the story behind #sherardvision.
First day of the new year and the first post from a weekly piece of content that I like to call #sherardvision. This form of content creation is something that I enjoy and take pride in being able to put my thoughts into well thought out sentences. I live for a good metaphor or analogy. This first post will be nothing more than a review of a couple of my 2017 highlights and how I plan too approach 2018.
2017. Personally I was in a very unique place. Really needing to put myself out of my comfort zone and into a place where creation could naturally take place. Having an obsession with learning, it was important to assess my self and realize that taking in information from reading a textbook just didn’t work. Hands on experience is what I needed to really develop the proper business skills to become successful. “You are who your 4–5 closest friends are”, one of the most important quotes ever in my opinion. Fortunately for myself, the closest people I put myself around are also creators. The impact of having people that are into the same things as yourself has such an enormous impact on your success.
Graduating school with a degree in business entrepreneurship was cool, until realizing that the hands on experience aspect was non existent. So at the end of 2016 going into 2017 I came up with a personal project titled #mood. #mood became something very real in my eyes. There was something in the market that was missing, and I jumped on it full attack mode. Dad hats are very much a trend in the market right now, look around. LeBron and KD throw one on before and after every game. A number of brands have capitalized on the trend and are profiting at high levels. This wasn’t my intention with the project. My intention was to create and execute on an idea. My intention was to learn hands on and fail. Wanting to fail as much as possible just knowing that this would pay back dividends in 2,5, or even 10 plus years.
Execution took place, and a movement was created. #mood got to the point where people started to tell me that I was the first thing that they thought of whenever they came across the hashtag #mood. Little things like that were huge W’s for myself. Timing was perfect in that January of 2017, the boys and myself embarked on a two week Eurotrip that had us step foot into Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, and London. Going overseas is something I highly recommend every person do within the first 2–3 years post college graduation, if not sooner. What an eye opening experience indulging into other cultures with each being a much different market than the other.
This allowed me to grab experience with digital marketing. I take a lot away from Gary V, so I used a lot of the jab, jab, jab, punch method which hones in on content, content, content, than providing a way to create monetary value. I created and put out content for months straight, not once asking for sales, and the funniest part about it all is everyday a couple DMs would pop up asking me how to purchase the #mood dad hats. The method works. Its not easy, especially if you’re looking to make a quick buck. If you’re authentic and really trying to build a community organically I truly believe that this is the way to do it.
With #mood I was able to execute on everything that I had hoped for. Everything from design, working with the supplier and embroider, creating a website, setting up a PayPal account, marketing, story telling, packaging, shipping & handling. Nothing worked perfectly. I failed more often than not. There were a number of things that could have been done differently and will be in the future. The best part about it all was the hands on experience that I personally needed. Mission accomplished.
Fast forward to June 2017. I realized that it was time for change. Being who I am, I am not afraid to leave a job because of the money or what my parents want or whatever excuses some of us make because we are afraid to really go after what we want. Having just finished reading Shoe Dog, a memoir by Nike co founder Phil Knight, I can honestly say that this book single handedly changed my perspective and path of life that I was on. After all of the self awareness checking I was doing for myself, I realized that my passion revolved around two things; sport & product. Knowing that I had to put myself around that energy, however not knowing how to take that first step. I just knew that I needed to get out of Los Angeles. Funny, because so many people come here too chase the dream, and I was leaving to chase mine.
Realizing that Portland, Oregon was the mecca of the sports product industry, it became a no brainer for me to make that move. Quit my job, packed my bags, and drove up the 5 North for 16 hours to what seemed like to myself as the Hollywood of the Northwest. This is a testimony to anybody that knows what they are passionate about but doesn’t know where to begin, go surround yourself around that energy, NOW. Less than a week into my job search just to get a stable way of living, a God sent opportunity came about that allowed me the chance to become 1 of 48 students to be selected for a one of its kind Sports Product Management Masters Program through the University of Oregon. You couldn’t write a better script, I promise you. Energy, energy is everything. In this industry you don’t just get handed a job because you’ve worn Nike cleats and adidas shoes your whole life. This is a craft that needs to be mastered. This opportunity has allowed me to network with amazing people and legends within the industry. This opportunity has allowed myself the chance to step on to the field at Autzen Stadium, tour the Nike Headquarters, and full access to an innovation lab and a faculty full of experts. If you would have told me that this is the life I would be living 6 months ago, I would have looked at you so silly.
Time for 2018. I’m ready. Coming to the realization that I know what I am passionately obsessed with. I understand that this mastering of the craft is a process, I am in this for the marathon not the sprint. Understanding that 2018 is the year of more growth, more mastering, more networking, and more sight seeing. I plan on documenting as much of it as possible. With this platform, or with visual or audio, each Monday of the year#sherardvision will be coming with content. I am going to be learning at an alarming rate, and I want to give back the knowledge that I will be soaking up. I am not an expert, I don’t know everything by a long shot. What I do know is that by creating a weekly piece of content that documents my experiences and knowledge it will help me to really create the discipline that is needed to learn the craft and give knowledge to those that are intrigued by the sports product industry. The goal is to create a community of creatives that want to get a better understanding of product creation and the business behind it.
I have decided to put my head down to get mine, and will come up for air in 2025. The only thing that speaks is the work, and in 7–10 years we’ll find out who was using the gram to “flex” and those that put the work in. I know that when that time comes, I’ll have the archive of documentation to prove the work that I put in.
With that being said, Happy New Year.
Week 1/52 of #sherardvision, complete.