How to Avoid FOMO in the Design Business
If you just watched yet another reel of interior designers having a blast at DecoOff in Paris, or if you scrolled through photos on Facebook of a design group's tour of LA architecture, then you've probably had a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out)!!! I know it happens to me - especially when it's an exotic location or a trade show that I haven't been to. Even watching designers find the latest gorgeous designs at ICFF or High Point can make me want to jump on a plane - and that's a LONG flight for me! But just because it looks like they're all having fun (OR getting a leg up in the design world) doesn't mean that YOU need to be there, too! FOMO can actually hurt your business, but it's also hard to avoid. Here are some tips for combatting that need to be EVERYWHERE!
1. It Isn't Always What It Seems
Hopefully by now we have ALLL learned that not everything on social media is exactly what it seems, right?? Can I say smoke and mirrors?! So remember that there are other stories behind those glossy and fabulous photos. Some shows and events are definitely worth the hype (Maison et Objet is a great example), but many others just are not. You need to know your business and what you actually need to attend, rather than chasing after the shiny object or Instagrammable location. So for example, if none of your clients are interested in antiques, then you probably can skip that fantastic trip to the Paris flea markets...for now.
2. Is It Smart Business?
ALWAYS ask yourself what business reason you have for traveling (and we're NOT talking about your vacation time/money - that's up to you!). If you're going to an essential trade show where you KNOW you're going to be shopping for clients, then that is a definite. If you're going to a show to be inspired, still a good reason. But then you've got to balance that against your expenses for this year. So trips to High Point are probably right up your alley (and will give you lots of face time with friends and colleagues!), but maybe going to the Chelsea Flower Show should stay on the bucket list until your P&L is ready to handle it.
3. Plot Your Own Course
I've talked a lot on this blog about keeping your blinders on. In other words, you don't need to pay attention to what every other designer out there is doing. Plot your own course! Find the unique shows and locations that not everyone in the world knows about. Discover your own fab sources and artisan goods that will make your work stand out. And remember that you should travel to events and places because it makes sense for YOU, not because everyone else is going.
4. Remember Your Clients
I talked a bit above about how you want to shop at shows and events that make sense for YOUR clients. You want to maximize your time away from your clients, too! So, if you're traveling for business and your Instagram is also full of shots of you at the beach or at the 1000th amazing hotspot, you might have a few clients who want to know why you were away from their project. Trust me, it happens! I'm not saying that you shouldn't mix in a little pleasure on a business trip, but you do have clients who are paying attention to when (and WHY) you're away. It's human nature. They're going to be fine if you're showing them all the fabulous things you're shopping for because it's for them! But if they feel like their project is behind and you're out of town AGAIN, that may be a different conversation.
So how do you make those hard decisions on when it comes to whether you should stay or you should go?? I use a tried-and-true method of a pros and cons list - it works!! To help you, download my FREE Guide to the Pros & Cons for Decision Making. It will help you decide which trips and locations are right for YOU!
PS. Don't forget to watch the YouTube video HERE!