RULE ONE IN BEING SUCCESSFUL
EVERYONE ALWAYS ASKS ME THE SAME THREE QUESTIONS
"IM THINKING OF STARTING A CLOTHING LINE, HOW DO I START?"
"HOW DID YOU GET POPULAR"
"HOW DO YOU BECOME SO SUCCESSFUL"
OK WELL LET ME TELL YOU, QUESTION ONE IS GOING TO TAKE A LOT MORE THAN A SINGLE STORY TO EXPLAIN. QUESTION TWO HAS NO ANSWER. I JUST LIVE. I DO A LOT OF STUFF AND GO A LOT OF PLACES AND KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE. QUESTION THREE....... THAT'S ONE THAT I'VE BEEN THINKING OF A LOT LATELY. I GUESS I FOUND AN ANSWER.
What is success ?
The book definition, and the definition I would have came up with myself is as follows:
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
I don't even want to change that definition. That's the one straight off of Google. That's the one in Webster's dictionary and the one that a lot of people don't really grow up understanding.
There's two parts to that definition: Accomplishment, and Aim.
Break it down into two parts in your head. An aim, and an execution. Within the execution, you can do something correct, or incorrect.
So you need to look at things from the bigger picture. You need to look at your life now, your life in six months, and your life in a year from now. You need to break it down into two main parts:
What you want to get done
How you're going to get it done.
A year ago I was like wow I really want to make this brand into something that teenagers can relate to and learn from, and hey it'd be really cool if people bought whatever we make and like supported our ideas. Then I was like wow how the hell do I do that. Then I sat down and I drew things out, I looked at it from the larger point of view, and I wrote a timeline. I understood how I was going to get things done and I plotted the work I would have to do to get to this point. Why? Because I aimed at a goal, understood how to get there, did what I had to do, and worked my way there. So to me: I'm a successful eighteen year old boy.
Maybe you want to make a new song, perform it live infront of a crowd of people, and get 500 streams online. Maybe you want to get the lead role in the theater play at school. Maybe you want to start a brand and you're hoping to sell 50 shirts and 25 hoodies in six months. Maybe you want to start writing, or you want to read more, or you want to spend more time with your friends.
You need to just break it down and see what you want to do
then you need to develop a plan as to how you're going to do it.
And guess what. Once you accomplish it, maybe no one around you will understand the significance. Maybe only five people say good job, or ten people give it a thumbs up on Facebook. Maybe it doesn't take off and it never goes viral. That's fine! You don't need the outside gratification from the rest of the world. You need to understand that what you did was what you wanted to do, and for that, you'll understand the feeling of success.
Being successful is an internal feeling. Being called successful is something external. Success is anything you set it to be. It's not necessarily being internet famous or moving to LA like alot of people think it is. For some, it is. But for most people, they learn that that's not the real definiton of success. And that's why I'm studying for a degree in college instead of living on someone's floor in LA like a lot of these other internet kids who want to become "successful".
The first rule to being successful is understanding what it means to be successful
SETTING GOALS, AND ACHIEVING THEM.
So let's think of something. Today I woke up and thought to myself "How can I be the most successful version of myself today". I wrote a list of things I needed to do over the course of the day. I don't have class on Monday's so it's usually my productive day, plus I have to ship out all the orders from Friday-Sunday every Monday.
It looked a bit like this (in order)
- Package 18 shirts
- Print 18 labels out
- Prepare orders for distribution
- Eat lunch by myself quick, get back to working on stuff
- Write out 50 more sticker pack envelopes
- Go to the post office before 4pm, drop off packages, buy 150 stamps, put 100 stamps on the 100 envelopes full of stickers I wrote out and packaged last night, send them out, return to my place.
- Sort out some things with bank, figure out budgeting for next project
- Make mood board for Converse Shoe Campaign
- Design socks for spring and look at fabrics for new tees
- Do laundry
- Design 3 different posters
- Test-Print posters to make sure they're high quality
- Do phone interview with this magazine. They're doing a spot on OHKAY. Cool, huh?
- Go to Game Stop and buy GTA
- Eat Dinner
- Write Blog
- Get orders ready to ship out tomorrow
- Finish up homework and be prepared for class tomorrow
- Get to bed relatively early
So, that is my aim for the day. Those are my "To-Do's". The things I need to get done in order to consider myself productive for the day. By doing every one of those, and by doing all of them correctly and efficiently, I accomplished my aim. It's 10 and I'm writing this, just as I had planned twelve hours ago when I woke up and made my agenda.
So today, I was successful. I accomplished my goal.
