To be creative is to be uncertain. That’s what I found myself saying to a prospective client during a sales call last week. What’s getting in your way is your relationship to uncertainty.
A person with a real flair is a gambler at heart, was how Billy Baldwin put it.
Or in the words of Angelo Rafael Donghia, Assumption is the mother of screw-up.
Uncertainty Is As Inevitable As Change
Creative people, especially successful creative people in business, are accomplished masters of uncertainty. That’s one of the benefits of being in business. Your commitment to your client and their deadline forces you to go deep with your creativity. Navigating the suspense of uncertainty is your key to discovery, courage, expansion, healing, joy and confidence. All of these gifts lie on the other side of the journey to design rooms that will move people emotionally.
So it’s not surprising that when business slows down, many designers take it personally.
They think the reason they’re not getting clients is because their work isn’t good enough. The uncertainty of not knowing where the next client is coming from, becomes confused with thoughts of how they perceive their ability. That’s usually when the opportunity faucet really turns off and self-doubt seeps in. Remember, you get what you think about.
Whether it’s a single room or a full-scale renovation, when a client hires you, you make a decision, devise a plan, choose the materials you’ll use, and do what it takes to get it done. Even if you’re faced with the unexpected – and you always are – your commitment to your client and their deadline forces you to get present, improvise and navigate the uncertainty and your fear to deliver.
Can you say the same thing for your business? Are you working from the blueprint of an inspired vision? Does it compliment your lifestyle? Does it stretch and excite you creatively? Do you know how to reach the kinds of clients who are easy to work with, who will pay you well and love your work? Do you know what online materials you need to build a solid foundation? Do you have a compelling brand, a memorable story? Have you made a commitment to yourself to do what it takes to get it done?
Yes, you’ll be faced with uncertainty. That’s what being a leader means. It means making decisions to do the things that people who won’t achieve what you will, won’t. It requires not being sure, being afraid, but stretching, daring and being available, visible in spite of those things. It’s what you were born to do: be creative.