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

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram 

A Heart Felt Thank You

William Wilson ThinkingI usually post about my thoughts on business. But today I’m doing something different. This post is all about you guys.

I want to thank you all for your support, and help in growing William Wilson Clothing into the brand it is today. Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me, and for all the encouragement. William Wilson Clothing will be 5 years old in November. I started it with no clothing, retail or apparel experience. I’ve never taken a fashion class, and I knew no one in the business. By all accounts, I was completely unqualified to be a clothing designer; let alone clothing for celebrities. I was totally lost, and I should have failed.  You guys have no idea how many times I was swinging in the breeze, and you came through for me when I needed you most. From volunteering at my golf event, to commenting on my blogs, to congratulating me when I posted news on social media, to purchasing my clothing and coming to my speaking events, you guys have been there.

Contrary to popular belief, there are times that I am down. Times that I feel completely lost. And times that I scared out of my mind that an idea won’t work. There were times I thought I was spinning my wheels, and just before I decided to pull the plug on a project, one of you would tell me “Keep up the good work.” or “You’re an inspiration.” You always came through when I needed it. You have always had my back, and that is something I could NEVER repay you for.

I even want to thank my “haters”. Yes, I want to thank you too. You made me pay attention to every single detail. You kept me on my toes. And thanks to your incessant critique, ridicule and negative comments, my brand is much stronger than it ever would have been without you. I’m sure you probably didn’t mean to, but you made me better. You made my company better.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing special about me. I’m a country boy, from a small town, in Arkansas. I live my life simple, because it’s what I understand. Growing up, all I had was a hope and a dream. When I see what God has done for me, it’s overwhelming. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and as I lay in bed and look out at the Charlotte skyline, I find myself crying. Not from sadness. But from disbelief. I can’t believe my life. I can’t believe what God has done for me. I can’t believe the amazing support system (and that includes you) God has put in my life. I’m not overly gifted. I’m just a guy with ideas. And thanks to AMAZING people like you all, some of those ideas have come to fruition. I could never had done this without you. This has been an incredible journey so far. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know how long the success will last. And I can’t possibly imagine where this will go. But what I do know is, whereever this goes, I want God to be there. And I want you guys to be there too. I love you guys. And thank you again for all of your support. Until next time…..

God bless and dress well!

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

Follow William on Twitter: @TheClothier

 

Losing Weight Is No Excuse To Look Bad

William Wilson ThinkingLosing weight is no excuse to look bad. There’s no other way to say it. I often meet people that are losing weight, and they want to wait to order their custom suits. That makes PERFECT sense. Custom suits tend to come with a hefty price tag, and are made to your body. Since your body is changing, it makes no sense to order them. They won’t fit when they come in anyway. So what should you do if you want to keep looking good while you’re losing weight, you ask?

It’s a 2-step process. The first step is to get yourself an alterations person. This allows you to keep looking good without having to buy new clothes. It also serves three other purposes.

1. It keeps your clothes looking good on you, and allows you to feel good about your new body.

2. It allows you to show off that new body to the world.

3. It keeps you accountable to stay at your weight, or keep losing more. If you keep your clothes the same size, you don’t notice if you gain the weight back because you still fit into the clothes.

Of course, you can only get clothes tailored so much. Eventually, they can no longer be altered. This brings us to the second phase. Invest in less expensive (but not lesser quality) off the rack suits. Get them tailored as well. (I recommend my new William Everette collection) This allows you to maintain a clean, respectable, professional look while you lose weight, without spending a lot of money. I also recommend you purchase a blue suit and a grey suit. These are the 2 most common colors in business. And when worn with different shirts and ties, can provide you with numerous different looks while only using 2 suits. So it’s crafty, creative, and cost effective.

