About eight years ago I had a running blog. The only page on the site that got any traffic was my upcoming event page I built as a resource for myself. I assume the written content was serving more of some vanity project. I realized people were using that race list page as a tool for themselves to find upcoming races in South Florida. So I built the South Florida Race Calendar site.
A few years later I was working my dream job as a federal air marshal. While on the job I then found obstacle racing and immediately felt a connection to the challenge the races presented and the gritty community of athletes.
I knew people all over the world needed a resource to find these types of races. I sold the South Florida Race Calendar and dove head first into building Mud and Adventure – the first directory site dedicated to those races. The site did really well at first – tens of thousands of page views per month and a six digit social media following.
Thanks to The Four Hour Work Week book I became obsessed with trying to build a business and lost site of my actual passion – serving a purpose. I quit my dream job and left my brothers in arms to pursue my “business.” F you Tim Ferriss 🙂
At the same time other sites dedicated to the sport popped up. My competitive ego had to keep up with the Joneses and I tried to make Mud and Adventure do each and all of the things these new sites were doing. I tried to do much. My friend Richard said I needed to focus.
As I spread myself too thin I lost my competitive edge in the event listing department as well as my desire (and financial ability) to compete amongst the community of athletes I once considered my friends. Seeing the inevitable demise of the business I sold it to my competition. They were also the best people to make the most out of it. They still had the passion.
I don’t learn very quickly. I then focused my energy on building the Fit Events site – a site that served an even larger market – all endurance and fitness activities all over the world. I still believe this is a great idea. The only other players in this space are active.com and Eventbrite – both huge, gigantic players. They both do certain things very well. What they are not is inclusive. Both sites only show events that use their own event registration services. The mission of this site has always been to be a singular source of event info for people like me – people who do different types of sports – cycling, running, CrossFit, obstacle races, and the list goes on.
Two problems: while I am certainly passionate about fitness and endurance, I was chasing the big market more out of fashionable financial dreams than an obtainable goal. Additionally, after forcing myself to sit down and apply Warren Buffet’s 25-5 rule to the things I wanted to accomplish in my life I came to the hard realization Fit Events did not make my cut. It is not one of my top five passions.
For the sake of staying true to my internet of over sharing of things the five things I kept on my list:
- get married
- move to Hawaii
- build activehawaii.com – a niche site serving a personal passionate purpose to grow into financial independence (not take over the world Uber style)
- get a dog
- get out of debt
A few of the items that did not make the top five
- take on Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- learn to fly a helicopter
- grow Fit Events
- go to Thailand for a month to learn kickboxing
- write a book
What didn’t make the top five I must consider dreams and not goals. I MUST focus on my goals.
Fit Events did not make the top five and thus for me must be avoided at all costs.
I still believe without a doubt that the site can reach a moment of critical mass becoming the go to site of its kind should it hit 10,000 upcoming events live on the site. At a cost of $2 per event to add, that equates to an investment of $20K that I do not have. I blew my financial load with Mud and Adventure. Spending the few hundred dollars a month that I could afford now to put towards data entry isn’t going to cut it. It will not get the site where it needs to be and more importantly it will not help me get out of debt.
So I am letting Fit Events die off or maybe one day much further down the road I reexamine the opportunity when I have accomplished my top five. Or… I can sell it now to someone who has both the passion and the financial ability to make it what it can be. $15K firm is my price.
The site has zilch in traffic (1500-1600) a month. However the active and endurance markets are HUGE. 20,000 upcoming events across multiple sports a year globally is easily a low estimate. The site can easily add registration services and make percentages of each registration served. Think millions of participants.
I am moving on to work on my passion project activehawaii.com – a place for people to find active and endurance events throughout the magical state of Hawaii. This is a project I can build on my own time with zero investment needed. Smaller market – easier to capture. I own the domain activenyc.com and could easily do the same thing here in NYC. But again not in my top five and must be avoided at all cost.
– Paul Buijs, Founder / Fit Events
P.S. I don’t really hate Tim Ferriss. Some insecure jealousy for sure. We’re both short bald fit 39 year old dudes (each with a smart, attractive blonde girlfriend) but one of us is wildly successful and the other, well working on my version of it. But had I actually followed his principles and validated my business directions up front I would have been fiscally fine. Of course I’m a go by my gut kind of guy. Not a problem if your heart is in the right place, big problem when ego gets in the mix.
Aloha all and mahalo for reading my story.