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I want to inspire people to be the absolute best versions of themselves. Life is short, and it’s easy to get sidetracked. Focus on what is important and work towards becoming the best version of yourself and achieving your dreams. Whether that is through fitness, education, financial pursuits, make sure you’re working towards being better and living the life you want every day.

As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary Frayter.

Gary Frayter is the founder and CEO of I Believe in Me, a lifestyle clothing brand aimed to inspire and empower people to succeed. Gary’s professional background is in social media, content creation and marketing. He is also a certified personal trainer. In addition to building his business venture and working full-time as a digital content creator, Gary is currently pursuing a master’s degree in marketing communication management at Manhattanville College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Pace University.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

I am a first-generation American. My parents came to the United States from Latvia when I was two years old. As most children of immigrant parents, I grew up with my imagination focused on the American Dream while being keenly aware of how much sacrifice, hard work and perseverance it takes to achieve it.

Growing up, I went through my share of struggles, being bullied in school and suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Thanks to my ability to maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity and having a strong desire to succeed, I eventually turned things around.

Now 24 years old, I just launched my own company called I Believe in Me. It’s a lifestyle clothing brand that aims to inspire and empower people to succeed no matter what type of adversity or challenge they are facing.

It took me three years to get from an idea to securing a trademark, designing clothes, figuring out manufacturing and logistics, and actually opening my online store for business. During this time, I had a full-time job in communications, which I still do, as well as worked odd jobs to earn additional money so I could put it towards building my company. Now, I am excited to see that my dream of being an entrepreneur is coming true.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I Believe in Me is a new venture. There’s a ton of work that needs to be done, from providing our clients with exceptional customer experience, to making sure our online operation runs smoothly to engaging potential customers through social media. It is extremely exciting. One of the things I am looking to do right now is to work with up and coming influencers to promote our three products: T-shirts, crewnecks and joggers.

In terms of how it’ll help people — this is what I Believe in Me brand is all about. It is a lifestyle and a world view that we are offering people with the goal to help them believe that no matter where they come from, what adversities they may be facing or what goals they have, they will succeed if they believe in themselves.

It’s a powerful statement that has the potential to help anyone, be it an athlete, an entrepreneur, a kid who is bullied in school, a person with a disability or someone who has a dream but is afraid to pursue it.

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

No doubt, what makes my brand to standout from the crowd is our purpose to support and empower people to succeed. There are many clothing brands out there, some worth billions of dollars, that don’t really mean anything. Their mission statements are uninspiring, unintelligible and lack purpose. Today, however, to keep consumer attention and loyalty, brands need to do more than sell quality products at fair prices. To ensure longevity, they need to build connections and a strong relevance with consumers based on common purpose and values. This is central to the company I am building. The “I believe in me” message resonates with people and elevates them, and that is why we stand out.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

When you follow your dreams you are guaranteed to meet a lot of naysayers along the way. I was not an exception. My first application for the I Believe in Me trademark was rejected. Someone else had a similar company name, and every lawyer I spoke with told me that my chances of winning the rights to the brand name were extremely slim. With perseverance, I finally was able to find a lawyer who agreed to take the case. The legal battle lasted over two years. Many times people would tell me to drop it. They told me that I was spending too much money for the uncertain outcome and that it was a crazy idea to start a business having just finished college with a ton of student debt. Nevertheless, I kept moving forward. I put out into the universe that this is something I wanted, and it ended up working out.

In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂

I don’t live my life to prove someone wrong or right. I just know that the only “yes” I need to follow my dreams is mine.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My family has always had my back and helped me out, even when they didn’t fully understand my ideas. But the person who I drew inspiration from and who in that way helped me get on this path is Conor McGregor, a now retired MMA fighter and UFC world champion.

A simple boy from Dublin, he was able to completely change the mixed martial arts sport, and achieve incredible success and global fame. When I was going through my trademark dispute, I kept telling myself that if this kid from Ireland fought tooth and nail to make it big, I can do the same. He worked obsessively hard to improve his skill and become an amazing fighter, a showman and a businessman. I admire that and also relate to his ability to control his life with the power of positive thinking.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

Growing up, I was bullied for being less athletic looking and shorter than my peers. That experience helped me to build a strong character and resilience. I am now at the point where I truly don’t pay attention to naysayers and people’s opinions about me. It’s totally fine if people like me or don’t like me. In the face of negativity, I keep smiling and keep moving forward.

Moreover, I spent my early teen years doing mixed martial arts, training alongside grown adults. That experience helped me build this no-quit attitude, which is so instrumental now.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

  1. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It is incredibly easy to be side-tracked by listening to other people’s opinions. They give you their ideas of why your business will not work or how your product should look. It’s good to listen to others, but if you don’t have a crystal clear vision of what you want to achieve, you are at risk of taking other people’s advice, good or bad, even if it is not right for you.
  2. Take action. You can have the best ideas in the world but if you’re not taking action it means nothing. I Believe in Me could’ve simply been an idea in my mind that I never executed on. Instead, I’m here bringing my dreams to fruition.
  3. Discipline is the most important thing because when you don’t want to do something, discipline will keep you accountable. Marketing on social media, for example, requires a ton of discipline. I need to be diligent enough to continue to find influencers, create content, and build my social media presence.
  4. Just keep going! No matter what is in your way you have to continue moving forward. We’ve all been through things in life that we at one point or another never thought we’d get through. The key is to continue pushing. In my life it was both when I was going through bullying as well as the trademark dispute. I knew eventually things would get better, and they did.
  5. Only you can make your dreams come true. Nobody would have cared if I Believe in Me took off or not. I had to put in the work to make this happen. Nobody is going to do any work for you whether that is in business, in school, in relationships or in the gym. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your own life because at the end of the day nobody will care more about your dreams than you.

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?

“No matter where life takes me or the adversity I may face along the way… I Believe in Me.” That’s a quote that I came up with for my brand. It’s my personal philosophy that I want to share with others.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I want to inspire people to be the absolute best versions of themselves. Life is short, and it’s easy to get sidetracked. Focus on what is important and work towards becoming the best version of yourself and achieving your dreams. Whether that is through fitness, education, financial pursuits, make sure you’re working towards being better and living the life you want every day.

Can our readers follow you on social media?

Twitter: @IBIMbrand

Instagram: i_believe_in_me_brand

Facebook: @ibelieveinmebrand

Website: ibelieveinmebrand.com

Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!


Gary Frayter of ‘I Believe in Me’: They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.