“What’s the Hardest Space to Work On?”

Hiring a design or home staging consultant-really, any personal service provider!- is kind of a big deal for many people. Marie Graham, Owner of The Refreshed Home It’s easy to assume potential cost is the nexxus on which everything else has to align.  Why not? Money is always important, and we’re a lot more used to talking about it. But the question (and subsequent answer) that’s far more telling IMO is ‘what’s the hardest space to work on?’

I find it comes out of many places. Some are curious about your range of work or talent and problem-solving skills. Still others may want to know how you regard past clients.  I always asked it when interviewing potential designers when I was in corporate, just to see where candidates went with it.

The very first time someone asked me ‘what’s the hardest space to work on?’ my answer was instant, spontaneous, inspired, and humbly, in retrospect, perfect: “Between the ears.”

When you are a personal service provider, you do more, you are more than the noun that is used to describe you, or a generic task. I’ve been in the people-space-stuff business my entire career. I know in my cells that delivering happiness is an absolutely heroic task. Having others first let you get close to what’s keeping them from it must come first. Good personal service professionals will tell you they regard this trust as sacred.

My friend and colleague Professional Organizer Jocelyn Kenner wrote on why she hired a professional organizer today. It resonated to my toes.

‘Between the ears’ is still my answer to ‘what is the hardest space to work on?’.  But it’s especially rarefied territory when you open your brain…your space….and your heart, and trust someone who does what you do, either professionally, or even what you think you’re pretty good at.

Sir-aka Dr.- William Osler, one of the four founding members of Johns Hopkins Hospital is considered one of the best diagnosticians ever. He said, and did many wise things. Paraphrasing one of his succinct observations (as general policy TRH refrains from the use of “fool” :)) treating yourself is neither wise nor effective.

Do you consider yourself to be a smart, able, and accomplished person, yet can’t seem to get out of the weeds on what you yourself know and do best?  Know you’re not alone. Just start a conversation with someone else who does what you do. And if you’re in the people-stuff-space business, I hope it’ll be with TRH!