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On doing a few things well


Back when I worked for television stations and was interviewing someone, I trained my ear to listen for "soundbites" . The trick was to absorb the story--and understand it well enough--in order to condense it into a one to two minute package. The goal wasn't simply make it fit. Rather, it was to capture the essence--what's the heart of this story? What's the most compelling thing?

And then, make it fit.  

Eventually, I learned that I had a knack for this. I loved listening for soundbites, because people say the most compelling things. They are living the details of their own stories--the ups and downs of their daily lives--and truth is spilling out all over the place. 

I had this experience recently when I was recording a podcast with Sara Painter, the co-founder of Loggerhead Apparel, a company based here in South Carolina. Sara and her fiancé Zac launched Loggerhead Apparel in 2011, got married, got pregnant and had a baby. Two years later, Sara and Zac are rocking their company. To the tune of a feature on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and their products for sale in 60-plus stores in 11 states. 

 Zac and Sara Painter, co-founders of  Loggerhead Apparel

Zac and Sara Painter, co-founders of Loggerhead Apparel

Aren't they so stinkin' cute? (Unlike when I was on TV, here on my blog, I can toss out my opinions anytime I want.)

Sara and Zac have a mission: to provide top-quality, American-grown, American-made clothing at a fair price. Loggerhead Apparel donates ten percent of its revenue to local causes that support the conservation and protection of loggerhead sea turtles. Which is awesome, all by itself. But I wanted to know more about why they do what they do, and how they do it. And Sara graciously and thoughtfully answered all of my questions:

How do you turn your "big idea" into a viable business? 

And how are you able to stay true to you, while simultaneously trying to (eventually) make a profit?  (I had my artist/writer/entrepreneurial friends in mind when asking this question... myself included).

And then, what do you do when -whoosh!- your big idea takes off? And now you are successful and there are so many things to do. How do you do that?  (I had the same people in mind here as well). 

Sara said many wonderful things, but this is what kept ringing in my well-trained ears:

"Start by doing a few things well,"  she said.

Remember when I told you I was in the midst of a downshift? Remember when I talked about wanting abundance? Sara's suggestion to "start by doing a few things well" summed up how we can begin to have both. Less and more. 


And unlike when I was on TV, I didn't have to reduce our conversation to a few soundbites. I thought I'd edit out some things, including a part in the middle when I start talking about myself, but I decided not to. I enjoyed our whole conversation, and I hope you will, too. 

If you want to listen to the podcast now, click here. Or if you want to download and listen later, the podcast is also available on iTunes.  

A different kind of hard

When 85% is as good as it's going to get.