Fashion Business Owner Musings: Coping Skills, Don’t Fail Me Now

Hard things happen all the time in your fashion business. It seems like almost every day there is a decision to make and a consequence to accept. Sometimes those consequences are great. Sometimes, they’re not. And when they’re not, it’s up to us to learn how to handle it.

One of the biggest skills we need to nurture as fashion business owners is our ability to cope.

“Coping Skills, Don’t Fail Me Now.” There is a giant sign in my favorite local coffee shop with this written across it. Somehow, it wasn’t until recently that I really saw it and paid attention to it.  And when I finally did, it really resonated with me.

There is a lot we all need to cope with, from the personal to the business, and it wasn’t until I read that sign that I really started to think about how coping is a skill.

And that’s a great thing because a skill can be learned. With practice, time, and commitment, we can get good at coping with the ups and downs of our businesses, making it far easier to keep going when things aren’t looking so great.

If you asked me two days if I’m good at coping, I would have said yes. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, my answer is sort of.

In the long run, my coping skills are aces. I handle what needs to be handled. But in the short term, they’re terrible.

I have immediate emotional reactions. I stop short. I clam up. All sorts of things like that.

And my thought is that I’d really like to take those coping skills I’ve sort of developed and improve them. Make them stronger. Create a process for myself to better handle the ups and downs in the moment.

How about you? How are your coping skills? What happens when things go wrong in your fashion business?

Do you freak out? Cry? Scream? Tell yourself that you suck?

Or do you say, “OK, that sucked. Now how do I fix it?”

Do you acknowledge that you are smart and capable and will figure it out?

The more you can shift away from the “WTF? I suck!” mentality and start acknowledging yourself for what you are– smart and capable– the more you will strengthen those coping skills to the point that when things go wrong in your fashion business you are ready to problem-solve like the boss you are.

And here’s a little tip: When you feel like you’re spiraling, say out loud to yourself: “Coping skills, don’t fail me now.”  It is so damn powerful and really snaps you back to a place of determination.

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!