Too Many Projects and Not Enough Money – Fashion Designer Entrepreneurs Beware

“She’s out of her mind.”

That’s all I could think when I got off the phone the other day with a friend of mine, another Mompreneur.  She was complaining that she was just NOT making enough money in her business so I asked her, “What are you currently doing to bring money into your business?”

Simple question, right?

multiple ideas for fashion designers Well…  She talked on and on about all the different projects she had going – and all the different types of products too.  3 different websites!  4 different target customers!  Oh, she was so SO busy, Jane.

I started to feel a little exhausted.

I also recognized in her a problem that I’ve faced myself.

The Unfinished-No-Money-Making-Multi-Project Syndrome.

And yes, that’s the official name.

You could also call it the Biz Road to Nowhere but More Debt Syndrome.

It involves too many projects that are started, remain UNFINISHED and bring in NO CASH.

This addiction to starting new projects is so common for creative people. But it leads to the dreaded sense of overwhelm.  Self-generated, self-defeating overwhelm.  It’s hard to launch and run a fashion business when you’re constantly overwhelmed.

Many entrepreneurs say yes when they should say NO.  Multiple creative ideas can be the kiss of death.  Starting new things does NOT pay the bills.  Finishing something and selling something does.

Here’s what you can do:

Step 1) Figure out what you really want

What do you want for your business in general? How much in sales would you like to see?  In profit?   Are you clear on exactly what products you will sell to reach these goals?  What products are the most profitable?  Do you want to sell your line to boutiques? Sell to department stores?  Host trunk shows?

If you don’t know the answers, it’s time to figure it out.  Right now.

I often say to clients that I can help them reach MOST any goal for their business IF they can just tell me exactly what it is.

Step 2) Do the math
Grab a pencil and paper and let’s try to get a little clarity here.  Just write what comes to mind and don’t censor yourself.  There’s no “wrong” way to do this.

  • I really want _______________________________ for my business this year.
  • In the next 12 months, I want to have sales of $_____________ amount and generate profit of this amount $___________________.
  • I will need to sell the following mix of products (and services, if that’s the case) to reach my goals at the following prices in order to reach my goals.
  • The first 3 things I can do this week to move me toward my goals are a)_____________ b)______________ c) _____________.

Step 3)  Get real

Be brutally honest about what it takes – how much time, effort, and money you really need to make this happen.

Take a look at all the projects you have going on and see what needs to go.  You CANNOT do everything.  You MUST focus on what will make money for you and your business.  Determine your priorities.  There’s rent to pay.

Step 4) Think before you answer

Unless you’re definitely going to say no, the next time a potential new project or opportunity comes up, don’t answer right away.  Whether it’s PTA, a new line of hats, a freelance design job – whatever.  Just say this, “ I’ll need to check on that and get back to you”.

Break the too many damn projects and not enough money habit.

Call them back and say, “Thanks for asking but I’m over-committed at the moment”.

Then STOP TALKING.  Don’t make excuses.  Hang up the phone.

Done.  See how simple that was?  And it gets easier with practice, believe me.


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2 Responses

  1. I’ve often had the problem of too many projects keeping me from real goals and dreams. I like the fill in the blanks in your post. Why is it so scary to actually answer those questions?!? Thanks for the post!

    1. Rhonda – you did a GREAT job answering those questions for yourself on your blog. It’s hard to do, but it can really push you in the right direction. Way to go!

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