Fashion Business Owner Musings: When Everyday in Business Feels Like a Failure

Dear Designers,

Trying to get a business off the ground is so freaking difficult. Every day can feel like a struggle. Every day there seems to be a reason to doubt ourselves. We wonder what the hell we’re doing and why the hell we’re doing it.

And some days we let ourselves get down. We let ourselves wallow in the failures. We let ourselves believe that it’s probably not worth it.

Well, it is.

Creating the life we want for ourselves is important for our own well being, of course. But it also has impact beyond just us. When we push ourselves into new territory and believe in our ability to build something that makes us happy, we also…

  • set an example for our children
  • influence others to think differently about “supposed to”
  • do work that brings joy to others

So when we’re feeling this sense of giving up, when we’re doubting ourselves and our purpose, our focus shouldn’t be on doing better work or “being better”, should be one thing.

What’s one thing we need to focus on?

We need to focus on changing your mindset.

We have to believe in what we’re doing. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to believe that any day, everything could turn around. Because it can.

I truly believe that most of us are completely unaware of just how close we are to the success we’re after. It’s not until we get there that we say, “wow, it’s possible”. Imagine what we could all do if instead of waiting until we reach it we were able to say to ourselves, “I know it’s possible. I’m on my way.” …and truly believe it.

I know that sounds easier said than done. But it’s honestly the only thing that really matters. Because this belief in yourself and your purpose is at the heart of your ability to succeed. The self destructive “what the hell am I doing and why the hell am I doing it” mindset will keep you from ever reaching your goals.

If we embrace vulnerability, and push past the shame and belief of not being good enough, things will change.

And you know what else?

Try to remember that while everyday there is a failure, everyday there is also a win. You just have to look for it. You have to position your mind to focus on those victories instead of those failures.

Am I saying that as long as you have a passion, you won’t fail? No. What I’m saying is that if we want to have any chance at all of success, we can’t treat ourselves in a way that we would never treat someone else. We can’t talk down to ourselves, roll our eyes at ourselves, shame ourselves into believing we suck, or constantly question our own abilities.

Reaching your goals is completely possible, but you have to have faith in yourself first.

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. Kima

    Hi Nicole,
    I don’t know why it took me so long to find you, but I’m glad I did. Just a few short weeks ago, I would have cried while reading this post, as that was the mindset that I had. It’s like you were inside my head. I was extremely doubtful that I could successfully launch my own handbag line. I have been slowly, but surely, making progress towards doing just that.

    My mindset has changed completely, and every day I strive to check items off of my list of getting this business up and running. I have daily mantras that I say to myself (aloud) that have helped me get out of that self-deprecating state I started out in. I’m grateful for this community of designers. We need all of the support we can get!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Duchelina Dove

    Dear Nicole

    Is there any chance if I can send you an email and if we can communicate via email?

    Kind regards
    Duchelina Dove

    • Nicole Giordano

      Hi Duchelina,

      I wish I could, but I get so many emails form designers that it’s challenging to keep up with them all. I’ve come to the realization that I’m only able to focus my time/responses on our StartUp FASHION Community members. If you have a specific question about something, you can post it here and I will do my best to help. – Nicole

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