4 Lessons Learned in 4 Weeks
Hey, friend, hey!
It's our Month-ervasary, can you believe it? It has been one whole month since the launch of Ivyleaf Interior Decor and you guessed it, it falls on Ivyleaf's Tips & Tricks Tuesday. In 28 days (thanks February),I came up with one lesson I've learned for each week Ivyleaf Interior Decor has been in business. I realized that launching a business in interior decor has it's pros and cons but I prefer to look at the vase half-full.
If you would've told me two months ago, I would be launching a business in 21 days, I probably would've unfriended you. Before I even came up with this concept, my business lawyer and friend wanted to increase her following so she asked her followers to repost her flyer and in return, you would be entered into a drawing for $1000 of her legal services. I thought, let me support and repost because that's my friend but I remember telling her "I'll do it but I don't have a business so if I win, just draw again." It was a few days after that conversation, that the interior decor idea popped into my head and it was the only thing I could think of. I envied entrepreneurs because they had this drive and tenacity, I simply did not have... for anything. There was nothing that important to me that I needed to eat, breathe and live, plus, I like knowing where my next check is coming from. But it was in that moment, that timing made all of the sense because I was getting ready to turn 30 and something within me sparked like never before. It was then that I owed the launch of Ivyleaf Interior Decor to timing.
Timing is impeccable, and as cliche as it may sound- things will happen when they are supposed to. That couldn't be more true with interior decorating. This past weekend I completed my very first install and timing was what catapulted a successful redesign. For every second I spent away from my family, for every trip to and from the stores (6 times), for every time I doubted my capabilities - time was the only thing that allowed me to see the vision clearly. For the minutes spent researching mirrors, for the hours spent putting up floating shelves, for the day I spent actually installing - every second had its purpose.
It's important to listen to your gut and to pay attention to timing, if something doesn't work or isn't coming to you at that exact moment you want it to happen, just take some time- and eventually, you'll make the right decision.
"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory"- Arthur Golden
Doubts is like an idea-eating bacteria that nips away at every concept you think of, even if it's a passing thought. In the world of interior decorating, we are often battling with our doubts to buy the rug, to order the artwork, to purchase the accent chairs. I've come to realize that the reason most people aren't investing in the interior of their homes or spaces, is because of doubt. In the many consultations Ivyleaf has had, a repeated statement is "But I'm so indecisive..." I get it, it's hard to determine if a pattern flows with the theme and in this society, there isn't any glory in getting it wrong.
But hey, I'm here to tell you- it. is. okay. It's ok to order some pillows and then realize it doesn't fit your feng shui. At least you didn't allow doubt to keep you from 'submitting payment' and leaving those pillows sleep in your cart another day. Doubt will only live there if you continue to give it the attention and manifestation it so desperately needs to thrive. Instead of doubting your capabilities, write a list of what is causing you to doubt that next casting call, that next youtube video, that next business venture- and then shut them down with solutions. Make the purchase, schedule the consultation, order the paint color but do not let doubt win.
Doubt is debilitating, leaving you in a state of paralysis, and in Ivyleaf's second week of existence, doubt was a reoccurring theme, for both my clients and the business.
With the launch of a business, there are so many moving parts and often times, if you're a one-person company, you're the decision-maker in each one of those parts. You are in charge of creating the contracts, of designing the logo, of setting up how the website should flow, you write the blogs, you create the proposals, you schedule the calls while still maintaining a life outside of your business (IE: full/part time work, family & friends). That's why planning is essential. This may be a no-brainer to some, but failing to plan is planning to fail. In lament terms, if you do not plan whatever it is you're wanting to do- chances are you may not meet the outcome's fullest potential.
I live by my planner and calendar, I make sure I call my clients when I say I will and I confirm scheduled consultations in advance. I order the furnishings and accent pieces weeks before a client's install because I use my own personal living room to envision what their space would look like. I reposition pillows, throws, baskets, accent chairs and greenery so that when it's time to send my clients out for the day and begin the install, my time (here goes that concept again) is purposeful and intentional. It is imperative that planning is scheduled into your day to day, and in week 3 of Ivyleaf Interior Decor's launch- planning is the little piece of order needed in the chaotic world of entrepreneurship.
4) Appreciate the Mistakes
"Failure is Instructive. A person can learn quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” - John Dewey
Lastly, making a mistake is a part of the process. Once this concept is grasped, you will be able to do business as usual, but more liberating. I know we're living in a time where the standard is getting everything right on the first try, but if you believe that messing up is a lesson learned rather than a failure, there would be little room for an unsuccessful venture.
For example, because I am an over-planner (read #3), I ordered some accent chairs which I had sent directly to my home. I read the reviews and most confirmed it was a two-step process so little time would be required in "building up" but yet, over-planner here, decided to ship to my home, anyways. Mistake #1. When the chairs arrived, the packaging boxes were huge but I figured I could take them out of the boxes and screw on the legs before my install and hopefully with my hubby's truck, I could transport them to my client's home on the morning of the install. Mistake #2. When I realized that the chairs, were in fact too large for the truck, and transporting all of the furnishings and home decor pieces would prove to be a daunting task of one too many trips, I was scrambling at the last second to rent a cargo van. At the end, I had to reserve a U-Haul van from a storage company located 17 miles in the opposite direction of my home, I waited about 2 hours in line because of how busy the U-haul was and I still had to get home, load up the van with the furnishings and head to my client's home. I was 45 minutes late to my first install and it was eating away at me. Long story short, had I just sent the chairs to my client's home, I wouldn't have needed to rent a van, I wouldn't have tapped into my service fees to pay for the van rental because it was an additional cost not accounted for, and I would've been on time to my first install. But shoulda, coulda, woulda. The mistakes happened. And guess what, I may have completed the install an hour later than projected, but the smiles on my family's face when I showed them their spruced up living room made those mistakes totally worth it. Now that I have that mistake under my belt, I know what to do and how to things differently.
4 weeks in and I can genuinely say, that I look forward to whatever other mistakes I will make because human-error is a thing and once you can embrace the imperfection of being, you're one step closer to success!
What are some things you've learned when embarking on a new venture and/or way of life? Doesn't have to be business related. For example, what are some things you learned about yourself when becoming a mother, when deciding to change careers, taking the leap to live on your own, going back to school etc?