Well I did it! I survived my first month in business full-time. In fact, I not only survived it, I'd venture to say I thrived in it. It has been an absolute whirlwind since January 3rd. I couldn't be more happy...tired, but happy.
For starters, the clients just keep coming, and for that I couldn't be more grateful. I'm actually in the midst of pulling plans together for the largest project I've ever completed. It's a beautiful home with awesome outdoor spaces and this beautiful sunroom.
I can hardly wait to get my hands on this space. We'll be tackling the sunroom, formal living space, formal dining room, den and library.
We'll also be helping create design plans for a few other spaces as well. Let's just say I've got my hands full.
In addition, I'm also working on a One Day Design Plus project at a beautiful retirement village home. The client has great taste and an affinity for mid century modern. Yes, please!
So, now that I've got one month under my belt, what have I learned over the past 29 days? We'll here's the down and dirty list of things big and small...
- Week 1 taught me that I need an IT department. Technical issues are NOT my thing. I spent 2 entire days on the phone with Microsoft trying to rectify issues with Office. Not good! It's tough when it's just you and you have to wear seventeen hats. In the future, I'm going the outsourcing route for sure!
- Week 2 taught me that I should NEVER (under NO circumstances) leave home without breakfast and possibly snacks to take along. I made the mistake of scheduling back-to-back appointments on a day when I skipped breakfast (Bad Dietitian!) and found myself lightheaded and accepting food at a client's home. After finding nourishment, I immediately bought a cooler, a freeze pack and a boatload of snacks that would travel well. We can't very well create on an empty stomach. 😊
- By Week 3 it was becoming apparent that I needed some help. If nothing more than to hold the other end of the tape measure, an extra pair of hands was going to be needed. So, I decided it was time for another design intern. I had them in the past, but honestly it was difficult to manage them, work, school and the business. Now however, I have plenty of time to provide direction and gain a little help at the same time. I posted an announcement and an application and am in final reviews now. Yay! I've also hired a virtual bookkeeper. The financial end of things is SO VERY important and can't afford to mess that part up. Like I said, I'm all about outsourcing. Dwell by Cheryl is growing..
- Week 4 confirmed that systems are a must for my personal sanity, so I made a beeline for the office supply store. Top of the list was a dry erase board. It's the #1 way I keep up with it all. Yes, I use my fancy planner, but that board is worth its weight in gold. I'm a visual person so seeing events, appointments, goals, revenue, etc. written out is what works for me. Also, with so many projects to juggle (alone), I reverted to the system I learned in school (that I said I'd never use); The good ol' client notebook. I needed more of them, so I stocked up and I'll admit, having everything for a project within reach and organized is pretty awesome.
They say experience is the best teacher and I can officially confirm...they're right! Cheers to one month down and many more lessons to come (I'm sure)!
Until next time...