Can a new desk help your business grow?

March 6, 2012

Where we’ve been — where we’re going

Inspired Home Office and I, we’ve been using a desk that’s been *fine* for the last two years. I put it together myself. It’s really fine. It’s big. It’s the right color. It’s just — something’s not right anymore.

The way my desk looks most daysI have this theory that as your business matures, your space grows grow along with it. The current desk cost me a hundred dollars to put together: two IKEA legs, a 2-drawer file cabinet and a closet door I bought at the Habitat ReStore.

It works. Did I mention that already? It works, but lately it feels cobbled together. Just like my business felt two years ago. They fit together back then, my cobbled-together business and matching desk. Two peas in a pod.

Before that, I used a scratched-up yard sale desk as my business home base. I bought it when all I has was $30 in cash in my pocket and I needed something, anything with drawers right now for my start-up. Compared to that desk, my current, right-height/right-color desk is a vast improvement.

Encountering resistance to making positive change

Today, it feels like Inspired Home Office is ready for her first pair of heels, her first work suit. My money-fear, my inherited potato-famine fearful side says, “But what if we can’t afford it?” What if what you really need is too expensive?” This voice shows up because it wants me to be cautious. It wants me to not stretch too much into unknown territory. If I get too good a desk, that might mean that the business will get too mature for me to handle. Scary. This voice wants me to be safe.

Go toward what you want

And yet, that’s exactly why I want a different, more me desk — so I can grow. Having a visual, tangible reminder of my dreams, well, that helps encourage movement. If I got a desk that wasn’t cobbled together and missing a leg, what would that tell the Universe about how seriously I take my business? What would this new, improved desk tell me every time I walk in here in the morning to work?

“I’m ready for more.” I’d be saying, “C’mon, business, let’s help a few more people this month that we did last month. Let’s give our clients even more support and encouragement. Let’s run like a business, not a hobby.”

Matching the outside with the inside

There’s nothing wrong with a desk that is good enough. This isn’t judgment on myself or on other businesses that aren’t at this place yet.

It’s also not a money-buys-happiness thing. It’s about consistency – Inspired Home Office has matured a lot in four years. We’re not a start-up anymore and it’s time for the space to match that.

Plus, I just keep thinking about it. When I keep thinking about something, I know it’s wise to pay attention. It means is that I’m ready to be less cobbled together. After four years in business, I’m ready to have my space more deeply reflect the competent, creative, loving professional that I’ve become.

Tolerate not knowing how it will turn out (it’s good for you)

That said, I have no idea what my new desk will look like — that’s what creating a vision is for.

So that’s my next step — dreaming up what I want it to look like. If you happen to use Pinterest, I’m creating an inspiration board to collect ideas. I can create a budget. I can pay more attention to the critical features I currently use that I’d want replicated in a future desk. I can make calls and do research. It could be months before I act, but that’s the creative process: 80% dreaming and 20% action. I just know I’m ready.

How about you?

Have you ever chosen a desk (or other furniture) as a way of marking a transition in your life or career? Feel free to share below!

7 comments

  1. I’m in awe of your ability to make these connections Jen. It rings so true and yet it slightly scares me. I’m still on the laptop on the dining room table. I can’t even bring myself to grab a permanent space yet, and it’s been 4 years! An actual desk seems big & scary. A statement even. Looks like you are ready though. Me, I’m just going to follow your pins and let myself wonder what it might be like to have a desk.

  2. For me… it’s not furniture – it’s a yoga mat.

    When I started on this journey through my depression, it just so happens that I was given a brand new, beautiful yoga mat. It’s green. I love it. Lots of things have been worked through, healed through, smiled through and trumped through on this green mat.

