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Fashion Business Advice

Fashion Business Owner Musings: When Everything Hits at Once

Dear Designers,

The samples you received for the latest collection are terrible.

Your website is down.

You haven’t created and scheduled any social media posts for the week ahead.

You’re tired and you’re under deadline for your other job.

An idea you had for the business fell flat.

Your online sales are are declining and you have no idea why.

You lost a wholesale account because the boutique closed down.

Everything hits at once.

And when everything hits at once, nothing gets done. Balance seems like this long forgotten joke, something for people who actually have their shit together. Not you, who is struggling to figure it all out and feeling like your losing this battle.

This, my dear designer, is not surprising. This, as hard as it may be to hear, it business. Not all the of the time, but some of the time. Every single one of us has felt this way. When we just can’t seem to get out from under one thing before the next thing comes crashing down on us. We’ve all been there and continue to be there sometimes.

This is not one of those things that ceases to happen once you’ve been in business for a while. There are no ropes to learn to make the occasional avalanches of disaster go away.

I’m sorry.

But we can get better at dealing with them.

A concept that I’ve started to embrace lately is this idea of seasons. The idea that seasons exist within us the same way they do in nature. And with the changing of these seasons comes new moods, feelings, levels of acceptance and resistance, needs, and wants.

And I think that when we’re poorly dealing with having a lot hit us all at one time, it could be an indication that we have entered into a season where we need some time to ourselves. We need to replenish and rest, take time to think, figure out how to stop overreacting, accept that we need time to approach each issue with calmness and logical thinking.

Are you rolling your eyes yet?

Stick with me.

What I’m saying is that as business owners we are always going, going, going. And that sort of lifestyle cannot keep up without our bodies and minds eventually saying, “nope.”

And I think what tends to happen is that we suddenly feel like everything is hitting us at once, we don’t know how to deal, we are worried, frantic, confused, and considering throwing in the towel.

See, when we’re in a season of excitement and energy we are better able handle all that comes at us with determination and focus. But when we’re not, we start to lose it. It’s not pretty. It’s not fun. And it really makes us question what the hell we’re doing.

My response to this? Go with it.

Everything hitting the fan at once? Close your damn computer, go for a walk, read a book, have a conversation, meditate, exercise, and do whatever you need.

I’m in this right now. Mentally I’m feeling a bit checked out. I’ve got a lot to do, things are not working out exactly as I’d hoped, at a time when my mind and body don’t seem to want to deal with any of it. I’m resisting solving these issues and feeling buried under a mass of to-do’s that seem to keep coming at me from every direction.

And you know what I’m doing? I am allowing myself to ignore it.

For now.

Because sometimes we enter a season in our lives where this business of ours is more than we can handle at the moment. And if we don’t give ourselves room to breath, relax, and think, we will wind up doing something we regret.

But by embracing that we’re in a different place right now and acknowledging what we need, we’re taking the first step towards a better season.

So the next time everything hits you at once and you’re not sure if or how you’re going to take care of it all, I’m telling you that it’s OK to take care of yourself first. Relieve some of that pressure and take the time you need to help yourself shift back into that determined and focus entrepreneur you were just last week.

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!

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