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!!!