Last Monday I wrote a preview article introducing Lennard Taylor as the Mentor of the month. I am sure you have been anxiously waiting for the continuation to this exciting new mentor of ours. For a quick recap revisit last Monday’s article but be sure to return because today Lennard lets us into the journey from the grassroots of his career.
During our interview Lennard mentioned that his first love was soccer. From his childhood all he wanted to do was play soccer. Being the go-getter that he is, a judgement that I prescribed upon him, Lennard went to Scotland to pursue his soccer career and to travel. Unfortunately he injured his knee which abruptly ended his soccer career. Upon hitting a wall unexpectedly Lennard had to re-strategize. He was forced to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. Staring out the window of his apartment in a flat in Scotland, he wondered what he should do next.
From a tender age Lennard enjoyed dressing up. He liked fancy clothing but could not afford them. After deciding to embark into fashion design, he packed up his bags and moved back to Manitoba. While he was disappointed that playing soccer had not turned out as he had planned, Lennard was content to having given it a shot. In his own words, “you won’t ever have to question [it in] your life, ‘was I good enough?’ You tried it, [it] didn’t work.” He goes on to explain that after living in Europe, a very beautiful place, he came back to Manitoba feeling very inspired and eager to start creating and designing his own styles.
Lennard Taylor could not afford to go to a fashion school so he approached several successful individuals in the field who taught and helped him learn the ropes of the trade.
As he struggled to make ends meet, this designer went through a long stretch of difficulties but came out strong. For several years he lived in a studio fitted with a toilet, a little bathroom sink and a hotplate that he used to cook. There was no bathroom in the studio which meant that he had to shower at the homes of his friends or at the YMCA. For food he ate pasta and butter when he could afford it. Despite all these challenges, Lennard Taylor did not throw in the towel. He continued to pursue his dream until finally he had a breakthrough. When I asked him what kept him going, Lennard had two answers for me. Determination to succeed and stubbornness.
Lennard Taylor’s approach is what Chris Guillebeau an American entrepreneur and author would call a die-hard entrepreneur. The kind of entrepreneur who gives a hundred percent and then more to see himself succeed. Some schools of thought suggest that when one does not have a safety net, success then becomes non-negotiable. From what I have seen so far, I can confidently state that Lennard Taylor is just beginning and has a lot more to offer.
As I do not wish to hold you off from getting to work on time, I will stop here today. Do not forget to check back here next Monday when we will be looking at how Lennard immersed himself into the fashion industry, and how he is currently fairing on. But before you run, drop us a comment below sharing your struggles, if any, in your respective fields and what motivates you to keep going.