There is a lie being told in the entrepreneurial world.

It’s a false narrative that’s being targeted at people who are unhappy with their current work life and are looking for a change.

Maybe you’re one of those people.

The lie is this…

Follow your passion.

Quit your job and chase your dreams.

Do work you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

We see it every day: the Facebook and Instagram ads promising your “dream life” by people who look like they’re living their dream life.

It’s all palm trees and perfectly-foamed lattes and bright, white lighting. It’s breakfast trays in bed and bouquets of peonies and red painted lips.

But do you know what’s behind those beautiful photos and “dream lives?”

Many, many, many months (probably years) of it not looking that way.

Because the truth is, to become the picture of success — while creating a business that lasts — it requires this:

Doing work you don’t want to do.

In fact, when you’re first starting out, you can expect to do more work that you don’t want to do than work you actually enjoy.

And usually, it requires running your business as a side hustle while *still* going to your “real job.”

We all know there’s no such thing as overnight success.

But what I don’t think we always remember is that there’s so much more to the story than what we see on social media.

Chances are:

The fashion brand with the perfectly curated Instagram feed started with an iPhone and a Dropbox folder of stock photos.

The designer working in a beautifully-lit studio started in a converted home office that barely fit a desk.

The CEO flying first class to a paid speaking gig spent years sitting in the back of the plane to speak for free.

If you’re ready to start your own business, you should absolutely do it. It’s one of the most rewarding journeys you can take.

But there should be no illusions.

It will require “grunt work” — the things you think everyone else is outsourcing to interns — are the things you need to do yourself when you’re first starting out.

Packing and fulfilling orders, writing and scheduling your own social media posts, creating your emails and blog posts, going to networking events, dealing with tech issues that make you want to pull your hair out.

Those “annoying” tasks that tempt you to procrastinate or abandon them altogether are the things you’ll look back on with genuine appreciation.

They’re the things that will make you grow, build new skills and realize that you’re capable of more than you think.

Because every successful entrepreneur I know has a similar story of doing work they didn’t want to do.

That’s what it takes.

Here’s the truth: Successful entrepreneurs do things they’re not passionate about because they know that it’s not about passion.

It’s about purpose.

If you’re ready to put in the work to start your dream business, let’s do it together. 

You can book a free 30-minute discovery call to learn more about how we can help make your business a reality.

We can’t wait to meet you,

 

 

 


Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Having worked with over 500 entrepreneurs since 2014, it’s been fascinating to watch the highs and lows that we all go through when starting a new business. It’s cliche to say, but going out on your own is certainly not for the faint of heart. So if you’re one of those people who is starting a new brand, a new venture or even just a new project, this episode is for you.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Book a call to learn more about launching your brand through Factory45



TRANSCRIPT

Having worked with over 500 entrepreneurs since 2014, it’s been fascinating to watch the highs and lows that we all go through when starting a new business. It’s cliche to say, but going out on your own is certainly not for the faint of heart. So if you’re one of those people who is starting a new brand, a new venture or even just a new project, this episode is for you.

As a mentor, consultant and entrepreneur myself, I’ve had the unique opportunity to observe and dig into some of the most common lessons for new entrepreneurs. So today, I want to share the ones that I think could benefit any aspiring entrepreneur who is considering starting a company:

1.) No one ever really feels “ready.”

As with most big decisions, timing is rarely perfect. And yet, one of the common objections I hear from people who want to start a fashion brand but can’t take the plunge, is that they’re not ready. The timing isn’t right, their finances aren’t right, their relationship isn’t right, their full-time job isn’t right for starting their own business. But unless you have the confidence of Beyonce, it’s unlikely you’ll ever feel fully prepared. You can come up with a million excuses to talk yourself out of it, and yes it is scary… but here’s the secret: no one else feels ready either.

2.) Networking is one of the most powerful resources you can leverage.

I can’t count the number of times we’ve been on a Factory45 live class when someone says they’re looking for X and someone else says they know someone who has X. Whether it’s a garment factory in Brooklyn or a natural dyeing contact or a suggestion for a rare type of “seaweed” fabric, the Factory45 crew does an incredible job of leveraging the network.

