I ran a free Staging Diva Preview TeleClass last night and got some really great questions from the audience, like this one:
“What was your single biggest challenge when you started your home staging business?”
My answer was “Staying motivated to keep pushing my business forward even when I had no home staging client appointments booked.”
It’s really the same challenge any new entrepreneur faces when they start a business and don’t have any clients yet, or their business hits its first dry spell. Thoughts like, “my mother/sister/husband was right, this will never work,” or “who am I kidding, I can’t do this,” or “I’m lonely and don’t see how I’m going to make a living,” start to crowd your brain and dump a wet blanket on all your dreams.
An important distinction about being a home stager is that our projects are short term in nature and often booked by clients at the last minute. So, even if you have no home staging appointments booked this week and next, with a phone call or three, your whole life suddenly looks different!
I’ve had several emails this week from Staging Diva Graduates saying things like:
“I’ve gone from one client to four and possibly a fifth in the last 10 days. Gotta love this time of year.” (Linda Shleihauf, ON)
“The $600,000 house closes on the 13th. The seller called today and wants me to also set up his new temporary residence. He will be renting for 6 months until he purchases another property. So from one contact I stand to get 3 jobs from the same client. Also, I have another consultation with another realtor’s client on Thursday. I just made a comment this morning it was too slow and then the phone starting ringing. It is truly strange how this business works. It is contagious, I get one job completed and ready for what’s next.” Gary Baugher (TN)
As I told the close to 80 people on the phone with me last night, there are lots of challenges that come with being your own boss and you don’t REALLY know what it’s like until you’re in that position.
To help my Staging Diva students deal with the new challenges of being an entrepreneur, I share my survival strategies for being your own boss in course 1 of the Staging Diva Training Program. I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1989 and started various businesses along the way. I know first hand all the trials and tribulations of living without the “safety net” of a “secure job” or someone else to pay my mortgage. I also know all the joy that comes with making your own way in the world and following your own dreams; which is why I feel so compelled to keep inspiring others to find their own path too!
To help Staging Diva Graduates feel connected and supported and to help them keep learning even after their training program has finished, I’ve created the Staging Diva Network. It’s a password-protected online discussion group for Staging Diva Graduates only.
In this community members share the joys and challenges of building their business. I answer home staging business-building questions within this forum and members also get advice from others in the group. Current members come from all over the US, Canada and Australia, from major urban centers and smaller cities. All have knowledge and encouragement to share. Right now we’re discussing things like negotiating commissions, speaking at events, challenges on first projects, meeting in New York to attend a Martha Stewart Show taping, helpful resources and more.
If you’re new to being in your own business, post your comments to this story about what your biggest challenges have been. There’s a link to Add Comments at the end of every story here.
You can listen to a FREE recording of the preview session I ran last night.
Home Staging expert Debra Gould also known as The Staging Diva is president of Six Elements Inc., a leading home staging company that provides free information to raise the standards in the industry and build awareness amongst homeowners and their real estate agents about the benefits of decorating a house to sell. Debra Gould developed The Staging Diva Program to create opportunities for others to grow their own profitable home staging, real estate enhancement businesses.