Creative Genius Podcast

Season 4 Episode 5

Focus on the Future (Valerie Garrett)

Focus on the Future (Valerie Garrett)

From the moment we come into this world, we are moving toward the future. The present is a springboard to the next stage in our development. Our success as designers and as business owners is rooted in our continuous personal and professional growth, which prepares us for the next level of achievement. Envisioning what that next level is pulls us toward the future and shows us the path that will lead us there.

In this podcast, Gail and Erin talk with award-winning interior designer Valerie Garrett, principal and lead designer, Valerie Garrett Interiors, Macon, Georgia. In addition to offering high-end residential and commercial services, Valerie also has contributed to a number of historic preservation projects in and around Macon.

Valerie started working with Gail ten years ago. She was a sole practitioner at the time and wanted a mentor to help her with improving her business. Within three years, she had tripled her revenues. But even more important, said Valerie, is the growth she has achieved along the way.

Through Gail, Valerie discovered the work of Dr. Benjamin Hardy (listen to our podcast episode with him, here!), author and creator of the Future Self Program. Along with her plans to expand her business, she is also engaged in working toward her future self, what she wants to accomplish and the kind of person she wants to be. “Shining a light on who we want to be moves us toward our future self,” she said.

Getting unstuck is another key to moving forward. “That’s why you need to have mentors,” said Valerie, because you can’t see why you’re stuck. “So many times some of the things that have been the most limiting for me have been my own mindset.”

Gail asked Valerie what her future vision was for herself and her firm within the next ten years. Building a company that provides real work/life balance, especially for women, she said, and building an amazing team. She also has a vision to create a boutique design chain as well as establish a foundation for children that have been abandoned or abused. “I want to inspire people to grow,” she remarked, and to share what she has experienced and learned to provide them with shortcuts to a more fulfilling life.

In closing, Gail and Erin asked Valerie what insights or advice she had to share with listeners. She offered:

  • Don’t settle for mediocrity. Strive for excellence and to fulfill a bigger purpose.
  • Be pulled more by the future than by the past. Aim to become your best self.
  • The biggest thing for us to overcome is not our circumstances but our own mindset. Choose a mentor, read a lot of books, always be learning to get perspectives other than your own.

To find out why one of Valerie’s goals is to be the Mary Kay of design and how she has overcome past challenges, listen to the entire podcast.

Mentioned in This Podcast

You can find out more about Valerie and her team as well as view her portfolio and blog on the firm’s website at Valerie Garrett Interiors.

To learn more about Dr. Benjamin Hardy, the Future Self Program, and his other work and writings, visit his website at You can also listen to Gail’s interview with Dr. Hardy on the Creative Genius Podcast, Season One, Episode Ten.

Valerie also mentioned the book Grit by Angela Duckworth. Go to her website at for more details and read an excerpt.

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