I need professional help. In more ways than one - hah!
But seriously, it's tough starting your own business. Having worked for years at a very well established high-end interior design firm, I am now starting back at what one might call the bottom. I am in no way complaining. Quite the opposite. I am thankful to have this opportunity to develop my own business while attempting to be a present mom. I know that many people would love to do this, but for a variety of circumstances cannot at this time in their lives. There are also those who love their corporate jobs and have no desire to grow a business and a child at the same time. No judgement here. Hats off to everyone! This is what makes the world go 'round, and we're all just making it work.
I'm just sayin' - being a small business owner can be scar-y. It's definitely outside of my comfort zone to completely put it all out there. But they say (who are "they" anyway?) that if you're not pushing beyond your comfort zone, then you're not growing. Case in point - I've been working on branding myself - basically just by being myself. I've heard that that is the way to attract your dream clients. It has been exhilarating and satisfying and energizing and terrifying.
That fear of rejection, the "what will they think?" lingers in my head way longer than it should. I know that at age 32 this is ridiculous. I should just tell that little nagging voice in my head to shove it. Sometimes I do. But often, I don't. I answer it's call like I would an old emotionally draining high school friend who I just can't resist meeting at the old neighborhood pizza joint.
That's okay though. I'm only human. Especially in a creative profession, you are pouring your heart and soul into your work. You then suck in your breath and hit "post", catapulting your creation into the universe (aka Twitterverse) like a helium balloon from your kid's first birthday party. Up, up and away it goes. Where the heck is it gonna deflate and land? An artist's rooftop party in Bushwick? Nice. In the dumpster behind Key Food? Ugh. Or does it reach the tip of the atmo(blogo)sphere and explode into oblivion, never to be seen again? No one really knows. But maybe that's the beauty of it.
I recently had the amazing opportunity to attend a creativity workshop with some other Brooklyn moms (thank you momtrepreneur Leah Fox of Charm + Magic!) and some of these issues of self doubt and judgment came up. I found it so therapeutic. These intelligent and creative mamas had similar hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. They also often had that same nagging doubtful voice, that little devil on their shoulder. I thought I was the only one - so glad others are suffering too! Kidding. But it's good to know I've got company.
These ladies also had some amazing recommendations regarding inspiring books, blogs and podcasts. I tried to soak up all of this useful information at lightning speed. I sat there furiously scribbling down notes. I realized I only know what I do not know, how much I have to learn from others.
I couldn't wait to scoop up these books, subscribe to these blogs and download these new podcasts. And speaking of podcasts, lately I've had a little addiction problem... As far as I'm concerned, they are the new therapists. While miss Avery Etta babbles herself into her afternoon nap, I excitedly scramble over to my iPhone like it's the secret 1 lb bag of M+M's I store in the back of the top kitchen cabinet (mom!). I can't wait to click on that little purple podcast icon, update and see what's new for the day. I empty the dishwasher along with my motivational podcast friends (more on them soon!). They can do it, and so can I!
Let's be honest - I need all the professional help I can get in the department of learning how to own it, love being boss, love myself and live life with intention while simultaneously running a successful interior design business and being a wife, mom (and don't forget organizational enthusiast). Phew! I'm not afraid to admit that this is as overwhelming as it sounds in a sentence. But listening to these podcasts sure makes it seem doable. (And it definitely makes scraping smushed blueberries off the floor feel a little less mundane.)
So, in the spirit of growing my business, working it and loving my s(h)elfie, I recently decided to have some professional portraits done for my website. Eek! How scary to be up close and personal with the camera. And to share that all with you. Here are the outtakes!
For the winning image, click here.
All photographs were taken by Alex Blaiotta, and have been professionally helped!