Over the past year. Yeah, I've been successful. I'm not denying that. In one year I did more than most eighteen year olds will do by the time they're 25. I generated more money off a 5 letter idea than some of my highschool teachers make. I reinvested it back into those five letters to grow it across the globe. I got to travel across the country, and across the world. I graduated highschool with a top tier GPA and got a ginormous scholarship to a college that I really wanted to attend in Chicago. I photographed the world through my eyes. I shot a full campaign for Uggs with Vic Mensa. I got back in touch with writing and started sharing it with the world. But most importantly, I stuck with this brand and grew it tremendously. All from the ground up. Basically all by myself, for the most part. So am I successful? In my eyes, yes. To most teenagers, yes. To a lot of adults, yeah. But I'm just a kid. I just had dreams and I never let anyone tell me I couldn't achieve them. You see? I never let the kids get to me that told me my ideas were lame. Or the kids who say bad things about me or the brand. I just laughed and kept on walking. Because I knew that my definition of success had nothing to do with them. And as far as they went, they didn't even understand their own definition of success. So they acted as people I could look to when I was feeling counterproductive. Because on my worst days, the days I seemed to have wasted, I was still doing more and inspiring more people than they ever will. But that's because I knew what I needed to do to become successful in my own eyes.
To me, over the past year, I guess I had a few weird goals.
One major one was focus on growing the brand. That, me and my friends have done an awesome job of and it's because there's people from all walks of life that support OHKAY and this idea and it's only going to continue growing and that's so cool to me. I always wanted the brand to be something big. It just took a lot of time. But there's like 1,500 people that come on this website every day! I don't even know what they look at! But that's a lot of people ! And we ship stuff all over the world, like all the time! And we have the capital to expand bigger and bigger each month. I guess that's the most important part. Because there's so many people that like the brand and buy the stuff we make, we're actually able to bring some pretty crazy ideas to life this spring and summer and it's going to be so fun to show everyone and i'm real excited. But the brand was number ONE.
Number two was something that kind of started happening, then i was like wow i want to like focus on this, but it was meeting people. Not just every random person I could meet.
But my big goal in life is to meet every person I follow on the internet. In real life! In the beginning of 2016 that felt impossible. I never thought I'd become friends with all these people because there was so many of them. But through Instagram and the second layer world of instagram, I became friends with so many people, and that opened so many doors for me and allowed me to travel and see so many different things.
Another thing was just to unlock more of the map. Have you ever played GTA 5? You definitely have. If you haven't you should. When you start the game, your map is blank. You don't know any places in the GTA world and you don't know were to buy what or who to talk to about certain things. In the beginning of 2016 when I started the internet shit my map was basically blank. It was like I had just started a new game. Over the year, I learned that the world is just kind of like a game map. It's not hard to get to any part of it. You just need to know the simple rules of traveling and have the common sense to get from point a to point b in one piece. Within that, you need the friends and connections to have the reasons to travel. So I set the other goal that I wanted to meet every person I followed on the internet. Then we started going to New York and I met the fit-pic taking, fashion enthusiast, soho-lurking side of the internet. The finessers and the schemers. The kids who can make a $20 outfit look better than a $2,000 outfit just by sitting on some stoop in Manhattan. And the kids who's parents have private jets and cart them around the world. Then we started going to LA and we met the really internet side of the internet. The Youtubers and the Viners and the kids who dropped out of school to be content creators. The people who live in mansions because they make more than enough from youtube and internet endorsements. Then I moved to Chicago and met some rappers and some photographers I always had followed. Then I went back to London and really dove into the culture. London is my favorite culture. The kids in London are the best. It's the true culture of streetwear teens. My favorite teens. The web is so crazy. Everyone knows everyone. I can be with some photographer people in Chicago and name drop some friends I met in New York who live in Portland, and everyone around me is like "aw yeah they're super cool". Or I can be in Boston talking about fashion kids online and everyone in the room knows exactly who I'm talking about and what they look like. That's the power of the internet. I found it so fascinating and cultivating. For me, I only will follow someone if I want to be their friend, or if they're already my friend. That's the only way. I don't follow girls because they're hot or because they post half naked professional looking photos. That's stupid internet shit. You follow someone because you enjoy who they are, and you enjoy how they can tell a story through what they post. For me, I just love learning everyone's story through the 1x1 Instagram platform, but then by seeing it in the flesh. To me, it's like Pokemon almost. When I meet someone, I get their card. Some people are more rare than others and you need some cards to get others. Sometimes you need to have a powerful card, yourself, to get certain ones. Or sometimes being a unique card allows you to pick and chose which ones you want to get per location. I don't know but I just wanted to meet just about everyone.
