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An Interview with UC Berkeley Student and young entrepreneur Raymond Lei

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Cristian: Hi Raymond, and welcome to www.entrepreneurship-interviews.com. Tell us a few words about you and your business.

Raymond: My name is Raymond Lei. I’m a 19-year-old student at UC Berkeley, and I own the business ooShirts.com. ooShirts is an online custom t-shirt printing business. I started the company when I was 16. I was ordering t-shirts for my high school group, and while dealing with a few of the companies that sold them, I saw that the industry could be made more efficient.
Cristian: What is your typical customer?

Raymond: My customers are people who want t-shirts for their group or event. We sell to people all around the United States.

Cristian: What are the main advantages that set you apart from the competition?

Raymond: We sell the same product, but provide them to customers faster and at a lower price. Our prices are 30 to 50 percent lower. If you order 24 white shirts with a custom 1 color design, for example, you can at $4.17 each. And that’s with free shipping.

Cristian: You are on a path to grow your business to $1million in revenue this year. How does a million sounds for the business started when you were 16? Did you expect it to grow that far?

Raymond: No, I didn’t expect it to grow this far at the very beginning. It actually started off as an offline business – I went from classroom to classroom at my high school selling shirts to the organizations there. But it wasn’t until a year later that I launched a website and began working online.

Cristian: What made your business so successful?

Raymond: Our prices are lower, and it’s not because our products are lower quality. Our business is more efficient than our competition – we have 20 suppliers around the US, we have outsourced programming in India, and advanced order automation tools. As a result, we can focus our spending more on our product and less on everything else.

Cristian: Did you have the family support for this?

Raymond: My parents approve of what I’m doing, but have not financially contributed to it.

Cristian: I suppose at 16 you have little experience on how to run a business. Where did you get advice on how to run a business?

Raymond: A lot of business is common sense. You have to provide a product that people truly want. For my business, this is low prices, and I’ve been able to do this well. I haven’t received much advice from other people, but rather studied existing well-run businesses and learned what I could from them.

Cristian: How did you have your first order done? You took the order and went to a printing center to do the shirts?

Raymond: I actually started out importing from China. I had gone to China the previous summer and made a few friends there. I contacted them and basically had them buy custom t-shirts from a local place and ship them over. However, a few months later, I stopped importing and switched back to the United States because I was able to find some good suppliers here.

Cristian:  How many employees you currently have? And how was the hiring process?

Raymond: Two. They are two high-school friends who were looking for a full-time job. I knew who they were and what they were capable of, so it wasn’t difficult to make the decision.

Cristian:  How important is to start a business while you’re young? What are the risks?

Raymond: I think it’s best to start when you’re young. When you get out of college, you need to have a steady income to maintain a decent standard of living, and starting a business does not guarantee this. But when you’re in high school or college, you have the free time to work on your own projects without risking your standard of living.

Cristian: You told me that you are outsourcing overseas the shirts production and the website development. How did you find your partners and how did you make sure they deliver good quality?

Raymond: For the shirts from China, I had a friend who knew a trustworthy local company. Right now, for the shirts, I have my printers send me sample shirts with my logo on it. It was most difficult to find a quality team for website development. It took a long time to talk with many different programming teams to determine who was right for the job.

Cristian: Do your college colleagues know you’re running a business? What do they think about this?

Raymond: Yes, they do. Many people claim to own a business, so simply knowing someone runs a business isn’t that spectacular. But for the closer friends that do know about how my business works, they are always interested.

Cristian: How did the crisis affect your business? Any tips for entrepreneurs having a hard time?

Raymond: I don’t think it affected it. If anything, it was good for business, since customers would want to look for businesses that provide lower prices. All businesses are different, so I don’t have much advice for businesses having trouble, but as a general rule, be efficient.

Cristian: What would be your advices for teens wanting to start a business?

Raymond: Believe in yourself.

Cristian: What about the legal requirements when running a business? How difficult is for a young entrepreneur to keep up with the legal stuff?

Raymond: There are enough resources online to teach anyone about anything. It’s not so much a matter of difficulty learning as it is a matter of time.

