Fashion Business Owner Musings: Why is it So Hard to Accept Help?

Does anyone besides me find it incredibly difficult to accept help when it’s offered? Am I the only stubborn one who says “No, thanks, I’m fine,” when a friend, colleague, or life partner offers to take care of something?

Many of us are fortunate to have some really incredible people in our lives. People who love us, support us, and want to help us when things seem to be piling up and life and work become these giant, tangled, messy situations.

But for whatever reason, many of us cannot seem to accept help when it’s offered to us. At least not at first. It takes those closest to us to push a little (sometimes more than a little), to get us to say “yes, thank you.”

Why do we do this?!

Perfectionists? Overachievers? Independent to a fault? I’m going with all of the above.

Regardless of the reason, there’s a little secret I want to let you in on.

You don’t have to do this all by yourself!

Novel, I know. But honestly, why are we putting so much pressure on ourselves to do everything required to launch and grow a fashion business, likely while working another job, perhaps with a family to care for? It’s so silly.

Actually, it’s a really bad idea.

Honestly, from a business standpoint, not accepting help is probably the fastest path to burnout that there is.

I don’t care what anyone says, we all need help to reach our goals. Absolutely no one has built anything successfully without the help of others. No one.

When building a business, there is just far too much to do, to do it alone.

Whether we need a supportive circle of people who are going through the same thing to listen to us, or we need someone to help us actually get the work done, or we need feedback and opinions and guidance from someone with more experience, it all falls under the umbrella of help. And we all need it.

As the months (and years) go by, I’ve tried to get better at accepting the generous help of others. I’ve acknowledged that while this business is important to me and I (more than anyone else) want to see it grow and prosper, the help of other people is imperative to reaching my goals. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

As fashion business owners, we need to get better at allowing others in. And we need to get better at letting them be a part of what we’re doing.

It doesn’t make us weak or incapable. It doesn’t make our successes any less impressive or our failures any harder to deal with.

In fact, it makes our successes all that more exciting because we have people to celebrate with who understand all that went into reaching them. And it makes our failures a little easier to handle because we have people who know how hard we worked and remind us that failures are nothing more than opportunities to learn.

So the next time someone offers you help with your business, try to simply say “Yes, thank you.” Then pay attention to how good that feels so you’ll say it next time too.

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. Lukas

    Hello Nicole,

    So right, but still so difficult. Since two years I help intrapreneurs recruit and build strong teams, but when it comes to my own business…

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