Original anime graphic tees and posters
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The only good thing about being lazy.

The only good thing about being lazy.

Let me just start off by saying if you're a generally lazy person, chances are you're in a situation where you're quite unmotivated. So first find something you're passionate about.
That said, nobody likes a lazy person. Especially a lazy person who's working for them.
Working with a lazy person is like pulling a giant wooden log up a hill. It is frustrating and exhausting.

But ever once is a while you find a lazy person who actually inspires innovation, all because they're too lazy to do things the current way. Laziness tends to encourage one to find a more efficient way to do things. 

For instance, I had a co-worker at my software job (Day job I hope to quit) who was intensely lazy. But this guy was responsible for some of the best automation tools our department has ever worked with. All this was as a result of the fact that he didn't like the grind of doing things the old way. Actually, as a result, he was given a new position where he was allowed to work on new tools for the company. I also think there was an uptick in his motivation as a result. :-)

June 23, 2016 by Justin A
Don't envy success, envy willpower

Don't envy success, envy willpower

These days, most of us are obsessed with case studies of very successful people. It can be the next billion-dollar startup and its very proud team of founders or a YouTuber with over two million subscribers. Inevitably, we might find ourselves admiring and envying their success. However, it is understandable; the glitter of achievement is hard to ignore. But here's the thing: success is simply the result of hard work and patience, and we tend not to remember that.

As I mentioned earlier, I was that guy who always sorted out the success stories. I would spend hours on YouTube watching videos of successful people and consuming their stories. I didn't know when it happened, but I suddenly found myself appreciating overcoming challenging situations. Take, for instance, our little venture Boomslank; not many outsiders are aware of what we do to get that one extra fan.

My brothers and I are always wracking our brains, trying to figure out how we can grow our brand awareness. We are always coming up with random ideas. Someone them work very well; some of them fail badly. We are always trying to figure out how to make our conventions cheaper to operate and more profitable. Take it from me, conventions are a lot of work. You have to pack your goods, figure out how to ship them, set up your booth, make sure you are friendly to customers. Conventions can be quite daunting. And sometimes you start to wonder if you're on the right track. On the day we incorporated our company, I had to go to court to obtain a business license, which quite honestly was just bureaucracy at its worst. The experience was just horrible, and it showed me how inefficient government bureaucracy can be. Needless to say, I managed to overcome that mind-numbing obstacle. And my brothers and I are still coming up with ideas to help the brand grow.

I am saying all this to try to point out what matters: willpower. If success is a finished artwork/product, willpower is the skill that created it. By comparison, willpower is far more dynamic than success. Success is static; it is simply the end of the road. Willpower is more of an intrinsic attribute that goes with you wherever you go. No matter what your next venture is, your willpower will see you through. Your willpower is what determines whether you outlast, outperform, or defeat your opponents. Success is simply what comes after you've done those things. Success is the veil; the cover people admire instead of what's underneath it, which is willpower.

Heavy Bag
This is especially why I love one of our latest shirts - Heavy Bag. Most of you would look at the shirt and admire the ridiculous definition and dense muscles of the boxer. However, what I see is the willpower that allowed him to push himself almost past human limitations to achieve his current strength and physique. What I admire is what I assume was his incredible willpower.

June 03, 2016 by Justin A
Always surround yourself with apex predators

Always surround yourself with apex predators

Unlike my brother David, I don't have any discernible talents. When I was much younger, I used to draw just like my brother David. But my dabbling in the arts slowly gave way to building things. For a while, I used to tinker with electronics and electricity (I got a lot of electric shocks as a kid). Then when we came to the US, my interest evolved into an interest in computers. When I graduated, my interest in computers gave way to entrepreneurship.

My interest in entrepreneurship is starting to look like where I am meant to be in life. It has been eight years since I caught the entrepreneurial bug and I am enjoying every step of the journey. The funny thing is, it is nothing but a series of mistakes which in turn teaches you something. One of the biggest pointers I've picked up along the way is to surround myself with apex predators.

What do I mean by "apex predators"? I mean people who are just absolute badasses at what they do. Be it storytelling, art, videography, graphic design or illustration. Remember I mentioned earlier that I have no discernable talents. So I am not an apex predator. I do however know some apex predators. My brother David is an apex predator. He doesn't want to admit it, but I know for a fact that he's a very talented artist.
Apex predators are those people that are just so damn good at what they do, that their works speak for themselves.

When running a business, especially one like Boomslank, it is really important to cultivate the habit of having things done by an apex predator. For example, if you need a website for your brand, have it done by an apex predator in the field of web design. Don't do the website yourself if you're not an apex predator in web design. People tend to notice when subpar work has occurred. If you can see it, they can too, they're not blind or stupid. In the future, we plan to roll out more product promotional videos on our Youtube to tell our story better. It would be quite short-sighted of me to make the videos myself while lacking the skills. So we're going to be hiring an apex predator. He isn't cheap, but it will cost a lot more to go the cheaper route. With the cheaper route, the resutling poor work will completely underwhelm people, and it will ultimately taint the perception you're trying to create.

Another reason to work with only apex predators is the competitive advantage you gain in your industry or genre. The unique experience you create with handiwork rendered only by apex predators is the greatest way to get the word out about what your endeavor is all about.

So how do you know you're working with an apex predator? Well is hard to quantify sometimes. But you just know. You sometimes can feel it. It is at times a very subjective assessment. However, the one thing you can see with every apex predator is a rare combination of passion and discipline we mere mortals lack. They eat and breathe their trade. And they can be seen doing their work for free just for the simple fact that doing what they love is its own reward. 

So find yourself an apex predator for whatever you need to get done. If you can't find one, then go hone your latent skills and become one.

May 17, 2016 by Justin A