Welcome to 2020, designers! This year marks the start of a new decade, so what better time to get yourself motivated, outline your goals for the upcoming year, and then start working on them?
Sometimes it’s hard to narrow your focus and set achievable goals. Here are 5 New Year resolutions that’ll not only get you started, but will help you succeed over the course of this year, next year, and all the years to come!
1) Build your online presence
In this day and age, being tech savvy is pretty much mandatory if you hope to build any sort of name for yourself. Practically everything is done online nowadays. While it is still possible to run a business without an internet presence, your competition will have a major edge over you. Why give them such a huge advantage?
First and foremost, having an attractive business website, with a solid portfolio of your work, reviews, etc. will brand you right off the bat as a professional worth working with. Once you have that, you’ll need to build your business pages on social media. The more active you are on social media, the easier it’ll be for potential clients to find you.
Existing clients will be able to refer others to your services by having your site and business pages so readily on-hand. Online word-of-mouth can play a huge part in expanding your clientele! While there are many social media options to choose from, we’ve found that the channels with the largest potential reach are Facebook and Twitter. That being said, do some research into it and see what appeals most to you!
2) Trust your intuition
As an interior decorator, it may be with regards to certain décor in a given room. If you’re a professional organizer, your gut may lead you to organize your client’s closet in a particular way. Your client may want to paint her walls blue and yellow, but as a color consultant, there may be a more complimentary match you can suggest instead.
That being said, there’s an obvious risk that comes with saying, “Follow your intuition”: one’s intuition may potentially be swayed by ego or personal bias. You also never want to ignore your client’s vision in favor of your own.
But as you gain experience in the professional world, you’ll hone your skills and come to learn how to objectively approach your work. Doing so will allow you to separate your feelings from the job.
You’ll then be able to know what’s best for the project, rather than your own interests. Once that’s out of the way, you can then find a healthy balance between what’s needed from a technical standpoint, versus which direction your intuition is saying is the way to go.
You know your client and what she wants. You’re the subject matter expert with experience – that’s why she came to you in the first place. She needs your help, so you need to learn to give your instinct some credit!
3) Adopt a positive vocabulary
If you approach a situation from a negative perspective, you may as well give up before you start. Why deliberately sabotage yourself?
When you allow your personal vocabulary to be poisoned by negative thinking, you’re dooming your chances at success. Those who believe in karma would argue that negative thinking results in negative results. After all, you get what you put into things.
But if you try your best to approach each situation with a positive outlook, then regardless of the results, you’ll always have something to gain from it! Instead of approaching a given situation with self-doubt, try to adopt an “I can” attitude. It may not always work, but the odds are way better than if you try something already assuming you’re going to mess it up.
So, what if you try your best and you do mess up? Hey, it happens! Don’t let a negative vocabulary get you discouraged. Instead of seeing the mistake as a failure or shortcoming, see it as a part of your growth process as a designer. Train your thought process to focus instead on what you learned as a result of the experience.
Instead of thinking, “I’m a failure; I can’t believe I made such a stupid mistake!” think, “Mistakes happen to everybody. I’ll do what I can to fix it for the client, and at least going forward, I’ll know better than to do it again.” Remember: every opportunity is one you can learn from, to help you become better in the future.
4) Aim for sustainable, rather than superficial
You want your client’s results to last her for the long term, right? What if you can guarantee her of not only that, but that her results are environmentally friendly, too?
Some designers opt for the flashier, prettier results, rather than the more practical, eco-friendly ones that are better for the environment. If you’re a home stager, we totally understand why this needs to be the case sometimes. But whether you’re a stager, a professional organizer, or an interior decorator, there’s almost always going to be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative than the first option that comes to mind.
Much of the time, with just a bit of creativity, that alternative could be just as easy on the eyes. A given item can be reused or upcycled to find a whole new purpose. Eco-friendly design swaps have a lower impact on the environment, too. This makes them better for not only your client, but for the planet as a whole. In terms of usability, sustainable materials will often result in far less maintenance. They’ll serve their purpose and function as needed, rather than just being superficially attractive, but useless.
From a business perspective, working with eco-friendly tools and sustainable methods can also establish an excellent and forward-thinking brand for you and your reputation. It’s a win-win!
5) Keep learning!
As a professional, you know your stuff – but you’re never going to know everything. You’ll always be learning new techniques, new alternatives, new business methods, etc. The moment you trick yourself into believing that you know it all is the moment you’ve doomed your business. If design is your passion, we know you want to keep learning!
Taking classes and continuing your design education is one of the best assets available to you, but we know that with your busy schedule, it might not seem very realistic. This is exactly why online courses from a reputable online design school are the perfect fit for you! You can continue learning at your own pace, on your own schedule, and at a reasonable price.
Whatever 2020 may throw your way, we know that you have what it takes to overcome it and achieve your goals! If you have any other New Year resolutions that you feel should be added to this list, let us know in the comments!