With this being my first ever blog post on here, I sat around wondering just what I would want to talk about. I thought about typing out a history of denim, but the folks over at Levi's already did that for us... I thought about French Court Fashion and Versailles, butttt I've been really harking on 17th-century fashion lately, and even I'm ready to talk about something else. After I marinated and stewed, and then steamed, I realized I kept coming back to the idea of baring my soul in regards to something I believe most of us struggle with: The Fear Of Missing Out.
FOMO and I are well acquainted.
You see, as a young Sydnie serving in the 2% of Texas A&M University's maroon-bleeding Class of 2015, I had taken on a bit more than I could chew with my course load. I can't tell you if it was a drive to GTFO of that dusty College Station, Texas town, or if I was just straight-up crazy, but I smooshed Wildlife and Fisheries classes (on TOP) of my pre-veterinary medicine classes into two final semesters as a senior. I think you know where this was going. My roommates would be galavanting off to a night out at North Gate, and I, with my trusty sidekick french bulldog, Tiki, would be indoors studying, studying, studying. At that point, I'd fallen into the trap that was FOMO one-too-many times, with the results scribbled across my Organic Chemistry quizzes the next day, so I was well aware of what would happen, had I let it drag me back out when I had no business going in the first place.
Flashforward, way past 2015, and into 2019.
When I first started my vintage business, I was so excited to find vintage pieces, never letting a thrift store and garage sale pass me by (quite literally, as I've definitely done some illegal moves in my car trying to turn around at the site of a red-ink stained cardboard sign that read "GARAGE SALE: 1000 BLAHBLAH STREET." All of that excitement soon burned a hole in my back pocket, as I was racking up all these clothes "with nowhere to go," just because I was afraid to miss the next big treasure! Basically, I had let FOMO put my finances in a trail of shame, all because I felt some weird pressure to BE there.
So waittttt a second *record scratch*.
Where exactly does this FOMO come from, and why?
I think there's been an overwhelming pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
In this case, the Joneses are the big-wig vintage sellers, growing over 10k followers on their Instagrams, have over 7k sales on their Etsys, and seem to be BREATHING newly sourced vintage products. I mean, who can keep up, right?
Well, the point isn't to keep up. The point is to operate within your OWN standards, your own values, and within your own (spell it out with me)... M E A N S.
The curse of Instagram and social media is that you never truly know what is going on behind the scenes, what someone's revenue is, how they source their items, and how they do business. I have absolutely fallen into the trap of thinking I needed to... wait, no.. that I COULD directly compete with vintage businesses operating in person via brick and mortar only. I'm not downplaying my abilities at all, in fact, I truly believe Mixed Vintage has its own thing happening for it, but I cannot simply compare where I'm at, fresh out of a 9-5 job and half a year behind, with a business owner running shop for 3+ years and in their own space.
What do I do to combat FOMO you ask? Well, here are some steps I take.
1. I repeat the phrase, "What's meant for you, is MEANT👏🏽FOR👏🏽YOU.
(I've scoured the internet to find who actually said that, and well, no luck).
What this phrase does is bring hope, assurance, and quelches all sense of urgency and impatience in what you're doing. The things in this life which are meant for you will not pass away from you, no matter how hard you try or how hard you veer "off the path."
That being said, you DO have to put the work in, but you don't have to be dumb about it.
(speaks to herself). I put the work in, only to wrack up a little debt over trying to buy all the things from allll the estate sales, thrift stores, wholesalers, GAH! As long as there is clothes, IT WILL NEVER END. - which is hopeful in itself! LOL.
And pay with the cash you've set aside, so you can actually buy within your means. FOMO will lead you to believe you have to buy any and every GOOD thing, but you have to take into consideration the money you already dropped on other pieces. This leads us to...
3. STAY INTENTIONAL
If you've hit the number of pieces you need to have in inventory for the month, swallow and accept it, and get to work on those SALES! It sucks when you realize the pieces you pick aren't in your niche or aesthetic, and then you're left with piles of clothes you don't want to/are having trouble selling. I speak out of experience on this. Every time you grab wads of clothes, whether it's at an estate sale or thrift shop, or via wholesaler, go through the stack once, twice, three times, heck, four times if you have to. If you aren't feeling 100% about an item, say ADIOS, and let it go. It's not worth it!
4. RECALL THE PAST
Remember how falling into the belief that you're missing out on something made you feel last time. I have repeatedly felt let down by my actions, to fall into the belief that having MORE is MORE. I think in reality, doing the MOST with LESS is what drives businesses forward.
5. SET BOUNDARIES
If you know you begin to recognize the thoughts, patterns, and circumstances that lead you towards FOMO, then place boundaries in place for yourself. For me, I put a hard boundary at purchasing more clothes (no matter how amazing, original, and rare they are 😟) when my inventory isn't moving. I'm not going to pretend that it's great. It kinda stinks, but it keeps my finances where they should be, and also lights a fire under my booty to GET.ISH.SOLD!!!!!
I hope these come in handy when you start to feel FOMO's ugly hand start to creep up and make you feel like you need to be out there doing the most according to other people's standards and circumstances. No one knows what YOU need to do except for YOU!
So for those of you who are feeling like you're missing out, maybe because you work a full-time job, maybe you are carpooling kiddos around the clock, or maybe, you like to sleep in and don't want to wake up at 6:00am (or earlier) to be first in line at an estate sale... you aren't missing out.