You Must Find Your ONE THING!

In his book, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., we are introduced to a profound question that made me stop in my tracks. I already know that questions (far more than answers)are the key to developing winning strategies and I have asked

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Setting the Wrong Goals and Rewards Can Be Self-Defeating

In business schools, students are taught that it’s important to match the right type of financing to the underlying asset that is being financed. For example, you wouldn’t buy a building with a line-of-credit that carried a high interest rate and was supposed to be paid off every few months. Nor would you finance your

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Sometimes Interior Designers Just Need an Excuse to Market

My coaching and consulting clients often come to me because they feel stuck. I hear them express sentiments like: “I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel, running fast but getting nowhere.” “Every year looks sort of like the previous one; I think there’s going to be a breakthrough, but here I am again.” “We’re

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Great Design v. Great Designer?

I’m not an interior designer; I’m just a business guy. Business school professor, entrepreneur, and coach and consultant to successful interior designers all across the country. So I’m sometimes amused when I scour magazines and blogs and websites and see what other people think are “great designs.” Whether it’s a sleek and gorgeous ultra-modern home

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Why Don’t More Interior Designers Merge?

Here’s a test question for you. Which is more, $100,000 or half of $100,000? The answer might seem straight forward, but week after week as I work with interior designers, many of whom are the only one billing time in their firms, I have to wonder. When I consider a random set of these designers,

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Showing Employees How the Sausage is Made

I’ve lost count of how many design firm principals tell me they keep their financial results to themselves because they don’t want their employees to “…know how much I make.”  How much? That’s funny, because the reason I’m looking at their financial statements, or even talking to them, is often because of how little they’re

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The Lessons of Pandora’s Box

I am constantly and consciously aware of keeping my business (and those of my coaching clients) simple. As I’ve written before, I even keep a book entitled “Rework” on my desk at all times. The authors remind me of how toxic it can be to try and do more and more and more. Rather, as

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Can You Pass the “Acid Test?”

One of the many good news / bad news facts of life for interior designers is that there are many different ways to earn a great living. (And many ways to earn a crappy living, too.) The good news is that design firm principals can craft a business model that they enjoy operating, and make

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The 7 Reasons Interior Design Firms Fail

How Many Of These Are You Guilty Of? They don’t define “success” clearly enough, which means they don’t have a target that drives and inspires them. Just living month-to-month for year after year is not success. Set a specific income and savings goal for the next five years and create the detailed plan necessary to

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A Real Estate Agent Referral Strategy

Perhaps It’s As Simple as This Edge Member Jennifer DesJardin created a detailed talk to give to real estate agents on the simple things their sellers could do to make their homes look much better. Keep in mind that real estate agents are typically getting 1.5% of the total sales price, so helping them to

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The Four Phases of Cash Sufficiency for Interior Designers

How Much Cash You Have Is Not What Matters Most Every small business owner and interior design firm principal knows that “cash is king.” And they all know that sometimes there’s more cash than at other times…but seemingly never enough. What they might not know is that that the amount of cash might not be

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Should You Hire a PR Pro?

Every now and then, I am asked by designers about whether they should hire a PR firm. Most of those who have done serious due diligence have gotten only as far as the monthly fee which can often run $5,000. Combine that with the fact that it can take months—or years—for these efforts to pay

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