If there's anyone who knows what it means to be unstoppable and fierce, it's Diana Nguyen, the founder and owner of luxury fashion brand Madison / Savile. Not only is she diligent in her craft, designing blazers to perfection, she's a woman that knows what she wants and how to get it. Diana started her career in the finance industry as a financial auditor, but after over a decade in the industry, she went from fashion connoisseur to fashion designer when she got tired of wearing blazers that just didn't fit naturally with the woman's physique. After three years of working with experts around the world to perfect her design, Diana launched her luxury blazer line in April 2021. During this Confidence Conversation, we talk about Diana's journey from finance to fashion, what it feels like to change careers, and how she cultivated confidence along the way.
Your worth is not defined by other people’s words. Diana says that confidence is walking in your truth, walking in your power, and knowing who you are and what you bring to the table. Regardless of what other people think or say, you have to know who you are and stand firm in your own identity.
What you wear can impact how you feel. We are more than our looks, but if you’re feeling down it can help to play a little dress up. Put on clothes that make you feel confident. As they say, you want to dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
Birthing a business is kind of like birthing a baby. Just like giving birth to a baby, launching a business requires a ton of labor, resilience, and time. To have a successful business, you’ll have to be diligent and attentive, as well as patient with the process and patient with yourself. There’s no single handbook that can give you a guide to how to build a successful business, because we all bring our own ideas, values, and vision to the table. It’s one of those things that you can research, but ultimately you have to learn by doing it.
Sometimes you just want to take a break, and that’s okay. I get it, you’re a boss woman with a lot on your plate, but sometimes “powering through” is the quickest path to burning yourself out. The best way to beat burnout is to take a break when you need one. Have regular check-ins with yourself, assess your energy, determine what you need, and fulfill that need. As Diana puts it, sometimes you have to pull back to have the momentum you need to spring forward.
When things get tough, go back to the basics. When life gets stressful it’s very easy for your point of view to get skewed and for negative thoughts to come rushing in. This happens to everyone, but the good news is that you can stop it. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath, pull back, and take a break. Go back to the basics and take a moment to look around you and think about all that you have, all that you’ve accomplished, and how far you’ve come. When you do this you’re able to clear out those negative thoughts and put them into perspective.
It takes a village. Let’s be real, successful entrepreneurs aren’t doing it alone, they have support systems and positive people in their network to push them and encourage them along the way. Whether you’re running a business or just trying to get through the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a good community and support system can help keep you accountable and encourage you through seasons of doubt.
Living with gratitude helps you put things in perspective. It helps you go back to the basics, feel grounded, and realize just how far you’ve come. When you focus on your success and what you can do, you’re able to get out of the mindset of fear and worrying and keep going.
Don’t be afraid to start over. Whether it’s starting your own business in a field you have no experience in, or going back to school, life is all about evolution. If you have a little voice in your head telling you to pursue a particular passion, that may be a sign that your purpose is calling. Many times this will require you to start over and that’s okay. A new beginning is a new chapter in the amazing book that is your life.
If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, let it be yourself. In the world of social media and reality television it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. However, when you do that you are really comparing apples to oranges. We were all put on this earth with our own unique path and journey. We aren’t meant to be the same as others. It’s time to stop comparing and stand out.
Strive for progress, not perfection. Perfection is a moving and unattainable goal. So, rather than trying to be perfect, you have to focus on the small steps in the current moment that you can take to make progress, knowing that you'll get to where you want to be.