When I began my career, I started in market research because I was always curious about the WHY behind consumerism. Why do I buy a certain color over another? Why a certain dress shape? Why those jeans and not the other? Why shop at a certain time of day or night vs another? I felt like understanding the why would help me forever in my career and it has. After leaving the hospitality business which I worked in for over ten years and then honing in on design + build for local builders, I went out on my own founding GLDESIGN in 2017. As cliché as this sounds becoming a full-time entrepreneur truly is a rollercoaster ride. Over the years, I have learned the good and the bad of running a small business and the pretty and the ugly. At first you say yes to everything then you say no more and then finally you become selective. You hire, you fire, you succeed, you fail. Your signature aesthetic gets more refined and your clients become everything so you get excited about working non-stop because your brand is an extension of you.
It’s easy to get caught up and to find yourself working during family vacations, from your laptop at bedtime or on the plane when you should be catching up on sleep. Remember when I was giving free advice from the safety of my living room couch during the pandemic lock down? How much fun was that?! Well that was another example of not stopping LOL. But then my husband lost his job and I found myself working around the clock pivoting to make sure we could “survive.” Strangely enough I thought we’d have to close our doors during the pandemic but boy was I wrong. We got busier than ever because nobody wanted to travel and so everyone wanted to renovate their house. Grateful for the work is an understatement (and yes scared because at that time we thought the air was poisonous!). So the bottom line is that since 2020 I have been in overdrive with my team making dreams happen for amazing clients across the nation.
But here’s WHY I’m sharing this with you in honor of #transformationtuesday… I never stopped to slow down, take a look at my business to make sure it made sense and was headed in the direction I felt aligned with my goals and my heart. So for the past two years I’ve attended more industry events and have traveled with the intention of peaking my creative curiosity and to put it simply, learn! As my business grew I found myself itching to diversify and work more smartly. With the hamster wheel behind me I am excited about taking more time to mentor my team, streamline my business operations and take on more client projects that feel right for a checklist of reasons.
Two weeks ago, I traveled to California to attend the Haven workshop a second time. Is there such a thing as the “before California” GLD and the “after?” I think so. After hearing from all the greats in the biz, I learned that there is no one right way to do what we do. And guess what? I’m not even close to knowing everything and neither is anyone else. We learn every day and the most important quality to have is heart. Heart translates into passion which translates to drive and I’m just getting started! Here are a few takeaways from…
- Know what you are known for
- Never ever do you want to be hired because you are the cheapest
- Wrap your inquiries with a hug
- Better comes with consistency
- Know your business vision
- Hire people who know how to do what you can’t
- Take the time to reset your business
- Choose your clients like they choose you
- Celebrate your team and their accomplishments
And so much more by other greats but the above takeaways really resonated. In full disclosure, I traveled across the country again to meet my all-time favorite design idol, Mindy Gayer. It was kind of like my version of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour! Not only did I accidentally step on someone’s foot to meet her when I walked in the room and spotted her but then I may or may not have spilled an entire cup of coffee during her presentation. And guess what… she is the most human, most kind and most open person I’ve met in a long, long while. I have no shame in the fan game so if you admire someone? I’m telling you it’s ok to fly out to see them (just don’t recommend the stepping on feet, spilling coffee move). 🙂 Then I met Kristen Forgione who blew my mind and told us how it was. Straight! Although all the speakers had such different approaches, it was all in the same spirit… we work because we love what we do and we love to share our passion with our clients so they too can feel happy in their daily lives.
Look out for some exciting GLDESIGN developments over the next year both professionally and personally. I could not do what I do without my team, my crew and my clients and YOU all. Your support means more than you know… it means everything. I’m here to share it all!