I have worked in the faux finishing /decorative painting field for over 13 years. In this time, we have worked in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of homes. Many are average sized, middle-class homes and they are a huge part of our client base.
Then I have a whole section of clients who live in big, beautiful estate homes. Retired NFL players, inventors, CEO’s, business owners, surgeons, …… they live in houses that most of us will never live in. And I get asked questions regularly like ….. “doesn’t it make you sick working in houses like that?”
Or, “how can you work in houses like that and not be jealous?”
Or, “is it hard to go home to your own house after working in those big houses all day?”
The honest truth is that I rarely get jealous in those homes. Do I wish I had granite in my own house? Well absolutely and I will one day.
Do I long for a huge walk in closet with double chandeliers and cheetah carpet and floor length mirrors? I sure do and I plan to have one someday soon.
But the truth is, I don’t feel hugely jealous…… I feel hugely grateful.
People like “them” employ people like “me”.
People with cash flow are what makes my business go around. I am so grateful that there are wealthy people in this world who pay my bills and keep me working!!!!
And so, over the course of my career and just aging in general, I have learned alot about people. And here are some of the things that I have observed and pondered and learned from my wealthiest clients:
1) Some of them have been the most generous people in my world. I have been given a crushed velvet chair. A fur rug. A water fountain for the front of my home. I have even been tipped for my work. And one of those tips was almost $1000. That’s right….almost $1000. I have been prayed over by several of my clients on more than once occasion and that is worth more than any material item ever could be!! I have seen generosity and appreciation and humbleness demonstrated over and over again. And for that…I am so grateful! I once had an incredibly wealthy inventor offer to carry my painting supplies into his house for me. Can you imagine??? I was floored by his humbleness and willingness to generously offer his manual labor.
2) I have also came to the realization that “they” really are just people. They really put their pants on the same way I do and they just want an honest job done for an honest cost. Because they live in a world where people try to take advantage of them because of their finances, I have found they are just so grateful when I don’t try to screw them over.
3) And a final thing I have learned from my most affluent clients is that they do not apologize for their wealth. In the past, I have often found myself justifying my own purchases by saying things like “well, it was on clearance” or “I saved for months to buy that”. One thing I have learned from watching some of my clients is that they do not justify how they spend their money. They don’t apologize for it and I am so grateful for that lesson. So,I am learning to watch my own words and change my own mindset!!! Let others think what they want to …..I don’t need to explain what we do with our own funds!
And so because I have witnessed such humbleness and generosity from my clients as a whole, it saddens me when I see people jaded by the wealthy people in our country. Seriously, we need to quit being mad at “rich people”. I witness so many people rolling their eyes at “them” and assuming they know how they are or how they got there. And assuming blesses no one.
We don’t know and it’s a poverty mentality that will not bless your own finances.
I’ve also learned that if you want something someone else has (ie: their bank account balance or their granite, their walk in pantries) …. then learn from them, study them and try to do what they do. I am not encouraging coveting….I am encouraging being teachable.
Of course there are exceptions to everything. And of course there are clients I have had who don’t fit into these “categories” that I just listed for them. And of course, there are way more important things in life than material possessions and bank accounts. So hear my heart…. I am exhorting you to bless your own home and your own finances by carrying the right attitude.
It brings honor to a society that desperately needs it.
Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.Proverbs 13:18
Absolutely right on Jennifer! In the Interior Design Business this can be hard because you are constantly surrounded by gorgeous and HUGE homes. However, I’m like you and feel incredibly blessed that I get the privilege of designing their homes where their friends and family gather. God gives us each gifts, for some it is to be wealthy and for some it to have the opportunity to work for the wealthy. Ultimately it boils down to being thankful for what the Lord has given to you and using it for His glory. Our gifts and talents are to be used to glorify Him and the blessings will flow from there. Years ago I prayed that my Interior Design business would be profitable so that my hearts desire to support missionaries could be fulfilled. He has blessed that dream and in tern I am blessed. If we ever become “wealthy” from our careers, I pray that God will continue to keep our hearts in the right place. Love your girl!
I love how you have had clients pray over you…what an awesome gift!
I am an Interior Designer, who loves these clients and their larger budget. It gives us an opportunity to do something that I might not get to do on a tighter budget. It’s not to say that a tight budget is bad, it just means different types of finishes and furnishings.
Thanks for the reminder to be content with what we have. I agree I think a lot of us could learn lessons from the wealthy instead of making them out to be the villain. (It does seems to be the popular thing to do right now.)
Jennifer, I love love love this post. And I also love the two comments I see before mine as I’m typing this. I, too, am in school learning interior design, and the thought of working with wealthy people is a bit foreign and sometimes intimidating to me. This was a wonderful reality check.
Jennifer, your post was right on the money! I had my own landscaping business several years ago and I found that some of my wealthier clients (one in particular) were the most generous and appreciative of my talent. I used to figure out cheaper ways to decorate my home so that it looked like a million bucks- just like their homes. One client liked our work so much she moved us indoors to decorate her home for Christmas…which started a whole new part of our business!!
I love your website…and you have motivated and inspired me to try my hand at my own business once again – at 47 years old!!
Beautifully written!! I love that you wrote it out from your heart and it is so evident that is where it came from!! Thank you!!
I worked in the print industry and it was fascinating to say the least. What people could do with their budgets, big or small, especially when it came to wedding invitations was always fascinating. I definitely learned a lot, that’s for sure.
Good Good Word!! Thank you!!!
Many years ago, I heard Jesse Duplantis say “never apologize for God’s blessings”. I’ve always remembered that. Our family also has adopted the “tortoise and the hare” story as our own. We have seen so many shoot to the top or make lots of money fast. They are able to get the new cars the bigger houses the prestigious neighborhoods. But we have also seen so many of them lose it all as fast as they obtained it. We see ourselves as the tortoise. Slow and steady. Faithfully tithing, working diligently, and doing our best no to compare ourselves to others. God has shown himself VERY faithful. And we are not in bondage to debt.