So, I don't think its normal to start a blog post 2 years after a company was born but then again, everything we do at ISlide is a little #different. Think about these posts as a book that will be written in chapters not necessary in order of a chronological timeline, but more about what is going thru my mind at the moment including the highs and lows of starting a company. This was the biggest risk of my life and there is no blueprint on how to do this the right way. Every person is going to start a business a different way but for me the most important pieces are trust, focus and unparalleled passion.
Chapter 1: Vegas baby Vegas
We just flew in last night on a red eye from Vegas and the Agenda/Capsule show. Anyone that knows anything about starting a business, you need to make a $ go a long way. I knew that between Hope and I, we needed to get thru everything in a little over 1 day even though the show was 3 days. Paul and the sales team had done some research on all the brands that were going to be out there and we had a laser focused approach on who and when we wanted to talk with them. Alife, Bodega, Wu Tang, Sportie LA, HLZBLZ, Crooks, Hundreds, 47 Brand, Burn Rubber, Bait to name a few. Thanks to a hookup from a friend, we were able to walk this exclusive show and not just create partnerships, but also keep ISlide on everyone's mind. What I mean by this is remembering that everything we do always can't be about a sale. I'm not saying to not always be thinking about selling but I never want to be the guy that only calls when he needs something. Terrible trait and not authentic but with only so many hours in a day, its hard not to.
I got a chance to connect with all my old Reebok buddies who mostly are at other companies other than Reebok ironically enough. I spent over 10 years at the Vector and was able to form many of my relationships and skills that I (may or may not) have today. Its said so many times, but I learned just as much on what TO do than what NOT to do. I've had a few good bosses and a few shitty ones but it has made me a much better coach. I actually like to think of myself as a coach and a mentor over a boss. If we hire the right people then it should be mostly about keeping everyone focused rather than having to spend that energy to motivate. Self motivated and selfless people will always succeed and those are the only people that will be hired at ISlide. I try and form an environment where we have this well-oiled machine and every one of our "Super 6" runs their department. They are a very talented and loyal group who understand the work that needs to be done to grow this company. We are the true definition of Umbutu.(I am what I am because of all of you) Speaking of hiring, all of our employees started as unpaid interns and one of the new interns just today suggested I start writing this blog. It was a great suggestion even if no one reads it. I am a horrible communicator sometimes about expressing what is going thru my mind so this is a good way for me to think about everything on a larger scale. Its also a way for my wife Lindsey to read this because I probably forget to tell her about 95% of what is on my mind.
As you can tell I'm pretty exhausted but looking forward to updating this every 1-2 weeks. Let me know your thoughts if any of this relates to what you are doing.
I'm thinking about future chapters and getting really excited about it: It will include advisors and investors, leaving Reebok, the Super 6, the little wins, the big wins, interns, the mistakes, phase 1 vs phase 2, giving back and last but not least, balancing family and work. I began listening to start up podcasts and realize that people can relate to start ups whether they have one now or want to start one.
JKTOTB (JK thought of the blog) I think that people that walk around talking on their earpieces need a reality check. You look like an ass. Just put the phone next to your ear? Unless you are driving then use a bluetooth.
Stand In What You Stand For - JK