My job as an interior designer has always been multi-faceted, but it’s perhaps at its most complex right now. Besides designing residential and commercial spaces, I’m frequently a guest on panels and other speaker series, I’m heavily involved in product development and licensing, and I also participate in quite a few podcasts. Recently, I visited A Well-Designed Business podcast with my friend Luann Nigara. She asked me about something I learned that has helped propel me towards my goals. My answer?  “To take your pain or fear along with your talents, and use them as the fuel that allows you to grow.” Today, I want to talk to you about the gift of transitioning and how it has been instrumental in my own growth, both personally and professionally.

Only a Glimpse

It’s easy to look at anyone’s current position in life and assume they have always been successful, or that they’ve had it easy. The truth is, that’s rarely the case. We’re usually never witness to someone’s starting point; only their present. The same is the case for me. If you’ve been around for the last year or so, you’ve likely seen glimpses of all the projects I’ve been working on. My life has been incredibly busy with things like the building of my new beach home, the launch of my lighting line with Savoy House and my new fabrics and wallpapers line with Clarke & Clarke, just to name a few. Life is… good. But it hasn’t been a smooth and easy ride to this point. You’ve heard the saying “social media is only a highlight reel”. Well I think it’s time to normalize the realization that even what you see of someone in real life is only a glimpse. You’re not getting all the juicy details or behind-the-scenes experiences that led up to that moment. So, with that in mind, what role does transitioning play in goal-getting?

Transitioning is Risky

Breegan Jane as a company has gone through so many evolutions. I can remember at the start of building my brand, sitting around the conference room of the apartment complex I was living in while my house was being built. I had a few other moms working with me, and all of our kids were crawling around at our feet while we worked and strategized. I didn’t know exactly where I was headed with my business, but I remember telling them we were building an empire that would be all-encompassing and even referencing Martha Stewart. 

I look back at that younger version of myself, and I marvel at the audacity of that statement! I could not have known exactly what the road to get there would entail, and I don’t know if I even knew all the details of what I wanted. But I knew I wanted to be a brand that could do more and reach more people than I could actually physically touch, in person. To accomplish that, whatever we were developing had to be huge. Sometimes, transitioning involves stepping out into the unknown with only the belief that you can and will make it happen. The truth is, transitioning rarely comes without a risk. There’s no way to know how the story will go. But elevation is worth it. If you can combine your risk with courage, fortitude and determination, the risk significantly decreases. I was driven to make my dreams a reality by any means. I’m happy to say I did.

Transitioning Takes Time

I’ve been fortunate to mentor several young women throughout my career. One of the most frequently asked questions is regarding how to get to where I am. The questions come in many different forms, but the sentiment is the same. What’s the secret? I hate to break it to ya, but there are no shortcuts in this business. There aren’t any in life, period. 

I’ve been a content creator far longer than most people realize. Long before I launched I made myself blog every week for a year before I invested money in building a site. I held myself to a standard as an act of intentionality. I had identified what I wanted for my life, and I recognized it would require a lot from me. So, I worked on all the things I would need in order to get to where I desired to end up! Future mentees, this is the definition of reverse engineering. If you learn nothing else from this blog, take this piece of advice:

Be available for the opportunities you want.

Nothing about my path has been easy. It’s been a long road of understanding all facets of design, and the learning never stops. The work? It doesn’t either. When you decide to transition into the next phase of your career, don’t fight against the labor and trials, embrace them. Each step takes you closer to the goal.

Transitioning Doesn’t Mean Failure

I could rattle off many things that have contributed to favorable outcomes in my career, but the reality is that most people had to “fail” in order to succeed. However, maybe we should consider redefining failure. Transitioning into new areas of design is what allowed me to continue to grow. After years of conventional interior design work, I needed to find a more extensive way to help my clients. As I began branching out into other methods, I can remember wondering if I had failed at centering clients. I had several moments of, “Should I be scaling this differently? Am I doing something wrong?” None of it was true! When I get stuck in that kind of cycle, it usually means I’m holding on emotionally to something longer than I should.

The Oxford Dictionary literally defines transitioning as: “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” When you’re ready to move into something greater, you must be willing to let go of what you previously had and did. So many times we are faced with letting go of something we thought was meant for us for fear of that meaning failure. And yet, letting go is precisely how we make room for newness! In interior design we know decluttering can be emotional. We encourage clients to part ways with items that no longer serve them so that their homes can be transformed into beautiful spaces that allow them to thrive. The same is true in life and career. Good things will come into your life when you clear out the muck. I wanted to evolve, so I had to clear out the things I’d outgrown.

Trust the Process

When I think of the process of transitioning, I imagine a field of crops. First that field has to be empty, right? The farmer tills the land and prepares it for planting. He tends to the seedlings as they grow, and eventually the field yields a great harvest. The process is key to the success of the crop. In life, it can feel uncomfortable when our proverbial ground is empty. We panic thinking, “oh no, what are we planting! I need the fruit!” But these steps have to happen if we want to grow and evolve. Transitioning from the comfortable and familiar into unknown, but fertile ground isn’t failure. It’s growth! Change is necessary. 

How have I gotten to this point in my career? It’s been a long, storied road. But none of it would have been possible if I wasn’t willing to transition from one thing to the next…over and over again. Am I always 100% certain of what tomorrow brings? Absolutely not. But it’s always an adventure and lesson in perseverance and having a willingness to stretch. That’s valuable. Welcome the journey. It will be worth it. 


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