Monday, March 7, 2011

The Beginning...

Pivotal moments are so.... well, pivotal. I was remembering back to some of mine in the beginning of my career. My father, for those who don't know, is also an interior designer. He had called me up one day while I was still working at another company and told me,
"I got a message today from some company that saw my website and was asking if I would be interested in doing some show... It was HDV or HDGT..."
"Dad, Do you mean HGTV?!" I asked him.
"Yes, I think that was it... let me check the message again."
(silent eye roll on my end.)

Turns out it was HGTV calling about an opportunity to work on their Designer's Challenge show. They had a family in Wantagh, NY and wanted to know if we were interested in competing for the project against 2 other designers. My father told me that he would only take it on if I agreed to do it with him.

Pivotal moment number one.
Here I was, about 25 years old and all I ever thought about was having my own interior design business someday. No boss, my own interpretations of projects and relationships with my own clients. Yet here I was, completely frozen. Scared. I was afraid of failing. The overconfidence of youth drained out of me when a real challenged arose. Then, the excuses washed over me as to why I couldn't participate.
"I had to work, I lived in the city which was too far of a commute, No time (insert generic excuse here)..." Ya dah, Ya dah.

After I got that out of the way, something small inside, very deep down was whispering, "jump!"
So I did.

We ended up winning the competition against the other designers and completing the project successfully. So now what? I proved to myself that there was nothing to be afraid of. That I could complete a project on my own. I also saw how well my father and I worked together and we began talking about joining forces at some point. So why was I still working for this other company?

I was filled with a new set of excuses as to why I couldn't go out on my own. "I won't have health insurance, How will I get any projects and be able to bring in money?, The HGTV show was a fluke and I really have zero talent to pull this off, If I work with my father I will have to commute out to Queens from Manhattan..." Again, a sea of excuses washing over me.

So I made a list (as I like to do) and I wrote down all of the things I was afraid of that I felt I would need to address before I could leave my job.
- Have some savings
- Get health insurance
- Complete my current project at my existing job
- Make space for me at my fathers office so I could work.
and probably a few others I've forgotten by now.

Then one day a friend of mine met me for lunch and I was telling her about the status of my check list when it hit me... it was complete. I had taken care of everything on my list and I didn't even realize it! Talk about denial!

Pivotal moment number two.
At that moment I decided that I would give my notice within 2 weeks. And I did. Conceptual Interiors Inc. was born that year in 2004. What was I so scared of anyway?

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