The Scene of the Crime Is Your Mind

William Wilson, CEO

Let me first acknowledge that I did not come up with the catchy phrase I used for this blog title. I got it from my Pastor Derwin Grey and Associate Pastor Paul Allen of Transformation Church. But as I was thinking of titles for this post, that phrase kept popping in my head.

Few of us ever see the success we are meant to have. Not because we aren’t capable. But because we don’t believe we are capable. We use a plethora of excuses for why we can’t accomplish certain things, or we make excuses for why others can. The belief in one’s self is the fundamental element that every successful person has. Whether your dream is to play professional sports, own a successful business, have wealth, or graduate from college; every one of these begins with the mindset that I CAN DO IT. I’m living proof.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, or a wealth of successful family friends. I’m from a small farm town in rural Arkansas. I graduated in a class of 41 people. There was no internet when I graduated high school. When I started William Wilson Clothing, I knew no one in the industry, had no knowledge of the industry, or how it worked. What I did have was a belief that I could do it. Don’t get me wrong. I had fear. I was very afraid it wouldn’t work. A majority of my friends thought I was crazy, and I received more negative commentary than I did support. I honestly think the only 2 people that believed it would work was me and my mom, (and she probably just said it to make me feel better-LOL). I even lost one of my best friends while starting my company because she couldn’t understand that I couldn’t do all the things I used to do, and spend all my time in the same places if I wanted to make a change in my life. But I believed in me. I made a lot of mistakes, wasted money I didn’t have, and talked to people that would say positive things to my face, and slam me behind my back (well that part still happens- but I’m ok with that. It comes with the territory)

What I’m saying is “haters”, negative people, and fear will only prevail if you allow them to. I’m not saying every idea will work. They won’t! I have plenty of ideas that don’t work. I fail ALL THE TIME! Ideas are like jump shots. Even the best shooters miss more than they make. You just have to believe in yourself, and keep shooting. Eventually you will start to see success. Success breeds more success. As you achieve success, your mindset, attitude and environment will begin to change, and that’s when you will grow. That’s when you will see the success, that possibly, only YOU could see at the beginning. Don’t allow fear and negativity to stop your dream. Don’t let the scene of the crime, be your mind. Until next time…..

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

Follow me on Twitter @theClothier

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

No Excuses: You Have To Put In The Work

William Wilson, CEO

I started William Wilson Clothing with 3 major obstacles. 1. We were in the middle of the economic down spiral. 2. I didn’t know anything about the clothing industry. 3. No one knew who I was. When I think about it, it was really pretty stupid to start a company under these conditions. But God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

The economy was out of my control. But the other two obstacles weren’t. To overcome my second obstacle, I taught myself the clothing industry online. For obstacle number 3, I devised a branding strategy, and set out to execute it. My goal was to make sure the Charlotte Market knew who I was. It doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows you exist. I made a commitment that if I didn’t sell a single suit that year, people would know my name, and my brand.

I went to every event I could afford to attend; sometimes 3-4 events in a day. Once, I got home and bent over to remove my shoes. I woke up 2 hours later, still bent over, with a sore back, and my shoestrings still in my hands. It was hard, exhausting work, but it was necessary. After a few months, people started to recognize me, and I started getting some press. I slowly started getting put on guest lists. First it was general admission. Then the VIP lists started. Before I knew it, I was becoming a recognized and respected brand.

The plan was working. So I kept following it, only I was becoming smarter. I began to streamline my calendar. I made sure that I attended events for a purpose, not to just be seen. I elevated my brand exposure by maximizing my time, and going to where the people I needed to see were. I started getting feature articles written about me and TV exposure. I even got my first magazine cover in Sophisticated Charlotte Magazine. This didn’t make me a star, or make me “The man”. But it gave my brand credibility and integrity. This opened the doors that led to designing suits for the Grammys, the Oscars, and everything else I’ve done. There is nothing special about me. I didn’t do anything, that thousands of others haven’t done. I don’t have a “magic touch”, or super skill. I’ve been blessed far beyond what I deserve. But none of this would have happened without a lot of faith, and a lot of sweat equity.

Social media is great. I utilize it regularly. But you can’t build a brand off Facebook and Twitter. You can enhance your brand exposure, get instant feedback on potential campaigns, get market research data, and even build a fan base. But a fan and a customer ARE NOT the same. You HAVE to put in the work. There is no substitute for that. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice comfort, sleep, and fun, and risk total failure for success, you’re not an entrepreneur, you’re a wantrepreneur. If that’s who you are, that’s OK. Just accept it, move on. Get a job somewhere. Otherwise, stop making excuses and put in the work. It may not succeed, but it definitely increases your chances. Until next time…..

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

You Gotta Pay To Play

William Wilson, CEO

There was a high profile CEO that I once wanted to meet. I called and sent emails literally for weeks. But I could not get . I had heard he was a really cool guy, and that he would be a great contact and potential client. This sounded great, but if I couldn’t reach him, this bit of information was useless. I found out there was a golf tournament at Ballantyne Country Club. Now I’m smart enough to know that a significant part of my client base plays golf. So I went there with the intention of playing, and maybe meeting some potential clients. Until I found out there was a $350 entry fee. WHOOOOAA! I didn’t have $350 to play in a golf tournament. I had bills! I needed to eat! I can’t waste this money playing golf. So I drove away. While on the road, a voice in my head said, “You can’t afford NOT to play in this tournament. You’re trying to reach high net worth people. This is what they do.” So I started calculating my money. My bills were caught up, so I had at least 60 days before anything started getting cut off. So, I bit the bullet and paid the fee. While sitting at my table waiting for the tournament to start, who sits down next to me? THAT SAME CEO I HAD BEEN TRYING TO MEET. We talked for 5 minutes and hit it off well. In less than 10 minutes, I had his cell phone number, personal email, and a lunch meeting set. He is now one of my best clients. This would never had happened if I hadn’t taken a chance and spent the money.

There’s an old adage, “It takes money to make money.” There is a lot of truth to that. The single most asked professional question I get is   “How do I get in front of high net worth people?” The answer is pretty simple. Go where they are! If you want to see whales, you go to the ocean. If you want to see lions, you go to Africa, or the zoo. If you want to meet executives and high net worth people, you go there they are. It’s not rocket science. In my experience, I have made the majority of my contacts at golf tournaments, business breakfasts, non-profit events, cultural events and through their friends. These events do tend to be a bit pricey, but worth it. The average price I spend to get into events is around $75-%150. I don’t go to as many events as I used to. As you start to establish relationships, your network grows through the meeting of their friends at social functions; not necessarily events.

Helpful hint, you WILL NOT find them at an events that start on Friday night at 10pm, or whose marketing includes the terms “drink specials”, “grown and sexy” and “security strictly enforced”. Nor will you find them at “networking events” with $20 entry fees. Those aren’t networking events, those are parties.

If you want to expand your business, you have to expand your network. Sometimes, that requires expanding your wallet. You are investing in your business, and your future. If you aren’t willing to put your money where your mouth is, then don’t be upset that you always see the same people everywhere you go. Birds of a feather, right? When you’re serious about doing more business, you’ll make your move. If not. You won’t. But that’s your decision. Until next time….

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing