Episode 128 - How to Know Your Work is Right for You with Susan Beech
Susan Beech shares how she knew that being a paper florist was the right career path for her. Plus, hear about the publishing journey of her new paper flower book.
Do you ever worry that you’re committing time and money to the wrong job?
Even if you know that you love paper flowers, how can you be sure that you’re in the right specialty within our industry?
How can you avoid investing too much in a path that is ultimately a dead end?
In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with the lovely Susan Beech of A Petal Unfolds. She told us about her process of putting together and publishing her new book, and she shared her journey of discovering which artistic medium was the right fit for her.
We’re all about finding your why this season, and a huge part of that is being in the best job for you. Listen now to hear how paper flowers clicked for Susan and how you can evaluate which industry or speciality within paper floristry is right for you.
Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
► How Susan knew paper flower making was right for her.
► Details about her book writing and publishing process.
► How your unique background plays an important part in your career.
► Where to find the best visual references when you can’t access fresh flowers.
If you can’t listen right away, start with these three tips to get you thinking about whether you’re in the right place for your career.
Push the Boundaries
In the exciting world of paper flowers, we’re pushing boundaries all the time. In the episode we chatted about the amazing growth that we’ve witnessed in our industry in a very short period of time. Discovering new uses of paper flowers happens because people like you try something!
On a personal level, you will also benefit as you explore new areas of our craft. You won’t know if something works until you try it. You won’t know if you love something until you roll up your sleeves and do it.
To get to that excitement stage, try something new. It’s how we all discovered paper flowers initially. We weren’t born making them. We had to push the boundaries of what we knew first.
Practice New Skills
As you navigate new areas of your career, pay attention to whether something is simply not for you or if it’s really just beginner’s nerves. Susan touched on this when she told us about how she began teaching.
“When I first started teaching, I wouldn’t say I was a huge natural at teaching—standing up in front of people and teaching a class. But over the years I have had quite a lot of experience with teaching workshops, so I have built up my confidence quite a lot. I can run a class now without getting nervous.” -Susan Beech
Trying something new is uncomfortable. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not for you. While you don’t want to invest too much into a pursuit that’s not right for your business, do give yourself enough time to get comfortable with the skills needed for it.
Find ways that you can practice a new skill like teaching without putting too much time or money on the line. We’re creatives, so get creative!
Give Time to Self-Reflection
Once you try that new skill, you have to give yourself time to think about it. This is where the sometimes difficult work of untangling your feelings comes in. Will you like teaching if you get more comfortable with it? Or will it always feel like a drag?
In the episode, Susan told us about her experience trying new tactile mediums. You can hear more on the podcast, but in short, she could feel that paper flowers were special.
“It felt different. I think it’s the excitement thing. I could see potential, and I could see opportunities, and it was exciting to make as a creator.” -Susan Beech
If Susan hadn’t been paying attention to how she felt, she wouldn’t have worked this out. We’ve talked a lot about self-reflection this season because it’s such a critical step to focusing on your why. Sometimes we’re so busy and stressed out that we can easily miss what our gut is trying to tell us.
Listen to hear even more about how Susan could tell that paper flowers were right for her, and how you can discover the best path for your career.
Also, here's the PDF format for THE WHY WORKSHEET that you can download for free.
About Susan Beech:
Susan Beech is a paper artist with a degree in Fine Art from the University of Brighton. She is the founder of the studio A Petal Unfolds, teaches paper flower making workshops in London and Paris, and has taught for brands and institutions such as at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Financial Times. Her commercial clients include Liberty London and Martha Stewart Living.
Learn more about Susan Beech: