Fashion Business Owner Musings: Routines Are Not Just for Boring People

Dear Designers,

Last year if you told me I had a routine, I would have rolled my eyes, chuckled, and thought “Not this free spirit.” I’m way too adventurous and spontaneous to follow a routine.

I would have been wrong. My last nine months of travel proved me wrong. I was hopping from country to country , exploring and enjoying. Every morning was something new; a new city, a new apartment, a new kind of breakfast, new noises, new views, new everything. A while, in theory, that was such an exciting concept, I quickly realized that it was not quite as exciting for the health of my business.

The business continued of course, but it didn’t thrive. I spent most of my time doing reactionary work, not proactive work. I’ve mentioned this before, I know. But really, I didn’t like the feeling one bit.

That’s when I realized that no matter how “nomadic at heart” I am, routine is still a big part of my life. And without it, I can kiss my business goodbye.

I think a lot of us believe in the power of freedom, both in life and business. We thrive on the idea that we get to call the shots and our time is spent the way we believe it should be. There’s nothing wrong with that. Of course not, I built a business round that concept.

But that doesn’t mean that freedom isn’t balanced with a lot of planning, systems, and yes, routine.

Based on my unimpressive work accomplishments over the last year, I’ve learned that routine is a good thing for business. As opposed to being rigid and boring, it’s something that actually makes the adventures easier to pull off and enjoy.

When you wake in the morning you most likely have a routine that sets off triggers in your life. These triggers are associated with your mindset and your productivity.

Like, for me, I wake up, get my coffee, drink it while gazing out the window and people watching (I’m a little embarrassed to say that watching people trudge to the subway on their way to the office in the morning is very motivating for me to work hard at growing my business so that I don’t ever have to do something I don’t enjoy.). Then I walk to my desk, which is full of inspiration, my favorite business books, my pretty notebook of ideas, and I sit down.

This routine, while simple, is one big trigger for my day. It’s what tells my body and my brain to get in the game and without it, I feel like something is off.

Take a minute to reflect on your routine. I bet there’s  something or some things you do that get you moving on your business; things that give you the excited feeling and cause you to get your work started. Have you ever thought about important these things are?

I hadn’t until I didn’t have them anymore. Then I realized just how much I relied on routine to keep my freedom. With routine I get a lot done early in the morning (my preference) and feel a sense of accomplishment by noon. That is a great thing for me, as it allows me to have the freedom I am after during the rest of my day.

If you don’t have a routine, if you find yourself feeling a little sporadic and unorganized, consider creating one. Start implementing a habit into your day and reflect on the impact it’s having on your productivity.

Because you may not have realized it until now, but having a routine is a big part of your road to your own success.

Lots of 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!

1 Comment
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    Very insightful. I think location-independence is something that a lot of small business owners dream about, perhaps even the reason they started their business in the first place. But it takes consistency (which often takes the form of daily/morning routines) to build a brand that creates this freedom for us. Kind of a funny concept actually! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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