Monday, March 16, 2009

Life lessons

Wow. Last week was crazy busy, and I'm not going to lie, I am hoping that it's a little more tame this week. Not because I don't love my clients, but because dealing with other people's angry clients isn't fun. So hopefully just that contingent will die down this week, and things can get back to slightly normal.
Work is not something that I've talked about much here, mainly because I don't want to call a bunch of attention to it, and also I'm not really getting paid to advertise here on my little blog. I've worked in this showroom since college, for over 9 years now (wow - please don't do the math), and while in most jobs that's a lifetime, I am still the "newbie" here, not that there is anything wrong with that. But I'm starting to really really ask myself the question of whether or not this is really what I want to do for my life. I could easily stay here, gaining clients, as it's an easy job that does have some good benefits. Or, I could strike out on my own and .... do ..... something. This is where I'm having the issues and the trouble. Ideally?? I'd love to have a little shop and offer decorating services out of it. Unfortunately in this economy, that is a little out of my reach at the moment. And since I'm not independently wealthy, I can't really afford to take on something or do something that could drag me deeper into debt. I've been toying with the idea of just offering myself as a decorator* on the side, building up a business that way. But I'm a little overwhelmed/scared/not really sure where or how to start. It's not really something you just advertise in the yellow pages, and since I've been out of school for so long, I don't really have a portfolio of projects to show. I am planning on using some projects in my own home as examples, but since we're still on a tight bill-paying budget, those aren't really fast-tracked. It will take time. And as I see more and more great and creative interior design on the internet, self-doubt starts to creep in.
So I feel like I'm kind of floating right now, seeing the direction of where I want to go, but not really sure how to swim out there. Meanwhile, I have a safe island behind me that I could easily stay on, cramped as it may be (okay, so that's my analogy for not getting paid very much... it was bad, I know).
I'm going to ask - have any of you that are reading this started your own companies? What made the decision for you? And more importantly, do you have any advice??

*Okay so the difference I am making here is that I don't really want to go take the NCIDQ to become a licensed "designer". Loosely, the term "Interior Designer" means the same whether your licensed or not, but technically, you need to be licensed to really call yourself one. So I'm using the term "decorator" to be technically correct here, so as to not ruffle any feathers. In my opinion, and from what I've experienced over the years, there are many many many wonderful and very talented "decorators" out there that are not licensed, and some "designers" out there that I am certain must have cheated on the test as they are horrible and seem to not have any idea of what they're doing!! Joni has a great story about it here.


Blablover5 said...

It is sort of interesting how the internet has changed starting up buisness. It used to be you either had to go door to door or get a little store. Now you can just put up a website and work from home.

Sadly I have no advice as I don't forsee myself starting my own genetics lab in the kitchen but good luck in whatever you chose to do. I'm sure we could all spread some word of mouth for you too.

Krista said...

Time to start saving up some money ... stay with your job ... but save up money. In a year or so, before the economy picks up ... that is probably the best time to start a business.

Tara said...

I think about such things as well- but I am usually kicking myself for selecting a careers that is not exactly lined up with freelancing or such.

Speaking of freelancing... both of the comments above are great ideas. Why not stay at the day job, start creating a website, work those fab blogging contacts, and see where it goes as a "moonlight" project. Maybe at some point you will have accumulated enough clients and buzz to go out on your own... Good luck!!!

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