Remind yourself that other people’s opinions don’t pay your bills. It sounds like a catchy meme but it’s so true. Many times we can get caught up worrying what other people think we should do that we completely get thrown off track. Remove your ego from the equation and you’ll see how easy those decisions are to make for yourself and how other’s opinions don’t really matter.
As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Franceska McCaughan.
Franceska McCaughan is an international flower designer providing turnkey floral solutions for luxury brands and the artistic director behind The Hotel Florist. Her work appears worldwide in JW Marriott Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Hilton Hotels, and more. To learn more about Franceska, or to follow along on her travels, visit thehotelflorist.com.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?
My “floral business” started at the age of 6 when I could be found picking flowers around my native Texas home and designing room-specific designs for around the house. Flash forward a few decades and this is exactly what I do today for hotels, offering turnkey floral solutions for luxury hotels.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I recently launched a course to help florists land hotel partnerships. In the course I cover everything from floral sourcing, pricing and design as well as how the hotel industry really works and what florists can do to add value to their hotel clients and the guests. There is nothing on the market comparable to this course however there is a huge gap in both the floral industry and the hospitality industry which the course covers. It has helped florists design more sustainable and profitable businesses resulting in providing for their families better as well as ensuring that hotel brand standards are properly communitcated and met for the hotel’s guest experience (and ultimately their bottomline).
In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?
The Hotel Florist focuses on one client, luxury hotels, by doing one thing, providing turnkey floral solutions, very well. We are very niche in our offering and therefore have become experts in our field of hospitality floral design.
Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?
There is this belief that it is difficult to make money in the floral industry. I heard many times from family to strangers that my floral career was a glorified hobby and that when I was tiered of it (i.e. being broke), I could go back and get “a real job”. I have always treated my floral design business as a company I work for and because of that I’ve been the company’s best “employee”. I’ve made more money than I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time. It has allowed me to have an even bigger vision and continue investing to stay the market the leader for years to come.
In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂
When I replaced my full time corproate annual salary as my business monthly revenue. But money isn’t eveyrthing. I proved all the naysayers wrong by waking up every day with the opportunity to create beautiful works of live art with my hands, to impact those positvely who came in contact with my floral designs, to support my family and to work with some of the world’s most notable brands. I proved the naysayers wrong by truly designing a business that gives me a lifestyle I love.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Hands down, my husband and his unwaivering support throughout my entrepreneural journey. He has filled so many roles from handyman, to coach to therapist to team member to advisor. Without his constant encouragement and confidence in me, I most likely wouldn’t achieve the level of success I have today.
It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?
I had a very challenging childhood that gave me a pretty thick skin. I realized early on that if I wanted anything, it would be up to me to put in the work. Though at times frustrating, it was also very empowering because I knew anything I wanted to achieve was possible because no one was going to work harder than me to get it.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)
- Remind yourself that other people’s opinions don’t pay your bills. It sounds like a catchy meme but it’s so true. Many times we can get caught up worrying what other people think we should do that we completely get thrown off track. Remove your ego from the equation and you’ll see how easy those decisions are to make for yourself and how other’s opinions don’t really matter.
- Keep your blinders on. As humans we have a natural tendency to always check to see what someone else is doing. This often leads to imposter syndrom and worse, causes analysis paralysis. By staying focused, in your lane without any distractions you will achieve greater goals with more authenticity.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot. Remember as a child you would pick up a toy and when you were finished you would put it down and pick something else up? As adults we somehow have missed this memo and believe whatever we commit to, we must see it through even if we have to struggle and force it to work. As we grow as adults and business owners, we naturally evolve. Therefore a pivot is only a natural part of evolution. What worked before might not work later — doesn’t mean you can’t pivot and find something which will work even better.
- Create space to listen to your gut. As members of a society that worship “busy” over “productive” we often loose the connection to our inner voice. Our brain takes over and starts to project a reality that feels safe, i.e. your comfort zone. By staying busy, it’s like swimming in circlesyou’re your comfort zone. You are getting nowhere but burnt out that you have to keep swimming, with no destination in site. Determine what is necessary and what is busy (i.e. what you can cut out or delegate). Next carve out time to reconnect with your gut to ensure you are still connected with the destination you had in mind.
- Never pursue anything that doesn’t feel in alignment with who you are. It is very easy to be seduced by ideas that have been wildly successful for others. Or even ideas others have for you based on your strengths and/or their desires. However in order to be wildly successful, you must be passionate or have a strong sense of purpose for what you do. When you are in total alignment with who you are and what you want to achieve, everything else becomes very clear.
What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?
“I am not what happened to me I am what I choose to become”
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
That idea would certainly be around climate change. The one thing we all have in common is the one planet we live on and the 7 years we have left to make serious changes before it’s too late for generations to come.
Can our readers follow you on social media?
Absolutely! I would love that! I’m always chatting on Instagram, @franceska.mccaughan
Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!