1. Anyone who tells you to fake it until you make it hasn’t made it.
2. Work harder than everyone else.
3. In the beginning you will be pulling double duty working and starting your business and you have to be willing to put in really long days. Too bad, we’ve all had to do the same thing.
4. Don’t spend all of your money on your first run of products. Things always change from what your first idea was and you want to be able to have money to make new things.
5. If it sells out, you can always make more.
6. Date someone who is inspired by your work ethic and understands it, not someone who views it as a detriment or point of contention.
7. Getting feedback and constructive criticism is always good, but the final decisions need to be made based off of what you think is right.
8. Pursue a business that will keep you inspired and is true to you. Honesty in what you do is recognized.
9. Be willing to say no to opportunities that are too big for where you are realistically. Going broke producing something you can’t afford to make is a bad idea. Get their contact and follow up when the time is right.
10. If you are trying to chase a fad, you’re already too late.
11. Don’t be afraid to cold call. Some of my largest accounts were landed by picking up the phone, sending samples and following up after.
12. You will have some pretty big failures and you need to learn from them and keep moving forward.
13. Stay humble and share your knowledge with others.
14. Every market is oversaturated. The people in it for the wrong reasons weed themselves out quickly, so don’t concern yourself too much unless your competition is hungrier than you are.
15. If you ever think there’s nothing to do, you are wrong and being lazy.

ps. I know there's a ton more to be said, but figured this was a decent start.

dig.
-greg / miles to go
http://milestogo.clothing
  • Matt Borchert

    Well said!
  • Sushilove

    Good points
  • ExaltedByMark.



    Great GREG!
  • miles to go

    thanks for reading it guys. i thought about doing a clothing industry specific list, but thought general tips that could cross over may be better. i have a talk to do coming up for a group of new entrepreneurs and wanted to get a jump start on a list.
  • Matt Borchert

    To tag onto this, I recently made a blog post about the steps I took in order to be able to work for myself full time. These are the basics, but a great place to start for anyone who isn't sure of the fundamentals to consider.

    http://www.mattborchert.com/blog/2014/10/17/gaining-financial-independence-as-a-designer
  • dbdesign

    Matt Borchert said:To tag onto this, I recently made a blog post about the steps I took in order to be able to work for myself full time. These are the basics, but a great place to start for anyone who isn't sure of the fundamentals to consider.


    http://www.mattborchert.com/blog/2014/10/17/gaining-financial-independence-as-a-designer

    Great post, Matt.
    I have been also seriously considering leaving my full-time Creative Director job, next year to pursue freelance full-time. Owning a brand new house and now having a wife to also consider,it's been a tough decision for me, if I were single and in an apartment I would have quit my job 2 years ago. But I think the time is fast approaching.
  • Matt Borchert

    dbdesign said:
    Matt Borchert said:To tag onto this, I recently made a blog post about the steps I took in order to be able to work for myself full time. These are the basics, but a great place to start for anyone who isn't sure of the fundamentals to consider.


    http://www.mattborchert.com/blog/2014/10/17/gaining-financial-independence-as-a-designer

    Great post, Matt.
    I have been also seriously considering leaving my full-time Creative Director job, next year to pursue freelance full-time. The time is growing closer, I think. Owning a brand new house and now having a wife to also consider,it's been a tough decision for me, if I were single and in an apartment I would have quit my job 2 years ago.

    Yeah, I'm fortunate (if that's the right word haha) enough to live in a small and cheap apartment, with not a whole lot to provide for aside from myself and my girlfriend.
  • dbdesign

    Matt Borchert said:
    dbdesign said:
    Matt Borchert said:To tag onto this, I recently made a blog post about the steps I took in order to be able to work for myself full time. These are the basics, but a great place to start for anyone who isn't sure of the fundamentals to consider.


    http://www.mattborchert.com/blog/2014/10/17/gaining-financial-independence-as-a-designer

    Great post, Matt.
    I have been also seriously considering leaving my full-time Creative Director job, next year to pursue freelance full-time. The time is growing closer, I think. Owning a brand new house and now having a wife to also consider,it's been a tough decision for me, if I were single and in an apartment I would have quit my job 2 years ago.

