Posts Tagged ‘depression’

The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

If you’ve read the book, let me know your thoughts on it, leave comments!!
I am still reading it.

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Today, we interview the founder of Bear Love clothing.

This is a unique clothing line providing a fun and affordable alternative to the usual brands on the market.


Hello, how are you doing?

I’m good thanks, very tired but well, excited about this interview!

Nice Nice, So am I

Can you give us brief background information about yourself, what’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?

 My names Ahjara
 24 years old
 Located in the South East of London
 I go to Brunel University (currently on a gap year)
 Studying Multimedia Technology and Design

When was Bear Love clothing born?

You could say it was born on the 1/1/09 as this is the day I started the public promotions for it. The concept actually came about some time last year.

Talk about starting off the year with a BANG!!!

What is Bear Love clothing about?

Bear Love is about LOVE (Laughter). It’s a line born out of love, I am a Christian and the foundation for this is love, the unconditional love of God and it is through this love we are able to find redemption. Christians strive to “be like Christ” and Christ is “love”. So the clothing is about portraying love.

At what age did you get into fashion?

Fashion is not a recent thought for me. When I was younger I was always drawing, writing etc. I have always been in the creative industry as a designer and recording artist (I am also a garage mc). Instead of fashion I decided to go into graphics and web design as this was a “safe” option(Laughter). Every now and then I would doodle ideas and concepts for a fashion range but nothing ever left the paper. When the concept for Bear Love came to me last year I decided to run with it because it was the first idea I had that actually looked like it could work and be successful. So hmm, you could say I’ve been into fashion for a while but only recently taken it seriously.

Talk about being multi-talented, Umm, I’m Jealous now (Laughter)
But Yeah, Timing for Everything is very Important and being able to spot an opportunity with timing is more important.

What makes your designs unique?

Wow, there are many clothing lines out there but Bear Love is one of the few with a fully marketable concept, name and branding that make sense together; although there is another clothing line with a bear (head) for their logo. Bear Love Clothing is currently the only line with a full blown mascot! Also Bear Love is not about just simply printing designs on a t-shirt and selling it… anyone can do this and it seems EVERYONE is doing this. We are actually a clothing line; planning to release a full range of clothing DESIGNED by us not just printed by us (Laughter). Our current range of kicks, due to be launched soon, is just the start of the MANY unique designs we have in store. These are NOT customised kicks. They are made from scratch in a factory.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the visuals in life, sound and movement. It might sound funny but that’s how it is. I get mad ideas from the strangest situations and places. At the moment I am heavily inspired by street dance, the circus and cheerleading, hence why Bear Love has a mascot. I also get inspired by friends and family around me. My mother always said, show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are! I am lucky to have good and ambitious friends. Most of them would never know it, but they push me to succeed! When I see my friends passing their degree’s, getting good jobs, setting up businesses etc it excites me! I’m just like WOW, I can do this too.

Yes, I agree with you on that one, we should definitely surround ourselves with people that can motivate, inspire and assist us in our ambition.

When did you decide to go into the fashion business, now started your own fashion Line?

I decided last year when this concept came to me, so in 2008. I was always going to go into fashion at some point in my life but I didn’t want to just rush into it and be just another person printing t-shirts and calling it a clothing line. I wanted something that could last and grow and not something that was just for the moment. I never told anyone about my plans for a fashion range until I had a solid concept and vision.

Yes, Planning is key in business.

What makes your clothing line relevant to today’s society?

LOVE! EVERYONE needs love. If today’s society could just hold on to this for just one day, 24hours, there would be dramatic changes in all aspects of life; the world would be a better place! Bear Love Clothing is about making this statement.

LOVE, LOVE, That’s the word now, Hopefully your clothing line can make that change

Would you have done anything differently, if you could go back in time?

No, I have had a crazy life to say the least, crazy experiences, ups and downs. If I was to change anything I would not have the knowledge I have now. You learn from your mistakes and the people you come into contact with etc. It is up to the individual to use life’s lessons to their advantage.

Yes, we definitely learn from our mistakes.

How did you raise money for your business?

OVERTIME, OVERTIME & MORE OVERTIME! I have been, and am currently working some crazy hours in a call centre (Laughter). Some of my student loan is invested in the business and the rest is money earned through working for someone else. In order to get to the top you need to start at the bottom. I have also been approached by many investors (praise God!) I am currently working this out and plan to bring in these investors in the near future.

