Fashion Business Owner Musings: Think Big, But Act Small

spacerI was listening to a podcast recently that discussed the importance of creating big goals. The host mentioned how big goals are really important but you can’t expect to get there without taking small steps.  And I immediately thought about my audience of emerging designers (that’s you!)

I remember not too long ago asking three industry experts how long they believed a new brand needs to be ready to work on their fashion business before being profitable. All three of them said 3 years.

Does that surprise you? Scare you? Are you willing to give it 3 years?

If you have a big goal (like launching a business or reaching profitability), it’s really important to not only understand, but also accept, the process of taking small steps to get there.

Essentially, you need to think big but act small.

You need to take action every day and not get discouraged when things don’t go as planned. That means, you can’t look for proof every single day that your big goal is going to work. Because every single day there will be misses and things that didn’t go as planned. But that’s OK, that’s as it should be.

Think about it this way: if you try to make huge first steps towards your big goal and those huge steps are too big to take on effectively, you’ll immediately get discouraged (and possibly quit) because “Nothing’s working!” Sound familiar?

Instead, take small actions and use those small actions as momentum towards your big goal.

Big goals are accomplished by accumulating a bunch of little failures along the way. The difference between the people who reach their big goals and those who don’t is that the ones who reach their goals don’t let the pile of failures “prove” that their goal will never work.

The people who accomplish their goals believe that they will reach them, even when it looks bleak.

Remember, almost everything a new business owner does in those first years is an experiment.

You try something, and if it works, great, do more of that.

If it doesn’t work, also great, figure out why, change it, and try again.

This is the process. It’s that simple. (Notice I didn’t say “easy”.)

Easy means that no effort is needed. Simple means that effort is certainly needed, but what has to be done isn’t as complicated as it may seem.

Your job is to create a big goal, work on believing in that goal, and then find small ways every single day to get closer to that goal.

So, profitability in 3 years sounded scary when you first started reading this, right? But what about now? If your goal is to reach a $75,000 annual profit three years from now, sit down and figure out what small things you’ll do every day to get there, knowing that the failures you endure are just as impactful and important as the wins.

Lots of love and encouragement,

updated signature

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!