stop being a student

Are you a student, or just avoiding doing the job?

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For a while, early in my Decorating career, even though I’d taken and quite successfully passed a two-year course on decorating, I was convinced I had to take just one more course before I could call myself a full-service decorator. Invariably, during that course, I’d realize that another of my skills wasn’t top-notch, so I’d take a course in that. Or someone else’s method was slightly different, or newer, so I’d go after that… During which I’d realize that another of my skills……. You get the picture.
 I was the best student. I bought the courses, the books, the online training seminars. I attended most of them, and I admit I actually finished few of them. Or if I did finish, I rarely used everything in the course. Ever.


I was being busy just so I could be busy.

One day I stopped being a student and starting practicing my profession. I didn’t for a moment believe that I knew everything, but I realized that I knew a whole lot, and I knew how to solve my client’s problems. And I knew that if I didn’t know, I knew how to find out.
 I’d fallen victim to the curse of being busy. I was busy being a student. I was avoiding the reality that I was self-limiting because I didn’t believe in myself. Once I started to believe in myself, I was able to move my business forward, at an exponential rate. Who would have thought my busy-ness was me hiding? Believing in myself was as easy as reading a few thank-you notes from clients, remembering some atta-boy comments from instructors, and remembering the feeling of satisfaction that comes from a smiling client when the work is done.
 ‘ Feeling the need to be busy all the time is a trauma response and a fear-based distraction from what you’d be forced to acknowledge and feel if you slowed down.’ (Dr. Sarah Sarkis)

 I didn’t want to face the reality that I doubted my ability. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t, perhaps, as good as I thought I was. I didn’t want to face the possibility that I would not be a successful decorator. And I was a tad terrified that I WOULD be successful.
 I’ve seen this manifest itself in home DIY-ers, over and over. They never seem to stop decorating. They rearrange the furniture monthly, based on some new FaceBook guru’s ideas of what is ‘it’ this month. They don’t trust the proven methods, used for eons, to get from a mish-mash to a calm, supportive, enjoyable interior. They insist on skipping steps, they want a fast track. (Yes, you CAN paint your sofa, but I’ll bet you ten bucks you regret it very soon.)
 Here’s the truth of it, as I see it. I honestly do not think there has been a new, totally innovative way to design a well-decorated room to come along since the main guidelines were set down. It all hinges on the needs and wants of the room user. Make the room fit the user and you will most likely be successful. This applies to decorating, and any other business there is. If you solve the client’s problem they will buy from you.
 You can stop being busy for busy’s sake, and start being authentic. How bout that?

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