We Do This NOT Because It Is Easy, But Because We Thought It Would Be Easy

Midjourney rendered skull on a green background with a yellow horizontal stripe

Let’s talk about the concept of “easy.” Think back to the beginning of your career in the industry. I’ve spoken to an amazing number of people over the years that got into this industry with one thought:

“How hard can it be?”

Decorating apparel from an outsider’s perspective appears deceptively easy. Probably by now, you have personally dispelled that myth. It can get incredibly hard. Quick.

Simple or Easy?

In your mind, when you began your journey into the decorated apparel industry, did things appear to you as “simple?” Did you say to yourself some variant of “Hey, I can do that!”

Sample kits are ordered. Boxes of stuff are delivered. Gigantic messes and failed attempts are created.

A bunch of people just like you gave up. However, you stuck with it. Now, here you are, still mastering the craft you found intriguing enough to keep pushing forward.

Are You Still Learning?

Here’s a question for you. Are you still learning?

I think it is relevant, especially if you have been in the game for a long time. When I speak to younger people in the industry, they are eager to try new techniques, methods, equipment, business practices, sales funnels, and anything else that comes along. They are still in learning mode.

The old dogs in the industry, especially if they have had success, tend to be on cruise control. They know from experience the new idea that comes along, even if it appears to be easy, is often backloaded with danger zones to avoid. For them, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

This is exactly how the younger companies spring up and take their market share. Trying out new ideas, failing forward, and developing solutions that work are how they start gobbling up customers.

Easy is a Perception

The thought of something being easy means that it requires little effort. “As easy as falling off a chair” comes to mind.

For example, look at the new developments in using artificial intelligence or AI to help with the business. Whether ChatGPT is for text copy or Midjourney for art, millions of people dig in and use these daily.


Because it helps make things easier. That doesn’t necessarily mean better.

ChatGPT is Advanced Auto Complete

I read somewhere that the notion of using ChatGPT is like using an advanced version of autocomplete. Yes, it can write and create an amazing number of words instantly. But it lacks your viewpoint, experiences, and the soul you can inject into something you create.

Is it a great tool to use? Definitely.

It also seems easy to use. Until you go down a rabbit hole attempting to achieve something in particular. That’s when you realize that you’ve spent forty-five minutes trying to get it to create something for you that you could have written yourself in ten.

Midjourney is the Art Easy Button or Is It?

I’ve spent countless hours lately exploring the depths of using Midjourney to create images. It is immensely fascinating to me. My take on it is that it is a tool to use. Photoshop is a tool. A pen and a piece of paper are tools. A paintbrush and paint are tools.

What can I create with this thing?

The answer: Not what I have in my head. I’m an artist and can easily envision the final image if I doodle around with a sketch. Then, it is only a matter of creating it.

Midjourney uses words as prompts to inject some parameters into the process and push out the image creation. As many variations of the words I try to use as prompts, it does not come back with the creative mental image I desire.

Prompts: Front human skull, anatomical, thickly lined black ink drawing, sketch, detailed, black & white, white background, hyper-realistic, geometric, comic style

Sure, it can create something. It is the art version of auto-complete.

It has yet to return what I want. All of the results are amazingly different. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. It is what it is.

And what it is is NOT as easy as it seems.

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” – Galileo Galilei

“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity are easy. Stay away from easy.” Scott Alexander

“The discontented man finds no easy chair.” – Benjamin Franklin

Help Support This Blog

While I may be goofing around with AI for some projects, this blog and its contents have been created by me, Marshall Atkinson.

Why am I writing this? To remind you, dear reader, these words are backed by a real person. With experience, flaws, successes, and failures… That’s where growth and learning happen. By putting in the work.

If you are reading this and it is not on my website, it has been stolen without my permission by some autobot. Please report this to me and/or publicly out the website that hijacked it. And if you are trying to copy and use it without my permission, you are stealing. Didn’t your mama teach you better?

If you like this blog and would like to support it, you can:

  1. Buy a book.
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  3. Join Shirt Lab Tribe.
  4. Subscribe to the Success Stories podcast.
  5. Watch and like an episode on the Jerzees Adventures in Apparel Decorating YouTube series.
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Also, my basic elevator pitch to you is that I help with “Clarifying effective change.” If you are dissatisfied with your business’s current results, maybe I can help.

Please schedule a discovery call here if you want to learn more.



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