Whether It’s Your Business Or Your Life, The Best Way To Learn Is To Try
(Even If You Fail a Few Times… Or a Lot)
How do you view failure?
Why are we naturally afraid of failure?
Has failure ever prevented you from trying something new or again?
How’s it going today guys?
I’ve been asked a few times on what is the best way to advertise and how do we set it up in our company?
I’d love teach this, however podcasting limits the effectiveness of this kind of instruction, as it’s much more effective to SEE it,
for this reason, I’m in the process of finishing up a few different Courses with walk-throughs, downloads, and video lessons that will teach How I Drive Qualified Traffic for Clients and How to Get the Best Results using Facebook and Conversion funnels that are designed to reach your exact target market.
I’ve also broken up the courses into smaller ‘bite-size’ easy to understand, starting at the basics of advertising on Facebook,
Moving into advanced advertising strategies with guides for you to implement immediately into your business and increase your conversion rates.
If you’d like to learn more about these courses, go to ConversionMarketingRadio.Com/Courses
Today’s episode is a little different, but it’s right in line with the entire purpose of Conversion Marketing…
Growing up, I used to Doodle in church every sunday on the Program Handouts (I still do actually?)
I’m pretty sure everyone else in the congregation figured I wasn’t paying attention, but my parents knew that whilst doodling I’d learn even more because my hands were occupied and so my brain was free to listen.
I grew up in a very Entrepreneurial family. I have 3 older brothers who’ve had successes in their business ventures, and as the youngest, I’ve always looked up to them as my role models.
Each sunday I’d bring home my Doodles, and one sunday my Dad suggested I do something with that “Talent”… I didn’t know doodling was a talent, but he’s a wise old owl and saw something there…
At the time he was working a real estate deal for someone who was buying a warehouse to move their screen printing business from their Garage to a bigger facility.
I went with my dad on a few occasions to meet with this client and listened in on the conversations about this guys’ business.
At the same time, I was starting a new year of school and my mom took me ‘Back-to-school’ shopping and I was able to get 3 new shirts (we didn’t have money for any more than that)
On the first day of 11th grade, I wore this awesome looking shirt that I thought would impress all the kids in my class…
When I walked in that day there were several other kids wearing the exact?.. same?.. shirt…
Some loud mouthed kid pointed out this same-shirt fact, and said at the top of his lungs and pointing me
“Oh that’s cute, did you go shopping together so you could all match on the first day of school?”
Today a statement like that wouldn’t bother me at all, but at the time? I was mortified by it!
That day I went home determined that experience would never happen again…
With the combination of my dad’s suggestion of making use out of my church doodles
The inspiration from my brothers of starting businesses,
and with the new understanding of screen printing,
I figured out I wanted to start a making my own shirts and wear clothes that no one else had.
I wanted cool designs and a name attach to my designs, I wanted to be like some of the brands associated with Skateboarding (since I grew up skateboarding)
Google didn’t exist back then, and we had Dial-up, pretty much the internet was used for emails and chatrooms back then.
I took to the family Dictionary to find this unique name I could attach to my designs, I started looking at words and the meanings behind the words.
I didn’t get too far before settling on the word “Ample” which meant ‘enough or more than enough; plentiful‘
I started drawing and the word out in a very poor graffiti style way and put little dollar bills behind it.
Now getting my design onto a shirt was much harder than I anticipated?
First off, We didn’t have photoshop back then (at least not in the home, nor did I know about it).
I figured out that I could scan the drawing to the family computer, and then uploaded it to Microsoft paint?
If you remember using Microsoft paint, you know it wasn’t designed for tracing or for being the place to design anything substantial, but I didn’t have anything else to do the job.
I didn’t really know how to use the program, so I’d zoom in really close to the line and use the brush tool to trace my drawing with very little lines; however, It didn’t matter how slow I went, every design came out very jank and patchy.
After learning about screen printing I contacted my dad’s client who was buying the screen printing factory, but found out the lowest he do the printing for was $250 as a minimum (and that was with a discount).
It was too expensive to have them professionally made, but he suggested I go up to Office Max and get some iron-on paper.
I couldn’t drive at the time and my dad drove me up to the store to get a few blank shirts and some Iron-on paper.
That night I printed off my picture onto this paper, ironed it on, and made my first shirt.
The next day, I went to school wearing my new shirt and so proud of it. I didn’t tell anyone that I had made it, but after a few classes, I got asked “where did you get that shirt?”
and that’s when my moment to shine happened!
