This blog is supposed to be detailing a journey through strange times, the divergence from my usual way of life to a new world, rather than an extension of my soon-to-be online store. But for those of you have been asking what it’s all about, Silx will be selling organic silk accessories. Suzanne, my wife, has already grown one business. She has the know-how and the vision. But it is only in the current strange situation that we all find ourselves in, that I am able to throw myself head first in with her. Yes, organic silk accessories are a world away from my usual day to day life. But not any more! The links to the instagram page and our website are at the bottom if you want to get more of an idea.
Every day right now, my work diary gets more and more obliterated. The good news is there is not much left to cross out. And with every delete, comes a greater determination to make a success of Silx.
Wimbledon, the Olympics, the Open … see you in 2021. March, April, May, June and July – all gone already. Will I be back on the road in August? Who would be making any predictions right now? What I can tell you is I know what I will be doing between now and then. For starters, learning a new “language”. And so much of it comes in abbreviated form. CTA, USP (not a delivery service), ROI (not the Republic of Ireland), KPI and CPU to name a few.
It feels a little like when I was asked a few years ago whether I wanted to commentate on European basketball. It’s not a sport that is in my DNA like golf or football. I didn’t grow up watching it. But it’s sport, right? And I am an experienced broadcaster. It took work, some hard work. I spent six months of watching games in my spare time and writing down what I call my basketball dictionary. This is a compendium of basketball only language like “pick and roll” and “downtown” or “tip off” and “down the lane”. If you grew up watching basketball, it would be laughable not to know these. But if it isn’t in your world, you’re ignorant. And it wasn’t as if I needed to do it as I was very busy elsewhere. But I am up for a challenge and I hate giving up on anything. Like anything new, at first it is daunting. Those two hours on air in that first basketball commentary, felt like ten minutes. Adrenaline rush, the buzz…. boy the play moved fast. Nailed it? Maybe that would be going too far but, well here is a snippet from one of those first commentaries that I posted via my Linkedin account https://www.linkedin.com/posts/richard-kaufman-93802a11_basketball-activity-6468423806884081664-htms
Given the majority of my work comes elsewhere, basketball has become another dimension, another skill set, another sport for me to enjoy. And that’s how I am looking at this new business. If not now, when? Only a fool would think it will be easy but I have a solid framework around me thanks to Suzanne and by applying the same determination and drive that I have applied to other areas of my life, let’s see where it leaves us.
It is amazing the information that is out there, ready and available to exploit. I don’t know what I would have done if there was six hours of the Masters to watch but that dilemma has not existed. I have gone from the very basics to some more complex mechanics of the business. There are some very good teachers with free advice. This guy, Neil Patel, for example, is very good with his blogs and videos, this one on instagram influencers. https://neilpatel.com/blog/launching-influencer-marketing-campaign/
At times, it is quite exciting. Who doesn’t want to expand their knowledge? At other times, it is daunting. And it can also get frustrating as one solution seems to open the door to another problem. And just as you’re about to open the next door, you realise it’s getting to the time when you need to get lunch ready for the family! Progress is the key word. Followed by belief in what you’re doing and in your product. And a realisation that all this might actually be healthy for me, by giving me a sense of purpose.
This week has marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Every industry, whether sport or fashion, should and are taking important steps in considering the environmental impact of their choices. It’s been many years since I have been an activist of any kind . Some of you reading this that know me, may even remember those days. A year ago, Extinction Rebellion took to the streets and many were frustrated at the inconvenience those demos brought. But you noticed them, didn’t you? You don’t have to agree with everything, but I thought they did a fantastic job in raising the issues and putting a climate emergency on everyone’s agenda. There are other ways, as schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, has shown. It is incredible how someone so young is able to be so impactful and remain so resolute and in control. She sometimes makes the elder statesmen she has to deal with, look like the kid. I am generalising, of course, but my generation have done little to help the slow down of our current climate crisis but I certainly feel the tide is turning and the next generation will make it a priority. I have no intention of quitting the old day job but I do think the world will look very different once we get the other side of Covid-19. To paraphrase Mother Teresa, we can’t change the world by ourselves but we can make a difference by individual actions. Stones and ripples.
As a result, when deciding on the products for our e-commerce shop, there had to be an environmental element to it. We wanted to add products with an ethical supply chain and not more disposable products that will last a few months before being thrown away. Stay safe and stay healthy!
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