Fail Fast and Fail Often: Interview with Carl Taylor

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews / July 26, 2010

carl taylorToday we caught up with 24 year old serial entrepreneur Carl Taylor. Carl started his first business at the age of 15, unless you count the magic shows he used to run for his family at the price of 20 cents. Since then he has been involved in product sales, web design, a gift hamper company, his current company in the publishing industry, an education business and has written a book.

Carl is driven by the excitement of the unknown and interacting with people on his entrepreneurial journey. He has no plans of slowing down and hopes he can inspire and help others along the way. Read below to learn more about Carl…

How did you get into entrepreneurship?

I started my first business at age 15, although you could say I got started in entrepreneurship even earlier than that because from about age 6 to age 10 all I wanted to be was an inventor. I would sketch ideas down in my notebooks things like Hoverboards, flying cars, spaceships that could leave and re-enter the atmosphere. I remember also after seeing the movie Jurassic Park I wanted to create my own theme park just like Jurassic Park, come to think of it that could possibly have been my first ever business idea. At age 8 I used to run magic shows for my family and charge people 20 cents entry. However my first official business was started while I was still in High School at age 15. It was because I was a pretty shy kid back then and after seeing my dad working from home and thinking wow if I have my own business I can just sit at home and not have to talk to people it seemed like a great idea.

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Tell us what ventures you have started or been a part of?

Well there was my first business which was going to be an online costume shop but that very quickly morphed into a web design, development and hosting business after I realized that no one wanted the costumes I had brought in from the United States.

The next business was a joint venture with my Dad, helping Small and Medium businesses with IT Support and Technology consulting. In 2008 I bought a Gift Hamper business with the sole purpose of selling it again 12 months later although it ended up being 18 months later that I sold it, I currently have a publishing business which is a really interesting industry to be in at the moment with all the changes occurring with digital books. Plus I founded and continue to run an education business called Entrepreneur Success Club where we provide mentoring and workshops on business and goal setting.

Oh and I suppose I can’t forget my book Red Means Go!, which was the reason for getting into the publishing business. That has been a really exciting venture because not only can I share what I have learnt and the philosophy I live my life by which is helping people all over the world but I can from a business sense create passive income due to the fact I only had to write the book once but it can be sold forever.

What stands out as your best memory so far in your entrepreneurial journey?

The “I can’t sit still” excitement and the “My palms are so sweaty” anxiety of the negotiations when buying the gift business. When you are buying someone else’s business it is such an emotional process for the Sellers. For most sellers, when you are working at a small business owner operator level, the owner is very attached to their business. You see the lower you drive the price the more emotional the sellers gets because the business is their baby that they started or worked on.

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You mentioned you bought and sold a business 18month later for a profit. Was this scary? How the hell did you know what do to do or what you were getting into at a young age?

Yeah it was a bit scary because when you are young you do sometimes doubt yourself or that people will take you seriously but it was definitely much more exciting than it was scary. I’m the kind of person who is motivated by possibilities and when looking to buy a business all I really focused on were the possibilities that could be made by the new business.

Knowing what to do that is a great question, my philosophy and what I teach is that you need to surround yourself with knowledge relating to the goals you are working towards and in 2006 I had attended a course in Las Vegas by Brad Sugars specifically on Buying, Building and Selling businesses and it was the knowledge I learned at his course that empowered me to go through with the process. Did I know completely what I was getting myself into, absolutely not but that’s who I am. I’m the person who jumps of the ledge and builds their wings on the way down.

What are your goals in life and business?

That question could take a long time to answer as I have many goals. There is my 101 things to do before I die list to complete and numerous goals in various aspects of my life but I suppose what you are really asking is what is my underlying purpose. Because it is my purpose that drives all of my goals. To sum that up it is to be the best Me that I can possibly be, and to help others through inspiration and education to be the best that they can possibly be.

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I believe the best way I can inspire others is through living my own life by example – so that is why I do what I do and will continue to strive for success.

What do you think is the best part about doing what you do?

For me it’s all about Interacting with people, I just love that moment when you are talking with someone and you see that light bulb switch on in their head which brings excitement in to their eyes.

Could you give 1 piece of advice to young entrepreneurs just starting out?

Don’t focus so much on getting it right – Just do it!

Progress is better than perfection so just take the first steps and don’t stop.

There is a saying I like that says “Fail Fast and Fail Often”. Too many people are afraid to fail but the only failure is the failure to participate and take action. All other experiences are just learning tools towards your success.

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