When I was a child I thought that Santa Claus had one of the best jobs in the world. He had one single focus: to make children happy.

Now that I’m older, I notice when other people are focused on making people happy. In fact, I am most interested in watching how entrepreneurs delight, surprise and intrigue their clients.  One fine example is Jesse Dobbs at the Iris Piercing Studios. With the installation of two i-Pads, the Iris client experience has increased more than ten-times.

Join me on a field trip to the Salt Lake City Iris Studio to see what I’m talking about.




Picking Up the “Stupid” Challenge

Recently, client Jesse Dobbs of Iris Piercing threw out a challenge for me to read a book that he had just finished. The book is “Be Stupid, for successful living” by Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel.

I picked up the challenge, ordered the book on Amazon and finished it in a few days. It outlines, in 18 short stories, the manifesto by which Rosso created Diesel’s remarkable brand. I’ve taken liberties and synthesized what I felt were Rosso’s key points into the following bullets:

  • “Stupid” is of Latin origin and closely related to the verb “to stupefy.” So as you go along in your business ventures, stupefy your followers. Step out and do things that stupefy you. Be amazed, be happy and notice the beauty that comes from your own head and handswhen you aim to stupefy (see page 10 and 29).
  • If you have a good product, if you are willing to work hard, and if you can be very patient, then you can make very good money (see page 19).
  • Many a successful entrepreneur has been born upon being told: You can’t do that! (see page 35 or also read The Millionaire Mind by Stanley).
  • “This is one of the secrets of ongoing entrepreneurial success: entrepreneurs act as if they have little to lose because if you let the fear of losing predominate, then you’re on the defense rather than on the offense, preservation then takes the place of innovation, and sooner or later decline sets in” (see page 37).
  • Many case studies prove that an entrepreneur can be judged by the quality of people you have around you. If you want to be a successful business person, create a community inside your business and outside of your business that are truly dedicated to making your vision come true. If someone can’t contribute to making your dream come true, they should not be on your team (see page 60-61).
  • One critical question you can ask yourself is this: What do I want to be known for in fifty years? Once you answer this question, keep that vision at the forefront of all you do (see page 73).
  • Intuition is not a mere whim. It is something you sense in your heart and mind that will be good for your business. Learn to recognize and follow your intuition (see page 84).
  • Failure only happens when we don’t try. If you make a mistake, recognize that, and solve it. If your mistake seems like it has caused you to fail, accept that you might need to take a different direction (see page 136).

By now you may be feeling like you have the salient pieces of Rosso’s book. Maybe not, and you want to read it for yourself. Either way, remember this:

Success doesn’t come by playing it safe. And according to Renzo Rosso, one way to NOT play it safe is to “be stupid” instead.


Here is the Be Stupid video, by Diesle:


Another Studio is Born

Congratulations are due to entrepreneur Jesse Dobbs and his team mates Dustin Robbins and Nick Lott. Once employed as the top piercers for another studio, they forged out on their own to create Iris Piercing Studio here in Salt Lake City. Today, with Jesse at the helm, Iris is a strong brand that has been wise enough to invest extra energy and time on building the business. Some small business owners never get past the day-to-day of working in the studio, the shop or the office. This foresight has produced a strong structure with just the right amount of operational systems behind it to allow the company to expand.

Saturday, May 14th slated the opening of the second Iris Piercing in the Capitol Hill area of Denver,  Colorado.  The opening comes on the heels of stellar performance at the annual jewelry sale. But, Jesse will say more about that in his interview that follows.

Two weeks before the Denver Studio opened, I quizzed Jesse concerning his success and here’s what he had to say:

“You’ve probably heard the saying; ‘if you build it, they will come?’ Well that has held true for us. I believed in our brand. I believed in our team. I believed that if I we offered the highest quality of jewelry, delivered exceptional service and if we held ourselves to high standards of sanitation then people would notice us. So we built Iris Piercing on these ideas and people have come.

First, I hired a branding coach and he created plans for us to reconstruct the look and feel of our shop. Then I invested in the construction of that plan. Our studio is now an amazing space. It looks highly professional and it showcases our exceptional jewelry. The ambiance fits us and gave people something to talk about that fully sets us apart from other piercing studios. The new studio is equally as stunning.

I also believe that marketing through the use of word of mouth is the best way to go. You can pay a lot for fancy ads but getting people to talk favorably about you is less expensive and more effective. Over a year ago Dustin started talking about creating “street teams” which were meant to be small clusters of people hitting local campus or hotspots to hand out our referral cards. What actually happened was that because of the other things we were doing, these teams grew organically without us going out and formally structuring them.

What happened was that Nick created a referral card and we all agreed to a system for redeeming the referral credit. When our best customers send us new customers the referring folks get store credit in their account. This means that when our clients come in they might have anywhere from $10 to $50 dollars or more to spend without even opening their own wallet.

When you spend time creating multiple reasons for people to shop and talk about you, and you patiently stick with it for a full year things accumulate in your favor. I believe these are the reasons that we hit our goal this year during our annual jewelry sale – we hit 100% of our goal in three days. Last year we hit 60% of our goal over a week’s time.

Another part of our success has come from making sure that we pay attention to S.E.O. (search engine optimization). Our online presence is part of a marketing strategy. We had to invest in making it easy for search engines to point shoppers our way.”

Cheers to Jesse, Dustin and Nick. You must be thrilled to have the new studio open.

I encourage anyone who is following this story to hang onto your plugs and barbells because I sense that things are just getting started for these guys.


P.S. As Jesse reviewed this blog he wanted me to add this last part. So Jesse, as you requested:

And… thank you sooo much Lyn. This is exciting! It was really fun to read!! It’s missing one part though. The amazing  company and coach that helped piece this all together. I know it is hard to write and brag about your self, but come on! This wouldn’t have happened at the pace it did without you! Love you always!!

– Jesse Dobbs