“The Revolution Has Already Begun”Rieva Lesonsky
While there are some universal tenets of success, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t march to the beat of their own inner drummer. Many successful small business owners have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that help them achieve success.
Here some of today’s smartest, most innovative, highly successful business owners share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Ben Barnett, the cofounder of Kapow Meggings. After studying journalism and working at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Ben began a career in advertising, working with clients like Toyota, Vodafone, Tourism New Zealand, and Travelex. Later he joined Yelp and launched the brand in Australia, leading marketing and community in Sydney.
Then Ben and his brother Jordan founded Kapow to create high-quality leggings made especially for men—longer in length, wider in width (in all the necessary places), and form-fitting for the male body regardless of size. Meggings come in 31 styles—and there’s a look for every occasion.
Meggings are quite popular. Since launching in 2015, the company has doubled sales roughly every 3 months and men from every part of the spectrum are proudly wearing them.
Check this video for more background Kapow. You can find them on Instagram @kapowmeggings.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Ben Barnett: I loved drawing, so I wanted to be an architect. I organized some work experience with a reputable firm and showed up with a tin of 72 colored Derwent pencils. They laughed at me [since] it was mainly CAD design done on computers.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Barnett: We've been to over 50 different types of festivals and countless parties all over the world, and over the years we noticed an adventurous change in party wear. Get-ups were becoming bolder, brighter, and guys were putting just as much effort into their attire as the girls.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Barnett: The tipping point was Burning Man, a festival in the Nevada desert, where we saw 35,000 men in ill-fitting women's leggings because that's all they could get their hands on. Not long after that, Kapow Meggings was born—our initial success came selling to people going to Burning Man. That showed us there was a market for meggings.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Barnett: I always tell people that worrying is a waste of time. The thing you’re stressing over either will happen or it won’t, and either way you’ll find a way to deal with it.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Barnett: Look to outsource tasks that other people can do better than you can. This will also free up time for you to focus on growing your business, and not get bogged down in minutiae. For example, you can use Upwork or Freelancer for marketing and research assistants, and to get technical help setting up everything from a website to an e-commerce portal. Use 99designs or Fiverr for logo and design tasks.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Barnett: It will get easier and easier for anyone to start, fund and run their own business. The revolution has already begun—you don’t need an MBA, the ability to code and a team of experts to start your own biz. Everything you need to go DIY is already available, and it will continue to get better, easier and cheaper. From Kickstarter to WordPress to MailChimp to social media, starting a small business has never been more accessible or affordable.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Barnett: Catch-22, the funniest satire ever written.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Barnett: “Time infuriates me. The way it continues to pass me by while I stand there and watch.” I can’t remember who said it, but I printed it out and it sits on my wall.