Fashion Business Owner Musings: Saying Yes When You Have No Idea How You’re Going to Make it Happen

Dear Designers,

So I’ve gotten into a habit recently. I’ve been saying “yes!” to plans when I have no freaking idea how I’m going to make it happen. It’s really scary, kind of exciting, and actually working.

I can’t remember where I read this, but someone in the business world said that something they did often was put ideas into action well before they were ready or sure about how to do it. And that by doing this, they were forced to make it happen– no excuses. As someone who lives in the “planning” stage of way too many ideas, this both scared the hell out of me and seemed utterly brilliant.

Think about it, how often do we use planning as an excuse not to take action?

It’s so common to let fear of failure stop us from trying. We know we do this and we feel a little guilty about it.  But when we tell ourselves that we’re simply “planning”, that we need to figure it all out first, then we suddenly don’t feel any guilt, we let ourselves off the hook, and we ultimately don’t move forward because we gave ourselves permission to take our time.

I think it’s really common to believe that before we do or try anything in our businesses, the best approach is to make sure that we’ve thought it all through. We think we need to have most of it figured out, especially if it’s something new to us.

I’m not only guilty of doing this, I’m guilty of advising it: “Have a plan!”. And in some cases, I believe it. I’m not advocating never having a plan for anything in your business. But I’m starting to realize that we have to balance that with a healthy dose of “just go for it!”

Are your palms getting sweaty just thinking about hosting that event, or launching that promotion, or pitching that collaboration? Mine are!

I think having sweaty palms every now and then is a very good thing. It confirms that you’re trying, that you’re experimenting, that your learning. And those are three absolute musts for growing a successful business.

Like I said, I’m not saying that it’s always a bad idea to take time to process and plan. There is certainly a time and place for that.

But I’m beginning to realize that when I push myself to say yes, even when I have no clear idea of how I’m going to do it, exciting things happen. Sometimes things work exactly as I’d hoped. Other times they absolutely do not but I learn I a lot!

So I’ve decided to challenge myself to do more of this. To say yes and see how it all works out.

Who’s ready to try the sink or swim method with me?!

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. sarafina

    good post it really helps thank u Nicole

    • Casey Cline

      We’re so glad you found this post helpful, Sarafina! 🙂

  2. Billy Bones

    Good post! One of the most important things that I’ve learned over time is the importance of taking risks, and not being afraid of failure.

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