Here I am in 2007 at the first house I ever designed on HGTV’s Marriage Under Construction.
When I first started out in the business of interior design I had very little confidence. With no formal training, other than the experience of designing and hosting on an HGTV show, I was just going for it- trying things out, making mistakes, working really hard until it felt right, looked right, made people happy.
I would say I did not feel confident as a designer until 2010- so 3 years into my business, after several client projects and after designing behind the scenes on 3 television shows (best experience was on For Rent, where our team designed 26 rooms in 8 months, in 2 countries). I would describe this confidence development in a few ways: a) I could make decisions faster. I could picture the end result and experience had taught me what patterns would work with what, what materials would be best, etc. b) I could express myself to clients / staff more clearly and articulately. Instead of saying “this is going to look so cute!” and then have to work for hours to build a plan to prove it would be cute, experience had taught me the right vernacular to be able to get staff to execute my plan, clients to understand my vision on the spot, and really, to create spaces that look a lot more than just cute (although I admittedly use that word a lot. Super cute, so cute, super super cute… )
And finally c) I valued myself and my time more. By year 3 of my business I knew I was committed to doing this for a living, that it gave me life and joy and I was good at it. I invested in business coaching that helped me understand my worth and communicate said worth to others.
Note that nothing above mentioned other people saying they liked my work (although let’s keep it real getting published and receiving compliments is always nice).
The issue of confidence has been a lot on my mind lately as I have embarked on the audacious project of my #canningreno. I have questioned my confidence a lot. Am I picking the right finishes, am I spending money the best way, will this all look good in the end etc. etc. And while sometimes my confidence wavers I remind myself: I love doing this. I have worked hard to get good at it. Creating spaces that help people live better lives brings me joy.
What do you do to build your confidence? How do you hone your craft? Love to know in the comments below.