I’m a Mad Men fan and disappointed we have to wait for the new season. Watching the show is a great reminder of why I wanted to be my own boss by the time I was 30— a goal I’m proud to say I achieved.
When I was in the corporate world (and then worked for ad agencies) I had everything from the married bosses who wanted to sleep with me, to the boss who put a fist through the wall when he was angry, and then my real favorite…. the alcoholic whose job I had to do so we wouldn’t lose clients. When she ordered a double scotch (and then another) at our “welcome to your new job” lunch, I knew I was in trouble! But I stuck it out for about 18 months just so it wouldn’t look bad on my resume that I changed jobs again.
Three different companies, and I knew working for someone else was not for me.
While Mad Men is set in the 50s, not much had changed by the 1980s and I’m sure much of this behavior still goes on today. Only with the economy being what it is, employees believe they have to put up with toxic work environments or risk being unemployed for a year while they try and find another job.
When you work yourself, you don’t have to put up with difficult or abusive bosses. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who works as long as it takes to get something done right, you actually make more money because you’re the one reaping the rewards for your efforts instead of your employer.
I read that most employees check their BlackBerry in the morning before they’ve even gone to the bathroom! If that doesn’t take working for someone else to a whole new level of slavery, I don’t know what does! Talk about above and beyond the call of duty!
So is being a home stager a safe refuge from dealing with difficult people?
Well not entirely, after all home stagers still exist in the real world. I recently shared a home staging business challenge about dealing with a real estate agent who actually yelled at a home stager. You can read Simone’s story in The Real Estate Agent Blew Up, Now What? The original post attracted some great comments and helpful tips from both new and established home stagers, be sure to check them out.
In a follow up post I shared my recommendations for Simone and observations about why people behave the way they do. Staging Diva Graduate Donna Dazzo commented that one of the things she’s always remembered from my training is that even if we have a difficult client, they’re not in our lives that long because of the project-by-project nature of the home staging business.
I too have had the full range of clients from nasty to wonderful.
More of them ARE wonderful than not, but knowing they’re only there very temporarily really DOES help when you have a difficult client. I’ve also found the wonderful clients stick around in my working life in the sense that they’re the ones that come back years later to get me to stage the next house they’re selling, or refer me to their friends/relatives, etc. I also often get called to do interior redesign or color consulting for the new home one of my staging clients is moving into.
How did you decide to leave a past career to become a home stager? Overall, how has your experience been dealing with clients?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging
Debra Gould has personally staged hundreds of homes since launching her own home staging business Six Elements Inc. in 2002. After learning from much trial and error how to really make money as a home stager she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others her blueprint for earning a living doing something they love.