Inspiration from Friends: Starting Another Company at Age 74

Screenshot of the actual ViralStyle page

I’m starting out on an adventure, and I want you to come with me. If this works, it might help you. If not, we will have learned something, and you will have spent no money. I’ll have risked some, but not much. I might even make some money. I wouldn’t mind that.

After selling my last company 18 years ago, I have spent the intervening time advising other entrepreneurs. In one of the groups I meet with weekly, an entrepreneur told how he quit his job after developing a highly successful business selling on Amazon.

I was curious.

Another member of the group talked about someone named Chris Record, who gave seminars on Facebook ads, and how to drive traffic to a site using those ads. This, by the way, is called social selling — if you need to know the buzz words.

I got more curious.

I listened to a webinar by Chris Record, and I realized the people who are doing this are becoming affiliates of each other and developing large online networks. Some of them are making millions a week. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but my mind is open.

There are certain things I know: how to source products in China, how to test concepts, how to bring new products to market. And certain things I don’t. Like how to use Facebook ads and how to do social selling.

Making millions a week, however, is not my ambition. My ambition is only to do things that help the community. So I thought to myself, I’m going to find out if this is a viable form of business for an entrepreneur who wants to “change the world” on a small scale. I’m going to be the change I want to see.

Along the way I learned about a site that’s in beta called ViralStyle.com, where you can sell branded merchandise. After I decided I’d use this simple platform to test the concept, I reached out to my Facebook friends and asked them what their favorite inspirational sayings and mantras were. I chose two of the most popular (and ones I liked the best), and I asked another friend to set them in a design for me. Brandi Walsh is an entrepreneur-designer who owns Local Lily, and she was happy to be a part of my test.

So I launched a campaign to sell 50 t-shirts in a week through ViralStyle. Now, my hypothesis is I have enough Facebook friends and followers, Twitter friends, etc. to sell 50 shirts. If it works, I’ll release another inspirational mantra.

Along the way, I hope to learn (and then turn around and teach) how to do this. Why? Because I have long insisted that the world of work is changing, and we all need to figure out entrepreneurial ways to generate income.

I’m being the change we must see. And you can buy a shirt here: