Drive down any main street in the world, and what do you see? Signs, logos, symbols, brands, names. Confucius once said signs and symbols rule the world, not words or law, and it's hard to argue with his assessment once you look at modern cities like New York City and Toronto where logos and advertisements are plastered on every space imaginable.
Take a look at the brand logos on this chapter's cover page, for example. I'm certain you recognize all of them almost immediately. Despite mild distortions, you still know exactly what they are and what they represent. You see, we've been programmed and trained since birth to look up to authority, whether it be school teachers, principals, brands, companies, corporations, or institutions.
We look up to, rely on, and trust brands to deliver us the products we need. Where do you go when you need a sloppy cheeseburger at 2AM? What do you look for when you buy sport shoes? Which drinks do you see stocked on the most shelves in grocery stores? Take one look at a modern city and tell me you don't see an endless array of logos, signs, symbols, brands, and advertisements, each one vying for your money. Money means control, and control is power. At the end of the day, money gives you the means of achieving success in the form of physical resources, experiences, and opportunities which open the door for higher degrees of success.
But don't make money your primary goal in life, because no amount of material wealth or physical gratification will appease your soul and make you genuinely happy. True happiness comes from loving relationships and fun experiences. Money allows you to generate the means of production - whatever they may be - to experience these and similar states that make us happy. So it is merely a means to an end, and not an end unto itself. Greed is the ultimate downfall of humankind, so learn to be grateful early in life and appreciate the little things.
The reason why I'm telling you this is because financial success is contingent on morality and virtue. The age of greed and corruption is over; a new age has begun where the virtuous will flourish. Therefore, it's better to start now and make every step count.
In order to remain competitive in a world of powerful brands and rich companies, you need to stand apart and do something no one else has done before. This forces you to search deep within your soul to find what your purpose is, who you are, and why you are on this planet. If you can't answer these questions, then you can't run a successful business because the first step to external success is inner success. The Law of Attraction & Manifestation states that you attract what you are, what you think of, what you want... In other words, your desires are what determine your reality, and your life is a projection or external manifestation of the thoughts you have the most.
In order to create the most successful business possible, you need to be the best version of yourself, and in order to do that you need a determinate vision, goal, and purpose in your life. Therefore, before we can proceed any further you have to establish what these principles are, otherwise you will be like a boat with no compass or sense of direction.
First and foremost, why are you here? Why are you REALLY here? Think about the forces that led you to reading this book, and contemplate why you are where you are today. This forces you to contemplate your own existence and wonder who you really are. This is by no means any easy thing to do, but it is a necessary requirement for self-knowledge, and self-knowledge is essential for physical, mental, spiritual, and financial success.
For the next checklist you will have to dig deep and bring to the surface your true intentions which surround your desire to create a business. Once you've established these principles, you're well on your way to establishing a real business.
If you can answer those three questions, then you're pretty much set for life. It took me 24 years of success and failure to realize what I truly wanted to do with my life: to help other people be successful and happy by doing what I love. And this is what you truly desire too, just maybe not in the same way as me.
You see, everyone wants to be rich and happy, but the hardest part is not losing your morals and values along the way. Many people give up and submit to a 'normal' job for the sake of safety and convenience. Others become complacent and live a life of autonomy and boredom. Few actually rise up to the challenge of creating something new and doing something no one has ever done before and seeing it until its completion.
But it's only those people that give 100% of their focus to a specific goal that actually achieve it. So if you're passionate about something and know you can succeed, just go for it! Even if you're afraid or other people discourage you, you can always recover from setbacks and failure if you try hard enough. In reality, most of the barriers to being successful are mental. Your mind is what matters most when it comes to running a successful business and lifestyle, which is why self-knowledge and philosophy is so important. This is why I recommend studying psychology and philosophy in addition to business and marketing if you want to be successful and become a better person in general.
Follow your passion, because you have a higher chance of succeeding by doing what you love, rather than forcing yourself to do something you don't want to and regretting it. The problem with the modern world is that it's easier to get a job at StarBucks or get accepted into University than it is to successfully establish your own business in a world that is run by franchises and huge corporations with billions of dollars at their disposal.
As you can see, it's tough for small business owners to make it in a world dominated by big brands, but my experience - well as many other people's - shows that it's entirely possible to make a living and be financially independent by turning your passion into your career and following basic rules and principles to establish a successful business model. Personally, I've found success comes easier when I work on projects I'm passionate about, rather than forcing myself to perform tasks I don't like or care about.
