2014 was a CRAZY year but I swear I say that about every year. I've been reflecting a lot on the things that I learned from the last year and figuring out the goals I want to take into the new year. 2014 was an incredible year of growth for me in more ways than one. I thought I'd take a break from the normal design posts to share some insight into the biggest lessons I learned from 2014.
1. Stay Humble // Humility seems to be one of those never ending lessons that I have to learn over and over again. I do appreciate the humbling experiences in life because they keep me grounded. Since 2010 I've been working hard at growing Kirsten Krason Interiors and this blog. When I joined with one of my best friends Erin to create House of Jade Interiors it took a lot of thought. Was I ready to give up having total control over my projects and erase my old business? It took a leap of faith but ever since I put away my pride and focused on the good of the company I've come to realize that adding Erin was the best thing I could have ever done. The proof is in the pudding, so to say, and we've done more work than ever this year. Things are more organized, more professional, more efficient and the work has been a step above what it used to be in my opinion. We have set "work days", a pay schedule, goals, real branding and an assistant! Hallelujah! Working with a partner means that you have to be very open to new ideas. You can't sit around saying, "It's my way or the highway". New ideas are scary but they are also very rewarding if you open yourself up to them. I've had to humble myself and realize I'm not always right and that new ideas, new voices and new people can be very rewarding and create a lot of great success if you are open to it.
2. You are Never Done Learning // I can't tell you who many times Erin and I have said this year, "You live and you learn" and "next time we won't..." or "next time we should...". You'd think after owning a design business for this long and teaching a class on starting a design business I'd be done making stupid mistakes! Right? But no. We've made plenty this year. Growing pains is what I like to call it. (do they ever end?) . The past year has brought some amazing and delightful clients and projects but it has also brought some tougher clients. What we try to do is realize that it isn't just the clients' fault. We are always to blame as well and all we can do is take the lessons we've learned and apply better business practices with the next client.
3. Focus on Yourself and Don't Worry About Anyone Else // So much easier said than done and I'm still working on this one. It's natural as a business owner to be aware of your competition and think of ways to improve. But it's a slippery slope. You can't become so aware of other's successes that you stop noticing your own. There is enough design work for everyone and guess what, no one can do exactly what you can do! I've always said you could give the same 20 objects and the same room to 5 different designers and they'd all come up with different designs! Each designer has a different perspective and style to offer. I've tried this year to get to know the designers in my community and find ways we can help each other rather than stifle each other.
4. There Will be Good Days, Bad Days and then Good Days Again // This year my little family has struggled with some trials. There were days that felt really hopeless and days that were full of tears but then there were moments of joy that reminded me that life is still good. I've watched this video too many times to count and it always makes me cry. I try to focus on the good in life because I know no matter how bleak the day seems there are good things to come. No one's life is perfect. We all have loads to bear. When the bad days come just hang on because good days are around the corner.
So here's to a new year! Who knows what it will hold. Either way I'm continually grateful for this blog, the people that come to read it and the business I have that helps support my little family! Thank you!