Young Entrepreneur

Full disclosure: The Benjamin Bear and Patrick Hill are friends of mine.

There is a special feeling that each of us occasionally experiences. It goes something like this: Absolute tunnel vision focus – the unsureness of it – rechecking – everything looks aligned – the release – I figured it out! I figured it out! I figured it out! – the slow relaxation of satisfied accomplishment.

I can see myself in 9th grade math, Course 1 in NY, sitting at a wooden desk with my head down working on a math problem. I have a pencil, sheet of paper, calculator, and a symbolic message. What does the message say? Its a puzzle worth figuring out because I want that feeling again – “I figured it out!”

In last week’s NY Times, Janet Rae-Dupree wrote an article called Eureka! It Really Takes Years of Hard Work that describes the misconception regarding innovation – that is it an epiphany. Do the magic moments exist? Yes, but the hard work surrounding them is much more important. The magic moments simply give you the feeling I describe above, but the hard work before and after the moment is what is important.

This week marks an important milestone for The Benjamin Bear. This is the week of the Magic Marketplace Fashion Exhibit in Las Vegas and The Benjamin Bear is a new fashion line (new is a relative term) owned by Patrick Hill. He is a young entrepreneur who is toiling away with the business day in and day out. His business has progressively gotten closer to today – today didn’t just come for him. Today was built on many yesterdays. There were conversations with people in Egypt, China, LA, and Jacksonville (North Carolina). There were local boutiques, cotton suppliers, and small business organizations. There were doubters and there were supporters. But mostly, there was hard work and long hours. When he makes a sale, it certainly won’t be an epiphany being bought.


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