Do you ever feel like your business is running your life instead of supporting the lifestyle you dreamed of? If you can relate, know that I’m right there with you. And I have a feeling that we’re not the only two! Ida Winstead, a fellow Showit Designer and one of my most recent mentors, has a unique perspective on enjoying work, but leaving plenty of margin to enjoy life, too.
Ida is the owner of Hygge Design Co., a brand and Showit website design company serving creative entrepreneurs and the host of The Hygge Hour Podcast. After moving to the US from Norway and finding that American corporate life was not for her, she’s made it her mission to help other entrepreneurs bring more hygge and less hustle to their lives through strategic design and increased confidence, so that they can work less and enjoy life a little more. When she’s not busy designing away you can find her hanging out with her High School sweetheart husband or working on their fixer-upper in Raleigh.
In this episode, I sit down with Ida to chat about building a business that allows you the freedom to enjoy life, how she’s persevered to become a successful entrepreneur, the importance of mindset in business, and more!
Ida actually started her business as a side hustle while working a full-time job! After deciding that virtual assisting wasn’t for her, she stumbled across designing and found her fit. When she was laid off from her 9 to 5, she and her husband made the decision that she would pursue entrepreneurship full-time. Ida admits that it was scary making the decision to go full-time. I love that she was brave enough to take the leap into full-time and pivot her business offerings until she found what worked for her!
When Ida first came to the US as a high school exchange student, she worked hard to blend in. Like most of us as teenagers, all she wanted was to fit in – and she got good at it! In fact, she shared that she got to the point where no one really asked where she was from anymore.
However, as entrepreneurs, and especially online business owners, it’s important to build a memorable brand that stands out from the crowd. So, Ida started infusing more of her European roots into her branding and came up with a new name, Hygge Design Co.
Hygge is a word meaning “a calm and comfortable time with people you love” or “an absence of frustrations.” Ida explains that it’s more of a feeling than a thing.
So, what does hygge have to do with business? Ida knows how easily entrepreneurship can lead to a pattern of “glorified hustle.” In addition to wanting a business name that would allow her to share her story more, she wanted something that would remind her why she chose entrepreneurship in the first place. She’d rather run a business that allows her to live the kind of life that she wants, instead of just working more.
As a business owner, it’s tempting to think that you have to wait until a certain point in your business to start giving yourself more freedom. While growing a new business as a solopreneur will likely require more hours from you at first, Ida and I agree that it’s better to start implementing boundaries early on. What you do now will be habit later down the road.
If you’re already in business, it’s not too late to answer these questions and think about what changes you can make to your business starting today! Revisit these questions as needed. (I definitely need to re-evaluate my own boundaries from time to time!)
Work backwards, reviewing your to-do list based on how many hours you’ve allotted for work. If you’ve given yourself more to do than you have time for, something has to go! That might sound simple, but Ida explains that this one exercise can force you to make important business decisions like raising your rates, becoming more realistic about how much income you can make, or figuring out how to focus better during your work hours.
One thing that Ida has taught me as a mentor is that running a business doesn’t have to feel hard all the time – if something isn’t working, be willing to shift your perspective and try other ways of working! For example, instead of working with 4-6 clients at a time for 6-8 weeks, Ida shared a process that I can use to work with just one client at a time for 2 weeks. Changing my design process this way has allowed me to focus better on each project and take time to rest and recharge in between serving each client.
Ida says to remember that you’re the boss of your business!
Ida chose to niche down to serving clients in the wedding industry in the middle of the pandemic of 2020. She did feel a trickle effect from this at first because since weddings were shut down, potential clients were hesitant to invest as much in brand and website design.
However, Ida stuck with the decision to serve this niche because it felt like what was best for her – and it paid off! She began to notice that the more that she trusted that things would work out, they did. After the initial shock of the pandemic wore off, her ideal clients realized that because they weren’t as busy, now was a good time to focus on their websites and branding.
Clients started investing, and Ida became known for her designs and how she serves wedding industry pros. I love this story of how she persevered and chose a positive outlook during a situation when fear and doubt could have easily taken over!
As Ida says, “business is such a mindset game!”
If you loved what Ida had to share, you can find her at @hyggedesign.co on Instagram. On The Hygge Hour Podcast, she shares about business, price strategy, mindset, adding more hygge and less hustle to your life, and more!
for fellow Designers
for the DIY-er
for growing Creatives