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Fashion Business Advice

Fashion Business Owner Musings: What’s Standing in Your Way?

Dear Designers,

I’ve been a believer in dreaming big  in business and in life for a long time. I believe that we truly don’t do enough of it. I talk about it a lot and I push all of you, darling designers, to do it more. But what happens when we use big dreams as excuses not to do the work?

It happens. A lot. And we need to be aware of it so that we stop doing it.

I was listening to the Hidden Brain Podcast last week and there was a great episode on this topic. How positive thinking can sometimes work against us if we don’t acknowledge that the the big dreams need to be pared with effort if we’re really gonna make stuff happen for ourselves.

The guest on the podcast talked about how we tend to hear that strong belief will become our reality, but studies have actually shown that not to always be true.  She said, “They seduce us to feel already accomplished and take our energy away.” Meaning, when we have all those positive beliefs about the our goals, we can get too comfortable and not put in the effort neccessary to actually get there.

Essentially, we get lost in the fantasy.

At first, I didn’t like this episode of Hidden Brain. I think because I’m such a positive thinking junkie. I believe that positive mindset and having big dreams are both essential to success.

But the more I listened, the more I realized that she wasn’t presenting hopelessness. She was actually making me realize that there is a second step to positive thinking. The key: effort.

We can’t trick ourselves into believing we’re already there. We need to complement these dreams with real consideration about what is in us that is standing in our way. Once we do that, that’s how we energize our dreams.

What is it that’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals?

Here’s what I learned during the podcast, it’s called WOOP (Wish, Obstacle, Outcome, Plan)…

  • What is it you want this month? Dream big about it.
  • What is the best outcome when you reach that goal? You imagine the best thing. This is dreaming big.
  • Now, consider what, in yourself, is standing  in your way of getting this goal. Identify the obstacles. But not just any old obstacles. It’s the obstacles that you are in control of, that matter.
  • Break down the reasons that are projected outward, internalize it, and get out of your own way.
  • Then make a plan. If that obstacle occurs, then I will…to overcome the obstacle.

I believe that we all should dream big. But it’s clear that we can’t stop there. We have to put in the work. Use your dreams in a positive way. When you regularly create deliberate plans for getting past obstacles, the process becomes a habit. You no longer have to think about it, it just happens. And, I believe, that’s when we start to see our big dreams become big realities.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online community and support system for independent designers around the world. She’s a traveler, a weaver, and a foodie. A deep love for the craft of fashion pared with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION were 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 Comment
  • Clare

      REPLY

    If I had to name the one thing that stands in my way it would be lack of belief in myself and what I do. I was married to a narcissist and they are deadly! It was a lack of belief in myself that led me to marry him, and they really go after people like that! I learned some hard won lessons from the relationship; and one of them is to never let anyone - anyone - deter you from your dreams and goals. Narcissists are very good at sabotaging whatever it is you are desiring to accomplish. After I got out of the marriage and relationship I spent quite a bit of time healing up from it so that I could have the self-confidence to pick myself up by the bootstraps and get on with my life, and what it is I really like to do. I am also realizing that I need to closely follow my brother's advice to me - he has had his own business for some years now - to be ruthless with my time. He is so right! I just now decided to not call a friend on the phone because this individual, I have realized, loves to talk and talk and talk and it is always the same old thing; little progress and it is just a waste of my time; time that is much better spent thinking about my business and what it takes to make it successful! So the biggest takeaway is to Believe In Yourself! Yes, all lives matter, but your life should be the one that matters the most to you - after all, you are the one who is living it; not anyone else! Once you start believing in yourself you automatically start managing your time better, and you start to feel much better about yourself. With that empowerment comes an enthusiasm for doing the things that need to be done in a timely manner. Thanks for bringing this up, Nicole!

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