Cristian: Most people are afraid they won’t have a good enough idea to start a business. What is your advice for them?

Raymond: If you don’t think your idea is good, don’t start a business based off of it. That’s common sense. But if you truly believe you have a good idea, and you have a good sense of how you’re going to make it happen, then step forward and make it a reality.

Cristian:  Any plans to expand further or maybe start a new business?

Raymond: I think ooShirts is far from its maximum potential. We have less than 1% of the market share, but also have what I believe to be the best product offering. So we can still grow 100 times larger.

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Top 10 Quotes From Elon Musk’s Genius

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Regardless of whether we’re discussing on the web instalments, science, innovation or space travel, the name Elon Musk should fly up in your psyche.

Alluded to as the Nikola Tesla of our age, Elon Musk is a business person, business head honcho, speculator, designer, and innovator. This person unquestionably knows his way with cash. He turned into a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his first new business, Zip2.

The founder of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX trusts in humankind and needs to change the world, and this isn’t merely pie in the sky considering. The man is really taking a shot at lessening an unnatural weather change and building up a human settlement on Mars to forestall human elimination. What more verification do you have to trust that all that you decided is conceivable?

Here are 11 Elon Musk quotes to influence you to begin taking a shot at your fantasies, regardless of how unimaginable they may appear to be at present.

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

It is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.

The first step is to establish that something is possible then probability will occur.

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.

Life is too short for long-term grudges.

I take the position that I’m always to some degree wrong, and the aspiration is to be less wrong.

People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.

For more such quotes and talks, subscribe to Talk Column today!

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from the web. No copyright infringement intended.

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Top 5 Things We Picked From Cristiano Ronaldo’s Interview

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Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up about his life in his most cosy meeting to date with The Players’ Tribune.

The Real Madrid forward talks about everything from his first football memory, to his most significant minute in the game, and each inclination he had in the middle.

He additionally discusses his family, the two his folks who helped him achieve the highest point of the diversion, and his child, who helped him value the most important things throughout everyday life.

Underneath we have select five intriguing applies from the long meeting – 5 things you’ll certainly be intrigued to find out about the Portuguese.

Ronaldo played football on the roads… among cars.

Each adolescent has a type of memory of playing on concrete, regardless of whether it’s merely booting a ball against a check.

In any case, as indicated by future four-time Ballon d’Or champ Ronaldo, he used to play in the street, while autos were driving past. Thank the ruler there were no mishaps, eh?

He wasn’t prepared to leave home and battled at Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo appears to be the most satisfied person on the planet, yet at 11 years old he didn’t feel prepared to leave home for the Portuguese capital.

As per the man himself he battled at the Sporting Lisbon institute and was exceptionally achy to visit the family, just observing his folks once like clockwork. Luckily he stuck it out, and things showed signs of improvement.

He understood he was unique at the Academy.

It likely didn’t come as a lot of disclosure, considering the reality he would go ahead to end up the best player on the planet. However, Ronaldo can pinpoint the minute he knew he was extraordinary.

He’d show signs of improvement of his partners in preparing and was regularly lauded for his capacity. So, he conceded he was worried about being too little.

Turning into a father at Real Madrid made his chance at club additional exceptional.

It must be truly unique to advance out onto the pitch wearing the all-white Real Madrid strip and having the capacity to tell the world you’re a Los Blancos player.

Be that as it may, as indicated by Ronaldo, this has all been made additional unique by the reality he fathered his child while at the club, which he concedes changed his point of view.

Holding hands and strolling with child is his most memorable moment

Strolling as an inseparable unit with his child in Cardiff is his most loved memory.

All through the meeting, Ronaldo talks gladly about every one of the trophies he has won in his profession, however, concedes they implied more to him when he was more youthful.

Today he views his most loving memory as strolling around the pitch at Cardiff clasping hands with his young child after winning the Champions League. Favour.

We bet you found this amazing. For more such interviews and talks, subscribe to Talk Column today!

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from the web. No copyright infringement intended.

