A few weeks ago we attended the launch of Modern Citizen’s “Salon Series”—a concept meant to showcase the varied lives and career paths of modern working women. Each series features a group of women panelists from a particular facet of an industry and offers a guided conversation around their experiences, challenges and learnings. The event is hosted in Modern Citizen’s airy and impeccably designed studio/showroom—quietly perched above Union street, removed from the hustle and bustle.
The particular panel we attended highlighted women founders of fashion e-commerce brands. Panelists included Nicole Najafi of Industry Standard, Vanessa Stofenmacher and Chelsea Nicholson of Vrai & Oro, and Jess Lee of Modern Citizen. Having been familiar with these brands for some time, it was fun to have a “peek under the hood” of their inner-workings (stories from “the early days” of their businesses were entirely entertaining).
There was certainly no shortage of insight gleaned from the entire conversation, but something that really stuck with me was a point that was brought up by Nicole around taking outsider advice. In attempting to scale a business, you’re inevitably going to encounter the opinions and advice (solicited or not) of those around you—often from respected individuals with extensive industry knowledge and business expertise. While such advice can undoubtably be useful at times, it’s important to remember that no one knows your business better than you. As a founder looking to grow your business, you have to teach yourself to walk the line between being open and receptive to advice when it’s needed, and maintaining a strong confidence in knowing what’s best for your business.