Fashion Business Owner Musings: It’s ok to slow down right now

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How are you feeling?

The first month of 2021 is just about done and, according to “everyone”, we’re supposed to be pumped, productive, efficient, inspired, and killin it.

Some people are. And that’s wonderful! If that’s you, keep going, you’re on fire! And I’m so excited for you!

But this message is for those who are not feeling that way. Which I’m guessing is a decent amount of you because there wasn’t a magic light switch that was flicked on January 1, 2021 at 12:00am that suddenly made everything better than it had been the year before.

Now, as much as we all jumped for joy on inauguration day (still feeling that high every time I see a picture of Kamala pop up in my feed!), many folks are still dealing with a lot. Lack of childcare, lost income, health issues, and sick or lost loved ones are all things that did not magically go away this year.

And so this message is for you if you’re still feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders right now.

I want you to know that you are not alone, I see you. I hear you. And I’m here for you. 

Something that I’ve always believed in is the idea of not waiting to go after your dreams and goals. I personally believe that we get one shot at life so we better make it worth it. I urge people to take action and make things happen for themselves. It’s part of my personal (and business) value system and point of view.

But right now, I’m making a change to that. I’m altering that message to be: Don’t wait to go after your dreams and goals unless right now truly is not the best time for you.

Am I saying that you should completely halt all your efforts and take no action at all? Maybe. If that feels right to you, then do it.

But it could also mean that you’re slowing down. You’re setting fewer big goals and spending fewer hours each week working on your business because you have to or your need to for your own sanity.

I have had conversations with so many business owners this month, in various stages of business, and all are in different places. Some are overwhelmed with personal responsibilities brought on by the impact of COVID and can’t seem to make any headway. Others are seeing lulls in their revenue and struggling to fix it. And yet others have had their best sales year ever.

My point is this. There is no “right” way to be right now.

Whatever you’re feeling, needing, experiencing, wanting, doing, is just fine.

You don’t owe anyone any explanations.

You don’t have to keep up with anyone else.

You don’t need permission for anything.

You don’t have to be learning new business strategies and finding ways to grow if your life doesn’t allow for that right now.

Is this an invitation to slack off just for the sake of slacking off? No.

It’s an invitation to do whatever it is you need to do right now without holding on to the guilt that often comes with not “go-go-going”.

Even with everyone’s comical “dumpster fire” and “toilet paper” analogies of 2020, I think most of us knew that not much was going to change once 2021 hit. We’re still in a place most of us have never been in before. And it’s OK to take an approach to your business that you may have never taken before: taking your time, slowing down.

As you’re taking your time, we will be here for you, sharing our free business advice on the blog for you to read when you can. And when you’re ready to ramp up things up again, we’ll have The Designer Membership available to help you do that. OK?

If what you need is to take your time right now, do that. Your dreams and goals can still be pursued in 2 months, 6 months, or even a year. If that’s what you need.

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!