I wouldn’t be here, celebrating 18 years in business, if it weren’t for my family, friends, team and most importantly my clients.
In the past 18 years, I have definitely had my share of sweet times and sour times. Lucky for me I have had incredible support from amazing people who were there to witness my journey, and be there to catch me as I learned many valuable life lessons.
This month we celebrate the official launch of our new studio on Yarra St. We threw a wonderful launch party on Friday, September 29th with our closest friends, family and clients to celebrate this milestone. I had been truly looking forward to this day for a good six months.
Unknowingly, plans for this day started 5 years ago. I had been in business for 12 years but I’d never really stretched myself. Never really pushed any boundaries or had any real ambition to grow beyond my home-based business. It was a day that I stepped way, way, way outside my comfort zone like never before.
As business owners, we are often in situations where we are outside our comfort zones, in that scary place where we are taking a risk. And I have learned that that is actually where the magic happens. I’d heard it before but it wasn’t until I really experienced it that I now know that we are all capable of being a bigger better version of ourselves, if we want to.
But we have to actually want it.
So, 5 years ago, I set myself a goal. A huge goal. I didn’t mean to do it. It just kind of happened. I was attending a professional development workshop led by my business coach at the time and we were given a printout and asked to list our goals. I thought about it… a LOT. I’d made goals in the past. I was good at making easily achievable goals. I would achieve them – EASILY and I’d feel good about it.
I thought about setting a great huge big scary goal…. Something that in my mind was never going to happen. Just for fun, just to ‘try it on’ and see how it felt. It wasn’t something I would actually plan to do… so I wouldn’t have to do much to achieve it. And I could stay in my comfort zone. Where I was safe, and life was familiar and easy (boring!)
So, I set some financial goals…Then I stretched myself to think about something that would never happen: open my own premises, my own design studio in 5 years. I remember thinking that I didn’t really want to open my own studio so I could just cross that off the list but I’d at least ‘tried’ to step outside my comfort zone.
The thing is I had convinced myself that I was happy working from home, that it was INCREDIBLE for a multitude of reasons. But in reality, for me the truth was very different:
I was lying to myself that this had a positive impact on my life; some days I stayed in my PJ’s, I thought I was more productive than I was, my ‘work’ brain and ‘home’ brain would be intertwined and I could never really switch off from work and relax. I had no work-life balance and I couldn’t collaborate in person with my team members on a daily basis.
Honestly, I think subconscious Lisa made the goal of opening her own premise, knowing it was what conscious Lisa really needed. By setting the goal that day, I unknowingly set wheels in motion.
So, I started to achieve all the goals I’d set: I went on to achieve every financial goal I’d set for myself. Then I landed the contract with the Australian Government to mentor small business owners and provide them with digital strategies. I love marketing and to provide business owners with the tools to grow their businesses is something I’m incredibly passionate about.
So, when I mentored these business owners I would do it from my home office; it wasn’t ideal. It was beautifully set up, but it wasn’t a professional business presence. It was then that I began to seriously consider the benefits of a well branded, professional business presence.
I began using a ‘virtual office space’ in Geelong and hiring rooms for meetings which worked well so I packed up the home office and moved in there permanently.
I finally got my work-life balance!
Emily our talented graphic designer joined the team in November. And while Tony still worked from his home in Melbourne he would come in a day or two each week. Together we dreamed and spoke about one day moving from the space we shared with other businesses to our very own creative space, not shared with others… all to ourselves. Our very own studio, with character and personality….
I had been looking on and off for around a year when I found our new home on Yarra St in central Geelong. The “before renovations” photos are really something to admire.
While others doubted me, my husband stood by me, believed in me and supported me, giving me the encouragement to pursue my dream. People thought I was crazy. It was a lot of work to renovate this space. I had a vision for how it could look, but it was a mess.
Armed with my imagination and some ‘House Rules’ inspiration (without the time frames) my big scary dream goal was there ready for me to grab it if I wanted it. How hard could it be to knock out some walls, re-wire, repaint, fit out and apply signage to a heritage listed building? Very hard as it turned out!
One aspect of what we do at Evolution centres around discovering our clients’ goals and making sure they achieve them. Or as Emily would say more creatively “being the jetpack to enable clients to reach for the stars”. How could we assist clients to achieve their goals if we were not achieving our own?
For us, opening this new studio, began as a big scary unachievable goal until I started to make it real and believe in it. It was hard and there were obstacles along the way. But it was worth it. Now it is a dream come true.
However I am under no illusion this is simply a building, it is the passion within it that you buy when you come to us. I am so genuinely proud of my incredibly passionate dedicated team; Emily and Tony. And now we all love coming to work every day. Together we look forward to growing and achieving goals with our clients and within ourselves with your support. Stretching beyond our comfort zones.
As a small business in Geelong, we pride ourselves on providing the best possible service. And then, in a way, we rely on you guys to share with others your story about your service with us.
So from the three of us here at Evolution – thank you all for referring us, supporting us, and choosing us to contribute to the evolution of your businesses! And please know that in return you contribute to our evolution too.
Thank you for being part of our launch day, to celebrate with us!
Here’s to the next 18 years of evolution.