As we mature, it can be easy to get comfortable in our habits — both in work and in life, for better or for worse. It’s easy to fall into patterns, feeling like you’re caught in a rut and unsure of what your next move should be. If your life is feeling a little dusty, perhaps it’s time to hit the reset button. We’ve all heard stories of people trying to “find themselves,” freshen up their lives and get out of a funk. But what is step one? How do you break old habits and infuse new energy into your life?
We talk to Nancy Rankin, owner of four businesses, about not only the importance of always keeping things fresh, but on how she does so — both in business and in life. The takeaway? Take an honest, everyday approach to keep your life and your passions interesting and relevant and, when in doubt, just do something.
For 28 years, Nancy has been practicing what she preaches at the company where she established a now 28-year-long career, Huber Décor. Originally called Huber Interior Foliage, Nancy joined the team in 1990 as a territory sales representative. Not long after, the owner of the company asked if she would be interested in buying into the framing company that was part of Huber Décor. Nancy took a chance and purchased 24.5% of the company for just $2,500, an investment that would pay off, continuing to shape her career more than 20 years later.
“1995 was a huge year for us,” says Nancy. “Our daughter was born, we were building a house and we bought a company!”
Today Nancy is the sole owner of the umbrella of businesses that evolved from the original Huber Interior Foliage and now consists of Huber Décor, Essential Details, Idea Source and Blooms Boutique. While each of these businesses serves a unique purpose and audience, each is focused on creativity and beautiful results. The evolution of each business over time is an illustration of how Nancy is keeping business fresh through new, innovative ideas. Originally, her event planning company, Essential Details, outsourced floral arrangements.
Says Nancy of the floral designs they used to receive, “We couldn’t really get the quality results we needed in the time frame we were working with, so we brought it all in house.” Nancy simply took the bull by the horns and made a change, establishing her own floral design company, Blooms Boutique.
These are just some of many examples of how she strives to keep her business fresh and, in turn, keep customers coming back for more. This type of business and personal innovation doesn’t happen overnight. Nancy leans on a few tried and true strategies when it comes to cultivating ideas, keeping things fresh and ultimately reaching her goals.
Surround yourself with inspiring people.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but for Nancy it’s all about the people she surrounds herself with including her incredible staff members. She looks to her staff for advice and hosts brainstorming sessions to generate ideas, spark conversation and encourage creative thinking.
“Our company is unique, because we have a lot of young people and a lot of seasoned business veterans,” she says. “I think that is a really great mix, because I learn from them all the time. There aren’t many 53-year-old women who do Instagram stories, but I do, because I learned from those around me.”
Write it down.
Nancy is a strong believer in putting pen to paper to map out goals and tasks. She documents everything from new business ideas to reminders about her son’s football games and strategies for reaching goals. She once attended a conference where she heard Ray Strothman say the three things he always does is write it down, pray over it and seek wise counsel.
“I always remember that. To reach a goal, it is imperative to write it down, then break it down to see how you’re going to get there,” says Nancy. “It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I have a little notebook with pockets that I take with me everywhere. I write everything down, and that keeps me accountable because I’m always looking at it.”
Stay curious and open to new ideas and changes.
“Our branding wasn’t bad, but it had been out there for a while and we just felt like it was time to freshen everything up,” Nancy says of her recent move to totally re-brand all four companies. Rather than dictate changes, she gathered a team of diverse talents and viewpoints. Huber Décor art director Gretchen Burcham worked with copywriter Lindsey Sprinkle, web designer Kris Haws, and Danielle Rudy-Davis and Lynsey Trager of Lemonade PR to brainstorm, research and design the look, voice, logo and website to appeal to Huber’s wide spectrum of clients. “When developing our new logos we did research on different popular looks and what would appeal to millennials, but not be off-putting to some of our more traditional clients,” says Nancy. “It was a really neat process and very timely for us with our ownership changing. I love having a totally new look and feel to what we’re doing.”
Identify your non-negotiables.
Nancy believes that there are certain things that are guaranteed to bring each person joy. Whether it is having a family dinner every night or church involvement, it is imperative to make time for those non-negotiable things that bring you joy. Even when you are in a rut, making time for soul-nourishing activities can help pull you out of your funk and inspire you to make a change.
Devise a plan to make a change.
“I think everyone falls into ruts to a certain extent. If you feel yourself starting to become complacent or things are getting stale, then you have to do something right then,” says Nancy, stressing that having that written plan for your desired change is crucial. “If you don’t have a plan, then you’re just going to revert to whatever your default is. If your default is to wake up, go to work, come home, sit on the couch and watch TV, then that’s what you’re going to do every day unless you make a concerted effort to do something different.You’re not going anywhere if you don’t make a move.”
“Ambition and change are great, but I also think there has to be a level of contentment with where you are now while you’re striving to reach those goals,” Nancy says. “Otherwise, no matter what you have, how much money you make, how successful your companies are, how many pairs of designer shoes you have — you’re never going to be happy. That level of contentment coupled with ambition is really key to balance.”
It’s clear, from her 28 years of innovation and growth at Huber Décor and her thoughtful insights, Nancy is not afraid to make a change to reach her goals. “Shake it up,” says Nancy. “If you know you spend too much time on social media, watching television or sleeping, then change that habit. Try new things, wear something different, make something different for dinner — just do something different!”
Thank you to Gretchen Burcham, art director of Huber Decor, for these lovely images!
For more information on Nancy’s work with Huber Decor and its sister companies, visit huberdecor.com.
This article is sponsored by Blooms Boutique.