You may ask why this matters. Easy. The average person forms an opinion about someone, based solely off of their appearance in 2.9 seconds. In a world that is so highly competitive, your first impression may dictate whether or not you even get an opportunity for a first conversation. No one wants to do business with sloppy people. Sloppy clothing equals a sloppy appearance. A sloppy appearance means you live, work and act sloppy. This may not always be true, but it’s perception. And one’s perception is one’s reality. It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest person in the room, if you look like the sloppiest. But then again, what do I know. I only dress people for a living. I could be wrong. Until next time……

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

Follow William on Twitter @TheClothier

The Truth About Failure

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson, CEO

I’m an avid social media user. In fact, feel free to follow me on Twitter, (@TheClothier). One thing I’ve noticed about social media is the abundance of outrageous bravados and innuendos concerning failure. I can’t tell you how many tweets I’ve read with pure foolishness; “Refuse to lose,” “Failure is not an option,” “All I do is win,” and things like that. That is great propaganda as they sound great in rap songs and sports commercials. But the fact is, failure is not only an option, at some point, it’s a guarantee. It’s not a matter of IF, but is a matter of WHEN you will fail. Now I want you to understand something, failing, or losing, does not always mean catastrophe. Failure is part of success. You’re going to have wins and you’re going to have losses. That’s just part of the deal. You just hope that your wins overshadow your losses.

Ask any successful person and they will give you a laundry list of failures and ideas that didn’t work. They will tell you how their ideas made perfect sense and they knew they would work. They will tell you about the heartbreak of realizing their “can’t miss” missed big time. They will tell you about sitting up at night, wondering how they will make payroll. They will tell you of the pressures of worrying about if they will get another customer in time to keep the doors open. They will inundate you with countless stories of falling short of their hopes and dreams, and the feeling of pain that came with it.

However, if you continue talking with them, they will follow that up with the story of when one of their ideas finally worked. How it felt to finally break through the heartache and disappointment to finally taste sweet success. They will tell you how it felt to finally have a win to offset the negative opinions of the naysayers and non-believers that constantly told them they would fail, or that they weren’t good enough (Naysayers are what professionals call “haters”). But most importantly, they will tell you that finally winning made ALL the losing worthwhile.

I fail. I failed A LOT. I have more failures than I care to remember. I fail because I try things. I fail because I attempt to traverse the path less traveled. Some of my failures are small, but some are very big, and very public. In fact, just a couple of months ago I sent a tie to President Obama in hopes he would wear it during the Inauguration, and he did not. True enough, he may wear it at some point. But I wanted him to wear it during the Inauguration. THAT was my objective. I was willing to take the State of the Union as a consolation prize. But he didn’t wear it then either. I thought I had as good a shot as anyone, and I did. It just wasn’t in God’s plan, and it’s OK because I kept going, and I have had some great wins since then. I was asked to design the Champion’s Jacket for the Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Official Speedway Club Member’s Jacket. So, though I had a big loss, I gained two big wins.

My point is, don’t fall for hype and bravado. Success may be easy, or difficult, depending on what you are attempting to do. But one thing that it’s guaranteed to be is fleeting. A win today means nothing next week. So you can neither get to high on a win nor too low on a loss; you just have to keep playing the game. If you do that, and give God room to operate, eventually you will win and it will be so very sweet!  Until next time….

God Bless and Dress Well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

It’s A New Year, But Is It The Same Old You?

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson, CEO

Once again, we’ve reached a new year. Some of us were not so fortunate to reach this milestone. But for those of us who did, what are we going to do now? How will we make this year any different than last year? For many, the answer is nothing. Sure! We’ll make New Year’s resolutions, to start working out, stop drinking/ smoking, stop going to the clubs, start going to church, go back to school; the possibilities are endless. The point is, at some point in our lives, we have all been guilty of falling into the trap of making drastic changes in our lives on January 1st; only to return to business as usual by January 15th. Einstein said the definition of “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. I’m not immune to this myself.”

