I am a Curator. We have a kick-ass office culture here and deliver excellent results for our dynamic, lifestyle clients. Part of this success involves expertly 'curating' things, both tangible and intangible, like compelling conversations, creative content and beyond. And at Curator, we believe that there are no shortcuts to delivering the best. I am lower-case curator, too. What I mean is, I 'curate' my closet, my fridge, and my status updates to be the most unique ‘me,’ collected and borne from far and wide: whether it’s that one-of-a-kind pair of sandals from last summer’s overseas trip or that certain brand of yogurt only found at that one place. I collect these things deliberately. I don’t want to settle. I mentioned in my last post that I recently moved. I 'curated' a collection of pieces for my new apartment, picking out each one-by-one with great care to create a space that I love coming home to, and makes me happy. Isn't that what life is all about? It got me thinking, the things I learned while curating things for my new digs can also be applied to the workplace. I thought I'd share my tips with you.
Never settle -- Apartment hunting is exhausting. You get to that point where you're on the brink of giving up, or just settling for what's easy, rather than waiting for the perfect place. We all know it takes a lot of leg work, research, comparisons, and planning. I almost ended up signing a lease for a house that I knew in my heart wasn't ultimately what I had been dreaming of. Instead, I pressed on and eventually ended up getting a place I absolutely love. In the business world, sometimes it can be tempting to take the easy road; never, ever, do it. Your lack of caring shows, and neither you nor your client will be truly satisfied.
Elbow grease is key -- To furnish my bedroom, I needed to find a piece of furniture that would fit and look just right for the space next to my closet. There’s a heater near the floor and a knob halfway up the wall, so the piece had to fit specific dimensions. I went to home furnishing stores all up and down Seattle and the Eastside, but couldn’t find anything that I was happy with. Instead, I found this refinished, custom antique sofa table online that just so happened to have the perfect measurements for that awkward spot in my room. Someone was selling it out of their home in a small town about an hour away. I drove there in the rain one Sunday, loaded up the heavy thing in my barely-big-enough car and took it home. The long drive to the middle of nowhere and extra elbow grease pale in comparison to how great it looks in my room and how many compliments I’ve gotten on it. I'm not trying to brag, but it's a cool table. On the job, elbow grease goes a long way, and will make the difference between a mediocre project and a stellar project.
Think independently -- Long story short, I found myself building my own IKEA bed at 10pm on a Tuesday night. At that point, there was no going back. It was either build the bed or sleep on the floor. I've built several pieces of IKEA furniture in my day, but never alone. The manual even has a picture of one person working alone with a big 'X' over it. But, I was determined to defy the nay-sayers. And, an hour (or two) later, I had built the bed on my own. It was a nice little feeling of accomplishment. At Curator, we talk about being game-changers. While brainstorming and teams are essential, there are times when thinking independently will lead you to a brilliant idea and an end result you can be truly proud to share with the world.