Last year, during summer vacation, I started working on tee shirt printing with one of my childhood friend. From childhood I had a very strong inclination towards creative stuff. One liners, quotes, retorts, graffitis I would spend hours reading them. That’s why I felt tee shirt printing was the best way to flaunt my collection.
We started off with designing the tees, working on cost , sizes & also cajoling printer who would invest his time in an inconspicuous endeavour where he would end up getting zilch. But soon the inconspicuous looking endeavour started making sense & initial logjams started getting clear. We managed to catch hold of a printer who was willing to fulfil our paltry order. Several iterations were made & just when our first lot was going to be out in the market my co-partner got admission into a college in another city.
This was an unpleasant vicissitude of fortune for the project that we both had taken in our hands. It meant that either I run the show alone or I scrap the project. At that moment of time I naively choose to scrap the project. All I was left with was a bag full of samples, which now lie in my cupboard as souvenirs of a fledgling startup & other thing was far more intellectual i.e Experience. So here I would like to share my learnings from my first fledgling start up.
1) Don’t give up.
This is the most clichéd line ever, every school, college teaches this but somehow when it comes to practical application we tend to give up too soon. When my partner left I felt handicapped, I thought this is the end. Alone, I won’t be able to handle this. But looking back I feel that was the most foolish thought ever. Just stick to your goal no matter what the odds are. Beat the odds. Ask yourself did you try enough? As Harvey Specter says there are always 146 ways to deal with any situation.
2) Don’t overthink.
Thinking is good but overthinking drives a man insane. It creates such a mental state where you start projecting possibilities of failure more than possibilities of being successful.
I literally got paranoid with the amount of ‘what-ifs’ I was bombarded with . Everything was sounding so big. But trust me once when I plunged into this everything started falling into place making way for endless possibilities.
3) Vision is limited. Capital is unlimited.
Thinking that you don’t have enough resources is a very naïve thought. Your vision can be limited but to fulfill that vision endless possibilities exist. Start small but think big. Everything will fall into place be it capital, innovation or even co-partner.
4) Plagiarisation is the key
Its only when you start working on your idea & start researching , that’s when you realise that such product already exist in the market. We are reaching a saturation level in everything. Carving a niche is becoming a very arduous task. Only way out is to plagiarize. Nothing in this world is original. Every innovative product you see is result of mere plagiarisation. Inspiration can be drawn from anything. Embrace everything that comes your way, you may never know what could be useful to you.
5) Courage, dear heart.
Start early. Education from institutions can’t match with what you learn from these endeavours. Field experience is far more vital. Being a teenager you can get away with few mistakes here & there. Also you may or may not get the privilege of working with your best friend in future. Spending those nights designing tees, roaming around to get printer was the EPIC time of my life
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow-lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE.DREAM.DISCOVER”- MARK TWAIN