By Patricia Lockwood
Business owner, interior designer & fearless leader of Design Vision Studio
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES. On April 2, 2019, I was traveling back to Palm Springs from a wonderful vacation in New York City and the movie Jerry Maguire was playing on the plane. Although I’ve seen this movie many times, this time Jerry’s plight in the movie really resonated with me because I was one very exhausted designer.
I was so inspired by it’s message, that I actually took notes. Knowing I could be doing better, I immediately set goals to work on developing new design service packages and find better ways to run my business.
What I didn’t know then, was my professional struggles in 2019 were only beginning. I had two nightmare projects with clients who I can only describe as being difficult. I also had a lot on my plate. I bought a new home – which had to be completely gutted – and I moved my design studio at the same time.
My stress level was off the charts and I only became more frustrated in my daily life as a designer. Inspired by Jerry Maguire, I wanted to tell my client’s “I am out here for you.” “Help me, help you.”
By the time 2020 came around, I was ready for a reset so I could find my Design Quan again.
I accepted that times are changing in the design field. I accepted that most designers have a whole new breed of clients to deal with. I accepted that we are selling a luxury service to a coupon world. I accepted that control sometimes means giving up control. My new mission statement, inspired by Jerry Maguire, was centered around acting and offering the change I wanted to see in my business.
My new mindset allowed for an incredible flow of new business to come my way. I launched new design service packages on my new website, which included ‘Day with a Designer.’ My P&L Report was glowing with numbers that I didn’t see all of last year. I was laser-focused on improving systems and working smarter, not harder. I established improved boundaries and fine-tuned my client expectations. I knew that 2020 was going to be my year and I was off to a great start!
And then the COVID-19 arrived.
So perhaps a revolution in my little design world wasn’t going to happen just yet. But what I can tell you is mindset is everything. I am shuffling and not struggling. I am positive as I pivot my business practices. I will continue to serve my clients and I will take time to smell the roses along the way.