    Recently, I noticed it’s been falling apart – teaching yoga and doing yoga get hard on a mat ;)

    At first, I was really upset about this… I was resisting getting rid of the mat because it’s such a Divine and Sacred space for me. But soon – you’ll be able to see the floor through it… and I’m sure yoga studio owners don’t appreciate all the green bits all over their floor after I practice ;)

    But then, about a week ago, it occurred to me… when 2012 started – something in me shifted. It’s like I’m a different person… a healed person… not perfect – but healed. I can feel that I’ve grown.

    And that’s when it hit me – this is the perfect time to purchase a new mat. A beautiful new mat that will carry me through the next step on the journey.

    Oh – I’ll keep the green one… and I’m thinking about maybe doing some artwork, framing it, and using part of the green mat as THE mat for the painting… sort of as a reminder of where I’ve been…

  3. Jen,
    working with you actually gave me permission not just to get a new desk, but to get A WHOLE NEW BEAUTIFUL OFFICE with a working fireplace and nine windows and crown molding. [somebody pinch me]
    And it all started with the Wish Kit and your loving permission to actually let myself dream what I wanted. I will be forever grateful to you for that, and I’m pretty sure my clients are grateful to you too, though they may not know it. :)
    I look forward to following the desk saga. Sending you love!


  4. 778 days ago,
    A.B. said:

    I love it, Jen!!!

    I launched my business over 7 years ago with a decent severance package and an office I’d rented spontaneously. It hadn’t occurred to me to create a business until I fell in love with the office. One of my first acts as a “business woman” was to buy a desk. Not just any desk, but a drop-dead-gorgeous solid maple desk with coordinating hutch and lateral 2-drawer file. I can’t remember now which tiny TV kid used to say “I’m announcing my presence with authority!” but that’s what it felt like I was doing. “If I have a ‘real’ desk,” I reasoned, “I must be launching a ‘real’ business.”

    I haven’t regretted that choice for a moment.

    I’ve moved that desk (or paid to have it moved!) three times so far. Tomorrow I’ll pay to have it moved again — from a tiny 9 x 10 room in our house where the business has lived for 4 years into a much bigger room next door with patio doors and a luscious view of our back yard.

    And THAT expansion (yes, I get to keep the tiny office, too!!!) is courtesy of your Wish Kit Class and the vision I created of having a space that served me as well as a magician’s assistant.

    I can’t wait to work with you this month to lovingly create new relationships with these two new spaces and their new roles in my life — and to lovingly release any of the detritus and miscellany I’ve accumulated in 4 years that I no longer need.

    You’re a treasure. Savor the visioning, then create the most glorious desk experience you can imagine. Let it remind you of the great work you’re doing in the world.

  5. Great article! I have a rolltop desk which is absolutely love. My desk gives me permission to stack which is my natural way of organizing. I can be who I really am without worry because I can always just roll down the top and voila’! No one can see or judge – not even me! :) You give me that also Jen. No judgement just acceptance that my piles are okay and so am I. I love my desk!


  6. 773 days ago,
    Kat said:

    I am desk shopping now as well. I looked at your pinterest board and noted that I like a lot of the same desks you do – the curves.

    I do not have my own business but still want a home office that reflects where I am now. It is very child centered and I expect to be an empty nester in less than two years.

    Here is a desk I found recently that you may like: http://www.efurnitureshowroom.com/kidney-computer-desk-hillsdale-800571-prod-9437.html

    I am looking for something a little smaller than what I currently use and with drawers. My goal is to re-do the entire office with bookcases that have doors on the bottom so that I get the clutter off my desk and out of sight.

    My office at work is largely paper free, very clean and charming, I’d like my home office to move in that direction without losing the decorations I love.

    Here’s another that you might like: http://www.etsy.com/listing/86256254/two-inch-thick-book-matched-office-desk?ref=cat2_gallery_6

    Etsy has lots of others as well.


  7. 770 days ago,
    Mithcell Stewartsen said:

    I loved how you moved about explaining the whole thing. I never thought that a desk could have such an impact on one’s business.
    Thanks for sharing.
    -Mitchell
    Mithcell Stewartsen´s last blog post ..meditation music

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