Case Study #1 - Elevate Clothing Company™
How I started a clothing company by accident with only $300
It was the the summer of 2019 and I was shopping for clothes at the mall, but at a certain point I realized I couldn't really find any designs I genuinely enjoyed, nor were the quality and prices of the clothes fair. For example, I could go to H&M and buy a crappy t-shirt for $5 which will probably wear out after a year or two. Or I can buy a super expensive Armani t-shirt for $80 which is high quality. Moreover, there are hardly any sustainable options at the mall. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that most of the clothes sold by ordinary brands are most likely made in sweatshops without a single care about their pollution or-
or consumption of resources. So I was stuck with a dilemma: where could I find clothes that were comfortable, sustainable, and not expensive? If you asked anyone else they would have told you that's impossible. If your clothes are cheap, they're most likely produced unethically and unsustainably, also they won't be good quality. If you want high quality clothes that last long and are comfortable, you have to pay more. And if you want the clothes to be sustainable on top of all this, you have to go out of your way to find a website or store that only sells clothes that are ethically made with sustainable materials. And good luck finding a sustainable/ethical brand with prices like H&M.
Based on my own research and experience in the industry, I would say the clothing companies that meet these criteria consist less than 1% of the entire fashion industry, and are extremely hard to find in malls or major outlet stores.
So after doing some research and finding out about drop-shipping, I learned I could design, produce, and sell my own clothes. And the best part is I get to choose from sustainable options while also having full control over the designs and appearance of the website.
I was able to use apps/services provided by Fiverr, Canva, Shopify, and Printful to launch my own online clothing store with sustainable clothes that had my own designs on them. The important part is that I did this with nothing more than a laptop, wifi connection, and credit card. And if I can create a company this easily, then you can too. Of course your company will not be exactly the same as mine, but there are still basic principles every business needs to follow in order to be profitable.
The first thing you need is a legal business name. This can be the same or different from the name you use to incorporate your company. You should consider trademarking your brand name so it doesn't get confused with (or stolen) by another company and preserve your brand identity. For example, the legal name I used to incorporate my company which is written on official documents is Elevate International Clothing Co. Ltd. But that's way too long for marketing, advertisements, and sales copy. So I created a new business name which I trademarked and use all the time: Elevate Clothing Company™.
- Write down your official business name that will go on your website, advertisements, and marketing material:
A good name meets the following requirements:
- Catchy, easy to remember.
- Accurately summarizes your business product/service so that anyone can read it and know what you're selling.
- Creates a high-profile brand image that matches your logo
BRANDING & LOGO DESIGN
Once you have a name for your business, you need a logo that symbolizes your brand. In my opinion, the logo of a business is the most important part of a brand because it's the first and last thing you see when you buy something, visit a store, or go on a company's website. It is what ties everything together and gives your brand a face and a personality.
People identify brands with many things, for example, people identify Nike with sport clothing, and McDonald's with burgers and fast-food. Decades of marketing have led to these logos and brands being seared into the subconscious of humanity. When you see the golden arches from a mile away, you immediately know what it symbolizes and what they're selling. This is why a good logo is one that a customer can easily identify and associate with your brand based on the following characteristics:
- Colour Scheme
Unlike words, symbols work on the subconscious and unconscious brain, causing you to identify a myriad of themes and emotions with a simple circular logo. They capture people's attention and stir the human imagination. This is why your logo is so important: it is the face of your brand and displays the personality of your company in -
a simple, concise, and easy to remember style. To make the logo and brand creation process as easy as possible, I've created an entire free video which walks you through the process of creating a logo, brand kit, custom font collections, and more. My YouTube channel is _________.
I walk you through all the basic and necessary steps required to establish a consistent and standard brand format that can be replicated an infinite number of times on any platform, medium, or format. In other words, once you complete this next checklist you will have all the tools necessary to create and sell any product or service you want while having complete control over your marketing material, promotions, advertising, website content, and more.
The video is uploaded on the Elevate Your Business Google Drive folder if you want to download it. You can also watch it on YouTube by visiting this link:
The full title of the YouTube video for search reference is "...."
The next checklist is designed to be followed along with the YouTube tutorial. I will walk you through all the necessary steps of establishing your brand's colour scheme, typography, logo design, branding, and other elements which are required for creating a successful brand with just your laptop.
First, you need to sign-up for an account at Canva (www.canva.com). Canva is a free platform for making graphic designs, advertisements, promotional materials, documents, brand kits, animations, videos, you name it. They're always adding new features too so it's the perfect place to go for starters who are looking to design their own brand but don't know how to use photoshop. Once you've created a Canva account you can watch the video and follow along with the instructions to create your own brand from scratch. The next page has a checklist of items required for ultimate brand success.
[This article is an excerpt from the ebook "How to create a profitable business from home with a laptop in 90 days." To learn more and purchase the full ebook with the accompanying manual and additional resources, click this link.]