We had the good fortune of connecting with John Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi John, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My dad instilled in me a strong work ethic (a gentle way of saying “Mow the lawn, or get a good spanking”)…so no matter what job I had, even dead-end ones, I worked hard.

I do not say this to toot my own horn, but this practice always resulted in me rising in the company quickly to management positions. We are not talking investment banking here, I worked at art supply stores and several screen printing shops.

What i found was that i made life easier for the owners. So instead of coming into work @ 6:30 AM like I was, they were rolling in around noon and leaving at 3. So essentially I was working hard for them, but they were not working hard for ME.

So i decided to work hard for ME. 😉

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is just me. I am a graphic designer by education and trade. When I set out on my own i opened a textile screen printing shop that was focused on good design. Most of my labors were centered around production. After some time, i really missed my first love: which was art. So i morphed my business into a graphic design company; specifically tailored to provide good art and separations to screen printing companies. (Honestly, i was weary of working in 100 degree warehouse standing next to a dryer running @ 320 degrees.)

Since i am a product of the Texas public school system (I was drawing cartoons in the back of the classroom)

I will be unable to formulate any passages that will make any sense. So I will simply try to answer the sample questions the kind editor of this publication provided as examples.

What sets you apart from others?
As a young man just starting his own gig, a customer who was also a mentor warned me: “Be careful, working for yourself can be tricky. You will find yourself always working, but not necessarily at things that make you money.” This is true. You can be working at your station and think “now would be a good time to go to Home Depot…”. So to be a creative on your own i would say you have to be mentally disciplined and have a very healthy fear of credit card bills. If you enjoy the security of a paycheck, you better work for the man. If you are fearless, (my salary my first year was $8,000) maybe this is for you.

I fear that most of what i share here will be cautionary rather than inspiring. 🙂

What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Never, EVER provide your services on the cheap. Motivated by fear, I was charging nothing for my work thinking i would never garner enough business. What i found was after a couple of years my whole customer base consisted of nothing but clients who needed everything done well and CHEAP. (They tend to be a whiny lot) After i came to my senses, it took me over 3 years to replace my clientele with people who were willing to pay for good work.

What do you want the world to know about your story?
Do not be like me. I was supposed to be a famous comic book artist. I would look at the work of famous artists and think “I will never reach that level!” So off i went to college to get a ‘safe’ degree in Design Communication. Did the world of advertising inspire me? No. But my fear of poverty did. Looking back at my career I wish I would have been more hard core. ‘Cause now i look at comics and think, “Dang it, I could have done this!” 😉

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Fort Worth is literally bursting at the seams with awesome art museums. God Bless those billionaires.

The DFW area has some awesome food. Some of my faves are Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano, the Oak Cliff location of La Calle Doce, Bob’s Steak and Chophouse if I am on a roll ($$), Rodeo Goat has a great burger, and the best kept secret in BBQ: Heim Barbecue.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
You probably get a lot of these: my parents. Dad, for letting me have some space in his shop to do my thing.

Mom, for lending me $23,000 even though my business plan was lame.

Website: https://rimshotgraphix.com/

Instagram: rimshottshirts

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rimshotgraphix/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rimshottshirts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rimshottshirts

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKNPot4a1bakrmCBoq6wjSw (my band)

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