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DAVID BAILEY SAYS: “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CROSS THE ROAD?”

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Mr. Bailey, would you swear in front of the Queen?

No, if you’re going to accept the Queen you have to accept the tradition. You know, I’ve got nothing against the monarchy. I think there are too many hangers-on, but that’s also a cliché thing to say. I doubt she’d be too shocked. She’s been around; she’s not stupid.

You recently took the official photo for her 88th birthday.

Yes and I think she looks incredible for 88. I had never photographed her before.

Why not?

I wouldn’t photograph anybody if they only give you five minutes. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care if God phoned me up and said, “I want a picture, I’ve only got five minutes.” I’d say, “Well, work some of your magic and make it longer!” Even though I’m actually quicker than most and I usually get bored before they get bored.

What kind of people are the most difficult to photograph?

Lots of politicians are so full of themselves. Sports people too a bit. But actors are the most difficult because you never know who you’re photographing. They could be Hamlet or Lassie. But the fewer people they come with, the more interesting they usually are. Johnny Depp came with nobody so I knew it was going to be all right. Jack Nicholson never came with anybody, but Jack’s different because I’ve known him for so long.

You once said Jack Nicholson is the smartest actor because he knows something nobody else does. What is it that he knows?

I don’t fucking know. If I knew, I’d be as smart as him. (Laughs)

One of the things that fascinated me when I met him was his grin and the sparkle in his eye when he talked about women.

Yeah, with Viagra. He’s the first person that told me about Viagra.

When was that?

Oh, years ago. Before everyone knew about it! (Laughs)

“Actors are the most difficult because you never know who you’re photographing. They could be Hamlet or Lassie.”

When you know someone very well like you do Jack Nicholson is it easier to take a great portrait of them?

It depends. It’s one of those abstract things. We had a difficult bloke this week, what was he called? Van Morris or somebody… He was so grumpy. But I loved him being grumpy because I could use his grumpiness. I got a great grumpy picture out of him. If I see another picture of a rock ‘n’ roller against some graffiti… It drives you mad, the same old picture! Can’t they ever think of something different to do? So I don’t mind people that are difficult. I quite like that. It amuses me because there is always a way around it. I mean, no one could be more difficult than Van whatever he’s called, Van Morrison.

It seems pointless to have your picture taken if you’re not going to cooperate though.

Well he left really happy, Van Morrison. But it is kind of pointless to come here if you’re not going to help me. They might not like the picture, but one day they will. One day that’s what they’re going to look like – whether they look like that or not. Medici said to Michelangelo, “That sculpture doesn’t look like me.” Michelangelo said, “Listen, you’ll be dead in 20 years, but this will be around for 2,000 years. So, that’s what you look like!” You could say that a bit with photography.

Does it often happen that people aren’t happy with their portrait, but then years later change their mind?

Yeah. 10 years later usually. We had one recently, I won’t mention his name, I shot him 30 years ago and he said, “I hate the picture.” But his wife bought one for him as a birthday present recently. (Laughs) 30 years later and come get the picture.

Are celebrities more difficult nowadays than they were 30 or 40 years ago?

Well, I avoid celebrities. I’m not really interested in people that come with PR. That’s probably why I can’t work in America, because I don’t take all that bullshit. I don’t know how people like Bruce Weber manage, because it would drive me mad. All these silly people who don’t know anything that come with celebrities and try to tell you what to do. It’s madness! They brought it on themselves, the magazines. They should have been stricter. They should have said, “No, we’re not showing you. We’re doing the interview and that’s that.” But instead they pander to them and in the end they end up owning you. Those magazines are owned by the celebrities, really.

You don’t strike me as the type to pander to anyone.

I never really read what people write about me, but the comments people made when doing this exhibition recently at the National Portrait Gallery are so stupid. “Oh, Bailey panders to these people.” I don’t pander to anybody. I just do the picture I do. I don’t care who it is. And I won’t do pictures if people want approval. It has always seemed stupid to me that they ask you to do something and then want to sort of tell you how to do it. What madness!

Source: The Talk

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