Fashion Business Owner Musings: Accepting That Things Take Time

To call me impatient would be an understatement. I require things to happen fast and when they don’t, I get anxious. Do you identify at all with this? If not, you lucky designer, you! If so, you’re not alone. I think it’s a pretty common trait of a lot of business owners.

I see it all the time among the designers in the fashion industry. An anxiety around growth, how it’s too slow, and how they’re fearful of what that means.

I get it. This is really freaking scary. You’re trying something that has no guarantee, you’re putting yourself out there, you’re worried about money, and you’re anxious that your projections and goals for sales will not happen.

And while these are certainly common worries among entrepreneurs, the thing I don’t think a lot of designers realize is that two weeks, one month, 6 months…these are short periods of time and ultimately it takes a lot longer to really get traction for your brand.

What tends to happen is that instead of staying the course, remaining focused, and reaching milestones that will eventually lead to accomplishing goals, we give up. Or we freak out and lose our focus. This isn’t helpful. And it’s usually just a result of impatience combined with fear.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

There’s one common thread that runs through almost every area of our businesses and directly impacts our ability to be successful in reaching our goals: building relationships.

And relationships, no matter what kind, take time to develop.

So those sales you’re after? Relationships.

Those buyers you’re pitching? Relationships.

Those journalists you’re chasing? Relationships.

That advice you’re looking for? Relationships.

See what I’m saying? Impatience for growth works against us. And panicking before anything is actually wrong also works against us. The one thing we should be putting our energy into an a granular level that can help subdue some of that panic is building relationships.

Because it takes just one journalist requesting product for a shoot, or one buyer to place a small order, or one person you’ve never met placing an order on your website, or someone who’s been in your shoes sharing a bit of insight, that will totally turn your attitude around.

When that happens, the hope, the excitement, and the determination return. Your focus is laser sharp again and you just know that you will succeed.

So, darling designers, as hard as it sounds, try to be patient, try to connect with others who are going through what you’re going through, try to create a plan for building relationships with buyers and journalists, and watch with excitement as things start to fall into place.

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!