Interior Design Schools – Top Schools Secrets They Will Never Tell You

Is interior design a natural talent or learned skill? I say both. You can attend school forever and never possess the creativity required for interior design. Residential certification can take just 12-24 months of studying and teach future designers how to plan projects, choose the right materials for the right purpose, use contracts, space plan, furniture design, architecture and so much more. Not to mention it can save you a plenty of money when compared to a four-year college which focuses more on commercial interior design.

Adding an easy to follow certification course to your bag of skills will help you utilize your natural raw talent with basic techniques and business expertise required for your success. Training gives you the confidence and knowledge to succeed in a residential interior design career. Most colleges are too expensive and geared more towards commercial interior design. Some of the most successful interior designers in the country have studied the basic techniques and gained national attention because of their talent.

One of the best things about interior design is that there are infinite ways to express your artistic talent. Some interior designers use their artistic talent to paint a signature piece of art for their client’s design. This makes them stand out as a designer and they are forever remembered by their clients. The reality is that the artistic expression is endless in this career choice. With that being said, there are still many aspects of the business that have to be taught.

Before you work with a client you should learn how to bill clients, use the right contracts, posses the proper terminology, locate wholesale items, prepare a space plan, collect useful samples, manage budgets, and understand project management. Those are just a few of the necessary skills that you’ll be learning in a reputable residential course. Bring your natural talent to the course and then build upon it!

Design is a career of choice for individuals with artistic talent. A successful designer is constantly learning. It is critical to ones career to be familiar with the newest products and technology concerning the home. This career is constantly evolving with art, color, products, green choices, ergonomics, and style. Professionals love learning about the latest products available to bring added value to their clients, as well keeping up with industry news to stand out amongst their colleagues. This is a competitive field and product knowledge is power!

The biggest pitfall for most designers is that, as artists, they do not typically posses the business skills needed to succeed in this career. Also artistically minded individuals such as designers typically possess a “flower child” mentality that provides volumes of imagination. A typical designer thought would be as follows: “Let’s make the world a more beautiful place even if I have to sacrifice my income!” This is where the starving artist who does not realize his or her self-worth comes into play. Imagine having an experienced colleague protecting you from the pitfalls, helping you realize your worth, and teaching you how to charge properly.

We don’t hear about the start-up struggles because, like other professions, we are a proud bunch. However, if you get a group of interior designers together in a room and bring up their first several years in the business it will go something like this: “I was so excited about designing Mrs. Smith’s house that I felt guilty charging them anything! I did charge them a small amount; after all I was lucky that they liked me enough to allow me to design their three million dollar home. Yes, I had to get a roommate to meet the rent, but I didn’t mind (chuckle) because I made them so happy. I lived on three cans of tuna a week and boiled noodles for seven months. They said that I did a great job and that I was lucky they chose me. Oh well, at least I stayed thin.”

If that sounds like it was spoken from the heart, it was! That was just one of my first four years of experience in this industry. The early years of designing homes worth $500,000 and up, barely paying my rent, and struggling to survive are just a few of the reasons that I love to protect young designers. Yes, you guessed it. I was one of the designers that attended an expensive college, costly 2 years specialty college which left me in dept for several years after graduation and I was never taught the secrets of success in interior design, nor was I told how to avoid the pitfalls. Not to mention the fact that I was one of the few graduates of my class that actually continued into a lifelong career as an interior designer.

Though many of my fellow students may have possessed more drafting skills or auto cad skills than I did, they did not necessarily posses people skills or natural artistic ability to become an interior designer. That’s when I came to the realization that it does not matter how much an interior design student spends, they either have it or they don’t! Education is of the utmost importance with regards to an interior design career. In fact, a successful interior designer never stops learning and discovering the latest products available for her clients. You will succeed in this career if you have true passion for it.

The reality is that many interior designers have discovered their passion after attending 4 and 6 years of colleges, while others recognize it as their desired direction at young age. Many interior design students have degrees in psychology (priceless when you are working in clients’ homes), fashion degrees, art degrees, six year business degrees, graphic arts that is just to name a few that I have heard.,, not to mention a few doctors and a pilot! Others are full time mothers who experienced a burning passion for design for years while raising their children. Our students come from all walks of life. The importance of education is without a doubt crucial. That is what makes this opportunity so wonderful. There are qualified programs available that will teach you the pitfalls so you will be more productive and focussed on what is most important… Great designs and happy clients!

If you are artistic, dedicated with a desire to learn and contemplating this as a career there is one more skill that I believe is required, and this may be one of the most important characteristics of a good residential interior designer – you must really like people. People skills are not often discussed in conjunction with interior design, but it is essential for your success. If you are artistic and possess people skills, then you are ready for your next step – to sign up for a certification course such as the Residential Interior Design course written by interior designers with over 20 years in today’s market. Learn from their experience, and let them share their pain and achievements with you.The simplest and easiest way to jumpstart your career is with the support and nurturing of experienced interior designers, working to prepare you for future success. You can be educated and certified, knowledge is power!

