It’s a heavy blow to any entrepreneur when one unexpected action pushes your whole operation back to square one. All you can see and think about is months of planning and research down the tubes. Hours spent writing business plans, marketing plans, designing, filling out tech packs, and meetings seem wasted. At the moment when you find out the one thing you needed to happen to initiate that final push to an advanced level of success is not about to go down; you panic. It feels like defeat. Symptoms of an anxiety attack began creeping up on me. The stomach knots up, heart beats fast, and I became light-headed. In your mind, it’s over. But in reality, it’s not.
You have to learn from every experience. When you’re out here trying to make it, grinding and hustling; you have to also be actively learning. This experience taught me a lot about myself as a designer and a businesswoman. I appreciate the fact that somebody who is successful in the industry, and runs a multimillion dollar company; chose me as a client. They found value in my vision, and was willing to take a chance on TSXDH. Their comradely and insight is priceless.
I learned more than I bargained for and I also learned the hard way; but here is a list of some of the most important lessons:
1. Anything can happen
You can plan your heart out, and one single event can change everything. Accept that mantra. You don’t know what tomorrow brings, and with the world’s economy suffering from roller coaster tri-polar disorder; the market can bottom out without warning. It’s your responsibility to be prepared.
2. Have a well thought out back-up plan in place at all times
3. Recognize your advantage
Identify what drew the investor in, and capitalize on those qualities. What did they like about your product or company?
4. Don’t dwell on it
Businesses pop up and fail every day, while ideas are born and suddenly die. Your job is to make the next strategic move to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.
5. It’s easier to move on than you think
You don’t have to be loyal to old ideas and plans. It’s much more important to figure out what you need to do to move forward.
6. The loss isn’t always because you’ve done something wrong
It’s not you it’s them. Just because a deal falls through, doesn’t mean you f’ed up something. Your ideas are still viable, and profitable. The issue may not have anything to do with you, so don’t be too hard on yourself trying to place blame.
7. Work with what you’ve got
When you’re trying to creep back on a come up, use the tools that are at your immediate disposal. Identify what works and go with it.
8. Fall back on what you know
Go for what you know. In my case, my Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Product Development is flexing its muscles. I feel confident in my knowledge and fully understand the fashion design process from concept to creation; the business as well as the design perspective. I know what to do next, and how to do it.
9. Don’t freak out
…and if you do, freak out internally. Once you’re done and you clear your head, your mind will start to put the pieces back together. But you have to get that anger and disappointment off your back first.
Pray, meditate, or do whatever it is you do to unwind. A spiritual outlet gives the mind some clarity.
Where you are today, is not where you have to stay. But what you do today, can influence how far you go and how you get there. Well, on to plan B… Stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene.
TSX Design House
Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is art In 3d