Just what is prized seed corn? How can the concept of farming be comparable to the decorated apparel industry anyway?
Here’s a parable:
“There was an old farmer who grew exceptional quality corn. It always grew tall and thick in his fields. The crop yield was phenomenal. Each ear of corn was perfect and sweet. The farmer was known far and wide for his bumper crops.
In fact, every single year without fail, he won the top award for the best corn. As you might suspect, people wanted to know his secret. His answer always dumbfounded outsiders to his community.
He freely shared his prized seed corn with his neighbors.
The very seeds that he planted in his fields to grow those incredible crops year after year.
They always asked, “Why do you do that? Aren’t you worried that your neighbor’s corn will outperform yours?”
The old farmer always laughed with a thunderous boom.
“Ha!, you must not know much about farming. The wind lifts up the pollen from the surrounding neighbor’s fields. That blows into mine and fertilizes my fields with the best pollen you can imagine because it comes from me. If their crops are inferior, mine will be too. The act of sharing makes my crop stronger.”
What Are You Scared Of?
When this industry decides to behave like that old farmer, that’s when we will really grow.
You can argue that we do ok with that idea. Just look at all of those Facebook or Forum posts. That’s sharing, right? I’ve seen threads that are 137 comments deep.
Like Lee Corso on College Gameday always says, “Not so fast my friend.”
There is a lot of misinformation and contradictory statements in those, and the ideas that really matter are not often always shared. You don’t see the heavyweights or industry titans participating much.
Everyone needs more seed sharing.
We live in an interesting time. Technology improves at a rapid pace. Our customer base is changing the way they purchase and even think about apparel.
Who we talk to, partner with, and brainstorm with new ideas will make a significant impact a few years down the road. That’s the pollen that is going to fertilize your future.
Why don’t we see more collaboration, partnerships, and involvement?
Too many prized corn seeds are being kept close to home.
Sharing Your Prized Seeds
Getting past our own agenda and looking past our fence line might be the best decision made.
Do we want to improve our crops?
We have a lot of neighbors in this industry that could benefit from our prized seeds. I’m not simply talking about decorators. It’s bigger than that.
Tech companies. Manufacturers. Suppliers. Distributors. Associations. Customers. Even completely disseparate industries.
We need more involvement.
So, if you are reading this I want to thank you.
I’ve been trying to share my prized corn seeds for a number of years now. My goal is for your crop to become better, so mine will naturally improve too.
Many people have talked to me for years about “sharing too much”. “Why do you always do that?”, they ask.
But like that old farmer, I just laugh it off.
Sharing my prized seeds have improved my crops every single year. That cross-pollination with my industry friends has helped me in numerous ways that astound even me.
Which, when you think about it is exactly how start-up incubators work. A bunch of fresh ideas and people hungry to make a difference. They share all types of crazy notions.
Some will fertilize and take hold.
All it takes is the right farmer.
I want to close this article by challenging you.
Whether you are a shop, a manufacturer, a supplier, a distributor, a software or technology company, an association, or someone that is connected to this great industry…I want you to share your seeds. Get involved. Be brave enough to look past your own fence line.
Ask yourself, “How can working with neighbors improve my own crops?”
Are you brave enough to be receptive to a new idea? Asking for help?
Do you have the guts to share your own treasure?
I learned a phrase in college that has stuck with me all these years.
“Your best friend is only a handshake away.”
I’m challenging you right now to shake more hands and give away your prized seed corn.
Your crop next year may surprise you.
“To succeed, jump at opportunities as often as you do conclusions.” – Benjamin Franklin
“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin
Shirt Lab – Prized Corn Seed Sharing
Is your cornfield on this map?
While we certainly have shop owners from all over the country coming into our Shirt Lab Columbus, Ohio, event on October 27, 2018, this remarkable decorated apparel industry Sales and Marketing workshop-style training event was designed for shops within this area.
Not sure if you should attend Shirt Lab? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have an effective branding campaign established for your shop that is incredibly strong and powerful?
- Does your website have fantastic conversion rates for online sales?
- How are you with your sales lead generation? Have you built a fantastic funnel for customers interested in what you do?
- What about how you close sales? Are you the master? Do you have a process?
- Now, think about your social media. Are you using videos to create amazing content that resonates with your customer market?
- What are you doing to add more revenue per order to increase your sales?
- And finally, have you created your own channel where you don’t have any competition?
If you need help with any or possibly all of these, then Shirt Lab is tailor-made for you. All of the instructors are masters at what they do. It’s a workshop-style day. You’ll be having fun while interacting and learning.
Our goal is to melt your brain with the best Sales and Marketing prized corn seeds that we can possibly provide.
It’s up to you to plant them.
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