Do what is right, even when no one is looking!
Most of us are used to getting socks for Christmas, but how many of us can say those socks can INSPIRE us for the year ahead?! Brendan Lo is the dad of two who started his own company smartass undies in order to keep his favourite inspirational quotes about his person at all times —and encourage us to do the same! He kindly sent me a box of his organic cotton socks to try for myself, and after everything that happened in 2020, I am certainly in need of some positive vibes as I step into 2021!
I’ve decided to give myself a six day Instagram challenge; to think about how I can incorporate each value on my daily socks into my daily life! Here’s how Brendan does it:
Freya: What’s one way we can keep kindness in mind in both our professional and personal lives?
Brendan: Be aware of all the things small and large that others do to support our endeavours, and regularly thank them for their contribution.
Freya: Who do you most respect, and why?
Brendan: Mum dear mother is at the top of the list for all the wisdom and love she shared. The Dalai Lama for his compassion and laughter, Nelson Mandela for his fortitude and unity, the three David’s: David Attenborough, David Bellamy and David Suzuki for shinning the light on unsustainable practices, their impacts along with path to solving them.
Freya: What is one example of self-discipline you need when trying to start your own business?
Brendan: Starting something from scratch and being your own boss needs a tonne of self-discipline. I’ve discovered that self-discipline is uber important, not only for working hard and tackling obstacles but equally important for being disciplined enough to know when to put down the tools and spend time with family and friends. The discipline of balance.
Freya: Courage: How can we have more?
Brendan: I’m a firm believer in the value of reflecting on death, morbid as it is. Logically we know life is short, butt practically we often act as though it’s endless and it’s easy to put off doing things that really matter. Our message “Don’t let your ass go to the grave with your song still in you!” which is my tweak on a passage from Thoreau, is a regular reminder to get our ass off the couch and take on our fears, especially when there is so much potential for great things on the other side. The act of being courageous is really about recognising our mortality and deciding to embrace life and being true to ourselves.
Freya: Why is integrity important in business?
Brendan: Businesses that are respected are founded on relationships, and the value of relationships is not the mere measure of dollars and cents —OK, pounds and pennies for you mob in the UK — and let’s just say inclusive of all forex, metals and cryptos too! The value in relationships is a measure of trust. Trust comes from integrity, our ability to do what is right even when no one is looking. If you want a business with customers and partners that you have a great relationship with, integrity is a must.
Freya: What are you most grateful for?
Brendan: Everyday I reflect on how grateful I am to be a father and to have the privilege to nurture and support my children to live a life with meaning and purpose. My little gig, smartass undies is very much a culmination of the key lessons and values I want my children to follow in life.
Thanks Brendan for an uplifting interview and of course, the great socks!!
If you want to get yourself a box of inspirational socks to step into a more positive 2021, follow this link! smartass undies Note that I earn a commission from every purchase made through this link, but I never promote something I’ve not tried and loved myself first!
Read more about Brendan’s story and how he started smartass undies in my accompanying blog NEW YEAR, NEW START: MEET THE DAD WHO MADE A BUSINESS OUT OF MOTIVATIONAL UNDERWEAR!
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