This post grew out of a related post “How Feng Shui Changed My Life”. I decided to share this part of the story here as it may help you with your business.
I first met my Feng Shui consultant, Melanie Adrienne Hill of Living Space Feng Shui Design at the beginning of 2008. What a fortuitous and fortunate start to the new year! Our design firm had done all the holiday décor for a local museum; after attending a tour Melanie contacted us by phone and I answered. It was like talking to a long-lost friend! We connected instantly, arranged to meet, and started working together almost immediately.
Our prior experience with Feng Shui
I’d read a lot of books on Feng Shui and made some changes on my own with varying success. My business partner at the time had worked on several Feng Shui projects early in his career, but hadn’t kept up with the practice. Even so, our homes and our office space definitely reflected our design styles; our spaces looked good and felt even better (okay, my home probably felt better than it looked – with a husband, teenage son & 4 pets we’re all about really living in our space). We began to suspect we might have feel-good spaces and bad Feng Shui, especially after we moved into our design center space.
The Feng Shui Consultation
Our first office consultation with Melanie was in early March 2008. Doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? Similar to designers conducting design consultations, Feng Shui consultants have their own process and way of communicating. We enjoyed working with Melanie because she clearly explained her process, discussing how we could best prepare for a fun, interesting and effective consultation. We were ready to get started and evaluate our space with Feng Shui-trained eyes.
The Feng Shui Assessment
The great news was that our space wasn’t missing any areas (when using the Bagua – a tool to read the Feng Shui of a space). Without going into great detail … which would be a book in itself … let me share some of the highlights of areas needing attention:
- The storage room in our Wealth area
- The restrooms in our Partnership area
- Storefront doors opening outward (similar to pushing clients away) rather than inward (welcoming clients in)
- Walls on a diagonal
- Constricted walkway separating the more public and retail space from the more private client area affecting Health
- Vacant adjoining space with negative predecessor chi potentially affecting our Creativity and Helpful People, Clients & Travel areas
Sounds a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? This is why you want to work with an experienced Feng Shui consultant and Master – he or she will have the education and experience in quickly identifying the best solutions and cures based on your intentions for a space. In our case, our intentions included:
- Working with more ideal clients on the types of projects we enjoyed
- Attracting more helpful people to work in the design center and assist with projects
- Strengthening our financial position
Do any of these seem familiar?
The Feng Shui Plan – A Cure for What Ails You
Just as you make it easy for your clients to realize their dreams, a Feng Shui consultant makes it easy to for you to improve your Feng Shui. There are many minor cures, including several you’re probably familiar with such as mirrors, crystals, chimes, fountains and plants. Melanie made many suggestions, and we all worked together to put cures in place based on our intentions and priorities. She made it easy to make adjustments our Wealth, Partnership, Creativity and Helpful People, Clients & Travel areas. We made the walkway feel more open (without removing the diagonal walls!) and welcomed in chi AND clients. We cleared out predecessor chi and buffered the energy of our space from the adjoining space.
You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next
“All mankind’s inner feelings eventually manifest themselves as an outer reality.”
— Stuart Wilde
Melanie and I have talked extensively about how practicing Feng Shui can bring up a lot of ‘stuff’. To paraphrase Melanie, The Law of Attraction says that you attract what you think about. That combined with your beliefs, your emotional state, and your body basically makes up your vibration (your chi). You may feel comfortable with your space but it supports something other than what you want in life. We experienced this first hand with the following events to follow:
- I started a Meetup group for local designers so we could discuss our businesses, sharing information about business planning, marketing, sources, etc. It was during one of our meetings that the entire group turned to me, suggesting they just hire me to do these things for or with them. This wasn’t in my plans at the time, but a seed was planted and ideas were born!
- We continued to meet amazing people – clients, partners, vendors, service providers. We wondered where they had been hiding!
- During one of many follow-up phone calls from Melanie (this one was about 3-4 months after implementing our cures), she had referred to the I Ching and indicated a big change for our business within 19 days. Almost out of the blue, our landlord began a campaign to drastically increase rental rates in our center. One tenant after another moved out, some disappearing in the middle of the night! We were the only ones who hadn’t received a letter notifying of an increase, until one day it happened … and we opted not to renew. So we had until the end of the month to vacate. As my business partner began to stress about our upcoming move with no place to go, I received an email from a friend who had a space to share. We visited it that day and started packing up and moving shortly thereafter. And yes, this all happened within 19 days (kinda spooky, isn’t it?).
- A deal with a developer had gone south several months prior. Again, almost out of the blue, we had an opportunity to recoup nearly half our funds and furnishings with an unexpected job
- We landed lots of new jobs, hosted several successful workshops, then before we knew it our busiest season was upon us … the holidays. One of our firm’s specialties was holiday décor, and despite the economy (or maybe because of it) our clients were in the spirit of celebration.
- We made the list of Central Florida’s top interior design firms!
- My business partner retired from design.
- My life and business path has completely changed. I discovered that while I love design, I love helping entrepreneurs build a business even more. This happened at about the same time that my business partner decided to retire. Perfect timing! I am now a solo-entrepreneur with a virtual team, helping entrepreneurs and business owners to start a business or grow an existing business. I absolutely love how things have worked out – discovering such a wonderful way to blend all my previous experiences and live my life on purpose and in service.
I’d like to leave you with this thought:
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” – James Allen
Feng Shui just might be the catalyst you need to take you to the life and business you desire. Enjoy the ride!