In this episode we have Brian Smith, founder of the UGG Australia brand. Graduating in 1978 as a chartered accountant in Australia, Brian came to America looking for the next big opportunity to bring back to Australia. While studying at the UCLA Graduate School of Management he noticed there was no sheep skin footwear in the U.S. With only $500 in capital he imported boot samples and over the next 17 years built the UGG Australia brand into a multi-million dollar international enterprise. He sold it in 1995 and the brand has continued to grow to exceed a billion dollars in annual sales for the past three years.
- When you decide to jump in, you don’t know everything. Why should you? There are a lot of things Brian didn’t know that would have stopped him had he known. But once you have jumped in and started these then just become obstacles you have to overcome, they don’t become road blocks that stop you from moving.
- You can’t give birth to adults. Every business started with someone conceiving the idea and then giving birth. The birth of UGG was buying six pairs of samples. But then every business goes through infancy and just lays there and every once in awhile you get a giggle out of it but you keep feeding it and changing the diapers and eventually it will start toddling. The business is getting articles or blog posts and customers are writing reviews and you are getting orders. Then it moves into youth, orders are coming in and production is good. If it’s a really good business it will hit the teen years. You want to be at every party in town. It’s a stupid dangerous phase for a business because it’s tempting to do all these big adult things you aren’t ready for. But eventually you get through that and it becomes a mature adult of a business.
- You have to figure out what it is your market wants and then design your advertising to make them want to be in the picture. Find out who your target is and in a small way give them credibility so they know your product is what they are looking for.
- Nearly always your most disappointing disappointments will become your greatest blessings.
- The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live every day happily as a tadpole. There is nothing you can do to accelerate time, it just has to pass. The key word here is happily. You might as well get on to something you like doing while you’re waiting for the big thing to happen.
- Don’t move out of your day job until you are forced to do it because the new business demands your time.
- Try to find out what you can do better than everybody else and do it. Once you start out and really focus on something you will become an expert very quickly. It doesn’t matter what the product or service is, once you become an expert the money will start flowing. If you are going to be an expert on something, it better be something you like.
- If you are on the brink of becoming an entrepreneur, you’re about to be born. Just jump in, whatever you have conceived give birth to it. Take the first step but don’t mortgage your life for it. Start small and enjoy the ride because it’s going to be a fun one.
Brian does a small amount of coaching. He won’t coach someone unless he is sure he can help. You can buy the book on the website or on Amazon.