Why Take An Online Course? 

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Let me call to mind the business woman running on the treadmill while signing documents and talking on the phone. While this could be a real scenario, it’s also figurative: since you started an interior design business, you’ve been running on a treadmill at high-speed and multitasking furiously!

“If You Want Something Done, Give It To A Busy Person”

Your response to the pace may vary between thriving on the challenges to feeling overwhelmed. I understand; as an interior design coach, I can tell you that the pressure is real. But I can also tell you that you are capable—you wouldn’t be here in the first place if you weren’t. And I say this because I’m going to challenge you to do one more thing.

“What?!” you say, “I can’t handle one more thing!!” I hear you. I see that treadmill churning. But this challenge will help you off the treadmill and onto real avenues that head towards a successful interior design profit margin.

Therefore, I am challenging you to keep learning. Right now, you’re working hard just to stay on-track. If you want to get ahead, discover the methods that will propel you. A treadmill is stationary, after all. 

Challenge Accepted

The truth is that the more you learn about your finances, the easier and more meaningful the business tasks become. You’ve come this far, but to go the distance, you need to understand your financials. It’s an essential ingredient for success. When you learn the story that your numbers tell, then you’re able to create and follow a successful interior design business plan. 

  1. Knowledge Is Power. Take the opportunity to gain new financial skills. This type of information—this knowledge—has the power to push you ahead in life and work. Think of it as an investment; the time you devote to learning about your interior design financial statements will come back to you as profit.

  2. Become a Life-Long Learner. The internet has made life-long learning possible because you no longer need to trek to a campus, sit through a class, and meet in person. You now have access to on-demand courses that let you learn when you can. Most courses are self-directed which means you can download and log on when you’re ready. Unlike a live instructor, you can click pause to take notes or really let something sink in.

Well-Meaning Resources Are No Substitute 

While we all know a family member or friend well versed in business, listening to them talk is not the same as learning. Learning is a process, and even though your loved one is enthusiastic about helping, they may not follow best-practices when it comes to learning: breaking down difficult concepts, giving visual aids, and providing opportunities to apply the lessons.

Sometimes, you need to slow down before you speed up; no one turns a corner at 60 mph. The good news is when you’re ready to get ahead, there is an online course on financials available to you. Slow down your treadmill enough to learn about your finances, then chart a new direction and charge forward, full speed ahead.

The Understanding Your Financials course will allow you to gain a fuller understanding of where you are making money and losing money. Then it will give you the knowledge and confidence to use that information to make wise decisions going forward – so that you can get off of the treadmill of trading hours for dollars. I promise.

Staying In The Zone

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Here is a familiar scenario: She was sitting at the table, coffee forgotten in her hands, adrift in her thoughts. Suddenly, snapping fingers in front of her eyes broke her train of thought, and a loud voice asking, “Hey, are you in there?!”

We are conditioned to pay attention, and when we find ourselves lost in thought, dreaming, we are either rudely woken up or feel guilty for losing track of ourselves. After all, successful people understand the amount of concentration it takes to be good at something and shouldn’t allow themselves to be distracted! 

We often discourage such daydreams because they amount to distractions, but that really does them a disservice. The stuff of our dreams may be wild imagining, but there are kernels of reality that we can mine. When you dream, you’re figuring things out and exploring at the same time. 

Your dreams can be tools. 

Zoning Out

Too much dreaming could be distracting from your task, and doesn’t it seem like our minds often wander when we’re deep in the throes of a project? It makes sense when you think about the effort exerted by the brain to concentrate. A daydream might either be a break from the efforts or an extension of the increased brain activity. Either way, we often find ourselves “zoning out” while we’re working.

The usual response is to shake ourselves back from the daydream and focus again. However, there is an opportunity to take next time you find yourself zoned out—follow the thoughts. Let yourself take the time to zone out. Stay in the zone.

Evaluating Your Dreams

When you come back to earth or snap out of your reverie, don’t jump back into work. Instead, think some more about the daydream or thoughts you just experienced. Where did you go? What did you see? What was on your mind? Write them down.

When we get lost in thought, we are actually processing ideas. They may be nothing of importance, but you may find yourself dreaming about your heart’s desire. Give yourself a chance to find out. 

