Fashion Business Owner Musings: The Importance of Helping Others

In the wacky environment of business ownership, we all need friends and supporters. And with that, I think it’s also important to remember that we can and should be a friend and supporter to others.

I think that so many of us are so completely hyper focused on our businesses that we forget to carve out some time to help others. We forget that our own experiences can be such an incredible asset to others.

In business, it’s important to adopt the mindset of: If there is something I can help with, I will. If there is insight I can give or feedback I can offer, I will.

And we forget one other thing, too. One super wonderful side effect that comes along with being generous with our time and knowledge.

And that is this:

In helping others with their businesses and their lives, we ultimately help ourselves.

This isn’t the intention, but it is very often the result.

In giving to others, we demonstrate that we are caring and thoughtful people; that we are willing to share what we know, and that we want to offer what we can to help other entrepreneurs and business owners succeed.

That’s a really wonderful reputation to have.

The ability to see others’ success as an important piece of the bigger picture will have an incredibly positive impact on our own lives and businesses. We will start to receive that same support from others. We will benefit from the experiences and insight of others.

Being a giver is a good thing. And it’s something we should work to incorporate into how we operate our businesses. 

There is just one caveat here. We have to be smart givers.

There is certainly a balance when it comes to giving. We have to be smart givers who don’t allow ourselves to be taken advantage of.

Author Adam Grant does a great job of explaining this in the book Give and Take. It’s a great read, I learned a lot.

Before reading Give and Take, I often prioritized others needs over my own; helping fellow business owners at the detriment of my own business. I’ve since stopped doing that, but I haven’t stopped helping.

I wanted to write about this because I think this is such an important topic particularly in our industry; fashion has notoriously been such a cut throat, “you can’t sit with us” clique, rather than a helpful, giving community. One reason we created the StartUp FASHION Community is to change that.

When I see how our members help one another, offering advice and guidance and support, it reminds me of how important it is to give to others.

I know it can seem like you have so much to do, how could you possibly find the time to help other people with their businesses? But I have found that the simple act of being there for someone, ready to listen and happy to share your own experiences is really powerful.

I was in an accountability group with some pretty financially successful women recently. I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated.

While StartUp FASHION is certainly successful, these women had built multi-million dollar enterprises. I was concerned that I would have nothing to offer; that I couldn’t possibly support them in any way that is truly helpful. But I was wrong.

The simple act of listening and sharing my opinion was really impactful. Others’ perspectives can be an amazing tool in growing a business and by being willing to share ours with others, we are helping.

Are you making yourself available to your fellow business owners? Are you happily sharing what you’ve learned and gladly giving feedback and support to others who need it? Or are you so completely focused on your own needs that giving to others is off your radar?

I challenge you to do a little reflecting. Think about how you can connect with others to both receive and give.

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. Khanh

    Dear Nicole,

    I am currently reading Adam Grant’s Give and Take, thanks to this post because I never head of it before. This book is litteraly changing my life, in a way that helps me being less self-centered, or less afraid to be giving and caring in other situations.
    It’s only the beginning of a journey as try to change my most egotistic habits, and I’m currently looking for ways to give more with daily practical actions.
    I really want to thank you for introducing this book to us and all your very kind and encouraging advices.


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