About a month ago I had an epiphany that will change MyNiceTie forever.
Since its inception, MyNiceTie has been working to help bring people out of poverty and improve the world one necktie at a time. We've done a lot of good, but I've been looking for a way to improve our mission and vision, one that would fit well with our products and our videos.
I've considered many ideas. Maybe we build a brand around vintage style and try to bring neckties back into vogue. Maybe we branch out with different types of videos on YouTube like pranks, reveals, vlogs, etc. Maybe we try to be a hub of ties for other less tech savvy sellers. Yet none of them felt like a good fit for our product or our mission to improve the world.
Then, I found it, the idea that will focus the company for years to come. I'd like to say I came up with this idea myself, but it is truly an epiphany in the real sense of the word. The following is my attempt to formalize the idea.
Neckties remain, even today, the iconic symbol of leadership, and a necessary part of the uniform of the most powerful people in the world. They are a part of our most cherish moments, like marriage, graduation, and other formal events; they even join us with our grief.
That said, there is no doubt that neckties are being worn less at school, less at work, less in meetings, and less in everyday life. Heck, people used to dress up to go to the store, fly on an airplane, or even go to the movies. Now, looking your best is out of place in most places.
This casualness in our dress is mirrored by a casualness in our society: casualness in relationships, speech, morals, and values. I don't understand why this happened, but I do see that the fruit of these changes are not good. They've left America a divided and vulgar shadow of its former glory.
Amazingly, I'm seeing a rising tide of a very wise group of young people who believe wholeheartedly in the fundamental values that made us what and who we were.Their eyes are opening to the fact that if we don't stand up we may pay up by loosing what Abraham Lincoln called the "last best hope of Earth", America.
Don't be mistaken, our initiative isn't about America per se, it's about the core values that America was founded on. These values have helped America become the most powerful country in the world, but more importantly, the most generous. These values have pulled countless people out of poverty. These values have brought equality and liberty like never before known in history. This initiative is about values.
So, what values are we talking about? To tell you the truth, I don't know yet. Although I've been interested in this topic for some time, I've never studied it thoroughly. Some seem obvious like hard work, free markets, equality of opportunity, honesty, but I have a lot to learn. I'll be looking to "wise up" and I'm inviting you along for the journey.
What I do know is that America is at a crossroads and the world is looking to us to stand up and reassert these values so that this great experiment may be continued uninterrupted by the current chaos we see in our capital city and on the coasts.
I admit, this may seem like an unusual blog post for a necktie company, and it is, but MyNiceTie's biggest goal has always been to improve the world and this path will allow us to make a greater difference than ever imagined.
We still have a lot to figure out, but the idea is to use this blog, our YouTube channel, future necktie designs, and every resource of the company to accomplish this goal and hopefully fund this effort through sales and sponsorship.
We're going to need your help in this cause. Reach out, let us know what you think and let us know the values you think are important.
Our plan going forward can be summed up in the following call to action: wise up, suit up, speak up.
I've already begun to study. My goal is to first learn and understand the values and principles that lead to happy, successful, and peaceful societies; in other words, I'm starting with wisdom.
For me, wisdom represents a type of knowledge that doesn't change based on the whims of society; it is as likely to be true today as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be true a thousand years into the future.
I'm struck by how wisdom is often counter intuitive until you're taught it (by someone wise, by an expert, or by scientific exploration) and then it just rings true, it strikes a chord with common sense, and it leaves an indelible impression on your mind. The study of economics during my undergrad was like this for me. Until you see the data, charts, and graphs, you often draw incorrect conclusions but when you see the studies in connection with the theory, your instinct pales to your newfound knowledge.
You may have noticed the word "true" in the previous two paragraphs. It seems that the concept of wisdom is also inseparably connected with truth. But it is a little bit more than truth, it is applied truth. You can't just know something, you have to apply it in a helpful way.
So with that in mind, I'm looking to wise up and I'm inviting you to join me. In fact, I need your help! Study the values and principle that made America great and share what you learn. Also, if you know any experts in related subjects, I'd love to meet them and make a video with them.
There is a reason that almost every group of consequence in history has a uniform. Just ask anyone in the military how powerful their uniform is and its importance.
Not only that, but have you ever considered the uniform of almost all those in power? Leaders of communities, companies, and nations all wear the familiar dark suit (and tie if male).
For us, the necktie is not only a symbol of our goal, but also a means to promote it. To this end, we'll be coming out with value themed necktie designs that interconnect our product with the values we're trying to promote.
Each value will have a related symbol and colors that inspire the new designs. Wearing the uniform of our cause and wearing our new designs/symbols will be a powerful way you can help to increase the reach of our message.
Once we know the values and are dressed for success, we just need to start moving our legs. We'll need to look for opportunities to spread these values.
Now, more than ever, we cannot be silently content.
I attended one of the most far left schools in the county (University of Colorado at Boulder) smack dab in the middle of the presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
For several reasons, which I won't outline here, I was a vocal supporter of Mitt and at one point I even had a classmate (who I still respect) chide me saying that business people are supposed to help both parties and therefore benefit regardless of who is in power.
I'll admit that since then I've considered his advice many times, and I just can't see the wisdom in it. It may lead to short-term gain, but it will cost us in the long run. I've seen how our collective silence has led us to this cross roads and I'm convinced the only way to straighten the ship is to engage in the conversation in a respectful way.
Our plan to speak up is to make videos and film interviews related to the value that we're focusing on. These videos will not be cheap, but we're hoping that the content will extend our reach and increase the usefulness of what we're already producing.
We want to contribute to the conversation and spark more if possible. Our goal is to increase the discussion. I know that drawing a line in the sand and standing up may make us a target for those who disagree with our values, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.
You can speak up by joining the conversation and by looking for ways you can use your unique talents, gifts, and resources to stand up as well.
I don't know that I've ever been more excited for the future of MyNiceTie. I also don't know if its future has ever been more uncertain, but what I do know is that however this ends, it is going to be quite an interesting ride.
Join the rising tide of individuals looking save American values by: