Recently Container Yard had the opportunity to host Bear Walker as the October conversationalist for the BIZCONversations series. For those of you who do not know Bear, he is a custom skateboard designer located in Fairhope, Alabama whose custom boards are becoming a part of the Hollywood culture as more and more celebrities acquire them. As if that is not cool enough, he has also innovatively re-engineered the process of making a custom board by eliminating the need for grip tape allowing for the design to be on the top of the board and not the bottom.
Anybody who has designed and delivered custom boards for Jason Momoa and the entire cast of It Chapter Two surely has some wisdom to share. Check out these four lessons Bear shared in his conversation:
1. The best currency in business today is relationships. As a successful business owner and artist Bear has learned that the reason building relationships both in his personal life, as well as, professionally are so valuable is because they lead to connections and opportunities such as his Xbox board or the board he sent into space. Not only that, but Bear has also learned that personal relationships are also key to success as they help promote a healthier work-life balance.
2. Embrace imperfections in your work. It is no secret that Bear Walker occasionally struggles with OCD throughout his creative process. It is also no secret that every professional can often be dissatisfied with the work they have produced. For Bear, it has been a matter of figuring out how to embrace the tiny imperfections in his otherwise perfect boards. After all, a huge part of the entrepreneurial experience is learning what works and what doesn’t, as well as, owning all of the work you do. Plus, no customers ever suspect imperfections anyway.
3. Don’t always do things for people for the immediate response of getting something back. Basically, Bear says it is okay to just be a good person sometimes. Bear has had many interactions as an entrepreneur and that is why he strives to make sure that as he interacts with other entrepreneurs, businesses and people in the community he makes sure they have a positive experience.
4. Embrace failure to create success. Before his 77,000 followers on Instagram and celebrity-commissioned boards, Bear took the time to craft out his process of making masterpieces. Despite that, Bear assured everyone at the Yard that he is not ashamed of any past business adventures and in fact, he continues to use those experiences as the motivating factor to build the success which is Bear Walker Board Shop.
Amid his great success as a graphic designer, designing skateboards in a way that has never been done before, is an entrepreneur who is eager to share his support and tips with other professionals and truly loves his pup and Dodge Challenger.