I Cried In My Rental Car Yesterday. And It Was Eddie Griffin’s Fault!

Celebrity Designer, William WilsonYesterday was a milestone moment for me. I’m in LA, sitting in my rental car. It’s like 90 degrees. I’m sweating like Al Sharpton at a Trump rally. I’m shaking. I’m sweating. And I’m crying. And it’s ALL Eddie Griffin’s fault.

You see, my tears weren’t tears of pain. They were tears of joy, happiness and accomplishment. They were the result of seeing a seldom discussed, almost forgotten, goal accomplished. So. What made me cry in a rental car in Los Angeles? Would you believe me if I told you it was a rack of clothes? Well it was.

I was in the wardrobe trailer for the Comedy Get Down television show the guys are filming. And I’m looking at everyone’s wardrobes. Most was supplied to the show by various companies. But Eddie wanted to wear his own clothes for the show. So, as I look at his wardrobe rack I see a whole rack of clothing. And they all have MY LABEL on them. His entire wardrobe for the show was made by William Wilson Clothing. At first I just sat and looked at it, in shock and disbelief. I talked with the wardrobe designer Dana. And told her about it. She let me take a picture of it. We spoke for a while longer, and I walked out of the trailer. I wasn’t really sure where I was going. I was just walking. And I ended up back at the rental car. I got in the car, pulled out my phone, and just stared at the picture. Then a tear drop fell on the screen. Then another. Then another. As I wiped my eyes, I couldn’t stop looking at the screen.

20 hours later, and I still can’t fully verbalize what I felt. But the best way I can describe it is thankful, blessed and amazed. Thankful to God for blessing me to live a life I never even remotely dreamed possible. I never wanted to be a clothing designer, but I guess God wanted me to be. Thankful to my mother, for teaching me to work hard and never give up on your dreams, no matter what other people said about it. And thankful to my friend Eddie Griffin; for being the loyal, committed and one of the truest friends you could ask for. And for teaching me what it takes to get to the top, stay on top, and to never lose yourself in your success.

When I got into design, and realized I’d be working with celebrities, I set some pretty high goals. I figured “What do I have to lose?” One of my first goals was to dress one of the main stairs for a tv show. Today I’m living that dream. I’m in my hotel room getting dressed to go on set. And I will see my friend, Eddie Griffin, wearing clothes that he thought up, and I made. God is so good.

Never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big. Dream as big as you want. But remember, big dreams require big commitment. They come with great sacrifices and may take a long time to get there. You may have to put them in the back of your mind, and work on the preliminary things first. They probably won’t happen when YOU want. But if you do the right things for long enough, they will eventually happen. Just don’t give up.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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“Broke People Give Broke Advice”

You can do anything in the world, but you can’t do it alone. You need help. And quite often you need advice. When seeking advice,  make sure you get it from someone you can trust, and someone capable of giving you sound counsel. But also remember, “Broke people give broke advice.” This doesn’t mean broken in a financial way. I mean in mind. A mentally broken person will only tell you why something won’t work. They will never have suggestions to make your ideas better. And they will only tear down your dreams. Seek advise from those that care about you and your success.

But also understand, just because a person is on your side doesn’t mean they will always agree with you. Sometimes the best advice you can get is not try your idea. Or try it later. Or make some changes to it. Be smart enough to understand the difference between a support system and a cheerleader. Support system has your back and will ALWAYS tell you the truth. A cheerleader will agree with you, no matter how bad the advice.

You can’t build a strong foundation with broken pieces. And you can’t have a positive outcome seeking advice from a broken mind. Remember. “Broke people give broke advice.”

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

 

Don’t Confuse the Blessing with the By-Product

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)I am often told how blessed my life is. And I admit it. It really is. I have the opportunity to do things I never thought possible. I sometimes find myself sitting in my hotel room in some city, or on my couch at home, and cry with joy and amazement of the things that happen in my life. I am so thankful God saw fit to bless me this way. Often people tell me “You deserve it. You work hard.” Though I do work hard, that does not make me deserving of these blessings. If what you do decided what you deserve, doesn’t that undermine the definition of a blessing anyway?

Though I have been blessed. Many people miss what my REAL blessings are. They think it’s the celebrities I work with, or the attention, the travel, my home, my network and my lifestyle. They see parts of my life on social media and see THAT as the blessing. Those are NOT the blessings. Those are just the results of the blessings. The real blessings are the things you don’t see. The things behind the scenes. My blessings are many, so I will only name a few.

The first blessing is of-course, God being in my life, and allowing me to have a personal relationship with Him. Without Him, NONE OF THIS happens. I am a Christian in progress. I make a lot of mistakes. I am far from perfect. I don’t always display the best examples of Christianity, and I know He is OFTEN disappointed with the decisions and choices I make. When I’m hurt I’m sometimes angry with Him. Yet he NEVER fails to show me that He is still with me; and that the pain, though excruciating is temporary, and everything will be all right.

My mother is an enormous blessing. I am naturally very closed off, distant and extremely private. I handle most pain internally, and alone. My biggest seasons of pain often manifests itself in me diving even deeper into my work. Rarely do even my closest friends know when I am struggling with something. I’ve always been that way. But I know if I EVER need her, my mom is there for me to talk to. That’s extremely comforting for someone like me that doesn’t open up to people very easily.

My boy Kevin Porter has been a blessing. When I first got my space for William Wilson Clothing in Uptown Charlotte, I was constantly being given high estimates because people knew I worked with celebrities, and figured they could get over on me. (Not realizing I used to own a construction company and knew when they were lying and bidding me high). My buddy Kevin and I tore down all the old walls in the space, and built new ones. TWICE! We hung stuff on walls, moved things around, and then moved them again. And while others tried to charge astronomical prices, Kevin only charged me with friendship. He was always there for me, and he never charged me a dime. He wouldn’t even take it.

