Imagine if you lived in a community of 4,000 and in one day you and 399 other co-works all lost your jobs. Pretty big hit for you and the community. That’s what happened in the small town of Cardigan, located in the UK in 2002 when the local jean making company closed their doors.
As a result, David and Clare Hieatt started the Hiut Denim Company. One of their goals is to get those 400 jobs back.
I ran across a video about the Hiut Denim Company. It’s an interesting story. I’d read about the company a few months back so I was primed to watch a video telling their story.
There were a couple of things that jumped out at me about their story.
- While rapid growth might seem wonderful it comes with its challenges.
- Failure offers learning opportunities.
- You need to be prepared for opportunities
David and Clare had run a clothing company prior to starting Hiut but has ended up selling. Why they sold is what caught my attention. Their company grew rapidly which seemed great but they didn’t have the funds to keep up with the growth. As a result, they sought outside funding.
When you accept outside funding you give up some of your control over the company. This changed the dynamics of the business. They had to give up some of their independence.
So beware the urge to grow fast. Unless you are aware of the potential changes it can bring you might want to grow at a manageable pace. It’s okay to grow fast if you want to. Just realize you might need outside funding to keep up. And with outside funding, you give up some of your independence.
Best to have some idea of the consequences of rapid growth. It’s easy to crave it but the results might be bittersweet.
Failure Offers Learning
Every apparent failure provides the opportunity to learn something. In fact, we can welcome failure because it’s part of the big picture. A lot of bodybuilders will tell you it’s going to failure on that last rep that leads to growth.
When you fell off your bike as a kid you were given the opportunity to learn. You could learn that that particular approach didn’t give you the result you were looking for. So you try something else and soon you’re riding better and better.
David and Clare failed to realize the consequences of bringing in outside investors. But it prepared them for handling the growth of Hiut differently.
Growing up I got a general idea that if you couldn’t do it perfectly it wasn’t worth doing. That doesn’t mean I never tried things but it sure limited me. I’m still learning to get over that mindset and realize failure is a fact of life. However, every failure offers an opportunity to learn something. The question is, are you willing to learn?
Be Prepared For Opportunities
On a Friday morning, one of Hiut’s employees got a call from Kensington Palace. They wanted some jeans. A couple of weeks later Meghan Merkle was wearing their jeans in public.
As you might imagine orders started pouring in. What an opportunity. However, David and Clare had learned from their previous company and they were going to handle the growth differently.
That opportunity has helped Hiut grow. They are able to employ more people and offer more people their wonderful jeans.
You can never count on opportunity knocking on your door. But if you aren’t prepared should it come it will be a wasted opportunity. But you can be prepared should it come knocking. Hiut was a solid company making great jeans. They had a cause, helping provide jobs for people in their community. They were prepared when the opportunity came knocking.
Failure isn’t always something to fear. Growth can cost you. An opportunity should be prepared for.
One thing I’ve learned is that life is full of opportunities to learn if you’re open to learning. I encourage you to stay open to learning because it’s one way to be better prepared should an opportunity come knocking.
Check out Hiut Denim here.