Going further, I’ve seen first-hand the power of the referral. Doors have opened for fabric options and production partners, simply by saying “so-and-so” referred me. The response rate is tenfold.

3.) Don’t be afraid to push for “better.”

There are so many stories of entrepreneurs in the Factory45 program who couldn’t find what they were looking for, whether it was fabric or the right manufacturer or their ideal colorways, but they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. And do you know what happens 99% of the time? With the right resources, network, connections and persistence, they eventually get where they wanted to go. There is a time to push and there is a time to concede. You’ll know when you should keep pushing.

4.) Let go of perfectionism.

After all of these years of working with Factory45 entrepreneurs, we’ve had a heavy presence of self-prescribed perfectionists. Coming from all different career backgrounds, there’s been a steep learning curve to adjust to the idea that “good enough” is really “good enough.”

In the case of entrepreneurship, perfectionism can hold you back. It keeps you from clicking “publish” on a content. It inhibits you from ordering the sample yardage. It tempts you to throw in the towel over a minor technical glitch.

The most effective entrepreneurs know that it’s more important to get your message / brand / product out into the world than it is to wait until everything is perfect.

5.) The fashion industry is changing.

This has never been clearer to me than it is now. The slow fashion movement is real. And I’m so excited for the companies coming through Factory45 to be part of it.

If you’d like to be one of them, you can book a free consult call with our Director of Enrollment to see if Factory45 is the right fit for helping you launch your brand. Just go to factory45.co./apply

As promised, I’m sending out a round-up of podcast episodes for you each month…  

This roundup will make it really easy for you to binge the episodes all at once (every episode is less than 20 minutes!).

Here’s what we released in May:

Ep. 20 How to Build Your Email List with Lead Magnets (10 mins)

This topic is short and sweet, but will hopefully pack a lot of punch in your marketing efforts. It’s something that’s actually fun. It’s a chance to get creative to put your marketing hat on. When done right, it will help you grow your audience for your fashion brand much faster – because that’s our goal: to make sure you have an audience of customers waiting to buy before you launch your fashion brand.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 21 Effectively Negotiate Fabric Minimums with Suppliers (12 mins)

In your fabric sourcing journey, you will be faced with high minimums. You find the perfect fabric for your product, but the supplier says that fabric has an MOQ of 1,000 yards. Even if you haven’t worked out your exact quantities yet, you know that for your first collection 1000 yards is probably too high. Does that mean the dream of using this fabric is dead? Not necessarily. In today’s episode, I’m teaching you how to negotiate minimums with fabric suppliers.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 22 How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them (13 mins)

We all have moments in life when we set a goal, and for whatever reason, it feels like an impossibility to achieve. At first we’re amped up, we feel motivated and then time goes on and we don’t make much progress. Wherever you are in the process of starting your fashion brand, there will be things that come up that stop you in your tracks. How do we get around those moments to build a business? In today’s episode, I’m talking about how to set goals as a fashion entrepreneur, and actually achieve them.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 23 How to Use Blogging to Grow Your Audience as a Fashion Brand (14 mins)

It should come as no surprise that because of the internet, the entire landscape of selling a physical product has changed and will continue to change. The subtle ways that a business communicates with a potential customer will ultimately result in them clicking the purchase button. So, how do you start communicating and making those connections with your target market? For a startup fashion brand, this is most easily done through blogging. In today’s episode, we’re talking about how to use blogging to grow your audience.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Don’t forget, there are additional resources linked below every episode for you to get started and take action : )

 


Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


We all have moments in life when we set a goal, and for whatever reason, it feels like an impossibility to achieve. At first we’re amped up, we feel motivated and then time goes on and we don’t make much progress. Wherever you are in the process of starting your fashion brand, there will be things that come up that stop you in your tracks. How do we get around those moments to build a business? In today’s episode, I’m talking about how to set goals as a fashion entrepreneur, and actually achieve them.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Non-traditional Goal Setting Blog Post

Book a call to learn more about launching your brand through Factory45



TRANSCRIPT

We all have moments in life when we set a goal, and for whatever reason, it feels like an impossibility to achieve. At first we’re amped up, we’re really excited about the goal. We feel motivated and then of course, time goes on and maybe we don’t make much progress.

