Step by Step

 

As Seth Godin advocates, it’s all about the slow, steady growth, like a tree. We live in the culture that everything has to happen now, at this particular moment. But actually, it takes time to build great things. “Overnight success” takes years.

I have been thinking about this over the whole weekend since the last few days were very exciting for me.

On Thursday my article about vegan leather has been published in Huffington Post. After few days it generated some buzz thanks to which it made its way to the homepage.

 

Even a bottom of a page can be very exciting!

 

Then on Friday, an article about Blackwood has been published in Independent.ie

Irish vegans, we are going for you!

I am fully aware, that there is a long way ahead of us, but after spending few months on working on Blackwood, it feels nice to reach some of the first milestones.  As Van Gogh said: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

I feel happy to say that some of those small things are already behind us!

Continue Reading

How to Achieve Unachievable with Navy SEALs

 

I believe people don’t use their full potential. According to the urban myth, people use only 10% of their brainpower. Although it is not true, apparently, we tend to use our 100% very rarely, almost never.

Think of the time you go to bed. Do you think, if you used your powerfully, it would take you 30 minutes to fell asleep? This is exactly what Jocko Willink, who was a Navy SEAL commander, mentions in his podcast. He tries to squeeze the day as much as possible so that when he goes to bed, he can feel the day and the satisfaction he did his best.

How often do you feel that? How often do you go to bed knowing you completely run out of fuel?

If you have plenty of plates to spin on a stick, so to speak, how do you make sure all of them keep spinning. And what do you do if you think you are too tired and start dropping one of them?

For me, the question is the matter of mental toughness. Are you willing to go the extra mile to keep everything working?

Navy SEALs, which I admire for their toughness, have a rule called 40% rule.

It is very simple.

When you think you are done, you are just 40% done. 

Although I couldn’t find any scientific research to back the rule, I believe it is a strong motivator. And I can tell you, it works. After I have heard about the approach, I have tested it in my training and work. I have reached results I would have never expected.

So, next time you think you are done, just shut up and keep the plates spinning.

 

 

Continue Reading

“Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff

“The purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you’re with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.”

~ Seth Godin

We make deals and sell all the time without even realising it. Selling is not only about the tangible items but it is about your ideas, decisions etc.

That’s why it is very important to know, how you can succeed with those.

“Pitch Anything” is a comprehensive guide written by an expert in making great deals. I found it actually so useful that I had to re-listen it (yeah, have I ever mentioned I mostly listen to books on Audible instead of reading them?).

Surely a book worth immersing in.

Continue Reading

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”

~ Ken Blanchard

Of course, there are different ways to analyse and understand the quote.

However, one has to admit that being able to influence and persuade others is one of the most important skills in business and life. And even if you are sceptical about the idea, I would recommend you reading the book just to know when someone tries to manipulate you.

Nobody likes being manipulated. Yet, it is happening on daily basis, even when you are walking down the street or doing grocery shopping.

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” gives you a great brief of the science behind the influence and I would surely recommend you to read it.

Having said that, if there is just one book you would like to read about the subject, I would recommend more “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnagie.

Continue Reading

Luxury – Show me, don’t tell me

Does a true luxury really need an explanation?

Recently I have seen lots of buses that had written ‘Luxury’ either on their side or on the front window. What struck me the most though was the fact that those were some old coaches that I would never consider as luxurious ones.

So it made me think…

WHICH BUS WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

I don’t know about you but I am surely going for the black one!

But wait, it doesn’t have the label “Luxury” so how can I be sure it is better than the other, which clearly says it?

 

I realised that you know a product is luxurious when you see one, no matter if it is labeled as such or not. And this is a beauty of luxurious products. They stand out and you know after looking at them that it is something special.

My belief is that we tend to overuse the word “Luxury”, especially in the world of new fashion brands who want to gain more customers and to justify their high prices. I don’t know if it works for them or not, but I personally think it is an easy path that too many brands follow which causes the deflation of the meaning of the world.

Maybe in the past luxury stood for high-quality. Nowadays, when everyone can use it without any consequences (because how do you define a luxury product? And also, to be fair, you are not going to sue someone for selling you a product that is labeled as luxurious but in fact does not meet your expectations) it is not enough to just put a label on it.

Even more, I believe it is counterproductive and you would be better off trying to show your luxury instead of telling me about it.

Think of a luxury brand. What comes to your mind? Prada, Louis Vuitton, Channel and others I guess. Then go to their website. Not a single of them will use ‘luxury” on their website (maybe very rarely).

Because they don’t have to!

Then go and check the new leather brands or fashion brands in general that were created in the last 10 years. My bet is that the more expensive ones, most of them, will use that label a lot.

But do they have to?

If their products are amazing, if they work hard and position themselves well, eventually they will hopefully break into the market no matter if they are called luxurious or not. If on the other hand, their products are not great, then they are just lying to their customers. Not good enough.

So, what would I recommend?

If you are starting or working on a fashion brand that aims to be the luxury one, prove me that you are worth the price, not just tell me about it by using “Luxury” in every second sentence of your website.

How do you do that?

Create amazing products and work on your positioning. How?

Here are few books that can help you with that.

Update 1: I am very excited to share with you that over the last few months I have been working on a luxury fashion brand and every day I had in my mind this article.

Check it out to see if I succeeded to stand behind my words: https://goblackwood.co.uk

Feel free to also have a look at my newest article about the sad truth behind the leather industry. https://goblackwood.co.uk/vegan-leather/

Photo Credits:

  1. Photo was taken from http://www.singaporemalaysiabus.com/luxury.html
  2. Photo was taken from http://www.vip-shuttle.com/details.html
Continue Reading
1 2 3 9