"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack" - Rudyard Kipling
Let me start by saying this - I didn't go to business school, and I certainly didn't go to fashion school. I graduated high school with a 2.9 GPA (still got an academic scholarship to Cal-Berkley?!) and honestly I never paid any attention to anything business oriented until VERY recently. So when I'm asked about RUCKUS business policies, practices, beliefs, etc. - all of my answers come from my heart, my experience, and my beliefs, not from any textbook or business trend. With that being said, in this post I am going to talk about what I believe to be one of the best practices a small business can have - it's called not being a selfish dickhead.
Being selfish or self-centered is one of the most detrimental things you can do, not only as a business owner, but as a human being in general. A lot of people justify being selfish by simply calling it "being driven"; but straight up - if the pursuit of your goals is trumping your relationships, it's all in vain, and even when you reach your goal it will have lost all meaning if there is no one to share it with.
Apply this to life, as well as to business: it takes a TEAM. It takes a PACK.
I learned this lesson at a very young age. I grew up very poor. I remember having dinner parties which I thought were awesome, because I got to chill with all my friends; little did I know at the time that we had people over because we were sharing food. We had bread, they had eggs, we had butter, they had milk, and TOGETHER - we could feed both families.
Well, as I stepped into the real world several years ago, I started applying the same principles to my business. I started looking for LOYAL, TRUSTWORTHY, RIDE OR DIE, people to collaborate, partner, and do life with. Not to make more money - to be honest, money has very little to do with any business decision that we make. No, we didn't do it to make money; we set out to find those people because I knew in my head and my heart, that the pack is greater than the individual. I wanted to surround myself with a crew of equally creative and driven people who were in business for the right reasons, and living life the right way.
It's crazy how far - "DOING GOOD WORK, WITH GOOD PEOPLE" will actually get you.
So partner and create - set aside your pride or your individual needs and seek a team. Seek out other small business owners, athletes, mentors, leaders, innovators, photographers, writers, editors, videographers, promoters, venue owners, musicians, warehouse managers, stylists, etc., who will have your back. You are only as strong as your team.
Locals supporting locals is the only way anyone will succeed. Business owners who undercut, bad mouth, and see themselves and their individual needs as more-important than the needs of their community are missing the boat. In life AND in business - we are not meant to do either one solo.
questions / comments / hate / etc - firstname.lastname@example.org