Debts and the City

Yesterday a friend asked to see me.  Lola had debts consisting of 2 parts.  The first debt was a life changing amount and not something she could do anything about.  The second part was a small but hardly insignificant 4 figure sum relating to a brief spell of profligacy after she quit a job she couldn’t stand and decided to redecorate. Lola was living within her means now, but she had no intention of going back to corporate life and felt her debts were hanging over her.  She asked for my advice.

I told her what I always say.  Follow your passion and then find some way of making a living at it.  It doesn’t have to be a good living, so long as you love what you do, and have what you need. Material things won’t matter as much, your passion will be a distraction from your problems (especially those you can do absolutely nothing about) and who knows, if you work hard enough and get a little luck thrown in, your passions might one day make you wealthy and then you’ll really have something to worry about.

I’m not sure my advice helped.  But it did make me think about my own life and to what extent I was following my own advice.

Creating beauty is my passion, whether it be writing, photography or styling interiors with beautiful things to create visual harmony.  I’m not trying to create an aesthetic, more tell a story, capture a moment and leave something beautiful behind.  I have some way to go when it concerns turning my passions into a business.  I still don’t have a costed business plan, just a series of creative goals.  So here goes:

  1. Create a capsule collection of 10 black interior items. Photograph them beautifully and add them to the homepage of the website within the year.  In the meantime put all your efforts into photography and the Style School courses.
  2. Remember how good it felt to sit in Dalston drinking coffee waiting for Abigail Ahern’s retail masterclass.   Think of ways to promote Nordic Black in London so you can do that more often.  Make contacts, attend trade shows, utilise social media.  Find an intern to do this for you if you find you don’t have time.
  3. Keep a book of design inspiration and take something from it every month to progress.
  4. Remember your achievements and be inspired by them.  How you changed the conversation with Woodlands, creating a stunning suite of interiors showcasing your talents.
  5. Find Nordic stores to stock your capsule collection. It doesn’t matter if at this stage it’s only a wish list.
  6. Keep your business small so you can manage your expansion.
  7. Find innovative ways to promote the Style School.  Lot’s of people visit Edinburgh. They’d love to see a working home so maximise this opportunity whilst keeping class numbers small.
  8. Sell your house.
  9. Don’t worry if you can’t sell your house.  No one else’s home is selling either.
  10. Create a discussion board for dark interiors that others can contribute to. Create a library on Pinterest then make it interactive.  An online magazine where readers are the contributors.
  11. Find time to write more and publish dark interior thoughts.  Nordic Black is a 2-prong strategy.  Writing is one of the prongs.
  12. Review your spreadsheets every day.

That should keep me busy for a while.  I’m off for a run before I sit down to cost and execute all of the above.

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