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Rules to Live by: Be great at what you do. Life is short.

Down in darkest Wales a little jeans company is catching my eye. Not because of their jeans. I don’t care about jeans. But because of the way they are going about building up their jeans company. The way they are doing it is even making me interested in jeans. So they must be doing something right.

Here then, from the Hiut Denim Co User Manual are a few extracted nuggets that will serve all of us well. Whatever your expedition plans, whatever your day job, whatever book you’re trying to write. Whatever you do, and care about enough to want to do well, this list will help guide you. Read the original piece here for fuller explanations:

  • Watch every penny.
  • Tell our story. (It’s a great story).
  • Do something you love.
  • Have a purpose. It gives you drive.
  • Have ideas. They change things.
  • Do one thing well.
  • Judge the business over the long-term. The early years are never easy.
  • Let’s not underestimate the importance of lady luck. The best way to get luck on our side is to work hard at what we love doing, and have ideas that haven’t been done before. And be honest with people, keep our word, and sometimes do things for people without expecting anything in return.
  • Stay independent. Stay in control. It is important to be in control of your own destiny. William Blake said it best, “you need to create your own system or be enslaved by another man’s”.
  • I will settle for being great at this thing over being big at this thing. [I promoted this one myself!]
  • Make us all proud of the company we own.
  • Work with great people. Go home early.
  • Make it fun. Make it easy.
  • We all work for the silent shareholder. We should run our business knowing that there is a silent shareholder called planet earth. And we have to keep that shareholder happy too.
  • Don’t be average.
  • Be great at what you do. Life is short.

by David Hieatt

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  1. The reinvigoration of an industry that has been dormant in the town for 30+ years is a stroke of genius. Or rather it is a blend of ambition, research, initiative, nouse, balls and “lady luck” that we have come to associate with Team Hieatt. Arcteryx bought-in the best seamstresses in N America to their factory. Patagonia ship their materials to the best seamstresses in the world. Hiut are nipping round the corner. Yvon Chouinard clearly warns that the price of fuel will be the biggest factor in companies maintaining high quality levels, the cost of shipping materials to the finest shapers, cutters and sewers on Earth, to maintain the highest quality.
    Cue Hiut and their “grand masters” riding a bike or catching the Hiut Bus to work. Keep it simple, keep it local.
    As i wrote when i first read their website, this really is “Let my people go surfing” for Cardigan Bay. I wish them well.
    Please buy the “Year Book” and support Hiut in going back to the future.

    ps Al, have you got time to be blogging ??

  2. Love it!

    Here are my rules for the next couple of years in my “dear Shane” letter :

    Dear Shane,
    I write this from the comfort of your old home only a few months before your “little” trip. If your reading this it means your having a bad week/month and are about to give up/ throw your smelly little towel in the ring/ go running home with your tail between your legs, etc etc

    Here’s a few things to think about before your do:

    1. Never give up unless you’ve had a good nights sleep, a full English breakfast and a pot of good tea.
    2. Nostalgia makes a good companion but poor counsel.
    3. Be happy you dont have to go to work every day, think about that sickly feeling you get when the alarm clock goes off at 5.30am or the feeling of being really tired and just waiting until 10pm so you can go to work a nightshift.
    4. Think about the bridges you’ve burned and sacrifices you’ve made past, present and future to be able to do this trip.
    5. If all else fails, stop being a little bitch and man the fuck up!
    Take care, be wise and live life now!


  3. I never understood “be good at what you do” until I was older. It sounds like a given, and simplistic, but it’s extremely liberating to be comfortable and confident about your own abilities.

  4. While I agree you have to watch every penny when trying to build up your business, I think spending money that gives you great experiences and memories you will cherish later is money well spend.
    If for example your friends go to a big musics festival, you’re likely to spend quite a hefty sum for traveling there, the ticket, some food and beverages and so on, but in the end it will propably be worth it and you’re not gonna be sad you spent it.
    Or if you take a detour on a trip and it ends up costing more because you stay longer or you have to take a ferry ride or whatever, it can very well be worth every unwatched penny 🙂



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