The point where I started to get outside help that's when everything really made a huge difference.
Welcome to another episode of Builder Nuggets, the show where builders and remodelers discover how to build thriving businesses while working less. I'm Duane Johns and together with Dave Young, we share the elements of success that have helped hundreds of contractors like you build better lives.
(00:22): Our guest today has been a professional interior designer for more than 29 years. She's a past president of ASI de Florida South chapter, which is one of the largest chapters of ASI
(00:35): In the country, served on the board of architecture and design in New Jersey. After being appointed by the governor and has been a speaker at the IDs Southwest Florida conference on how to help other interior designers run a better business after receiving overwhelming feedback, she decided to share this information so that other designers could benefit from it. So she wrote a book. Her book elevate was recently published and is now available on Amazon. She currently coaches other designers in her demand designer program from Naples. Florida is my pleasure to welcome Pamela Dirk into the builder nuggets community. Welcome Pam.
(01:09): Thank you so much for having me. I'm really happy to be here. Absolutely glad to have you. So when you and I spoke a few weeks ago, we talked about your journey from interior designer to author to business coach. Was that all planned from the beginning?
(01:23): Oh, no, none of that was planned. It was, it was the meandering road that we all go through as business owners, you know, just really being a designer for a long, long time. And we were just talking about this in the building industry as well. It's sort of this feast or famine, you know, got a job, trying to figure out where the next job comes from and, and really working on the steady stream of business. I started getting to the point in my interior design business, where I was like, wow, something's got to change. I mean, this is, this is brutal. And I'm sure you've heard that over and over again. So I started getting really thoughtful about my education in marketing and what makes me different and what is in the minds of clients. And so in learning these what I call magnetic marketing techniques, where you're attracting the customer that you want, I started to realize that that helped me immensely in my own business. And then from there I thought, wow, I could really help others with that. And so that was the precipitous for the book. And then ultimately the course
(02:35): We, we do hear, something's got to change a lot. What were the, some things for you, just, you know, the fact that like everything was reactive, there was no process in place, you know, being more thoughtful that, Hey, every job goes through the same processes. Clients weren't educated in terms of what happens on a design project. A lot of my clients are first time working with a designer, even though I'm in like a million dollar plus market, which was really surprising to me. So I started to realize that if I can educate them along the way and to the process that brought their stress level down, brought my stress level down and we started to implement some processes and things like that that made them feel better and made me feel
(03:23): What were those processes and how hard were they to implement? Actually the hardest part in terms of implementing them was finding the time to do it. So I became a big proponent of time-blocking maybe three years ago. And that honestly made all the difference in my business. But what I started doing is sort of like an onboarding packet to clients where I would send a bunch of information to them, frequently asked questions. How does our process work? What are the, you know, steps in the process? I used to send that prior to the first meeting and that made a huge difference because they had some time to digest the information and then ask you know, really smart questions about things that, that they had read. And then didn't maybe didn't understand. And the funny thing is, you know, I already set my boundaries in terms of what days I take meetings when I work on projects, why do I do it this way? What my texting policy is and all of that has really made a huge difference.
(04:25): I wanted to back it up just a little bit. One of the things I came across on your LinkedIn profile was a comment by you that said the thought of making sales calls would make you throw up, dive in a little bit. I mean, where did that feeling come from? I mean, what was that? Absolutely. So it stemmed first of all, from not planning in terms of a marketing strategy, right. Just sort of like get a project, do a project, finish a project. Oh, crap. I got to get another project and then the cycle starts again. Right. And then the other thing is, you know, it kind of goes back to the old ways where people were like, you just cold called, right. You just picked up the phone and cold call. Now. I like to think of it more as social selling. So it's a little different and it does take the pressure off, but believe it or not, I'm like an introvert at heart. So I don't like to pick up the phone and just call somebody out of the blue. I want them to know I'm calling. I want to soften that. So that was the, really the, the reason I'm thinking, wow, there's gotta be another way. Instead of me just picking up a call and sort of catching someone maybe in the middle of something on their cell phone, what can I do to like lay the ground work to be like, Hey, I just want to call in and check in and see how you're doing and things like that. So yeah,
(05:41): Starting a relationship. That's, it's amazing how many, well, how many even guests we've had on the show, who've talked about the same thing and say, I really don't like this. I really don't like cold calling because you feel like you're phoning to ask somebody for, and
(05:58): Now with all the social options out there and what we're going to talk about with the, your, you know, attraction magnet, it really boils down to, this is so much easier when there's even a spark of a relationship to start with. So it sounds like that's what gave you more comfort when you started to develop that? Absolutely. And I think the thing that a lot of us make the mistake is that we feel like when we pick up the phone to your point that like we're ready to get married and we moved that relationship along way too fast. And so that's where it starts to feel like uncomfortable and maybe not in alignment with us. And even as, you know, I've heard the word sleazy, salesy, that kind of thing. And this is more like, Hey, it doesn't have to be like that. And this is how you build a relationship. This is how you build relationships long-term and you start by finding something in common. And that's the precipitous or the beginning of the conversation.
