How To Not Waste Your Time When Starting A Fashion Business

how to not waste your time

Starting a fashion business can be hard – learning how to not waste your time shouldn’t be.

As a business owner, your time is so valuable. You really don’t have much of it and so you really need to learn how to not waste your time. You’re wearing many hats, you are doing tons of things in your business, so you can’t afford to be wasting a second. Then at the same time, you also can’t afford to spend extra money because it takes money to build a business. You can’t afford to waste your time, you can’t afford to waste your money, and those are very crucial things that you want to pay attention to in your business.

We’re going to be talking about whether time or money is important to you, and seeing what your core values and priorities are. For me, I personally hate spending money on food – and I know all the foodies are going to cringe when they hear me say this. But I just don’t like spending money on food because once I consume it, it’s gone, it’s done, it’s never coming back, I can’t resell it, I can’t reuse it, I can’t do anything with it. My body has now consumed it. I’ve gotten all the nutrients out of it and that’s it.

I have a really hard time spending money on food because I don’t value food. Now, on the flip-side of that, I personally love to spend money on clothing. Not just because I’m a designer and I love clothing and shoes and bags and all that kind of stuff, but also because to me clothing – if you take care of it and if you buy nice stuff – you can actually resell it or trade it in to get something else. I used these great websites like Poshmark and different things where you can literally trade your stuff or sell it. Then every time I want to buy something, I just use the money I made from the stuff that I’ve sold. Therefore, I’m technically not spending any more money and you also can feel good about the environment because you’re not adding to the waste that’s going on.

Another example is, I would rather spend five dollars to boost a post on Facebook than I would do to spend five dollars on a Starbucks coffee. That’s just not important to me. I can make coffee at home, it cost me cents to make coffee. I would rather spend five dollars on a Facebook Ad. So, that’s just my take on things. That’s how I value my money and as far as time is concerned, this is just me. I would rather sacrifice my time and sacrifice my sleep and get up early to do things like go to the gym or go to the beach because those are things I’ve really enjoyed to do and I typically can’t fit them into my day unless I actually wake up earlier to do it.  

However, one thing I hate sacrificing my time for is to clean. I personally hate cleaning. I like having things clean, I just don’t like spending my time to clean. One of the issue that I have with cleaning in that you can’t just do it once and be done with it. It’s something that needs to be done on a continual basis and so I just feel like I’m not productive. Every time I clean, things get dirty again and I have to clean again. Therefore, I’d personally rather pay someone to do that tasks for me or to provide that service for me so that I can have my time to do more valuable things.

This is what I want you guys to start thinking about:

  • What’s really valuable to you?  
  • What are your core values and beliefs?
  • What does money mean to you?
  • What does time mean to you?
  • What’s really going to get you where you want to get to?

To win in life in my opinion, you have to figure out a way to earn money without having to exchange your time and that’s really what’s called passive income. There are many ways that you can do that so that then eventually you can spend your time actually doing the things that you love to do. If you’re trading your time for money, you’re never going to actually get ahead. You’re never going to learn how to not waste your time.

So, how do we get there?

It starts with your mindset. Everything starts in your mind. Now, here’s the question. If you had to pick one, which is more valuable to you – time or money? Money can buy time, but time can save you money. So, which one is more important to you? People budget their money, but yet somehow everyone forgets to budget their time. If we are valuing time more than money, shouldn’t we be budgeting our time the same way that we budget money? I think so. The value of the time you’ve devoted to deciding whether to buy the item will now exceed the value of the item in self – how crazy is that?

You have to be decisive and invest your time. You can’t afford to be wasting your time deciding on an item or your next action. Time is super valuable to entrepreneurs and fashion designers. You can’t afford to waste your precious, precious time. It is worth something and it does mean a lot. Now, I want you to imagine if you’re just able to invest one extra hour per day, every single day for an entire year, that would be 365 hours which would be roughly around 9 weeks, if you’re counting a week as a 40-hour work week. So, you would actually gain nine weeks in your year or over two months in your 12-month year, if you invested just one extra time into your business every single day. If you invested just one extra time into yourself into learning something and to making yourself better into coaching, into mindset training, into something that’s going to propel you to move forward towards your dreams and goals. 1 hour a day, you’re going to gain two months over the course of an entire year. That’s crazy. So those people that say you can’t make time – oh yes you can! I mean, yes there are only 24 hours in a day, but if you work more than you’ve in the past, you’ve now made yourself more time.

