Podcast Ep. 44: How to Pivot from a Traditional Career to Fashion Entrepreneurship

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Are you thinking about taking the leap from a more traditional career to the world of entrepreneurship? Have you thought about how your daily life will change? Have you talked it through with your partner or spouse? And also, where do you even start? In this episode, I’m going to give you some questions to ask yourself and some things to think about if you are considering a career shift.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Should You Quit Your Day Job to Start Your Fashion Brand

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Sustainable Fashion Brand

The Fashion Business Summit



TRANSCRIPT

Are you thinking about taking the leap from a more traditional career to the world of entrepreneurship? Have you thought about how your daily life will change? Have you talked it through with your partner or spouse? And also, where do you even start? In this episode, I’m going to give you some questions to ask yourself and some things to think about if you are considering a career shift.

Okay, so there are a few things to think about here – actually I have seven things, so I’m going to go through each one.

  1. First, you’ll want to decide if you should quit your day job or current career. If that’s still up in the air for you and you’re not sure what to do, I have a whole separate episode called “Should You Quit Your Day Job to Start Your Fashion Brand?” that I’ll link to in the show notes below. Take a listen to that if you’re on the fence about what to do. Also, the advice I give is probably not what you think it’s going to be.
  2. The next thing you’ll want to decide, if you do decide to keep your current job or career while you launch your startup, is if you should tell your boss, manager or coworkers that you’re starting your own business. I talk about this in the same episode I just mentioned but obviously everyone’s situation is going to be different. I feel like in the current state of the world, though, most companies are okay with their employees having a side hustle or project they’re working on as long as it doesn’t affect their work. Again, this is situational so you want to make sure there won’t be any repercussions if you do tell anyone. You also want to make sure there won’t be any repercussions if you don’t tell anyone and then someone finds out via social media or word of mouth. Sometimes a casual chat with your HR department (if you have one) can help you figure this out.
  3. The third thing you’ll want to figure out is if your spouse or partner is on board with you starting a business. This is a really important conversation to have because if you do go down the road of entrepreneurship, then other things in your life – like free time and disposable income – will likely be sacrificed. If you have kids, for example, is your partner willing to take on more of the childcare responsibilities on a Saturday afternoon so you can work on your business? Is your partner going to be okay with seeing less of you in the evenings if that’s when you have time to work on your brand? Do you have a joint bank account or separate accounts? Will your partner be okay with you spending money on initial startup costs that will help you get your brand off the ground or are they going to see it as a waste of money? A supportive partner – even if they’re not invested or fully “get it” – is imperative to your long term success as a business owner. And to be honest, this doesn’t change as your business grows. Nearly a decade into entrepreneurship, I still need to lean on my husband to take the baby some afternoons so I can get work done that I may have not been able to complete earlier in the day.
  4. On that note, you’ll want to identify “open hours” and create a schedule. What do your day to day commitments look like? Do you commute to a 9-5 job that will require you to dedicate your evenings and weekends to building your brand? Do you have a more flexible schedule that allows you to work from home and complete business-related tasks in between the responsibilities of your “real job”? Are your weekdays packed with childcare, after-school activities, grocery shopping, meal prep and the other commitments that come with running a home and family? To successfully make the transition into entrepreneurship, you’ll need to sit down, look at your daily schedule and identify the open hours or blocks of time that you can dedicate to working on your business. That time should be worked into your schedule and put on your calendar so that it’s blocked off just as any other commitment would be.
  5. The fifth thing is to create a budget for your business. Maybe you have a disposable income each month where a percentage can be allocated to startup costs. Maybe you’ve saved up a chunk of money over the years because you knew that you always wanted to start a business and this was the funding you put together for it. Again, if you have a partner or spouse that has joint ownership of your finances, you’ll want to have a conversation about budgeting, expectations and how much you expect everything to cost. I have a separate episode called How Much Does it Cost to Start a Sustainable Fashion Brand? 
  6. The sixth thing you’ll want to do in pivoting from a traditional career to fashion entrepreneurship is to start networking and attending industry events. Connect with other fashion entrepreneurs in your local area, take online workshops or classes, attend in-person and online events that allow you to immerse yourself in the industry and make connections with people who are doing or who have done the same thing you want to do. You can kick this off right now by registering for The Fashion Business Summit that we’re hosting on January 26th. It’s a one-day event that will give you the opportunity to hear from other fashion founders about how they started their brands and we’ll be covering topics like starting a fashion brand while working a day job, running a brand while raising kids, creating a fashion brand with no fashion background and lots of other relevant topics. I’ll pop the registration link into the show notes but you can register for The Fashion Business Summit at factory45.co/summit 
  7. And the final advice I have for making this transition from career to entrepreneurship is to set realistic expectations. What do I mean by that? If you’re starting your own business, while also keeping your day job, then it’s important to have realistic expectations about your progress, how long things will take, your timeline and benchmarks. If you’re working and/or have a family to raise, then of course things are going to take longer than if you were dedicating all of your time to your startup. Give yourself grace, know that everything always takes longer than you expect to but that’s why it’s also important to start before you’re ready.

I’ve seen so many Factory45 alumni successfully make the transition from a traditional career to entrepreneurship – they’ll all say, it wasn’t necessarily easy but it was definitely worth it.

Speaking of career changes, we’re hosting The Fashion Business Summit on January 26th and one of the main speakers will be talking about how she runs her brand while working full-time, going to grad school and pursuing a corporate career. She has a lot of wisdom, lessons learned and experience to share on this topic, so come hear what she has to say. You can register to attend the Summit for free at factory45.co/summit – the link is in the show notes below. This is the industry event to kick off 2023 as a fashion entrepreneur, so make sure to be there.