You thought you could fool the world forever, didn't you? Just slap up some pretty website, a great logo and some pretty little mood boards to impress me, let alone the world. Yeah, thought you were a real mastermind.
But I know you... and you're such a poser.
You haven't even had your first real client.
You don't have professional pictures.
You haven't been featured in a magazine.
HGTV hasn't offered you a show.
No one even knows you exist.
Damn, that was harsh.
But that was exactly what went through my mind every effing day when I first starting my interior design business. And it sucked.
I felt like such a poser, such a loser and such a fraud.
Who would ever give me the first shot? To prove I knew what I was doing? Why would they even dare hand over money to me? And once they did, I was sure they'd regret it. Like I was sure there was some secret book out there that they could cross reference to find out how much of a magoo I was and be like, "Give me back my hard-earned money, you bitch!"
That never happened.
I lived with that fear for a while. I didn't want to be found out, but I didn't really have anything to show for my new direction in life. I had just had my baby and spent all of my career designing and managing commercial interiors.
Then there was fact that I went to work as a mechanical engineer draftsperson designing stuff like this because my husband and I got caught up in the real estate bullshit and had to make 2 mortgage payments. How sexy and exciting is that for a residential client to look at? Not. At. All.
But, one day while I was stuck in the two mortgage payment hell, I decided that was it! If I wanted to make my life happen the way I dreamed it to, I had to do it for myself. No one else was going to do it for me, and even if I couldn't find someone to teach me how to do what wasn't being taught, I was going to make shit happen.
It started with doing something. I needed to prove I was someone that people wanted to hire. I had to show them what they were looking for. I had to let them know I could do this.
But first I had to convince myself. That's where the magic happens.
When you start doing things, that actually move your business forward (not shit that makes you busy and you can't measure the results), mountains move.
I knew I had to create mood boards, for fake clients. It still was my design work and showed clients what I could do. They didn't care that it wasn't for a real client they are looking at it for what could happen in their home when we work together.
I posted on Cragislist, pre-serial killer days, to get local work. I knew that even if I wanted to be an eDesigner, I still had to get reviews of my work, so even if it wasn't a direct line to my goal, it did help me prove myself. To clients and myself.
I hired a copywriter after a couple jobs because I knew that would help me sell myself online easier. Now, I'm honing it to do myself, but I wouldn't have dared to do it back then. Not like they teach copywriting in Honors English.
Even if you think you're a poser, you're not. But that change in mindset comes from proving to yourself that you can do this. You need to get the tools and help to make this happen. And as much as we berate our clients for being DIY people, we often times think that we can DIY everything in our own business. Be we can't. Not if we want to be really successful.
But hey, if you like playing small, keep DIYing it. But I know you don't really want to. You want to get ahead, make progress and show the world that you're not the poser you think you are. Because, really love. You're not a poser. You're fabulous and ready to shine, once you flip the switch.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.
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