Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.
— Dwayne Johnson
They say the good things in life don’t come easy.
And that seems to be the case for this New York City power couple.
Today I met up with an old friend from my Boston University days.
His name: Roi. His partner's name: Angela. Their brand: Angela Roi.
I used to play 5-a-side soccer with Roi.
He was good.. really good at soccer.
5 years ago him and his girlfriend started their ethical luxury handbag brand in New York.
Today I got to sit across from this successful entrepreneur and pick his brain for an hour.
We met up over some delicious Thai food in midtown Manhattan, where his business is based.
The first question I asked him was this:
"If you had to look back at the last 5 years of your venture what would you say is the biggest learning point?"
He thought about it for a bit as if his thoughts were marinating in his mind and then he had his answer.
Consistency and discipline.. that’s the key.
Turning up day after day. Holding the line. Past the initial fun and motivation that a new business always generates.
He told me that what people don’t understand is that it’s a never ending source of challenges that you face.
An upward battle, but a battle that can be won, nonetheless, if you are consistent in your action.
We all want success but are you willing to do what it takes.. CONSISTENTLY?
He told me about when he moved to New York City for the first time.
How they had 80 boxes of bags that they needed to store.
They were moving into a place on the 5th floor and there was no elevator.
Two friends came over to help from Boston and they spent the first couple of hours moving the first 30 boxes up.
But by that time they were exhausted and realised they needed outside help.
So they called a moving company to help them finish the job.
There’s always a way forward, a way to innovate.
Next he shared with me how running a business is also about taking 100% responsibility. It’s all on you and up to you.
For the first 4 years of their business they personally shipped the bags to their customers.
They would package the bags and get them ready for delivery.
And then go to the post office to get them to their customers.
That level of dedication is again a sign of consistency.
He also told me about a gruelling fundraising campaign that they had pushed for in the early years.
He made frequent trips to New York City from Boston on a weekly basis.
Time after time, rejection after rejection, he still turned up.
Until they realised there was another way to grow.
He had learned a valuable lesson and actually ended up being happier for not finding funding.
The fact that they had to bootstrap and instead seek funding from friends and family means that today they still own most of the company themselves.
Was it harder to grow it organically? Yes. Did they eventually manage to make it happen? Yes.
He also pointed out that may of the companies that he knew that had initially gotten that funding (which him and his partner had missed out on) and been backed by VCs were no longer around today.
Shortcuts don’t always lead to success. It’s not all about raising money.
It’s what you do with it that counts.
Today they are seeing 7-figure revenue and are set to expand towards a powerful vision for the business.
He's leveraging his experiences from his multiple startups and using it to push a second side venture to add even more value to the marketplace.
It was a privilege to sit down and listen to their incredible story.
And as if I hadn’t already received enough value from this legend, he even paid the bill before I could offer to do it.
Next time is on me.