The following article was written by Kamran Popkin, creative director (and rebel-rousing instigator) at swagclub.
Several years ago, I was referred to one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Checked her shop out on the FB and was stunned. She’s unreal. And, I don’t mean cute, or even sultry. She is chest-clutching, breath-defying beauty. Poetry in motion. So awesome, I was hesitant to even approach her. When I finally worked-up the nerve to go see her, she was even better IRL. And the work her company produces is spectacular also.
Then she dropped the hammer on me. ”Yeah, I DO buy a lot of swag, but typically from my aunt. She’s in the business.” She dropped her name and franchise, and I found out this lady was a pretty creative solid hitter, too. Wow.
Yeah, I was kinda deflated. But, I just knew. Someday it’d work out.
But, I went back. Again. And again. And again. Every six to nine months, I’d be by just to say hi. Chew the fat. Came to know her husband, some of her employees and even got familiar with her clientele, too.
Last week, I was on her street and saw her outside her office. I just slowed down, gave her a wave. She hopped right over, in that way she does. “Hey, I referred you to one of my clients yesterday, lemme know how it goes.”
Um. Ok. Sure. “Something your aunt doesn’t wanna do?” “Nah, she quit the business a few weeks ago. Selling insurance or something now. Actually, I need a new swag guy myself. I’m thinking it’s you.”
And just like that, the dozen or so visits all came into mind. I was not wasting time. I was laying groundwork. We shipped our first project, and she already paid, after the ideal amount of creative tension and back and forth. She’s gonna be a good client, now that her aunt is outta the picture. If she jumps back in, I’m prolly out. But I doubt you can take her from me. Not now.
Folks, this isn’t a pean about being the Don Quixote of un-winable causes. But if you KNOW it’s gonna work for ya, stick with it. It’s a fluid marketplace. The barriers to entry are comically low, but the stickiness rate is kinda low, too. If you got a gut feeling of a good future together, stick with it. You can make this work, if you can see success.