You know that gut-wrenching feeling that if you put yourself out there as the face of your business, people will automatically start judging you? Yeah, I'm super familiar with it. Two things about my personality type make that feeling even more overwhelming? I hate being wrong and I hate being thought of as less than. Let's not even start on the thought that putting myself out there online would make it ridiculously easy for judge-y people to actually broadcast their judgement for everyone ELSE to see. SHUDDER.
A few years ago, though, I had one of those moments that makes you rethink your priorities. Where you realize that your time on earth will probably be waaaay shorter than you thought and the time to fish or cut bait is NOW. You can stay afraid or start embracing the fear. (More about that here.) As part of embracing the fear, I decided to stop pretending that I was some high-falutin' designer and just flat out tell people what to expect from me in a simple blog post:
Before we go much further together, there are some things you should know about me...
I wear jeans 90% of the time. If you want a designer in a business suit with perfectly coiffed hair, you’re in the wrong place because, dude, my hair is rarely perfect (or, if we’re being truly honest, anywhere near perfect) and I’ve gotten rid of all my suits.
My grammar and my vocabulary vary between pristine and dear-lord-what-is-she-doing-to-the-English-language. Punctuation is one of those thing that I just don’t care enough to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m in my 40s. It ain’t changing now. So, if you can’t stand less than perfect grammar and punctuation and are repulsed by idioms and colloquialisms, you should probably turn back now. I guarantee you’ll be gnashing your teeth otherwise.
Sheldon Cooper and I could be good friends. My husband and children even go so far as to say I am Sheldon Cooper. I disagree. While I am a super nerd on some topics, I’m not nearly as much of one as dear Shelly. Plus, not a fan of the “Soft Kitty” song. At any rate, there are going to be times when I completely nerd out. If that freaks you out, I don’t mind if you tell me, “Okay, Sheldon,” when it happens. That’s usually all it takes to snap me back into normal-people mode. Still freaking you out? Yeah… You might not like me.
I am not easily impressed, but I am easily amused. There are quite a few stupid people in this world (and I don’t deal well with stupid people) but if they can get me laughing, they’ve got me. If you’re just stupid for stupidity’s sake AND don’t have a sense of humor, you should probably just stop right here and go somewhere else. Anywhere else.
Speaking of my sense of humor, sometimes it’s a bit weird. That’s okay because I’m a bit weird. And I love a bunch of weird stuff. My guilty pleasure every summer is watching Big Brother. A few other shows I love—The X-Files, Sherlock, Elementary, Da Vinci’s Demons, Vikings, The Next Food Network Star, Hell’s Kitchen, Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, Supernatural. I’ve been known to enjoy romance novels (the classy ones, of course). (Oh, who am I kidding, the classy ones are boring.) Just in case you’re concerned, I also read mysteries, horror, science fiction, and a TON of business/economics/etc. books and articles. (Let’s not even get started on the number of design tv shows, books, magazines, and online articles I read. Of course, though, those should be a given.) If you can’t handle a little weirdness, you’re better off avoiding me.
I believe playing games is for having fun, not for using as a life strategy. If you’re a calculating, sneaky, passive-aggressive, whining, complainer of a person who can’t stand not getting her way, we’re not going to get along. Look, life is tough for all of us (well, maybe not Bill Gates), but we get what we give. It’s much better if we’re both straightforward and honest. (No, not like those people who make mean, hurtful comments and then follow it up with, “What? I’m just telling the truth.” They’re just jerks.)
I’m not a mind reader and I don’t expect others to be. (Although, I will on occasion forget that people can’t hear my thoughts, which is something else entirely. I have absolutely no problem with people pointing this out when it happens.) If you think that I’ll know what you want just because you thought it, you’re wrong. Either tell me or don’t expect me to know.
I care about my job and what I can do for people more than you can imagine. When your home is all put together and looking and feeling fine, you’ve significantly increased the odds that you will feel the same way. If you think that having a home that you’re happy to, well, come home to isn’t important, I really can’t figure out why you’re still here.
On the other hand, if you're good with my casual, nerdy, goofy, straight-forward self and you care about making your home perfect for who you are and how you live, kick off your shoes and stay a while. I'd like to get to know you better.
That blog post was one of the most freeing things I've ever done. No more pretenses, no more hoping that potential clients would like me - it was all out there for people to see BEFORE they ever met me. If they didn't like me in print, they sure as HECK weren't going to like me in person. I'm not hiding any more, I'm standing up and working to make a difference in the world. And really, isn't that what it's all about?
My wish for you on this first day of 2018 is that you stop hiding and start getting visible. Need a little support? Come join us in the Design + Style Club on Facebook and sign up for our weekly emails. Need a LOT of support? Join us in the Visibility Lab for more hands-on support from Rachel and me.