Spend more time on your business and less time on TV. As your coach, as your consultant, as your mentor, those of you are my clients – I’m always pushing you to spend more and more time on your business. This is why, because it makes all the difference at the end of the day. This is what’s going to propel you forward and really help you to achieve all of your goals. This is also another reason why I really don’t watch any TV. From age 18 to probably age 28 for at least 10 years, I did not watch any TV, I didn’t even own a TV and part of the reason was I didn’t value watching TV. I would rather save that 100 dollars a month on my cable bill and take a vacation at the end of the year. 100 dollars a month for 12 months is 1200 dollars, you can take a nice vacation to anywhere in the world for 1200 dollars. So, I’d rather spend the time and spend the money on something like traveling because that’s what I value more. Now, of course I do watch a little bit of TV now and I’m married and my husband loves to watch TV. So, I watch a little bit of it with him because I know that’s very important to him. Therefore, I scarified some of my time to watch some TV, but I really don’t watch a lot. I have one show that I’m addicted to –  This Is Us, that’s it, and occasionally I watch reruns of Shark Tank and those house-flipping shows or whatever, but other than that I really don’t watch anything. It has to be educational for me to watch it because otherwise it’s a waste of my time. So, those of you who are addicted to TV might want to start rethinking that, but keep in mind there is always a trade-off. Again it goes back to your values, what your beliefs are, and what’s really important to you.

Don’t start with a fashion show. Now, if you do have a lot of discretionary income and you have a lot of extra money just lying around, you can of course use it to buy yourself time. However, be sure that if you’re going to spend money to buy yourself time that you’re using that time wisely – that you’re using it in really useful ways. I typically don’t advise doing fashion shows in the beginning, especially when your brand is just starting, because they’re not usually worth your time or your money if you have to pay to be in the show. Why are you doing fashion shows if you’re not getting any sales? You need to make money, you’re in business to make money. This is not a hobby, this is a business, and businesses make money and have to be profitable. So, the first step is making money, then you have to actually make more than you’re spending to be profitable, and that’s my goal as your coach and as your mentor. Therefore, this is not a good idea. Please do not do fashion shows or anything that does not make you money. You need to make money.  

Try markets and popups to start. I’m actually for doing markets, but they have to be profitable and it has to be worth your time. So, I want to give you kind of a little example. This designer, she spent 500 dollars for her table. She was there for an entire day which was probably close to 10 hours. Therefore, she spent 10 hours plus all the setup time plus the driving time back and forth plus the time to pack her bag and log everything over there. You’ve got to add up all of this time – let’s just say 10 hours for the time being sake. She sells on average about four items at these markets and popups that she does and her items are about 180 dollars each. Four times 180 minus the 500 dollars that she spent to purchase the table to set up is a net profit of 220 dollars. When I asked her if she thought that was good, she says yeah, I think that’s pretty good and I’m like no, that’s not good. You spent 10 hours and you made 220 dollars. So, your time is now worth 22 dollars an hour – is that what your time is worth? And that’s not even including the driving time, the preparation time, the packing time, and all of that additional stuff. I think it’s worth much more than that, but then I said to her okay everything is not about money, emails are also very important.

Add to your email list. To me, emails are like gold. If you can do events like these markets and popups and trunk shows and get emails added your list, that can sometimes outweigh what you actually get in the dollar amount. Emails are almost worth something in money terms. You need to be gaining at least 100 emails minimum for these events for it to really be worth your time to go there and do this. So, whenever you’re doing markets and popups, please make sure you do your research and you do your homework on exactly – what type of people are going to be there, is it your target demographic, your target audience, is your customer actually going to be there – because if not, it might not make sense for you to do it.  

