Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I've Learned So Far: Lake & Chapel Edition

It's been a hectic week for me, so I haven't really had the time to update Word as much as I would like. BUT! I anticipated this shortage of time and recruited some guest writers this week. (See how blog savvy I am getting) So with the great write up Kill Hubris did for me on Monday, Garth has a little pressure on him to deliver a solid article. So here is Lake and Chapel's version of "What I've Learned So Far" Enjoy...

What I've Learned So Far: Lake & Chapel Edition


You’ve got a couple of bucks in your pocket and you want to be a mogul. A Titan. A giant among men. To cast off the yoke which weights heavy on so many and strike out on your own. You’ve got some choices to make. For me, starting up a t-shirt company (or any business) is nothing but choices. Where should you put those few dollars to make a few more? I can’t tell you. This isn’t about which decisions to make, it’s about how to make them.

There will be many, many, many choices for you coming up. Brand identity, shirt blank, promo material, promotional activities, website design, target market, price point and on and on. Not to mention the day to day fires that flare up which only you can put out. So, what to do? Take the time, before you put your cash on the table and write out a list of options, ideas and goals. Options for everything you can imagine no matter how bizarre. You will have bad ideas and horrible ideas,  include them all. Go into as much detail as possible. Remember, it’s easier to decide not to do something later than to come up with a plan on the fly. Options are your friends.

You have to know at this point, it’s all up to you. EVERYTHING is up to you. Let that sink in. There are no wrong choices, only your choices but there will be no one to hide behind when the shit hit’s the fan. You are the man. You’re it. So, always think of the worst things that can happen and plan for them. Look at the pros/cons, trust your instincts and don‘t be afraid to ask questions.  If you are not 100%behind of an  action; wait. The worst thing  is to do something without believing in it. If you are not behind your product, why would anyone want to buy it? If you are not committed to your brand, why would anyone want to be a part of it?

You will be tested by doubt. Sticking to your guns is not as easy as it seems. I am constantly evaluating the choices I’ve made looking for any way to improve, but, I don’t let doubt drive my choices. Doubt is poison. Know doubt by name and know what it smells like. Don’t ignore or deny it. Doubt will always be with you when you care about what you do, so you have to learn to live with it.

Only a turtle is blindly confident of its indestructibility, comfortably at home sunning itself on the road. It doesn’t know about the car that will hit it. It doesn’t care. In the end it’s your company and your choices are what will drive it forward. Make informed decisions and stick with them. Believe in yourself and build something you can point to and be proud.  You can be the turtle or you can be the car. It’s up to you.

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