The $100k Addiction That Destroyed My Business & Health | Entrepreneur mistake

The $100k Addiction That Destroyed My Business & Health | Entrepreneur mistake

mistakes they’re an unavoidable part of
entrepreneurship and in life but they’re necessary right failure is a fuel it’s a
bigger the mistake the bigger the lesson so today I’m opening up we’re gonna get
personal I’m gonna share one of my biggest and my most embarrassing
mistakes that you don’t have to go through and relive it so this is the
story of how a few bad decisions became an addiction that destroyed my business
and my health what’s the bet for our builders JT Franco here the no bullshit
Amazon seller if you’re new here welcome and if you’re already Empire Builder and
welcome back hopefully your empire is going strong on this is the no bullshit
tale on my life and some of the mistakes that I made that’s almost like destroyed
my success all right so I’m sharing this rather personal story because I know
that a lot of you watching this if you’re watching my channel we probably
share a lot of the same goals a lot of same vision a lot of same reason that
we’re doing what we’re doing right trying to try to chase the success
dragon okay now I’m gonna start with that start with my goals so when I
started out I wanted to just live a big life right since I was a kid I’ve always
wanted to live a life that’s not that’s extraordinary that’s not normal right we
only got one shot at this and I want to make sure it’s a good shot since I was
kid I watched you know Wall Street I watched the fabulous life MTV Cribs and
wanted to do extraordinary have exotic vacations have cool things and I’ve also
always appreciated the value of time right so now I was a kid I would always
play hockey with my dad at home but he always had to work long hours you had to
work multiple jobs and whenever you know whenever he was working overtime we
never got to you know whenever at the chill we never got to play hockey and I
always thought hey would it be cool if we were just had a log bunch of money we
were rich and we could just have fun all the time right so if those kind of goals
are aligned with you you know you appreciate time you want to have more
money to do the things that you want to do then you need to pay attention to
this because for people like us this is an easy trap to fall into these are easy
mistakes to make so it all starts with Amazon FBA when I first started finding
my success I was an ambitious kid with not many skills and just a little bit of
money a few thousand dollars to my name and I wanted to attack his business
model so I went after it right and I was always been
a frugal kid so I when I started finding getting you know I started getting a
return of my money I was always reinvesting saving it
reinvesting it always being smart I made sure to rent it as cheap as house I
rented a Shack that was falling apart paint chipping on the walls would the
floors were coming apart and I was just living a very small lifestyle minimizing
my cost so I could spend as much money as I could on Amazon and I started
working right I started getting huge return they started seeing nice healthy
profits and having run away products and within you know a few months I was I
cracked six figures and then I started documenting my journey on this very
channel right and so I had a lot of things going for me that was Chan
started growing and it was all looking up and once I started getting success is
when the bad decisions started coming around and that’s a common theme I see a
lot of entrepreneurs make because one started getting success you don’t really
know to do it especially if you’ve never been successful with anything before so
I started making a lot of bad decisions okay now here’s the first one the more
and more success like got the more time I had to spend right I had this daily
routine and we’ll come back to it later but I had a daily routine and every
single day there was more hours I need to be put into it and as life things
started getting the weighing things with family things at home start getting the
way I wanted to spend less time on my business Island I wanted to remove
myself as much as I could for my business and that’s was deadly mistake
number one I went out and I wanted to make it as passive as I could because
again I was chasing that dream of living this lavish lifestyle where I could go
on vacations and and be have passive income streams and not have to work so
much so I’m like hey I think you know I’m making enough money I can go ahead
and start handing this off and start handing off some of the tasks and I went
out and I found an expert okay so I started looking for experts and I hired
one to take over my business essentially now there is the problem okay it’s okay
to find experts but the job of an expert is to advise your business but I what I
wanted to do was have someone take over my business not only did I have him take
over the day-to-day the menial tasks but I also wanted had him work on growth and
this kind of stuff that was really my duty right because if your business is
your baby taking on an expert is like hiring a baby
Reyna I wanted to have this expert because the next part of my steak is
that I want to piece off and take a vacation I wanted to leave and I want to
