Tony Hawk’s Strategies for Starting a Business During Tough Times

You hear it everywhere, every day. The market is down. Times are tough. People are struggling. But what if an unstable economy is the perfect time
to start a business? That-s exactly what Tony Hawk did when he created a multimillion-dollar skateboarding empire during a flat market and waning public interest.
Here-s what Tony has to say about using tough times to your advantage:

Know it is risky, but do it anyway. "I felt like if I could start a company when skating was at one of its deadest states, then if it takes off again,
we set ourselves up to be in a position of prominence and we-d just ride the wave."

Recognize the advantages of a flat market. "For someone to come in once the sport takes off, it-s just going to take way too much capital and way too much
marketing money to get in a position to be recognized."

Make sure you are passionate about your idea or product. "I focused all of my energy on it because I loved it so much and I felt like, you know, I want to
make this happen."

Don-t just grab deals as they come—scrutinize. "I learned the hard way not to hand everyone the keys to all your opportunities. I gave them the power
to have the final say in projects and deals and it cost me."

Align yourself with people who share your work ethic. "If you get involved with someone who clearly does not share your passion, then you risk ruining your
chances and opportunities."

Know your market. For Tony, it was Gen X and Y. "Walk the walk. Kids are savvy. You have to have your finger on the pulse "someone who speaks the lingo and
lives the life. You can-t just slap "radical dude" on a package label and think that’s it."

Realize you never jump off the learning curve. "There is always something new to learn. No matter how far you get in your skill level, you can improve it and
I love that. I-m considered older for a pro skater, but there are still new techniques I can explore."

Hard knocks can make you stronger. "Once skating came back around uh, you know, I had a lot of clout just because I had been there through thick and thin."

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