Fashion Business Owner Musings: Flipping the Table

It’s OK to get tired. It’s OK to take a step back. It’s OK to re-evaluate.

The typical advice for business owners is to keep moving. Try and try again. Don’t fall back or you won’t be able to catch up.

I understand this. And part of me agrees with it, a little bit.

Momentum is a powerful thing. Losing it can have an impact you’re not prepared for.

But slowing down because you’ve gotten lazy or distracted is very different than slowing down to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

I recently had a chat with Daniel Vosovic, Project Runway alum and founder of THE KIT. (You can watch an edited version of the talk below. StartUp FASHION members can see the unedited version in the community dashboard here.).

Anyway, he had this really great analogy about taking a look at your trajectory and evaluating if it’s what you really want. Here’s what he said:

If you’re feeling really unhappy with the way things are going, stop. Take a look at what’s on your table. And if you don’t like what you see, flip the damn table. Knock everything off and then, slowly, evaluate everything you’re doing in the business (and in your life) and decide what gets to go back on the table.

I loved this. As you know, you I’m a big proponent of deciding on the life you want and then building your business around it, rather than trying to cram a life into the business you’ve already built.

And I think that sometimes, we find ourselves a little unsure of how we feel about where we’re going, needing to decide if a table flip is necessary.

What I love about this analogy is that it doesn’t have to be applied only to your business as a whole. It can instead be applied to the way you’re running various components of your business. Meaning, the table flip doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic change for your business model and your life. It can be applied to so much of what we do as fashion businesses owners on a regular basis.

When you’re feeling exhausted and like you’re spinning your wheels for a goal that you can’t quite pinpoint, maybe it’s time for a table flip.

When you’re wondering if how you’re marketing our business is really the way that feels the best, maybe it’s time for a table flip.

When you’re wondering if your team members are in the right roles or your sales channels make the most sense for your goals, maybe it’s time for a table flip.

Taking a big breath, evaluating how you feel, and potentially flipping the table may sound scary. But honestly, it’s the best way to make sure that you’re building the business you really want.

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!