We lose our fire and that goal starts to feel completely unattainable. It’s that feeling of being so excited and then quickly realizing that it’s going to be a lot harder than you thought it was.

When in reality, this goal is really no less attainable than it was when you said it in the first place. I want to get specific today with this, and where you might be in starting a fashion brand.

Maybe you’re in the idea stage and you’re still feeling that fire and motivation.. which is great! But maybe you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve sourced some fabric, you’ve talked to a few manufacturers… but you’re just feeling a bit stuck. 

Maybe you’ve set up your entire supply chain and that was really easy for you. You attained that really easily and you’re ready to launch but you realize that you haven’t done any marketing yet – and that’s the big thing that’s holding you back right now. 

So wherever you are in the process of starting your brand, there will be things that come up that stop you in your tracks. This begs the question… how do we get around those moments that do stop us in our tracks? The moments that derail us feel too hard, are too overwhelming and essentially drive us to inaction. 

I’ve shared this story before, but I want to share it again today as sort of a reframe for those moments in starting your business when things feel too hard.

I was listening to a podcast episode with a neurologist who specializes in psychology and she was talking about neuroplasticity which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself with new neural pathways. Your brain relies on so many existing connections that it’s hard to break free from them. This is why, for example, it’s so much harder to learn a new language after the age of 26. The neurologist explained that in some cases, the medical field is starting to see people in their 60s who have more neuroplasticity than people in their late 20s. 

Why?

It’s that the people in their 60s are willing to do hard things.  

It’s the wordsmith who practices sudoku puzzles. It’s a mathematician who writes a novel. It’s a Japanese person who learns Spanish. A person with dyslexia who practices crosswords. 

She said that the level of challenge should leave you exhausted and completely spent.

As I was listening to her, I started thinking about the entrepreneurs I’m currently working with in Factory45, who are just right now in the thick of launching their clothing brands. Right now, most of them are tackling new skills and challenges that they’ve never encountered before. They work their day job and then have to create landing pages from scratch. They went through med school and now they’re having to write copy for emails or product pages. They write headlines, do marketing, deal with tech issues, design challenges, negotiating, creating, organizing. 

I hear from so many of them about how much this process is pushing their comfort zone, but as entrepreneurs, we want to do hard things. 

We should do hard things and there’s neurological science to back it up. 

When you come to a point where you literally want to rip your hair out, can you think of the moment as an opportunity to wake up the brain, learn a new skill, and redirect those neural pathways, because in the long run you will be better for it.

We will all be better for the hard things we teach our brains to do. That’s the reframe. There’s the tactical strategy of it and that’s what I want to talk about more: How to set goals and actually achieve them. 

For me, the first step is to stop calling them goals.

At the end of December, I do an annual review of how my year went business-wise. It’s not fancy. I have a journal and then I plan ahead for my business the following year. Until 2019 I would always just write ‘Goals’ at the top of my notebook and then just start listing out the things I wanted to do in the following year. A few years ago when I sat down to do this, instead of writing goals I wrote ‘Focus’. At that moment I realized it was never my past goals that were that important. 

Yes, it’s great to achieve goals, but it wasn’t the goal that got me to achieve it. It was the tangible small steps that I focused on to achieve those goals. I want to walk you through this:

I started by dividing the year into two parts: Q1/Q2 & Q3/Q4. 

For Q1/Q2, I wrote down one singular focus. Not a goal, a focus. The focus was marketing: that meant for me spreading the word about the Factory45 program because I open applications every May. Then for Q3/Q4, I wrote down one singular focus. The second focus was the Factory45 experience. This is making sure the entrepreneurs in Factory45 have the best possible experience. 

For you, let’s say you want to come up with one primary focus for this fall that you can just really deliver on and achieve. Maybe for you that’s also marketing, so that you can build an audience before you launch.  

The next thing we would do is come up with a list of buckets that relate back to the focus of marketing. These buckets are the tangible action steps that fall under marketing as the focus. So for example, one of my marketing buckets was my email list and my blog. Underneath that bucket, I listed all of the action steps that go into my email list and blog as they relate to marketing.

So, if you were to do the same, you’re probably going to have an email list or blog or both. For you, that could be creating one piece of content per week. 

