Friday, November 12, 2010

Thinking Small

I spent the morning judging builders here in the area that submitted remodeling projects to the builders association for recognition. The number is limited because it cost to submit and so only the bigger names actually are represented.

I was assigned a partner and we drove around and looked at some incredible spaces. It was hard to judge some of the smaller projects against the ones with unlimited budgets. One project, the house was taken to the ground and rebuilt the other was a cottage that the owners grandparents owned and had been empty for six years before the remodel. It was also gutted but the basic structure was the same.

My partner for the day was a interior designer and obviously passionate about what he did, we discussed the difficulty in finding people willing to pay for design services. He said he charges for every minute of his time and his belief in himself keeps him in business. He said even if he has to pass up on a potential customer he won't do a free consultation.

I was thinking about how easily I under value myself and especially what I do. I have a degree and I have spent a lot of time and energy keeping up with the current design trends within the industry. I have passion for what I do and I give my all with every project.

I was with a customer the other day and I said not to worry that I wouldn't let her make a bad decision and she said well you think highly of yourself. I said I support myself making design decisions and she wouldn't want to pay someone that isn't sure of their choices.

I was conditioned to think it is bad manners to be proud of your own skills or as my mother would say "don't toot your own horn". What is wrong with having confidence in your own skills. A lawyer wouldn't say oh I am not really that great, modesty wouldn't be an asset, so why should I down play my abilities.

So I am going to stop thinking small, it doesn't help me to not be confident or not appreciate my own abilities. If you are relying on the advice of someone don't you want them to have confidence, I do.

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