For Clint Harp, launching Harp Design Co. started with small steps and a lot of learning – all in the hopes of building a business he would enjoy running with his wife, Kelly.
Later, Harp took his passion for furniture, history, and more to the TV screen to educate and inspire viewers to pursue their own passion projects and understand and celebrate their history as well.
During a recent episode of Office Hours, Harp explained how he rose above not knowing it all to better connect with his audience and do what he loves the most: building things and inspiring people to show up as their best selves.
Here’s how he did it.
1. Be OK not knowing it all.
When you’re building a business, the idea of failing can easily create fear that stunts your growth.
According to Harp, getting over that was a huge step in his career, especially as a TV personality. His wife and business partner, Kelly, helped him see that not knowing everything could actually be his superpower.
“It's OK if you don't know. It's OK if you don't have all the answers right now,” he said. “Just do the thing that's in front of you the best that you possibly can, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Being authentic can have major benefits, he added, boosting your mood and helping you reach your goals.
“There's a part of us that we create to survive, and that part is helpful for a certain time in our life,” he said. “But there comes a time where we don't need it anymore and we need to say goodbye to it. We need to get to that person who is actually us, not the person we create to protect us. As I began to let that person out, magic started to happen.”
2. Focus on what you enjoy most.
It can seem daunting to start a new project, role, or business. But it starts with trying, even if it might not work out.
“I'd rather be the person that tries something and it doesn't work than the person who at the end of their life goes, ‘I wish I would have tried that.’”
Fighting to pursue what you enjoy can be worth it, Harp said. It can take some strategizing – along with a healthy dose of letting go – to let the idea take its natural shape, he noted.
“I'm not here to tell other people to go quit their jobs, to just do something stupid and not think about it. But I am here to say when I put myself in a position where the universe was like, ‘OK, thank you for trusting us. Thank you for allowing yourself to be open to an energy and a power and a strength that is way beyond your control.’ That's when things really started to happen,” he said.
3. Take one step at a time.
Many people have ideas that never come to fruition. For Harp, launching his own business started by making a free table for a family in Philadelphia. His success started from that one gracious step.
“This is when we still lived in Houston. I was working out in my garage and he was like, ‘How much?’ And I was like, ‘No. No money. I just want to do it. I just want to build a table and send it to somebody. And I don't know why, but I just want to do it,’” he said.
Doing what you love might take work and effort, but it can be worth it. Admitting what you don’t know and starting with something small you do know can help you reach your goals.
“I'm getting to do something where I get to use my talents, my gifts. And I'm getting to use them not just for myself but in a way that is, I think, encouraging other people.”
Does that mean Harp has become ‘perfect’? No, but he has embraced the idea of not knowing it all.
“I'm still just that idiot in the garage who doesn't know what he's doing, who's just trying to live out of his giftings, figuring out every day the best way to do it,” he said. “If you were to look deep into my life, you would see what a mess I am in so many ways. I'm OK with it. That's all right. That's who I am.”
This article is part of Office Hours, a series that connects you with entrepreneurs and expert tips for running and growing a business right now. Find their can’t-miss conversations here.