On Saturday, October 28th, I had the opportunity to speak at Roger Williams University's Going Pro Conference which was coordinated by the Gabelli School of Business's Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity.
The purpose of GoingPro is to expose students to various professional topics, including entrepreneurship, and for the Nu Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi to collaborate with other chapters of Delta Sigma Pi from across New England. Pretty Knotty was invited to share our experience building a product, bringing it to market, and operating a start up.
The theme of the presentation was...
We shared stories explaining some of the highlights of starting a business and some of the most challenging aspects - like the day I met with Melissa Withers at BetaSpring and turned into the crying Kim Kardashian meme.
Some of the challenges that we've encountered along the way (that have slowed us down, but haven't stopped us...):
Product development and rapid prototyping
Finding material suppliers and manufacturers willing to work with a startup
Protecting our IP
Creating the right brand
And getting comfortable with NO... just to name a few.
Jacob even shared some of his most important lessons that he's learned along the way, including:
1. With Amazon and the internet you can become an expert in anything... do your homework.
2. You need to be a jack of all trades but focus most on what you are good at because that is what provides the most value to your business - the rest can be outsourced.
3. A few times I have been exhausted because I was working too much - a work/life balance is important.
4. As the Ramones say in their song - “Swallow My Pride." I would post this message 2 times in the list.
5. As 50 Cent said in an interview, “If you want to succeed you have to be the one to raise your hand, the one who volunteers, the one who pushes for it.”
#AGREED! That's probably why we're business partners.
Luckily, we're hitting more ladders than chutes nowadays... we think that's due in large part thanks to our loyal fans.
Thank you for supporting us through our first year of business! We are so proud to deliver you with high-quality, performance hair products that are made in the USA.
And if you were one of the 100+ business students at the GoingPro conference last week, thank you for being so attentive and asking such thoughtful questions. Good luck to the seniors who will be #adulting soon enought; HMU if you need anything along the way.
Hair Up, Game On,