Anything is possible, Just think of Silly Bands

I had a great day today working with great people and knowing the work was on target, on task, and had impact. Then I get on the airplane and watch the Forbes Billionaires – Outrageous Outlooks and immediately felt like a slacker.

The inventors of Skullcandy, Silly bands, Carole’s Daughter’s hair products, an internet security company in Canada and the marketer of a simple exercise tool called spin it off became multimillionaires in 5-10-15 years after starting their businesses. Was it luck, fortitude, timing, ingenuity, persistence, brilliance, passion, or great planning that propelled them to the top? Thousands of entrepreneurs in the US and around the world are just as brilliant, have good ideas, passion, persistence, and even money backing them up. They do just fine, growing the company, earning a good living, and making a name for themselves, but few have turned the business into multimillions and billions. So what is it that distinguishes these entrepreneur

In the case of Skullcandy, he spoke to a specific market that had a problem and he solved it – skiers and snowboarders that needed to plug in while on the slopes. He then took bold steps to distribute his product through the 3 biggest retailers in the US, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart. After that sales went through the roof.

Silly band inventor went from making T-Shirts to starting an accidental craze that flew off the shelves. Price point, market, collectors item, and with a few movie stars wearing his product it became history. 

Carol’s Daughter’s hair products geared toward African Americans made it big once Oprah discovered and used her products.  A rags to riches story that shows how meeting a need, persistence and belief pays off big.

The Canadian Internet security company grew as the internet exploded. Seeing a need that would need to be filled, the company grew into the largest provider of Internet security services in Canada soon being bought out by AT&T.

We do wish there was a magic bullet, but as you can see, the big winners came at it from different directions.

  • Some fulfilled a need that no one had filled.
  • Others created the need and then filled it.
  • Some were brilliant at jumping on a new untapped market, or marketing an unknown product.
  • All did what they do because they believed in it not just to make money.
  • All were persistent, ingenious, and brilliant in their own way, took risks, consistent at execution of their strategy, passionate, and had fortitude.
  • Most important each one loved what they were doing.

Being a captured audience in the middle seat of a long haul from Boston to the West coast, I heard a consistent message that I know to be true; go with your passion and dream big. It too can happen to you. Going with your passion is actually the easy part, dreaming big is harder.

If it doesn’t turn into millions for you personally the guess is you will still be doing what you want to do and live a great life with just a few less zeros. In fact, your big dream may not at all be about the zeros, but about something else. So on that note, remember if Silly Bands can make someone a multimillionaire anything is possible is this world of ours.