  • It could be written, video, audio, whatever you want.
  • Sharing that piece of content to your email list and social media following 
  • Cross-promoting other people in your niche.
  • Hosting an instagram live once per month
  • Creating a lead magnet for your landing page
  • Driving new subscribers to your email list through that lead magnet and social media 

There are so many other marketing things you could add to this bucket, but this is just an example. The point being that you are removing the emphasis on goal setting as this lofty unattainable thing. You’re replacing it with a focus and then breaking down that focus into small tangible steps. 

The next thing I do is I get out my calendar and I create a timeline. Let’s say you’re focusing on marketing for September through November. You would write down September and then list out the action steps for that month. 

  • Create four pieces of content for each week of the month
  • Email and share those pieces of content to my email list and social media following. 
  • Create one lead magnet for my landing page.
  • Host one instagram live. 

Notice that not all the action steps I listed a minute ago made it onto the list for September. Some of the things for September will actually roll into October and November because they’ll be ongoing, like emailing your list.

Here’s the deal, if we bite off more than we can chew by taking too much and saying we’re going to accomplish like 30 things by the end of the month, then you’re not only going to accomplish far less, but you’ll also be disappointed in yourself and that’s it doesn’t serve anyone. 

Here’s a recap: 

Number one, going into the fall give yourself one main focus. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else business related, but you want 80% of your effort in starting, creating, building, launching your fashion brand to support this main focus for the fall. 

Number two, list all of the supporting action steps for this focus and divide them into buckets. So your email list and blog was one of our example buckets. 

Number three, under each bucket list the sub steps or the action steps required. So again, we had some examples, create a lead magnet, do an instagram live. 

Number four, allocate each of these action steps to specific months knowing that some will be ongoing and roll over. So in the example we did, we had September and we allocated four action steps to the month of September. 

Number five, add each of these tasks into your task management platform, to-do list, digital calendar, whatever you like to use. I use Asana or Trello, but a good old-fashioned day planner works too. 

I often say to myself and others that if we knew what we were getting ourselves into, whether that’s starting a business or a fashion brand, then we probably start before we start

And so many people do. They have an idea and then it just passes through and they never take any action on it. That’s fine, but if you want to actually accomplish what you’ve set out to do, then the best gift you can give yourself is to break it into baby steps. Just write that down. Baby steps. 

The other thing is to expect it to be difficult and to persist anyway. Give yourself plenty of time – more than you think it’s going to take.

I hope that was helpful! I’ll post a link to the blog post that outlines this system of non-traditional goal setting so you can see the steps about the focus and the buckets in writing. In case you didn’t get all those notes down, I know I probably talk too fast, but you can use them for yourself if you want to! 

Are you working behind the scenes to start a sustainable fashion brand? Maybe you’re working a full-time job and pursuing your brand as a “side hustle” — that’s our favorite type of entrepreneur to work with. If you’re interested in learning more about not only starting, but actually launching, your fashion brand with Factory45, book a call to learn more about working with us. The link is in the description of this episode or you can go right now to http://factory45.co/apply We’d love to chat and hear more about your business goals.

April was all about manufacturing on the Start Your Sustainable Fashion Brand Podcast… 

I’ve put together this podcast roundup to make it really easy for you to binge the episodes all at once (every episode is less than 20 minutes!).

Here’s what we released in April:

Ep. 16 How to Find a Clothing Manufacturer for Your Fashion Brand (5 mins)

Finding the right manufacturing partner for your fashion startup is one of the most important decisions you can make for your brand. You don’t want to take this choice lightly and you do want to make sure you complete plenty of due diligence before signing a contract or hiring. If you’re looking for a clothing manufacturer for your fashion brand but you’re not sure where to start, this is the episode for you. I’m sharing 5 tips for finding a clothing manufacturer for the first time.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 17 Make Every Clothing Manufacturer Want to Work with You (15 mins)

If you can’t find a clothing manufacturer to sew your garments in the correct way, then you’ll lack the ability to sell and scale. I always tell my students to look at your clothing manufacturer as your partner — in fact, instead of calling them your manufacturer I recommend referring to them as your production partner. Because it’s this mutually beneficial partnership that can make or break the brand you’re creating.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 18 5 Things You Must Do After Choosing a Manufacturer to Work With (14 mins)

