I was in this career that I planned for the entirety of my years in college. Well most of it...about 6 months into my freshman year at Mizzou I switched from wanting to be the next Black Barbara Walters to some big-time advertising professional. And I had a decent run in that profession. But when I got to a certain point, and most of the time throughout that career, I wasn't very happy. I didn't even realize how unhappy I actually was until I finally left.
About 8 years into my ad career, I decided start a clothing line. Probably the hardest business I could go into, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I was pretty much clueless and had no idea what I was doing. But what I can confidently take pride in, is that I can always figure some shit out. That's one of the best gifts God could have ever given me. Sometimes it may take me awhile, but I have the patience of Job when I'm presented with a problem I'm determined to solve but don't know how. I can't wait on someone to tell me what to do or how to do it. I just find a way and get it done.
After I was barely launching my clothing line, I knew in my mind I wanted to make it an internet business, go at it, at that time, in an untraditional way. But for whatever foolish reason I didn't follow my gut . Even my dad, who was completely clueless on all things internet in 2003 was like, "There must be something you can do with that internet." I'll never forget it. But I didn't listen, and ended up going about it the long, hard more traditional way.
- Going to expensive markets in NYC.
- Trying to sell to rigid buyers, basically begging them to accept me and my designs.
- Traveling from door-to-door begging for acceptance from even more buyers.
- Spending a ton of money to reap little reward.
If only I'd listened to myself (and my Dad).
But the story continued, fighting against my interests and moving solely on ego, I pressed on. I was determined not to fail.
I figured out how to get clothes made in Dallas, TX. At some point there was a clothing industry there. So I found a patternmaker, sewers and fabric cutters. And I designed my first collection. I even got noticed. Women's Wear Daily wrote a piece on me, The Dallas Morning News wrote about me and I almost made it onto O's Favorite Things list.
Obviously the story is more involved than that, but I was doing all this while still working and hating my job. My dissatisfaction with my job was fueling me to push even harder with my clothing line. But somehow I managed to become a brand director. Which one could say was a successful stint, but that was about as high as I could ever go there. The place was less like Mad Men and more like I Dream of Jeannie. With people running around like complete sell outs, compromising their dignity by jumping through hoops to please others. I just am not meant to work for other people in that way. There were definitely some good, smart people there. But I digress...
My dislike for my job was pushing me into doing some of the dumbest shit ever. I was charging up credit cards like a complete moron, thinking money was the key to making my clothing line a success. NOT!!! Those really bad financial decisions would be something I would greatly pay for later. I'll continue with my story on the next post., but for now, here are my lessons learned.
- 1Follow your gut. Your gut is just God talking to you. So how can you not listen to it? Very easy for me to say now because hindsight is 20/20, but by failing to listen to my gut, I was making a huge mistake(s). Mistakes I would pay for greatly, later.
- 2I can figure shit out. And I'm good at it. You'll learn more about me and how I'm always working it out in part 2 and part 3 of my story.