How Hard Work Can Pay Off

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have a meaning.”(Gladwell, 150). Louis and Regina have experienced success when the garment industry was booming. Shopping for clothes has never been easier back then like walking into the stores and walking out with the clothes ready to be worn. Before clothing stores, people would have to buy the fabric and sewed the clothes together. I had determination to climb to the top of the judge’s placings at a competitive, high rated horse show in Woodstock, Connecticut. Overall I spent, easilyy, over 100 hours in one month to practice with my horse. Louis and Regina’s success and mine share the three ingredients: self-determination, complexity, connection, but with effort and reward.

Louis and Regina had self-determination to be successful in a booming market while immigrating to the United States. Louis noticed the new clothing stores opening all over New York. Louis had plethora of knowledge working with different types of fabric. Furthermore, when Louis touched one kind of fabric, he “tell you the thread count, the name of the manufacturer, and its place of origin”(143). The knowledge of knowing different fabrics by touch is important because the consumers drive the inventory by what is being sold first. Louis had experience before coming to United States being a piece goods clothier. He journaled what people were wearing and what stores had in inventory. A small girl was wearing an apron with her dress and he knew what his business was going to be making. Louis didn’t have to learn a new skill to make his business. He became successful from what he already knew how to do. He was self-determined to know about different types of fabrics for his aprons. Later on selling his aprons he bought a small shop with living quarters to be close to his work and home.

I have self-determination by wanting to do really well at this specific show and preparing myself for the weekend. For the whole month before the show, I was going to a park to practice different aspects of horse jumping that I would be doing. Also, after each practice, I would clean my tack so it won't ruin, and the tack would look like new. I realized my competitors at the show had trainers and professionally trained horses for them. I felt proud when I did better because I had no trainer. I am self-taught in horse jumping, and studied by watching professionals in the Olympics. While my competitors had people to follow orders from and people to do things for them, I taught myself and my horse.

The complexity in knowing how to make aprons was knowing the fabric and how to sew. Louis had experience, before coming to America, working at 12 years old, making clothes. Regina had business experience running a dressmaking shop since she was 16 years old. Louis and Regina became successful together because of the background knowledge in making the aprons and running a profitable business. Louis and Regina worked evenings and nights making aprons. Regina would sew until midnight and switch with Louis to keep sewing. In the late morning and noontime, Louis would take his pushcart with aprons and, before 1 p.m., all forty aprons would be sold. Louis didn't always sell in the same spot. Diversity is important because sales can be evenly spread, and the market wouldn’t be overflowed with his aprons too quickly. He would sometimes go to Harlem and sell the aprons out of his pushcart. Simple knowledge of knowing how to sew and different types of fabric with knowledge of running a business and marketing shows the complexity of Louis and Regina producing and selling aprons.

Horse jumping is very complicated. Horse and rider have to worry about injuries, work together, and judge distances throughout the pattern. At the beginning and ends of each working session with my horse, I had to groom her to improve the oils in her coat to make her shine. Besides grooming my horse to make her look good, I cleaned my pieces of tack to make them look good and to help condition and strengthen the tack. To help reinforce my grooming and cleaning habits, I practiced on my horse everyday at a park.

As Louis and Regina’s small business has been growing, expanding and more workers were needed for more success. Louis used his life savings for buying fabric from H.B. Claflin Company. He did this for a few rounds and then wanted to cut out the middleman. Also, Louis would have a more easier, cheaper, direct supply of fabric. Louis went to Lawrence and Company. He tried learning some English to talk with the Yankees owner. He influenced the owner to sell directly to small company rather than big factory. This essential move made more success selling aprons and increased connections because profit would be increased. The owner of the manufacturer agreed with Louis. Louis and Regina hired immigrants like them, and everyone worked in the evenings and night.

I realized the other kids having trainers and coaches made it easier for them because all they had to do was listen to the orders. At the time of the show, I didn’t have a trainer with me. But I did have family to help me. A few months before the horse show, I practiced and learned new skills with trainers that have more experience than me. One trainer in particular, helped me the most by letting me ride an experienced horse to get used to the feeling. I had lessons every other week, and practiced on my own to reinforce the lesson. In addition to learning directly with a trainer, I went to clinics with very successful trainers across the nation to learn and fix my skills and methods for better success. I took my time before the show to learn the most that I can before the show and fix myself for better success.

Louis and Regina had to learn about the market for selling clothes and had to find success. Louis journaled the inventory in stores and wrote down what people were wearing. Louis found success and had motivation. I had found success by watching and studying at higher levels than me. Also, I learned new skills that professionals use and taught me. I learned to compete in horse jumping by working everyday and trying for the best. Both methods worked as the key ingredients for success.

03 December 2019
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