By Christine Eisner of LifestyleDesign.org
For me, the joy of entrepreneurship comes from having the freedom to channel my time and energy into something that I am passionate about. Yes, it suits my schedule (I get to work as late as I want!), but most importantly, I am pursuing my vision. Entrepreneurship is not necessarily the path of least resistance, but the rewards are deep and satisfying. At least that’s how I see it.
In 2002, I started my firm, Lifestyle Design – Practical Tools for Balanced Living, with the word “balance” and a vision of wanting to help people to better. (Rest assured, my life is definitely not perfect and I continue to be one of my top clients!) What started as a single workshop series has expanded into presentations, events, private and corporate consultation as well as blogs and articles – all on my terms, and no one else’s.
Since then my vision has continued to evolve. Comfort Living – A Back-to-Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle, my first book explains that by focusing on experiences, rather than appearances, it is possible to create a way of living that offers comfort, meaning, community and joy.
Comfort Living (and The Comfort Living Journal, a companion publication) started with some thoughts that had been wandering around in my head for many years. In about 2002, I decided to focus my time and energy on a single question:
“How can life be less complicated and more rewarding?”
While part of me just wanted to play it safe and continue to develop solutions in the privacy of my own home, I decided to go deeper and develop sensible, workable strategies for making the most of daily living and share them with clients, workshop participants and readers. Going public with my vision, I established my firm, Lifestyle Design. My business endeavor was a big step for me, but a drop in the ocean, compared to Polo/Ralph Lauren and some of the other companies I’d worked at in the past.
Several years later, after honing my thinking and putting my ideas into practice, the framework for a book crystallized in my mind: In this era of fast-paced action and immediate gratification, I wanted to create a concise, uncomplicated and relevant message that could improve the day-to-day for virtually anyone. Soon the words began to flow onto pages and a after a lot of writing, came editing and re-editing, followed by more thinking, writing and editing. Whoever said “less is more “is right, but I have to tell you, creating “less” sure takes a lot more effort!
Several months ago, I did some major second-guessing about why I was bothering with all this… After some sleepless nights, heart-to-heart talks and a few days away with a West Coast friend, I was able to break free from the self-doubt and move forward. The next few months brought a more solid design concept, visuals that brought my words to life and full-color page layouts – along with a lot of late nights, and of course, more editing. While all of this was taking place, the process of info-gathering, production, printing, website development, marketing and sales programs got under way. This was definitely a lot more than I’d bargained for, and thank god for my prior work experience!
So here I am, taking my vision to a new level.
As an entrepreneur:
- I have managed to pursue a vision drawn from 3 decades of experience in the U.S., Europe and Asia in lifestyle marketing, communications, and design, with Polo/Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s International Realty and in private and corporate consultation.
- I am succeeding in offering inspiration and “practical tools for balanced living” to clients and readers.
- I take enormous satisfaction in hearing how, years later, people share how they continue to benefit from the fundamentals of Lifestyle Design.
- Most importantly, I have created my own unique vision for how to look at, create and talk about where and how we live. For me, that is joy.
Perhaps this is the essence of entrepreneurship as well as Comfort Living: the journey, not the destination. It’s not about the paycheck, the alleged write-offs, easy schedule or perks. Entrepreneurship is about being able to create and follow the path of your choosing. Yes, it takes time, energy, commitment and focus, but the results are worth it.