Fashion Business Owner Musings: Don’t Be Scared to Do Something You Don’t Know How To Do


I’m reading the book Tools of Titans, which I have mixed feelings about. There are bits and pieces of the book that I like, and one such bit was someone in the book giving the advice that we can’t be afraid to do the things we’re not qualified to do.

I really liked that bit of advice. I had zero business education when I declared my mission to work for myself. I’m not sure what gave me the confidence to do it, though my guess would be that it was less about confidence and more about the sheer dread of working for someone else.

Anyway, this is a concept that I think you should all keep in mind, designers.

More often than not, we let our insecurities about what we don’t yet know stop us from pursuing our ideas and our goals.

It’s natural that our minds default to “I can’t” when we haven’t ever done it before but the best thing we can do is try to push past that.

Here’s the thing. Pretty much everything that I did in the first 2 years of launching StartUp FASHION was completely new to me. And if I had let the fact that I was not really qualified to do most of the things I was doing stop me from trying, then I’d be in a very different place right now.

I once heard Marie Forleo talk about how she wanted to pursue a career as a life coach was she was just barely in her twenties. How crazy! Who takes life advice from someone who has barely reached the two decade mark? But she didn’t let it stop her. Because she knew that, while she may not have 5 decades of experience qualifying her to give advice, what she did have (passion, empathy, a desire to learn) would help her create a business that truly helped people. She would learn what she didn’t yet know and that was that.

I see this in designers all the time: I need to hire someone to do this, I have no idea how to do that, There’s no way I can pull that off, etc, etc.

These thoughts usually present themselves in times of struggle in the business like during the production process, or when trying to get your brand into a store. Based on fear of failure, we sometimes default to acknowledging our lack of experience and qualification and let ourselves believe that we can’t do it. We’re not qualified. We have no idea what we’re doing…..

Think you’re not qualified? So what, do it anyway.

There are always going to be aspects of your work that you just have not done before. But the only way to grow, is to ignore that voice in your head that’s telling you that you can’t do it, and do it anyway.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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. Mardiyath

    Hello dear Nicole,
    I want to thank you a lot for this article. It’s just amazing. It makes me be strong than ever! I can’t say how much it makes me feel more confident to believe in my dream.
    Thank you very much.

  2. Shafiq Haddad

    Great Encouragement!! Thanks for writing!

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