Fashion Business Owner Musings: Getting What You Can Out of a Crap Situation

startup fashion business owner musings

I recently attended a conference. It was not cheap. It was also not good. Which was a bummer because I was really excited about the prospect of connecting with and learning from fellow female entrepreneurs. While I met a few women doing great things, overall I felt it it was an expensive excuse to take selfies and listen to the ever-inspiring business advice to “be authentic”.

The conference started at 9:30am and by 10:30am, I could feel my impatient, sarcastic, eye-rolling self fading into boredom. I was checking out about an hour after checking in.

Not good. So, rather than allowing myself to fall deeper into the “what the fuck?!” mindset, I decided to make myself stop with the negativity. I thought, “You paid $500 to be be here, you committed an entire day of your life to this event, you owe it to yourself to get everything you can out of this event.”

So stop with the judgmental bullshit and focus on the positives of this experience!

I’m telling you that little story because we all at times find ourselves in situations we were not anticipating. We find ourselves disappointed, put out, “better” than what we’ve been presented with and it’s up to us to make the best of it. It’s up to us to find some modicum of usefulness in the situation and focus on that.

For me that was tapping into the 10 or so women (out of 500) who seemed interested in learning something, connecting with others, and discussing real business. When I got over myself I was able to get more out of the situation than I thought I could. The situation wasn’t all bad.

I think this lesson applies to so much of what we all do. It can seem like something totally sucks and it’s so easy to slip into a negative frame of mind. But try not to do that.

A failed collaboration, a disappointing trunk show, a smaller-than-expected order, a quiet launch…in all of these situations there’s something – a new relationship, a lesson learned, a growing experience- that can be tapped in order to remind ourselves that all the steps we’re taking, even those that seem like a flop, are actually bringing us closer to our ultimate goal.

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 Comment
  1. Billy Bones

    Great read, and good way to take positive out of a negative. I’ve yet to attend any conferences for that same reason, but I think its important to go into it with a goal of what you want to get out of it.

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