Ready To Wear vs Haute Couture

Written by Allanah Hunt

Employee vs Entrepreneur

There’s a little secret that never gets talked about. Its hidden beneath layers of interpretation, time and illusion. It resides only in the minds and hearts of those who have been brave enough to take a chance on life. Brave enough to put everything on the line in the pursuit of their dreams and the vision they have for their life. It is only these people, and the ones closest to them that know the truth.

Do you want to know what it is?

Every successful person you have ever seen, will ever see or meet is … just like you! I can see you shaking your head and holding your hand up as if to say, ‘No they’re not. They’re nothing like me’.

You may think that they are lucky, have more talent or are smarter then you. And perhaps in their own field they are more educated and more experienced. But take any one of these ‘successful’ people out of their own environment and you will see that in fact they are just like you. They too have fears and disappointments. In fact their disappointments may be far larger than yours as in order to get to where they are they have had to overcome failure, regret, fear and loss.

Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option – James Cameron

Certainly there are some people who seem to have had everything handed to them on a plate. There has throughout history been a divide between those we see as rich and those we see as poor. But I can promise you that if you go back far enough, even those who have inherited wealth have done so because someone, somewhere along their family line has been prepared to sacrifice for what they believe in. They have been prepared to overcome their fears, overcome their grief and disappointment and to keep following their dreams and goals no matter what. They have been prepared to walk the road less travelled despite the cost, despite the ridicule and despite the endless hours of work and dedication.

And it’s a road less travelled for a reason.

The road to success is not an easy one.

It’s not a free ride.

And it has no guarantees.

A Job Is Like Shopping For A ‘Ready To Wear’ LBD

When you work for an employer you are exchanging time for money. It’s a barter in the same way that shopping is.

If you want a new ‘ready to wear’ little black dress (LBD) you might visit your local shopping centre or check out an online store. You may try on a few dresses to decide which you like the best but once you’ve decided, you give the store an agreed amount of money and they give you the dress. A simple trade.

Working a job is exactly the same. You hunt around for a job you like the look of, you apply and if the employer likes the look of you too, you make a deal. They will pay you an agreed amount and you will give them the agreed hours of your time.

In just the same way that consumers are protected by law from dodgy or unethical behaviour from a store owner, you as an employee are protected by the employment laws of your country.

Whilst you might tire of the job (and the dress for that matter) and want something new, until you end your contract, you are bound to continue to provide the service agreed and they to keep paying you. If for some reason the job doesn’t work out, you are able to free yourself from your agreement and move on without any obligations to your employer (or give away or sell your LBD). No hard feelings.

A Business Is Like A ‘Made To Measure’ LBD

Instead of taking the easy route and visiting your local shopping centre or online store, you choose instead to have something made to measure. In order to have someone make something for you, first you must have an idea of what you want it to look like. You must spend time researching styles, the latest looks, identify your body shape, what will flatter you the most and find a dress maker or tailer to make your garment for you.

There is a level of risk involved in this decision as you cannot simply try it on for size but must have faith in your own ability to communicate to your maker and in their ability to interpret and create the vision you hold in your mind. The cost to procure a dress in this way will be more expensive than a ready to wear option and you will usually have to pay ‘up-front’ even though you have not yet seen the garment.

In the same way, creating a business involves research, education, vision, imagination and a level of risk. You cannot simply go to the rack and pick a business but must create it from scratch. Certainly you can research other business models and follow the path that has been proven to work, but your business will look different, have different needs and therefore different challenges to overcome not least of all the potential costs at the outset.

What happens if you go back to the dress maker for a fitting and you decide that although it fits perfectly, you just don’t like it? Or you feel uncomfortable in it? The dress maker is not obliged to return your money just because you don’t like the dress they have produced to your specifications. As long as they have produced something that is to your initial specifications, the responsibility lies with you. There is always the chance that you will invest in something that just doesn’t work out how you hoped.

Building a business is the same. No matter how prepared you think you are, no matter how well researched and knowledgeable you may be, sometimes things just don’t work out as you expect. And just like with the Haute Couture dress that just doesn’t look the way you hoped, you can decide to walk away or to adapt and redesign until the result is successful.

Are You A ‘Ready To Wear’ Or A ‘Haute Couture’ Girl?

One little black dress is the same as another … or is it? What is it that makes one look classy, elegant and perfectly fitted and the other look mediocre?

The success of the dress is not found in the mechanics of sewing it but in the design, the choice of fabric and the desire for a unique and ‘one-off’ statement. It is the level of investment in time, effort and risk that makes for a stunning result. But more than this, it is the posture of the person wearing the dress that lifts it from a lifeless piece of material to a stunning example of the best craftsmanship.

The difference between ‘ready to wear’ and ‘haute couture’ (the people you see as successful) is in their choices. They refuse to settle for mediocre and push through their fears, past their disappointments and beyond the boundaries of ‘normal’ to embrace the possibilities that lie outside of their comfort zone.

And you can do the same. It may be the road less travelled but it also the road to fulfilment, achievement and purpose. It is the only road to the Haute Couture LBD that you see in the window and wish was yours.

All it takes is the decision to expand yourself beyond your current understanding, to move out of your comfort zone and to live a little braver and a little taller.

And then you too will become one of those people you once thought was so different from you!

About the author

Allanah Hunt

Allanah Hunt is an author and founder of Power And Freedom where she works to encourage people to reclaim their personal power and create a life of freedom and joy. Your past does not dictate your future unless you allow it to!

“It is only as you take responsibility for your life that you discover just how powerful you truly are” - Allanah Hunt