We had the good fortune of connecting with Liz Gaffney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liz, what do you attribute your success to?
Without question, authenticity and emotional intelligence have been my strongest assets as I’ve worked to build my (interior design) business. I say this for two reasons. First, my business is founded on establishing strong, trustworthy relationships with my clients. They let me in to create designs for their most intimate, private spaces and that often requires a good amount of vulnerability on their part. That vulnerability is something I don’t take lightly and I meet them in that place by being authentic – authentically understanding, non-judgmental, honest, and just downright human. I keep it real, always. Emotional intelligence has played a hugely important role as I am constantly managing expectations, dealing with money and budgets which can be extremely sensitive for some, finding common ground between partners navigating design decisions, and delivering hard truths tactfully. As a result, my success can be 100% attributed to the genuine connections I form with everyone I work with, and my relationships are something I’m most proud of. Secondly, I’ve noticed over time that the more authentically myself I am in all that I portray via my blog and social media presence, the more relatable I become and the more traction I get generating new business. It’s not easy putting yourself out there, but I find it liberating the more I am able to share that I – by NO means – have it all figured out and I love that it brings me closer to many and creates the opportunity to build new relationships.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is an ever-evolving work of art that reflects my strengths as well as my interests. Currently, I write a blog featuring my take on many different topics under the umbrella of (interior) design, and I offer design consulting services to help others enhance their lives by enhancing their spaces. I believe our spaces dictate how we show up in the world – when they’re put together, organized and beautiful, we are freed up to be our best selves in our jobs, with our families, friends and society as a whole. When they’re chaotic, cluttered and uninspiring, they add an intangible weight to our lives. I aim to alleviate that weight by creating practical, inexpensive, visually pleasing & functional solutions that lead to major transformations… also because it feels SO amazing to love your surroundings and I want everyone to experience that. I am most excited about the momentum I feel I’m building in my business. I launched it in 2018 and for the first few years it was very much a love-hate relationship. Love because the work (and helping others) feels so fulfilling, but I’ve resented it because it has required me to grow on so many levels and that’s never easy or comfortable. I’m now less resistant to that growth and (per my New Year’s resolution this year) I’ve begun taking on things that feel scary and intimidating and it has allowed me to move from fear to flow. I feel less inhibited and more willing to try things that help me expand as a business and a brand. The changed mindset has already propelled greater success and I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’d say it’s now 90% love, 10% hate 😉 I have gotten to where I am today – which is still very much a work in progress – through sheer grit and a strong belief that I am the creator of my own reality. My headspace dictates my outcomes and I’ve had to learn how to love and accept myself in the face of perceived failures. None of us are perfect and everyone started somewhere… that has been invaluable wisdom to keep close to heart because it’s so easy to feel defeated when you strike comparisons (against someone you actually know so little about). I want the world to know that my brand is a reflection of me and I am equally as imperfectly human as everyone else out there, and like so many, I am just doing the best I can! And, I love people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I need to dig deep on this one because the city has felt so shut down for so long, sadly, but I would encourage anyone to check out the food scene near Union Station, RiNo, the Highlands, Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek & Wash Park. Craft breweries are also on pretty much every street corner and they often have great vibes. I’d suggest grabbing tickets to a Rockies game (or any sport that’s in season – Denver has killer teams, namely the Aves, Nuggets!), heading to Red Rocks for a hike, or heading up to Boulder or Vail for the day.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow there are so many I can think of to thank for supporting me throughout my journey, beginning with those who have simply been kind to me along the way. It’s crazy, but the smallest amount of kindness during a rough time can be so meaningful. I could also thank the few who have played the role of nasty villain in my story – because truly without the hardship I experienced navigating life with them in it, I wouldn’t have the unbreakable backbone I’ve cultivated to go this entrepreneurial route. I am thankful for all of the countless motivational/influential people out there who have published content (Instagram, podcasts, blogs, etc.) in which they share their story and encouragement for all of us venturing it alone. I am so inspired by those who have also started from nothing. And lastly (for now) I would like to thank my husband Mike for being so unwaveringly supportive – some days I just wail about wanting to give up and without fail, he always says “just keep going”… and then something positive will happen and I get a gust of wind in my sails again.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lizgaffneydesign/