We all have changes we need to make, but fail to do so. It could be for many reasons; fear of being alone, fear of losing friends, fear of being ostracized, laziness, and but usually, it comes from a lack of commitment. It’s easy to come up with things we need to change, but until we stop talking it, and actually start walking it, we are lying to ourselves if we think things will get better.Happy New Year 2013

I was one of those people that would find a significant date, such as my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, whatever day, and make a grand resolution to make a big change in my life. Then I’d change my mind. But, only after I decided to make some changes, and COMMITTED to those changes, did I begin to see real changes in my life. It wasn’t always easy. I lost friends. I had sleepless nights. I got ridiculed. Some people even turned on me because “I had changed.” Sometimes, those are the things that have to happen in order to achieve your best potential. Sometimes, you have to separate yourself from the things you care about most, to have the things you want most. Not everyone in your circle is your friend. Not everyone that opposes you is your enemy. Once I got through the initial shock and pain that came with the changes in my life, I began to see small signs of success. Then they got bigger, and became more frequent. Before I knew it, I had begun a whole new life. The changes I thought were huge changes were, in fact, very minute in respect to the other changes it led to. And though it was hard in the beginning, it was absolutely worth it.

When all you see is the obstacle, it’s impossible to see the success. A friend of mine once told me, “You don’t have to change your point of view, change your viewing point.” This was a monumental piece of advice that has served me well. I hope it can do the same for you. You have the power to decide how you want to live your life. You decide where you go, and why you go. You decide whether to stay in that relationship or not. You decide whether to buy that outfit or save some money. You decide whether to stay in bed or go workout. You decide whether to go to church or go tailgating. The fact is, how you live your life, and to some point, how successfully you live it is entirely in your hands. Will you actually make some changes this year, or will you join the millions that nag, complain, and annoy your friends with your “I need to stop…” or “I need to start…”? Stop bugging your friends with empty rhetoric, get off your butts, and get started. If you’re not going to do that, at least keep your nonsense to yourself. It’s slowing down the people who are actually TRYING to make some changes. Your life is in your hands, what you do with it is up to you. Until next time….

God Bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

8 Mistakes I See In Networking

William Wilson, CEO

On Facebook alone, I get at least 60-70 requests per month to participate in events. I’d love to help everyone, but I’m limited by my schedule and commitments. For that reason, I typically tend to get involved with organizations that I know, or that involve my friends. You see, the secret to building a great event is the same as building a successful business. It’s the people around you. It’s your network. Many people do not know how to effectively network. I spend a considerable amount of time networking and building relationships, but I’m, by no means, a networking expert. But here are some mistakes I see a number of beginning, AND SEASONED, entrepreneurs and non-profits make.

1. Thinking networking is done after the “networking event”: The single biggest mistake I see people make is thinking that networking is another word for meeting people and exchanging business cards. Networking does not end at the end of a “networking event” it begins there. In fact, life is a networking event. To me, you are networking until you have established a relationship.

Secret: I do not go to networking events, unless they cater to a specific clientele, or to support a friend. I rarely find them to be beneficial to my particular business model.

2. Card collecting: Card collecting is going to networking events and asking every single person you see for a card, and then sticking one in their face as well. No conversation. No establishment of familiarity. Just “do you have a card” Effective networking isn’t leaving with a big stack of cards. It’s leaving with 3-4 good possibilities for further business or relationships.

Secret: If I don’t remember who gave me a business card when I get home, I immediately throw it away. I’m not going to call someone I don’t know.

3. Not doing basic research on their desired contact: I can’t count how many times someone has contacted me on Facebook to and asked these questions. “What do you do?” What’s your email address?” “Where are you located?” Seriously! You can find this out just by clicking on the “About” tab on my profile.

Secret: In my opinion, if you’re lazy doing your research, you’ll be lazy, with your work and not pay attention to detail working with/ for me.

4. Not doing advanced research prior to a meeting: The one thing that will make me want to immediately get up from a meeting is to ask me this question: “Tell me about your business.” You may as well get up and leave after I answer you. Because unless you blow me away, I will probably not do business with you. If you’re too lazy to do the homework for a meeting YOU requested, I don’t want you working for me, or representing me, or my brand.

Secret: Not doing research tells me you’re either cocky and think you know it all, or that you are lazy and think you can charm your way into the deal. I don’t need either one of those people.

5. Not asking pertinent questions: If you want to try to sell me something, wouldn’t you want to know my wants and needs? I have a very distinct clientele. There are specific things that I require. I don’t care, or want to know, about about 90% of the products a company offers. I want to know if  you can provide me the product or service that I am looking for.

