Yeah, I guess so! So maybe a bunch of you won’t read the rest but come on, when is the last time I actually wrote this much?
There are times where clients might think I’m being super pushy or bossy. There are times when clients are so afraid I am telling them to do something they will end up not liking. There are times when clients are actually uncomfortable being able to visualize the outcome.
But that is what clients hire me for. To give them something better than they could have imagined themselves. To stay in your comfort zone means you get the same outcome you had before you hired me. To have “basic”. To spending more money to change things again or to live with “it just doesn’t feel right”. Or it’s just “good”. It’s “safe”. (The synonym is BORING.)
When I first started out I had many clients that just wanted to be able to say they hired a decorator, but basically they bossed me around and just told me what they wanted or needed and I filled in the blanks and they were happy. But I wasn’t as happy as I should have been. And my clients (hopefully unknowingly) probably could have been happier as well.
There was a lot of work I did that was pretty, but I didn’t take that many pictures and post that many of them because I felt they were just so… generic. Or the client was just too restrictive. Even though some of my work got some cool publicity I always felt it could have been better but I didn’t want to push, I just made people happy. I thought that was good enough. Worrying about what people think stalled my creativity, and having clients that worried about what people think pretty much just left us all playing it safe all the time.
It was also a time when I would pull the reins back and stop working for large chunks of time. I would turn people away, and maybe I felt a little sorry for myself that I didn’t truly enjoy the outcomes of some of my work. (Having young kids and a busy home life easily filled that void and probably kept me from really thinking about it.)
When I decided to just take my business on a new track and just do what I know I’m good at and not care if people think I’m crazy, there were fresh clients (and friends) who happened to walk into my life who gave me a chance to do what I do. I tried to stop caring what people thought of ME and focused on what I thought of my WORK. I also would say no to the ones that were not going to really let me do what I do, to the ones that were not all in with me. And then the results started to materialize. And people started to notice and want that for themselves.
That whole “what you put out into the universe comes back to you” thing is real. I put out some of my best work and I have gained some of the best clients. I risk freaking people out to show them the possibilities and they also take a risk and say yes.
And this is just the beginning.
Because the more people say yes, the more I’m empowered to open the creativity gates even more. You know, the whole universe thing I just mentioned.
When clients really believe in me, it inspires me to work so hard to make sure they are not disappointed. And I will take a chance at some who *sort of* believe at the beginning because I know I can get them all the way on board by the end. I get the nerves, and I withstand the doubts and the “are you sure?!” or “are you crazy?!” and I will push the buttons and the limits and I’ll get angry when people try to make changes back to what everyone else does because I now believe in me. I believe in my ability to ultimately make the client so happy they can’t stop smiling when they look around their home. (I saw that smile on Monday, when the client was literally just glowing when she was talking about the room.)
I also am aware when a client really doesn’t like something and will quickly change tracks to find the right solution. It’s not my way or the highway. But to have the ability to identify if a client truly doesn’t like something or is just nervous or unsure and to act accordingly is a skill I am getting pretty good at.
I am not doing this for ME. I don’t live there. I go all in for YOU. The feeling you get about your home in the end, that is for me.
So maybe I’m like the coach or the trainer or the parent that makes you do what you don’t think you can or you might not feel like doing because the reward is so worth the pain and effort. They know what’s best for you. You don’t hire a coach to *almost* get you to the finish line, do you?
And I think you should have the best. You shouldn’t settle for good when you can achieve GREAT.
Am I patting myself on the back? No. It’s not always enjoyable. I sacrifice time with friends and family to be able to do my work and they are usually not happy about it. My house and my dog get neglected too and that doesn’t feel good. And I don’t like to be annoying or a pain in the butt to my clients, or sometimes sound like a diva that insists on nothing less than the best (⬅️for my clients). I risk sounding arrogant because I’ve put in the time and energy, the research, gained the knowledge to know what I’m talking about, and the end result is so important to me. I still try to do it with a smile, knowing some people might feel like putting a hit out on me.
It’s more of a thank you to those that get it (and are willing to pay me good money for it). And an affirmation. I will keep trying to put the best out there and let the best come back to me. And because I’m always trying to improve, it will just keep getting better and better.
Because I also deserve more than good. I deserve GREAT.
And here’s a picture because you got to the end.