The Best Kept Secrets to Making More Tips for Waiters, Bartenders, and Baristas

When it comes to a career in the service industry, no matter how short or long-lived, one of the most advantageous things you can learn to do ASAP is how to pull people’s emotional and unconscious heartstrings.

But before you think I’m some manipulative monster just trying to turn the world upside down to objectify patrons, guests, and customers for your own selfish, worldly gain- just hear me out.

If you plan on waiting tables, serving drinks, or tending bar, then you already know that the key to making money is in the extra stuff you do to stimulate all who cross your path and pull out their wallets to pay the check. Therefore, it becomes a must that you start to understand human psychology right away for not only your own benefit, but for the enjoyment of the guest as well.

There’s Nothing Selfish About Making More Tips

First, let’s get the idea that money is bad out of our heads. In these days and times of crony capitalism and rabid politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth about social programs, while selling out to big corporations to stay in office, the concept of having more as being a positive thing gets drowned out by all the social justice static.

You don’t think that’s by coincidence, do you? After all, what if most people bucked the elites attempting to program us all to accept less in life?

While the answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article, it’s important to accept that money is a means of exchange, and when people spend more, and tip more, they are merely exchanging value for value.

You provide value to a guest when you make their coffee taste great, bring that sizzling steak cooked to perfection on time to the table, and when you make that specialty cocktail that makes them do a backflip and believe that good times are here again.

When you “go the extra mile” (I know, it sounds terribly clichĂ©), what you are doing is adding value to the guest experience, and believe it or not, most of the time humans will reciprocate more value when they perceive they themselves are receiving added value.

Examples of Adding Value to the Guest Experience

There are literally an infinite number of possibilities and ideas that you can come up with on your own to enhance the guest experience and wow them into pouring out their wallet as if they are anointing you as the new emperor of hospitality, but let’s drop a few solid ideas right here and now to get your own creative juices flowing.

1. Artistry is always appreciated.

I was once at a Starbucks in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the 2nd biggest city on the island, walking across town and having a pretty abysmal day. When I ordered my drink that day, the young ladies working behind the counter were not only super nice and polite, but when I sat down upstairs to sip my beverage I noticed a drawing on the side of the cup.

Not only was it hilarious and heartwarming to me, it really made me appreciate the cultural experience of being a guy with a strangely massive beard in a land of scarce beards having his own self-portrait scribbled with a Sharpie on the side of a plastic cup of tea. Is this how they viewed me? I felt kind of like a zoo animal, but in a good way. The resemblance was uncanny, and I have to admit I will never forget it.

2. What’s in a name?

Finding a way to use a person’s name, whether audibly or by writing it on the guest’s check, is a great way to increase the psychological closeness the guest has with you, while at the same time without being too creepy.

As human beings with feelings, we all want to be validated, even in the smallest ways. For those of us who live in a large metropolis, we may not get the deep emotional connection that people in smaller towns who see each other regularly do.

That’s why when you can call someone by their name in a kind, loving and respectful manner, they will unconsciously feel more connected and special. The hardest part is finding out their name without being too obtrusive, but I knew servers who were good at this when I waited tables. I myself would get their name from their credit card, write their name with a smiley face saying a big “Thank you!”, and then usually try to drop the check and say their name and thank them.

I regularly got 18% – 20% tips just from my style of service, and I am a pretty introverted, procedurally-minded kind of guy at the restaurant.

3. Do you want fries with that?

The practice of fast food workers asking people if they’d like fries or to upsize has no doubt made people fatter, and corporate food chains wealthier, but there’s something we can learn from this.

When you ask a guest if they’d like to add something, often times they will say no, but imagine you work at a nice restaurant and they order a steak, and then you ask if they’d like it “Oscar style” i.e. topped with jumbo lump crab meat. Now you are giving them the opportunity to have more when perhaps they were unaware they could even have a steak topping, or maybe they were unsure and just needed that extra gentle push to overcome their inner objections.

Remember, most of us are creatures of habit, and while we want to try something new and improved, we may require a little encouragement from an outside source.

Be yourself, but if you’re having a bad day, be someone else.

“Be yourself” is fine if you are having a great day, but what about when your day is a disaster and you feel like a cup of warm dishwater?

It’s simple, you “fake it ’til you make it”. Remember, we all have bad days, but just like you don’t want to be the recipient of someone’s emotional venting just because you need to send a package at FedEx, the same goes for the person patronizing your place of work.

What can you do? It’s simple, try to forget you for a while. Stop thinking about your feelings and the problems in your life and focus simply on putting on a smile (even a forced one will eventually relax into a real one), and keep the guest’s experience your top priority.

If you really want to get creative, you can come up with an alter ego like “Sasha Fierce”, the concept BeyoncĂ© uses before she performs at a concert or big show.

The last word on making more money as a bartender, waiter, or barista

It’s easy to assume that the most successful people are extroverts, naturally charismatic, charming, and lucky, and, to a large extent, that’s true.

But even if you are a naturally quiet, shy, introverted person like me, you can still find ways to make your guest feel special and cared for, and this will logically lead to more money for you as you continue to provide the very best service to everyone who walks through your establishment’s doors.

Good luck, and here’s to you making more tips!