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The Right Approach In Business Trumps Talent

Nygard’s Golden Jubilee Review

Its not an everyday occurrence to discover an individual who has pulled himself up by his bootstrapsto achieve phenomenal success with a business that’s still breaking barriers, still achieving firsts, and still innovating fifty years later. What does it take? How did he achieve it all? And how can we achieve similar successes?

That’s what we’ll explore in this tri-weekly series. We’ll break down fashion mogul Peter Nygard’sachievements and look at how his accomplishments can serve as practical applications to others in business and life.

The Right Approach In Business Trumps Talent

To succeed in business, you have to start by getting rid of the myth that successful people are the most talented people. Though talent is defined as “a special natural ability or aptitude” or “capacity for achievement or success,” ( talent in a particular area can be developed or acquired. 

What’s more important is your approach to business, as can be seen in fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s example.

When Nygard made an $8,000 investment in a clothing business, he was only twenty-six years old. He had a strong business sense, and in fact, had helped his previous employer grow their business substantially. However, Nygard didn’t know anything about the apparel business. 

To complicate matters, his business partner and mentor died before being able to train him. For Peter Nygard, it was either sink or swim.

The first steps that he took set him on the path to success. Instead of focusing on what the industry practices were and conducting business as usual, he felt he needed to go straight to the ‘horses’ mouth’—the customers.

He came up with a way to get their opinions and insights into the products. Not only were the customers thrilled to be asked their opinion, the information they provided was invaluable tothe business. It set the company on a whole new path.

What Nygard discovered was that when it came to the preferences of their customers, the company was missing the mark in several ways. He made a number of changes in the company to align with his discoveries.

He also got to work learning everything he could about apparel itself. Being the competitive person that he is, if he was going to do anything, he would to be the best at it.

Here’s the thing though. Change is never easy. When stakeholders have been doing something for many years, it is difficult to change. Getting buy-in from various stakeholders was another challenge for Nygard at the onset.

While a difficult process, it was worth the effort he made. Once he showed stakeholders—like merchants selling his apparel—how effective the changes were at producing extraordinary results, they praised his genius and trusted him to such an extent that everything he did going forward was always met with cooperation.

This approach helped to set the foundation for Nygard’s business, which also includes other important aspects. However, starting with the customer insights became a business habit that is still the company’s focus today. 

Nygard used customer insights, everything he learned, and newly developed skills to become a most talented designer. 

As a result, 50 years later, Peter Nygard is still achieving firsts with his designs. SLIMS is the perfect example. Nygard matched his fashion talent with the desires of women and came up with a design that is so popular the company broke sales records. 

NYGÅRD sold their millionth pair of SLIMS within three years of its debut. This patented pant compresses and lifts and curves the butt. It’s every woman’s dream. 

What’s the takeaway for anyone wanting to be in business? The right approach to your business is key. Don’t let concerns about not having a natural talent for that business stop you. That can be developed once the right foundation is in place.

Don’t stick to the status quo unless it is producing phenomenal results. Challenge industry practices and look at how a new way of thinking can enhance your business success.

Keep researching and learning everything you can so that your business products are always new and improved. 

Following in Peter Nygard’s footsteps in this way can exponentially add to your business success.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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