Fashion Business Owner Musings: Playing the long game

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the long game in business.

I think it’s because we’re in a time when a lot of business owners are experiencing hardship. When this happens, it can feel as though you are going backward or your business is “failing.”

And that’s a terrible feeling. I also don’t think it’s actually what’s happening — failing, I mean.

The thing about business is that it is a roller coaster. There are very high highs and there can be very low lows.

When you’re in the highs, it’s amazing and thrilling.

But when you’re in the lows, it’s terrifying and worrisome.

That’s why I think it’s so important to work on your mindset when things are challenging in business.

When you can look at things from a different perspective, it can change everything for the better. It can make the day-to-day easier to take on and it can make the big picture something to be excited about again.

So what if when things are tough, you flipped the script and thought about the long game?

What if this time of hardship could be a time to streamline, improve, re-think, and strategize for growth?

I know, it’s hard to think that way when it feels like what you’ve built so far is on shaky legs. But try.

Try to think about setbacks as a time to reflect and regroup.

Maybe it’s time to rethink your marketing or your product offering.

Maybe it’s time to polish your branding or your messaging.

Maybe it’s time to evaluate what you’re spending money on and where that money could be put to better use.

A business that lasts is a long game.

It is not something that happens overnight and it’s not something that has a straight trajectory upwards.

It’s full of twists, turns, squiggly lines, ups, downs, turnarounds, and lots and lots of detours.

It’s how we think about these detours that determines whether we ultimately reach the goals we have in place for ourselves and the people we serve with our businesses.

So if you’re in a place where things just don’t seem to be going in the right direction, try pausing, reflecting, and determining what changes you need to make to find the path you really want to be on.

You’re not failing. You’re evaluating and improving, polishing and streamlining.  And that, my friend, is something that all successful business owners have done along the way.

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!