Fashion Business Owner Musings: Be Honest with Yourself

I think that sometimes we tell ourselves what we want to hear.

We don’t do it on purpose, of course. But rather than admit the things that are uncomfortable to acknowledge, we let ourselves get away with not being honest with ourselves.

In what ways?

Here’s what I’m talking about…

I’ve been doing everything I can to make Instagram a tool for business growth but it doesn’t work for me!

Well, have you really been doing everything? Have you created a thoughtful strategy? Have you been consistently posting? Have you started using Stories? Have you done research on the newest guidelines around how the platform works? Are you taking the time to write heartfelt captions? Have you changed the strategy when it doesn’t work or do you keep doing the same things hoping for different results?

I’ve done the homework and the research. I know who my customer is. I don’t understand why she’s not buying.

Do you, really? Do you know how she thinks? Do you know what her life looks like on a weekend? Do you know what her life looks like on a Wednesday? Do you listen when she speaks? Do you act on what you hear? Do you go to live events and meet her in person? Do you work to serve her, rather than work to “make sales?”

If your answer to any of the questions in the examples above was “no,” then you are not being honest with yourself. Instead, you’re telling yourself what you want to hear.

Because to do all of those things means you’re pushing yourself in new, uncomfortable directions and that’s hard. It’s far easier to tell yourself that it simply doesn’t work for you or you’ve done the work to your full potential but it’s still not working.

And really, these are just a couple of very specific examples. The opportunity to tell ourselves what we want to hear, as business owners, presents itself often. With money, with making progress, with productivity, and with marketing.

Every day we have to make decisions and try new things, and neither one of those is always easy. We’re challenged to do the tough job of being honest with ourselves about where things stand, how something worked or didn’t work, what needs to be done, and so much more.

The easy way out is to tell ourselves what we want to hear and then express confusion or frustration when things are not going well. The harder job – and the job of someone who wants to really grow a fashion business – is to take a look at what’s actually going on, to own our role as the decision maker, and to be honest with ourselves about what we need to do next.

I challenge you to do the harder job.

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!