San Fransisco, November 2020

The Law of Averages & How to be a Successful Entrepreneur

So, a few years ago I started this little company called Ocean SF. It grew out of my love for the environment and sustainable fashion — meaning all things not polyester. I have hated polyester since I was a kid. It is a cold and slimy fabric in my opinion, and that’s just the beginning of it’s negative attributes. The worst part is that although it is cheap it has long lasting impact on the environment with costs that we all must share.

Fast fashion is anything but fast.

Polyester pollutes drinking water by depositing microfibers into the water supply that can not be filtered out. Unlike wool, cotton, silk and cashmere polyester takes a very long time to biodegrade, or about two life times. This is why I do what I do. I provide an alternative to outdoor wear that takes 200 years to disintegrate.

“Synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, nylon, … Though they will eventually break down, this process can take up to 200 years.” — Close-The-Loop

One morning, I woke up and wrote this.

Ocean SF stands for social impact, environmental protection and human rights. We believe in following your dreams and never giving up.

The master fails more than the novice ever attempt” — Art of War

I am certainly mastering the art of multiple attempts to bring Ocean SF to the mainstream. Elon Must, recently said in interview, “Being an entrepreneur is like chewing glass while you look into the abyss.” This sounds harsh, but I feel like this about 45% of the time.

As anyone who has started a company knows there is a constant push and pull between the idea that you are almost there and the idea it is time to flee the sunk costs. And, flee many have. My first partner, my first web designer, my second web designer, my assistant, my best friend/investor, my French vintage shop partners, my ethical shopping portal buddies, my board member and so on. Still I persist, and new people come to take their place.

Yesterday, I was reading the story of the Tortoise and the Hare with one of my students. This is one of the Aesop’s Fables and is numbered 226 in the Perry Index. As we all know, the Hare thought he would win, and so did everyone else. Yet, he does not. This proves once again that slow and steady progress wins the race. It’s not a fable for nothing.

I’ve also recently run into the concept of the law of averages. This ancient law supports the idea that if you persist you will by this law get to where you are going. Eventually.

“The law of averages is the commonly held belief that a particular outcome or event will, over certain periods of time, occur at a frequency that is similar to its probability. Depending on context or application it can be considered a valid common-sense observation of probability.” — Wikipedia

As a black jack player I always knew the house had an advantage and it was prudent to pick your chips up and cash them in after a big win. However, with starting a company it’s the opposite — you actually have an advantage if you keep on playing. Every obstacle is simply a stepping stone to your success.

There have been many wins along the way I am happy to report, and many more I hope in the future. If we can survive a pandemic we will eventually succeed.

Wear your values. Follow your dreams and never ever give up.

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Sydney Chaney-Thomas

Sydney Chaney-Thomas

Sydney is an entrepreneur, writer, artist and teacher. Founder of oceansf.co, a sustainable sailing apparel brand, see sydneychaneythomas.com to read more.