There's no shame in failing at a business if you gave it a genuine go. Only if a repetitive problem happens and you don't learn your lessons, that's when you have a problem. My first was a vending machine business with 15 compact vending machines located in small businesses like factories, warehouses and some industrial type offices. I bought these 2nd hand already sited and took over from the existing owner, I was about 21 years old at the time. I'd fill these up a couple of afternoons a week after my regular full time job, always rushing and had to schedule my run so I got to places before they closed. Over time I lost a couple of sites and my weakness at the time was sales and people skills, and I was too shy to cold call on places to ask if they would have one of my vending machines in their workplace. In the end I opted to pay the head company $400 to find a site and place the machine, sometimes they gave me bad sites. Another problem was that these were mechanical machines and set to take a $1 coin and they were built to take 375ml cans. I got worried when plastic bottles started getting more popular and was vulnerable if prices of cans went up or even got discontinued, as my initial buy into the biz was about 20k, which I had to partially borrow at the time from my parents. I actually went for a bank loan, but they wanted a mortgage over my parents only PPOR which was a modest unit, no way and too hard. Anytime supermarkets had a special on Coke I'd have to buy trolley load after trolley load and take them home, it was hectic at times. At the time I was going to TAFE 2 nights a week studying Building Studies and also going to the gym a few nights a week, and this too, on top of my 6 day/week job. Anyway, in the end I sold it after about 1 or so years and probably broke even, less all the work and petrol I put in to source stock and refill the machines. My 2nd attempt was buying a concrete resurfacing franchise, where you spray on decorative coatings over plain concrete. I was lured by the opportunity to make about 100k, when I was making about 40k at the time labouring hard doing roofing work. In this job I had to advertise, go and quote and sell jobs. I think this one cost me about 25k and I was about 25 years old at the time. I was too much of a perfectionist to perform this kind of work, and it was really hard on my back. Again, sales was my weakest point and when you're a one man band, it's hard to survive. Looking back, I realised I got used badly to quote jobs in all areas of Sydney. I should have qualified potential jobs before wasting my time doing quotes for jobs which would never eventuate. Weather was another major issue with this business I never thought of previously. Once I was trowelling on basecoat, laying stencils, hours and hours of prep, then a sudden storm comes over and destroys it all I tried really hard in that biz, it was all the money I had at the time. I'd go to the material suppliers and learn from them, as I was not a concreter and this trade was heavily connected with concreting. Basically, the franchisor saw a loophole that if you go to do a 3 day course with them in Adelaide, you can get a license there and use it to operate in your home state. I fell for this and paid with my inexperience. In the end I just let the business die and lost my outlay, more lessons learnt. Got to say though, this was like a real life business apprenticeship, got thrown into the deep end and had to learn the hard way having never been in this position before, all on my own. Today is a completely different story. If I didn't suffer the pain and lessons of the past, I wouldn't be crushing it like I am today in online and in store sales with our current biz started from scratch 10 years ago when I was 30 years old. I'm not getting taken for a ride anymore and am very grateful for those 2 failed businesses of the past. Please share your stories.