Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Next Big Thing

Mo got his love for fashion from his well-dressed dad and grandfather, who always looked sharp and believed in the importance of dressing for success.  As a young kid growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, the hats and shoes Mo picked out were always striking, and he described himself as a classy kid who liked to dress up nice.   Even at a young age, when his mother would take him shopping, he said he only wanted to buy things that “spoke to him.”  As far back as the age of four, Mo would wear ties and blazers not just for special occasions, but to play outside, ride his bike, and walk around his neighborhood.

However, one of the things speaking to him was a desire for fashionable, contemporary bow ties, and no matter where he looked, he just couldn’t find any that fit his taste.  That’s when he decided to learn how to make the bow ties he wanted himself.

At the age of 9, Mo’s grandmother, a nearly 80-year old seamstress, showed him how to use her scrap fabric and sewing machine to design his own bow ties.  He was very particular about the styles, creating ties that ranged from traditional polka-dots and stripes to multi-colored paisley and even sports team-themed ties.  As he got better, he realized that what he was doing might be something more than just a way to create bow ties for himself.  He had located a void in the market, which meant he had a business on his hands.

With the help of his mother and grandmother, Mo began selling his handmade bow ties and spreading the word.  Soon, news of the young fashion entrepreneur got out.  Online sales were taking off, and boutiques in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Arkansas were carrying his wares.  His mother soon became a full-time employee of Mo’s Bows, of which Moziah “Mo” Bridges was the CEO and self-described NBT (Next Big Thing).  By the time Mo was 12, Mo’s Bows had earned over $30,000, and was featured on The Today Show, Forbes, The Steve Harvey Show and in O, The Oprah Magazine.

Recently, Mo appeared on the business reality show Shark Tank, where he actually refused a monetary offer of $50,000 in order to secure a guarantee of mentorship by clothing mogul Daymond John.  One of the most successful ways to get where you want to be in life is to surround yourself with people who can help you get there.  We call this building your Dream Team, and Mo has taken a great step by adding Daymond John to his team.  John, who got into the clothing business by sewing his own wool hats as a teenager and selling them on the streets of his neighborhood, also once refused an investment in order to maintain his own direction.  Ultimately, his clothing brand FUBU would come to be worth hundreds of millions.  Mo himself plans to attend design school, and intends to have his own fashion line by the time he is 20.

Are you ever too young to start following your dream?  Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs don’t think so.  Richard Branson, who started his first business at the age of 9, says he wish he had started sooner.  He went on to found Virgin, the billion-dollar company that has seen Branson expand into everything from music to cellular phone service to consumer space travel.  Ralph Lipshitz, the youngest of four brothers who grew up sharing a single bedroom in The Bronx, New York, fell in love with fashionable clothes while in the seventh grade.  At the age of 12, he began selling hand-made neckties to fellow students.  He also worked in department stores after school to save up to buy the clothes he wanted.  We know him now as Ralph Lauren, the billionaire founder of the Polo clothing line, and one of the richest men on the planet.

Sometimes what you need isn’t age, experience, or even money.  All of those can help you reach your goal, but the most important asset to finding your way to success is the willingness to take the first step.  The saying, “Put your money where your mouth is!” isn’t talking literally about money; it means that anyone can talk about what they want to do, and you should differentiate yourself by being a person who actually takes action.  Ralph Lauren did it.  Daymond John did it.  And now Moziah Bridges is doing it.  Think about what you’d like to be doing, what speaks to you, and figure out how to take action to start making it happen in your life!

Until Next Week,

Live Your Dreams!

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