This one is on a bit of a personal note, meaning a thought came to me today as I was walking back from lunch with a co-worker. We were passing by a psychic reading center in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and the girl I was with jokingly asked me if I wanted to get my fortune told. Trying to be funny I responded, "No thanks, I already know my future." At first we both giggled at how pretentious the comment sounded, then after a brief pause she commented, "Wow, thats actually pretty deep."
Now, judgments aside about the comment itself, there is a vital lesson to be learned here. Some of you have heard about the book "The Secret" or at the very least the concept of visualizing your own success in order to make it reality. The basis for this principle is to practice visualizing yourself as you wish to be, even if you are not there yet. For example, if you see yourself someday becoming a successful entrepreneur; visualize yourself in a conference room running the show, or in a brand-new sports car you just purchased, or sending your kid off to an ivy league university, or what ever life you see yourself living.
The basic lesson here is to never settle for less than you wish for yourself, and never sell yourself short in any situation, so long as you deserve what is coming to you. On a personal level I know that one day I will do amazing things and will live a life some only dream about. Do I know how I'm going to get there? No, do I know how long it will take? No. Am I going to sacrifice my happiness now to get there? Absolutely not, but my belief in my personal success is so embedded in me that I know I will live the life I was meant to live, the life I want to live. The only question you have to ask yourself is, do you know what kind of life you want? More importantly, do you believe in yourself enough to live it?
"Destiny is not a matter of chance. . . it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for. . . it is a thing to be achieved." ~William Jennings Bryan
Too often we attribute our successes as well as our failures to chance rather than choice. Something happens to us, wether it is positive or negative, and we react in kind. The key word here is react. We have been conditioned as a society to react a certain way in particular situations based on our experiences and the societal norms we have been exposed to since childhood. One of the underlying concepts we are taught without realizing it is that there are limitations to what we are capable of. Of course our parents and teachers tell us we can do and be whatever we set our minds to. Yet society tells us to operate within certain parameters, and to follow a certain path that most are expected to take. Your born, you listen to your parents, you go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, retire, join AARP, then it's either open casket, closed casket, urn or you end up becoming part of some landscape in the form of sediment.
In a nutshell this essentially what is expected of most of us, and the path that most people take for one simple reason, it is the path of least resistance. The reality of life is that each and every one of us has a choice to make every moment of every single day. Everyone has dreams, aspirations, places they want to go, and things they want to achieve. The sad truth is that most people end up settling for a lesser life than they had originally planned for themselves. The more time passes the less obtainable their dreams seam to become. The important thing to understand is that like the past, time is a construct of the mind. Your dreams are never out of reach, your life is never too insignificant to make amazing, and most importantly it is never to late to change it. So the only question you have to ask yourself is: Will you live by the status quo? Or will you take action and choose to change our destiny? Better yet, will we choose to let life happen to you? Or will you choose to happen to life?
"The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us and fools us into believing it. But the heart wants to live in the present. And it is in the present that we will find the answers."
Okay... so maybe I nerded out a little bit when I was watching the remake of Total Recall the other night. Regardless, this quote stuck out in my mind as having truth in most of our daily lives. I look at my life and the great things that I've accomplished and all I can think is, "why haven't I accomplished more?" It's no secret that we are our own worst critics, but once in a while it's worth looking into yourself to determine exactly where you are in this journey we call life and how far along you are on the road to success. Notice I said the road to success, not the destination of success, as we often define it.
One of the more profound observations I've had when asking myself this question is that I tend to base my future on what I have experienced in the past. Now this is not to say that past experiences should be noted and learned from. Unfortunately the majority of us take this a bit too far and end up trapping ourselves in the nonexistent universe we have created in our minds, the universe we tend to refer to as the past.
If constantly live in the past, or in retrospect are always trying to exist in the future, what happens to our consciousness of the present? It seams to me the the most brilliant of us are also the most susceptible to being trapped by these constructs of the mind. Once we can break free of these superficial bounds, we can finally let our full potentials come to fruition. Like many of the concepts that are talked about at ABR, this is easier said than done, but like most brilliant revelations, taking a step back and becoming aware of yourself is the most important step in anyones path to greatness. I look forward to crossing paths with all of you on this wonderful journey, which will always be the most rewarding aspect of life itself.
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. -Marcus Aurelius
In business and in life most of us operate on the assumption that other people understand what we are thinking and what our intentions are. We believe, for the most part, that they see the world as we do. Often these delusions are harmless and can be attributed to basic human nature, which includes the idea that we are the center of the universe and that our own personal reality is somehow commonplace.
I remember once my 6th grade teacher told me he was going to give me the secret to success in a nutshell, or at least a major contributing factor. He said, "there is one thing you must never do when walking into any situation, on thing to refrain from if you are to truly become a successful person. Never ever assume."
I try and think about that every time I walk into any situation. Just think about all of the unpleasant confrontations or costly mistakes that could have been avoided if we didn't assume and communicated more effectively. Just because you understand something a certain way doesn't mean that everyone else will share your vision. This is especially true for leaders and entrepreneurs. It is our job to communicate our vision to others so that they truly understand what ever it is we are tying to accomplish. Write it on your bathroom mirror, post it on your fridge, create a reminder on your smart phone to remind yourself on a daily basis, to never assume anything.
