Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur
- January 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm #166075
At the core of it, being an entrepreneur is about solving problems. Often, it’s a problem other businesses in the marketplace are ignoring or a niche in a target market they don’t quite see. In my case, inspiration and the entrepreneur lifestyle came because I have a big head.
And not in the figurative, ego-driven sense but in the literal sense.
My company, Fatheadz, makes frames for people who have a hard time fitting into traditional “one-size-fits-all” glasses. Finding glasses or sunglasses that fit my head, or rather, the inability to do so, is a problem I am personally all too familiar with. It may seem like a strange need and a small target market, but, by filling it, I was able to strike a deal with Walmart, hitting more than $2 million in sales in 2010 – almost double from the year prior.
And I did it by defining the problem and selling to a niche market that the larger companies like Ray Ban and Oakley ignored.
Then I worked hard and was unapologetically unconventional in my road to entrepreneurship success. Fast forward 5 years and I have learned two truths when it comes to entrepreneurship.
1. You need to define the problem!
One fateful day, I, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound then auto-dealership fleet manager found myself wanting to buy a new pair of sunglasses. I was in Las Vegas, on my honeymoon, and had forgotten mine at home. I thought it’d be a quick in-and-out shopping trip. Well, I tried on several hundred pairs and came away with nothing. I was a little disappointed, to say the least.
That was in March 2004, and by the end of 2005, we launched our first few products, and we’ve been steadily growing ever since.
Now, I’d had sunglasses for quite some time prior to that specific shopping trip that just didn’t fit right. And I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one. There are people of all shapes and sizes – including head size. And it’s not just bigger people. There are smaller people who have big heads and bigger people who have real big heads. Why not try to solve this problem for this niche group?
One of my favorite stories involves asking a potential client “Would you go to a shoe store that carries only size 9 shoes?” And the person said, “Well, God, no.” So, I asked, “Well, why would you carry one-size-fits-all eyewear?”
The problem was pretty clear.
January 26, 2017 at 7:20 am #166111
- This topic was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by Ian J. Reason: hyperlink to original article removed as unnecessary
This is called the Ideas Forum right? Or is it the ‘blow your own trumpet’ and advertise your business forum now?
30 Years business experience and not too jaded yet. Here to help wherever i can and not selling anything, for the time being at least.January 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm #166138
Problem assessment is very important for great entrepreneurMarch 12, 2017 at 8:02 am #168556
I think becoming a successful entrepreneur is ALL about process.
Your story is great, and inspiring, but I preferred understanding the process behind the success rather than telling the success itself.
Have a great day!October 6, 2017 at 11:10 am #175115
I will add this: BE FRUGAL: Most companies fail because they run out of cash. Treat cash as king.
HAVE DISCIPLINE: Discipline is foremost in doing anything well. You don’t have to be a workaholic, but you do have to do what is necessary, do it consistently, and do it as best as it can be done. This includes instilling discipline into your teams and your corporate culture.
SERVE YOUR EMPLOYEES: The goal is to serve the customer. Your employees do this. When you serve your employees, giving them what the need to be successful, then you are serving your customers.
AVOID CONVENTIONAL THINKING: You don’t have to be a genius. You simply have to avoid being like everyone else. Explore what you know about your markets, products and customers, then think along those perimeters … the edges outside the box. This leads to innovation.
DO THE TOUGH THINGS FIRST: Progress has obstacles. The tougher the challenge, the more it looms as a barrier. Doing the Tough Things First clears the deck and makes progress … and success … more likely.
Startups, fundraising, crowdfunding.October 9, 2017 at 9:44 pm #175157
Such a nice story!
You’ve started from the right point. The center of your business are people. And you’re so right: if you are familiar with Jim Collins’s books, it is what he describes as the “who” rather than the “what.” People are more important than strategy. That goes for clients and for colleagues. If you focus on finding people you want to be with and who you think are talented, chances are you’ll come up with great ideas together that will work.