First of all, thank you for having the courage to share your fail story publicly! Unfortunately, many people still see failure as something to be ashamed of and they prefer not to talk about it. That’s why I am immensely grateful that you decided to openly share your experience with us here on FailuresAnonymous.
Miha: So, without further ado, let’s just jump into the interview.
Now, my first question for you is: What was life like before your big failure?
Quin: To be completely honest before my big failure life was average. I had a 6 figure job in the Oil and Gas industry, a baby girl, a house with a mortgage, and spent my free time watching TV or playing video games.
M: How was your big failure and how did it make you feel?
Q: Fortunately, I’ve had several failures (most people say, unfortunately) but the one that changed my mentality the most was one that occurred in 2015.
I decided to start another business. I’ve started several businesses in the past as I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I actually started selling online in 1997, making my eBay account one of the oldest that still exists.
But, this business idea was “bigger” and “better” so, the initial investment was also bigger. I was going to start a Coffee company, but not just coffee! It was going to be a 100% natural and healthy coffee that would make you lose weight and give you energy.
I bought my most expensive domain to date $950 USD for the domain, then started developing a special and unique theme for my Shopify store.
Since I was dealing with vendors on Alibaba for over 10 years I thought I had it all figured out… I would find a coffee producer, buy coffee from them and ship to a laboratory in China that would mix with the best natural extracts known to man.
The process wasn’t as simple as it sounded, as the first several mixes tasted very very very bad!
So we kept going back and forth with the amounts of each extract, that had to be enough to produce an effect, but at the same time still taste like coffee.
The lad was sending me daily parcels by plane with coffee mix samples ($35 per day on shipping starts to add up to).
Meanwhile, I was working on packaging. The original package was a Tin can, just like a can of paint. But after all testing and designing, we realized it would not fit with the brand’s “save the planet” mentality, so we redesigned the can to be recyclable corrugated cardboard, and put the first 5000 to production.
But, there was more!!! I didn’t have a label that met the FDA, and Health Canada requirements to be cleared at customs.
Besides the can, we had health concerns by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that didn’t see this has a coffee product anymore but wanted it to be declared a novelty product.
The bills increased every day, and now I had many thousands of dollars burning in wrong packaging, new labeling, food inspections and customs daily warehousing charges.
There was a point when I thought “I should quit now”
But I figured I was probably closer to the end than to the beginning so I kept going.
I thought to myself “what else could go wrong?” and when anyone asks that question, something else goes wrong!
I received a call from Google Adwords advisor that they would not allow me to use AdWords as the advertising platform for a product that had weight loss claims!
And then I received the message from my USA distribution channel that my “Weight Loss” product was not allowed to be sold by them. Even Pinterest turned me down!
My emotions? I was blaming everyone else, but myself. I was so mad at the customs agents, shipping companies, distributions channels, Pinterest, Amazon… everyone.
I was having a hard time falling asleep because I would constantly think about what was wrong, instead of focusing on how to fix it.
M: What was the WHY that motivated you to go ahead and battle all those demons? Could you tell us a bit more about how you bounced back and what techniques did you use to do that?
Q: This is the point where I listened to my first podcast ever. I was so shocked to hear so much knowledge for free!
I used to constantly ask myself “where have I been all these years that I never heard a podcast”
I started following influential people, getting mentors and reading about it.
Most of the motivational speakers I watched on Youtube or listened on podcats always said stuff like “take action”, “get it done”, “You can do it”
I started imagining myself selling on Amazon, and I started emailing them between 3 to 7 times every day until someone approved it.
I contacted an agency in the USA that fixed all the FDA issues I had, and printed a sticker label FDA approved that would go over the existing cans.
M: Who is Quin today after championing failure? Tell us a bit about what you do today and please share information where our readers can find you.
Q: My product was changed to meet all the safety standards and is now for sale in Canada, USA, and Japan.
Now, I have over 50 private label products selling online, with distribution in several countries, but never created another food product.
I am also a podcaster myself now because I want to help others keep going.
I podcast daily at Q&A Selling Online, and also interview entrepreneurs about their failures at Fail Fast Podcast on iTunes and Google Play.
M: Is there anything else that you would like to add? Any particular lesson you would like to share? Feel free to share any words of wisdom you find appropriate for our readers.
Q: The main lesson I learned is that failing is just the adult word for learning. It’s only a failure when you stop trying because if you get up and keep trying until you succeed, it’s not a failure, it just took a bit longer to get to success
So, this was Quin Amorim openly talking about his failures, his WHY, his motivation, and some lessons learned.
Sometimes we can put faces to the stories and sometimes it is still too early and that’s why you can share your story anonymously.
But if you feel like talking openly about it then do contact me and we will arrange an interview just like the one above.
You can always reach me by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.