This is the last week we’re going to talk about clothing manufacturing, and while I know, manufacturing isn’t necessarily the most glamorous topic I want to make sure you’re armed for success so that you not only know how to be an ideal client to potential production partners, but you also know how to protect yourself before signing any contracts.Today’s topic is 5 things you must do after choosing your clothing manufacturer.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 19 This is the Business Model for the Future of the Fashion Industry (11 mins)

When you think about choosing a business model — your thoughts may immediately go to the question of how you’re going to sell. Will you sell direct-to-consumer? Will you sell wholesale to stores and boutiques? And while those are all important decisions to think about and make, the business model I want to talk about today is one that is *actually* sustainable – not only in terms of the planet and the environment – but when it comes to your wallet and business revenue. This is a business model that could significantly shape the way that you build your sustainable fashion brand and help to change the fashion industry as a brand yourself.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Don’t forget, there are additional resources linked below every episode for you to get started and take action : )

 


How can you incorporate sustainability into your fashion brand from the beginning?

What are small ways to make an impact on your supply chain?

What are some of the core business principles you want to make sure you’re thinking about first?

That’s what I’ll be talking about more on tomorrow’s episode of Factory45 Live – except we’re shaking things up a bit…

Tomorrow’s show will be a restream of an interview I did with Xochil Lilas of Responsibly Stylish.

I’m really excited to share this interview with you because we had the chance to talk about sustainability and fashion in a realistic and honest way.

You can tune in tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT the same ways as always:

  • Stream on YouTube here.
  • Stream on Facebook here.

Enjoy!

 


ON THE PODCAST:

      Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


As promised, I’m sending out a round-up of podcast episodes for you each month…

This makes it really easy for you to binge the episodes all at once (every episode is less than 20 minutes!)

Here’s what we released in March:

Ep. 11 Why Competition is a Good Thing (Even When it Gives You a Panic Attack) (8 mins)

As someone who works with and mentors new entrepreneurs on a regular basis, I’m no stranger to panicked emails popping up in my inbox about the discovery of a competitor. As soon as we discover potential competition, our cortisol levels shoot through the roof and we imagine the worst-case scenario. In today’s episode, I’m talking about why competition is actually a good thing, even when it gives you a panic attack.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 12 The 3 Essentials of a Successful Fashion Crowdfunding Campaign (20 mins)

One of my favorite ways for fashion startups to launch is by pre-selling. This means you’re selling your product before you create any inventory. It also means your customers are paying for the product upfront so you have money in the bank to pay for production. One of the most popular pre-selling platforms for fashion brands is Kickstarter. And it’s the 3 Must-Do’s for a successful Kickstarter campaign that we’re talking about today.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 13 The #1 Email Marketing Strategy for Fashion Brands (14 mins)

Your email list is your most valuable marketing asset. There are so many different methods and angles to look at when it comes to an email marketing strategy. In today’s episode, I’m going to teach you one specific strategy that you can implement today that averages 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than traditional email newsletters that you may be sending weekly. This is serious stuff, so stay tuned…

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Ep. 14: The 4 Biggest Mistakes New Designers Make When Fabric Sourcing (6 mins)

You know that whatever you’re doing isn’t working, but you don’t exactly know why. Maybe your inquiry email is unclear. Maybe you’re not asking for the right thing… in the right way. Maybe the supplier simply overlooked your email. Whatever the reason, I do know this: The vast majority of new designers are making four very common fabric sourcing mistakes. And in this week’s episode, I’m going to tell you what they are so you can avoid them.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Remember, there are additional resources linked below every episode for you to get started and take action : )

 


Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Has this happened to you before? Maybe at your job or when you’re working on a hobby you love or when you get really into a project with your kid. You get so caught up in “the work” that you look up and realize the work didn’t actually feel like work.

It doesn’t happen every day. Sometimes it doesn’t even happen every week. But when it does happen, there’s something so satisfying about it. It’s what productivity experts call the “flow state.” and today I’m going to share my 4 tips for getting into the flow state as a new entrepreneur.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Learn more about launching your brand through Factory45.



TRANSCRIPT

The other day, I looked up from my computer and I thought to myself, “Man, I should really be working.”

