Fashion Business Owner Musings: Getting Better at Accepting the Mystery

Are you a planner? I am. I love to believe that a plan helps me predict an outcome. And while a plan is certainly a good thing to have, it just as certainly does not mean the outcome is set in stone.

And because of that, when a plan doesn’t go as expected,  disappointment and even shock can set in hard.

Which isn’t the best feeling to have.

I think it’s really difficult for a lot of business owners to accept that there is a large element of mystery to having and growing a business. Not necessarily the mystery of the how but the mystery of the outcome.

So much about running a business is knowing that all the planning in the world sometimes simply doesn’t work. And then accepting that and enjoying the journey.

Because no matter how much we plan and plan and plan, we never really know.

As business owners with most likely smallish budgets as well as livelihoods riding on risk, it can be difficult for us to accept the mystery. Phrases like “I can’t afford for this not to work” are a regular part of our vocabulary. Which I do understand.

But what if we changed the way we thought about the uncertainty in business?

The best thing about not knowing exactly what’s going to happen is exactly that– the excitement of possibility!

When we allow ourselves to be open to all the exciting things that could happen when we set out on a path, rather than stressing over whether everything we have planned happens exactly as we want it to, we’re giving ourselves the opportunity to discover something new.

A new idea, a new direction, new people.

I get that this is easier said than done. So much of this is tied to our mindset. (That’s why I talk a lot about the importance of a strong mindset in my class How to Launch a Fashion Business even without Having Any Prior Experience.)

It’s easy to look at the mystery that lies ahead as a bad thing, something that keeps you from seeing clearly, something that keeps you from reaching your pre-defined goals.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead, we can use the mystery to our benefit. We can slow down, open up, and allow the possibilities to keep us excited about the process.

And when we do this, something magical happens.

We start to appreciate all the little things, the things that often get pushed out of view as we focus on the bigger picture and the overall outcome.

You know, the whole journey.

Because, honestly, isn’t that the best part? Don’t we all want to spend more time enjoying what every day has to offer?

I hope so. Because it goes by really quickly and when we’re too focused on the future, we completely miss the present.

So I challenge you to not just accept the mystery, but to embrace it.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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. Vanessa

    Wonderful as always. I loved the part “We can slow down, open up, and allow the outside to come in.” With a small business, there always seems to be the struggle between fixating on your own goals and keeping on that course, or letting the opinions of others and outside feedback alter that course (which isn’t always a bad thing). It’s a tough one! Maybe the key is to operate your business and go ahead with your course, but without blinders on 🙂


    • Nicole Giordano

      Hey Vanessa! I always love reading your comments. They’re so thoughtful. I totally agree- removing the blinders is really important. 🙂

      Hope you’re well!


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