is it in these comments?

Agree felt like he was explaining my life. This is exactly what we are going through now. Not easy with no money coming in but everyone says our business idea is good so we just keep plugging away. Where do we actually submit our story on here or is it in these comments?
Linktosale on Friday, 19 April 2019 03:42

Hi Kendra,

sorry if it isn't clear. Basically you need to register (very quick and you can if you want to use your preferred social media account). Then when registered come back here and select the Add Article at top right of page. Any problems please get in touch.

We are compiling the stories/journeys people are sending us and will publish them soon as finished.

Hi Kendra, sorry if it isn't clear. Basically you need to register (very quick and you can if you want to use your preferred social media account). Then when registered come back here and select the Add Article at top right of page. Any problems please get in touch. We are compiling the stories/journeys people are sending us and will publish them soon as finished.
Guest - thomasdar on Friday, 19 April 2019 14:48

I lost a lot of friends in my quest to start my own business as I became withdrawn when things didn't work. I felt a total failure and like I was the butt of all jokes. No one knew how dangerously low I was. It wasn't just the financial struggle, but having no one to share the battles with. No place to go for support or a boost when I needed a pick me up.

What he says in the video is so true. I thought it would be so easy. I had a great idea, everyone agreed. Launched my business thinking great idea everyone will want to use it. Not true. That is when I had to self teach how to market. I watched every video read every article. Tried most of the suggestions. Still nothing and got accused of spamming everywhere I tried to promote my business. I realized marketing is a skill I don't have as it just isn't me. The problem is what do you do? If you can't afford a marketing service or person then you can only do it yourself.

Then one day someone contacted me out the blue and said she liked what I was doing and would I be interested in partnering. I hadn't even considered partnering but now I was. Her company offered complimentary services to mine and by agreeing a partnership it opened up her clients to me. That is where I got my break and I am eternally greatful to her.

If more businesses looked at how they could partner with each other it might help give both sides a kickstart. Also, a lot of the businesses that have already gone through this process know how hard it is in the begining. So when someone reaches out to you it might seem like spamming but look beyond their message and see if there is anything you can do to give them that first bit of help. They will never forget you and you may get paid back tenfold in the future as a result or get that helping hand back when you need it. That's my thoughts on this.

I will say it does eventually become rewarding. 'I' has now become a team of 10 and although it is still tough it is a nice kind of tough where we learn new things every day. I eventually hired a marketing graduate who has done amazing things for us. Before that I tried one of those dial out services but that wasn't good for us. I think have her in house is better because she feels part of the team and puts 100% of herself into every campaign and idea she comes up with.

I lost a lot of friends in my quest to start my own business as I became withdrawn when things didn't work. I felt a total failure and like I was the butt of all jokes. No one knew how dangerously low I was. It wasn't just the financial struggle, but having no one to share the battles with. No place to go for support or a boost when I needed a pick me up. What he says in the video is so true. I thought it would be so easy. I had a great idea, everyone agreed. Launched my business thinking great idea everyone will want to use it. Not true. That is when I had to self teach how to market. I watched every video read every article. Tried most of the suggestions. Still nothing and got accused of spamming everywhere I tried to promote my business. I realized marketing is a skill I don't have as it just isn't me. The problem is what do you do? If you can't afford a marketing service or person then you can only do it yourself. Then one day someone contacted me out the blue and said she liked what I was doing and would I be interested in partnering. I hadn't even considered partnering but now I was. Her company offered complimentary services to mine and by agreeing a partnership it opened up her clients to me. That is where I got my break and I am eternally greatful to her. If more businesses looked at how they could partner with each other it might help give both sides a kickstart. Also, a lot of the businesses that have already gone through this process know how hard it is in the begining. So when someone reaches out to you it might seem like spamming but look beyond their message and see if there is anything you can do to give them that first bit of help. They will never forget you and you may get paid back tenfold in the future as a result or get that helping hand back when you need it. That's my thoughts on this. I will say it does eventually become rewarding. 'I' has now become a team of 10 and although it is still tough it is a nice kind of tough where we learn new things every day. I eventually hired a marketing graduate who has done amazing things for us. Before that I tried one of those dial out services but that wasn't good for us. I think have her in house is better because she feels part of the team and puts 100% of herself into every campaign and idea she comes up with.
Guest - Property Man on Saturday, 20 April 2019 13:03

Tomas it was a similar for us. It took over 2 years and we were just about to pull the plug when an investor who has since become a good friend stepped in from no where! If you are passionate about your idea then keep going. I read only today about Uber and a few others who are still loosing money yet valued in the billions. Also if you read some of the founding stories of amazom, ali baba and others you will see they went through these very struggles.

Tomas it was a similar for us. It took over 2 years and we were just about to pull the plug when an investor who has since become a good friend stepped in from no where! If you are passionate about your idea then keep going. I read only today about Uber and a few others who are still loosing money yet valued in the billions. Also if you read some of the founding stories of amazom, ali baba and others you will see they went through these very struggles. :D
Guest - themap on Saturday, 20 April 2019 19:09

This might be a little off topic as it is about support and not the journeys but for those of you who don't know there are lots of support for startups and growth here in Australia. For example here in Melbourne we have the Melbourne Accelerator Programme: the https://www.themap.co/ and lots of other business support services. If you search for accelerators in your area sure you will find one

