Day 66: When Stress Is Ok

There’s a consistent theme that’s been running through my posts this past week; doing things for the first time. Considering the intent of this blog was to document my journey of becoming self-employed, it’s only natural to move from a phase of watching tutorials, learning, and upgrading my gear, into a new phase. A phase of action. A phase of first times.

Stressful First Times

So far I’ve been booked for two weddings, and in the mean time have acquired two more couples interested in me shooting their wedding. With all of this new unchartered territory comes a lot of first times. Planning a wedding shoot. Acquiring the needed gear. Writing up quotes and receipts. Organizing gear rentals. Communicating with sound technicians from the venues. And so on. With so many new things on my plate, there’s one thing that is inevitable. Stress. But, when is stress ok? Everything in our society tells us that stress is bad, to have as little as possible, and if we do, our life will be better off both physically and mentally. But that’s only a half truth, and it’s a half truth that’s killing the chance for people to do anything truly noteworthy.

Stress Isn’t Bad

While I was attending University, during my Organizational Behaviour class we were taught specifically that not all conflict is bad, and the same goes for stress. A certain amount of conflict is what actually helps bring an organization closer together, especially when the conflict is resolved in a group effort. So it goes with stress. The way you approach a situation changes when someone has hired you to do some sort of work for a cost, in my case, wedding videos. You suddenly go from someone who makes a really good product to… someone who’s product is worth so and so amount of dollars. The first one actually never has a cap for your potential, but it also doesn’t have a minimum. As a hobbiest, you can make something really good… or really bad. It’s all up to you, and no one is going to call you out on it. When you do something for a price you’ve actually set a minimum for what it is that you need to achieve, and it changes the way you look at everything; from production, to gear, to deciding that you need to rent gear, or needing more people to film, etc. These are things you don’t naturally examine when you do things for free.

Stress Has Made Me Better

All of these decisions, pressures, and responsibilities each add a little bit of corresponding stress, but I believe it’s a good thing and something to be sought after, because I know for a personal fact that it has made me a better videographer (even though I haven’t even hit the record button yet). Everything through my planning, my gear, training those to shoot with me, and my overall professionalism with clients has dramatically increased, because of the one fact that my product has to be worth the value it’s being sold for. Why? Otherwise no one will buy it for that set price. And why does that matter? Because I need to work, and eat. In an interview with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, an audience member asks Warren Buffet what he does for daily work. Warren Buffet answers saying his job is trying to get his co-workers up at 6am to work the same way they did when they had no money. How do you get someone to work just as hard when they have all the money in the world? There’s truth to this statement. The truth that stress, pressure, and friction are inherently some of the key factors to accomplishing anything bigger then yourself. To be pulled and stretched into something you once weren’t.

Are You Ready?

If you believe that a stress free life is something to be sought after, you might find it, but you certainly won’t do anything great with your life, and I guess that’s the real question. Do you want to do something that’s bigger then yourself a week from now, a month from now, a year from now? It’s the perseverance through stress that makes you into something that you once were not. Are you ready to be stressed?

You can check out the Q&A with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates below.

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