[quote style=”boxed”]The first and last job I ever had was at Jewel-Osco. What I learned from it is was that it is non-sensical to work all your life to build another man’s legacy.[/quote]
Faraz ‘Fam’ Mirza is a serial entrepreneur, product designer, and american marketer. He is best known for establishing a fashion trend, creating event concepts for Sean “Diddy” Combs, and formulating marketing and brand evolution strategies. His is also the founder of Mirza Minds which is a full service digital marketing and brand development firm.
In the past his work has been featured on National TV networks and the Super bowl XXXV halftime show.
What are you working on right now?
Currently our team is working on the 1:Face Project. The idea is to use the power of consumers to benefit the world. The brand itself is named 1 Face, the product is a stylish mirror face LED watch, and the mission statement reads “Changing the World 1:Face at a time.”
Where did the idea for 1:Face watch come from?
Growing up in a third world country for 5 years I saw poverty and hunger first hand. I feel after moving to America I had been given opportunities which my family overseas could only dream of. Since I was younger I always wanted to use my skill set to create a product or brand which would benefit the world.
It took me over 4 months to come up with the full branding behind the watch. The product itself is great and trendy but the branding behind it conveys a very powerful message to the consumer and makes them feel like they are a part of something.
We are not selling a watch, we are selling a movement!
What does your typical day look like?
In this business no day is typical but the structure and communications are to a certain extent. I get to the office which is a creative loft space located in the west loop around 9-10am. The first thing I do is open up the Macbook and log on to Skype. We have a global team of 14 but only 6 of us work in the office, the rest are scattered around the globe so we all work off the Skype platform. From there we move onto the emails, phone calls, designs, and marketing strategies.
If I had to break it up I would say 30% of my time is spent on the phone, 25% emails, 20% design, and 25% marketing and brand strategies and 10% luncheons. Every day I try to do lunch with either a new client, potential affiliate, or intern. Sharing knowledge with other intellectuals fuels my drive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I guess Dell’s slogan says it best “Be Inspired!” All my ideas come from inspiration. I do not believe that great ideas can be forced. I read articles to process knowledge which might lead to an idea or concept. I write to perfect my ideas and thoughts. I go through my day noticing the world around me and if I feel or see something which can create a thought or a vision in the future I write in on my notes app on my iPhone. One week I might come up with a great marketing and brand evolution strategy and the next week I might come up with nothing. That’s the way life works, thats the way thoughts work, that the way big ideas are formulated. Creativity cannot be forced!
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The trend of simplicity.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and the simplest things are often the truest. As a product development and marketing firm that is what we strive to convey to the consumer; We sell the truth. Any product or brand which is based on simplicity will have longevity because in the end regardless of how well you market it, if you are selling a inferior product or a deceitful brand the truth will come to the light.
The best example of this simplistic model is Apple, the quality of the products speak for themselves and their simplistic marketing is about to make them the first trillion dollar company in history!
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it ?
The first and last job I ever had was at Jewel-Osco. What I learned from it is was that it is non-sensical to work all your life to build another man’s legacy.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would concentrate more on the branding aspect of a project because that is what relays your message to the consumer. Creating a brand is similar to constructing a house; If built with the strongest foundation and components it will outlive the builder.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
You learn more through experiences than you do through a classroom or books. After you gain the knowledge you should implement it and that is when the learning truly starts. You encounter problems and issues which a book could have never told you about and use your knowledge to solve these problems and perform better.
In the end just do it! Regardless of whether a project is a success or not you will learn from it and perfect your next project. You either win or you learn! You never lose!
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The fear of failure. “Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next without the loss of enthusiasm” -Winston Churchill
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In the digital age people base their judgements off others as we see with review websites such as epinions and yelp. I believe if someone were to create a website where instead of short reviews with no substance you would have to post a detailed review of your full experience it would be much more impactive. It would be similar to the twitter model of 140 maximum characters, but it would be made inversely and would have a 750 characters minimum.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Poverty. 50% of the world lives under $2.50 a day. I believe we will feed millions by using the power of consumers with the current project we are working on now, the 1 Face Project.
Tell us a secret.
In 2007 I lost over $127,000 in the stock market in one day!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Skype- Since our team is Global, it helps us all communicate on one platform, we call it the official business platform!
Twitter – For the ability to connect great minds and leaders! If you are doing something worthwhile you must have a twitter account. I have met CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Humanitarians via twitter. Facebook is local but Twitter is global.
Dropbox – The ease of file sharing. We create a lot of digital documents in a day and it makes it easy for our team to access all of them on one central platform.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better.” I carry this small book in my laptop bag daily. It teaches you that a learned defeat is more valuable than an earned victory.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why ?
@Mashable their digital knowledge base is truly amazing
@HarvardBiz Should I say more ?
@Coolhunting They tweet about the most innovative products, art, design, culture and technology
When was the last time you laughed out loud ? What caused it ?
I got a text from a friend of mine which read “Did the timeline and the math…by this time next year I’ll officially be a millionaire” The only thing I could do is laugh and text back “Lol that’s not how life works.” I still have a screenshot of it on my phone.
Who is your hero?
Steve Jobs. Resilience is the core of a leader and he truly symbolized that.
What was the most interesting project you have worked on till date ?
I would say the Bed Intruder Costume project because it made people believe that it is easy to make money. No one ever thought about the time restraints which were involved and how critical the proper execution is in that amount of time. They didn’t see our distribution warehouse working till FedEx shipping deadlines, they didn’t see our wig machine breaking down in China, they did not see our merchant back-end going down and us not being able to access shipping data for thousands of last minute orders.
Would you ever work for someone else ?
I would never work to build another man’s legacy. This is about more than money. This is about a legacy I want to leave to my son.
How much is an idea worth ?
Execution is the new patent, an idea is worth $0.00.
Mirza Mind on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mirzaminds
Faraz Mizra on Twitter: @iamFam
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.