Fashion Business Owner Musing: We Overlook the Things We’re Sure We Already Know

Dear Designers,

Can you identify the areas of your fashion business where you’re making assumptions?

I know, it’s difficult. But here’s something to remember: too often we, as fashion business owners, overlook the things we’re sure that we already know.

We make assumptions about things in our businesses and as a result, we often don’t make the progress we want to be making.

We’re so sure that we already know…

who our customer really is and what they want

that we can’t afford to hire help

that our marketing collateral is working well for us

what we have to do in order to be “legit”

the best way to spend (or not spend) money in the business

We fall into the trap of believing that there are set answers to all of these things and we make the assumption that once we figure them out, we’re done.

Assumptions are dangerous. They cause us to get lazy, to stop innovating, to stop experimenting, and ultimately to stifle growth.

So it’s important to challenge our assumptions on a regular basis.

We need to ask ourselves questions every day. One question that works really is, “Why?”

Why do you believe this certain thing about your customer?

Why do you think you can’t afford to hire help?

Why do you believe that marketing collateral is working well for your business?

Why do you need X to be legit?

Why is that the best way to approach spending in your business?

And then keep asking why until you have the real answer.

When we ask ourselves this question, it does wonders for challenging our assumptions. It causes us to dive deeper into how we run our businesses. And it creates a healthy amount of resistance to complacency.

When we make it a habit to not overlook the things that we’re sure we already know, we take a giant step in the direction of growth.

So, here’s your challenge. Sit down and make your list. Be honest with yourself about what you’re overlooking simply because you’re “sure.”  Actively work on stomping those assumptions out by asking yourself why. And then, finally, head in the direction of “What if…” and see how that simple shift in thinking can bring about enormous change.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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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!