Fashion Business Owner Musings: Uncertainty

Uncertainty may be the most difficult part of this fashion business ownership journey we’re all on. It’s at the root of everything from financial stability to email marketing — the what if, the how, the now what. We’re simply not sure. And when we’re not sure, we’re scared to do anything at all.

I’ve been feeling this a little bit lately (yes, that’s right, no matter your level of success, uncertainty doesn’t go away). As we make adjustments in business and plan for growth and change, it’s challenging to navigate a path when I don’t know what will be at the end of it. This is even more true when I also don’t know what I will encounter along it.

How do you deal with what presents itself? How do you keep going when it’s not good?

Wanting answers before we even ask the questions is a common characteristic of new entrepreneurs. This may seem surprising. After all, aren’t entrepreneurs the great experimenters? The ones with guts? Yes. But often not right away. That’s why so many new businesses fail– the unwillingness for the entrepreneur to get comfortable with uncertainty.

What I see in new business owners is a fear around uncertainty.

I see a need to know something will work prior to testing and trying. A tight hold on a belief that they have control over outcomes and therefore shouldn’t make moves until they’ve learned what those outcomes are — as if there’s some magic somewhere holding the answers and if they can find it, they will avoid all the detours, flops, and failures.

This magic does not exist. What does exist is the ability to work on how you think about this journey.

It’s necessary to understand that you will never have all the answers. You will rarely have the answers, in fact. But you have to try anyway. You have to tell yourself that you’ll be OK, that you’ll figure it out along the way, that you’ll try again if necessary.

I think what makes entrepreneurs different is that over time they start to learn the lesson that uncertainty is inevitable and, if they want to achieve what they set out to do, they need to find a way to work within it.

It’s just that this mindset is not easy to embrace and so we, the experienced entrepreneurs, need to remind ourselves and others, that this is the case.

We need to remind ourselves that we’ve gotten this far not really knowing what we’re doing. And that’s OK.

The only certainty you’re going to experience as a fashion business owner is that there is no certainty. Realize it, embrace, and remember it. And you’ll be just fine.

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!

  1. Ray Fahm

    I am really impressed by the true passion of this blog owner for the fashion industry in general and the educational materials they provide to uplift the spirit of the new independent fashion lovers like me.
    I am looking forward to join Startup Fashion Community to be part of this revolutionary feeds.
    Thanks a lot,
    Ray Fahm

    • Casey Cline

      Thank you for your kind comment and we really look forward to having you in the community! 🙂

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