So, this is how I want you guys to start thinking about things. Think of everything that you do, every time that you spent doing any activity in your business and putting a value on it – what is it worth? What are you making for your time? Because you need to use your time in a really smart way and you need to budget your time the same way you would budget money. I want you to start shifting your mindset and start thinking about this in a new way. Start learning how to not waste your time.

Here are my 15 ways to save time!

1. Hire interns. They are free, and/or virtual assistance. You can hire other people in third world countries and pay them anywhere from 5 to 9 dollars an hour and that’s a lot of money to them.  So, they’ll do a lot of things for you for a little bit of money.

2. Use people on Fiverr.com, Upwork.com. Those are great websites that again outsource things to other people all over the world and it’s very, very affordable.

3. Pay someone to have your laundry done. In most states I would assume it’s pretty affordable. I know in New York City it is, so if it’s affordable in New York City, it should be affordable everywhere else. It’s not worth it for you to spend two hours doing your laundry when you can pay someone 20 bucks to do it for you and they’ll fold it for you, too.  

4. Have your groceries delivered. It is not worth it for you to trek it to the grocery store, you can buy everything on your phone and on the internet, and have them delivered to you.

5. Hire a cleaning lady. That’s definitely if you’re like me.  

6. Group like tasks together. If you have to do a bunch of stuff on Facebook, do it all at once.  If you have to run a bunch of errands that are all on the same area, do them all at once. Don’t space things out because that’s going to waste a lot of your time, so try to group like tasks together.

7. Only check your emails four times a day. Now, I know that’s hard for a lot of us, but trust me you’ll save a lot of time. I check my emails in the morning first thing when I wake up, usually around lunch time, noon, 12:30, and 1 o’clock when I’m eating my lunch something like that.  Again, around 4:00 p.m. and 05:00 p.m., right before people start to leave work; that’s sort of thing and then usually at night sometimes around 09:00 or 10:00 p.m. So, four times a day. I am daring you try to do it – try to only check your emails four times a day.

8. Set a timer when you’re on social media. Social media will suck your time away, trust me.  You can go on there to do one thing and an hour will pass by. So, set a timer on your phone, every time you’re going to check Instagram, every time you’re going to check Facebook, and make sure you’ll abide by the timer 15 minutes, 20 minutes stops. Remember that time is worth something.  

9. Act like every task is a race. When I get up in the morning, I’m rushing to do as many things as I possibly can and as fast as I possibly can. So, I act like it’s a race. I act like tomorrow I’m going on vacation and I’ve to get everything done today because there is no tomorrow, right.  Don’t you find it odd that somehow when you have to go away on vacation, you somehow get all this stuff done that you were not able to get done before in the past that you’re able to get done before you went on vacation? It’s because you’re rushing, because you know that you’re not going to be able to do anything once you’re on vacation. So, if you act like that on an everyday basis, it’s going to help.

10. Delegate whenever possible. I heard this great quote one time. “If someone can do something 80% as good as you, you better delegate it.” If you’re a perfectionist, this is going to be tough for you. But if not, delegate. I try to give as much out as possible so that I can free up my time whenever possible.

11. Take 10-minute breaks for small tasks. There is always going to be little things that come up, so set a timer again. Do something for 10 minutes as long as you can do it and if you don’t finish, try not to go back to it, work on whatever you’re doing and then go back to it later in another 10-minute break. So, take 10-minute little breaks to get a lot of stuff done.

12. Create systems. I love systems. Systems stand for “save yourself some time, energy, and money.” So, you definitely want to implement systems whenever you can. It might take you one minute longer, two minutes longer, even an hour longer to create a system. However, trust me you’ll love the benefits so much more and you’ll save so much more time then you ended up putting in to create the system in the first place. It works every single time.

13. Stay organized. You’ll always be more productive if you’re organized.  

14. Plan ahead. Like I always say, you either fail to plan or you plan to fail. So definitely always, ALWAYS make sure you’re planning.

15. Prioritize. Not everything is as important as you think it is all at the same time. You have to prioritize your tasks to make sure that you’re doing what’s most important at the most important time.

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I’ll leave you with my favorite quote - “Don’t just do your best, do whatever it takes and find out what the value of your time is.” So, what is YOUR time worth?

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Fashion Consultant Christine Daal


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