Fashion Business Owner Musings: Waiting to Get Picked is a Bad Strategy

startup fashion business owner musings

Today I realized something.

Sometimes I wait to be picked. I wait for some magical moment when someone is going to give me a nod and tell me that what I am about to do is a good idea; I wait for someone to give me permission to succeed.

Why do I do this?

Because it’s easy. It’s easy to wait. It’s easy to tell myself that it’s OK that things are not moving along as they could be because I’m not really sure that my ideas will work anyway.

I make excuses and give myself a pretty little place to remain complacent because others need to be on board for this to work, right?  I need to know that someone is going to actually support this idea, right? I have to make sure that what I’m doing is accepted by others, right?

Big stupid “wrong.”

I sat for a minute and reflected on this ass-backwards mindset and realized that this is applicable to so many business owners, especially those of us in the fashion business.

How many times have you thought, “I need to get a celebrity to wear my work.”, or “If I could just get Well Known Magazine to write about me.” Or how about, “I have to find the money to do tradeshows,  and I really need 5000 Instagram followers.”

You know what that is? That’s waiting to be picked. You’re doing it. I’m doing it. We’re all doing it.

Maybe not everyday, maybe not all the time, but we’re doing it. And we need to stop.

Nothing in business is ever going to be exactly how we want it to be. There’s always going to be things we wished were happening for us. Things that are out of our control but that we swear is all that we need to find the success we’ve been craving.

That’s a load of shit.

Guess what?  If we’re all waiting to get picked, a lot of us are going to be left out. We’re going to be jealous of our contemporaries who seem to be getting exactly what they (and we!) want. We’re going to have excuse after excuse as to why things are not quite working. And we’re going to open our eyes one day and realize that it’s no one’s fault but our own. Because we have the power to choose ourselves and we don’t.

So what do we do?

We do it anyway.

Whatever it is- do it. Try the things you want to see happen, ignore the things that make you feel like crap. Take matters into your own hands, get creative, create goals and do whatever is in your power to reach those goals.

No buyers paying attention?  Then start getting crafty about how to sell your work.

No editors want to write about you? Then start writing what you’d like to read about yourself.

No one following you on Instagram?  Then sit your butt down and figure out what your customer actually cares about.

No Excuses.

The point here is this: Whether we believe it or not, we have the power in our own hands to create our success. We have the ability to get past the need for everything to be perfect, and make our lives what we want them to be.

It’s those of us that just do it anyway who will make change. We’re the ones who will see results.

You know that quote about the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

You can be one of the crazy ones.


All my love and encouragement,

Nicole Giordano
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!

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    Joan Jacobsen

    Thanks Nicole, I needed that proverbial “kick in the pants” because I too was waiting to be picked. I’ve sent out many unsolicited samples to big name companies hoping for a purchase order, and I’ve e-mailed and sent messages to well-known bloggers who are in my field asking to please try wearing and write about my garments to no avail. I thought my activewear would speak for itself but I was sadly mistaken. It takes much more than just wishing and hoping without the benefit of being as creative in marketing and selling as it was to start my line to begin with!

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Hi Joan. I know what you mean. We work so hard to create our businesses– sometimes it’s easy to forget that once it’s created there’s still a lot to be done to make sure we’re sharing and connecting with our customers. 🙂

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    Just what I needed to hear.

    “Take matters into your own hands, get creative, create goals and do whatever is in your power to reach those goals.”

    So good!!!

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