(06:55): That sounds like what maybe led you to your whole concept of magnetic marketing. I mean, you found a way to become attractive to your clients. What, what did, what kind of things did you do? It seems like instead of you wanting them to want you, they would see the things you were doing and then would reach out to you directly.
(07:11): Right? So the big thing is, you know, I'm a big, a big fan of telling stories and talking about the process, meaning not the process of necessarily the steps in the design process, but the process of crafting a relationship and building a design. So it's not just fast forward to the pretty picture because we tend to do that a lot or focus on, look at this beautiful tile or look at this piece of furniture, instead of saying, which is what designers do, which we don't talk about enough is how many thousands of questions did we have to ask? How many times did we have to ask the question to start to understand really what this client would need in their homes? And then when I start talking about those stories in my own social media marketing, people start to realize what's important to me and what I look for in a client, meaning we want those deeper relationships. We want somebody who's really looking to elevate not only the, the beauty of their surroundings and the function of their surroundings, but on another level, like really making rooms work for how they, how they live. So if it's a dining room, now, it doesn't always have to stay a dining room, right. It can be a wine tasting room or a library or whatever it is that works for that particular person.
(08:30): Do you feel like there's a struggle with out without that education, without those stories, without them seeing what goes into it, do you feel like clients can sometimes struggle to value or appreciate what you deliver? Because they're because they're just looking at an outcome. They don't, like you said, they don't realize what it takes. Does it take the story and the expectation setting for them to really value everything you're going to take them through?
(08:56): I think it does. I mean, some of that is a little bit of a leap of faith, because like I said, a lot of designers, I mean, a lot of clients come as hiring a designer for the first time, but I also think it's our responsibility as designers to educate potential clients on what their experience would be like. So it's our responsibility since we do this day in and day out. And they probably don't is to explain and talk about the process and just to get that out a lot more than it's been gotten out, because I think here's the silver lining to COVID is that now people are appreciating their homes in a much different way than they ever have. And I think a lot of designers are going, yay. Finally, this is the finally people are realizing how important your home is. So we kind of knew it all along, but we stopped talking about it because there was so much emphasis on products and the pretty picture at the end that we don't really talk about the process that it takes to get to that point. And so I think the conversations are going to get a little deeper moving forward. What goes into a good magnet? You mean a lead magnet for being magnetic to clients?
(10:07): Yeah. And when Dwayne and I talk about this a lot, it's not just clients because you're building a business. So you have a team, you have other stakeholders who are involved in this. So when we talk about building a magnet or attracting, we have as builders, we want to attract designers and architects. We want to attract clients. We want to attract top project managers or other influencers. So you know, you're, you've written a book on this. We're interested in how you, you know, learning how you've built your magnet and you know, the stories attract, but could really use some, some grapes tactics around the steps that you go through or some of the areas or buckets that you need to have to make it really have a strong polarity.
(10:54): Well, so first of all, if you have multiple people that you want to attract to you like designers and clients and project managers, their, their thoughts and their needs are going to be different. So you're going to have to have multiple magnets, right? Because what's important to one is not going to be important to the other. So first of all, you have to be really clear on who it is you want to attract it. Can't just be everybody. It can't just be everybody that have the means, right? There's some other layers that you have to get to. And then once you get through that meaning, and I always tell people to start with the easy stuff first. So if you need to start with, this is how old they are. This is what their income is. This is what kind of car they drive.