This might be a little off topic as it is about support and not the journeys but for those of you who don't know there are lots of support for startups and growth here in Australia. For example here in Melbourne we have the Melbourne Accelerator Programme: the https://www.themap.co/ and lots of other business support services. If you search for accelerators in your area sure you will find one
Guest - 3rdtimelucky! on Saturday, 20 April 2019 21:17

Some of these experiences we have been through. Our first 2 businesses failed but we are now making good progress with the third and hopefully this one will survive. The problem with the first 2 which were both tech startups is we only knew about tech and not enough about the industry we were building our apps for. The thing is, where we failed another company made the idea a success which was a massive blow. The reason they succeeded with the same idea is they had lots of dollar to throw at it. We were students with the first one, graduated when starting the second one and now in our early 30s on our 3rd one.
@GavinNY your idea would have been good for us as we sucked at marketing. From what I read all over the internet if you don't get that right you don't have a business. We had a great idea and lack of money and marketing expertise let us down. If we could have barted back then it would've give us a fighting chance.
The BIG problem for any startup is finance. If we could hire or buy the services we needed to grow our business we might have had success with our first idea. Good luck all on your journeys!

Some of these experiences we have been through. Our first 2 businesses failed but we are now making good progress with the third and hopefully this one will survive. The problem with the first 2 which were both tech startups is we only knew about tech and not enough about the industry we were building our apps for. The thing is, where we failed another company made the idea a success which was a massive blow. The reason they succeeded with the same idea is they had lots of dollar to throw at it. We were students with the first one, graduated when starting the second one and now in our early 30s on our 3rd one. @GavinNY your idea would have been good for us as we sucked at marketing. From what I read all over the internet if you don't get that right you don't have a business. We had a great idea and lack of money and marketing expertise let us down. If we could have barted back then it would've give us a fighting chance. The BIG problem for any startup is finance. If we could hire or buy the services we needed to grow our business we might have had success with our first idea. Good luck all on your journeys!
Guest - ScottQLD on Saturday, 20 April 2019 22:03

My brother sent me the link. We are based in Queensland in proptech (an app) and could use the exposure. Can we add our video pitch? We did this for an investment round but were unsuccessful but it explains our app. Where do we sign up for the free 12 months for our story?

My brother sent me the link. We are based in Queensland in proptech (an app) and could use the exposure. Can we add our video pitch? We did this for an investment round but were unsuccessful but it explains our app. Where do we sign up for the free 12 months for our story?
Linktosale on Saturday, 20 April 2019 22:10

Hi Scott,
please follow the email us link in the article.

Hi Scott, please follow the email us link in the article.
Guest - paulsam on Saturday, 20 April 2019 23:46

Me and my partner Sam are both 47 and broke away from really good careers in real estate to start a business. Everything felt right like the stars were aligned and all that. We went through the most horrendous period of our relationship and life. Luckily we never had kids so we didn't have that to contend with. Thankfully we came out the other side. If someone asked me 2 years ago I would say don't go there but now we are at the other end I would say definitely give it a go. It was hard I mean really hard but now when we look back we both feel very proud of what we achieved.

Me and my partner Sam are both 47 and broke away from really good careers in real estate to start a business. Everything felt right like the stars were aligned and all that. We went through the most horrendous period of our relationship and life. Luckily we never had kids so we didn't have that to contend with. Thankfully we came out the other side. If someone asked me 2 years ago I would say don't go there but now we are at the other end I would say definitely give it a go. It was hard I mean really hard but now when we look back we both feel very proud of what we achieved.
Guest - Vic on Sunday, 21 April 2019 06:09

I needed this

I needed this
Guest - Harry on Monday, 06 May 2019 02:16

We started our company back in Feb 2018. It has been a tough year! We are a tech startup in the real estate sector. We had what we thought was a fantastic idea but we are struggling to get signups. It is no doubt marketing. We don't know how or where to promote our company, we don't have the funds to pay a marketing agency. We are in this trap. I saw events that we could attend but they want upwards of $800 per person. How can we afford that as a startup? I saw a similar event in Europe and US, same problem. Too pricey for startups. Maybe those in Europe/US have more support in the early days so they can afford those prices?

Where is this support for getting a business up and running? Here in Australia there isn't any that I can find. Every offer of support results in a cost we cannot bear. Nothing is free, I get it. But please please please don't say you are supporting us when in fact you are just looking to generate money for your 'business support' organisation. We need real help if you want us to grow the economy. Investing in startups in their early days is the way to do it. If you don't, many like our business will fail and the economy stagnates as we can never grow unless big companies bring in new things. Help us please.

I don't know if it is the same where others are in US, Europe etc. but it certainly sucks over here.

We started our company back in Feb 2018. It has been a tough year! We are a tech startup in the real estate sector. We had what we thought was a fantastic idea but we are struggling to get signups. It is no doubt marketing. We don't know how or where to promote our company, we don't have the funds to pay a marketing agency. We are in this trap. I saw events that we could attend but they want upwards of $800 per person. How can we afford that as a startup? I saw a similar event in Europe and US, same problem. Too pricey for startups. Maybe those in Europe/US have more support in the early days so they can afford those prices? Where is this support for getting a business up and running? Here in Australia there isn't any that I can find. Every offer of support results in a cost we cannot bear. Nothing is free, I get it. But please please please don't say you are supporting us when in fact you are just looking to generate money for your 'business support' organisation. We need real help if you want us to grow the economy. Investing in startups in their early days is the way to do it. If you don't, many like our business will fail and the economy stagnates as we can never grow unless big companies bring in new things. Help us please. I don't know if it is the same where others are in US, Europe etc. but it certainly sucks over here.
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