Talk about a super entrepreneur, Cash Flow Diary podcast guest Brian Smith’s is just that. The founder of UGG, one of the most loved footwear brands in the world, Brian wasn’t always the businessman and free thinker he is today. He was once a desk jockey in Australia who hated his job. Things changed one day while listening to a song by Pink Floyd. It spoke to him in a way that pushed him to make a big change. He quit his job and headed for sunny southern California. As a passionate surfer, the big California waves, beautiful beach babes and free lifestyle appealed to him. Brian figured it would be a great place to determine what he’d do next in life. Nothing happened for the first few months, but then he saw a guy with his feet propped up who was wearing a pair of cool Australian sheepskin boots. BINGO! He’d bring them to America. The road was really rough at first. Through trial and error, Brian stumbled onto the right way to market his marvelous boots… at first to fellow surfers. The rest is history. In this fascinating interview, you’ll learn of Brian’s mistakes, how he kept going in the face of many challenges, how he had to overcome his ignorance of the marketplace, how he learned to plan for the future, how he redirected his thoughts and actions and then what he did to create the success he finally achieved. This is a brilliant story for every entrepreneur with a dream to bring a product to market. Learn more. LISTEN NOW
On this episode of Cash Flow Diary, J interviews Brian Smith, founder of the world famous brand, Ugg Australia. Brian is a sought after keynote speaker, mentor, and author of The Birth of A Brand. Ugg was started with just $500 capital. In this episode, you will see the power of one idea!
03:42 Brian’s origin story
10:12 Starting out with Uggs
15:38 Highs and lows of selling Uggs
16:32 “You can’t give birth to adults!”
19:10 Building a business bigger than you
22:20 Apply for a free one-on-one breakthrough session / J’s episode insight
23:26 Finding the right staff
26:55 Figuring it out
28:17 Additional capital from external investors
33:03 Buying and selling the business
39:51 Writing The Birth of A Brand
41:21 Advice to new entrepreneurs
Main Questions Asked:
- What is your origin story?
- What was the process like to figure out the customer you should go after?
- How do you handle going from an emotional high to only selling 28 pairs of Uggs?
- How do you grow a business that is ‘bigger than you?’
- How do you vet and find the right person for your small business team?
- What were the times where you had to ‘figure it out?’
- Was there a time where you decided to bring in additional capital from outside investors in order to make things work?
- Talk about selling the Uggs business for a second time.
- Why take the time to document your story?
- What is your advice to someone who has an idea, but isn’t sure where to start?
Key Lessons Learned:
- You don’t have a money problem, you have an idea problem.
- Many of us could solve our money problems if we are willing to gain access to other people’s ideas and execute them.
- It’s not about how much money you have, it’s how you use what you have, so you can get what you need and have what you want.
- If you don’t start, you’ll never get anywhere.
- Uggs first year sales in the US was $1000 (28 pairs.) Second year was $30,000. It is now a billion dollar company.
- Keep failing forward and be happy about it.
- “You can’t give birth to adults!” Every business is conceived, birthed, then moves on to infancy, youth, teen, and eventually a mature business.
- You have to learn the process of vetting and finding the right person.
- You have to give it your best shot and believe in your intuition.
- The difficult thing with a new hire is if it’s not working out within a month or two, you have to be able to tell and move on.
- Don’t sign a long-term contract when you hire (you always need a testing period).
- There will be times when you run out of cash, so you have to get creative and figure out if there is another way.
- Often, your biggest disappointments become your greatest blessings.
- If you want to become an entrepreneur, start your business but don’t quit your day job.
- You don’t have to know where you are going when you start, so don’t be afraid.
- Find out what it is you can do better than anyone else and do it.
- If you are the best at what you do, the money will chase you.
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Links to Resources Mentioned
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