go to Asia and do that so I wanted someone to take over my business so I
didn’t have to work on it as much as possible right and that was the first
domino in my failures now the worst part about all this is that that expert
someone that I thought was proven someone that I thought had results he
cost me twenty five thousand dollars up front and then five thousand dollars
every single month so it was a hefty investment and I thought I was being
smart right I thought I was like you know never be the smartest guy in the
room I take on as much help as you can you know streamline your business
optimize optimize optimizing I was telling myself all these things that I
could really at the core I wanted to be passive I was being lazy honestly and I
took this business that was growing and rapidly building month after month and I
hand it off to someone else and the key the one important thing to remember is
that no matter what you do it’s always okay dad you know I guess I said find
experts to advise you but they’re never gonna care about your business as much
as you will right it’s your business your baby
they’re not gonna once they got that fee for the most part they’re not gonna care
about it that’s why even for me as an Amazon expert someone who helps people
with their Amazon business I’m never going to take a product launch of yours
and and and do it on my own I’m never I never have a streamlined process of hey
I’ll I’ll launch the product for you I’ll get it I’ll do this and this and
this for you build your business for you because at the end of the day it’s your
business and what I want to do is give you advice and share my expertise and
share my skills so you can take from them and build on your own but I’ll
never want to you know take the your entire business bull by the horns and
and write it myself because at the end of the day it’s your business I have my
own business to deal with that’s why advice number one never hand
off your business somewhere else there’s never gonna be a savior right he might
seem like oh hey I can get you to do this I you know I’ve done this for other
businesses and get your products here I can get you featured in this match in
this publication I can you know grow your follower I can grow your brand
following all these different things and I got greedy right I wanted I got greedy
and I wanted speed and I mix those two things and I wanted more and I wanted
faster and that burned me okay so mistake number one handing your business
off too early if you want to be passive if you want to optimize your
business you gotta do it from within right hire your people develop your
business culture you know have the right systems and and and in place that you’ve
created so that your business runs under your management and under your
supervision and under your vision right don’t hang up someone else otherwise
you’ll get burnt and the next thing is that when I did that I went off to Asia now there’s a few things with that Asia
trip that was necessary because you know I had family problems at home and I want
to just leave the country so that was fine but I didn’t have to stay as long
as I did and this is when the addiction happened I was always like I said a
frugal person I was always happy to live you know under my means and save as much
as possible so I can reinvest into my business but once I left for Asia all of
a sudden things started turning I thought like hey I’m a big shot I’m you
know I travelled first-class I got someone running my managing my business
I got passive income streams coming I’m getting paid as I go so I started
spending money and I started spending it hard and fast and this mistake is what
I’ll call celebrating too early I was just like a year in to my business I was
making six figures and I was like holy smokes look at me I’m a hotshot right so
I started you know I was living lavishly I was I was doing how this luxury
vacation for four months I spent traveling the world and for four months
I spent not really giving a damn about growing my business I was supposed I got
lazy I got complacent I let this expert do it
for me he really wasn’t doing anything I stopped uploading to this to this
channel and I thought you know I’m just gonna live my life and this is the life
I’ve always wanted this is life I always imagined for myself this MTV Cribs you
know the the fabulous life of and I can live this out live my dream right but it
was premature and when you go from spending nothing and working really hard
you feel like you deserve to spend this money and once you start spending it I
got addicted to spending the money I got addicted to to instant gratification I
got addicted to to having these nice things and
flexing on people and looking like I was this hotshot
all the while my business was dwindling my business was dying slowly you know I
was it was getting it was it wasn’t growing right it wasn’t going anywhere
from it went from doubling and and having growth month after month all of a
sudden just being flat and and actually declining over the course of this
vacation that I had and this is a common theme I see this a lot actually a lot of
people talk about this as when you start getting access you take your foot off
the pedal right you’re gassing your gas and your gassing it hard and then you
