Fashion Business Owner Musings: We’re Putting Too Much Pressure on Ourselves

fashion business

I’ve been traveling for almost 9 months. I left New York last October and I won’t return until the very end of June. I knew that leaving home for such an extended period of time would impact my business. I just wasn’t sure exactly how. What I’ve learned is that it has done some great things and some not so great things for me and the business. But more than anything else, I’ve learned that I put way too much freakin pressure on myself to make things perfect and to get absolutely everything done.

I’ve been in a particularly pressure-cooker kind of situation while on my travels. I’ve been making myself crazy while trying to balance all the work I have to do and still experience the amazing countries and cultures that I am visiting. It can feel incredibly overwhelming.

We put pressure on ourselves over everything, don’t we? It’s like, every little thing sits on our shoulders and whispers in our ears– “don’t forget about this and that and the other thing!” The amount of hours we work in a day, the amount of emails we send that week, the amount of designing we have time for, the amount of money we’re making (or not making), and a million other seemingly incredibly important things we need to do and do well and do fast.

I’m getting light headed just writing about it.

I think this happens for a variety of reasons. First, there’s the perfectionist that seems to live in a lot of us. Everything has the potential to be a little bit better so we have to push ourselves to the edge of our sanity to make sure we get there.

Then there’s the incredible amount of reading and research and advice we take in. There are so many experts, advisers, and blogs (this one included!) that are telling us what we need to do. We take it all in and then freak out trying to make sure we get it all done.

Next there’s this feeling of needing to be further along in our lives and businesses than we are. We’re not yet where we want to be so we’re making ourselves crazy trying to get there.

Hm, what else? Oh, yeah, there’s the whole money thing. If we’re not making enough, then we’re not considering ourselves successful. I get it, we all have bills to pay. But damn is it dangerous to focus only on the money.

The pressure that we’re putting on ourselves can be permanently damaging to our bodies and to our minds.

Here’s the thing, we’re the only ones putting this much pressure on ourselves and if we’re not careful we’re gonna get to the point where we no longer enjoy what we’re doing. Then what?

We all have to realize that building something great takes time and while we’re in the midst of it, we have to stop putting the pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect. It’s messing with our health, our relationships, and our sanity.  It’s keeping us from enjoying the journey we’re on. And it’s making us think that if we don’t reach “perfection” or get everything done, or hit those goals exactly, then we’re failing.

So from now on, when the pressure is on, and you’re about enter into “I’m not good enough” mode, take a deep breath, stretch your arms over your head, think about why you’re doing what you’re doing, come to terms with the fact that you are only one person, and let yourself smile at all that you have already accomplished. OK?

All my love and encouragement,

Nicole Giordano
Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses.A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love.More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

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    This are really true words coming ftom someone who really understood and have been in the process. Thank you.

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    This article really resonated with me..especially the part about it affecting your health, relationships and overall sanity. You can go CRAZY trying to get it all done, especially when you are a solo-entrepreneur and there is no one around to “pace” you. It’s such a scary thing. We have to pace ourselves, and when we are driven (and perfectionists), this notion is non-existent.

    Thanks for writing this article!


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    Love your posts Nicole! Thanks for the much needed pep talk 🙂

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Thank you, Alex! I’m so glad you enjoy them. I didn’t used to write posts like these Friday musings (I wrote mainly just mainly business tips and some business advice). But then I realized that if we’re all going through the same crap, why not talk about it?

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    Addie Olutola

    Thanks for the post Nicole. That’s a really good advise that I’ll keep in mind when things get overwhelming. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing your blog. You are simply fabulous! I also admire the fact that you’re traveling while managing your business! That’s the ultimate goal for me! Keep up the good work Nicole! Much love and respect!

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    Your posts are always so on point. I recently launched a t-shirt company and your posts lately have been speaking to exactly how I’ve been feeling. Thanks you.

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m so glad that the posts have resonated with you. I realized one day that if we’re all going through this, we should be talking about, sharing notes, and encouraging one another to push past it and so we can do what we love. 🙂

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