Is Your Workspace Stifling Your Growth?

About 2 years ago, I came to a realization: I couldn’t grow my business in the spare bedroom I was using as an office.

While it was a beautiful space (and much better than the corner of the master bedroom I had been using when I lived in New York City), it simply didn’t feel right any longer.

Me in my old office. It worked okay for a while, then I outgrew it and needed more space.

Me in my old office. It worked okay for a while, then I outgrew it and needed more space.

To make matters worse, the room also doubled as our guest bedroom and every time we would have overnight guests I’d get really annoyed when they’d come and take over my office space.

It felt like I couldn’t take my business seriously from that office space.

Quite frankly, I was beginning to hate the room and felt TRAPPED.

Feeling trapped and stifled is like a big death wish when you’re running a business so I had to get honest with myself and with my husband so we could hatch a plan.

Committed to working from home (I LOVE IT!), getting an office in my town didn’t appeal to me. Even though my kids come in and make a mess sometimes and go crazy with my office supplies, I truly enjoy working from home and having them see what mom does for work. It’s totally cool for me.

My kids loved coloring all over my giant flipchart paper (and the carpet) in my former office space.

My kids loved coloring all over my giant flipchart paper (and the carpet) in my former office space.

With our house being what it is, that only left room for one solution … an extensive renovation and addition that would take close to 2 years from conception to completion.

This process was one of the most intense experiences of my life …

In May of 2012, we hired a designer and architect to translate our vision into drawings and plans, and then hired a contractor to bring the plans to life.

The planning process took 11 months from when we hired the architect and designer until we broke ground on the project. This was grueling. There were many times I wanted to give up because the obstacles and outlay of money seemed too intense to handle.

My parents had never embarked on a home renovation project in my life so I often had thoughts of “who do you think you are doing something like this?” I had to soldier on and hold firm to my vision. I am THAT committed to my mission, business and clients.

I want my tribe to see that you can work from home from anywhere in the whole wide world and run a profitable business that changes the world and fills you on the deepest level.

I find it fascinating that in 2012, the year we embarked on the project, I led my business over the 6-figure mark for the first-time ever (my revenue close to quadrupled that year).

And in October 2013, the first week that I sat in my finished space (dubbed the “Sunshine Studio”), we broke past the previous year’s sales figures with close to 3 months to go in the year.

I’m STOKED to see where the business grows next year and beyond. I truly feel supported like I’ve never felt before.

The space makes me feel like a million-dollar business owner. It’s exquisite, professional, high-end, functional, light-filled and inspiring. It’s ME.

Want to come with me on a tour of the space? Great, let’s go. Then I’ll give you some tips to make your work environment work for you (no matter what kind of space you’re in).

This cabinetry created by California Closets is awesome and perfect for the space. The dragon wooden box was created in Tibet. I bought it in NYC. The books on the shelf have been hugely influential on my path. I'm a huge reader and bring the lessons from the books I read to my clients and tribe.

This cabinetry created by California Closets is awesome and perfect for the space. The dragon wooden box was created in Tibet. I bought it in NYC.
The books on the shelf have been hugely influential on my path. I’m a huge reader and bring the lessons from the books I read to my clients and tribe.

I love the white paper lanterns and mirrored table here. I bought the table at a tag sale held by the famous design family, the Novogratz (they have a home close to my home). Keeping fresh flowers in this space makes me happy. We painted the walls "Flame" and "Soleil" to give the space a warm, supportive vibe.

I love the white paper lanterns and mirrored table here. I bought the table at a tag sale held by the famous design family, the Novogratz (they have a home close to my home). Keeping fresh flowers in this space makes me happy.
We painted the walls “Flame” and “Soleil” to give the space a warm, supportive vibe.

My desk was custom made by California Closets. I LOVE the huge workspace, something I lacked at my old desk. My vision board is directly in front of me so I'm always looking at it and being pulled forward. The bamboo floors feel SO good and smooth on my bare feet (that's how I prefer to work - shoeless!). My chair is a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Divine and so good for your back!

My desk was custom made by California Closets. I LOVE the huge workspace, something I lacked at my old desk.
My vision board is directly in front of me so I’m always looking at it and being pulled forward.
The bamboo floors feel SO good and smooth on my bare feet (that’s how I prefer to work – shoeless!).
My chair is a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Divine and so good for your back!

This picture captures my philosophy beautifully. I keep a rattle I found at Omega Institute underneath to clear the energy in the space after each day. Important to clear energy!

This picture captures my philosophy beautifully. I keep a rattle I found at Omega Institute underneath to clear the energy in the space after each day. Important to clear energy!

I love cards, photographs and colors! I also love that I can see the OUTSIDE from every angle in my space. I can also walk outside from my sliding glass door.

I love cards, photographs and colors! I also love that I can see the OUTSIDE from every angle in my space. I can also walk outside from my sliding glass door.

My magical zone: Buddha from my grandmother, oracle cards, candles, fun magic wand, pens galore, and my Spirit portrait painted by the talented Jennifer Currie.

My magical zone: Buddha from my grandmother, oracle cards, candles, fun magic wand, pens galore, and my Spirit portrait painted by the talented Jennifer Currie.

That was fun, wasn’t it?

Now, I’m not saying that YOU have to embark on a huge home renovation project like I did to create your dream workspace if you work from home, but I do have some tips to share with you to make your work environment as productive and conductive to growth as possible.

Ready?

  • Upgrade your technology: When you run an online business, your computer is your business. If you’ve got a clunky, outdated computer that’s slow and annoying, you’ve gotta upgrade. Last year I upgraded my 6-year-old MacBook to a brand new model. I hemmed and hawed about the expense for a while, but then finally bit the bullet. My biz took a huge leap as a result. Invest in the tool that keeps your biz humming along. You’ll never regret it. I found out the Apple even has a Apple Business Partners program that allows you to lease your computer for a few years with monthly payments. I ended up paying cash for mine so didn’t go this route, but if you need the lease, know it’s an option.
  • Get a big wall calendar: Go to your local office supply store and pick up a giant wet-erase wall calendar. You can plot out your promotions and launches and events with this big birds-eye view calendar. Put huge dreamy things on your calendar that you’re not sure how would ever come true like “Host a workshop with Oprah” or “Go on my book tour to promote my New York Times bestseller” or “Spend a month in Bali.” I call this calendar dreaming. It works. Submit your order to the Universe. Good things will come.
  • Fill your space with inspiration: Quotes, pictures, cards from clients, flowers, books you love, your vision board. All of this juicy goodness needs to go in your workspace. Even if you work at the kitchen table right now, find a little nook in your space where you can bring this positivity in. It’s hugely empowering to be surrounded by such high energy objects.
  • Get a comfortable office chair! My ergonomically correct Herman Miller Aeron chair was the first major purchase I made when I started my business and began working from home in 2008. $1000 well invested for sure! My former corporate job gave us the WORST chairs of all time to sit in. My back always hurt. I vowed if and when I ever went out on my own, I’d invest in a high-quality chair. And I did! Your body and health are your most precious assets. Treat yourself to a comfortable, beautiful seat. It’s your foundation as you do your big work in the world.
  • Bring in the light: I believe that light is crucial to your growth and success. We just need it as humans. If your space doesn’t naturally get a lot of light, ensure that the room is painted a light color so you’re getting light from the walls. Also make sure you go OUTSIDE a few times a day to expose your body to Vitamin D and fresh air. This will boost your productivity big-time.

TIME TO SHARE!

What tips and tricks do you have for making your work-from-home-space productive and inspiring? What ideas from my list above will you implement this week? Share in the comments section below. Be specific so we can all support you.

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