It's 2017 and I have a few people I haven't met. Just a few. And a few places I haven't been. Just a few. But I have time. And I'll get there.
I guess the last one was to be happy. That shit is so important to me. Like some days I work on stuff for ten hours straight, just to make sure everything about this brand is exactly how I want it to be, or to make sure production is working how it should be, or making sure things are getting shipped correctly, and on time. But through every bit of that I prioritized being happy. Because if I wasn't happy, I think this brand would be perceived differently. OHKAY, like I keep saying, is more than "a clothing line by some kid from Boston". And I have to work hard to grow it to be more than that, but by showcasing my true personality and working with creative, happy, intelligent other teens, I can bring that to life thoroughly. But I know a lot of teenagers with their own brands, some that do good and don't do good, but they're not happy. I know a lot of youtubers and internet "stars" that a LOT of people look up to that are "cool" on the outside with tons of "fans" and "supporters" but on the inside behind the screen they pop pills and have drug addictions because their life isn't happy in the real world, only online. That's not cool! And the kids who own brands that promote popping xanax and stealing stuff and being trap or whatever, that shit isn't cool either. Those People Aren't Happy! They're just in this to make money and get out. They don't want to change people's lives and intentions. Trust me! Trust every bit of what I'm saying because I've seen this from the inside out. Happiness is so important. Without it you're just a zombie to society! And I always knew that, so I made it a priority of mine.
Lastly, and this is something I learned to prioritize later in the year was influence. There's so many people out there on the internet that are playing this "internet game" of trying to make stuff and sell it to the people that follow them. A lot of kids are just on the internet to look cool and to get followers so they can get into fashion shows or so they can feel confident or something on those lines. Everyone's got a different purpose. But no one is actually on the internet to teach you people anything. Not a single kid. I've met so many people and not one of them has been like " i care about influencing kids correctly ". Everyone's like woohoo i got money lets go clubbing i love drugs fuck bitches get money omg the vlone way the naf way idk . But no one really on here to teach you guys about the real world, or what it's like to be eighteen with a company, or how to be the best version of yourself, or how to even Be YOurself! Everyone's caught up in trying to be like everyone else that they forget to be themsleves. And I can only say this stuff because I know none of my friens that do this stuff will ever read these. Trust me when I say this, and don't repeat it, but a lot of kids you people look up to on the internet, you know, the kids with "fans" and all that stupid shit, 99% of them don't give a shit about the teenage girls that follow them. Alot of these internet kids got real life drug issues and family problems, they just front on the surface to make it look like they live some perfect life. Which sucks because if they were open about their flaws, they could find a lot more people that related to them, and they could use their own platforms to talk to these kids and help them cope with stuff. But they don't. And it's not like I ave any reason to try to change them because they've already changed themsleves too much to be this internet star that they truly aren't, just for the image. But that's for another day.
So I started using this website as a platform to talk to people, because I truly believe writing and reading is important to each and every person. And I'll write this, and about 5,000 people will read it by the end of the weekend this week, but maybe one or two people will actually message me, email me, comment, whatever, about how i'm teaching them about life. And if two out of five thousand walk away from these stories looking at life in a different, more intelligent light, then I'm doing my job. Because at the end of the day if I can inspire one kid a day to be themselves, I'm doing my job right.
So looking at my life from a step or two back. Over the past year, I've aimed to grow the brand, make a lot of internet friends, travel a lot, and be happy. All of which, I have accomplished.
Therefore, guess what, I would consider myself successful.
A lot of kids now adays define "being successful" as being "internet famous". But that's not true, homie! Let me tell you! There's A LOT OF KIDS ONLINE WITH 100,000 FOLLOWERS THAT ARE REALLY BROKE LIVING IN THEIR PARENTS' BASEMENT!
There's a lot of dudes with 50,000 fangirls that dropped out of highschool to go on tour and hug girls who will be really broke by the time they turn 21.
There's a lot of people you probably look up to that look happy online but are really depressed and without real friends in real life, and vice versa.
Once you get the ball rolling and you get light on you, it's easy to make your life look really good. And it's easy to look rich. And it's easy to flex like you got it all. But before you look at someone and say "wow, they must be successful they got followers", look into what they're really about. Look into if they know how to run companies, or if they're getting a degree, or if they're doing stuff outside the internet. And I'm saying all of this because I think it's important for someone to say it. Because it's a topic no one brings up, because everyone loves to make their life look amazing or everyone wants to sell you an overpriced hoodie, no one wants to teach you anything, they just want what you have or what you can give.
