Vaughn Brown, creative director and founder of Parker Dusseau (ParkerDusseau.com), explains the perks and challenges of being a new business owner.
Tell me a little bit about your job history.
I was in sales and marketing in digital media for 12 years, and before that, I was in the record business, doing tour and field marketing.
I’m an apparel entrepreneur, launching a performance menswear line in three weeks. This means I am designing garments, sourcing materials and factories, handling operations and all the marketing and sales. It’s a lot!
What made you decide to venture out on your own?
I’ve long wanted to start my own business and come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it’s something I’ve always known I would do. The primary reason however was that starting a consumer brand is something that allows me to be creative and express my passion for life, all while honoring my late uncle, the brand’s namesake.
What made you choose this particular industry?
I love clothes and love being active outside. This gave me a chance to combine the two.
What skills from your former career serve you best today?
Connecting with people is important, no matter what line of work you’re in, but especially in sales. I think the ability to do that in my former career has certainly helped me in my new venture.
What personality traits do you think make you more suited to working for yourself?
I’ve always found myself wanting to push the envelope further, in any job I’ve had. That and my insistence that I have autonomy over the hours in my day make me suited for this. And, in some sort of perverse way, I like the anxiety caused by taking risks!
If someone were to ask you the two biggest perks to working for yourself, what would you say?
The ability to manifest my own creative vision along with the ability to execute new ideas without having to get approval from a superior.
And the biggest challenges?
Staying organized and focused. There are just too many things to do on any given day.
What would you say are the first three steps one should take before launching a business?
Accomplished entrepreneurs will probably tell you to find a need, create a minimum viable product, and get feedback first. I did none of that.
Can you give me some resources you’ve used to help you along the way?
The best resources I’ve found are people who’ve done it before me. Most of them are all too happy to help.
Any lessons learned that you’d like to pass on to those thinking about venturing out on their own?
Don’t spend money on anything you can do yourself. And, make sure you’ve exhausted every avenue you can for getting it done yourself, before you hire someone to do it. The other, most important lesson is to believe strongly that you will succeed, no matter what it takes.