How to Get Past the Things That are Holding Your Fashion Business Back

holding your fashion business back

When it comes to our businesses, there is generally more that we don’t know than we do know. This is simple math. There are something like a billion and forty-seven things we need to know to build successful businesses. And even if we know 62% of those things, we’re still left with 620 million things we don’t know. That’s a lot.

To make you feel a little better, I want to remind you that you don’t need to know everything all by yourself. You can get help. Whether it’s getting help to learn a new skill or hiring someone to do things for you, it’s help none-the-less and that is a very comforting thought.

But the first step is to think about what you need help with. Don’t worry, you don’t have to list all 620 million things. Instead, start by making a list of the things you’re struggling with right now.

Are you struggling to figure out how to find funding? Are you feeling confused about what goes into your brand identity? Are you not sure how create a content strategy that actually builds your audience?

All of these things are perfectly natural struggles for many of us. We each have experience, expertise, and knowledge in certain areas, but not others. And once we admit to ourselves that something has to give; something needs to change, then we can finally reach the goals we’re working so hard for.

OK, here’s a little step-by-step for ya:

  1. List 5 things you’re struggling with in your business right now.
  2. Go through the list and circle what you can tackle on your own and asterisk what you need help with. Examples: things like tackling procrastination, getting rid of “scattered” syndrome, and dealing with self doubt are all things that, ultimately, you need to handle. You may be able to get help on how to do those things but you are the one who will actually do them. Whereas creating a brand identity, implementing budgets, and writing great content are all things you could get help doing. You will be part of the process of course, but there are professionals who will actually do the nitty-gritty for you.
  3. Look at the things you want to tackle on your own, how will you do that? Will you read books on the topics, take classes, conduct research? Write that down.
  4. Now look at the things you need help implementing, who can you go to for help? Are there experts you can hire, groups you can join? Keep in mind, sometimes you find that some of the “tackle yourself” things wind up on the “get help” list, that’s totally cool. Just start your lists over.
  5. Now that you have these 5 things written down and you’ve thought about them, go to your task list or project management software (I love Asana and it’s free!) and create large, overarching tasks for each thing you need to tackle.
  6. Then create sub-tasks focused on the specific actions you’re going to take. This means the titles of books you plan to buy, organizations you plan to join, names of the people you hope will help you, their contact information, how much their help will cost (or if it’s someone you’re close with who will help for free).
  7. Now assign time to buy the books, or join the groups, or email those experts.

By the time you’re done this little exercise, you should feel ready to tackle the areas of your business that are holding you back the most.

Listen, we all have these things that hold us back, it’s totally common among entrepreneurs. But it’s how we plan to get past them that really matters.

So here’s to getting past our trip-ups and building successful businesses in 2016!

All my love and encouragement,


P.S. If you love the idea of even more detailed step-by-step guidance for building your fashion business, you should join us in the Independent Designer’s Community. Membership opens on Wednesday February 10th to our VIP list. Get on the list here.

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!