You know what i wouldn’t mind a hook-up for the call-centre job myself, but i warn you, i’m a workaholic, so beware, you might not have no overtime left(Laughter)

Who are your competitors? (Customer profile)

Hmm, I like to think big so I only see the BIG labels such as Baby Phat, Nike etc as ‘competition’. These brands are already established worldwide and have been for many years and have a lot of money behind them; I have my work cut out to make my label a ‘designer brand’. Many will say that ‘The Teddy Bear Club’ is my competition because they also use a bear. Unfortunately, my market research was not in-depth enough to know about these guys before I launched the marketing for Bear Love. I have not looked at this as a setback though as our brands and signatures are very different. It’s funny that you have previously interviewed them and are now interviewing ‘Bear Love Clothing’. I think people can see these brands are totally different which is why Bear Love is getting ALOT of positive feedback.

I’m excited haven interviewed two competitors, it’s  got my adrenaline pumping (Laughter)


Who are your target markets?

Currently we target 12-25 year olds although older and younger can wear our clothes/footwear. We have a baby/kids range in the pipe line and are very excited about this.

What are your advertising strategies? (Do you use any social networking sites to promote your brand).

We currently do a lot of advertising on the internet. We are in full force on Facebook, our Myspace is currently being built, the Website is due to officially launch soon and we are building our mailing list. Our advertising will not be limited to this though. When we officially launch the brand we will release a press pack to various magazines and newspapers. Get posters and billboards put up, the full works. Obviously all this costs so it is a work in progress.

What fabrics do you mostly deal with?

At the moment our main range are the kicks and t-shirts. So we are dealing in Canvas, Rubber and Cotton. We will then move into Denim and Satin for the female range due to release at the end of the year.

Describe your collection in ten words?

A fun and fresh alternative with a lot of LOVE.

Do you make your collection to season?

No, but we will do. When the line is grounded and established, our collection will become seasonal, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.

What was the most important lesson you have learnt so far?

The most important thing I have learned is patience. One of the members of the team keeps saying, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. There is no point in rushing. Make sure everything is on point and up to standards, don’t compromise. When you feel things are taking long, just pray and have faith. Pay attention to detail and cover all bases possible so when you finally pick up speed, you have a support system and you do not fall flat on your face! Also, ‘no man is an island’, any business is a risk. You cannot do it on your own; you need a team if you plan to expand. You need to bring in the right people and trust them.

I totally agree with you, I wouldn’t have said it any better (Laughter)

You start trading in June, how is the preparation going? You must be so excited and waiting for the date to arrive?

Yes! This is the planned release month for the line. If all goes according to plan, people can start buying from June. Preparation is tiring and scary but fun. We had a model recruitment in January and have some fantastic models! The photo shoot is going to be ‘off the chain’! We are building up our street team. The paper work is intense (Laughter) Making sure we don’t get fined as the company is officially registered, making sure we import correctly – there is a lot of behind the scene work going on.

When your suppliers are located across the other side of the world, are 8 hours ahead and speak basic English, it can be emotional. At the moment for me, it’s a bit nuts. I could be up all night researching and promoting and then have work the next morning. My eye bags are extreme but praise God for makeup (Laughter).

Umm…Even though i’m not a fan of make-up, but don’t worry you’re an exception (Laughter)

It’s all a lot of fun though and I love it, so I don’t complain too much. I’ll work hard now so I can relax later!

Who is your role model/influence?

I look up to people like Kimora Lee-Simmons, Kunle Oyedji, My friend Danielle Bianchi (another fashion designer), my mum who is always encouraging and supportive, but most of all I am influenced by what the bible says. I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

The samples! When you see something move from concept on paper to a real life prototype you really do feel proud! No one on the underground seems to have achieved this yet. Many people have customised kicks but to have my own kicks made fresh from scratch and to see my company branding on it is amazing! It makes me feel like I’m going places, it makes me feel like YES! I can contend with Converse and Nike! (Laughter)


What are your advices for Aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to break in the Fashion industry or other industries?

My advice would be, have patience, learn as much as you can before hand, watch others and gain tips, learn from their past mistakes as well as your own and make sure you come with a solid idea! Build good business relationships even if you do not yet have a business because they all come in handy at some point. Do as much research as possible about your chosen field and develop a solid business plan. Remember any business is a risk you need to be willing to take; you need to have faith in your ideas and believe it will be successful. Know your target audience.

YES, YES, I Always say Networking is key.

So what’s next for BEAR LOVE CLOTHING?

Next is the first release, look out for it! You can bookmark our website: www.bearloveclothing.com and sign up to our mailing list. Also join our Fan page on Facebook and stay up to date, search “Bear Love Clothing”. Our first release is going to be the kicks and they will be released alongside T-shirts and hoodies. We are still debating about the colour combination to release first. After this we will be working on the release of our female range.

So finally, before I leave you, I need to ask for your secret, come on, why have you been so successful, what’s your secret weapon?

