All this talk of following your passion is really stressful, especially when you’re a creative person with lots of interests.
It seems to presume that we were all born with one singular passion, or one true mission in life.
That our lives will be a failure if we don’t find it.
That something horrible might happen if we pick wrong.
I’m often asked, “How did you know your passion was home staging?”
To be honest, I didn’t! I knew it was one of them. I was also in love with color.
And real estate. Though I knew I didn’t want to be a real estate agent.
Why people rush into becoming a real estate agent — a business model that steals all their evenings and weekends, forces them to work with a client for months or years (without pay), and where you’re expected to be “on call” 24/7— is beyond me.
Home staging, when you follow the right business model, keeps you in the buzz of real estate without all those downsides that come with being a real estate agent.
Plus, home stagers often make way more money than real estate agents, and our time is our own. But that’s actually a different article.
Back to the question of how to be sure of your home staging passion.
One of the reasons I named my business Six Elements was that it didn’t lock me into any one endeavor! I purposefully didn’t want “home staging” as part of my company name before I knew for sure how interesting I’d find it.
Six Elements was a play on the concept of the 5 Elements of Design. My “sixth element” was passion.
When I started my home staging business I had a 7 year old to support on my own and no other source of income.
I didn’t know how things would turn out when I built my home staging website in 2002 and shared why I thought homes that were decorated to sell, would sell faster.
I used before and after photos from my own homes since I didn’t yet have a home staging portfolio. I wrote from my heart.
By the way, in my home staging business I have always been able to also indulge my passion for color, redesign and even flower arranging.
My clients pay me for all of these things, and they are all under the same business. I share how I did that in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
So to address that fear of “What if I choose the wrong passion when I become a home stager?”
Think of it this way, with one or two clients you can make back the entire cost of the Staging Diva Training Program. And if you follow the business model I share, you won’t have to invest in any inventory either.
So what’s the worst case scenario?
You take the program, start your staging and redesign business. You do a few projects and decide you aren’t as passionate about it as you thought.
You decide to quit and do so with the knowledge you gained from the experience, and the satisfaction of knowing you tried and it wasn’t for you.
Then you can go on with your life. You try the next thing you’re passionate about, and never give home staging another thought.
Did you notice that was the worst case?
You are still ahead of where you are now, if you’ve been stuck spinning around with “what if?” fears in your head and doing nothing to put you closer to following your dreams.
OK, so what’s the best case scenario?
You take the Staging Diva Training Program and learn everything you need to know to launch your home staging business at minimal cost.
You discover you love being a home stager.
You realize you can stop worrying about money like you used to, because you’re making a great living doing what you love.
Years later, you still love being a home stager and you keep doing it.
Or years later, you decide you want to try something else. Only now it’s easier to jump into the next thing because of all the confidence and personal growth you experienced in your home staging business.
It’s all up to you.
Which is back to my first point that most creative people have several interests and passions.
It’s important to remember that choosing one of them to pursue now doesn’t close the door on all of the rest of your passions for the future!
What do you think? Has fear of choosing the “wrong” passion kept you stuck? Have you ever noticed that once you’re moving forward it’s easier to see the road ahead of you? Please share in the comment below!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing what they love. There are over 10,000 students in 23 countries learning her home staging business model.
Roxana Gosman says
I’m not sure if you have some kind of super power but everytime I have doubts, fear or I need anything… Bam!! I get an email from you that has all I need to keep on going. Sometimes I end up purchasing more of your products, which is fine because the need has been created. But some other times I just need a boost of energy and self-confidence and I your blogs have that effect on me. Thanks Debra! I will be an empty nester in a year so… I know!
Debra Gould says
That’s the best news I’ve had all day Roxana, thanks so much for commenting! I’m serious about my mission of inspiring and empowering others to live their best life, so reading this from you tells me I’m on the right track! You’re the best!
Given what you’ve said, I know you’d love our monthly conversations on Staging Diva Dialog. We really support and encourage each other while answering questions and solving questions like, “How do I get more home sellers to call me?”
Mary Ann Benoit says
Happily, fear has not stopped me from following my passions, I have numerous passions and follow them all. Having the passion for something somehow allows you to find the time and energy for it. Some of those passions have faded and made room for others. All have been great adventures and brought me joy. This week I was sure about my passion for home staging when I could not wait to get to an upcoming staging job and transform it for the shear joy of seeing the end result:)
Debra Gould says
Fantastic, thanks for sharing this Mary Ann!
Harriet Walcott says
Great article and food for thought.
