Uranus Is Coming To Life!
Friday February 26th, 2010 - Chicago, IL
Slowly but surely, Uranus is showing signs of life. It’s my job to determine whether that life will be intelligent or not, so I’m trying to think things through thoroughly beforehand so I don’t make any stupid mistakes. It doesn’t guarantee I won’t, but I’m being cautious.
My t-shirt printer Marc at Innovative Ideas in Antioch, IL called to let me know my first batch of t-shirts was ready and I hurried over to pick them up. It’s a simple design and it’s only on two dozen items, so if I can’t sell them all at least I’m not gambling my life away.
I’ve heard about all the websites where they’ll make one shirt on demand, and I suppose that’s the least gamble, but I didn’t like their products and fee structure so I decided to do it this way. I wanted to find a t-shirt printer guy I could work with, and I think I did. Marc is very laid back and has twenty years experience in the business. I feel a synergy there.
He put one of my shirts in his store window and said he’ll gladly test them out. If we hit on a winner, I’ll gladly cut him in on sales if he displays them for me. He’s willing to give me some test marketing, and that’s what it’s all about. Comedians test jokes on stage, and this is testing them on his store wall. What lines will get people to pull out their wallets?
I’m excited about this process, but I’m far from finished. I still have to create content on the website in addition to getting the whole mailing fulfillment system down pat for when I do actually start getting some orders. Then there’s records, taxes, advertising, coming up with new product ideas, it’s never going to end. That’s what it takes and I’m fine with it.
This is either going to be my retirement fund or a flaming explosion of a failure. I think I have a winner of an idea, but so does everyone who starts out in business. I’m sure every meeting before releasing the Edsel or New Coke was loaded with smiles and optimism.
I think I’m doing things right, and that’s why they’re taking so long. I had the chance to partner up with several people already, and I’m glad I turned them all down. In retrospect, I don’t think any of them would have worked out, and I’d be into someone for percentage of a company that’s either limping along or out of business altogether. I’m still in charge.
I waited to find the right website guy in Mark Huelskamp, and I think I did. He’s been a great help and he feels totally right. I feel the same about Marc with the printing aspect of it. He’s the right fit. We all understand if this works we’ll all have business for the future.
With the economy and times the way they are, even if this does all end up blowing up in my face, it will have been a fantastic learning experience and I ended up doing it my way. I love the challenge and accept the responsibility. Now it’s time to prove that I was right.
One thing I wasn’t good at in comedy was savoring every little milestone when I started out. There are many steps, and I was always looking to the next one. Today I’ll let it settle in that no matter what happens, my first shirts are DONE. It’s real! Uranus is underway!!