The response has been amazing! I think this is because the brand is fun and appealing and the promotion and marketing have been on point! You need to have a solid team! My team currently consists of four members; Taffat Jama who is the assistant manager, Sarah Walsh who is promotions officer, Wande Alugo who is the marketing director and me. I oversee everything – I’m also the designer. A solid team + solid idea’s + faith + prayer = Success!


We will definitely catch up with you to give everyone an update on your company.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you! It’s been a pleasure!

I wish you the best in the future.

Thank you and till next time.

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Of all the Bad habits I believe this one is the biggest hindrance to success, “never do today what you can put off for tomorrow”. Better yet, “never put off ’til tomorrow what you can avoid altogether!”
I don’t know who coined these phrases, but they must have been a depressive. The symptoms that we face, such as fatigue and hopelessness, make it so easy to say to ourselves, “I’ll just put this off until tomorrow when I feel better”.

Before we know it, that deadline is creeping up on us and we’re starting to panic. What’s the best way to deal with panic? Hide your head in the sand and hope it goes away! Not really, but procrastination is an easy habit to fall into and as the panic mounts, so does the depression. The more depressed we get, the more we avoid reality.

Why We Procrastinate:
Why do we fall into the procrastination trap time after time? Because procrastination becomes a way, no matter how maladaptive, of coping with the emotions and physical symptoms that accompanies depression. It may bring some temporary relief, but we eventually wake up the following day and find that no brownies have dropped in overnight and done our work for us.

Which style of procrastination fits you?
• Organizing thoughts and actions and keeping on track with plans is difficult. (People with ADD/ADHD may fall into this category.)
• Tasks seem overwhelming so it’s futile to even try.
• Hostile feelings towards someone cause you to want to punish them by putting things off.
• Routine and schedule causes you to feel rebellious.
• You fear disapproval.

These procrastination styles can overlap in one of four themes:
1. Self-Doubt – These people feel there are rigid standards about how thing ought to be done and they fear they will fail. They second-guess themselves and delay taking action.

2. Discomfort Dodging – This person avoids activities that will cause them distress, discomfort or anxiety. Rather ironically, the act of dodging the activity doesn’t make it go away so tensions mount because of this avoidance.

3. Guilt-Driven – The person feels guilt over tasks undone, but rather than correct the original lack of action continues to procrastinate in order to not face up to the guilt feelings.

4. Habitual – The person has procrastinated so many times, it becomes an ingrained response. The person no longer thinks about why they do it, they feel it’s just a part of them. It becomes an automatic response to say, “This is too hard”, “I’m too tired”, or to laugh it off as a character flaw.
Once you recognize your style of procrastination, you can take steps to stop it.

Time Management Tips to Beat Procrastination
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to get organized. Make lists, take a class in organization, or purchase an organizer. Do whatever works for you. One word of advice: follow the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid). If your organization system is too complicated, it will become just another task to avoid. Here’s my own system. You are welcome to use it if it works for you.

Make a list of what needs to get done. This can be listed in no particular order and will give you a handle on just what you need to accomplish.
Prioritize these. My way of doing this is by deadlines. I arrange them in order of when they are due. You may also choose to rank them by how important it is to get them done. For example, paying your bills on time may be more important to you than cleaning out your closets. Do that first.

Now it’s time to assess the list, consider these 6 simple points:
1) Do you need to do all the work yourself?
2) Do you need to provide something to someone in order that they can do their part of the job?
3) Do you need to have a proper work plan before you start?
4) Try and calm any immediate fears about the standard of the work, and concentrate on what needs to be done, and how it is to be done.
5) identify what bits of the job seem to be frightening, and ask yourself why.
6) Ask yourself if you would benefit by talking about these aspects of the job with someone else – someone you think would find that job straightforward.

Get yourself a calendar with room to write notes in. I personally use a bound notebook and write in dates as I go. I make pages with dates for long-term planning and also keep a separate list that I transfer my short-term goals to, let’s not forget Microsoft outlook.
Take what’s at the top of your priority list and determine how long it will take to accomplish it. If it’s a quick task, put that down to be done the current day. If it will take a longer time, divide it into smaller tasks to be spread out over several days.

Write this in your calendar with specific dates for accomplishing each. Include your deadline for completion of this task on your calendar as well.
Keep filling your calendar until you have a time set aside to do each item while still meeting your deadlines. Be careful to not overbook yourself and allow plenty of time for delays. This will allow you to feel confident that you can accomplish all you need to in the time you have. Now you can relax and work on one item at a time without feeling you have to do it all at once.

Another time management technique is to break down tasks into time chunks.
In the office or at home, you might find that filing papers is one of those put off tasks that you leave and leave and leave.
Allocate an hour for filing. Find as many of the bank statements as possible and file those in date order. Don’t worry that you won’t file all of them. You can allocate another hour for another day to finish it off. You will be gradually dealing with this task and it will be less of a problem.
Or, allocate an hour for working out how much money you are paying out each month and each year.