My blessings are my friends, who at my darkest hour are always there for me. Even when they don’t know they are. They keep life in perspective. In a world where many are afraid to disagree with me, tell me I’m wrong, or put me in my place; they will. They don’t care if I get upset. They just tell me the truth, and I love them for that. They keep me from making stupid decisions more often than you think.

My blessings are my loved ones. I have love for everyone. But I mean the ones I say “I love you” to. I don’t say those words easily. I probably haven’t said them to 10 people total in my entire life, outside of in a Christian way. Emotional intimacy is my greatest struggle. It always has been. I’m working to do better but it is a process. I’m not really an emotional person. I’m more of a pragmatist. It’s not the best way to be, but it’s all I know. So for people to know this and still stay in my life is a HUGE thing for me. So they are a very crucial blessing.

My “haters” are a blessing. Yes they ARE a blessing. They make me pay attention to the small details. They keep me from overlooking things. They keep me from giving into those rare cases of anger, and posting responses that would immediately undermine my brand and what I stand for. I’m human. And though I’m not an emotional person, I do have feelings, and I can give into them at times. My haters make me make sure to try my best not to do that.

And lastly, my blessings are you guys that support me. You have no idea how often the encouraging things you say and do for me have been the only bright spot in a rough day. I tend to be positive on my social media, so you rarely see, or hear, my pain. You guys always support my efforts, have positive things to say. You pick me up when I’m down. And I appreciate when I’m out in town and someone stops me that I haven’t met and introduce themselves as a Facebook friend, or Instagram/ Twitter follower. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to acknowledge my existence. You could have walked by without saying a word and I would have been none the wiser. So thank you for showing me that what I do make a difference.

I hope this gives a better insight to the REAL blessings in my life. Hopefully it will help you do the same. Take an introspective look at your life and find out what your REAL blessings are. You may be surprised with what you find out. Until next time….

God bless and dress well.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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Don’t Let Your Business Cost You “The One”

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)I started this blog to help people. I am often asked to have lunch with people so they can “pick my brain” about business. Though I would love to meet with everyone, I can’t. But I also understand that sharing the successes and mistakes of life can help others. This is one of those times.

There is debate over whether you can balance work and life. I don’t think you can because balance infers equality. When building a business it’s all but impossible to give EQUAL time to both and build a strong, sustainable business efficiently. I have always felt that. I still believe that. However, I recently witnessed something that has caused me to give pause to my purely black and white positioning on this issue.

A friend of mine met a female a while back. They became friends. Nothing more, nothing less. Over time they developed feelings for each other. He was building his business, and that was his primary focus. That is something I can truly relate to. As his feelings became stronger, he became more and more conflicted because he fell completely and totally, head over heels in love with her, as did she with him. Though he felt he had met the woman of his dreams, he still focused on his business. In his mind, he was building a foundation for their lives together. She knew he loved her. And she trusted him. He wasn’t a cheater and she knew he was loyal. He relied on those facts to wrongly make the assumption that everything would work out in the end, and everyone would eventually be happy. However, he missed the NUMBER ONE rule in business. ALWAYS listen to the customer.

In this instance, SHE was the customer. And his product was a life together. All she wanted was his love, and to feel special. She wasn’t demanding of him. All she wanted was SOME of his time, and the little things that matter. She wanted to feel like he was with her, and that there was hope for a future down the road. She never pushed him for much. She wasn’t after him for money, or what he could do for her. She was 100% supportive of his needs, and she would do anything to help in any way she could. She even sacrificed her own happiness for the sake of love and being supportive to him.

Now to get the scope of HIS love, you must know he loved her with every bit of his heart as well. He wanted to marry her and raise a family with her one day. Those of us that knew him, knew that. He felt it, but he didn’t express it in the manner that he should have. She relayed her feelings to him. He didn’t ignore them, but he didn’t truly understand the depth of her pain. Subsequently, he lost her and she met someone new.

He and I have always felt the same about work/ life balance. And I had never seen a situation where things didn’t work out in the end. So I always felt he was doing the right thing. And, as usual, at the end, everything would work out. But as we spoke, all I could hear was his pain. I had never heard him sound like this before. Here was a guy that had it all, and once had everything he could want, standing before me totally defeated. Heartbroken. Lost. My heart felt for him. The pain he felt was unimaginable. He said these words to me.

“Will, I have success, respect and money. I have a successful career and I have unlimited opportunity. But not a single bit of that matters now. I’d give all of it up to have her back. Without her, all of this feels empty. I have never felt so alone and lost in my life.” That has been permeating in my head for weeks. In the end, after being friends with this guy for most of my adult life. After building careers neither of us ever thought we would. After living unimaginably blessed lives, the most valuable lesson in life had been taught. Success, fame, money, lifestyle, whatever your ambition; if you are blessed to find the person that makes your heart beat fast; if you find the one you think you want to spend the rest of your life with; if you find the one that hearing their voice changes the way you feel, let them know. Don’t just let them know. Make sure they feel it. After all this time building a business, all my friend wants in the world is to hold her again. a chance to win her love back, and to spend the rest of his life with her. He was so busy building a world where they could have it all, that he never realized he already had everything he wanted. And now the only thing he wants in life is her back. I pray he gets his chance. I think what they had is special, and extremely rare to fine. And I think he learned a valuable lesson in his heart. Not just in his mind. He has an even greater appreciation and value for than ever before. Maybe this situation can be the catalyst of them building an even stronger foundation together.

Until next time…… God bless and dress well.

 

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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