Today marks 3 months since I was plunged heart-first into full-time entrepreneurship.
In March I went to an amazing bible study retreat in Charlotte. The teaching was incredible and the workshops on personal development were so compelling. My roommate and I reflected on what we learned and how it applies to our lives, and I shared with her that I was feeling a lot of discomfort about my career. She agreed that my current situation did not seem ideal for my personal growth. She left me a simple message for me on top of my conference notes. "Step out on faith and watch God provide."
We both prayed individually throughout that weekend, and on the bus ride back, she scribbled a resignation letter draft in my notepad. I tucked the letter and note into my purse and did not open it again as I got home, unpacked and prepared for work on Monday morning. Truth be told, I was just afraid to take that step.
Per usual, on Monday morning I arrived early to work but to my surprise I found the owners waiting on me, which was not typical. Little did I know, they had convened to tell me that I was no longer an employee there and that I could gather my things to leave immediately.
I was blindsided. But the shock quickly turned into gratitude because I knew that God was just helping me take the step that He knew my hardheaded self would not take. Just like that, I was put in a position where I truly was fully reliant on God. I won't get into the particulars of the "how and why" but I would love to share what I have learned in the last 3 months for anyone who may be on the cusp of becoming an entrepreneur.
Your Integrity Precedes You
When word traveled through the small interior design circle in Raleigh, I had several people reach out to me and offer amazing employment opportunities. I was so flattered to see that the community I have surrounded myself with since returning to Raleigh in 2014 knows my work ethic and the value that I bring. When you make genuine connections, continue to show up and have a spirit of generosity, people take note and reciprocate. Ultimately, I decided to take a chance on me! I registered my new business with the state of North Carolina and started taking on projects.
Your Skills Transfer
My previous work experiences have all given me a diversity of skills that have benefitted me tremendously in this new season! Those jobs that I took just to make ends meet (retail associate, receptionist, babysitter, music teacher...) all gave me bits and pieces of what it takes to run a business. Ultimately, design is about the pretty stuff, but to run a design business, it takes organization, scheduling, communication skills, people skills and more. I'm so thankful for those previous experiences and the traits that they developed in me because I am using them daily.
Think Outside of the Box
When I thought about what my business would look like, I was focused on providing design services to homeowners and small business owners. I didn't even think about writing as a source of revenue! But I've been writing this blog for over 10 years and apparently, I'm good at it because y'all keep coming back. By connecting with one of the editors at Indy Week, I've been able to add published author to my title! Within the last 90 days I've written two articles for Indy Week and I look forward to covering more of the arts scene here in the triangle area. I also have some really fun sponsored blog content coming up. I had put myself in such a box, but I'm grateful for others who see more in me!
Great Work Markets Itself
Every week, I have had inquiries for new client projects, and they have all been via word of mouth! Thankfully I have established a network of people who believe in my work and continue to give me the opportunity to serve them through design. I know that I will have to continue to put myself out there to fill my pipeline moving forward and I am excited about expanding my network. If you're an established entrepreneur, what has been a unique and fruitful marketing strategy for you? I would love to know!
Although the timing was not my choice, I can honestly say that the last 90 days have been a blessing. While I absolutely loved the work that I was previously doing, I know that there is more waiting on me to explore. I was so in love with the projects that I was working on but felt like God was both pushing and pulling me to make a move. I know that this entrepreneurship life will be full of ups and downs, but I'm fully committed to taking the ride! I can't thank y'all enough for the continued support and I'm so excited to share what I'm working on as we continue to grow.
Interior Designer living & loving in Raleigh, NC.