(11:36): Great. That's the easy part. Then you start to like peel back. Well, what do they do in their spare time? How important are certain things to them? Are they spiritual? Like there's a bunch of different things. What kind of personality traits do they have? Who are the people that you would be most aligned with you? Right? And once you get down into that, then you have to go, well, w what keeps them up at night? What are they worried about? And this is the thing that a lot of us lose sight of. It's not so much about us. I mean, it's about, what's important to us and ultimately what we deliver, but what's keeping them up at night and then how can we have our product or our service fill that need? So for project managers, it may be more like, how are they treating the whole me, right?
(12:18): Like, am I getting education? Do I have health insurance? Where am I going to go? What's going to happen in two years from now, how stable is my position, or can I advance? Right. That could be some of the things that a project manager might look at, whereas a client's going well, I love the quality over quantity. And how do I make the choice between a and B? And who's the most educated about X, Y, and Z. And what's my style. And who's going to help me with that. So there's different questions. There's different fears, depending on who, who you're actually talking to. And then once you start addressing those fears and how your product or your service answers those that's when you start to get magnetic.
(13:02): So it sounds like it would be very helpful to develop an avatar for each one of these audiences, something that maybe the ideal client identify that ideal client, the ideal team member, trade partner, market partner.
(13:15): Yeah. And the easy way to do this is if you know, the easiest I think is to really create a persona. So, and you can model it after one of your best clients, one of your best project managers, one of your best designers, and then, you know, sort of create this person and build out them is as fully as you can. And that really helps you and get, you know, if you could combine people to make sort of like the perfect one, at least it gives you an insight and it helps you determine what am I looking for and then how am I going to meet their needs and attract them to me?
(13:49): That's pretty cool. I think it's very powerful. We've had some folks that have taken the time to develop client avatars and the differences were huge because they started really focused on the people that are going to be right for them instead of chasing the wrong people. It really narrows the focus. So I think that's a huge nugget right there,
(14:06): And it really helps you in your messaging as well, because it just, it kind of gets rid of all the other crap that we kind of get like, well, should I talk about this? Or should I talk about that? And you're thinking, what would my perfect client, it's not to say if the phone rang and the person that didn't fit your perfect avatar, and you still have the choice to take any job you want, but if you want to be focused in your messaging, this is one way to do it really, really good
(14:31): In a flip the script kind of way. One of the things we also talk about in our coaching is how do you make yourself the avatar, the ideal avatar to your clients? Do you have any advice around that? Because it's one thing to develop this avatar of the perfect client. It's another thing to develop yourself into the ideal avatar for the client. And that's probably
(14:52): Really what the magnet is. Any strategies or tips around telling this, and maybe it's just the telling of the, of the story. So you're portraying the version of your business in your company and your mission and values and all that sort of thing in your, in your magnet.
(15:06): It is. And I think you can take it one even step further than that. So we tend to be pretty intuitive. The creatives tend to be pretty intuitive. And the other thing is too, is to listen and to really listen to what people are saying to you, and then also married up to their body language, right? So even though you can have your ideal client, we all like information presented to us differently, and we are all different learners, right? There's different ways to learn, and there's different ways to take in information. So if you can be really intuitive and start really noticing what your client needs, some clients need all the details in the world and other clients are high level and they really don't care. And if you can start to figure some of that out, you will present information in a way that they appreciate and understand the best. And then they will feel like you really know them.
(15:56): That is so valuable. Do you have a book or a program or resources that are, that are go-to for you in that you would recommend for developing that skill for reading? Yes. The listening, the interpreting the different, the different personalities, how they process information, whether they're a linear thinker or a creative thinker, whether you know, all that sort of stuff, have you come across anything where you're like, that's pure gold right there? That's the route I would go for working on my skill or learning more about that instead of just hard knocks and experience.
