7 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED IN THE PAST 7 YEARS OF BUILDING COSIGN
Words By: K.G. Graham | @COSIGNKG
“Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that 1 year that will change your life.” – Unknown
When I first created COSIGN I had no idea what I was building I just knew that I wanted to create a platform to help shine light on amazing entrepreneurs and creatives that I co-sign and felt that the world needed to recognize. I also wanted to share their blueprints to guide other aspiring entrepreneurs in their field and find out who these taste makers look up to and co-sign as well. One thing I can say is that these past 7 years have been tough. I’ve faced many battles, lost and won a few. I’ve been broke, I’ve been hurt, I’ve cried, and I’ve been depressed but the crazy thing is I’d do it all over again. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. You have to be tough and able to go on a journey that you won’t know the outcome of. I’ve learned a lot building COSIGN and I wanted to share a few of my lessons with you all.
1. BE PATIENT, LIKE HELLA PATIENT.
I now truly understand why they say, “Patience is a virtue.” When building a brand, the idea you have in your mind does not happen overnight. Another true saying I like to reference is that, “Overnight success takes 10 years,” and I’m three years away from being truly successful. Seven years in, I’m just now feeling like we’re catching our stride at COSIGN. Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.
2. TEAM WORK REALLY DOES MAKE THE DREAM WORK.
Build a team and delegate. It’s impossible for you to do everything yourself. Make sure everyone is held accountable for their work load and operate off of each other’s strengths. I’ve learned that creative meetings and brainstorming sessions are very impactful for a brand. When a collective can come together and share ideas, you’re bound to create gold.
3. THE POWER OF A #COSIGN IS REAL, EXERCISE IT OFTEN.
There’s a reason why I named my global media empire COSIGN (speaking the global empire aspect into existence). NO ONE successful has made it without a co-sign of some sort; everyone needs a co-sign, whether it’s through word of mouth, an investor, a record deal, a partner, etc. Someone has co-signed you along the way to help you become successful. Use it as your strength and replicate the co-sign by the tens, hundreds, and thousands. That’s how you build a loyal following and customer base.
4. SHOOT YOUR SHOT DAILY (STRICTLY BUSINESS RELATED).
Shoot your shot daily, in business. Gary Vaynerchuk said businesses should pitch every day. Every day you should be trying to secure new clients, new customers, seek investors, etc. Every day is an opportunity to make another sale.
5. TIME MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL, CREATE TIMELINES AND EXECUTE ACCORDINGLY.
Like Kirko Bangz’ mixtape series, Procrastination Kills! Time is the most valuable asset, you can’t replace time or purchase more of it. I highly recommend that you use it wisely. When building a brand, outline what you’re going to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Use that timeline to map out your goals and campaigns. Set deadlines and adhere to them. If you can create a structure to efficiently manage your time, you’re already ahead of the curve.
6. PEOPLE GET SHOT EVERYDAY, B. YOU’LL BE ALL RIGHT. (“PAID IN FULL” REFERENCE, FOR OUR CULTURALLY CHALLENGED READERS.)
This is definitely figuratively speaking. In business you’re bound to take losses and get hurt, but you have to remember, people take serious L’s every day, life threatening L’s. So sometimes you have to put it in that perspective, take your loss like a man or like a woman, and come back stronger and better than ever. You’ll be all right, B!
7. REMEMBER YOUR “WHY” AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Life is already hard, and building a brand/business is even more difficult. When things get hard, it’s imperative that you remember why you started to help push you through those tough times. In my case, my “why” is my daughter, and she outweighs any hurdle or obstacle I might face! Remember your “why” and keep grinding, there’s money to be made and a legacies to be built! #COSIGNLife