IoT: “Teachers. Be Resilient.”
Editor’s Note: Katrina Schwartz is an interior designer, real estate agent, and former social worker. She is the Co-Founder of Category Mayhem, a design and interior therapy company for women, children, and seniors.
Picture this: It’s 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday. It’s a perfect day for child care, but the 9:00 am teacher call is on. They are scheduled to come in earlier because the school wants to practice.
“Teachers,” I say, “be resilient. The world wants your creativity in their classrooms.”
I try. I teach 10 classes in the morning. The sun is bright. It’s ready to begin. A band plays across the hall. Everyone is joyous. We continue.
Why isn’t your teacher more resilient?
Some people don’t like that I’m a business owner, but as I’ve been a teacher for almost two decades now, my business acumen and willingness to think strategically is a plus. However, early in my career it wasn’t necessarily a plus.
It wasn’t until the amazing teacher-teacher duo, Luzi Fite, and Martha Dafranco, made me a part of Category Mayhem that I truly understood and appreciated the mindset that these two women have in moving their businesses forward.
At Category Mayhem, we work alongside specialists and experts. They help us refine our design, interpret our personality, and draw us deeper into the design process. And, we help them refine theirs. In addition, they have the luxury of being able to focus on the creative process.
I have taught thousands of young children, and students always thank me for the benefit of that collaboration. Once we are clear on our curriculum and concepts, we offer the flexibility to modify those concepts to meet the specific needs of our students.
These experts open up ideas for us. They connect dots for us. It’s empowering and just very rewarding to see that these professionals are making a difference.
Why do you work with a team?
The reasons are countless.
Simply put, I work with a team because I truly believe in it. We all work for a purpose. I believe that a team is about being fully committed to our individual actions to create a cohesive whole, such as:
Investing in our people.
Implementing positive culture.
Investing in our relationships with clients.
Creating consistency in our clients’ experience.
Optimizing individual time.
Operating safely and responsibly.
These are all very valid strategies, and the team lets me know when we are failing at any one of these strategies.
That is something that, even when I work with a single person, I respect greatly. As I tend to work with a team, my ego shrinks.
Where do you find mentors?
I want to say that I find my mentors in my staff and on the road, but the truth is, the experts in my life are all part of my team.
Personal coaching, in general, is very educational. There is no one better than an expert to help me work through my own challenges. And a personal trainer is the gift that keeps on giving.
I found my own professional development guide about entrepreneurship to be a great road map for future growth. The idea that you can be your own boss is revolutionary. In our culture, it’s the taboo. However, it’s attainable and something that can change a life.
I find that incredibly refreshing.
Personally, I am continually amazed at what a few hours of my own time brings to my perspective as an entrepreneur.
Bring on the resilience!