This is going out again for that special someone who does not “get” it. Get real. Be real.
I would guess that most of my fomer teachers in school would say one of two things about me. Some might say I am a compulsive over achiever. And, some might just say I am compulsive. ( or neurotic, but I dropped his class anyway).
Then there would be that one really cool teacher…forgot his name of course,but he was a young guy at the University of Arizona (Bear Down Arizona!) and he was my instructor for some sort of public speaking class. When it was my turn to do a speech ( and we did them 3x per week) I would get so excited about my topic,whatever it was, that I would start talking really fast, and I talk really fast on a slow day already, and sometimes wave my arms about to illustrate a point and generally get a bit loud . People would critique you as part of the class and that was always my downfall. “You talk to fast”, “You get overly excited”, “You need to calm down “. WHAT?
CALM DOWN? ME? I hate those words.
So, getting to my point here…Mr. Young whatshisname, pulled me aside one day after class and rather sternly told me to ignore anyone who tells me to calm down. He said and I quote ” Passion is found in few people these days. If you are passionate about something, anything, you are real. And, real people are what makes life interesting.” (And he also said that I did not talk fast but that others “listened slow” (ly).) I do not recall much else from the class but in that ghastly and awkward phase of my life, he gave me permission to be the real deal, flapping arms, fast talking , excitable, argumentative, neurotic that I am. It was my tipping point.
Now, years later, I am still passionate about things like politics and religion; independent opinions and critical thinking skills and how they are soooo not taught in schools today. But most of my passion is “spent” during my work day. Sure it is trite. But yes I really love my job. There are days that I want to fire all of my employees and then myself. Or, fire myself and then laugh when they are still there having to deal with the fallout. There are days that just running the business of a business takes a toll that requires a month of “friend therapy”. And there are days when I wonder how I can glue my mouth shut long enough to not piss off someone.
Yet every morning (and sometimes in the middle of the night) I wake up ready to go at it all over again. I really am excited to be heading off to my own version of the American dream, built with lots of hard work and a really,really good team. Even the most challenging of clients can get my passion going for a great idea, a new design, innovative products, beautiful materials. And while I cannot say that every one of my clients embrace my (let’s call it) “enthusiasm” initially…every single one of them know they are getting their money’s worth with me and our team. We do not go halfway. We do not settle for mediocre design or materials. We do not compromise for expediency’s sake. We think we are pretty good at what we do. It’s the passion. It’s real and we got it.
And, I may even wave my arms around to make sure you get it too.
Just don’t tell me to calm down.
My name is Cheryl Kees Clendenon, a California transplant to Northwest Florida. Been in the interior design business for 14 years and learn something new every day! This blog is about the day to day running of a design business and the crazy clients, silly subs, vexing vendors and exasperating employees! Join us for the ride!