D.C.-based Meg Biram is a blogger, brand strategist, digital media consultant, and an artist with an eye for the abstract. Before she lent her eclectic style to a new pair of home office Events, we had a chance to talk to Meg about personalizing a workspace, starting a business, and finding time to unwind.
You’re just back from High Point. What are your trend predictions for 2013?
I saw a lot of watercolor fabric, patterns, animal print fabric — lots of snake. Special accents like carved wood tassels actually in the frame of a chair, or a grosgrain ribbon lining a chair. As far as accents, I saw a lot of horns, feathers, and paintbrushes — which I love!
You’re curating a home office event, so it’s only fitting we ask, what are the details that make your workspace feel personal?
I think surrounding yourself with office furniture, decor, and supplies that you love, things that inspire you and define your style is really important. I have photos of family and friends among other artwork in my office which makes my space feel personal to me. Recently I purchased a business card holder that I’m in love with. The little things can make a big difference.
Those who own their office or work from home have complete control over their workspace. Do you have some tips for making a cubicle look less cookie cutter?
Bring in items that you would have in a home office — a rug, a lamp, an inspiration board. Anything to make it your space and reflect your style. An easy way to keep your desktop free of clutter is to use decorative trays to contain your office supplies.
Your blog, MegBiram.com, features a series called GSD (a.k.a. Get Shit Done). GSD gives your readers the chance to see what a day in the life of bloggers, designers, and others is like. Can you give our readers some of your tips on GSD? Where do you save time?
I schedule out my day on my Google Calendar, and do my best to stick to it, but if things take longer than expected I just slide the entire day back. I try to make a manageable to-do list either the night before or first thing in the morning with the things I want to accomplish that day, then I attack it. I also try to wait as long as possible each day before checking my email. That way I can actually get work done. By limiting the time I check my email each day, I can actually work on tasks without getting interrupted.
You’re helping people build their brands, covering the latest in fashion and decor, and sometimes tweeting late into the night… When and how do you unwind?
Good question! That’s where this industry is hard because you can be constantly going going going. You can definitely unplug, or schedule your social media out to be able to take time away. I choose to do this sometimes, but in this stage of my career, I have the time and desire to be on the majority of the time. I do go to yoga or ride my bike, making it impossible to look at my phone, I read in bed before I go to sleep, I usually eat meals without my phone on the table, and in the evening I try to enjoy time with my husband without a phone or computer in front of my face for a period of time. In the summer I spend a lot of time at the pool reading magazines and books, so that helps! Also when I travel, or hang out with friends and family, I really try to be as present as possible and enjoy their company — isn’t that what life is about?
Many Americans say they want to run their own business and be their own boss. You’re doing this now and doing quite well, though you’ve said you had an interesting start. Can you talk more about the ideas you started with, initial reality checks, and ultimate success?
I’m guilty of thinking I was ready to run my own business, yet I wasn’t exactly sure what business that was going to be or how I was going to develop it, so I tried out numerous ideas that I’d had building up for a few years. That was hectic and not very fruitful, however it did teach me what I don’t want to do, and helped me focus in on what I do want to do. People ask me all the time about how I started and for advice, and now I feel very equipped to give it to them — make sure you have a clear idea and a plan, and if possible, already be making money doing what you want to do before you leave your job. It’s not what people want to hear, and I’m all for going out on your own, taking risks, and following your passions, but you do have to be practical and realistic. If you don’t have a cushion or savings to pay your bills, or your aren’t willing to give up your lifestyle when you leave your job, just make sure you have a clear plan for your business.
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