I have never been a fan of white walls. They remind me of hospitals, classrooms, and other sterile environments. White walls are a blank canvas calling the painter to bring color, texture, and life. I always answer the call. As an artist that deals with pigments to create various colors, white is not a color. According to science it is. I see white as an absence of color or pigment and a temporary state waiting for pigment to be added.
I am also not a fan of flat walls painted with one subtle color. Most of the colors I use I take from nature. A green leaf is not one single shade of green, a rock is not one solid color but many mineral colors make up the colors in rock. So....I take many colors and create something unique, with texture and life. The great thing about painting is...you can change it. It is not forever and it is always fixable so go ahead, put some color and texture in that room. I'll be sharing texture tips in future blogs. Click on the pic's to enlarge them and read about the process.
As I sanded away the remnants of old stain and wear from the table I am refinishing yesterday, it occurred to me that someone purchased this as the latest in home decor. Someone saw this table, when it was brand new, and thought that it was the perfect piece for their home. Time passed, the table was used and scratched, the shine began to fade and the finish became old and mottled. The latest and greatest home decor item became the latest addition to the inventory of a local non-profit. Now I am taking this piece back to the wood foundation. The design is great, the wood is beautiful, but the shine was gone.
This process happens to us over our lifetime as well. We change our wardrobes because the clothes we wore when we were twenty or thirty no longer suite us when we are forty. We change our location because our apartment is too small, our house too big or our job has taken us to a new location. We change our hair, our jobs, our cars and even our friends. We constantly change yet we don't seem to be very adept at it.
For most people change is very difficult and they do not seek it but instead wait until life forces them into changing. For some of us change is necessary. My son would sigh when he walked in the door and saw furniture sitting in the middle of the floor because I was waiting for him so that I could move that one piece that I could not handle by myself. I have always been one of those who moves their favorite chair to get a new view on the world. I change the entire room when I need to find a new direction. I try new colors, build something I have never built, tackle a project I have never done or research the answer to a home improvement problem. I NEED change and if it doesn't come to me I go looking for it. I never want to stop learning, growing or challenging myself and I try to pass on that sense of adventure to all who know me.
When we feel stagnant, when we have lost our shine and our life has become mottled, we need to be renewed. If we take on the challenge of stripping away the old layers that don't work anymore, if we sand away the rough edges we can get back to the beautiful foundation of ourselves. From there the possibilities are endless. We all go through this in our life whether by choice or by force from lifes circumstances. How well we adjust, how positive our view on what could be coming next, determines how well we will shine when the process is finished.
One of the most challenging tasks when desiring to start your own business......IS TO START. There are many out there who need the extra income from a business, still others that no longer desire to work for anyone else and then finally those who just need an income of any kind! The ideas come, plans are laid out, research done, products and resources are located and then comes the real task...launching out.
Somewhere in the process fear rises up. Will the business succeed? Will anyone buy the products? Is this all just a pipe dream? Everyone deals with those little nagging doubts....EVERYONE. It is how we deal with those voices that will set the course for success or failure. While everyone is familiar with the fear of failure, not everyone has given much attention to the fear of success. You see if the business launches, is successful and grows then more responsibility, larger resources and more people become dependant upon your success.
The way to overcome this specific type of fear is to build slow and steady. Think of building a house. First the foundation is dug, the foundation walls put in place and all the ground utilities brought in or a way made to let them flow out. Everything done in the beginning stages of building a home sets the foundation for the building of the rest of the structure. Start by building a strong foundation. Make sure that you have strong, reliable suppliers, strong accounting practices and strong process for creating what you want to sell. When the time comes for growth, everything will be in place for expansion and building and will relieve some of the stress and pain of growth.
The other part of the success equation comes from you. If you believe you can you will. If you believe it is only possible to have limited success you will. If you believe that you might start off well but eventually fail, you will. You get to choose.
One of the fundamental tasks of any leader, from president to parent, is to give people a sense of confidence: in themselves, in the group of which they are a part, and in the mission itself. A leader must have faith in the people he or she leads, and inspire that faith in them. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School writes in her book Confidence, “Leadership is not about the leader, it is about how he or she builds the confidence of everyone else.”4 Confidence, by the way, is Latin for “having faith together.”
Harvard economic historian David Landes, in his The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, explores the question of why some countries fail to grow economically while others succeed spectacularly. After more than 500 pages of close analysis, he reaches this conclusion:
In this world, the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when wrong, they are positive, and that is the way of achievement, correction, improvement, and success. Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right.5
I had an incredible 22 year career in the hotel industry. It was the perfect balance of energy, adrenaline, variety and creativity. I was privileged to create amazing events, destination weddings, high profile product launches and serve amazing clients but the day came when I was done. The time comes in most people's life when you need a change and you have to stretch yourself, take a plunge and try something new, maybe even something you have never done before. Those life changes are scary and exhilarating, motivating and paralyzing at the same time......but if you don't do it.....you begin to die inside. The most successful people agree that if you can't face doing the same thing anymore.....CHANGE IT! And you will feel alive again.