I glanced at the clock and realized that actually, two hours had passed since I last looked at it. It took me a second to process that in that time, I had written our March Workshop landing page, revised the outline for the four days of workshop content and edited the captions for a series of Instagram ads.

So I was working.

Has this happened to you before? Maybe at your job or when you’re working on a hobby you love or when you get really into a project with your kid. You get so caught up in “the work” that you look up and realize the work didn’t actually feel like work.

It doesn’t happen every day. Sometimes it doesn’t even happen every week. But when it does happen, there’s something so satisfying about it.

It’s what productivity experts call the “flow state.” (You may also know it as “being in the zone.”) Psychologists describe the flow state as the most productive and creative state of mind in which to work. Some even say it’s the secret to happiness.

Our goal as entrepreneurs, then, is to enter that flow state as often as possible so that we can create, design and build our businesses in a way that is not only efficient but also brings us joy.

If you’ve ever googled “productivity hacks” or “productivity boosters”, then you know there are tips all over the internet from work performance experts who will tell you how to enter a flow state.

But most of that advice assumes you’re a top performance athlete or a top-level executive.

What if you’re hustling to build your fashion brand as a side job with limited hours in the day?

What do you do then?

This is something I’ve thought a lot about and over the years, I’ve identified four steps to getting into “flow” as a new entrepreneur. Because when you only have two hours after a workday or only Saturdays to work on your brand, then you need to get into this rhythm as quickly as possible to be as efficient as possible.

Okay, so here are the four steps to get into a flow state quicker and more efficiently – and to remember each step I’ve turned into an acronym called PACE – P – A – C – E

The first one is 1. Prioritize

When you first sit down to work — whether it’s on your computer or in a design studio — focus on one task, and one task only. As you practice, you’ll be able to jump to other tasks without leaving the flow state but in the beginning, it’s important to prioritize.

In choosing your task, it should be something “long form.” In other words, it should feel like an investment to sit down and complete it. Tasks that are long form are things like: writing the campaign page for your Kickstarter, or writing an automation series for your email list or mapping out financial projections or designing next season’s collection.

When you complete the task it should feel like a significant accomplishment and take between 1.5-3 hours. Okay, so that’s the first step: Prioritize

2.   The second step to get into the flow state quickly is Ambience

For me, ambience is everything. You can’t enter a flow state with the TV on in the background or sitting in the parking lot waiting for your kids. You need to know you’ll have two hours of uninterrupted time in a space that feels good to be in.

Turn on music if you like, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, light a candle, put on your “cozy sweater” — pick some sort of cue that tells your brain it’s time to get to work.

Ambience also means you won’t be interrupted by your partner or your kids or your dog barking. To get into the flow state, timing and location are everything so don’t try to push it to happen if you know you can’t get uninterrupted time. Save it for a different time or day and use this more erratic time to do some of the short tasks you can do quickly and knock off your to-do list.

3.   The third step is Challenge

Challenge + Skill Set = Flow State. I didn’t come up with that formula — researchers say that the optimal way to enter a flow state is to present yourself with a challenging task that matches a capable skill set.

In other words, if you’re not tech savvy you’re probably not going to find your flow while trying to set up a Mailchimp account. If you’re not math-minded, then you’re not going to enter a flow state figuring out your production costs.

When you’re first experimenting with this you’ll want to purposely choose tasks that are the appropriate level of challenging to a skill set where you excel.

That may be graphic design or mapping out a monthly social media calendar or writing a free guide as a lead magnet. When you’re trying to get into flow, and struggling, look at the level of challenge in the task and your ability to meet that challenge. Then adjust.

4.   And the final factor in the PACE acronym to get into a flow state is Energy

Do not try to get into flow when you’re exhausted, grumpy, having a bad day, etc. The essence of being in flow requires positive energy — they go hand in hand. Don’t underestimate how important it is to get your energy levels up before you sit down.

It may be as simple as doing a few jumping jacks before you sit down to work or maybe you need to go on a walk with your dog. If you know you have time blocked out to sit down and really get to work, then make sure the hours leading up to it are optimized for your success. For example, try to avoid experiences or feelings that will trigger you and block your flow.

Okay, so that’s the PACE to get into flow – prioritize, ambience, challenge, energy – and will help you immensely in boosting your productivity as a fashion entrepreneur.