Secret: If you start explaining a bunch of products I don’t want or need; I’ll more than likely either get bored, or assume you don’t care about me, just my money. And I probably won’t do business with you.

6. Being initially TOO aggressive: I like forward people. But there is a difference between being forward and being too aggressive. I’m a Southerner. So by nature, I don’t rush into things. I take my time because it’s all about the relationship. If I don’t like you, I don’t work with you. If you try to push something on me, I’ll walk away.

Secret: Being too aggressive gives me the feeling you are desperate, and desperate people will do anything.

7. Not having something to offer in return when asking to partner: If we are going to “partner”, both of us should benefit. If your selling point is “It’s for a good cause and it’s tax deductible.” So is just about every other non-profit. If it’s a for-profit and you want my involvement but I’m not benefiting; that isn’t a partnership. That’s me being a free consultant. No thank you.

Secret: Not offering a benefit to potential partners gives me the impression that you are either not as far along as you want me to believe, or that you don’t value my time and expertise.

8. Setting Meetings Under False Pretenses: The one thing that will definitely make me walk out of a meeting and NEVER return your phone call, email, or any other form of communication is to tell me you want to meet to talk about getting some suits, and you show up with sales collateral, and try to turn it into a sales call. Financial planners are THE WORST about doing this! I will walk away and will never communicate with you again.

Secret: If you set a meeting under false pretense, it tells me you’re a liar and can’t be trusted.

These are just a few of the mistakes I’ve seen people make and how I feel about it. You may feel the same, or completely different. As the title of the blog says, it’s just my perspective. Do with it what you will. Until next time…… God bless and dress well.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

Follow me on Twitter

Remove The Social Leaches From Your Life

William Wilson, CEO

In every society, there are two types of people in which you can always count on coming in contact; those who support, and “social leaches”. By social leaches, I mean people you rarely see or talk to, that never support what you do, never reciprocate your kindness, and when you do hear from them, they always want a hookup. Until my brand began to take off, I never realized the depths to which these people existed or the level of audacity they have. The things they will ask for, without offering anything in return, is staggering. I have had over 20 people, that I haven’t talked to in over 6 months, contact me in the last 48 hours wanting to know if I would “hook them up” with clubhouse tickets to the race. Oddly enough, the last 2 times I heard from many of them, they were asking to get into my party/ tournament for free, or they wanted tickets to last October’s race. Beware of leaches in your life.

I recently held the third annual William Wilson Celebrity Invitational. It’s a private, ultra-exclusive celebrity golf tournament. Celebrities, CEOs, business executives and friends came out for a great party held at Jetpool’s private jet hanger, followed by golf at Carolina Lakes Golf Club. Now this is a very exclusive event, with very limited access from the public. In fact, t’s always been an invitation-only event. This year we opened ticket sales up to 50 people for $100. Given the status of attendees in the room, this was a steal. You’d be surprised the number of people that still called, texted, emailed, and used every other form of communication, asking if they could get in free. Again, these are people I rarely EVER hear from. They are not clients of William Wilson Clothing or Jetpool, and they are not offering anything in return. These people are social leaches.  They will suck every opportunity out of you they can, and when they have gotten what they want out of you, they will disappear until they need something else from you.

In business, time is your most important asset. You cannot afford to waste time dealing with people that bring no benefit to you. Maya Angelou once said, “When a person tries to show you who they are, let them.” If someone is showing you that they only show up when they need a hookup; that’s who they are. Accept that. This goes for business and personal environments. Don’t waste time and energy trying to convert a social leach. Use that time to build relationships with positive people that will yield positive results. I was recently asked how Ryan Stone of Jetpool and I had such a strong relationship. I told them the answer was simple “We both look out for each other. It’s not just a partnership. We’re friends. I help them, they help me. No one feels like they are being used, manipulated or being taken advantage of.” They seemed surprised by the simplicity of my answer. But it is what it is. No one wants to feel used. And if you only contact people when you “need a favor” you are using them. If you have social leaches in your life, remove them. There is nothing good that will come from that relationship, unless you’re the social leach. Until Next time…..God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

Follow William on Twitter