Why You Aren’t Successful

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)A greedy heart is poor soil in which to grow success. Many of us will never see success because we can’t see past ourselves to help others. God blesses us to be a blessing to others. He isn’t concerned about us being rich. He’s concerned about us serving His kingdom. He doesn’t care us driving a Bentley or a Mercedes, our kids going to private schools, us flying in private jets, living in huge houses, or living a VIP lifestyle. He is concerned with us helping others. He doesn’t care about us “keeping as much of our money as we can”. He cares about us helping those less fortunate.

I posted a picture on Instagram the other day that said, “God won’t put more on us than we can bear. Which is why some of us aren’t successful.” This is the truth. But some missed the meaning. So I will explain it. We are selfish people. Plain and simple. Sure we support causes, but they are usually the ones that affect someone we care about. But what do we do to help those we have NO CONNECTION to? What do we do for people that have no way of helping us back? Do we only vote for politicians that help us keep the most our net worth, while tearing down those that try to help those not as fortunate?

The Bible says “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:24). This is because money becomes the master. And you can’t serve two masters. God doesn’t allow some of us to reach any more success than we have because we are either too greedy, too selfish, or too immoral. We will not be able to handle TRUE success.

He won’t allow us to be famous because we’d use our fame only to glorify ourselves, not Him. The fame would turn us into more of a narcissistic than we already are. Some of us would undoubtedly become so addicted to the attention that we will do anything we can to keep it. Fame is a drug that needs to be treated like a controlled substance. When you begin to receive lots of glorification and adoration, if you don’t have people to keep you grounded, YOU WILL become a victim to it. Kind of like the men that can’t take a picture without their shirts off, or the women that can’t take a picture without showing us their butts.

He won’t allow us to get rich because, face it, we couldn’t handle it. If you’d use your rent money to see Beyonce’ or Taylor Swift, you obviously don’t make smart money decisions. If you drive a $100,000 car, but can’t afford to buy custom clothing, (or have a roommate), you obviously can’t afford the car either. So you can’t be trusted to make the smartest of monetary decisions either. Money is a magnifier. Whatever you are when you’re broke, you’ll be more of when you’re rich. If you were cheating on your spouse at Motel 6 when you were broke, you’ll cheat on them in a villa in the Bahamas when you’re rich. If you’re stingy with a little money, you’ll me even more stingy when you acquire wealth. If you feel you deserve to be rich because you sacrificed when you were broke, you will despise those who don’t get to where you are, and you will say arrogant things like ” They’re just being lazy, or making excuses. If I can make it, they can do it too.”(Like you did all the work yourself and God didn’t bless you with clients and breaks.)

If you want to be successful, help someone else become a success. Help someone that can’t help you back. Give to someone who has nothing to offer in return. Help someone make a dollar, that can’t afford to give you a dime. That is when you will see real success. That is when God will bless you. Until next time……..

God bless and dress well.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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How Would Dr. King Feel If He Came Back Today?

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. A day truly deserving of celebration. We will be inundated with an endless array of powerful quotes, facts about his life, and undoubtedly innumerable references to the movie “Selma”. All of which are due a man the caliber of Dr. King. But are we TRULY showing respect, or just giving in to the moment and making ubiquitous posts. I can not, nor do I desire to, judge the heart of any particular person posting what they choose on their chosen social media platform. But what I CAN do is make a observation of social trends and behaviors.

Let me preface by saying, I truly expect a backlash for this post. But, I’m ok with that. It won’t be the first, or the last, time. Here’s what I surmise. Today we’ll read EVERY powerful quote Martin Luther King ever made. Tomorrow, we’ll act like we’ve never heard of him. This is the unfortunate truth. Tomorrow we will go back to living our lives and doing the same things we always do. This is really sad. When I listen to the speeches of Dr. King and what he wanted from society, I look at today and I ask myself, “Would he be happy, or disappointed, if he could come back for one day?” I think both. America has made some incredible improvements since his assassination. Blacks can go to any school they want. We can sit, eat, pray, party, and work wherever we want. We are (at least on paper) equal as a society. Not only can little black boys and little white girls be friends; they can date, marry (or not) and produce bi-racial babies that can become President of the United States. On THAT front, I think he would not only be pleased. He would be overwhelmed! We have what he always wanted; a chance to be treated equal.

