Posted on January 11, 2017
This year marks BMD’s 9 year birthday as well as my 18th year working in residential design. For me, it’s a significant milestone that has cause me to pause and reflect. When I created BMD there was a confluence of situations that made me take stock of where I was in life. In the end it came down to a handful of reasons that formed my decision to leave my position, start a business and live the entrepreneurial life.
I was ready to take ownership of my career
Ownership, by definition, is the act or state of possessing something. We all know that. With my career though, I was not taking this approach. I was acting as a bystander, looking in on what was happening, allowing myself to be treated in ways that I had set a precedent for. Sometimes I would voice opposition to situations I found myself in but as time went on I became increasingly resentful. Resentful of my boss, my coworkers, my family…pretty much everything. What changed? After some intense soul searching I realized I wasn’t the victim I was so happily playing…I was taking an active participant in my life and therefore, needed to take responsibility. At my core, I was being driven by this unrealistic (and frankly unattainable) need to find acceptance from my male co-workers and counterparts. As a women in this industry there are moments of pressure where you are talked down to on a regular basis, expected to “Not be such a girl” in your reactions or my favourite, “Have a thicker skin” when rude comments are directed at you for no other reason than being a women doing your job. So I took on responsibilities that were not mine to take on, shouldering extra workload to prove I could be a team player and in the end, sacrificed aspects of my personal health all in an attempt to prove I was “One of the guys”. I had made these decisions and allowed standards of behaviour to be set that I knew were not acceptable, but I was so driven to prove myself I ignored my gut instinct and continued to sabotage my career in the hopes that I would be acknowledged. But guess what…it never happened. As a wise women leader has told me(a numbers times I might add) “You teach people how to treat you”. I had set this in motion and it was up to me to stop it from continuing.
I could see and opportunity for a slightly different business model
Ready for it…Relationships.
Building business relationships are key to any businesses success, it’s not a new concept. What I did see though, was an opportunity where my natural talents and feminine intuition(something that I had been chastised about in the past) could really begin to shine. I knew how to talk to people, how to make them comfortable, how to find common ground and relate to their situations. The shift from strictly offering a product at low cost to attracting loyal clients is what I felt was needed. It was about identifying and sharing my core business values with my clients right up front so they knew exactly what I stood for. It was being honest with clients about timelines for delivering products and services, something that was certainly not the industry norm. My word was my bond…when I said they would have it by Friday I would have it ready for Friday! It was going the extra steps to ensure clients were being heard and that the final designs reflected their needs, not my own. All of this went that extra step to create a level of trust that in the end has created loyal clients. I’m honoured that the majority of my clients have been with me for 5-7 years… I’d say it’s working.
I had a desire to change my life
I’d have to say, this may be the one aspect where starting your own business may not be the best answer to the “I feel like I’m always working” problem! I’ll admit, I was a little naive as to how much behind the scenes work needed to be done but it really hasn’t hampered my passion for living this life. When you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur you have to shift from simply working in the business to all the aspects of working on the business as well…marketing, accounting, website and on & on the list goes. But, what I have learned(and this has taken me almost 6 years) is that I now have the ability to design my optimal life. If I need to work a bit on the weekend so that I can have the freedom to take my daughter to ballet during the week, so be it. Not everyone can say that is an option available to them, I can.
With that thought in mind my focus has turned towards what BMD can do in 2017 to further help create the life I want to live while continuing our passion in shifting the paradigm of residential design. Allow me to introduce you to my upcoming workshop…Inhabit.
Over the years studies have proven that spaces affect our decisions, behaviour and ultimately how we feel about ourselves on both a conscious and subconscious level. The spaces we Inhabit hold the same importance in our lives as what we eat or how we think. It is truly that fundamental.
Do you often dream of a place you can retreat to at the end of a long day but don’t find it in your home? Do you feel pulled in a million directions at home but none of them offer you any downtime? Do you ever wonder if it could be different?
During Inhabit I will share my 18 years of experience & design insight with each of you. I will give you the tools necessary to understand your inner self & bring your space into alignment so that you can live out your greater purpose.
I’d so love to have you join me for this event! You can register at Picatic