Fashion Business Owners Musings: Mindset is Only Part of the Story

I have spent the last several years giving the advice that mindset is arguably the biggest factor in entrepreneurial success. I was wrong.

Let me explain.

Your mindset as a fashion business owner is incredibly important. It can change your trajectory. It can set the tone for your entire career.

But its power to make someone successful goes hand-in-hand with things like having access, getting opportunity, and not being on the receiving end of prejudice and systemic racism.

And until recently I’ve been totally oblivious to that as a straight, white, cis person.

I would say that the only time I really thought about the impact of outside forces in relation to mindset and ultimately success was in terms of gender-based discrimination. Why? Because I’m a woman, and have experienced that. So it was clear to me.

See how that works? When it impacts you, your eyes are wide open. When it doesn’t, you don’t think about it.

Not good.

So lately I’ve been thinking about it.

And we all need to think about it.

The state of our mindset as business owners is something we should all work on regularly. It’s a process to learn how to gain confidence, believe in ourselves, accept failures, celebrate wins, ignore perfectionism, stop procrastination, and work through fear.

All of this mindset work impacts our ability to launch, build, and grow successful, profitable, thriving businesses.

But it’s not the only piece of the puzzle.

Mindset is just one, single piece.

It works in conjunction with having access to resources like money, education, and mentorship. It is tied to our ability to access a network of experienced people who can share their knowledge. It is connected to the opportunities that are presented to us as individuals and as business owners.

And not everyone has that access.

Not everyone is easily able to get loans, tap into a network of professionals, be at the top of the list for opportunities, or learn the skills they need to learn.

So what is the point of me saying all this?

First, I want to amend my past statements that mindset is the key to success. And say that mindset is one notch on the key to success. And if we want to build successful businesses, we need to be clear about all the factors that come into play.

And second, I want you to think about what has impacted your ability to build your business so far.

Are you male, are you white, are you straight, do you have a lot of money, are you thin, are you young? Where has your privilege played a role in your success so far?

And how can you use that privilege to lift others up with you?

This is the important bit. This is what this musing is really about.

We all have some kind of privilege and we can use that privilege for good, if we choose to.

So let’s all work on our mindsets as fashion business owners. But let’s also work to help others who don’t have access to the other notches on that key to success.

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!