I've made some crazy decisions over the years and I've tried some wild things in my business. When you're in business for a decade, trying and testing, facing tough decisions and sometimes failing is all part of the journey.
There was the time I thought I was ready to hire staff when I wasn't, and did it anyway. There was the time I decided to throw an event with only 30 days lead time to promote it. There was the time I decided to enter into a 12 month retail lease, but miraculously it fell through and a few months later we went into lockdown. Then there was the time I decided to close my online store, the little-bit-famous one that I grew over ten years to become one of the largest online stores for ethical and sustainable fashion - and I made that decision just last week.
Closing the 1.0 version of The Fashion Advocate was the scariest decision I've ever made in my business. I ummed and ahhed for months. I debated, I questioned, I justified, I journaled, I talked it out, I even dreamt about it.
But I knew deep down I had outgrown what The Fashion Advocate was, and it was time for change. I knew deep down that making the decision to close The Fashion Advocate 1.0 meant losing something, but it also meant gaining something else. I knew I couldn't keep ignoring the feeling I had deep in my bones that something bigger and better would come if I had the courage to make a choice and change. I just couldn't ignore the feeling.
When I finally pulled the pin and relaunched The Fashion Advocate 2.0 as what you know it now - online courses and mentoring for ethical, sustainable, circular and slow fashion brands - I felt calmer, more centred and more sure than I ever have in business.
It was simultaneously the scariest and the best decision I've ever made - and the best decisions often are.
I still get to work in fashion. I still get to create positive change. I still love what I do. I still get to inspire people to think more ethically and sustainably - it's just that now those people are founders of fashion brands and businesses, instead of customers and shoppers.
If you're faced with a business decision or a big choice or a big problem and you can't work out what to do through talking it out or mapping out the pros and cons, you're looking in the wrong places for answers. Take some time out and stop trying to solve your problems literally, and start trying to feel your solution laterally. Sometimes when we're running a business, we can get so stuck up in our heads that we forget about why we started our businesses in the first place, and it's easy to get disconnected from our purpose when we're so caught up ticking off the to-do list.
If you're struggling in business and need a different perspective or you need help to approach a business problem in a new creative way, reach out. I'd love to help! I'd love to help you make a scary decision in your fashion business that could be the best decision you ever make.