Fashion Business Owner Musings: Taking Advantage of the Opportunities Being Offered

Dear Designers,

There’s this thing that I see sometimes that baffles me.

It’s when a resource, an invitation, or an opportunity is presented to an emerging business owner and they don’t use it to their full advantage. I know what you’re thinking…,”If I had these things presented to me, I’d use them to all they’re worth.”

And maybe you would. But maybe you wouldn’t.

I’m always flabbergasted by the number of designers I encounter who had the opportunity to ask a pointed, direct question to an expert, who simply don’t. Or those designers that have access to information and resources on business growth, but never look at them. Or those designers who have invitations to events with speakers who are doing exactly what they want to do, who don’t RSVP to attend. Or how about taking time to listen to those smart and insightful podcasts on business?

These things are opportunities to learn and grow and thrive. 

And so many emerging business owners are ignoring them.

It sounds crazy, but it happens more than you’d imagine. I think it has something to do with fear. Fear of sounding silly, fear of putting in the work only to find that you still don’t have a plan. Maybe fear of facing all the work that still needs to be done. Or perhaps they’re not even realizing that they’re doing it. Maybe they allow life’s responsibilities to take the lead and subconsciously give themselves permission to pass.

Whatever the reason, designers all over the place are leaving opportunities on the table and it makes me sad. Those opportunities are what help you grow and taking advantage of those opportunities is what separates a successful business owner from a business owner who always feels like they’re struggling.

Because here’s the thing, it’s those of us who recognize and take advantage of the opportunities presented to us who see growth in our businesses.

It’s those of us who know that the advice and the resources and the talks and the events and the informative podcasts and all the other stuff is a necessary part of business who reach these goals we’ve created for ourselves and our businesses.

And while life will always be busy and making time will always be a challenge, if you truly want to run a business that’s financially and personally successful, you have to jump on these opportunities when they arrive.

Listen, I get it, we can’t always to everything. That’s OK. But we have to do a lot.  A lot of learning, listening, attending, and asking.

We can’t let ourselves off the hook when we’re too lazy to go to that event with a speaker who knows a lot.

We can’t let ourselves get away with not speaking up and asking questions because we’re nervous that those questions are silly.

We can’t give ourselves a pass when we have been offered insight, advice, and an invitation to learn but, for whatever reason, didn’t jump on it.

We can’t tell ourselves we don’t have time to go through that detailed resource or listen to that smart podcast episode, or read that 3000 word blog post.

This is your business. Your life. And your responsibility to take the tools and opportunities that are available to you and use them as much as you possibly can.

Lots of (tough) love and encouragement,

updated signature


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!