But I also think he would be beyond disappointed. The way we use “the N-word” to describe each other. The way we refer to women as “B”s and “H”s in music and television. The number of children raised in single family homes. The legislation that is engineered to create and maintain an invisible, but very real, ceiling on minorities. And the barely digestible trash we produce for ourselves on television (IE Real Housewives of LA, NJ AND ATL, Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, The Bachelor/ Bachelorette and a host of others). I wonder how he would feel to know that parts of our society is completely fine with reality TV shows that depict African American women as catty, argumentative, and overly aggressive drama queens that are more likely to get into a fight at a fine dining establishment than pay the bill. Yet they are appalled and insulted once the SAME type of show involves their Greek letter organizations. What does it say when we are more upset to have our organizations demeaned, than our character as a people. What does that say about our pride as people. As Americans, and as Christians (or whatever faith you practice). If Dr. King spent a complete day with any one of us, at the end of the day would he say, “You make me proud.” or “You break my heart.”? I know many of us aren’t going to be honest with that question. But deep inside, you know the truth.

If we REALLY want to respect not only Dr. King, but ALL of the brave men and women, black and white, that fought, bled, cried and died ALL to have equal rights, we must be respectful to each other, as we want others to respect us. We need to stop bringing ourselves down as a nation, as a society and as a culture. We must stop being afraid of each other as blacks and whites, and start spending more time getting to know each other. Most fear doesn’t come from actual danger, it comes from lack of personal, first-hand encounters. We should stop striving to be better than the community, and make the community better. Just because we have a African American president DOES NOT make America “post-racial”. It’s ironic that I’ve never heard a person say that that actually VOTED for President Obama.

America has made amazing inroads towards racial relations. With each generation, race becomes less of an issue. Many of the racial obstacles that once hindered minorities from advancing have all but been eliminated. But some were placed onto others. We’ve now turned our hatred towards homosexuals, Muslims, and Hispanics. They deserve the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the rest of us. We don’t have to always agree with each other’s opinions, religions, or politics. But we should, at least, respect them. And we cannot vilify an entire race or religion for the inhumane, and egregious, actions of a radical few. After all, when we look back out our own histories, EVERY race has had some radicals that we do not want to be connected to. Treat others as we would have them treat you. At the end of the day, that’s all Dr. King was dreaming about. Equality. It’s that simple. If you REALLY want to show respect to Dr. King on his day, get out of your comfort zone and talk to someone that isn’t like you. If you’re straight, talk to a homosexual. If your Christian go talk to a Muslim. Who knows, you may walk away with a new friend. And God would be pleased. Until next time….

God bless and dress well.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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Making Less Doesn’t Make YOU Less

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)I’ve been blessed to live a life I never imagined. Just last weekend, I met the Ambassador of Switzerland. My life, through my business, has afforded me some great privileges. But the biggest privilege isn’t the money, the access or the networking. It’s information and clarity.

It amazes me just how highfalutin and pretentious people get when they get a little bit of money. Suddenly their stomachs can’t handle fast food, or Olive Garden. Wal-Mart is “too ghetto”. Outback is beneath them. Their coffee needs to have a 7 word name with a $6 price tag. Seriously! Who exactly are you? Who are you to look down on the lives of hard working people? When did you become better than your parents? Better yet, when did you forget where you came from?

I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. I never went hungry. I always got new school clothes, and I always got gifts for Christmas. I never went without the things I needed. But I didn’t have many of the “extras” other had. I bought my first pair of Nikes AND my first vehicle. I put myself through school. And  I’ve eaten so many packages of Ramen Noodles, that I could teach a culinary class at Johnson and Wales. I’ve worked since I was 12 years old. I mowed lawns, washed cars, I even sold candy in elementary school; anything I could to legally make money.

I looked forward to going to Searcy (a town in Arkansas about 30 mins from my house) because there was a chance we would stop at McDonalds or Pizza Hut! I LOVED McDonalds burgers and fries. And don’t even get me started on the shakes! When I joined the Navy, I was able to go to even more restaurants like Outback, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster; in addition to McDonalds and Pizza Hut. I was totally fine with that. And my friends were too. They didn’t come from money either, and they were as thankful as I was.

