The Big Ask


It was hard to say positive with just $87 in the bank.

Brothers Bert and John had a T-shirt business. For years, they’d been traveling hundreds of miles in their mini-van trying to sell shirts at every university and street fair on the East Coast.

But nothing clicked.

They wondered, maybe our designs are bad? They didn’t know the answer. They needed to ask. To get feedback, they started to throw keg parties at the end of every trip and asked students what designs they liked.

With money running out, the brothers confided in each other how hard it was to stay positive. Bert asked, “What if there was someone who was always happy no matter what was happening?" So John did a doodle. A bohemian guy with a beret and sunglasses and a big smile. This is that guy. So, they put it on a shirt.

The college kids at the next keg party loved the bohemian guy design. The first run of tees sold out in an hour.

Today, Life is Good, has 160 employees and does $100M/yr in tee-shirt sales.

You may think your products are great. You may be putting in the miles. But the secret to success isn’t in your head. It’s in your customers.

You just have to ask.