Another day, allocate an hour for working out what expenditure is essential and what is not.
Just divide each job into a time chunk. This is called time boxing.
These are methods of planning time and tasks to make them appear, and to actually be, more manageable. These work for people who just need to get themselves more organized. These work for very busy people who are very successful, as well as for the rest of us who still just always have things we don’t want to do but know we have to do them.

The Fourth

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Habits are routines of behaviour that are repeated regularly, they tend to occur subconsciously, and some Habitual behaviour go unnoticed in persons exhibiting them, because it is often unnecessary to engage in self-analysis when undertaking in routine tasks.

Habits, good or bad, make you who you are.
The key is controlling them. If you know how to change your habits, then even a small effort can create big changes. In particular bad habits don’t necessarily make you feel good, but you can’t help doing them. Many of our bad habits come down to curiosity or a deep-rooted grooming instinct. Be warned that giving up one bad habit could mean that you just replace it with another.

1. Phrases like y’know, sorta, like, knowarramean at the end of every sentence can be heard in television interviews and in the office. They’re used by supposedly intelligent people, but all they do is fill the air with meaninglessness. Try and avoid overusing phrases such as right and innit.

2. Being Contradictory
A friend of mine argues with everything, this is most definitely a habit, as it seems he just does it without even thinking about it, I often agree when I get bored of arguing.

3. Procrastination
Procrastination is something that a lot of people do: putting off things until the last minute, or just not doing them at all. As a consequence you can spend a lot of time rushing to meet deadlines and/or making excuses. This creates a lot of stress that you could have avoided by just doing things as soon as they come across your desk. It’s a very self-destructive thing that can cause you to really lose control of your life, and can sometimes even affect those around you.

4. Smoking
Sobering thoughts sometimes do the trick – here’s the wise words of one Researcher:
I tried to give up smoking for 20 years before I hit a method that worked for me.
I had a heart attack. Luckily I recognised the symptoms and called an ambulance, thus when I had the second heart attack, which would have been fatal without medical assistance, I was already in hospital. Shame I didn’t listen to my wife and children who’d been nagging me for 15 years.

5. Pulling Out Hair
I’m a guy and I know a thing or two about this little habit, this compulsive condition is called trichotillomania. Unfortunately, it seems that it might be in some way related to OCD and depression.
I have no idea why I did it or what finally changed that caused me to stop, though I remember the first time I pulled my hair out, the fascination I had with the twinge of pain/pleasure that came every time I plucked a hair. I’d also feel for the odd-textured hairs and go after them first. I’d pull them singly and always inspect the root.

A researcher now keeps tweezers handy and plucks hair out of her legs instead. Even though she says that she starts to feel nervous and edgy when she can’t find her tweezers, at least it is an area that she would remove hair from anyway so it’s less destructive than hair on her head. It is however, embarrassing, so she can only do it when there is no one around, which means she does it a lot less.

6. Swearing
It wasn’t so long ago that I was in Sixth form in North London and swearing was just part of my everyday language. In fact, everyone swore so much that I didn’t realise how many expletives I used. Anyway, I left home and eventually joined a church, I ended up swearing while having a conversation with a friend IN CHURCH, luckily enough for me everybody heard me. I was obviously horrified and suddenly became acutely aware of how much bad language I was using so I used this awareness to cure myself; every time I swore I wrote it down, carrying a notebook and pen wherever I went. I had to ask friends and family for help but I soon began to use less and less bad language and am pleased to say I am now completely cured.

7. Nose Picking
Perhaps the worst bad habit, picking your nose is horrid, yet every day it happens and just a few centimetres below your eyes. Lost in thought, bored with nothing to do many people find there’s nothing like having a good nose pick.

Time to Make a Choice!
It’s no longer an involuntary act because each time you start to do whatever the bad habit is now you have to actively choose.

Substituting Better Behaviours
The whole reason you formed your habits in the first place is that they filled a need. As you break the old patterns you still need a way to fulfil these needs. You will be not only making an active choice to not do the old action you will also be making a choice to perform a better, alternative action in its place. Instead of letting dirty dishes pile up you may decide to use paper plates when you are eating alone. What the new habit is that you substitute isn’t as important as whether you feel good about the choices you have made. After all, the reason you consider it a bad habit is because it leaves you feeling bad about yourself.

It’s Up to You
By now you should realize that the only way to continue with a bad habit for very long is to sink back into denial of why you are doing it in the first place.

One easy way is to announce it to the world – tell your friends, especially those who see you the most, what habit you’re trying to kick and give them free rein to give you grief if they catch you in the act.

The Fourth

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