Tag Archives: Rizzo Tees

May 1, 2012

What’s Going On With Rizzo Tees? An Update

I started Rizzo Tees back in 2007 with the entrepreneurial dream of growing it out of control. I wanted to build a big, strong, healthy business, and of course I wanted to leave my CPA/Accounting life behind. While Rizzo Tees remains small today, I was able to escape the accounting world over two years ago. I’ve mentioned this several times (here and here), but I can say it once more: you have no idea what this career change has truly meant to me.

What of Rizzo Tees now? I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve noticed a change in my content output over the last year. They say I’ve moved away from t-shirt promotion and more towards discussion of new media strategy. I believe they are right. I’d say my job at Falk Harrison has a great deal to do with that. Finally, a job that I can enjoy!

Rizzo Tees remains in business, tees are still in stock and people are still buying them (especially the bacon ones). But my interests have changed in important ways. Listen to the podcast below to hear more about the direction I’m headed.

Click here for the 5-minute podcast.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Jan 20, 2011

Thank You To Everyone For The Well Wishes

All I can say to everyone that has retweeted my good news, sent me congratulations, and been so supportive of me….. THANK YOU!

I started at Falk Harrison yesterday, and I could not be more excited. A full blog post is yet to come, as I do want to talk about my journey from CPA to Scorch Agency to Falk Harrison and what it all means. In the meantime, just let me say thanks to all of you.

And thanks to Jon Falk for the kind welcome.

Nov 10, 2010

Rizzo Is On UrbanDictionary.com, But Don’t Read If You’re Easily Offended

The first definition is a little “blue.” Is it bad that I voted it “up?”

(SERIOUSLY, don’t click if you’re gonna get offended. There’s f-bombs and it’s funny but if you’re easily offended, you WILL get offended. I warned you!)


May 6, 2010

Business Power-Up #1 – Order From Your Competitors

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I am going to start a new series called “Business Power-Ups.”  The term “power-up” comes from video games – a power-up would give your player instant benefits or add extra abilities.  I grew up playing Atari 2600, Colecovision, Nintendo, and then Playstation.  How many hours did I spend playing Super Mario Bros?  It was alot.  But hey, I have a ninja’s hand-eye coordination now!

Business Power-Ups are going to give you extra business powers and abilities! They’re like magic mushrooms for business.  (The non-hallucinogenic kind.)

Business Power-Up #1order from your competitors.  If you sell a product, or even possibly a service, place a small order from your main competitors.  It’s amazing what you can learn.  Back when I new nothing about the tee business, before Rizzo Tees opened, I ordered tees from Busted Tees, SnorgTees, Sackwear and Threadless.  I learned:

1.) Who they used to print their postage (Snorg used Endicia, whom I am using now.)

2.) What kinds of bags they used – size, material. I then found a super-cheap supplier on eBay – ValueMailers.  I can highly recommend them.  No affiliate link here – just trying to help.

3.) What kinds of schwag they put in their packages. I put a sample of Bacon Salt in each of my orders, which clearly trumps all of them!

4.) How quickly they shipped their orders

5.) Their approximate order volume (email me if you want to know how I figured that out)

6.) What sort of packing slip they put in the bag

And I learned all this for the price of a few t-shirts.  Placing orders with your competitors can yield a great deal of business intelligence.

May 4, 2010

Link Roundup on Rizzo Tees – What I’m Reading 5/4/10

Playing the part of Internet DJ, here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading the past few days.

1.) Jason over at A Smart Bear breaks down American idiomatic usage in a rather hilarious way.  What does it mean when a fellow businessperson says to you, ““It’s not personal, it’s just business?” Read the post and find out!

2.) Back in March, Chris Brogan wrote about a visit to a charter school.  I took particular interest, since my daughter will be starting kindergarten at a French language immersion charter school in August. Kids in some of these charter schools are learning in vastly different ways than we did back in the day.  My daughter’s school is going to be no exception, and we’re quite excited about it. Kids are being trained in these schools to handle real-life jobs and real-life situations.  They’re even going to teach my daughter about food. How cool would that be – growing up understanding that organic vegetables are better than candy made in a factory?  Hell, she might even learn how to prepare healthy meals for herself! Why can’t a school teach this? To me, it sounds like the way to raise a healthier generation.

3.) Ari Herzog over at AriWriter.com is going through a time that sounds way too familiar to me.  Ari is trying to make a career transition, and after 18 months, he says he’s back to square one.  Starting off on your own is tough – there are times when I’ve thought that Rizzo Tees would be farther along by now.  Everything worth doing in life takes time – sometimes lots of time!  I have said this before – I am not some 150% full-speed-ahead entrepreneur that would step on his own mom’s neck to succeed.  There are times when I have self-doubt. I have ups and downs. I just do everything I can to stay in the game – stay focused, and just keep plugging away.  Half the battle is just not quitting. People completely underestimate this fact.

Apr 6, 2010

Write a Blog to Enhance Your Personal Brand

A blog is a wonderful tool to help enhance your personal brand.  You may ask, “I have a job. (or ‘I’m a CEO’) Why would I ever care about my personal brand?”  The reasons are all about the Benjamins.

1. If you are an employee of an organization, your personal brand is like your 21st Century Web 2.0 résumé.  Frankly, if I were hiring someone today for Rizzo Tees, I’d check their Twitter feed, their Facebook profile, and their LinkedIn profile.  And then I would check for a blog – through their writings, I might be able to see what makes them tick.

2. If you are the owner of an organization, your personal brand will gain you clients.  It’s as simple as that. You are your company, and your company is you.  Customers want to know who they’re working with and who they’re buying from, and this is getting more and more important.  They are more apt to buy from you if they have a sense of who you are.

Below is a redacted version of an email exchange I had with a friend who owns a business.  He was considering writing a personal blog and separating it from his business.  His goal was to enhance his personal brand. The blog would have contained his personal insights on the field of business he was in, but would not have been directly tied to his company’s website. I argued that the two should be intertwined, because as an owner of a business, his personal brand and his business success are directly tied together.

The text of my response:

The most important distinction here is that you are the founder and CEO of an awesome startup company. Therefore, your company is much more closely tied to you, and you to the company, than if you were just an employee somewhere, for instance.  Employees have great reason to privately build and cultivate their own personal brands. An employee will need their personal brand to be strong (portfolio, blog posts, a good network of people) in order to score that next employment opportunity.

You, on the other hand, are different. You’re not going to be leaving your startup company – you are no longer a nomad – you’ll be at your company until its bought out – you’re going to build up your company to be 100+ talented people, scoring ever larger clients, until you are sitting in your plush offices, smoking your Cohibas.

Let your company itself be your personal branding powerhouse. When potential clients are thinking of hiring you, don’t make them traverse two different websites.  Put your best thoughts right there on your company’s site for potential clients to soak in.  I do see the value in cross promotion (he was going to promote the biz from his blog).  However, let others do that for you. That’s what we’re here for – your friends on Twitter and Facebook – you create a great message in the name of your business (and you), and let us carry it out to the masses.

Your personal brand is your business, because you founded it. I feel strongly that you should put 100% of your best marketing and social media nuggets on your company’s site, making it the strongest, most natural sales pitch it can be.

What do you guys think?  How important is personal branding?  Should CEOs, employees, and entrepreneurs all address this issue differently?