How To Invest In Yourself

Nicole Gibbons

with Nicole Gibbons

CEO and Founder of Clare

How To Invest In Yourself

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Nicole Gibbons and Jenna discuss how she became a self-taught designer, founded a successful design studio, became a design expert on OWN and recently launched her new paint company, Clare. We focus on the importance of actively investing in yourself, cultivating a growth mindset, and how changing your words can change your life. We also chat about why time for yourself is the ultimate recharge and how taking a digital detox can help reveal the important things in your life.

Highlights from the Transcript

  • On launching Clare: “Clare is a culmination of all of my passions and experiences…Every step in my career has led me to this point.”
  • On creating a happy home: “Helping people create homes they love, that rise up to enhance their wellbeing is what I’m really passionate about…Your home has a transformative effect. The feeling of having a beautiful, well designed, functioning home, that makes you happy when you walk through your front door, is beyond measure. A happy a home is central to your wellbeing. Your home is the foundation of your happiness and contentment. It’s your place of sanctuary and the place you come home to when you had a rough day. When your home isn’t doing those things it drags your energy down…When you look around your space is it filled with things that bring you joy?
  • On meaning: “The really personal items that you connect with are what makes a house feel like home…You can spend a ton of money on expensive furniture but often having something in your space that is deeply meaningful is what becomes your favorite element. They’re the things that you’d take with you in a fire. Like many things in life, the things that matter most can’t be quantified. They’re things you can never buy.”
  • On thinking differently: “From a young age, I always just marched to the beat of my own drum. I never felt like I needed to do what the cool kids were doing. I was perfectly happy and content following my own path…In my career, the paths I have taken have also been about not following the traditional route. As an interior designer, the traditional way is to apprentice or be someone’s assistant to learn the business. I was self-taught. I started my business without going to design school or working for anyone. Even in running Clare, my path isn’t the typical path of the startup founder. I don’t necessarily fit the archetype. Even in my choice of focus for my company, the typical path for an interior designer launching a business is furniture or bedding. I really wanted to do something that was different, disruptive, and hasn’t been done before. Most people wouldn’t think I would choose the unsexy path of paint. I’ve never been more excited about anything. Particularly in this business, I’m being recognized for that. Being different leads to innovation. That’s what I have always tried to do.”
  • On problem solving: “Once you are thrown into an unknown scenario, problem solving becomes routine…Having the confidence that you can figure things out makes the unknown a lot less scary.”
  • On investing in yourself: “Personal growth is something I have invested a lot in. I’m always reading books and listening to podcasts. I see a therapist weekly. I’m constantly working on trying to be a better person, be more efficient, and organized. Constant focus on self-development is what helps you navigate big growth experiences, like starting a new company or any of the risks you might take in life. Life has a lot of ups and downs, having a really strong sense of self and self-awareness is important. You learn those things through making a lot of mistakes but also through really making an investment in personal development…Sometimes it takes really hard lessons to learn those things. Sometimes you are forced into a situation that makes you step back, be self-aware, and see an area that you need to work on. None of that comes naturally. It takes a lot of work. You have to treat personal development with as much importance as you treat your career and everything else in your life.”
  • On accepting sacrifice: “The hardest lesson I’ve learned is being comfortable that there is always going to be an element of sacrifice that goes along with trying to achieve something big. You’re never going to be able to do it all. So at one point or another, one of the things on your list is going to have to suffer. You have to be really comfortable with that. There is so much ambiguity that comes with running a startup and doing something for the first time. Being okay with that uncertainty is something I’ve learned to master.”
  • On diction: “Words are so powerful. Choosing a negative word or a positive one, changes both your outlook and how people perceive your message. I’m constantly trying to find ways to maintain an optimistic tone, whether I’m talking about myself or a situation at work. Maintaining positive energy makes me happier. I try my best to choose to have an optimistic perspective on things and make sure that my choice of words reflects that…Subtle mindset shifts can really help you. Having an attitude of gratitude changes the way you look at the world.”
  • On cultivating a growth mindset: “The reality is that there are things you aren’t going to do a great job at. No one is perfect. You can’t beat yourself up. When things don’t great, the goal is to always have the perspective: How can I learn from this? How can I use these lessons to do better next time? A positive attitude and a learning mindset really helps.”
  • On morning routines: “I try my best to do a few things every morning to jump-start the day. They’re little things but when I do them I feel more energetic and productive. One of the things I do, which I learned from Tim Ferriss, is just making my bed. Its one thing you can do every morning that gives you a sense of accomplishment. It seems small but it really does make me feel like I’ve done something. Just that little boost of inner motivation and feeling like you checked something off your list gives you momentum that continues throughout the day. It’s a small, yet powerful thing. I try to eat something every day, even if its just an Apple. I do my gratitude journal and have a few more rituals. I don’t always get to all of these things every day but if I check of one or two of them I feel good about myself…Celebrate even the littlest wins. It helps you stay motivated.”
  • On digital detoxes: “We have an over reliance on our phones nowadays. All of the time you spend on social media, you could be learning something new or doing something meaningful in the real world. Digital detoxes are a great way to reconnect. When you’re forced to detox from technology, you get back to the old school ways of picking up a book and reading. You find more time to spend with your loved ones. I would encourage anyone at some point to take a digital detox. It gives you perspective on the things that you should really be spending your time on versus living vicariously through someone on social media. Even if you just try it for a day, you’ll feel so much more liberated.”
  • On traveling alone: “They’re the best thing ever. I’m often prompted to take a trip because I’m stressed out. I’ll be at the beach. No technology. It gives me time to get centered and be more meditative. Sometimes I’m not doing anything at all. I’m just staring out into the ocean and listening to the sounds. It’s so energizing. I get my energy from that solo time and those meditative experiences when my mind is just clear. I come back so recharged and full of energy. I think a lot of that stems from having peace from all of the distractions in our lives; Not just our phones and social media but even just being in a city. Taking little breaks is often needed. They don’t have to require getting on a plane. It could literally just mean three minutes meditating. Having that me-time is super important.”