January 27th, 2022 / 4 min read
As someone who chose to study architecture, I primarily believed business to be a structured path - more of a one-way street. As someone with an entrepreneurial drive pushing me to excel, I came to see that business is more like a rollercoaster track designed by a lunatic. The past 18 months have been a set of daily challenges that every business owner and employee has had to face.
Regardless of industry, scope and function, 2020 - 2021 have served as a true test to the competency of all decision makers in the boutique/small business industry.
One of the main lessons I have learned from this challenging time is that optimism is necessary - but it needs to be coupled with constant vigilance. Believing that things will work out for the best is great - having the contract signed and the deposit transferred is even greater. I say this because it is integral for one to protect their business in the realistic and concrete manner rather than on the verbal level. Having that sense of constant vigilance, that developed financial security and the gumption to protect the business legally is what allowed Concept Me to survive the pandemic unscathed … begins hanging the blue beads.
In all due seriousness however, I have recognized the importance of having an entrepreneurial attitude to business matters. There exists no capacity for conventional work practices anymore. This rollercoaster track is designed to be an organic and self-mutating set of rails - taking us across unexpected twists and turns. In my scope of work, my clients and the journey we take together in constructing our mutually-agreed upon vision are the main considerations. COVID-19 disallowed travel and forced us all to take different measures to recreating this customer journey. Seeing as we are not a massive multinational, but a boutique-scale firm, our approach to adapting had to be personal and swift.
That brings me to the other main lesson I learned. REINVENTION. Tough times and rough turns on the rollercoaster do not mean pain points and suffering. They are incentives for recreation, reinvention and the reshuffling of whatever models we used to rely on. I guess to make it in the business world, we must adopt a chameleon attitude. At Concept Me, I made sure to communicate my new vision to my tireless team and found their enthusiasm inspiring. We recreated internal databases, libraries and virtual site supervision systems that shifted our tangible customer journey into a virtual one. Despite it being a heavy task, we came to recognize that it, in fact, made our work processes much more streamlined and organized. We became more efficient whereby our communication was perfected causing less errors on site, less confusion and next to zero unpreparedness. Everyone was consistently on the same page or technically the same Zoom meeting.
The breaks on the rollercoaster are broken however and the challenges kept presenting themselves. As did the creative solutions. This accumulation of pressures and constantly-appearing tight corners can get overwhelming. Developing a resistant attitude to change is a recipe for failure. At the start of the pandemic, we were all collectively still hanging on to things going back to ‘normal’ and our resuming our ‘regular’ modus operandi. Normal and regular were never really an option, we can clearly see now. We were merely in a dormant state that probably did not require or stimulate change. Thus, resisting that change led to disastrous results for many businesses.
The key solution to that, in my opinion, is acceptance.
If we remain in a state of denial - hoping for the best and clinging to practices that are no longer effective, the outcome will be a dead-end road. The rollercoaster won’t crash, it will merely toss us out. Thus, accepting and welcoming change (as unstable and stressful) as it can be is more practical and effective than resisting it. Instead of depending on methods that used to work, work out a new pathway. Get creative. Just accept it fast - no one is going to wait on you. That is the unfortunate yet realistic state of things.
And finally, the keyword to all my learnings in the past 18 months is: adaptation. These three As (Attitude, Acceptance & Adaptation) have been the holy grail to my continued balance of success in the face of a global crisis. I have heard inspiring stories from other entrepreneurs that truly taught me how creative solutions and personal commitment can bring about amazing business resilience. These creative solutions, developed in a positive attitude and after accepting the changing status quo are a long chain of adaptive processes. It’s as simply complicated as that!
I hope this sheds some light on the need (in every industry) for creativity, acceptance and continuous innovation. I have been lucky enough to meet a massive amount of talented people that have pulled through this crisis. I hope we all can as well. In the meantime, we will just have to function on shuffle as we ride this rollercoaster together…
October 16th, 2023
How can we bring more sensitivity to the battlefield?
August 15th, 2023
Embrace self-assurance and dispense with the need for external validation.
June 15th, 2023
When the personal snuck into the business...
April 17th, 2023
When chasing stars leads to disillusionment.
March 9th, 2023
When there are more compromises than creativity : time to shift markets.
January 27th, 2023
When the chaos of construction site turns into life lessons and personal development. Make peace with the battlefield.
October 26th, 2022
Taking the lead and assuming changes, for better or for worse. Read more about entrepreneurship and breaking the status quo !
October 7th, 2022
After two years that involved a global pandemic, it became clear that every business must capitalize on the creation of an adaptable work environment.
August 22nd, 2022
A short architect/designer story, with the twists and turns but a guaranteed happy ending !
August 14th, 2022
Sometimes architecture and design are also about deconstructing, sounds original right ? Get to know more about doing less !
July 24th 2022
The art of coming up with a boho interior is all about a comfortable vision, a laid back attitude and lots of plants. Discover more on that!
July 10th 2022
Bring a little of the Mediterranean into your interior spaces. Bring the outdoors indoors and give the space a warm, welcoming feel!
June 7th, 2022
What really is inspiration? From the artists that use muses to the poets who go years without - there's a constant search for it. At Concept Me, inspiration is in the art of conversation and in the environment of the space. Read on!
May 26th, 2022
It's natural to feel overwhelmed. Anyone in the corporate world has encountered the effects of burnout in the past couple of years. It's time to breathe a little.
April 25th, 2022
Furniture selection is actually a highly personal process. Your furniture should speak of function and personal aesthetics. Here's how you can perfect it!
April 10th, 2021
So, in the world of entrepreneurial survival, what keeps us going?
March 26th, 2022
Rejection can be a good thing sometimes. Saying no to the wrong clients is a definite plus - here's what Nina thinks of that kind of rejection. Read on!
March 21st, 2022
Eclectic design means a delicate but courageous blend of elements, statement pieces and color shades. Here's our take on how to perfect that eclectic look!
February 27th, 2022
From all nighters spent on designs and days spent in the historic campus of École d’Architecture de Paris-Malaquais, read on for Nina's experience as a student!
December 24th, 2021
What exactly makes high-end homes high-end and how does Concept Me achieve those perfected results?
December 6th, 2021
Who said you can't be both a creative person and be part of the business world? That division is gone now - we are proof of it at Concept Me!
December 15th, 2021
La Maison Pierre Frey continues to lead the world of fabrics, wallpaper and upholstery with its wealth of heritage, innovative drive and eclectic motifs. Here's our story with them!
November 27th, 2021
Let's dig a little deeper into what makes a modern space modern and how to keep it minimal & sleek!
August 7th 2021
Extravagant architecture and elegant interiors do not happen overnight. The process of creating high end projects involves time, taste, knowledge & narrative.
August 10th 2021
Staring at an empty apartment can be confusing…we know. Read through this piece & do your apartment a favor by learning the basics!
August 17th, 2021
It’s not all pretty sketches and artistic renders. Architects have to roll up their sleeves, pick up the bricks (figuratively & literally) and get dusty!
August 24th, 2021
When the travel bans keep you away from the sun, the sand and the sea, you try to bring that summer soul to your homes. Here’s how.
September 1st, 2021
The project that started it all. If you’re curious as to how Concept Me came to be, check this piece out.