Lululemon is a leadership development company disguised as an apparel brand.
In The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants, Canadian Entrepreneur Chip Wilson describe the origin story of founding yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica Inc in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Fromhumble beginnings, Lululemon redefined how generation of people trained, exercised and lived. Little Black Stretchy Pants is a story of goal setting, self-belief, personal re-invention and the roller coaster of building a global brand.
Lululemon was a social experiment to determine if putting people development above profits would yield extraordinary profits. The experiment proved successful.
The book is full of insights, lessons learned, mistakes made, and many quotable quotes. Here are some great quotes from: The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants by Chip Wilson
Lululemon was inspired largely by university graduates drawn to this unique, athletic, semi-hippie-like part of the city. I didn’t have enough money or product to rent a regular store location, so I found a space behind an inconspicuous door and up a drab-looking flight of stairs, instead of an inviting street-level storefront.
- Mediocrity is inevitable when there is not one final decision-maker to manage priorities, differentiate the company, and take advantage of a changing marketplace.
- Evolution is crucial to a company’s success. Enhancing and evolving the brand by being the future, because riding into the commodity market with hundreds of competitors is my definition of mediocrity. It can even lead to eventual bankruptcy or buyout.
Every person has ten moments or decisions in their life that stay with them and affect who they become.
- If you owe the bank $2 million and you can’t pay up, you are in a lot of trouble. If you owe the bank $20 billion and you can’t pay up, the bank is in a lot of trouble.
- An Act is learned early in life when a child faces a perceived moment of survival and develops a strategy to help them survive the situation. For the balance of a person’s life, their Act—effective or not—subconsciously kicks in whenever the person perceives themselves to be in a threatened position.
- Our past experiences subconsciously confine what we believe is possible in life. If something didn’t work when I was thirteen, it doesn’t mean it won’t work at another time in my life.
We can only think of the future based on what we know from our past. When we don’t focus on the past, and the future is eliminated, all that is left is the present. The present is where all life really occurs.
- Knowing you can achieve what seems impossible is one of the most significant things someone can derive from athletic activity.
In life, there’s no performance without action.
If you have to say it, you ain’t it
- In branding and marketing terms, this concept refers to the inauthenticity that occurs when a company includes what they do or produce in their brand name.
A brand identity should be strong enough, and so in tune with its core customers that it speaks for itself.
- Culture is a way of operating such that people act consistently, inside and outside the company. Consistency arises from a belief in the vision, values, and linguistic abstraction (a common set of terms and definitions that all employees understand) of the company.
You can’t create the future without first clearing up the past.
- I always believed a well-educated, marketing-savvy consumer could easily see through the purchased loyalty of sponsorship. A more sophisticated consumer was looking for a product that had better quality and a smaller logo.
The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. If an idea could be quantified, it would have been done already. No one wants to change. Change is hard. But change is the only constant, and today the rate of change is faster than ever. – Peter Diamandis
On Goal Setting
- There are always those who won’t try goal-setting because they fear the feeling of failure if a goal is not attained. In my view, learning to fail might be the most crucial learning of all. Most people don’t like goal-setting because it makes them responsible for their lives and what they get out of them. Often, people want to dream about their ideal life, and then vote for people they think will give it to them without their actually having to work for it.
- A transformed person loves themselves and has the mental focus to generate a wonderful life. A fulfilled person has so much evidence of success, they automatically want the people around them to be trained in the same way. The leadership of one person automatically begets the leadership of those around them.
In the life of any company, there are cycles of growth that force those driving the bus to figure out where they need to steer.
- Innovation is delivering to the customer that which the customer does not yet know he or she needs.
- An entrepreneur is easily able to put themselves five to ten years into the future. They build into the future, and not for the present.
A company is stronger if bound by love and integrity rather than fear and lies.
- The worst thing a company can do is to start planning when the need is already there. A company must invest prior to demand.
Commodity is a boring business that requires uncreative bureaucrats to run it.
- Don’t waste a second of your life. You only have 40,000 days to live. The longer you live, the quicker time goes. To a toddler, 10 minutes feels like 10 years. To a 90-year-old man, 10 days feels like half a second. Examine who in your life is eating up your precious seconds. Who around you complains but doesn’t act? Ask yourself, “What is my real passion? Where do I thrive? Where can I give the most back to the world?
- We get too hung up on what our social values and morals say we should do, what our parents or friends say we should do. For this reason, I’m always impressed by people who live their own great life.
Life is a rip-off when you expect to get what you want. Life works when you choose what you got. Actually, what you got is what you chose. To move on, choose it. —Werner Erhard
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.