“History will be kind to me as I intend to write it” are the words once spoken by Winston Churchill. I love the confidence of this. As we know, Mr. Churchill is one of the most admired men from World War II, and history has indeed been “kind” to him. What is significant about his statement is not that he actually “wrote” the history, but that he made history. He was proactive in the world.
As I reflect on our industry right now and all of the changes affecting it, I can honestly say that I do not know what the ultimate outcome will be. Interior designers fear that they will grow obsolete, being replaced by software programs and online stores. Manufacturers continue to struggle with the various distribution options, not quite sure where the consumer will gravitate next, whether through their mobile phones or visits to the flagship “temples” of design created by Restoration Hardware and the like. One thing is certain, the industry is evolving, and it will continue to do so for the years to come.
While having breakfast with a dear friend and AD 100 interior designer the other morning, we both offered that advice that we were giving last year related to social media has done a 180 and we are now suggesting the opposite. We had said that social media doesn’t actually generate business, but now we believe that it does. Funny how things can change so quickly!
So what does this mean for you? Don’t wait to see what happens with your career. Get out there and make it what you want it to be. Take a proactive approach to fostering the type of practice you want, seek out the clients that you enjoy, and lead with the terms and vision that you have. Sure, the client ultimately has a say in the matter, but the reality is, most people, the wealthy included, respond to leadership, and this is why Winston Churchill was successful. He led a nation (and world) in turmoil. It doesn’t matter if every step you take is perfect and guaranteed; you will make mistakes. But venture forth and be brave. Do what makes you happy and be confident, and you will find enough clients to support your ventures! And when we look back on your career, chances are that it will be with kindness!