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Fashion Business Advice

Fashion Business Owner Musings: Negativity Creeps Its Way In

Dear Designers,

When things are not going great in our businesses, our minds sometimes go to negativity. Rather than focusing on all that has gone right, we zero in and put all our energy towards what has gone wrong.

Now you might be saying, “I don’t do that, I celebrate those wins!” And maybe you’re right. If so, way to go! But do you celebrate the wins without going to the losses? I think that’s where we sometimes fall short. We have a really hard time extricating the good from a situation that maybe wasn’t all good.

Sometimes it’s subconscious. We truly don’t realize that we’re holding on so tightly to the negativity. But once we do, and we learn how to let all that crap go, things really start happening for the better.

OK, before we get into this I want to state that I’m not trying to get all woo-woo on you. I’m not a “mercury in retrograde” excuse kinda gal. But I am a “we’re in control of our own happiness” kind of gal. Regardless of your own personal level of woo, I hope this post will help you tap into your ability to focus on the positive and realize how closely linked your positivity is to your growth and happiness.

Think about the last time something great or exciting happened in your business. Maybe you were presented with an opportunity for exposure, maybe you learned something really important, or maybe you met someone who can help you in some way, whatever it is, think about it for a second.

Now think about whether (and how) you acknowledged this greatness. Did you do a happy dance, give yourself a hi-five (which is essentially clapping, by the way), and smile your way to the next task and goal?

Or did you say to yourself something like:

I was offered a free booth at a new trade show because they’re just getting started, sweet! Unfortunately, I made zero sales at the event, so it probably wasn’t worth it.

I had a bunch of sales on my website this weekend, more than I’ve had in a long time! But of course I had 4 returns so it’s not quite as awesome as I first thought.

I finally wrote that long, thoughtful blog post I’ve been meaning to write! But no one is reading it.

Do you see how easy it is for any of us to turn a celebration into a pity party?

It can be so difficult to stop our thoughts at the good. Think about how powerful the above statements will all be without the second sentences…

I was offered a free booth at a new trade show because they’re just getting started, sweet!

I had a bunch of sales on my website this weekend, more than I’ve had in a long time!

I finally wrote that long, thoughtful blog post I’ve been meaning to write!

And when we stop after the first sentence, we are left with feelings of joy, excitement, happiness, optimism, positivity, and possibility. We are left feeling good about ourselves and what we’ve managed to accomplish, rather than a quick dose of happiness with an immediate feeling of being bummed out.

If you see yourself in this (and to be honest most of us do this from time to time, others do it all  the time), then I challenge you pay attention to when it’s happening. When you find yourself tacking on negativity to all the positive things that are happening in your work and your life…

Ask yourself, “Is that true?”

Often it’s not.

I was offered a free booth at a new trade show because they’re just getting started, sweet! Unfortunately, I made zero sales at the event, so it probably wasn’t worth it.

NOT TRUE. It was worth it, you tried something new, got brand exposure, met new people, practiced your pitch, got feedback about your product, and probably a lot more.

I had a bunch of sales on my website this weekend, more than I’ve had in a long time! But of course I had 4 returns so it’s not quite as awesome as I first thought.

NOT TRUE. It is as awesome as you first thought. You made money, you had the opportunity to offer amazing customer service and potentially created a returning customer,  and you maybe learned something about what your customers want or don’t want.

I finally wrote that long, thoughtful blog post I’ve been meaning to write! But no one is reading it.

NOT TRUE. Have you checked your analytics, are you sure no one read it? You have the content you need  to play around with FB ads to expand your reach, you improved your SEO simply by having this post on your website, and you’ve created a way for future customers and website visitors to learn more about you, your product, and your brand.

You can choose to focus on the positive. So do that.

Lots of love and encouragement,

Fashion Busine

 

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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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