Debra Gould says
Kate Perry says
You’re articles are always spot-on Debra! Even with all of the knowledge you’ve shared and the guidance you’ve offered, running a business is challenging. Reading your encouraging words always gives me the boost I need just when I need it! Thank you again, and again and again!
Debra Gould says
That makes me feel so great Kate, thanks so much for taking the time to pop by, read and comment!!
Jennifer McCloud says
Debra, I owned a very busy Flower Shop and Event business for 11 years. In fact award winning for design and service. Sadly I never could produce a profit. I spent 25 career years as a Floral designer. Knowledgeable in all aspects of design, only to invest my time money and energy to close a business because of exhaustion. I now hold a Real Estate license just over 2 years and although I am interested in R.E. it doesn’t drive my creative passion. (although I am very interested in making money- as it would be about time!) I’m sure I would be stimulated in staging. My question is, can you really teach me how to make money, manage my time and enjoy the creative aspects of the business? Also, do you think my having an R.E. license will benefit my business? I understand why you named your business 6 Elements! Very cleaver!
Debra Gould says
Jennifer, I’m so glad you shared this question! In fact, I think my answer could be an entire blog post. But in a nutshell, YES, I can show you how to make a profit in home staging, actually from your very first client or two. That’s in fact what sets Staging Diva apart from other training. I believe you were on my 5 Simple Secrets call tonight and I’m sure in that you started to get a sense of what the revenue potential really is!
Here’s the link to learn about the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program in detail.
Clearly you have an eye for design and creative talent otherwise you wouldn’t have won awards, and you know about real estate because you’ve been in it for two years. Now it’s time to combine that into a better business model – which home staging will offer!
I will write more about this whole question of different businesses in a blog post but the short answer is this:
Flower Shop – Hard to make a living and not be totally exhausted because you have incredibly high overhead, an inventory that will die in a matter of days if you don’t sell it, high seasonality but your overhead doesn’t disappear when it’s not mothers day, christmas, etc. and the pain/responsibility/cost of retail hours (and everything that comes with that).
Real Estate – Hard to make a living because most markets are saturated with way too many agents. In fact, in the US, if you compare number of real estate transactions to number of agents, the average agent only has 5 transactions a year! Plus, you have to work for days, months and sometimes years with a client for free and they may never actually buy anything through you. Plus you have desk fees, license fees, advertising, etc. Actually RE is a totally broken business model in my opinion, especially in an age where agents no longer control access to information (listings) the way they did in the past.
Having a real estate license COULD benefit your business but not essential to keep it. Here are some articles that will help you:
What if I have a real estate license and discover I prefer home staging?
When you’re a home stager with a real estate license
Home stagers get hired first (before real estate agents)
Thanks for the compliment about my home staging and redesign business name, Six Elements!
Hello Debra, I talked about my interest in staging and the response was that you need to know the right people to get work and make any money in this field. Although I have read your emails and articles, I am still on the fence.
Debra Gould says
Thanks for commenting! Not sure what “knowing the right people” means, how qualified the people were to have said that or whether they are familiar with the Staging Diva Business Model (unlikely).
I didn’t know anyone related to my new staging and redesign business when I started my business after a move to a new city.
Perhaps they think you need to know the “right” realtors. If that’s what they meant, you don’t. Especially since I’ll teach you how to get home sellers coming to you for help.
You might find this page helpful in answering questions about being a home stager.
Thanks Debra. This is me. I have my real estate license (inactive) which I will be letting go of this year (have been licensed since 2011 but found it was so costly and not enough income to survive. I am now working PT and almost ready to launch my staging business. I am one of these people who has tried many things but I agree. This path involves minimal risk and potential for great reward… as well as the intrinsic reward of allowing me to use my creativity and eye for colour/design to help people.
Debra Gould says
Thanks for commenting Bonnie and I’m excited to see what you do in your home staging business! You know I love to write about Staging Diva Grads. Not sure if you saw this opportunity to share your story. https://stagingdiva.com/staging-success-stories/
I also have a Staging Diva Dialog call coming up next week. It’s group coaching for both new and established home stagers. You can learn more about it here.
Denise H says
I always loved real estate but life, marriage and divorce kinda kept me from my passions. Be it as it may, I started a flipping house business last year until one day i noticed the house across the street from me was on the market and not selling. I knew why it wasnt selling and it drove me crazy. I kept asking myself should I contact the agent or the seller and let them know what they need to do? Then it dawned on me, its the transformation from “not so good” to something beautiful that drew me and here I am now.