hit you finally get to your what you feel like is your destination and you
coast and once you coasts bad things start to happen I started spending money
as fast as it came in or I spent like 30 grand in Asia $1,500 dinners and like
thousand dollar a night like hotels and and traveling flying first when I really
didn’t have to when it was a three-hour flight to somewhere else it was just
ridiculous I felt like it was deserved but the really only thing that was
deserved was the pain that I would feel afterwards because I was just being
stupid and looking back I feel dumb I know some
of you watching this now I’m like wow you’re really weird um about that like
well that was a waste of money you know I thought you were smart guy
jay-z but that was stupid and the S I was I agree and I not only was it money
lost that was spent it was money that I could have invested into my business
again into other business venture that money I could have spent to you know
launch more products that I could have spent advertising do different things
and and grow my business to where to higher level than it is right now and
I’m still feeling that hurt four months of spent cash that went to garbage right
it was cool experiences it was definitely a fun time but I could be way
farther ahead with my business if I if I didn’t do that I actually reinvested and
what I should have been doing so please once you get successful I know
you will be like for those of you that know you’re gonna be successful you know
that you’re gonna take the steps that are needed and you aren’t scared you
you’re taking action once you get there don’t take your foot off the pedal it
gets tempting and once you you know you treat yourself that’s fine
but don’t get addicted to it because I just started like it was just like
trigger right I would just like hair-trigger on
on the credit cards on the cash on on everything and I was just going ham
right so don’t do that that’s the next biggest mistake and all the while I was
doing that I was letting my health slide I was gaining a lot of weight I was just
being an unhealthy person I’m gonna go back to Canada I felt like shit great my
business was declining for basically four months had no progression was going
on it was a on a downward Hill I gained a lot of weight I got fat I was just
unhealthy my skin was brutal my skin got bad worse than it is now even and my
this channel was dead I hadn’t uploaded and forever and everything was just
going downwards right I was just at a downward spiral and instead I made the
next mistake again Oh instead of picking it up and being motivated to go around I
felt a little depressed I felt like oh man I’m an idiot why did I do that and I
had a lot of regret and I just felt like oh that was that was dumb right so I
started going out now first need to know that in high school I never went out I
was a homebody I stayed at home it was a lone wolf and I always was working on
what I want my stuff I was high school I was starting a YouTube channel I was
doing gaming I was professionally as the professional gamer I never went out I
was kind of a loser all right I was basically a nerd in high school and I
never really party that wasn’t my scene but when I got back here I’m like you
know what let’s spend some more of this money because that’s what I like to do I
like the instant gratification and if I can’t have it in Asia I’m gonna do it
here I’m gonna live it up at home so all of a sudden I started going out I
started party and I joined this part of the party scene right it was totally is
wasn’t me and it was just something I want to do because I wanted that instant
gratification and this is again I trapped that we can all fall into and I
feel like a lot of entrepreneurs are falling into this it’s just this the
entrepreneur culture that’s going on right now or you know spending racks
making it rain you know make it a rain like this and glorifying that lifestyle
and I felt into that and I started spending more money on silly shit right
and going out partying I went to Coachella I spent like 15 G’s there I
went to radical I went to big I spent more money there I started buying dumb
shit like like thousand dollars for a pair of
glasses like really like really stupid ass stuff and what happened was I
started really valuing the opinion of other people I really started living for
what other people thought of me like OJT you know like all my old friends from
high school he dropped out and now he says he’s cool and now I’m using doing
this everyday and he’s he’s a baller he’s wearing louis vuitton and he’s like
stupid right dumb and i got trapped into that every weekend i would go out and
party and i would spend more money and at the end of it all including the trip
including all those vacations I took and everything I’m like a 100 grand I sunk a
hundred grand and I had nothing to show for it I had a business that I was just
chugging along right I had a YouTube channel that was declining I lost all my
games I started to look like shit and I was just unhealthy right and of course
in the party scene there’s other things that go on there luckily there’s no
addiction that came from that I just got addicted to validation of others I got
addicted to instant gratification and addicted to spending money and and
