…building a business: best foot forward

I’m the type of person that when I ask, “How are you?” I really, really want to know. I want to know if you are upset or sad or having a terrible day or you fought with your husband or your kids woke you up at 5:30am again. In turn, if you ask me “How are you?” I would much rather tell you the truth about how I am REALLY feeling instead of saying, “Good.” “Okay.” “Fine.” Is that ever really the case?

I do have an exception to this openness, however.


When I open my door to a new client or meet someone for a pick-up I always want a smile on my face no matter what happened 20 seconds on my way to answering the door – which in my case is usually mayham. Kane, my 100 lb chocolate lab, storms across the wood floor howling ferociously at the doorbell, Fiona tries once again to unlock the door without permission, Reid normally falls down on his way to find out what all the commotion is, Greta screams that it’s her turn to answer the door and the cats scatter loudly, nails scratching. Three minutes later after I have managed to lure Kane into the bathroom and closed the door, corrected Fiona that she NEVER gets to answer the door, scraped Reid off the floor, kissed Greta and checked to see if I have food in my teeth in the hallway mirror, I answer the door with a smile. “How are you? I’m Christen!”


I certainly don’t try to hide the chaos mainly because there is no hiding it, but I do want to be pleasant and cheerful and always welcoming. That is what I would want if I was coming to someone’s house for a service. I would want the experience to be as pleasant as the person. Kinda like when DH and I go out on date night. I want our server to be…happy. In fact, if our server seems NOT happy I try to check in and empathize about how long their day was or how late they will have to serve us. Yes, I know that I have a tad of an issue here, but my point is that it is a better experience for your client if you put your best foot forward no matter what. It’s like I tell Fiona when she goes on playdates, “Be polite and kind because that is how you will be invited back!” My middle child has a tendancy to wear her emotions on her sleeve so I try to make it as clear as possible to her why her sister may go on more playdates. It can be a hard lesson.

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Your business is about YOU as much as the service you are offering. Maybe even more. I’m not telling you to be fake, but I do believe in always trying to be kind & cordial no matter what is going on in your head and behind the scenes. You know when you are welcomed by someone with their smile & their attitude. In turn you also know when you not welcomed when someone is too busy to look you in the eye and acknowledge you. You can see it in their eyes, you can see it in their manners, you can see it in their handshake or hug. I think it makes a big difference when trying to connect with someone.




  1. Betty in Arlington says:

    What a joy to read your blog! Wish more businesses were like you…ll Bean and Nordstrom know this about customer service…so does my Cherrydale Safeway!

    Thank you, and pray you are feeling better.

    Schools out and everyone is home with their busy mom! Enjoy!

  2. Lorie T says:

    So refreshing to read your blog, watch your videos, peruse your website, and come away so inspired :>) Keep posting, and painting ~~ it’s so fun to follow along. xo!

  3. This post made me smile. And its reassuring for me to know there is chaos inside your perfect home. I know, you’ve posted before to say that your home doesn’t always look like the photos you post, but this post really resonated with me. I live in an old house and am currently liv.ing, in part with someone else’s decoration, I can’t wait until its perfect to me, I just need to remember that you, we, live in a home and not a museum or an image from a magazine

  4. Spot on post! 🙂

  5. LOVE Kane’s picture!!

  6. How did my day go….. let’s see. Since I am a retired grandma with no grandkids nearby, I have a pretty relaxed lifestyle. I’m worked on mosaic in my back yard with rocks of like color, since my yard is all rocks. I did laundry and hung it out to dry…. which I love to do in the summer. I cleaned up from last nights barbecue that was here. I purchased a darling little potbelly orange barbecue at a garage sale for $10. of which I made burgers for my dad and sis. They live next door, so we are all really close. I have done several pieces of furniture with Annie Sloan paints, but not today. I love the outcome. Just planning a trip, today for a near future trip to Victoria Canada.

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