Dear fashion entrepreneur, I am young and restless too. Just. Like. You.
There are a few things in life that are just as intoxicating and almost as consuming as passion. If you have a passion for what you do- Like me, then you are in either of the two groups. If you are in the first group- you passion has consumed you entirely. And if you are in the second group- you are one career move away from being entirely blindsided by fierce decisions that will land you in trouble and commitments you cannot keep up with.
So, you’re wondering why I am writing you this letter right? I mean what do I know? I am also young and restless. Well, I’m in the 2nd group and I have a few tips to share with you.
Dear Young and Restless Fashion Entrepreneur, smile all the time. Even when you really want to shove your BlackBerry down a work colleague’s throat, just smile and be incredibly polite. You never know when you would need a contact because everybody knows everybody and you sure as hell don’t want a bad reputation.
Network. The man that knows everyone is equally as rich as the man that has a lot of money in the bank. Knowing “important” people opens doors. That is the harsh reality. Yes, I preach credibility and being able to show the fruits of your labour and your craft. But this is Lagos, you need to know somebody.
Be confident. I am not asking you to be able to walk on the red carpet for 5 minutes and have your picture taken. Nope. Go up to people and introduce yourself, hold a conversation and prove how good you are in your craft. Every now and then, step back to assess your career but never doubt your gut and your passion. Speak up when you have an opinion and smile at criticism. After all, even the most expensive and exquisitely made caviar requires an acquired taste. Not everyone will like you and your craft, but they will respect your confidence.
Hold on to a group of true friends outside your work, the industry can get cold. So if you’re going to meet up with someone so you can vent and have a good cry then it sure as hell has to be a friend that has your true interests at heart.
Keep new projects and initiatives confidential, we live in a world where originality is so rare, people are so intoxicated with the idea of imitation and perfecting the act of it. If you have an idea, shut your mouth till you are really ready to execute it.
Be young, free and ofcourse restless. Prepare yourself for stupid and daft mistakes, develop thick skin, have your mother on speed dial, keep a diary to document everything, push your body to its physical limits because you will have the occasional mental and physical breakdown, drink vodka with a group of friends and laugh all night, but remember to stay focused. Nothing with annoy your competition more. Be true to yourself and five years from now, you will read this again and think; Lucy did have some wise things to say!