feeling like I was cool like feeling like a rich guy like they show on
Instagram and it’s a trap it’s a cycle especially once you’ve built success for
yourself it feels like something you should be doing what you’re supposed to
be doing right people did glorified version of entrepreneurship which is not
really about the grind in the hustle and building something big it’s about
flexing and and keeping up with the Joneses and I actually really for the
first time my life started trying to keep up with the Joneses and one day I
just sat down I was just sad I was just not happy I went from being this
ambitious person who dropped out of high school who built these businesses who
was feeling really fulfilled and helping other people and you know helping these
students in Empire Academy and every single day feeling happy waking up the
field and ready to attack the day see okay what’s my next goal what’s my next
moment a crush and and being really happy right all of a sudden I left my
and I had my business off and I spent a bunch of money and I had instant
gratification kind of things and then just being sad and everyday waking up
thinking about okay how could I spend my money next what’s a cool way what’s a
cool thing I can do today what’s a fun way to waste my time I attached so much
value to these items in these possessions that I had that I forgot who
I really was and I forgot what really mattered to
me and that’s when I kind of restart to my motivation I was able to pull myself
out of that life out of the the drenches there and and turn it around right I
started I got back on a daily routine a daily schedule and that habit small
habit of having a daily schedule changed everything for me
right I was able to start hitting the gym again every single morning I was
able to start building my business again to the where I was before and actually
start seeing growth I was started uploading as you noticed a lot in the
past few months every two days and I started building a team internally doing
things the right way so that you know I didn’t make those same mistakes now if I
tell you those mistakes probably over a hundred thousand dollars in stakes of
just money spent and honestly probably 200 300 500 thousand dollars of
potential lost so it was a costly mistake but I wouldn’t if I was to go
back I wouldn’t change it because it was a lesson that I learned but you don’t
have to learn that lesson the hard way the same way that I did you don’t have
to make that mistake of finally success and then falling into the entrepreneur
trap of spending and and instant gratification and being validated by the
others and and and keeping up with the Joneses you know what I mean because
that I tell you can get addicting that can get costly and that can really burn
a lot of your life right so I went through that for a few months and you
know that was a few months ago now that I was able to climb out of that and look
back now and see like wow like that was a shitty time I am lucky that I was able
to get out of there and really turn shit around now my businesses are growing
again back to my vote motivated itself see and I’m waking up again fulfilled
every single day seeing how things are going and being able to look back and
smile and say hey I had a lot of fun there but that was a part of my life
that I was able to live and put behind me so that I don’t have to make those
mistakes again and I can actually move forward with
what my real goal was what my real vision was those of building a life
that’s sustainable that’s full of happiness and not of chasing something
that is elusive and short-lived so hopefully me sharing these mistakes
with you will help you and help you navigate when you get there so remember
never hand off your business to someone else there’s no safety there’s no expert
that’s gonna do something for you or that’s gonna care about your business
and growth as much as you will write don’t celebrate too early once you start
finding success yes you can reward yourself but don’t celebrate too early
and blow it all and and try to live a luxurious lifestyle when you’re not
ready for it yet because you’re just going to end up losing a lot of money
losing a lot of opportunity right keep with the grind keep with the hustle
don’t take your foot off the gas don’t coast don’t rest on your laurels
because that’s when you will get burned and finally don’t get caught in the
culture of keeping up with the Joneses and flexing on people and trying to feel
fancy trying to feel luxe because I tell you it’s not gonna bring you happiness
if anything is just gonna bring you depression that’s what it did for me so
what do you think of my stupidity let me know in the comments below
have you made any mistakes yourself and your entrepreneurship journey let us
know in the comments as well so you can help each other out and help the
community cuz that’s what the challenge all about helping everyone grow and
reach their goals and crush and have a fulfilled happy life not full of BS and
money guns right but this is still fun but if you want one if it did help you
out please leave a like if you want more help click this video right over here or
click in my face to subscribe and don’t forget you’re an Empire Builder which
means that your empire awaits I’m Jesse Franco

