Fashion Business Owner Musings: Finding Flow

I’ve been reading a book that talks about finding flow in life. It’s actually about living a long life and “finding flow” is part of the equation to living over one hundred years, apparently.

I liked the reference to flow because I think it’s strongly tied to stress. Actually, I have a friend who, when stressed out, has a mantra of “find the flow.” Which makes a lot to sense to me.

Flow is something that we really don’t think about enough when it comes to our businesses.

So what do I mean when I say “flow?”

Well, flow is when you’re focused on a goal but not overly focused on the outcome. Flow is working without distractions and enjoying the process. 

Let’s break that down.

You’re focused on a goal in your fashion business.

But you don’t tie your overall success to the outcome of this goal.

You ditch multitasking and silly distractions.

And you find enjoyment in the tasks you need to do to reach that goal.

Easy enough, right?

For some, maybe. For others, not so much. I think there are folks who have a natural “chill” about them. I am not one of those people. “Stressed out” is something I tend to feel more than I’d like. And I imagine there are some of you out there who are the same.

This isn’t good. Especially if you’re with me on wanting to learn more about how to live to 100.

So we have to actively work to find flow. We have to make it a priority.

And if you’re one of those naturally chill people, lucky you. I aspire to be more like that.

For those like me who need to actively chase flow, how can we find more flow in the work we do?

To start, find more enjoyment in the tasks that are generally not all that enjoyable. There are always plenty of these when running a business. Especially when running a business alone or with a small team.  Our ability to see these tasks as part of the bigger goal will help to make them more enjoyable. It’s a reminder that there is a purpose to the work you do every day.

Speaking of purpose, the other step to take towards finding flow is to make sure that we have a greater purpose or mission behind the business we are creating. This does not have to be a massive humanitarian effort (unless you want it to be). You can have a purpose that is about making people feel beautiful or seen or understood. You can have a purpose that’s tied to your own family. Whatever it is, it’s about owning a reason for what you do that’s more than making money (not that there’s anything wrong with making money!)

Next on the list for finding flow is to make sure that we are building a business to complement the life we want to live, rather than trying to cram a life around our business. This is something I’ve been preaching for years and I’m happy to say I’ve reached this one. Check!

Another thing to get good at is setting goals but not crumbling if they’re not reached. Or not reached quickly enough. Resilience and acceptance seem like important parts of flow to me.

Lastly, don’t tie your success to the outcome of certain goals. I see this a lot and it breaks my heart. “I need to sell a ton this holiday season or I can’t keep going with this business!”, “If I don’t get 1000 email subscribers in the next 2 months, I’m failing!”  These are not only not healthy for flow but are big threats to a healthy business mindset.

I’m not saying these points are easy to accomplish. But they’re certainly something we can work on within ourselves.

So my challenge to you for this final month of 2020 is to see how you can start to find your flow.

Just don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get there right away.  😉

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!