Fashion Business Owner Musings: Are you really overwhelmed by your business?

Running a business can be overwhelming.

There’s a lot to do, a lot to figure out.  Overall, it’s just . . . a lot.

I understand the feeling.

But I’m going to challenge you on something.

My question is: Are you really overwhelmed by what you need to do in your business? Or are you telling yourself you’re overwhelmed?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this week’s musing is a little bit of tough love.

Stick with me.

I hear this a lot: I’m so overwhelmed. I’m not sure what to do first.

I get it. There’s a lot to do to launch, run, and grow a fashion business.

No one is debating that.

What I am debating is how much of your overwhelm is self-imposed.

Do you really not know what to do next or are you overthinking every possible thing you could do to the point of doing nothing?

Be honest.

There’s not much higher up on the “Reach my goals” to-do list than taking action.

You cannot reach a goal without taking action.

Even if that action turns out to be wrong, you’re still one step closer to reaching that goal because now you know one thing not to do again.

I talk to startup fashion designers every single day of my life.

Through my work in StartUp FASHION and LevelUp FASHION, I hear about many different kinds of business struggles and personal struggles. And something that presents itself over and over again is the belief that you need to have it all figured out so that you will no longer feel overwhelmed and then you can take the action steps and reach that goal.

I’m telling you right now, that’s not how it works.

Overwhelm absolutely exists.

But, you have the power to push past that overwhelm by doing something. Even if you’re not sure that the “something” you decide to do will work.

Believing that you need all the answers before making a decision is extremely problematic. Because no one ever has all the answers.

If you truly, honestly, totally, do not know what is the next step, ask someone.

Ask a fellow designer. Ask a mentor. Ask a community leader. Ask.

And then do something. Take action.

I think that sometimes we as business owners tend to tell ourselves over and over how overwhelmed we are. And in doing that, we put ourselves into a state of inaction. We train ourselves to believe that we don’t know what to do next, when most of the time, we do.

We know we are avoiding things that scare us. We know that we’re letting uncertainty win.

And honestly, that’s not how a thriving business is built.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and stuck, ask yourself: Am I really stuck? Or am I afraid to take the next step?

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!