Fashion Business Owner Musings: When You’re the Most Driven Person You Know


startup fashion business owner musings

What I’m about to say is most likely going to come across as highfalutin. (isn’t that word fantastic?). But I don’t care. Well, I do care, but I’m going to say it anyway. Because this weekly column is about honesty. So here goes.

I often feel like I’m the most driven person in my life.

{Weird gurgle sound}. I want to delete that sentence so badly right now. I feel like a overblown idiot. I feel like screaming at myself “Who the hell do you think you are?!”. I feel a little nauseated.

But I’m not going to delete it, because I know that you have probably at some point in your entrepreneurial journeys felt the exact same way. (It’s OK, you can admit it to yourself; I’m not asking you to write a blog post about it too).

As driven, dogged, determined human beings, you have undoubtedly experienced that sense of disappointment when a lot of the people around you are not goal oriented. When so many people are content with the “normal” life path, and when you don’t feel inspired but what they are doing.

It’s inevitable because the large majority of human beings don’t question things in life but instead follow the path they believe they’re supposed to.

Listen, I’m not saying that the people any of us love and care about are not important or special or incredible human beings. Everyone has their own path to follow; not everyone’s path includes years of sacrifice and stress and self employment. And I’m not saying that the only driven people are those who are entrepreneurs. Absolutely not. Some of the most inspiring people I know are those who are working hard on projects that makes them happy, who are working with charitable organizations that do important work, or who are organizing incredible social engagements that bring people together and help bring joy into the world.

But what I am saying is that those of us who have chosen this path of working towards something bigger than we are, who have large, lengthy goals looming ahead of us, need to be around others with the same outlook on life and work.

We need to be challenged, questioned, and pushed to work towards our goals and see things in new ways. We need people who have accomplished more than we have as entrepreneurs to give us something to aspire to. We need to surround ourselves with people who want to have an impact on the world and the people in it.

We need to feel like we’re not the most driven people in the room.

Because when we are challenged, we do great things. When we see what others can accomplish, we get a boost of confidence. When we see the impact that others have had, we want to have that same impact.

When we are not the most driven people we know, we are kept constantly on our toes.

That’s why it’s so important for us to play an active part in expanding our circles; we need to join accountability groups, take the initiative to organize meetups, become members of communities and organizations that bring people together.

We need to spend time with others who understand our paths because they’ve been there too. They challenge our resolve. They question our decisions. They inspire ideas. And they do it all it the best possible way. The way that gets us, as people who have chosen a different path in life and work, to never get lazy and content, and to always push ourselves past the point we thought we could go.

I’m not sure I can express how difficult this particular post was for me to write. I kept asking myself “what makes you so special?” as I was writing. I’ve resigned at least five times during the writing process that I would not publish it. I’m not sure if it’s because I would never want to hurt the people in my life, or if society makes us feel as though to think of ourselves as special or important makes us conceited. I’m thinking it’s probably both of these things that makes it so incredibly difficult to share these feelings out loud.

But ultimately, I’ve decided that I am special. And so are you. We all are. And for us in particular, as entrepreneurs, it’s important to for us to recognize that fact and not be afraid to actively seek out those who will remind us of it.

All my love and encouragement (and a dash of apprehension),

Nicole Giordano
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!

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    Thank you for your article. It is difficult when taking with others who think they work hard compared to the life of those in fashion small business – for us, does work ever stop? The reality of this chosen passionate life has many hats that one person has to wear.
    Appreciated your comments around accountability and finding those who work harder than you – for inspiration and to have those around who will push you.
    Question – how to find these types?

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Hi Joanne,

      There’s no simple answer for finding like-minded people. The best I can say is to find events that are focused on topics like entrepreneurship. Go to meetups (, discussions, panels, conferences, etc. and then don’t be afraid to talk to people.

      Join communities and supportive networks around entrepreneurship.

      The general advice here is to think about where you, as a driven entrepreneur, would like to spend your time and hopefully there will be others there too.

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    Stumbled upon your website by hoping from one page to another… Been reading about 6 posts so far now… And this one really helped me with the way I’m feeling right now, which is totally the same way as you describe in the post. I feel disconnected… Feel like an outsider… Feel like I’m the most driver person… But also when you aren’t surrounded by like minded people, I don’t know if you felt it before but the exhausting and draining feeling you get is just depressing… The only way for me to enlighten myself is really to read and find out that I’m not the only one and that there are people out there who feels like I do, who are as driven, and who takes the time to share and write for others who might just feel the same way. Thank you!

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    Anna von Aabling

    dear Nicole,

    Thank you so much! Excellent written, agree totally! I’ve always had this notion about myself, and read in an article on entrepreneurship psychology (really good, actually, it’s on Inc.) that one of the characteristics of entrepreneurs is that they actually see themselves as a version of super humans. If you think about it, kids do to, and I really think it is healthy to look at yourself that way. It gives you energy and motivation to lead and inspire, and that’s just pure beauty.

    Have a wonderful Friday,


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    Patti Martinez

    Thanks so much for the great post. I needed to hear this and know that there are others out there just like me!

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    Thank you Nicole. When someone speak verbally or write what I have been thinking to myself, I say, “get out of my head”. However, this applies to you at the moment. It is so true – you must get in a circle or company of like-minded people. You feed off of their energy. It motivates you. It aspires you and inspires you. Your creativeness becomes heightened. It gives you hope! Thank you so much for the “inspiration” that you have so gallantly post. Peace n’ blessings

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    Tiffany Tate

    I feel like this most days but have never been able to put them into words. Thank for providing us a voice.

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    Swiyyah Akhtab

    Thank you for having the courage to publish this post. Lately I’ve been in the dumps due to the same feelings regarding some people close to me. Just feeling like an outsider because I want to reach for stars and use radical action to do so, but wanting them to be apart of it too. I guess its time accept the fact that we all have a different destiny, and what ever destiny that is, is fine 🙂 thanks!

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