Maybe it's the American in me, maybe it's the entrepreneur in me but I love a good "leave your corporate job and start a successful business using your passions and hidden talents" story. I have enjoyed perusing the website and blog by Claudia Strasser of The Paris Apartment for awhile now, but after listening to a Podcast that tells her story about how Claudia did just that, I left even more impressed. I am drawn to anything with Paris or France in the name being a devoted Francoholic, but I also just love her glamourous, old Hollywood, starlet sort of style. I have some pink chairs that she would give high marks on in the feminine and fabulous department. Here they are.
What I didn't know about her was how she followed her instincts to open up her own boutique in New York called The Paris Apartment. She traveled all around the world growing up and learned how to have an eye for design, but she didn't have any formal training in interior design. Yet, here she is working in the capacity of a designer and very successful too. I feel that too many people are led to believe that you must have a degree to do anything, and use that as a stumbling block to pursuing a passion. I love the "why not?" approach that many entrepreneurs put into action.
If you want to hear the story on Podcast, it's Hip Tranquil Chick Podcast number 115. I don't know how to embed it into the blog. If you know how, please tell me. I just don't speak geek.
Here is the website: http://hiptranquilchick.com/podcastblog.html
I believe when we are drawn to something so fiercely that it is some dream inside of us that wants to come out. I have had a passion for cleaning out closets and clutter in general for as long as I can remember. I have an obsession for all stories and books related to this subject. They say that when you are doing something that you don't notice how time flies that this is what you are born to do. This is how I feel about helping people clean things out.
What inspires me so much about Claudia is that she went with her gut and started her business. I have to hold on to her courage and others like her for me to even think about doing such a thing. The truth is that I'm scared out of my mind to start a business. I FEAR. Yes, I fear that who would want me to do something that is really so easy. Isn't it true that when we are passionate and good at something that we think it is easy?
When I hear a story like this of someone who went beyond all the excuses they could muster and put their fear and their self on the line, for a moment it manages to quell any excuses that I may have. They do come tumbling back full force as fear usually does. I think that action is the only thing that makes fear go away, and faith. In fact, faith is the opposite of fear.
My main excuse is that I think it is easier for people to want to buy something than to pay for a service. I think that people wouldn't want to pay me for what a friend can do for them for free. Why does someone need me to tell them to let go of something when there is really no harm in having it anyway. The endless stream of excuses for why I wouldn't start a business doing this is like a ticker tape going at the back of my mind always. See how amazed I am that someone who probably isn't neurotic as me anyway, manages to push through self-doubt and find their way to the other side where the sun is shining and the grass must be greener.
What is the post about anyway--Paris, decorating, pink chairs, starting a business, fear, overcoming fear and inspiration. What is on the other side of self-doubt? I think the answer is clarity. When you manage to overcome you are awarded with clarity because you have been through it and know it. There is no longer any reason to fear, for even failure isn't that daunting after you've already been through it.
This interview didn't go as in depth as my own self probing has, but you will hear that she has made some decisions for herself that weren't always easy. I think that she is an inspiration because she knows herself and is doing what is best for her no matter what others think of her decisions.
It is still my dream to help people clean out their closets and clean out their minds and I certainly feel that I embody my Closet Therapist title. Maybe one day I'll finally break through and you'll be reading inspiring stories about how I did it. Until then, enjoy Claudia's website and her interview with Hip Tranquil Chick.