Fashion Business Owner Musings: It’s about what we do when things go wrong

You know those days when nothing seems to go right?

When every time you turn around there’s a new problem to solve, there’s a technical issue that you don’t know how to fix, there is too much money going out and not enough money coming in, there’s disappointment, there’s frustration.

When things aren’t working the way you want them to.

When you have issues to address and problems to solve but feel like all you want to do is fold yourself in half and hide under the bed covers.

Dealing with this is most certainly something that gets easier as you continue to build your business. But it doesn’t mean it goes away.

There are still days I want to stay in bed and talk to no one. There are still days I cry out of frustration.

For a long time (and still every now and then) I let these thoughts and feelings and doubts impact my drive and my confidence.

Over time I’ve learned that these feelings are natural.

When you’re working on something so different than what is comfortable you are going to hit walls, feel discouraged.

The key is to know what to do when these feelings pop up.

It’s not about ignoring them.

It’s about recognizing them and then taking the steps, when you’re ready, to move past whatever is holding you back.

It’s about strengthening your mindset.

A strong mindset is a pillar in building a business. Without it, you’re constantly hitting walls and letting those walls keep you from making progress.

Over time I’ve learned that it’s OK to have a good cry and let it out.

Over time I’ve learned that in order to do my best work, I can’t do only work.

Over time I’ve learned that while feeling sorry for myself will get me nowhere, cutting myself some slack will go a long way in helping me grow.

It’s OK to take breaks.

There is no way that you’re going to embark on this journey of building and growing your business without mountains to climb and disasters to avert. So you have to be OK with that.

But it’s about what you do next.

It’s about how much time you give yourself to be in that break and what you do to pull yourself out of it and continue to go after your goals.

You have to give yourself a break, you have to stop judging yourself unfairly.

The life we have all chosen to lead as business owners is one of uncertainty and questions, rethinking and revising, wondering and trying. Not everything we do is going to work. Not everything we do is going to be right.

So stop beating yourself up when you have a day with no motivation. Stop second-guessing yourself when things go wrong. Stop feeling silly for needing a good cry. Stop thinking you have to work all the time or otherwise you aren’t really trying.

Honestly, it’s OK if sometimes things go wrong. That’s a given.

Just make sure that you have a way of pulling yourself out when you’re ready to keep going.

You’ve got this.

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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!

  1. Achu Blessing Ebere

    Hello Nicole,
    I am working towards setting-up a fashion designers Co – working space here in lagos Nigeria. I want the place to where technology meets fashion but my challenge is that I am technology business development manager I have not done anything in fashion. Please do advice the steps to follow to avoid too much mistakes.

  2. Jovanna

    Nicole, thank you so much for writing this. I have been following you for about a year now and I really appreciate this article as a start up handbag designer. I was feeling this exact way last week after a few things didn’t pan out the way I expected, and I was really questioning myself and what I am doing. But then I started seeing quotes on social media about all the great business owners and inventors who failed multiple times and kept working at their craft and that is what I am going to keep doing. This was a great morning inspirational read! You are really helping others by what you are doing I’m so grateful I found you. Thank you Nicole!

  3. Erica

    After seeing this, I feel so relieved that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Most days, I think to myself that “I can do this”! Then the next I’m thinking “what are you doing and how will I ever accomplish such big tasks”. I’m just at the beginning stages of doing my samples for my collection and can’t help but to feel a bit overwhelmed and overcome by the other details ahead that have to be done in order to get my collection at green light. Either way, I’m glad you put your musings out there for us to know that we’re not alone! Thanks Nicole!

    • Nicole Giordano

      I’m so happy to hear this post helped you, Erica. What you describe is what every single business owner goes through on a regular basis. You are certainly not alone.

      I know it seems like a never-ending list of “stuff to do”, but you’ll start to see progress soon. And when that happens, it puts all your hard work into perspective and you’re able to see what you’ve been working towards.

      – Nicole

  4. Tamia

    Hear hear! Just the other day I had to remind myself that it was perfectly ok to be in a pissy mood. It happens. It’s fine.

    • Nicole Giordano

      Yep. When I’m finding myself in a pissy mood, I walk away form work for a while. It helps me relax and that break ultimately is a good thing for my business.

  5. milena

    Hi Nicole, thank you for this post. Everything you said its how I feel sometimes.. sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing with my life. I do know what I want, and I hope I’ll get there one day..

    Thank you,

    • Nicole Giordano

      Milena, knowing what you want is often the hardest part of all! We all have moments of wondering what we’re doing with our lives. When this happens, I take some time to remember why I do what I do. And then I’m immediately brought back to my mission and feel driven and focused once again.

  6. veena

    If u know what you want, you are luckier than those who don’t know what they want. If you are pursuing what u love, you are braver than those who haven’t taken that step. Start up phase sucks..Feels good to know I am not alone. Lets embrace the roller coaster!

    • Nicole Giordano

      Certainly true, Veena. It’s an interesting balance of feeling incredibly lucky to have what we have but at the same time being OK with the fact that everything isn’t perfect all the time.

  7. Billy Bones @billybonestx

    Great post Nicole! What you described is very real and something that all entrepreneurs go through. I know I can definitely relate to everything that you said in this post. Your site is great and provides a lot of value to not just fashion start-ups, but start-ups in general. I hope to be able to connect with you in the future.

    • Nicole Giordano

      Thanks for your comment, Billy! This is my first “musings” post and I was certainly a little nervous to put it out there, as I feel a lot more vulnerable than when I write other posts. But I thought it was important to start talking about the stuff that is not always so easy when it comes to entrepreneurship.


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