After you have a few sessions of letting your mind wander and getting a sense of your thoughts, look over your collection of notes. Were you thinking about that last client meeting? Did you imagine yourself handling it differently or did you relive it start to finish? Maybe you were working on setting your interior design pricing and suddenly whisked yourself away to a place that didn’t bother you with numbers like a tropical island with endless beaches. 

Glean from your notes the meaning behind the thoughts. Do you need a new approach to client meetings? Are you still struggling with your interior design financial statements? These are the real issues with which you’re grappling.

Taking Action

Now, you can create action items. What are 3 things you need for every client meeting? What are two ways you need to prepare for those types of events? 

Or, you can identify specific actions you still need to take. List people who will help you with your interior design fee structure. Decide two methods to gain more information about your interior design business plan. 

Getting Started

You already have everything you need—next time, let your mind go and see where it takes you. Keep notepaper close to you. Allow yourself time to see your dreams through. You may just find that rather than distract you from reaching your goals, they may take you exactly where you need to go. Always feel free to connect with me and we can work together to make your dreams come true.

Dream Your Reality

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Everyone has heard that envy is bad—really BAD! When you feel envy, you essentially allow yourself to de-value your own accomplishments.

…Hold on, this profit first coach is going to up-end another applecart: what if we could take that power away from envy and use it as an opportunity? 

Envy As Inspiration For Dreams

If you’re feeling envy, what is the thing-- quality or possession or anything -- that you want? Instead of ignoring the envy, turn the feelings into inspiration for dreams. Dreaming about the things you want allows you to imagine possibilities

Also, don’t feel like you’re just making up wishes that will never come true. Allowing yourself to dream means you avoid feelings of disappointment when you come back to earth; this as just an exercise. So, envision yourself in the way you envy. What is life like? 

Our dreams have the capacity to test out our feelings. Sometimes, you may realize that the things you want just aren’t right for you. It works for someone else, but not for you. Or, you may discover a whole new passion. 

(As an aside, when I feel envy towards an accomplishment of someone else, I stop, pause and pray blessings on their hard work and pray for a heart that celebrates with them. Try it – it changes your perspective.)

Making Your Dreams Come True

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”– Douglas H. Everett

Two beautiful things about dreaming are the limitless nature of dreams and the insights they offer. You can dream of anything at any time; there’s nothing to stop you from dreaming. When you dream, you are tapping into your innermost feelings and allowing yourself to dig deeply into your consciousness. Here in the most protected part of our hearts lay the hopes we dare to hold. Find them! 

Putting It All Together

As an example, you probably know someone who is living the dream, and it’s hard not to feel envy. I’m saying, ‘That’s okay’ because you’re discovering how much you want success, too. Most interior designers fear to dream of success and sell themselves short. Instead, hold onto a dream of an interior design salary that offers all the trappings of success and glory. Now I’m saying, ‘Let’s work to make that dream come true.’

So, you envy other interior designers who seem to have everything. Pause and Evaluate the reason for envy:

  • Why do you want that?

  • Why don’t you have that?

  • Is this really for you?

Then, allow yourself to dream and pray blessings over them.

Think about your interior design business plan; your envy may indicate that you are missing something.  Now, dream about your plan in its perfect form—who are your perfect clients, what are your perfect projects, who is your perfect source of support, and what is the perfect form of collaboration you want? If you uncover something in your dreams that doesn’t exist in your plan, then maybe it’s time to reach out for help. 

As an interior design coach, there are many elements to the business that I can share, and we can add more to your vision. Connect with me and we can work together to turn your dreams into reality.

Why It’s Important To Give Thanks

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It’s that time of year – the end of 2018 is nigh, and 2019 will be here before you know it! In the whirlwind of getting things done before the new year, we often don’t make time to give gratitude. So right now, let’s stop the pace, breathe for a moment, and give thanks.

Consider your customers. We often take for granted the ones who make it easy to work with them. They have a great attitude, understand the business, and relate to your style of work. Not everyone is a super customer! Remember the one who caused trouble, the one you had to let go, or the one who you swore ‘Never again!’ because you barely made it work? It’s time to stop, breathe, and be thankful for the clients whom you enjoy working with – they are a rare commodity and good to appreciate.

