We had the good fortune of connecting with Lydia Kulka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lydia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk has been a huge factor in the success of my business. When I was contemplating switching careers, from my six figure corporate job, I figured out what the least amount of money I would need to survive every month. The decision was hard, and quite frankly risky. I was giving up a good income, benefits, 401k, medical, vacation, all to start my own business that I wasn’t sure could make the same amount of money. But with big EDUCATED risks, come big rewards. I capitalize educated because you can’t just hope for the best, you have to work for it. When you look at what it is you want to do, is there a need for it? Is this something people will pay for or want? If the answers are yes, then taking a risk would be an educated one. If you are going in blind and don’t know those answers, then it would not be. Those risks can fail quickly.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My company is a luxury staging company based in the Bay area. We stage in other markets as well, currently focusing on Northern CA in Vacaville area. Natural talent has definitely been a big reason for why my business has grown as rapidly as it has. Although that only gets you so far. You truly have to wear all hats, and wear them well. You are an Accountant, Boss, Cleaner, Sales person, Stager, Interior designer, Mover, HR, Hiring manager, and face of the business. It can be very overwhelming when things pile up. As most businesses, you have to make sure you are satisfying your clients and their needs. But behind the scenes, there’s all the problems. Employees not showing up or damaging items, bills not getting paid, clients trying to take advantage, and the list goes on. It’s never easy, and it does take a special type of person, to be able to handle it. You have to be all in. A quote that I love and hold dear is: “She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly despite the fear” Harper Lee. This for me has hit home, there is always fear, always problems, but you just have to keep powering through day by day. Some days are good, and you get that call telling you how amazing you did, and some days are bad, and nothings goes to plan. Finding a balance in this, is the key.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego: I love eating out at Mister A’s, C level, Born & Raised, and Great Maple. All fun places and a great vibe. I don’t care what city I’m in, a good country concert is always on the agenda. Northern CA: South Lake Tahoe has a great spot called PICK 6, fun environment and great place to watch sports after a day out on the mountain. You also have to get a Rum Runner at the Beacon bar and grill in South Lake Tahoe. One of my favorite sushi places to visit is Mikunis, they have several locations.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Although he came into my life after my business was already established, I have to thank Eric Miller (my boyfriend and self employed business owner), for always supporting my growth. He is there to listen to the growing pains, as well as push me out of my comfort zone when I don’t know something, The fact that we experience the same small business issues has really brought us so much closer. We are able to lean on each other on all things such as Accounting, Employees, Taxes, and just everyday business decisions. He has definitely been my rock through my quickly growing business. Another person that deserves a shout out is Lindsey Bruce (fellow stager/best friend). We literally deal with the same job day in and day out. No one else understands thoroughly the way she does, as to what it takes to be successful in our field. She’s always there to listen to me vent, basically daily. She offers advice and best practices, and has been a great resource for me from the start of my staging career.
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