Fashion Business Owner Musings: Remember That It’s a Balancing Act

I’d like to bust a little myth. Startup business owners often think that as their business grows, things get easier. They do get easier in a way–  you can hire help and having a dream team of awesome people who help you make it all happen is wonderful. But it’s also not easier as you grow and that’s because as your business grows, your responsibility also grows.

You go from having to make every little decision to delegating the small decisions but needing to make the big, scary, impactful decisions. There are so many of these decisions and they increase as your business grows. And that’s not easy, I don’t care what anyone says.

You now have people who depend on you for their pay. You have larger sums of money that you’re allocating. You have operational decisions that affect how the team works and how the work happens. And all of this can feel a bit overwhelming.

Because remember, there’s no boss to go to and say, “I’m thinking we do X. You on board with that?” You are the boss and you’re the one crossing your fingers that the decisions you make are the correct ones.

Another thing that happens as your business grows is that you find yourself in an almost constant flux between your own task list and the bigger picture decision making that must be done in order for your team to do their jobs.

It goes something like: “I need to reply to those 8 pressing emails (ignoring the 104 non-pressing emails, of course) but I also need to decide what the new format for blogging will be so that my editorial manager can work on her tasks.”

It’s not easy.

It’s a balancing act.

And that’s OK.

I’m learning that with fashion business growth comes an entire new set of skills to learn. From the art of delegating and improving communication to knowing how to prioritize and forgiving yourself when you’ve made the wrong decisions (which will happen)– it’s all important and necessary.

But you know what? It’s also really exciting. How could it not be? Growth means more impact, growth means getting to bring work to more people, growth means stretching yourself to do new things. And all of that is wonderful.

Learning the balancing act is something that takes time and giving yourself the room to do to that is important.

So, as you grow, and you’re trying desperately to figure out how all this craziness is meant to come together into an organized and productive fashion business, keep the sentence “It’s all a balancing act” at the forefront of your brain. Say it out loud on a regular basis, and cut yourself a break.

Lots of love and encouragement (from someone who is still learning the balancing act),

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!