It’s hard to say what makes one designer rise to the top when another – equally talented – struggles with their business. There are certainly things every successful fashion entrepreneur has in common.
Some of the traits I see in successful people are:
- They work hard
- They’re smart
- They understand business
- They want it badly enough to do whatever it takes
- They listen to their customers and tweak accordingly
It would be nice if there was a secret formula for success, like having a ton of start-up capital or being “connected” to the right people. While those things help, I don’t think they’re the answer for a successful fashion company.
After working with hundreds of emerging designers, I’d have to say there is one thing I see over and over in the successful ones: They take action every single day in some way.
It sounds simple, but the majority of us don’t really do it. It’s only natural to have moments of confusion, to feel overwhelmed, or be unable to take the next step. The question is how you overcome those moments that can keep you “stuck”.
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. – Henry Ford
The definition of action is “The state or process of acting or doing”.
Nowhere in that definition will you find:
- Thinking a lot about something and second guessing excessively
- Planning and then planning to plan and then making a new plan
- Mapping things out “just in case”
- Waiting for the “right” time
Those who do take real action on a regular basis get somewhere. Simple as that. It’s about making a plan for your business, then working on it step by step.
It also involves letting go of perfectionism. The “I can’t send that out yet until I do A, B, or C” syndrome. Perfection paralysis can kill you. I know because I’ve fallen into that behavior myself.
The key is to take imperfect action. That’s a phrase I learned from Kevin Nations, and it’s very helpful to me every single day. Until you “do”, you won’t know what’s going to work.
We all know there’s no perfect time to do anything, so why not make today the day you take imperfect action on something you’ve been planning and thinking about? Go ahead, I triple do dare you!