(16:34): No, actually I don't have a specific resource for that, but that is something that's always fascinated me is sort of getting to the level of, and this comes back to connection, right? You want to sort of mirror the person that you're with because when you do that, when you mirror either their actions or their words, like using their words back, as you know, when you're speaking to them, they make you feel like there's more of an instant connection. And that also helps you kind of dive into a relationship much faster. So in terms of a specific book, I don't have it, but I think it's something that's super interesting to really dive into and to start even incorporating in your businesses today, by like how people say things to you, the words specifically that they use, and then the body language, because some people can say things, but their body language is saying something else.
(17:23): And so that's when you've got to circle back and say, is this what you really mean? Or, you know, do we need to look at it this a different way? And it just, it helps you have to be a good reader of people, but I'm sure there's a, I'm sure there's a book out of there, but even on the phone, you can hear when people hesitate. And that's always, when I say, Hey, you know, if this something that is not for you, we can go look at something else and it sort of gives them the out. So I think you just have to be really, you have to really be listening
(17:50): And a great way to start with this is you just, just take some time and do a little research before you have that conversation. I mean, there's so much stuff available nowadays, just by doing a simple scan on the internet, you got social media profiles, websites, LinkedIn, you know, you can start to build a bit of a picture of a person before you've even had that first conversation. And I totally agree with you. Sometimes you may have to change the ways you communicate based on the individual. You'll talk differently to a four-year-old as opposed to a 65 year old and everybody in between. I think you have to, you have to be able to customize your delivery that way. So what spurred you to share all this? You know, you've created a magnet, you're beginning to have some great success, but what spurred you to say, you know what, I'm going to write a book and share this with the world.
(18:37): I think it's just really the way I grew up. I've always been really active in the design industry. And as you know, I've got a long history with being active on ASD boards. I've been on a, an ASAP board probably since 1990, you know, on and off here and there. And so just giving back to the community and just designers in general has always been something that's come real natural to roll naturally to me in terms of sharing and being open. So I really enjoy that. And I think that it really elevates the profession, which is what we want, right. We always want to learn how to get better and why not share knowledge to help people, you know, kind of make their lives better, not just customers, but other designers too, because we're, you know, there's a lot of us struggling and why not share that knowledge and, and lift all the boats as they say
(19:30): A quick reminder, that the best way to get the most out of this podcast is to engage with the builder nuggets community, visit our email@example.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram, The collaboration over competition. Did you, did you meet any resistance to that? Like when you were, when you were collaborating with other designers, did any, did any feel threatened? Cause I know in the, in the builder community, people like to collaborate, they like to share, but they don't like to share everything. And the fact that you're taking everything that, you know, all your secrets and you're openly revealing that when you're having conversations with others or asking them to share their stuff, did you ever run into any resistance? And if so, what are the secrets to try and open people up more? Because we have so much, we can learn from each other. So the whole point of this show, and there's so much work out there, just curious about your experience in this direction.
(20:24): So interestingly, to be honest with you, I haven't met with any resistance, partly probably because I'm like, I don't have time for that kind of noise. Like I just move on. I think that's part of it. But the other thing is, you know, when I was writing my book, I wanted to do a lot of market research on just what, what designers really needed. So I was offering a copy of the book and asking for 15 of their time and I got 120 designers to get on the phone with me. And they were all, every one of them said, I just love to share. I love to be, I love to be a part of this community. And so I was really impressed with how much of them were willing to tell me what they were struggling with in business, what was going good, what they needed help with. So it was really interesting, but I haven't, I haven't really run into it, but I'm also immune to it. Meaning like if you're not going to be, if you're not going to play nice, then I'm going to go somewhere else.
(21:17): Well, it sounds like your magnet was working because either your approach or something you're doing is attracting those people who do want to share to your mission, to, to what you're trying to achieve. So it's, it's automatically, you know, living it naturally filtering out the negativity or, or that stuff. It's great. You've got amazing momentum there.
(21:39): I would say, I would say the common thread is people that love to learn. So people that love to read books, love to learn and when they love to learn, they love to share. Tell us more about your book. What would you like to know? It's a book about the basics of marketing really, and each chapter builds on itself. So you know it, and it's a super easy read. I didn't want it to make it something. I didn't want to have a vanity book, a book that you just like say, I have a book and hope that people read page up to page 10 and then you're like, that's good enough. Like, I'm one of those people that if I'm going to put something out like a book or a course, like I want you to do it and I want you to finish it and I want you to do the work. So the book is, I don't even know 13 chapters, they're very short chapters. They talk about why you're doing this. Do you know, it kind of starts with your why and then goes on to build your avatar and talk about being magnetic.
