Fashion Business Owner Musings: Stress is Caused By Giving a Crap


Stress is Caused By Giving a Crap.

I heard this phrase on the StartUp podcast, a favorite of mine, and it got me thinking. I used to have a real issue with stress management. I’m someone who tends to stress out easily, laid-back is not something I’ve ever been described as.

It’s an ongoing practice for me to keep my stress level under control, and I when I heard this phrase — stress is caused by giving a crap– it made me smile. Because, I don’t know about you all, but I carry a lot of guilt around my stress. I feel dramatic and unprofessional when I allow myself to get all stressed out about something.

I can’t stay focused, I replay things in my head, and I postulate non-issues.

And all this does is reiterate the stress and make it even greater.

So, the reason I smiled at this is because it was the first time I questioned the guilt I’ve felt around stress. This one sentence gave me a clearer picture of why I get so stressed out. It’s not that it gives me permission to stress out, it’s just that it helps me to understand where it’s coming from and then I can better deal with it.

I’m willing to bet, that regardless of what stage of your fashion business you’re in, you are experiencing stress. Stress over money, over growth, over time management…

Maybe you’re great at dealing with stress. And if that is the case, I’m jealous! But if you’re like me, and you feel the stress creep in, making it impossible to do your work and be truly productive, you may want to think about this.

You’re stressing out because you care. You will never stop caring (if you do, it’s time to move on from the business) but you can acknowledge what is happening and use it to better manage the stress.

Here’s what I mean. Since hearing the phrase on that podcast, I’ve begun that practice of asking myself,

Why are you stressed out right now?

Then I answer myself. And the conversation starts…

Because I have no idea how I’m going to get all of this done today.

Well, should I really be trying to do all of this today?

If I don’t do it, who will?!

Can it be delegated to a person? If not, how about delegated to a time slot?

Hm, yeah, I guess it could.

I’m going to block off some time in my calendar later today to focus on this and in the meantime, stop thinking (and stressing!) about it.

Yes, I talk to myself. No, I’m not crazy. Working through my issues like this helps with my stress.

And before I realized how much of my stress is caused by the fact that I care so much about StartUp FASHION and the people it serves, it was hard to talk myself through it.  The dialogue I had was more about my lack of ability or my lack of skills as a leader.

So the next time you’re stressing out and you’re letting that stress cause you doubt  in your own abilities, remember that you’re stressed because you care, not because you’re bad at what you do.

Talk to yourself, create a plan, work through it.

Just don’t give up.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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!