    Yeah, I'm fortunate (if that's the right word haha) enough to live in a small and cheap apartment, with not a whole lot to provide for aside from myself and my girlfriend.

    I wish you the best man - much respect!
  • miles to go

    Great post Matt. I had to gear mine towards the beginner but I really want to do an in depth blog post for the people on the verge of leaping like you did. I've been soley relying on miles to go for about 6 years now and it was hard to let go of my part time job(s) I had. Much respect for anyone who works hard enough to even have that debate be put on the table. There's up times and down times, but the victories when you are self employed are really fully felt.
  • Random

    ^^^ I respect anyone who runs their brand full time! Hopefully one day I will be able to do the same... scary though.
  • zamboaga

    Thanks for sharing Greg and also Matt!
  • JoeBaronDesign

    Great list. It's pretty much all true.

    Matt Borchert said:To tag onto this, I recently made a blog post about the steps I took in order to be able to work for myself full time. These are the basics, but a great place to start for anyone who isn't sure of the fundamentals to consider.


    http://www.mattborchert.com/blog/2014/10/17/gaining-financial-independence-as-a-designer

    That was a good post, Matt.
  • Integral

    Yea nice and simple list, and even retweeted it.

    I actually wrote a blog article awhile back when I felt like my brand was headed in the wrong direction and your statement:

    "7. Getting feedback and constructive criticism is always good, but the final decisions need to be made based off of what you think is right." really reminded of what I wrote a few months back.

    I felt like I was waiting for approval from my customers on what to release, what will be hot, but ultimately I was scared to fail and not take bigger leaps.

    Here is a quick quote
    -----

    "Every year we add a new goal or a way to push ourselves as a brand. In 2014 we wrote on our goal board to “Scare Yourself in 2014” When I wrote that, I didn't know what that meant, but I do know what it DIDN'T mean.

    In the past we spent a lot of time posting teasers and sending out designs to members of the other organizations to confirm if a new item would be a hot seller. It definitely helped understand other organizations and their need for more fashionable ‘nalia, but it also told us that we did not trust our brand and direction.

    Don’t get me wrong, we still need to run new ideas by our informal DGRK Street Team of supporters, but we also need to TRUST our knowledge of the industry, greek fashion and what our customers want to see and wear. We started this company knowing we wanted to be the PHIRST (excuse the supergreek spelling) greek ‘nalia company to BRAND itself and not the organizations letters themselves. It took some time but we are now at the point where we can take on bigger projects and apparel items that WE want to wear.

    ----
    I also tried the full time thing when I moved from one state to another, I did it for about a half year, my wife and I found out we were expecting so I had to get a full-time, but I am currently looking to drop down to part time, something in the art industry and keep working on the brand and kids. It's a wild ride but like you said at the end of the day it is definitely worth it.
  • GNARZILLA

    Great list Greg!
    Also this

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • miles to go

    Integral said:Yea nice and simple list, and even retweeted it.

    I actually wrote a blog article awhile back when I felt like my brand was headed in the wrong direction and your statement:

    "7. Getting feedback and constructive criticism is always good, but the final decisions need to be made based off of what you think is right." really reminded of what I wrote a few months back.

    I felt like I was waiting for approval from my customers on what to release, what will be hot, but ultimately I was scared to fail and not take bigger leaps.

    Here is a quick quote
    -----

    "Every year we add a new goal or a way to push ourselves as a brand. In 2014 we wrote on our goal board to “Scare Yourself in 2014” When I wrote that, I didn't know what that meant, but I do know what it DIDN'T mean.

    In the past we spent a lot of time posting teasers and sending out designs to members of the other organizations to confirm if a new item would be a hot seller. It definitely helped understand other organizations and their need for more fashionable ‘nalia, but it also told us that we did not trust our brand and direction.

    Don’t get me wrong, we still need to run new ideas by our informal DGRK Street Team of supporters, but we also need to TRUST our knowledge of the industry, greek fashion and what our customers want to see and wear. We started this company knowing we wanted to be the PHIRST (excuse the supergreek spelling) greek ‘nalia company to BRAND itself and not the organizations letters themselves. It took some time but we are now at the point where we can take on bigger projects and apparel items that WE want to wear.

