Fashion Business Owner Musings: Do you solve problems?

Dear Designers,

Your ability to succeed is in direct proportion to your ability to solve your problems.

I recently read that somewhere and was like– uh-oh.

If I’m being honest, I had to teach myself how to get good at being decisive with solving problems. And it’s still something I struggle with. I’m a classic “what-if’er” and it has bitten me in the ass more than once.

And I know that I’m not alone in this.

Creative people entering into the world of business tend to be way more contemplative; “perfectionists” (not a real thing, in my opinion) that don’t always have the experience or the personality type to make swift business decisions. And because of this, our problems don’t get solved, which keeps us from making any progress.

It’s not an insult, just an observation.

The issue is that it’s important to get good at problem solving; it can’t be ignored. Why? Because decision making does one of two things:

  • When it’s the correct decision, it allows you to clear the space in your brain to focus on other things.
  • When it’s the wrong decision, it allows you to fail fast, adjust, learn, and move on.

When we hem-and-haw, we make no progress. We continue to stress over the problems. And we make it very difficult for ourselves to reach our goals– to succeed. 

I found it particularly interesting how much time I freed up when I started to become a better problem solver. For so long I was really good at believing how busy I was. When really, there were several things hanging over my head that just required making a decision. A decision, that’s it. But I struggled. I wondered what the right decision was and I fretted over making the wrong one. So instead, I did nothing. And constantly felt that I was in a state of “too much to handle”.

And I think this tendency shows up in all different places:

it shows up in our unanswered emails, staring at us from our inboxes

it shows up in our new collections that have too many styles because we love them all

it shows up in team members who are not the right fit, but who we can’t seem to let go

The best thing we can do is understand that there will always be times when we make the wrong decision. And that’s OK.

Always being right is not what makes us good business owners. What makes us good business owners is our ability to be OK with the fact that we won’t always be right.

What’s hanging over your head this week? Make a decision and move on.

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!