Since reaching a certain “level” of success, I meet a lot of people that turn their nose up at these places. Oddly, it’s not even the rich people that do it. It’s the people that are just starting to make a little money. Many of which are living check to check, or stay home while their spouse works. Somehow, THEY are “too good”. They weren’t “too good” when they were kids, but now they are. They roll their eyes when you mention Red Lobster, Longhorn or Waffle House. They make fun of Wal-Mart shoppers because Wal-Mart is “beneath them”. They  go to Target – which they arrogantly pronounce Tarjey (like that makes it different from any other big box department store selling cheap goods). And don’t be a woman wearing the wrong purse or shoes. If you don’t have “name brand”, or can’t afford to eat or shop at “nice places”, they treat you as less than. What’s even MORE ironic i the ones that have the MOST to say usually aren’t even the ones paying the bill. But we won’t discuss that today.

The Bible warns us not to despise humble beginnings. There is nothing wrong with eating at “chain restaurants”. Shopping at Wal-Mart doesn’t make you less than anyone else. There are “ghetto people” in Target, just like there are in Wal-Mart. (BTW the average product at Wal Mart is 4 cents MORE EXPENSIVE than Target (just saying). Just because your bank account is increasing doesn’t make you too good to eat, shop, stay, and drive the same places and things everyone else does. There’s nothing wrong with eating or shopping anywhere you choose to eat or shop. But when you look down on those places, or the patrons that shop there, that’s VERY wrong. Be careful looking down on those who have less than you. After all, that’s probably how others once looked at YOU.

William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing

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Before I Got All I Have, I Lost All I Had

William Wilson ThinkingI’m a living success story. I have everything I need, and more than I dreamed of. Some would say I have it all.

But before I got all of this, I lost everything. Before William Wilson Clothing, I owned a residential framing company called Arka-Mex. We framed custom homes that were over 8,000 square feet. So you see, before I even knew it, God had me working in custom. Anyway, my construction company was very successful. I was playing 2 rounds of golf a day, 4 days a week, and I had plenty of cash. Things were good. Then 2008 hit, and the economy crashed. I had already been planning William Wilson Clothing, and had saved over $85,000.00 to launch it the right way. But when the market crashed, the bottom fell out fast.

One day, one of my employees called me and told me he couldn’t reach of the builder to order more lumber. I tried and couldn’t reach him either. So I drove up to their offices. No one was there. “No biggie”, I thought to myself. “Maybe they are having a company outing. I’ll try them tomorrow.” The next day, I drove to the office again; no one was there. I looked through the windows, and the computers are gone. Everything is gone. Without warning, notification or explanation. They just closed shop, without paying anyone. I obviously wasnt going to get paid. But I had 2 weeks payroll to cover. $$82,385 to be exact. What was I going to do? These guys had done everything I’d asked for the last 2 weeks, and they deserved to be paid. I only had one choice. I paid them out of my own pocket. I’d saved up $85,000.00 to start this company. But after paying every one, I had $2,616.00. Not to mention, a $1345 mortgage, utilities, gas and groceries to buy. I had no work to do. I had lost everything. I don’t come from a rich family, so I had no one to bail me out. I was stuck.

So-with the last money I had, I bought a website building program, printed some business cards, went to Panera Bread in Ballantyne Village and started planning William Wilson Clothing. I was there everyday from open to close, for weeks. Building my website, doing research, and meeting with everyone I could. I taught myself the clothing industry, PR, marketing, branding, sales, and infrastructure building. I couldn’t afford consultants, so I had to learn to do it myself. One day, my friend, former Carolina Panther, Al Wallace gave me the opportunity to make him 2 sport coats. This led to me making suits for Mike Minter. Over time, I began making suits for more and more celebrities and athletes. The brand started to grow. Since I was still new to the business, I figured I should work to my strength. I would focus first on selling to the black community. After all, these are “my people” right? I figured, white people didn’t know anything about me, but at least “my people” would give me a chance. Especially the ones that are always talking about “giving back to the community” and “supporting black business”. But that was not the case. Not by a long shot. I was doing some leadership consulting on the side to make ends meet, and had a nice little celebrity client list growing. Things were slowly turning around. I figured eventually “my people” would start buying from me. With the money I WAS making, I started reinvesting into the business; in hopes of growing. Then it happened again. For 2 months, I didn’t sell a single suit. Not one! I made NO money. Everything I had saved went to pay my bills. I was down to $13.77 in the bank. I had 2 choices. Get off my butt or sit on it. I made a decision. This was the last time I was going to have less in the bank than a 2 topping pizza costs.

