How to Build Your Fashion Business and Be Ready to Leave Your 9-5So, you’ve had your lightbulb moment. You’re physically at your 9-5, but you’re already daydreaming about your last day as you eagerly research how to start a fashion business. In reality, there are layers of planning, budgeting, and experimenting that take place before you can comfortably leave your 9-5. Most of us are aware that entrepreneurship begins in the mind. The mental shift that takes place between the initial idea to your last work day will lay the foundation for your business’s success. The sooner you start thinking and behaving like an entrepreneur, the sooner you’ll be ready to leave your 9-5.
Stop Thinking of Your 9-5 as PurgatoryFirst off, stop thinking of your job as a barrier between you and your dreams. Instead, think of your job as a means to fund your dreams. Fashion is a lucrative business and depending on your price-point, you may need investing or crowdfunding to get your baby off the ground. However, you’ll still need cash flow during the building stages – while you’re still hashing out your ideas and developing first samples. In order to launch a crowdfunding campaign or reach out to investors, you’ll need fully developed ideas and products, which requires money! Your 9-5 can provide the funds for the early development. Your day job also provides a space for you to hone your entrepreneurship abilities. Learn to manage up as an employee and become your boss’s biggest asset. If you can learn to anticipate future problems, and develop smarter strategies; you’ll be able to do so in your own company. Those project management and leadership skills will come in handy after you leave your 9-5.
Find Your Rhythm and Establish Productive RoutinesBecome more aware of your energy levels throughout the day. Are you most productive early in the mornings or in the afternoon? Then, structure your day around your natural energy levels. If you’re still at your 9-5, of course, you’ll be limited to evening and early mornings – but you can still make the most of your Saturday and Sunday as you transition. Your quality of life is also important – this starts with establishing healthy habits and routines. If all you do is go to your day job and work on your business, you’re destined to burn out. Exercising, eating healthy, sleeping, and nurturing your closest relationships will keep you mentally recharged and balanced. However, making time for healthy habits requires sacrifice. You may need to cut out non-productive habits that hinder you the most. (Hulu and Twitter are a few of mine, but this varies from person to person). We only have 168 hours in a week. Your 9-5 takes up 40 and sleep takes up another 56. Make the remaining 72 hours count towards growing your fashion business!
Foster Your Business AcumenThe transition from employee to entrepreneur will likely be filled with bouts of discouragement and uncertainty. At times, you may question your abilities and doubt your vision. This is why cultivating a lifestyle that nourishes your entrepreneurial dreams is so essential to your progress.
- Make Friends With Other Solo Business Owners- Early entrepreneurship can be extremely lonely. Spending time with like-minded individuals will help normalize your experience. It also opens a door for you to exchange advice, discover potential collaborations, or simply vent.
- Study Business Management- You may have a passion for fashion, but as a solo entrepreneur, you’ll need to be well-versed in digital marketing, sales, budgeting, and operations. It’s smart to invest in a few business courses. We offer a slew of courses here that are specifically catered towards running a profitable fashion business.
- Hire a Coach- Did you know that most successful business owners work with a coach or a consultant? As a designer-entrepreneur, you don’t know everything. In the end, you’ll save more money by hiring a coach, than trying to do everything on your own and learning from costly mistakes. We offer in-person and over the phone coaching services for all your business needs. Our coaches have years of diverse experience in the industry and we’ve helped several solo fashionpreneurs launch and maintain profitable fashion businesses! Studies show that those who work with a coach receive a 86% return on investment.
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