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Fashion Business Owner Musings: Be Comfortable With Not Having the Answers

I think that one of the best things I have done for my business over the years is teach myself how to get comfortable with not having all the answers — sometimes even not having any of the answers — and going for it anyway.

Launching and running a business is a learning process. It’s an education. And there is never a time when we walk into an educational situation being expected to already know what we’re about to learn. That’s backward.

Yet so many of us doubt ourselves because we don’t know what to do, and we don’t have the answers.

We let our lack of knowledge of a topic keep us from trying it. Even though the act of trying is precisely how we learn.

When we start out, we tend to think that we need to know so much more than we actually do. And we let that expectation and misunderstanding affect the decisions we make and the risks we take in our businesses. We stop ourselves from pushing forward or staying the course because doubt clouds our minds and makes us believe that we don’t know enough to make that thing work.

And that is such a bummer.

Think about everything we have experienced in our lives that is a direct result of someone deciding to just go for it. Think of what the world would be if everyone let the fact that they didn’t have all the answers up front keep them for doing it anyway.

Also think about this: Nobody ever really has the answers. At least not at the start. Every successful business you watch with envy is someone who didn’t know what the hell was going to happen. They decided that the risk was worth it. They went for it and then dealt with the consequences, finding ways to fix the wrongs and celebrate the rights.

And this isn’t just about launching. This mindset impacts almost everything we do for the first time in our businesses. It’s a lack of a blog because you “can’t write.” It’s not pitching because you don’t know exactly what to say.

Where are you guilty of this in your business right now?

What are the things you want to do, whether it’s the launch of a business or a component of an already launched fashion business, that you’re not doing because you feel like to you need to know X first?

What can you say to yourself that will remind you that “knowing” all the answers is not real anyway?

Having a successful fashion business isn’t about knowing everything from the start. It’s about accepting that you couldn’t possibly know everything from the start and doing it anyway.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online community and support system for independent designers around the world. She’s a traveler, a weaver, and a foodie. A deep love for the craft of fashion pared with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION were 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!

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