Next, think about your vendors. You’re working with them for a reason. Breathe for a minute to clear your mind. Ponder the reasons why you chose that vendor. Of all the others who could do the job, why this one? What made them special enough to deserve your business? Reflect on unique qualities that you value and feel a sense of appreciation for them.

Also on the list of those to consider, it’s important to acknowledge the random interactions with strangers, those who may have lifted your load somehow or provided inspiration. Sometimes, in many occasions, human connection comes when we are in dire need. Feeling stress or worrying about the business opens you to these connections. You’re more vulnerable, and it allows others to help. Did anyone unwittingly come to your rescue or offer a few words that made things seem a little brighter? I hope so; I bet so. 

And, it’s not possible to go back and thank these individuals who appeared and just as suddenly departed from your life. They are brief blips, but they offer you a chance to do something special in return: Pay It Forward. When you can’t tell someone how much their actions meant to you because it was a random stranger you’ll never see again, then become the random stranger for someone else and do some good for them. 

This time of year, it may do wonders to offer a word of praise to a store clerk, smile at the cashier, or hold the door for the person behind you even if you must wait a bit. These and a million other ways are small moments that make a difference by bringing a few seconds of human connection to those who just may need it.

See, the whole purpose of Gratitude, being thankful, is not just to say “thanks!” and make someone else feel better, though that is a huge reason. Another reason to give thanks is for yourself. When you recognize and appreciate others, then you open yourself to the workings of Gratitude. 

Too often, we narrow our focus and see too much negativity. When you practice Gratitude, then you widen your point of view to a broader scope, recognizing the good and bad circumstances through which we navigate and including yourself within a network instead of a silo. It’s better for business, but more importantly, it’s better for you.

Thank you for spending your time with me this year, reading the blog, listening to the podcast and using the information to think about your business. Let’s all look forward to a great 2019. Reach out if you need assistance kicking off your new year.

Commit Actions of Gratitude For December

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There is more to gratitude than opening yourself to the feelings of thankfulness; there are actions, too. Actions of gratitude vary in scope, but not all of them are large gestures. Often, the smaller ones are more meaningful. The smallest action that expresses your gratitude and makes a big impact is the unsolicited and simple “thank you.”

It doesn’t take much to express your thanks, however, too often, we don’t stop to extend our gratitude or tell others when they are meaningful in our lives. What would it be like to do this?

While it would be nice to make a habit out of this in daily life (and while I urge you to consider and apply this), I certainly want to emphasize the benefits and importance of establishing this as a good business practice: take time to thank others for their impact on your business.

As a business owner, there are some key folks who should be recognized. It goes without saying that should you have employees, they are first on the list! But there are others who may not be so obvious that deserve recognition.

  • Thanking Supporters - Inquiries About Your Business

Giving thanks to those who support you may also seem obvious, but not all forms of support happen overtly. Is there someone who wanted to know more about your work, or who acknowledged your enterprise? That is someone who supports you! Their recognition is legitimacy of your business. All it takes is a moment to say, “Thanks for talking with me about my work!” Remember, gratitude doesn’t have to be grand or showy to be meaningful.

  •  Thanking Kindness – Beyond Business-as-Usual

In the world of business, we often have to sacrifice our emotions when making business decisions—but we’re also not automatons!  Sometimes, genuine emotions crop up in the business world, particularly in the creative industry where so much is subjective and caters to preferences. Honor those who speak kindness or who may have made you feel a little more connected than just “doing business.” It’s okay to thank them with a heart-felt comment like, “I appreciate our ability to work so well together” to honor the connection.

  •  Thanking Generosity – Going Above and Beyond

When we hear the word, “generosity,” monetary value is usually the first association we make—someone was generously giving money. Truly, generosity encompasses much more; we are generous with our time, energy, efforts, etc. If you received a referral, then that person took time to think about you and make the effort to share your contact information; if someone anticipated your needs and operates in an organized manner, then that is someone who is generous with their efforts; and finally, if someone is always on time, that is someone who respects your time. For one or all these types of people, a small “I appreciate your efforts and enjoy working with you” gives some generosity back.

And now, a moment I have been looking forward to since I’ve been thinking about it,

~ Thank you for spending your time with me here! ~

If you would like some dedicated time with me in 2019, please send me an email with your needs and let’s see how I can assist.