On Episode 4 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Kirston J. Pittman pitched his company, Get Rich in The Struggle (GRITS). On the show, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition to “The Funderdome” (a live studio audience) for the chance to win up to $100K in capital. The pitch that gets the most votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.(Kirston J. Pittman on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Pittman after the show for a one-on-one interview about his startup and his appearance on the show.
Brandon Andrews: Get Rich In the Struggle (GRITS). Everyone struggles, how do we get rich while going through challenging times?
Kirston Pittman: I believe that the way to get through any struggle is to first admit that there is one. Once you’ve come to terms with that, then you seek God for direction and guidance and to reveal to you the truth behind whatever that struggle is. Then one must look deep inside and make a decision to become the best being that you can become.
Steps have to be taken to combat the things of the flesh so that the spirit can be fed and you can grow into the being that you were put on earth to become. By you seeking out your truth to become your best, your light will begin to shine for the whole world to see. Others will start to take notice and ask you about what they see; which is you living your truth.
Once you share your story and journey with them, most times they will feel compelled to do the same. And if that cycles repeats itself, we become a better people, which in turn creates a better society, which then creates a better world.
How does clothing impact the way we feel?
The clothing serves as a conduit to the message of Get Rich In The Struggle. We hope that as you wear GRITS Brand that you are reminded of something personal to you that you must become better at or overcome something that you are facing. With expansion of the brand we hope to create bumper stickers and coffee mugs, picture frames with quotes and backpacks for kids so that the GRITS message will always be within eyes view.
We hope to inspire, encourage, and embolden consumers by taking the challenge of becoming their best. By providing the best quality clothing with a great message, we want you to wear it proudly as a symbol of someone that has answered the call to want more than what they have spiritually, mentally, and physically. It’s a call of action.
How did you feel pitching your business in the Funderdome?
I was truly grateful and humbled by the opportunity to pitch the GRITS “Get Rich In The Struggle” message to a national audience. The vision has always been to be on a platform to share my story and encourage others with the message. The response thus far has been humbling and refreshing to say the least. Having people reach out to share their life’s stories about their current life situations and how hearing me on Funderdome has given them fuel to not give up but take on their own personal issues head on. I can truly say that God answers prayers because what I once visualized, materialized by not giving up, keeping the faith, and believing.(GRITS Red Hoodie Sweat Shirt. Image: http://www.gogrits.com)
What did you learn from your experience on the show?
I’ve learned from my experience on the show that whenever you have a chance to share your story and journey with others that you should. You never know what someone is going through and when you meet people on your journey, you should always look for ways to be positive and upbeat and sow a good seed into the soul of your fellow man. During the audition phase, I had an opportunity to speak with one of the producers of the show and she cried once hearing my story and went on to tell me how inspired she was by my passion and courage to keep going forward despite the circumstances that I’d faced up to that moment. The show taught me to keep pressing. Don’t look back. Forward march at all cost.(Image: facebook.com/gritsclothingbrand)
Andrews: Give us a post-show update. How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?
Pittman: We plan to expand the business going forward through viral marketing online, and providing care packages to some athletes and entertainers that we have relationships with. We plan to provide the best inspirational and motivational slogans on clothing and other products, as well as the best designs that capture the eye of the culture. Trade shows and gifting suites at big entertainment events is another avenue that has been afforded to us currently and those opportunities can put us in front of some heavy hitters in the fashion and entertainment arena. We are going to continue moving forward with the vision to capture the minds and souls of the consumers and provide a positive means to become the best being that we can all become. We want to change the people of the world so that the people can change the world.
Andrews: What do entrepreneurs like you need to succeed?
Pittman: The thing that entrepreneurs like myself need to succeed is simple. Belief in oneself. Once you believe, your mind travels a path that leads directly to the destination that is inspired by your most innate desires. Belief in oneself. That’s what entrepreneurs like myself need to succeed.