I told him I made it and that I wasn’t going to be lame by wearing ‘store bought’ shirts anymore.
I must have inspired him, because he wanted a shirt too.
I obviously didn’t think this through because if I printed him the same design, he’d have the same shirt as me?
That night I went and drew an entirely new design just for him and brought it him the next day.
As I was presenting my friend with his personally designed shirt, some other kids passing by stopped and heard how I made him a shirt and they wanted one too.
I didn’t make a big profit off the transaction, but I did have enough to make another three shirts.
That night I had my dad take me back to the store to get blank shirts and because I wanted to continue making unique shirts,
but I didn’t have more design ideas that day,
I decided to buy different color shirts and print the same design in different colors as well that would match the shirt color.
This was the spark an idea to make it a “clothing” company, and that I was open for business.
The next semester I heard about program that was outside of school where you could go for half the day and learn multimedia tools such as Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, and a few others.
This was the first time hearing about Photoshop and I got excited to take my design skills to the next level.
About a quarter way through that program I learned how to make my designs look more professional
There was also some buzz going around about my “clothing” company to which I had sold enough shirts to actually do my first run of screen printing.
A few weeks went by and when my shirts came back from the printer that first day, I think I might have cried I was so excited!
I wanted to re-invent the brand and I bought some baggies for my shirts to go in so that way I could deliver the shirt and look legit doing it.
Then I felt like there was a “break-through”, I started selling shirts at the Skatepark which meant that kids from other schools were wearing my designs, it was really feeling like a legitimate company.
I remember the first time seeing someone in the mall wearing my shirts that I personally hadn’t sold a shirt to, this felt like a major success at the time.
Next, I desperately wanted to get it into stores and my oldest brother taught me about the concept of “consignment”.
In the meantime I had gotten my license to drive and I went downtown to a little local skateshop and made a deal for them to hold my shirts on consignment but they’d give it back to me if they didn’t sell in two weeks.
I called them every day that first week to see if someone had bought a shirt, but to no avail? (I’m pretty sure they were quite annoyed with me calling every day)
The next week I had the idea of going to the skatepark and having one of my friends who was really good at skateboarding wear one of my shirts.
When other kids asked if he was sponsored by Ample, I stepped in and said “he’s a team rider”, and if they wanted shirts they could get it from the skateshop that I’d put them in on consignment.
A few days later I got a call from the shop saying that the shirts had sold!
My jaw dropped! I couldn’t believe it?I felt like I had made it!
For the next 2 years I tried to grow the brand as much as I could, but it never really got to where I hoped to get it, and eventually I stopped printing shirts due to a lack of interest that I didn’t achieve my dream?
I could look at this time in my life as a failure, but I’m really appreciative of all the learning that took place. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the start my passion for business.
Over the years though I really started figuring out which parts of business I liked and what parts I didn’t like?
I tried out accounting for a few years in college to follow in my brother’s footsteps and only after getting terrible grades (even when I’d repeat the class) I discovered I hate accounting with a passion.
Afterwards I figured I was more a people person and my school had a “professional sales” program that was about direct selling.
So the summer after my classes I tried out door-to-door selling and I learned that I was really good at making friends on the door steps, but getting someone to buy the product was a no-go…
From trial and error I realized I favored the creative aspect of business, but without having to be the person who sold them, more so on the back end and let the message come across clearly to allow the person to make a decision to buy based upon what he’d seen.
Only later did I realize this area was called “marketing and advertising”.
I love the idea of being able to reach the right audience with the right message, with the right product/service that can impact their lives, and since those clothing day’s I’ve moved closer into products/services that have more meaning.
I heard an analogy the other day..
Think of it like a pond and you’re throwing rocks into the pond and it’s very accomplishing to see the splashes, the first couple ones are exciting, but after a while each new rock doesn’t make as much of a splash because of all the ripples in the water.
If you keep throwing enough rocks they eventually start to build on one another and you soon start to see the rocks get to the surface, but you have to throw enough rocks in the same area in order for them to stack upon each other.
If you haven’t hit the surface yet, keep throwing more rocks in the same area.
If you’re waiting to have all the answers before you start something, I’m going to give you permission (if that’s what you need) to start trying today. If you fail, don’t look at it that you didn’t have all the answers, just realize you’re one answer closer to succeeding than you were before.
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listening in [Reading],
As always, never stop converting.