So I got up. And I decided to take a chance and widen my net. I went to every networking event, business meeting, luncheon, or anything I could find where people wore suits. I couldn’t afford to keep living like I was. I passed out cards, shook hands and smiled in the daytime. And I prayed, worried and often cried myself to sleep at night. I couldn’t believe I was broke again! But I kept going. And things started to change.

White people started to hear about me. And they started to buy my suits. And they kept buying them. And they started sending me referrals. I know some of my black brothers and sisters may not like that I pointed that out, but it’s the truth. I have to give credit where it is due. God blesses us how He sees fit; not how we expect Him to. I thought selling to “my people” would be easy. Especially after I started to get some brand recognition. But that didn’t happen. That’s not to say that I didn’t have ANY black clients. I did. But the data spoke volumes. Less than 5% of my black clients were non-athletes. My bills were being paid by white people. To this day, that is still the case. Less than 10% of my black clients are non-athletes. And I appreciate them JUST as much as I appreciate the rest of my clients. No more-no less.

Anyway, my bank account started to grow. And I began to sleep better at night. I kept selling more suits. I began to get more press, more social media presence, and more speaking engagements. I built some strong strategic partnerships, and became a philanthropist. Life had finally  started getting better. I woke up one day, and I realized, I was living the exact life I was hoping for, when I moved to Charlotte. I have not reached the top, but I can honestly say, I have everything I need. A healthy relationship with God (though I could do much better), great friends that love and support me, respect in the community, my family is healthy, and the ability to eat bologna and Ramen noodles by choice, not by circumstance. I have everything I want. But before I got here, I lost everything I had. There is nothing special about me. There’s nothing I did, that you can’t do. Just don’t give up. And don’t think outside the box. Use the box to store memories while you build a better life for yourself.

A Veteran’s Day Letter From a Sailor

A letter from a Sailor,
My name is William Wilson. I don’t not call myself a former sailor. Because once a sailor, always a sailor. Today we show respect and honor to those that signed their names on the dotted line and said “I don’t know you. I may never get to know you. We may never be friends. I may never even meet you. But I promise to defend you with my life. I promise to lay my life on the line to protect you from enemies that may want to harm you. I do so knowing we may not agree politically. You may never invite you into your home because you hate me because of my race, my gender, my religion or my sexual orientation. All of these things may be true, but I will still die for you. I will die so you can live. I will lay down my life because you are worth it. I am a sailor, airman, soldier or marine. I will defend you . When look out into the ocean you may not see me, but I’m there. When you look into the sky, I will be there. When you look to the hills and valleys, I will be there. I will be there because that is where I need to be to keep you safe. And if I don’t make it back. Just honor my brothers and sisters that are still there protecting you. Pray for the one that took my fallen place. Pray for the next in line. I don’t need you to applaud me. Just respect me.”Veterans funeral

As a proud former member of the United States Navy, I ask no special privileges. I don’t need parades. And though I appreciate them, I don’t even need thank you’s. I only ask of you one thing. Respect the sacrifice that myself and my brothers and sisters and were willing to make; even though we didn’t know you. Please don’t disrespect our actions and circumstances by calling athletes “warriors” and “soldiers”. Playing a game IS NOT even similar to going to war. There are no referees, clocks and time outs on the battlefield. After we accomplish our mission we don’t simulate ripping open our shirt to portray we’re Superman, kiss our biceps, spin our weapons like a top, or flex our muscles. We don’t do a celebratory dance on field of battle, because chances are one of our brothers or sisters we laughed with this morning didn’t make it to see the night. If we do our job exceptionally well, we do not renegotiate our contracts. We just thank God we may it through the day, and hope we can do it again tomorrow. We go to sleep and wake up everyday just wanting to go to sleep and wake up again tomorrow. And we hope to repeat the process until we finally get to go home. And when we get home, we just ask that you not forget the ones that are still there. And we ask that you don’t forget that though you may turn your nose up at Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Atheists when you see them in your neighborhood, they are also the ones fighting, shooting, crying and dying while you’re safely at home in bed.

