I want to Feng Shui someone's office...

claire_de_lunaFebruary 15, 2008

...as I'm spending a lot of time there. I've had an opportunity to get to know the owners, and they've helped me so much I would like to give something back. This is a fairly new business (I think about one year) and the owners are young. I'm certain they've had to operate on a shoestring, although they are very professional.

I've noticed they could really use some help with the placement of furniture and plants, and I'd like to give them one free hour of design services. I'm trying to figure out how to approach them without being offensive, and am thinking about asking if they would like to try an experiment in helping to bring more $$ to their business by simply editing and re-arranging some items in their waiting room. It would be free (to them) so there's nothing to lose. I've spent a little time putting together a package of things they could add when they run across something that suits them, or have some extra $ to spend. This also includes printouts of plant care, and Feng Shui Tips for Offices so they understand the reasons for changing the placement of things. If they choose to at a later date, I believe they could spend less than $250 to make a huge impact in taking their waiting room from "no $ after college" to "upscale and sophisticated", just by adding a few things. I know that now the immediate plan is for new carpet in their space, so I know they want to make improvements.

Part of my plan involves taking them a small arrangement of Lucky Bamboo and repotting a Money Tree plant that they have (and want to keep) which is languishing. (I want to donate the plants as one gardener sharing to another, and already have the soil mix and plant material.) I want to share some water plants I need to repot and divide, when the weather warms up. (These involve very low maintenance and would add a ''water'' element without the care of maintaining a fountain, which is probably more traditional.) The only thing is, this would require a commitment on their part of finding water-holding pots for the plants (3 in all), and calling me for their plants once they have.

Is this all too much? Do I risk alienation by my suggestions? Part of this is self-defense as I want to feel good when I go in for my appointments! I need to keep going back there until my issues are taken care of, and I also have a...sensitivity...that could be calmed if a few changes were made. How do I go about asking if this is something they'd be interested in?

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I think this is a really fabulous idea. My former acupuncturist's waiting and treatment rooms were just dreadful. I was only a patient for about a year but every time I went in, I was aching to suggest a few changes. I would have even painted the place myself...it was that bad! He moved away, ostensibly because there was not enough business here. I can't help but think the grotesque rooms made a difference in how people felt being there.

Do you have any way to present a Gift Certificate of sorts for your professional services? Handing them something with a note attached about how grateful you are and how you want to give back... They would likely interpret that as a generous offer, rather than a friendly critique. I'd hand them the note and then disappear so they don't have to react in front of you...that can be difficult for some people.

Or, you could start small with the plant "shares" and see what kind of response you get. If they later say how much they enjoy the plants, perhaps you can go on to suggest the benefit of some additional changes.

I'll be eager to hear how it goes. There are so many places where I feel the colors need to be tweaked (like my dentist's office, decorated in a lovely shade of puss green!) and I'd love to just offer a bit of advice without being offensive.

Oh, and I'm curious to know where you studied Feng Shui. Thanks! - Amy

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 3:35PM
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Amy, Thanks for your response. (Whew! I feel better now.) Yes, I think that's a good idea. I'll take my plant gifts in with me next time and repot the Money Tree. We always have time to talk during my sessions, so I can bring the subject up and see if they might have some time to look over my ''proposal'' if there's some interest there for them. I have mentioned it briefly in the past, and hopefully planted a seed.

As far as learning Feng Shui, you might say I am self-taught. I became interested in it and once I started reading, realized I was already practicing it intuitively. After looking at the way my house was facing, and ''filling'' in the negative spaces with water, plants, fire elements, stone and kinetic features to cure what was bugging me, I felt harmony was restored in my environment. I think the reason I've become such a homebody is because it's where I always feel best! I'm always that person who will jump up and help someone move their furniture if they indicate an interest in making changes. I like being in on the process, especially when the feeling of a room is so visibly changed once the tweaking is done. I've described myself before as someone who is allergic to environments that are imbalanced, which makes it hard on me sometimes when I have to spend time in places that are! (It's a Blessing and a Curse, depending on the situation.)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 4:22PM
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I agree with Amy, give it as a gift certificate in appreciation of their service. They may or may not be interested in Feng Shui and they may or may not be embarrassed and angry or thrilled and excited with your offer. Let them open it when you're not present and if they are interested, they can call you. I think it's a generous offer you're making, but it may not be appreciated in the way that you are hoping. Same thing with plants, I think some office would be upset to have someone come in and repot a plant without warning, make it part of your gift certificate.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 5:58PM
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If you are a Professional in the field, either in residential or commercial design or space planning, etc. and you normally charge a fee for this service, I think an offer of one hour of free design service just to rearrange their existing furnishings for a better flow is a nice gesture. Anything more, looks like you are trying to solicit business from them, for your gain.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:16AM
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