When your child first stands, wobbles and begins to walk, there is a flush of pride.

When your child first draws something – that first incoherent squiggle half-on and half-off the page, there’s another flush.

Because she or he has held a crayon and made their mark.

And when your child starts to string sentences together, as clumsy as they are, we flush with pride once more.

All this pride.

For rubbish balance, rubbish drawings and incoherent mumbles.


In life, this is all fine.

And natural.

And beautiful.

It’s what parents do.

But it is often what business owners do too.

Business owner’s first attempts at doing what they do in business are very often pretty shite.

But because we are doing them for the first time, we’re proud.

And this can blind us to the truth.


We have to be really careful with this in business.

It’s a real balance.

We must be brave enough to ‘just do’ and not wait for the perfect execution.

(Perfectionism is a form of self sabotage).

But we must also remember to benchmark.

To look across at what options the consumer has.

Be different, yes.

This is very important.

But be aware of the minimum quality requirements in your markets.

Your product or service offering, honestly, has to be shit-hot.


Some of the things I did in the early days of Always Wear Red were not really good enough.

The quality was always there.

But whilst aspects of the brand (I’ve built brands for years) were amazing – aspects of the Collection’s design (I’m quite new to this) just weren’t good enough.

‘Firsts’ can deceive you.

The adrenaline and the dopamine kick you’re getting is because you are pioneering.

It’s not because you are excelling.

Learn the difference.

Before you hear it from your customers.


  1. Self-editing is an important skill. The ability to stand back and be dispassionate. To separate liking something because you just made it from knowing something is good. Like most things, it gets better with practice. And you have to make sure your self-criticism is constructive, not self-destructive and feeding the inner imposter.

  2. I am excitable!

    Child like.

    I never want to lose that.

    But I have to be careful I don’t get carried away.

    This little tale is a reminder – for me!

    Thank you for your message about balance though Shaughn.



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