And just to tie this altogether in real life, I’ll share a recent scenario of how I personally put this into practice. So, a few weeks ago, I had blocked off three hours on my calendar in anticipation of a pretty daunting task. As many of you know, I’m hosting a four-day workshop this month for people who want to start a sustainable fashion brand. I hosted it twice last year and this year it’s invite-only which means I’m revamping a lot of the content to freshen it up, make it new and improve it even more. 

So that was the task: rewrite, edit and improve nearly four hours of spoken content. Which means, if I was going to be efficient and effective, I really needed to get into a flow state. So what did I do?

PACE – so P (Prioritize) I knew that I couldn’t get to all four days of content in three hours so I prioritized the content for day 01 and focused on just rewriting and accomplishing that.

A (Ambience) For me, this means eating a snack before I sit down to do anything long-form so I have plenty of energy. I also poured myself a cup of coffee, put two bottles of water on my desk and moved my desk to face the wall so I wouldn’t have any distractions outside my window.

C (Challenge) Again, this was a ton of content that I needed to revisit, reoutline, rewrite and then edit, so the challenge of the task was definitely there. I’ve obviously written content like this before, so the challenge wasn’t so daunting that it was out of my skillset. I was facing the right balance of challenge and skill to enter a flow state.

E (Energy) I purposely blocked off 10:30am-1:30pm when I know I have the most energy during the day and it also left me an hour buffer at the end to wrap up other smaller tasks before picking my son up from school at 2:30.

So, that’s how I put this into practice myself (and it’s always some variation of this when I set aside the time to do this) I hope this was helpful – it is something that takes awareness and consistent practice – and obviously you need the time blocked off to make it happen. But it’s a productivity booster that I’ve been using for five years and really does work when I make time for it.

Are you working behind the scenes to start a sustainable fashion brand? Maybe you’re working a full-time job and pursuing your brand as a “side hustle” — that’s our favorite type of entrepreneur to work with. If you’re interested in learning more about not only starting, but actually launching, your fashion brand with Factory45, book a call to learn more about working with us. The link is in the description of this episode or you can go right now to http://factory45.co/apply We’d love to chat and hear more about your business goals.

We’re bringing you something special this week. Something that only enrolled Factory45 entrepreneurs would usually get… 

Back in January, Denisha Ferguson, who is one of our Alumni Mentors, hosted a live workshop about goal setting for our Factory45 students.

It received such great feedback that we’ve decided to bring the workshop and Denisha’s methodology to all of you.

Denisha is an expert goal setter, having used the “SMART” method to plan and execute Indiana Fashion Week. And on Thursday, she’s going to help you set goals and targets you’ll actually achieve.

So join us this Thursday, March 10th at 12:30pm ET for this week’s episode of Factory45 LIVE! 

There are two ways to watch:

  • Stream on YouTube here.
  • Watch in our private Facebook group here.

3/10 Live Show: Goal Setting with Denisha

ALSO! Have you requested your invite to our private 4-day workshop next week? If you’re serious about starting your sustainable fashion or accessories brand this year, apply for this free opportunity to work with me here.

 


ON THE PODCAST THIS WEEK:

      Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


As someone who works with and mentors new entrepreneurs on a regular basis, I’m no stranger to panicked emails popping up in my inbox about the discovery of a competitor. As soon as we discover potential competition, our cortisol levels shoot through the roof and we imagine the worst case scenario. In today’s episode, I’m talking about why competition is actually a good thing, even when it gives you a panic attack. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Request an invite to the Workshop March 14-17th

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries



TRANSCRIPT

Hello, everyone and welcome back! I have an important announcement at the end of this episode, so make sure to listen to the end… so you don’t miss it.

Have you ever had these thoughts?

You see another brand on Instagram and you think, “Gah, that’s pretty much what I’m doing.”

Or “She’s selling the same thing I am.”

Or “I just found out this person is also making the same product, so what’s the point in me even trying?”

As someone who works with and mentors new entrepreneurs on a regular basis, I’m no stranger to panicked emails popping up in my inbox about the discovery of a competitor.

“And she’s so much farther along!”

“And they already have 3,000 followers on Instagram!”

“They’re using organic cotton and making it in the USA, too!”

