Each year has its goals and accomplishments.
I remember one of my first jobs right after college required us to write down our yearly goals at the start of the year. That requirement made it feel like a lot of people going to the gym after January 1st of every year, only to slow down and lose interest of the goal in sight. I sometimes think goals should be made at the end of the year, believing in the old adage that “hindsight is 20/20”. Running The Art of Lax™ since launching in January 2009 always had one goal in mind for the business – to keep it growing.
The recent partnership with the Power-Tek Performance Gear Company has been a very exciting goal for The Art of Lax™. Power-Tek is now the official manufacturer of all The Art of Lax™ apparel items. Both brands promise to bring great products of performance, quality,price and artistic creativity to the consumer.
See the new lacrosse line of apparel at The Art of Lax™, click on the apparel page.
The Art of Lax™ artwork screened onto Power-Tek Performance Gear products and worn by members of The Brooklyn Lacrosse Club in summer tournaments such as War at the Shore in NJ and the Salt Shakerz Invitational in NYC.
The Launch Pad.
I spent most of the fall season of 2008 building The Art of Lax™ with the goal of launching it to the public at the 2009 US National Lacrosse Convention in Baltimore, MD. Upon my arrival to the Baltimore Convention Center floor, I carefully set up my side of the booth. Folding tables were put out and the very first batch of original drawings were displayed on standing frames, crowded on a simple, black tablecloth. Resting on an easel located at the front of the booth was the framed, original painting of “The Creators” to catch the attention of prospective customers. Located at the back, were a number of “non-lacrosse” paintings to somehow convince customers that I did not just produce “lacrosse art”. Looking back, I shouldn’t have done that, as the space was too crowded and hard to maneuver. But I was naïve and had NO IDEA what I was doing. I just knew that I was VERY nervous before the crowd entered, wondering what kind of reception the lacrosse artwork would get. The neighbors at the booth next to mine were two individuals (brothers, really) named Jim and Tom Lalli, who helped keep my cool with constant jokes. Both of them introduced me to their enterprise called, Power-Tek.
At the 2009 US Lacrosse Convention in Baltimore. Note; at the far left distance the sign of Power-Tek.
On starting a business.
There is a complete difference between working in a business and starting/running your own. The latter, is NOT for everybody and I mean it in a VERY respectful manner. It separates the “dreamers from the doers”. It’s a lot of working odd hours and working into much later ones. You enter a world where things are not guaranteed and can fluctuate at any moment. It’s a lot of constant wonder, worry and uncertainty. Obstacles and failures hide behind the approaching corners. It consumes and at times affects others around you. Who would want this lifestyle? Not everybody understands or likes what you have. The naysayers and the supposed experts are just waiting for you and your “stupid idea to ultimately fail”. But they are not important to you and your goal(s). You become stubborn, unconventional and learn to do a lot with less. You realize it requires more of a bold character than book intelligence, more risk taking than rule following, and more importantly, much more action than talk. Most of the action is done alone, when nobody is around to analyze, criticize or give credit. In that isolation, you learn more about yourself and your limits. You are tempted to just stop, because that’s the easiest thing to do. That is what normal people do. But you wonder if that is the right thing to do. A certain respect and admiration for established business owners and leaders develops. It’s infectious. You want to emulate them. So you FOCUS. And when that ONE POSITIVE outcome surfaces from the GREATER AMOUNT of unsuccessful attempts in the past, it feels like a breath of fresh air, a reward – A BONUS! You sit back, smile and realize that you want to do MORE.