I often pulled over to the side of the road on the way to a new destination to look at a map, convinced that I was headed in the wrong direction. It happened to me so often that I coined the phrase “giving up a block too soon,” because I realized I was letting self-doubt force me to pull over and wondered if this wasn’t a metaphor for how I was living my life in other ways.
Self doubt is a powerful emotion, stopping us dead in our tracks both literally and figuratively.
When you started your home staging business you may not have expected to be an overnight success but perhaps you expected to grow faster than you’ve been growing.
I’ve heard home stagers complain that they started their business 6 weeks ago and still don’t have their first client! The self doubt is already kicking in and they’re wondering if they have chosen the wrong business. The more they listen to that negative voice in their heads saying “this will never work,” the more their enthusiasm starts to wane and they start to hold themselves back.
It took me three months to get my first client but I made $5,000 on that one project. Imagine if I had given up just before that first call from a potential client?
Even if you’ve taken a bunch of home staging courses and have been doing everything right, it will take time to get your name out there, to prove that home staging works and that there’s value in the services you provide.
If you’re feeling frustrated because things are harder than you thought they would be, the worst thing you can do is give in to that feeling and give up. Because you haven’t given your business a real chance if you “give up a block too soon.”
The truth is your first year in business is going to be tough. Giving birth to something new is never easy!
You’re coming out of nowhere and you have a reputation to build; a buzz to create. You have an added challenge being in a relatively new industry like home staging because you need to educate your market that home staging works. (This is also a blessing by the way, because when you’re educating your market, you are also positioning yourself as the expert.)
So in your first year, you’re getting yourself established, you’re trying to carve a niche for yourself if there are other home stagers in your market, you’re working hard at promoting your business and you’re learning how to be your own boss. It’s not an easy year!
If you don’t give up and pull over to the side of the road, and instead hang in there and stay motivated during those difficult first months, you’ll get to experience how much easier it all becomes. As you master being in your own business and more and more people know about you and your home staging services, many projects and opportunities will present themselves.
In your second year as a home stager things will be even better because you’ll reap the rewards of all that marketing you did in year one. Plus you’ll feel so much more confident in your abilities and those moments of self doubt will be largely a thing of the past.
Over time it just continues to get easier but that isn’t to say you won’t experience peaks and valleys because that happens with any business. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to panic when you hit another valley.
When you find yourself in the middle of a slow period thinking there’s no business anymore and you’re going to give up, remember that you’ve seen this trend before and you made it. The customers are still out there, you just have to keep marketing and things will come around.
If you’re just starting out, or if you’re currently experiencing a “valley” in your business, stick it out because you never know if you’re giving up a block too soon.
Home stagers, do you have any tips to share about keeping that momentum going? Did you feel like giving up but kept on persevering? Please share by leaving a comment below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.
[tags] home stagers, home staging, home stager, home staging training, home staging courses, home staging business, staging diva[/tags]