As soon as we discover potential competition, our cortisol levels shoot through the roof and we imagine the worst case scenario.

EVERYONE is going to buy from THEM instead of ME.

So I might as well quit.

And while yes, quitting is the easiest route to take (in any situation) there are many more reasons to keep going.

In Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup, he says early-stage entrepreneurs spend too much time worrying about their idea being stolen and not enough time telling as many people about it as possible.

As a startup, Ries says you should focus on talking about your idea to anyone and everyone willing to listen. That’s the only way to get early customer feedback, hear what your potential customers actually want and find out if your idea is a viable business.

There is a big difference between someone saying you have a great idea and actually getting out their wallet to pay for it.

When early stage entrepreneurs worry too much about protecting their idea, Eric Ries calls this “stealth mode.”

He says: “Part of the special challenge of being a startup is the near impossibility of having your idea company, or product be noticed by anyone, let alone a competitor.”

Makes sense, right? Stealing an idea is a lot different than stealing an idea and actually implementing it — especially an idea that hasn’t proven to be successful yet.

If you do reach a degree of success down the road, then competitors are bound to enter the market. People see something that works, and they want to have a piece of it — this comes with the territory.

The thing is, as hard as it may be to take it gracefully in the moment, competition is a good thing — it pushes us to continue innovating and prevents us from getting stagnant. 

So, with that all said, here are some other things to consider the next time you’re faced with copycats or competition that makes your stomach flip: 

  • An idea is just an idea. Everyone has them. What sets you apart is your ability to execute. 99% of ideas never see the light of day, so if you’re able to get your product to market, then you’re already that much farther ahead than everyone else. So much of entrepreneurship is simply a matter of keeping your head down and doing the work. It’s not glamorous, but there’s really no alternative.
  • The “me versus them” mentality is the fastest way to sabotage yourself. As soon as you start thinking the world is against you and the universe is set up for you to fail, then it’s over. I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who didn’t operate with an “abundance mentality.” Repeat after me: there are enough customers for me and there are enough customers for them.
  • Competition breeds creativity. Having competitors in the market forces you to innovate, think outside the box and pushes you to do better than you would have done if you had a monopoly. While it may give you anxiety at first, you have the ability to reframe how it makes you feel. It can either deflate you or empower you — and you have the power to choose.
  • Competition shows you there is a need in the marketplace. Having other players in the game means there is a big enough pool of people who want what you’re selling. The market share is there and it’s your job to find a way to take a piece of the pie.
  • The great news about being in the clothing business is that, unless you’re selling to nudists, everyone needs it. Fashion is a $1.5 trillion dollar industry. That’s a lot of people buying clothing. And the average American buys 62 pieces of clothing a year. As fast fashion continues to gross more people out, you’re there to provide an alternative ethical option. How cool is that?
  • And this. This is the best reason of all: Despite how many people are selling (or plan to sell) something similar to you, no one is ever going to do it the same way you are. That’s just fact. There is no one else on this planet that is even remotely close to the same person as you and thus, the way you create is going to be different from everyone else. 

No matter how many new kids lines or womenswear lines or outwear lines debut, they’re all going to be unique to their creator. And that’s why it’s so important to know who your target customer is. It relieves you from having to sell to “everyone” so you can focus on selling to the special group of people it’s made for. There is so much freedom in that.

I’ve talked about competition a lot on the blog, in my live shows, and with my Factory45 entrepreneurs – it’s the topic that continues to come up because it’s so much scarier when you’re just starting out.

Working with mostly women entrepreneurs has taught me how sensitive most of us are. We want perfection, we want everything to go the right way the first time, and we want to show everyone around us that we can do it.

As soon as we hit a bump in the road, we tend to question our intentions.

We say to ourselves, Who was I to think I could pull this off?

When really, who are you not to?

Okay, so my big announcement – on March 14th I’m hosting a free four-day workshop that will teach you the essential building blocks of starting a sustainable fashion brand in 2022. But here’s the thing, this year I’m hosting it as a private, invite-only event for a select group of people who are serious about starting their brands this year. The good news is, if that sounds like you, you can request an invite by going to the link in the description below. So make sure to check that out, see if it looks like something that could help you take action this year and request your invite to join me from March 14th to 17th!