The customer is always right. Le client n’a jamais tort. (The customer is never wrong.)
Der Kunde ist König. (Customer is King.)
Interior design is the ultimate service business and it’s likely you learned this adage at some point or other as the key to your success. Maverick retailers Harry Selfridge and Marshall Field made it popular back in 1914, during a time when misrepresentation in sales was rife, when the common legal maxim caveat emptor ruled the day.
If you’ve been in the interior design business for any length of time though, you know that some clients are less than ideal, can be dishonest, have unrealistic expectations and are most definitely very wrong for you. In fact, you’ve been playing this game so well lately that those bad seed clients are rare because you’ve cultivated your ability to say no and to set better boundaries.
So why are you still overwhelmed and exhausted working with clients who are a fit? Why do you feel like you’re drowning in your abundance of business?
Because in your desire to offer the best interior design service that you can, you’ve taken yourself out of the equation, again. You’ve forgotten that it’s a fine line between servant and slave. Overwhelm is your reminder that you are resisting the ideas, conditions and cooperation ready to assist you. You’re not available for assistance though, because your idea of service keeps you invisible.
I know they’ve got a deadline and you want to meet it; that their budget is tight; that you like them; that you want them to feel like they’ve finally come home. I get it. But why are you so invested in your clients’ stories that you’ve forgotten that you’re writing your own?
Why aren’t the goals you’ve set for your business in terms of visibility, press and brand growth, not as pressing as your clients’ looming deadlines?
Why has your self care fallen off the calendar?
If you’re that tired, how can you possibly be fully present and there? How high can the quality of service you offer really be, when you’re not taking care of yourself at the same level you take care of your clients?
When the momentum slows down—because you know that it will—and you get spat out on the other end, will you be on the other side of another year-long detour?
It’s like the person who starts a diet or works with a trainer a few times before they give up because they’re too busy with real life. Are you really going to push your goals off the table, again, or are you ready to do what it takes to make what you say you want for yourself and your business a non-negotiable?