Fashion Business Owner Musings: What Other People Want Isn’t Actually All That Important

As fashion business owners, we need to take into account the needs and wants of others. We can’t ignore what our customers or team members want. On the other hand, we can try to block out overly-opinionated industry people, unsolicited advice-givers, and know-it-alls.

BUT (and this is a big but), I’ve learned that regardless of which category we’re talking about, there needs to be balance. There needs to be a point at which we say, “OK, you have a right to your opinion. And I have a right to completely ignore your opinion.”

I’ve experienced a lot of this:

“Can’t you just . . .?” and “Why aren’t you…?” and “I hope you don’t plan to….”

It used to get to me. Now I listen, decide if it’s something I would like to address, and then move on.

I care what people think. I wouldn’t be good at what I do, if I didn’t care. But there is a limit to what I’m willing to accept as helpful opinions from people.

And you should have limits too.

You know what I’m talking about, right? I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of opinions from people who think they know better. As fashion business owners, we all have this happen.

Some people think they have an open invitation to tell you how you should be doing something, whether you want to hear it or not.

Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re going to stop any time soon. But that doesn’t mean that we have to put any stock into what they’re saying. I know that this isn’t exactly easy, but it is possible.

They will tell you what to design, how to run your fashion business, what to say and what not to say, how you should spend your time, and anything else they feel like.

And you know where this often stems from? Their own wants and needs. It’s not about what’s best for you and your business. It’s about what they want from you and your business.

This sucks.  It sucks because a lot of us take things to heart. We care about our customers, collaborators, team members, and contemporaries. We care what they think and we care about how they view us.

Sometimes it hurts. Other times it will make us question everything we’ve built so far. And yet other times it makes us so mad that we scream.

But we can’t let ourselves be steered by these feelings.

Because we’re hurting no one but ourselves.

Remember, there is a difference between listening to what others have to say about your business as a means of learning and feeling as though you have to take every suggestion seriously and constantly change directions.

Stick to your path while being open to possibilities. And constantly remind yourself that this is your journey, no one else’s.

Lots of 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!

3 comments
  1. Avatar
    Antonina Clarke

    Thank you for this and the keeping up all night worrying about biz article you recently posted!! Both very soothing to see with helpful advice.

    There are so many different ways to do it all, just to hear other boats on the same rising tide very inspiring as always 😉 Thanks Nicole!

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Sumiyyah A. Rasheed

    Nicole, just wanted to comment on your post. Lots of pain. You all are doing a great job! Good bad indifferent you are giving it your heart. I appreciate you.

    Keep your core values in front of you and the reason you started the project. Feedback is good, but you know what works for your business. It’s your business. Do it the way you believe it will be of the most benefit to your users.

    ***And you know where this often stems from? Their own wants and needs. It’s not about what’s best for you and your business. It’s about what they want from you and your business.

    Yep!

    This sucks. It sucks because a lot of us take stuff to heart. We care about our customers, collaborators, team members, and contemporaries. We care what they think and we care about how they view us.
    Sometimes it hurts. Other times it will makes us question everything we’ve built so far. And yet other times it makes us so mad that we scream.

    It’s ok to question. Those conversations with yourself are good. You get more insight to make yourself better. Let the negative stuff roll off like sweat and keep it moving.

    Sumiyyah A. Rasheed
    Chief Lingerie Addict & CEO
    Ann Nahari
    http://www.ann-nahari.com

    Reply
    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Thanks for your comment, Sumiyyah. I’m feeling good about where I am in business. But I wanted to share this post because I know others are going through it. 🙂

      Reply

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