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Tiffany Montgomery
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Richard Woolcott's advice for young brands

By Tiffany Montgomery
October 02, 2009 10:36 AM

Peter "PT" Townend lead a question and answer session with Volcom CEO Richard Woolcott Thursday afternoon.

The two talked about a wide range of topics, including Richard's competitive drive as a young surfer on the national team, how he switched his focus from becoming a professional surfer to making his mark in the industry in other ways after breaking his neck, and how being a public company forces Volcom to review its strengths and weaknesses every 90 days before its quarterly reports, one of the upsides to the public reporting process.

P.T. holds up a photo of Richard in a hospital bed
after breaking his neck.

Afterward, many people told me they really liked Richard's advice for young brands, which I summarize below.

Passion

You're going to go through so many ups and downs, and having passion for what you do will get you through the tough spots.

People

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Hire people better than you and have a more experienced mentor or confidant you can turn for advice.

Discipline

It's great to have fun, but you need to have discipline, whether it's in product, expenses, budgeting, etc.

Access to cash

It starts out with friends and family, but in the future, know you will need cash for a big production run or to build your infrastructure.

Drive

You have to have a competitive fire inside, it's a tough market, and you have to know how to compete.

Remember why you started, have fun, and appreciate what you have. If you do become successful, stay humble and keep your feet on the ground. People will tell you you're a rock star, but don't believe it and stay humble.

- - -

Here are links to our other stories filed live from the SIMA Surf Summit

Steve Murray's keynote speech

Surf Summit Report: Opening Party

Surf Summit Report: Day 2 photos

Image Award winners named

Image Award photos

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