Sometimes the weirdest things lead to breakthrough ideas!
It’s about Kevin Plank, the founder and CEO of Under Armour.
In the 90’s, Kevin played football for the University of Maryland. There he stumbled onto an idea. In the middle of a game or practice, he would have to take off his gear, and change his shirt which was soaking wet. And every football player had the same challenge. It was time consuming and annoying. And, as it turns out, these sweaty t-shirts add an extra 3 pounds of weight.
So Kevin thought… why not create a shirt that wouldn’t soak with sweat. A performance shirt for the athlete.
With some good ole’ fashioned hustle, Kevin found the right material. Had a shirt made. Gave it to a few guys to try it. And the rest is history.
Today, Under Armour is doing over $3 BILLION a year in sales. Not too shabby for a seemingly little idea.
Now if read the book, you discover the ups and downs Kevin had to go through. Gambling his last dollar away in Atlantic City, in hopes he’ll win enough to cover his bills. And other fun stuff.
And while the persistence in making his brand a slam dunk success is a big part of the story, none of it would happen if he didn’t uncover a problem the market had. And offer it a solution.
Which is the starting point of all business success.
Find a problem people have.
Present a solution.
Hustle to make it work.
As I read his story, I couldn’t help but think about the simplicity of his solution. Every time I watch Shark Tank, I see a product that solves a problem and think the same thing.
In fact, look at anything around you right now… it all started with a thought in someone’s mind. An idea to solve a problem the marketplace had.
The chair you’re sitting in.
The device you’re using to read this.
The clothes you wear.
The car you drive.
The house you live in.
The luxuries we enjoy and take for granted… ALL OF IT started in someone’s mind as an idea.
Want to make money?
Find a problem others have and present a solution. The more pressing the problem, the more likely you’ll be able to sell it and the more money you can ask in return for it.
Then it’s just a matter of making a commitment to do whatever it takes to win.
Or in the words of Kevin Plank…
“Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it comes down to an entrepreneur making up his mind and deciding he’s going to find a way”