....Even after I got married and raised 4 great children, my interest for home and pursuing my dreams never waned. Thus my career in home furnishings began. From my first design and marketing company, Ideas by George, to my years as President of Scandinavian Design, my passion and focus were about home. I learned a lot about the furniture business in 10 years and was well known in the industry for all my accomplishments.
By 1985 I had reached the pinnacle of success, or so I thought. Then I got fired. I was devastated. But, I'm a survivor, and an entrepreneur at heart. In less than one week I picked myself up and embarked on a project that would shape my destiny. The truth is that for a long time, I had a vision of what a furniture store should look and feel like. So, I conducted extensive research and interviewed consumers all over the country about what they really wanted in a furniture store. They told me they loved their homes, but hated buying furniture. They were frustrated and afraid of making mistakes and large financial commitments. Long delivery times and "hard sell" salespeople discouraged them.
When I put this information together with my vision, the idea for Domain was born. In 1986 we opened our first store, and I finally saw my dream become reality. And the rest, they say, is history. Today, Domain Home is one of the leading furniture stores in the country, now with 27 store locations.
Although it is difficult to compress a life into a few simple rules, my secret for success remains fairly simple:
Forgive past grievances. Let go of anger, for it needlessly saps your energy. When I called my former boss who fired me to thank him for 10 years with the business. I said there were no hard feelings and that I would continue with the pursuit of my dream. I think he was shocked.
Get support from those you love. Many of us rely too heavily on co-workers for emotional support. This can make losing a job a crushing experience. Fall back on those closest to you; my family really sustained me. Everybody got behind me and showed me that in their eyes I was a wonderful human being.
Don't start over on a beaten path. Leverage your experience to start down a new path. Don't just try to repeat what you did at your last job at your new job or enterprise.
Be true to yourself. Most people don't follow their true passion because they don't really understand who they are. Today there are coaches and tests that can help. Too many people start new jobs or ventures without really loving with heartfelt intensity what it is they're doing. Failures don't always come because of the idea, it's that the idea doesn't match your personality.
Don't hide your feelings. It's common business practice to hide beneath an impersonal façade. Try the opposite and use emotional sincerity as an asset. My vulnerability, being able to put myself out there, made it possible for people to help me and for me to accept help without letting ego or pride get in the way.