My 13 year old daughter, Audrey, is the most social one in the family. She thrives whenever we have guests over and like all good hosts she will start with a tour around the house. Invariably the first room that gets proudly shown is her bedroom. It’s well kept and frequently redesigned to match her evolving personality. Last on the tour is my office (just before the toilets).
My office has served me extremely well these past 10 years as a stay-at-home dad / Being Entrepreneur. It’s been the place where I can retreat, reflect, access creativity and collaborate via the internet with a growing network of committed Human Potential partners.
However, it has also become the dumping ground for all the rejected objects of the household. After years of accumulating stuff, the cluttered feeling was also starting to rub off on me. My presence was not as sharp and I was finding it increasingly difficult to access new realms of possibility for myself and Being at Full Potential. I knew it was time for a cleaning but didn’t know where to start.
As with most things, the solution is often closer and more at hand than we think. I realized it was time for me to tap into the natural design talents of my daughter and in doing so put to the test the grand vision of Being at Full Potential:
Every Human, Being at Full Potential.
What better place to start than right here at home!
I also figured that if we are going to do this we might as well do it right. So I approached her, as I would any professional, giving a brief and asking for a mood board, budget, timeline etc… Given we had been watching “The Great Interior Design Challenge” show, she had become familiar with this approach and immediately started putting her ideas on paper.
The first presentation was to my liking so signing off on the design was easy. More challenging for her was the question of budget (especially putting a number behind her time and effort). It was a fascinating process to watch her go through. She went from having no expectation at all to thinking that a “daily rate” meant 24 hours of work. Rather than tell her what I think such a project is worth I continued to coach her through the question so she could discover for herself all the variables that come into play when valuing the unique contributions we make. Not only did it lead to an outcome that we both felt great about but it also served as an extremely valuable lesson for the rest of her life.
With all the details signed off we could now get to work. For me this meant rolling up my sleeves and subordinating myself to her vision and all the different steps she had in mind to get us there. It started by dismantling the current office space. Everything needed to be sorted in 3 buckets. 1) The absolute essentials, 2) The things I have outgrown and no longer need and 3) the unsure pile. This last one of course was quite large and required further choice making. I was asked the tough questions like: “why do you need it? How does it help your work?” Eventually more clarity came and with it a sense of lightness and freedom.
Next step was to go on a shopping trip to add some of the elements that had been missing like a plant, cosy lighting, comfy chair, some candles and the signature Being at Full Potential blue paint. After the complete deconstruction of the place it was time to reassemble according to the new vision.
It was brilliant to see it all come together exactly the way it was intended. Even more fulfilling for me though was to see my daughter shine in her greatness all throughout the process. If I am able to fully trust and surrender to my 13 year old to redesign my sacred workspace then just imagine what else is possible with all the incredible talents that are being under utilized in the world today!
Here’s a short time lapse video that she made to document her first real interior design assignment. If you ever come to Schaffhausen, please do stop by for a visit. Audrey will give you a tour of the house and there’s a good chance that the first stop will be the office!