There's so much more to life than internet likes. It's what you can do with them. It's the idea of being able to understand you're in spotlight, and turning that light into something more resourceful, or giving bits that light to every other kid with a torch so they can carry that light with them day in and day out. It's about making content that people can learn from, instead of just clickbait bullshit with ads at the beginning middle and end so they get a paycheck from youtube. It's about making kids smile and teaching them to be the best version of themselves they can be. It's about being the best version of you possible. And sometime's, it's about proving the world wrong. But like I said, it's whatever you make it out to be.
I'll never say it enough, but the kids are the future. We are the next generation of leaders and inspirational voices to the ones that will follow. And sometimes I feel like I run a one man army when I preach so much, but it's so important for me to help empower the youth in any way possible.
There's a lot of people out there working hard to empower woman. I love that shit. Female energy is so sick and so important.
There's a lot of people out there working hard to give a voice to those who love people who have the same body as them. And that's so so so important. That stuff means so much to me. And it should to you, too.
One thing there isn't anything of, is teens speaking as a voice of teens. A lot of influential people love to promote that xanax popping, backwood rolling, trap star lifestyle and don't get me wrong, i'm sure that stuff is cool and fun and all that jazz, but no one's here to talk about the real issues. And no one's here to teach you lessons that you actually need to learn. And no one's here to teach you how to start a business or how to be successful. And no one was there for me, either. But I learned all of that on my own, on my mission to become successful. And that's why I write these things in my dorm room late at night, so that people like you can get a head start on life. Because you'll never take a highschool class on being successful. And you'll never take a highschool class on the social issues of the world or how to be yourself. People just expect you to know that stuff. But for some people, it doesn't come naturally.
You know my idea of success at this point. And if you've ever read the other blogs, you probably feel like you know me by now.
That's the real goal of all of this. To make something bigger than myself out of this brand, and to be something that teenagers can relate to. If this brand does act as an inspiration for you, tell us! Comment something below, comment nice things on my instagram page, comment on the brand instagram page, tell your friends about OHKAY, go to the stickers tab and get free stickers to spread the brand for us! Help us grow this brand from the ground up so one day when it's in stores all over the place and you got your own project of your own, you can look back and say wow I helped that get to where it is today. And one day, i'll repay the favor. But for the now: I want you to look at life in this exact moment. Examine every bit of it. Examine what you like, what you're good at, and what you can improve on. Examine what you want to focus your time on, and pinpoint areas of your life where you might have good experience. Then think about it for the night and day.
Look at tomorrow, look at six months from tomorrow, and look at a year from tomorrow. Write what you want to get done, then different ways you want to do it.
It doesn't have to be in depth, just some ideas.
Think about the bigger picture. Don't worry what your classmates would say, don't worry about what your friends might think, just worry about you. Because if I worried about what my friends would have thought about OHKAY, I would have never made this brand and I'd be living a life of "what-if's". And that's something I promised myself I'd never do.
So like maybe tomorrow you think of an idea, in six months it's a product, and in a year it's your fulltime job.
Or tomorrow you realize you like singing, in six months you have ten songs online, and in a year you have 10,000 plays.
Or maybe tomorrow you just want to be happy. and in six months you look back at this and read it again and smile. IF YOU DO THAT THEN GUESS WHAT I'LL BE FUCKING MAD AT YOU IF YOU AREN'T INSPIRING PEOPLE AND TEACHING KIDS THE IMPORTANCE OF LIFE IN A YEAR FROM NOW!!!!!
SUCCESS IS ALL THAT YOU MAKE IT OUT TO BE
YOU DON'T NEED TO BE THE BEST ON THE TEAM
OR THE SMARTEST IN THE CLASS
OR THE COOLEST IN THE GRADE
OR THE RICHEST KID
OR HAVE THE MOST FOLLOWERS
YOU JUST NEED TO SET GOALS AND ACHIEVE THEM.
THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE BEGINNING PHASES IN BEING SUCCESSFUL.
PLEASE JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. SET GOALS. WORK HARD TO ACHIEVE THEM.
OH, AND WHEN YOU START ACHIEVING THEM, LET ME KNOW. I CAN HELP CRITIQUE YOU OR TELL YOU I LOVE YOUR IDEAS OR GIVE YOU POINTERS !
ME AND EVERYONE ON THE OHKAY TEAM ARE HERE TO HELP YOU.
SO YOU CAN BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOU....POSSIBLE.