Discover more from W.D.C. Journal
I've Been Thinking About the Long Game
I am writing this during my return flight from a work trip to the East Coast. My first stop was Philadelphia for a furniture project install, and then we drove up to Vermont to visit Authentic Designs, the lighting company we are partnering with for our lighting collection. From there I drove into NYC for a 5-day trip with my family. It has been a very fulfilling couple of weeks and I learned something that I think I’ve always known but I seem to keep forgetting. I remembered again that the things that stand the test of time, the quality things we love and cherish, always take time. Let me elaborate...
In Philadelphia, our furniture install was over a year in the making (mostly due to delays from COVID), but as we saw it come together and our client’s happiness when it was all done, I was grateful for the time and thought that we all dedicated to the project. In Vermont at Authentic Designs, I saw their slower, handmade process and admired the 100-year old tools they were using and the beautiful lighting they have created over the years. They don’t rush through any part of their process and it shows. As we toured The Met in NYC, I was overwhelmed with the craftsmanship that people have perfected all the way back in time to the Egyptians. The pottery, the paintings, the kimonos of 15th-century Japan, etc. Nothing displayed in that museum was a product of a quick turnaround timeline.
I am historically a very impatient person. I like to move as fast as I can in all things (just ask anyone who is a passenger in my car), but creating a business and a family has forced me to realize that I can’t move fast in all things or I won’t get the results I ultimately want.
When I first started working as an interior designer, I took any and all work I could get. I was so grateful to anyone who saw my talent and I wanted to build my business quickly. Fast forward 5 years and I was clinically burned out. I had a lot of clients but I didn’t feel successful and I was suffering a lot personally. I decided I needed to make a big change in my business. I slowed down, became more intentional, and took on less work. That change to slow down and be more intentional has paid off. I now have a better business today because of it.
Now I’m five years down that road, looking to create some new arms for our business and the desire to rush through it is back. As we create our lighting line and wallpaper line, I want to get it all done asap because of my excitement to see it all realized and to see a return on my investment. As we plan and edit designs and set up meeting after meeting to move our designs forward, I keep wishing it wasn’t such a long and arduous process.
Seeing others in the same industry seem to breeze past me also makes me anxious to get going, but this trip reminded me that everything I am drawn to, the things that I love and that feel timeless, all take a lot of thought and time, so the long process is necessary to create something of value. I need to stay focused on what is the right timeline for me and not compare myself to others because everyone’s situation and resources available are different.
The temptation to speed through this phase of my business to get "somewhere" fast is gnawing at me, but I am committed to the value of thoughtful and timeless design and ultimately won’t sacrifice those values in order to get to where I want to be right now. Patience truly is a virtue that I don’t have, but I’m working on it.
May we all resist the temptation to speed through life and slow down to create a life of value, even if it doesn’t seem to pay off for a long time. It’s the long game mentality, and it’s worth it.