Fashion Business Owner Musings: Sometimes We’re Not the Least Bit Productive

spacer 1This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between being productive and being busy. They’re not the same thing, but sometimes we pretend they are.

So there’s “busy” which often means you have a whole bunch of stuff to do and you can’t help but constantly feel behind a lot. You’re working constantly but you’re not necessarily making any real dent in your to-do list or making any real strides in your business. You’re just sort of doing stuff.

And then there’s “productive”, or efficient which often means that you are doing things that have an actual impact on your goals and bring you closer to the success that you have defined for yourself.

Clearly, the goal is to be productive and efficient more than we’re busy.

But here’s the thing about productivity and efficiency, we don’t achieve it every day. Scary truth for a business owner.

As a business owner, there are going to be days when you are not productive at all. You’re not focused, you’re not in the flow, and you don’t push yourself to be.

Some days you will do bits of many things or you’ll get random tasks out of the way like re-organizing your desk or going through a bunch of emails that you’ve been putting off.

Or, and here goes, you may do nothing at all in your business. (Non-business owners call that a day off!)

I think it’s easy for us to get down on ourselves about this; to feel like we need to be making huge strides every single day.

But we need to believe in the idea of balance and giving ourselves a break every once in a while. We need to believe in enjoying our time and ditching work every now and again.

Because some days we just need that.

Some days we can’t spend one more second staring at that freaking to-list or expend one more modicum of energy trying to get things accomplished.

If you’re having a day where you constantly have an overwhelming desire to do nothing of importance, see if you can learn to become good at accepting that. I know, that sounds impossible.

But it’s not. It’s so important to remind yourself that it won’t be like this every day, and maybe just go with it. Your brain and/or your body need a break.

And here’s the thing, I bet you’ll find that when you give yourself those days to doing nothing business related, the next day you’ll be pretty pumped to get back to work.

You’ll feel productive and efficient. You’ll be in the flow. You’ll find yourself excited about new ideas and implementing them.

And when you’re productive and efficient in your day,  you actually have to work less.

When you’re focused, you don’t actually have to work as much as when you’re simply busy. Because the work you’re doing is more impactful! It is more connected to actual growth in your business.

So if you suffer from this busy/productive thing, my advice is to stop being “busy” and start being lazy. Ha! Just kidding. But do start giving yourself permission to do nothing sometimes and watch how it actually helps you accomplish more.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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P.S. If you’re one to easily tumble into an abyss of laziness and inactivity for weeks at a time, this could possibly be the worst advice you’ll ever receive. So pay attention to what works for you and what doesn’t. This method isn’t for everyone! 😉

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

  1. Lariannie

    This is something I can completely relate too, I am definitely much more productive after a day of doing nothing. Your business owner musings are always on point, sometimes I feel you’re writing about my life. Thank you for all the advice! they are so helpful, I am always looking forward to them.

    I wanted to ask you if you could write about networking, as a new fashion business owner I’m trying to find ways to connect with other people and it is so hard to find events to network at. If you know websites or ways to find fashion networking events it would be awesome and extremely helpful if you shared them!

    • Nicole Giordano

      Hi Lariannie,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so happy to hear that my weekly musings are helpful. 🙂

      As for networking, it really depends on where you are.
      – NYC tradeshows are great for networking (texworld, dg expo, premier vision, capsule, coterie)
      – is searchable by industry and location
      – Facebook is a great way to search for events
      – eventbrite also works well
      – get on mailing lists for boutiques in your area that hold popups and trunkshows (a lot of fellow designers attend to check it out, not just consumers)

      Hope that helps!

      • Lariannie

        Thank you so much for your reply!

        I am located in NY and those were helpful ideas, will look into them. Thanks again!


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