It has been my experience that most people struggle with change. Most of us at some point in our lives run into rough patch, a rut so to speak, which can be very difficult to escape. Maybe our life has taken a turn for the worst, or perhaps we are simply having a hard time making it to the next level. I try and learn as much as I can from other successful people I consider to be mentors, even if I have never met the person. Tai Lopez is one such mentor, an accomplished entrepreneur who runs a website dedicated to helping people achieve health, wealth, love and happiness (check out the link bellow). The other day I came across one of his videos and was greatly inspired by what he had to say. The basis of the lesson is that their are three fundamental principles one must apply if they are to achieve big dreams. Try them out and see what happens. Please comment on this post
1. Knowledge- Before you hope accomplish anything, you must first become familiar with and acquire the information pertaining to thing you wish to excel at. This information must applicable rather than conceptual. In essence you are transforming knowledge into action which can then yield tangible results.
2. Strategy- Once knowledge is acquired, it is time to put that knowledge into action, this is done through the process known as forming a strategy. This is not to be confused with forming a plan. It is important to recognize that a strategy if fundamentally different from a plan. A plan is essentially a blue print outlining what ever it is you wish to accomplish. A+B=C in that order, any deviation from the plan will interfere with the desired result. In business, and in life their are factors that come into play which are out of our control. Strategizing is an ever evolving form of planning. A+B could equal C, but if C doesn't workout then G, S or even Z could be alternatives.
3. Execution- This is where most people fall short. The knowledge has been acquired, the strategy has been thought out and now it's time to implement. The way Tai described how best to execute is to surround yourself with people who are foreword thinking proactive individuals. Success is contagious, once you take the first steps, make sure to surround yourself with the right people. Individuals who are going to help you reach your goals.
This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is a great reminder of what we should be focusing on as creative and forward thinking professionals. I often reminisce about the most memorable conversations I've had with other people. What I find is that the majority of them center on ideas. Ideas relating to our careers, our relationships, and our outlooks on life in general. Too often we get lost in the world of gossip and find ourselves talking about others, sometimes at the expense of the person or people we are talking about. I don't surmise to know how others feel about gossip, but I rarely find myself feeling particularly good about those conversations. So why burden ourselves with conversations that are not going to benefit us or those we influence? Our interactions with other people are some of the most powerful experiences we will ever have. Why not make the most of those conversations by exploring new ideas?
We've all heard variations of this quote. Many of us would even say that we abide by the message it delivers and apply it to our daily lives. Yet at times even the most motivated and proactive of us fall into the trap of saying and not doing. The gift of speech is one of the most powerful and effective tools human beings have ever devised, but like all power it can be easy to take advantage of, even if the motivations behind what we say aren't sinister in nature. In my experience, the most damaging use of the spoken word is what we say to ourselves rather than what we say to others. If you tell someone your going to do something, they may believe you or they may not. Either way, the cost of not following through with what you say has significantly more of an impact on your life than it does on theirs. Integrity and self-respect are the foundation of living a successful and fulfilling life. How can you expect to convince others that your words have gravity if you don't believe it yourself.
No one is perfect, and in the end that's not what we strive to become. All we can do is the best we can. Just make sure that what your doing is in fact your very best. I find that the best way to keep myself in check to is to speak less and do more. So the next time you feel the need to speak on impulse, maybe you feel compelled to prove yourself to someone, maybe your trying to convince yourself of something, take a step back and ask yourself, "is there something I can do before I speak?" I think you will find the answer is more often than not a resounding yes!!!
This is a bit of a detour from the fashion industry, but has a strong business message to deliver. I saw this video on Youtube this morning as I was putting on my work playlist to get my groove going for the day. Now usually I wouldn't hesitate to click the "skip" button after the painful 5 seconds they make you wait for most adds, especially when the add that runs for over 4 minutes. This time however I felt compelled to sit and watch, and I'm glad I did.
I'm not going to get into too much detail about the video, but the long and short of it is that comedian Nathan Fielder essentially created a business that sells coffee and pastry's. Nothing special there, except that the business uses a familiar logo and name, Starbucks Coffee, or in this case "Dumb Starbucks Coffee". My first question was of course, "how do they get away with the obvious legal ramifications of using one of the most recognized logos in the world? Apparently this unique shop is categorized as an art gallery and can get away with using the coffee giant's logo and name so long as it is used for the purpose of parodying Starbucks itself. Who knew?
What's more, the little coffee shop became an overnight sensation, with lines around the corner, and even people reselling the novel "Dumb Starbucks" coffee cups online for hundreds of dollars. What can we learn from this as current and future leaders of the apparel industry? I think it's that no idea should be considers inferior or dumb before it has been attempted. Sometimes the most unlikely and outright insane ideas turn out to become the biggest successes. If you have an idea, try it out, and let no one tell you that it's dumb or impossible. Who knows... "dumb" could be exactly what people are looking for.
Check out the original video on Youtube to learn more:
It's no secret that the apparel industry is one of the most dynamic, competitive and formidable industries in existence today. The past decade has seen a drastic change in the way we communicate, do business and interact with our peers and competitors. Technology has made it easier to connect with new markets and reach new customers. There are opportunities in existence today that just weren't possible in previous years.
Despite the advances in technology and the new opportunities available, true collaboration and effective networking is becoming increasingly hard to come by. In order to safeguard ideas, people are encouraged to keep secrets. Instead of working together, we are encouraged to make sacrifices for personal gain. Despite the efforts to bring each other closer through technology, we are drifting ever further apart. These are the issues we hope to address with the Apparel Business Review (ABR). We are here to help inspire change within the industry. We are here to to bring about a new generation of fashion industry professionals. People who understand the value of utilizing the three most powerful tools we have at our disposal; Collaboration, Innovation, and Support (CIS). It's time to create a new mindset for a better industry!!!