What would it be like to completely reinvent your career?
Dive into an all-new job? Something completely different that what you’ve been doing for years? Yesterday, I would have answered “scary” (okay, that’s still true), but today I would answer “inspiring!” Imagine the possibilities to shed that mediocre job and dive into something that truly ignites your passion? What if you could wake up every day looking forward to work, rather than looking forward to 5:00pm? Think about getting paid to do what you love most in life. Ooooo, that sounds so exciting!
I just read Karen X Cheng’s story on Fast Company. Can I just say, “whoa!” You go girl. Talk about inspiration and being unstoppable!
Karen X. Cheng is unstoppable. Three years ago, she wanted to work for Microsoft Excel, so she put 100 hours into prepping for the interview–a tactic she’s tried elsewhere and failed with. Then she realized she didn’t want to be a product manager, so she became a designer–after learning the craft in one year. Then she realized she needed to learn how to dance–so she did that in one year, too.
One part inspiration, plus one part possibilities, plus a healthy handful of passion, topped off with a big dose of bravery = Reinvention.
Now the better question is… am *I* up for the challenge?
It is All About the Experience.
IT’S. ALL. ABOUT. THE. EXPERIENCE.
It’s what makes the difference between good and great. Between common and something special. If it’s done well, it can be an out-of-the-ballpark kind of thing that people talk about for months.
Experience architecture and design is very real, and it’s so worth the investment. If you’re a website developer, or a restaurant, or a retail shop, or an event planner, or if it’s just your turn to fix dinner for friends — the difference between a good meal, and a memorable evening is how you craft the experience.
4 Quick Tips for Creating the Experience
1. Visitor 411
Who’s coming? What are they into? What would make it special for them? Does your guest like scotch? Have a nice glass of 12 year ready for when they arrive. Is your store in a warm climate? Give your customers water bottles with your logo. How about your website? Your layout should allow consumers to find and buy items easily. Think about who you are ‘serving’ and what would make them happy, then plan for it. It’s all about feeling good and leaving that mark.
2. First impressions
Cliche? Yes. True? Absolutely! First impressions are lasting and super important. Consider the very first thing your visitor experiences. Light some candles at your front door, or how about the way your shop smells (incense? essential oil room spray?). Smell is a stronger sense than sight (yep, it’s true). Consider that when you’re architecting. For websites, we’re not evolved enough in smell-a-vision, but how about your homepage? Is it memorable? Welcoming? Please tell me you don’t have any flashing GIFs. Invest in a great website design with simple (super super simple) interface. And for you wedding planners… littering the reception with flowers is lovely, but what do your guests experience at the entry of the building / church / location? Consider a sign with a romantic quote or picture of the wonderful couple. It would be lovely to greet your guests in person with an infectious smile, wouldn’t it?
3. The little things
Okay, this one is paramount. So much of a memorable experience is about those WOW moments from the little things. Real Simple offers daily inspirational quotes, Starbucks prints stories about their baked goods on their bags, for even casual dinner parties you can hand-craft placecards with each guests name. For that July wedding, have Japanese style fans for the ladies in wedding hues. Or how about a water pitcher and candle on the nightstand for your overnight guests? It’s the little things that will make people say whoa – and remember the experience you created for them.
4. Don’t forget the bathroom
I know… you’re thinking, “Huh?!” Yes, hear me – don’t forget the bathroom. Add an extra touch in the bathroom – a lovely hand lotion, a vase of greens (they last a long time), or even a photo of your house guests. We have a friend who puts an erasable board in her bathroom and writes silly sayings on it for entertainment. Brave guests erase and add their own – it’s highly entertaining. For our wedding, I added photos of my soon-to-be-hub and I, tea lights and flowers to keep the wedding vibe. Even if you’re a retailer, add a little something special in the bathroom. Add small touches for big impact – your visitors will remember.
There are obviously more than 4 things to consider, but this will get you started and on the way to imprinting those special moments.
Let’s talk more about creating experiences soon…