    ----
    I also tried the full time thing when I moved from one state to another, I did it for about a half year, my wife and I found out we were expecting so I had to get a full-time, but I am currently looking to drop down to part time, something in the art industry and keep working on the brand and kids. It's a wild ride but like you said at the end of the day it is definitely worth it.

    brand owners have to be the art director, bottom line in our industry. too often, we say, what color, hows this, should i print this, etc and a clothing brand gets its feel and overall look from the owner, or at least it should. i hire a ton of totally different style artists, so my job is to use art direction and color selection to make it miles to go at the end of the day.

    had i made this clothing specific, one of the top ones would have been that as a brand owner, even if you are not the artist, you need to be familiar with basic skills in the adobe suite to mock things, do color overlays to test print colors, resize, etc. not everyone needs to know how to do color seps of their own work, but the majority of art i get needs a little bit of tidying up before it goes to print and mostly with people who work only in traditional media and aren't as well versed in making their work digital. when i helped out doing customer service at my local print shop, i couldn't believe the large majority of "clothing brand" owners who had no fucking clue how to do anything with their art. blew my mind. thats our responsibility to learn.
  • MrSnake

    miles to go said:
    Integral said:Yea nice and simple list, and even retweeted it.

    I actually wrote a blog article awhile back when I felt like my brand was headed in the wrong direction and your statement:

    "7. Getting feedback and constructive criticism is always good, but the final decisions need to be made based off of what you think is right." really reminded of what I wrote a few months back.

    I felt like I was waiting for approval from my customers on what to release, what will be hot, but ultimately I was scared to fail and not take bigger leaps.

    Here is a quick quote
    -----

    "Every year we add a new goal or a way to push ourselves as a brand. In 2014 we wrote on our goal board to “Scare Yourself in 2014” When I wrote that, I didn't know what that meant, but I do know what it DIDN'T mean.

    In the past we spent a lot of time posting teasers and sending out designs to members of the other organizations to confirm if a new item would be a hot seller. It definitely helped understand other organizations and their need for more fashionable ‘nalia, but it also told us that we did not trust our brand and direction.

    Don’t get me wrong, we still need to run new ideas by our informal DGRK Street Team of supporters, but we also need to TRUST our knowledge of the industry, greek fashion and what our customers want to see and wear. We started this company knowing we wanted to be the PHIRST (excuse the supergreek spelling) greek ‘nalia company to BRAND itself and not the organizations letters themselves. It took some time but we are now at the point where we can take on bigger projects and apparel items that WE want to wear.

    ----
    I also tried the full time thing when I moved from one state to another, I did it for about a half year, my wife and I found out we were expecting so I had to get a full-time, but I am currently looking to drop down to part time, something in the art industry and keep working on the brand and kids. It's a wild ride but like you said at the end of the day it is definitely worth it.

    brand owners have to be the art director, bottom line in our industry. too often, we say, what color, hows this, should i print this, etc and a clothing brand gets its feel and overall look from the owner, or at least it should. i hire a ton of totally different style artists, so my job is to use art direction and color selection to make it miles to go at the end of the day.

    had i made this clothing specific, one of the top ones would have been that as a brand owner, even if you are not the artist, you need to be familiar with basic skills in the adobe suite to mock things, do color overlays to test print colors, resize, etc. not everyone needs to know how to do color seps of their own work, but the majority of art i get needs a little bit of tidying up before it goes to print and mostly with people who work only in traditional media and aren't as well versed in making their work digital. when i helped out doing customer service at my local print shop, i couldn't believe the large majority of "clothing brand" owners who had no fucking clue how to do anything with their art. blew my mind. thats our responsibility to learn.

    Please make a post about the horrors you saw at the printshop.

    Thanks for the great list. You should add, "Grow a thick skin."
  • rich-priority

    Top tips Greg! Thanks mate.
  • bidentweet

    This is so good how to plant
  • MattisGentle

    Great tips! I've only been a clothing brand owner for 2 years now and I can definitely relate to some of these and I'm sure I will relate to others the longer I'm in business!
  • RolandEsquibel

    Great advice, especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. At this stage, I ran into a content problem for my site. I need to create selling content, with the design and writing helped me to cope, company that I found on Writing Judge. I also want to build a good marketing strategy, in order to finally get a profit.

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