I spoke to @markjsaldana, marketing manager of 500 Startups about fashion, technology and my entrepreneurial journey.
The fashion world is a dreamy one, with its fantastical parties, rubbing shoulders with celebrities in front row seats, getting photographed, drinking champagne, eating nothing, and working on a full-time to part-time job in another industry to make this life exist.
Why I left fashion the first time was because what I was doing on a part time basis was making me more money than I would ever make in my fantasy life. More importantly, I wanted more than just the small little bubble I felt I lived in. I thought that perhaps fashion was not the right industry to make money in after all. I hadn’t figured out how I could scale using technology without spending even more money on infrastructure to put all the pieces together. I loved menswear and fashion, but I wanted more. I felt that I was ill prepared for taking the company to the next level alone and overall felt exhausted at the prospect, so I abandoned ship. That was two and a half years ago.
Since then, I learned quite a lot about what it takes to build a successful company as I co-founded a funded start-up which allowed me to experiment with marketing, travel around North America, and gain a ton of new skills. My combined experiences have all lead me back to where I initially started: in India, in fashion. Funny how that happens, I guess my work was not done.
Thankfully, this time I am not scared of anything nor do I think anything is impossible. I am willing to hit rock bottom for what I believe is a revolutionary and disruptive concept that it took me 7 years to find. Yes, I have been thinking about fashion and technology for 7 years.
What can you take away from this?
- If you want to be an entrepreneur (not self-employed), go big or go home. Don’t settle for a small idea, think about the biggest possible thing and go after that.
- Don’t be afraid to quit, its not failing. If your heart is not in it then don’t waste your time. If it’s really worth it, you will come back to it later.
- Cash is king, but a true entrepreneur will get over it. Worrying about money takes away time spent making that money. Its a vicious cycle.
- Fail fast and hard, I have previously written a blog on this. It take 3 months for you to realize if you are on the right track or not, and as you iterate this timeline gets smaller. Don’t be afraid to drown the puppy and move on.
Lastly, I truly believe you spend the first 30 odd years of your life searching for love and meaning, and the rest of your life nurturing, and cultivating that love and meaning. So make it all count.
Last week, our Savillian suits and Jessie were asked to be a part of a magazine photoshoot featuring other South Asian talent – photographed by our favourite photographer – Andrew Adams Photography – Hair and Makeup by Kavita Suri – http://www.kavitasuri.com – Vishva Boutique (Eastern Women Clothing) – http://vishvaboutique.com – Men of India (Eastern Men Clothing) – http://menofindia.ca.
My first wedding of 2010 (February) – designed a Nehru suit for the groom (shown below) and 2-peice charcoal grey suits for his two brother-in-laws (2nd and 5th) in the photo. Thanks for letting me share the picture with my readers – it has bits of Mad Men/James Bond/GodFather elements that I believe all guys strive for!