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. We all tend to chase the success dragon but we forget to realize what truly matters, our happiness. Awesome video JT

  2. Build a Real Business in 2020!

    Marketing Online is the Next Gold Rush!

    >>> <<<

    Be the Man With The Tools of the Trade…

    and They Will Beg to Buy Your Products.

    Who Made Money in the Gold Rush? The Miners?

    No! It Was the Guy Selling the Shovels!!!

  3. I understand the point your showing but you don't have to beat yourself up so bad about it we are only human everyone deserves a break every once in a while

  4. Thanks for keeping it honest and real.

    You are young and all this is a part of learning and life in general. Nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as we can recover and learn from it. Great thing is that you have a great ability to analyse and take ownership of your mistakes. (Not blaming others)

    It's not always about preventing the fall but what you do when you get up.

  5. you fall sometimes and then know how high up you were…then you gotta climb back up and each step promising yourself, never again will I (insert screw up here).

    kudos to you for opening up and getting back up. peace n love

  6. Empire Member: JT, I admire the transparency and honesty. Life is a learning process and I did a lot of what you said in my early years in Real Estate. Money was flowing freely and then the market crashed. I also felt so stupid looking back on what I wasted money on. Now I am more like the squirrel saving up for winter 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  7. Been following for 3 years. You are the real deal than Derrick struggle. Even saw your video on him and how he took advantage of people

  8. I respect this honest video. More people need to see this. I'm on my way up with my passive income patience is a virtue. Bank it and reinvest it's VERY profitable

  9. JT, I can feel you! I watched your Youtube last year september and started my amazon FBA. Worked hard and smart on it for several months. Until this year of July, $500,000 sales revenue. And I start to fade away from my business. Handling more and more to employees. And the business started to fall. Damn, I feel like your video is always inspiring on the right time. Thank You JT!

  10. Franco. Check out Adam Lyons teaching on understanding your psychological needs and brain chemicals. He can help you understand why you spend all the money on gratification and peer approvals. If you find a cheaper healthier way to address those psychological needs, you won't be control by those urges anymore and waste a lot of money.

  11. Very helpful. Very honest. Very human. How many other "gurus" admit their mistakes? You are true to your brand. No hype. No bullshit.

  12. One rule of my old boss (it’s over 35 years ago):

    If You want that someone else do Your job, You need three people to do the same what You do alone, and enough buffer for a year. (Sorry my bad English).

    In Your case You need:

    a Productmanager,
    a Marketing Expert,
    someone for quality management and
    someone for coordinations.

    You are simply amazing, You can’t await that someone else have the same knowledge and inner fire for your business., so you need 4 or 5 people for the same what You would do alone.

  13. JT, thanks for sharing. As long as you learned something you didn't lose that money – you paid for an education (albeit an expensive one!).

  14. Thx for sharing. God gave you amazing talents. The book of proverbs (written by King Solomon, wealthiest man on earth) gives great advice on finances. There are 31 proverbs. I meditate on one proverb a day. Gods wisdom is amazing! So glad you learned not to squander at a young age. Keep growing in wisdom and shining your light! ??

  15. I enjoy your videos.  You do a lot of self reflection.  I enjoy that.  Good video.  Good job being able to see what is important and being able to "reboot" yourself.  Not everyone can do that.  I can see your passion for success.

  16. Bro, been watching you for awhile ( From beginning actually ) Started seeing a difference in ya bit a go. Been praying ?? for you ever since a lot. We all got that God Shaped Hole, that causes us a need for something more, but can only be filled by him. And once we let Jesus fill it we are never the same again.
    All those reading this and have it know exactly what I’m talking about. “ To me that’s where my freedom and joy comes from”. Bless ya brother. Keep staying positive. Be Free and let’s help the Lost… we love ya bro.❤️???

  17. Thanks for sharing JT, you just saved a lot of people from making these crazy mistakes. There’s this guy here on YouTube selling his business of “ running your amazon business for you “ and I’m thinking…why would you trust someone to completely run your business for you??. This is what you just talked about… good business for that guy but extremely bad business for anyone who lets him do that. Thanks again!

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