Fashion Business Owner Musings: Everybody Feels Uninspired Sometimes

startup fashion business owner musings

I always chuckle when people say that if you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. Sometimes, that’s true. But also, sometimes it’s not true.

Just because you love it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require a hell of a lot of work to make it all happen. It doesn’t mean that we’ll jump out of bed every morning thrilled to tackle those tasks. And it certainly doesn’t mean that every day is full of exciting ideas and perfect plans.

Feeling uninspired with our businesses is something that a lot of us deal with. Especially those of us who have been running them for several years. You know those days when you have no interest what-so-ever in the things you need to do like make those phone calls, write blog posts, and review those spreadsheets? We all have those days. It’s expected, I think.

What is less expected is when we feel uninspired by the things that we usually love to do. Like source next season’s fabrics, sketch new pieces for the next collection, plan the photo shoot, or interact in Instagram. This is the feeling that we don’t like having, right?

Because these are things that we normally love to do but some days find ourselves completely uninterested in doing. And when this happens, it’s harder to deal with because we wonder why we’re feeling so uninspired by the businesses we used to love so much. And that leads to that little voice asking us whether or not we should be doing this at all.

Don’t listen to that voice!

We can’t. We have to remember that this feeling doesn’t mean we aren’t still in love with your businesses. It just means that, like any relationship, we have to reconnect.

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, and I think that reflects in my work. And I cannot stand to know that. You all come to StartUp FASHION to be encouraged and to learn and to connect. And I don’t want that to change.

So I spent some time thinking about this because I don’t want to stop doing what I’m doing. And also because I realized that if I’m feeling uninspired in my business and it’s causing me to wonder whether this is still the work I should be doing, then others are probably feeling this way too. Especially you all, as designers, with rejection (from buyers, editors, and customers) being an unfortunate regular in your business.

So, yes, I started thinking about this issue and the first thing I came up with was:

Of course I don’t like my businesses everyday. It’s the most tumultuous relationship I’ve ever been in! The highs and lows are constant. Some days I’m happy and excited and so very much in love. And other days we fight, nothing goes right, and we can’t stand each other. But that feeling never lasts. We just have to find ways to fall in love again.

Once we all realize these things, we can get past the questioning of ourselves and whether we should be doing what we’re doing. Then we can move on to ways that help us fall in love again.

Here’s what I do…

The first thing I do when I’m feeling uninspired is re-read my vision and my mission statements. It really helps to get back in touch with why I’m doing what I’m doing. I usually get knocked over with all kinds of new ideas, simply by re-reading what I wrote at a time when I was completely inspired and thrilled. This also usually leads to updating and revising my statements with fresh and exciting new goals.

The other thing I do is reflect on the last week or month or year of my business. I look at all the great stuff I’ve accomplished and how wonderful my business made me feel. I think about you guys, the designers who come to our website regularly and the wonderful messages and comments you send us. This is an incredible reminder to me that we are doing something that means something to others, is helping others, and is important.

So, darling designers, when you’re having those stretches of time where you’re run down, your exhausted from all the researching, designing, pitching, marketing, and networking, take a step back. Reflect on your business and why you do what you do. Allow yourself to remember all the exciting things you want to accomplish. And remember that just because you’re not head over heels in love every single day, does not mean that you are not working on something incredible.

All my love and encouragement,

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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    Juan Romero

    Great article. So many thoughtful insights on being an solopreneur and running a business. @65mcmlxv

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    Billy Bones @billybonestx

    Another good read. I think its important to write down your goals along with your vision, and have it somewhere that is visible to you everyday. Personally this helps to motivate me, and let me know what I’m building or working towards. Also, thinking about all of the things you have accomplished in the past (whether big or small) is a great way to find motivation and inspiration. Posts like this help you to realize that there are other people out there who deal with the same issues.

    -Billy @billybonestx

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