Every time I get on a plane, I listen to the safety instructions of how you need to help yourself with the oxygen mask before you can assist anyone else, no matter how small or important they may be in your life, you need to take care of yourself first in order to offer any beneficial assistance.
The same would be true of my home staging career. I realized at the beginning of this year I needed to take care of myself and my business before I could ever realize I could do more or contribute more to my own industry.
One of my goals for the year 2016 was to work smarter not harder. From the physical labor, to the administrative side, to the creative side unless you can clone yourself, there are always challenges, days that turn into nights of work, and never ending information and education to keep up with that allows you to know the latest trends and styles so that you can be considered at the top of your game.
In 2016, as in the past 4 years, I made the decision to invest in myself again by attending RESACON. The financial investment as well as the time commitment to travel and attend this convention is one by far that outweighs almost anything else I do for myself. The knowledge you gain, the industry leaders, meeting and getting to know the best of the best in the industry, the networking, connections and friends you make is only the beginning in what this convention can do for your career. Attending this convention each year takes my business to a new level of professionalism and excellence in what I learn and how I do my job. The knowledge I gain allows me to represent myself as a true professional in the industry. The accolades of being acknowledged as a Top 10 Professional Home Stager not only brings me great gratitude, but allows me to promote myself and my business to people and businesses and have credibility in what I do.
I was determined after leaving RESACON to have RESA represented in our local community and help establish a Kansas City Chapter. After a few attempts, I am proud to say as RESA Kansas City Chapter President along with creating enough interest to have not only a full Board representing our city, but continuing to grow the group with new stagers and affiliate members. We are well underway with monthly topics/speakers scheduled out through May of 2017. I realize the Kansas City Chapter is a group effort that will make it successful, but facilitating the initial interest to make it happen was one of my goals for the year.
Another way I’ve contributed to the home staging industry for this year was to co-author a book on Home Staging. To be considered an “Industry Expert” along with 13 other very talented home stagers was an honor and a privilege. Writing a chapter on “Owner Occupied Stagings” to help real estate agents and homeowners understand how important home staging is, but to also give them information on how to effectively invest in their greatest asset and to maximize the greatest potential and profit in selling their home. This is a great way to help educate real estate agents and the general public on how home staging is changing the real estate industry and I can proudly say that I’m part of that.
I’ve continued to mentor college interns in the business and hopefully inspire their own dreams and future in home staging and design. Working with a retail associate at one of the local stores, she asked me about home staging and what it takes to do it. I realized the power of my own words because the next time I saw her, she told me I had inspired her to go back to college and take design courses and focus on a new career in home staging.
Little by little, with a ripple effect, my example, my words, my work speak to what I believe is setting a standard of professionalism and excellence in an industry I am fortunate to call my own, home staging.