This post has been in my heart for many months. We live in a culture that thrives on being busy. One look around and you can find artwork, planners, t-shirts, coffee mugs, make up bags, and everything in-between that say “I AM VERY BUSY” as if to advertise to anyone walking by the importance of your schedule, job, and work ethic.
Even the iconic Gray Malin has an I AM BUSY photo that has been put on cell phone cases, luggage tags, and wall art. We’ve created a society where if you’re “very busy”, that correlates to being “very successful” “a very hard worker” and “better than those who aren’t very busy”.
As a business owner, I’m regularly shocked that the first question I get asked - whether it be a fellow business owner, an industry professional, or even an extended family member – is “are you busy?”. When I go to networking events, other professionals brag about running around like crazy, being behind schedule on current projects, and working at the office until 9:00 at night. They’re frazzled, stressed, and overworked. Everyone stands in a circle and tries to top the other person on just how busy they are.
I’d like to find a way to break the stereotype of celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance and success. If being busy is determined by those key qualities above, well then -
I AM NOT VERY BUSY.
The job I had before opening Fuchsia Design in 2014 ran me into the ground. I was young in my career, and I fell into the trap of believing that if I worked until 9:00 at night, I was better than those people sitting at home. If I skipped lunch or didn’t take vacation days, it meant I was more committed to my career than the people laying in the sun on the beach. I believed that I loved interior design so much that there didn’t need to be room for other things in my life, and here’s what I found out:
When I am not “very busy”, I am more profitable. The projects I choose to take on move more efficiently, stay on schedule, and get the attention from me that they deserve.
When I am not “very busy”, I’m happier in my career, and I feel refreshed and excited to come to the office. My clients are happier too, so my business is more successful.
I may not be “busy” in today’s definition of the word, but I am time-blocked, committed, and successful. When I know that I only have a limited number of hours to work in a day, you better believe that I am working hard during those hours because staying late, skipping lunch, or missing vacation is not an option. I love my career, my business, and interior design, but I also love my life outside of Fuchsia Design, so I choose balance. I choose going to the gym. I choose cooking dinner with my husband, and sitting on the couch at night. And at 8:30am, I am refreshed and walking in the door to my office ready to work hard because I have less than 8 hours to get everything done before I’m leaving again to enjoy every other facet of my life.
And my clients love that I am “not very busy”.
“Her timeliness, efficiency, and knowledge of the building process helped keep the project moving and on schedule.” – Gary Phillips
“Fuchsia Design’s quick response rate, attention to detail, professionalism, and personality make them a joy to work with” – Gaby Peterson
“She was thorough, timely and very enjoyable to work with. We would highly recommend her!” – Beth Weaver
I attribute these compliments to my commitment to not overbooking my schedule. I am selective on the number of homes I take on at once because the clients that work with Fuchsia Design deserve the utmost attention from me and my team.
So, to replace your “ARE YOU BUSY?” question, how about these:
Are you profitable? YES!
Are you thriving? YES!
Are you happy? YES!
Equally important - Are your clients happy? YES!
I never want to be so busy making a living that I forget to make a life. Join me!