“Invest in yourself, before others will choose to invest in you” – this quote resonated during the inspirational talk by Greg Brebner (Founder) and Scott Kington (Co-Founder) of Blunt Umbrellas at the University of Auckland Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unleash your Potential speaker series.
Two strong-willed individuals who never gave up, who stuck to their vision and even in financial strife, came out the other side with a high quality innovative product that has changed the world of umbrellas.
I bet not many businesses can say that Tom Cruise willingly uses their product on a daily basis.
Greg started off by talking about how he invented the original Blunt Umbrella on the floor of his London apartment. The beauty of his invention was that he saw a gap, it was something that people are always going to need – he saw that as an opportunity.
The key message he kept going back to was that you have to be honest with yourself – to succeed in a market that had a below-par reputation, is when you must have a clear vision. You must have a strong belief and invest into your product for others to see the value too. He enforced the importance of having strong relationships with partners, distributors and even your neighbour – because it may not seem like it at the time but they will all have some sort of impact on you in the future.
No ones export journey is an easy sail – yes, at a high level it shows positive growth but when your amongst it, there will be times when you will feel like your sliding back down the slope and ready to give up.
This was their ending slide – a play on their umbrella design showing that there is always room to grow and develop. They capitalised on the innovation and changed the market – they were disruptive. They took a leap of faith and it worked!
So what does success look like to you? To them it was a long fought battle that could have easily been shoved in the trashcan 10 years ago.
Believe in your product, because if you do, it is a lot easier to convince someone else to.