“The Godfather of Soul” aka “Mr. Dynamite” aka “Soul Brother Number One” aka “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business”
“Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all.”—James Brown
1. Learn on Someone Else’s Dollar:
Let’s face it: In this new endeavor of building your brand, you’re going to have a slew of mishaps and missteps. So before you go off on your own and make a bunch of expensive mistakes, it’s best to find a job doing exactly what you want for someone else first, before jumping into the deep end yourself. Believe me, the experience and lessons you’ll learn will be absolutely priceless.
2.Think It Through Thoroughly & Create it Once:
Before you even start doing anything with your brand, think it all over and look decades down the line. Whatever you create has to be something you’ll be happy doing twenty years from now. Don’t Settle, Think Big, Open your mind to the bigger picture and do it once!
3.Pick a lane and know your competition:
This one is extremely important: Narrow your focus and don’t aim to be all things to all people. Don’t try to do the best jackets, belts and hats all at the same time. Chances are you’ll fall flat on your face in all those three categories. Pick one lane and execute it to perfection.
Do your research, and find out your competitors in the lane and why they occupy the top spots. Next, figure out a way to become just as good and even better than them.
4.Curate your brand by first Studying Yourself:
The best inspiration always come from within. Don’t look at the next designer’s collection as the building block for your own brand. There are obviously things about you that you love – focus on those things and maximize on them for your brand.
Originality Always Reigns Supreme.
5.Recruit and Build a Tight Network of Hungry, Talented Individuals:
No matter how gangsta and creative you think you are, it’s impossible to build a viable brand alone. There are not enough hours in the day. Recruit an experienced team with the various skills you need and trust them to bring forth a vision that benefits all parties involved.
6.Use Your Own Funds to Create Initial Samples:
Even before you try to hunt down investors to back your dream – shows some initiative, balls and courage by using your own money to create some samples. This shows the outside world that you are confident in your dream and disciplined enough to see a concept through to completion. It means a lot when you risk your own HARD EARNED money in your brand – you’ll be surprised how many people ask for venture capital and haven’t put a cent of their own money into their ideas.
7.Create A Plan and Work the Plan:
It’s not all about dreams, conviction and creativity. You need to have a plan. How will you distribute your merchandise; How will you market it?; What are short term/long term objectives? Even if it takes you a full year to devise an airtight plan, take that time and do it. After the plan is done; Like Nike said: Just Do IT!
8.Have another Hustle that keeps You Afloat:
Well you’re in pursuit of your dream and establishing your brand, the world will not stop and wait for you. You’ll still have bills, rent, family and other obligations. So it’s important to have another hustle that brings in enough money to keeps you above water until your brand (aka your expensive hobby) supplements all your expenses
9.Force Yourself to Become Business Savvy:
It’s too easy and quite honestly, extremely reckless to only deal with the creative aspects of your brand. That’s how most businesses go bankrupt. Make an effort to understand the business side: find a business mentor, hang out with an accountant, read some business books, get smart! – the very success of your brand depends on this.
10.Celebrate All the Wins – No matter How Big or Small
Learn to enjoy the process of getting to your final destination. There will be some tough times and humbling moments, but there will also be victories and triumphs along the way. Focus on your accomplishments and learn from the mistakes.