So I just ask,as a military man, as a service man, as a NAVY MAN. Save the military euphemisms for those who earned it. Save it for the proud members of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard and the National Guards of all branches. And save it for the members of the Naval Academy, West Point, the Air Force Academy, and Coast Guard Academy. They are studying and counting down the days until they are in the air, in the field, or in the fleet.

Just respect them. Thank them. And remember them in your prayers.
Fair winds and following seas.
William Wilson

The 3 Children of Assumption

WilliamWilson-1186-2660233048-OI was given a piece of advice by a good friend of mine named Tom Fehlman. He said “Always try to prove your assumptions wrong.” This advice is PRICELESS. When you have an assumption, it’s easy to prove yourself right. But if you turn it around and try to prove yourself wrong, you’ll ask yourself a completely different set of questions, and subsequently, may even see things from a different perspective. Assumptions can be one of the most dangerous things a person can do regarding success, because it’s not the assumptions that get people in trouble. It’s acting upon them without verifying first. Assumption gives birth to 3 children that will destroy your business, or personal, life.

1. Assumption is the Mother of Mis-communication: When you assume you already know what someone thinks, or is going to say, you don’t fully listen to them. You have your response already in your mind before they finish their sentence, and will usually cut the person off mid sentence. Or worse, instead of asking the question first, we act off of our assumptions and exacerbate situations. Take the time to fully listen to what someone has to say. THEN verify what you heard and what they said align. It will will prevent costly mistakes down the road.

2. Assumption is the Mother of Inefficiency: When you think you already know what you need to do, or how to do it, you tend to not read the instructions; and important, time-saving information is missed. It’s like not reading the assembly manual, but instead, putting something together our own way. We somehow always end up with extra parts when we’re done. And thus time, energy and potentially money is wasted going back to find out what we did wrong. Learn the rules, directions, expectations and process BEFORE you start a project or journey. It will save a lot of time and headaches.

3. Assumption is the Mother of Failure: Most people fail because they lack the necessary information needed to succeed. They think they know everything, so they do it their way. Often with poor, or incomplete data, lack of preparation, or bad timing. Either way, when you act upon assumptions without proper verification, you set yourself up to fail. Hopefully, you will recognize this and correct yourself before you’re too far into the process. But if you don’t, there will come a point when you’re too far gone to fix it. Don’t assume. And if you do, take the time to ask anyway. It’s better to take an extra 30 minutes to do it right, than another 2 weeks to do it over. Until next time…..

God Bless and Dress Well,

William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing

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Success Requires Self Motivation

Success, personal or professional, is a process. It’s rarely easy. You don’t just decide to be a success and all these wonderful things just happen. I wish I could tell you it would. But I’d be lying to you. It can be a constant struggle. One in which you will often want to stop, cry, scream, or just give up altogether. There will be days you’ll feel defeated; and days you will feel like nothing is going your way. You’ll ask yourself, “Why did I even get involved with this?” Don’t worry. This is just a part of the process.

That’s why you MUST be able to motivate yourself. You have to be self-driven to work through the fear, the anxiety and the doubt. You must be able to tell yourself “I can do it.”. Even when all your friends, family and loved ones say you can’t. You have to feel confidence in your heart, when all you hear is negativity in your ear. If you believe in your dream, you can’t give up. But you may have to make some adjustments to your plan. I’ve had to do it. Every successful person has. No plan is perfect from the beginning. You try things. Some work – some don’t, you make adjustments and keep going. Learn from your mistake, and try not to make them again.

Don’t depend on people to be there for you, or to motivate you. It’s GREAT to have people on your side for support. But you can’t always depend on them. Establish a relationship with God, and let HIM motivate you. Let Him give you courage. Let Him give you strength. Ask Him to give you the power to keep going; the wisdom to stop trying; and the discernment to know the difference. Sometimes you have to give up on your plan; because it’s faulty. I have made many plans only to redo them because I was missing information. Once I learned that information, I knew why my plan wouldn’t work; so I changed it. And because of that, I moved one step closer to being a success. Remember this “You can date your plan. But you can’t marry it.” Until next time……

God Bless and Dress Well,

William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing

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