Lately, I’ve been really enjoying a variety of biographies. It’s a great way to learn from people who’ve made it. Including Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Scar Tissue” and Mötley Crüe’s “The Dirt” about how they made it big.
Recently “Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling“, the story of How Mark Ecko got big, came in the mail. I wasn’t expecting much, but I wanted to share some nuggets I enjoyed from the book:
Having an overly majestic “vision” can cripple you with pressure. Focused on the next 18 hours of graffiti, not next 18 years. Free yourself to do the same.
Look for the loopholes in marketing and exploit. He did this with putting up a TON of flyers at school for student government since they couldn’t take em down.
His first shirts were ALL loss leaders. Literally gave them away. Wanted more than a quick buck, wanted walking billboards. (Use free to grow your business)
Necessity breeds invention. He didn’t have much capital to start so people would bring the clothes they wanted him to customize.
Define success. Think about what that looks like so you know where you want to go. (Click to Tweet)
When they called perspective retailers, they found out WHERE they bought their products from. Go to the source.
If you’re doing what everyone else is, how will you get ahead? (Click to Tweet) “Behind every great fortune is a crime.” He learned how to make shirts way cheaper via a random dude than anyone else on the market could do at the quality he wanted.
Always focus on being truthful (“authentic”). Then he wouldn’t have jeopardize his business so much.
Focus on your core competency. For him it was fleece hoodie, reduce / remove other things that don’t support that. Build everything AROUND what is working.
When working with Spike Lee, Spike NEVER begrudged the bad weather or getting his hands dirty.
If you dream big, you will become big.
“But how will you mainstream yourself?” Asked a potential investor. Great question to think how you go larger as your business grows.
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