(22:35): And of course having a support network and getting coaching because you know, I think really the difference in my own business came to the point where I started to get outside help. That's when everything really made a huge difference. At the end of each chapter, I put like places for people to take notes so that they could remember the things that really stuck with them. So it's almost like it's a workbook and I want people to implement it. And it's not really as hard as people make it out to be. So I want it to be easy, enjoyable. I tried to make it conversational and then something that they could literally put into practice in their own business.
(23:12): You touched on coaching there. Tell us about the impact of that. How did you decide on I'm going to go out and get a business coach and then what happened after you did? So the first coaching group that I got into was specifically about magnetic marketing and that was sort of the kickoff to everything. And so that was just sort of opened my eyes to the power of how I could be much more in control of my business and much more in control of who came into my world. So to speak. I ended up going into a mastermind group within that coaching group. So it was a big coaching group, but this was a mastermind of this 40 people. And the interesting thing was it was people from all over the country, business owners from all over the country. I think I was the smallest business. You know, one, two people up to there were other people in that group that were doing a hundred million a year. That's a pretty big Delta in terms of a diverse group of people. Right. But the thing that struck me the most was that we all struggled with the same thing. It didn't matter if it was me and my two person business or Dave in his hundred million dollar business. It was still like the fear of, am I doing this right? Where am I going with it? I mean, it was, it was incredible to see people open up and talk about the things that were, they were struggling with, which is the same stuff. It's stuff.
(24:41): Were these different types of businesses when you were in this coaching program? Yeah, not one designer in there, not one creative person, not one. I was not one artist, not one, anything. I was the creative soul in the room with 39 other people. It's very eyeopening. I was part of a group called Vistage, which is similar. You know, they have different types of businesses and industries at each chapter. And my biggest takeaway from being involved with that group was that it really doesn't matter the type of business or the size of the business. At the end of the day, the problems are really all the same.
(25:17): It was. And then we used to do hot seats, which people would get up and talk about their problems. And of course I can't help myself. So I would get up and, you know, give my 2 cents and then people would come up to me and be like, when are you going to start coaching? And I'm like, what are you talking about? And they're like, you know, you, you cut through it really quick. You know, you can get to the heart of the matter. It doesn't matter if this person's in the self storage business, the car business, the restaurant business, like you see things that really clearly. And so that's when I got the spark to go. I wonder if I'm going to do this someday. And it, the someday took about seven years, but that's okay. It'll take it's all for the path has its own way.
(25:55): So what was the biggest challenge in writing the book? I mean, many of us will probably say, Hey, you know what, I'm going to write a book, but it never happens. So what was your challenge? What was the challenge that you had when you decided that's it? I'm going to write the book.
(26:09): So I did it, I think I wrote the book probably the easiest way. Anyone should ever write a book. So if you want to know the biggest challenge with writing the book is getting over, like the, the mental part of it. Like, is anyone going to care? Is this worthwhile? Is this too rudimentary? Is, you know, am I coming off smart enough? Good enough, all that stuff, which is, I think very common. But interestingly enough, I had done a speech about these topics. Then I came back and had the speech transcribed through a service called Temi, which is an automated transcription service. And from there, that was the basis of the chapters brought in an editor to kind of bring down section off the chapters and then did a little more fill-in work. I mean, of course I'm simplifying it a little bit, but we'll fill in work on each of the chapters and lo and behold, boom, got a book,
(27:09): Take the content, take the nuggets you already have and just put them in the right order and expand on them. It sounds like we will create a lot of things that we never utilize in all the ways that we can. And I bet you've probably got an hour long PowerPoint presentation that could be the basis for your next book.
(27:27): Yeah, that's pretty cool. And there's no doubt. This book has helped lots of other people, but how has it helped you? I mean, what's it done for you personally and professionally?
(27:34): Well, I mean, certainly a sense of accomplishment. I mean, there was, you know, there was one reason for doing the book. It was, I wanted to help a lot of people, but then I also, like I had a personal just like now I'm getting this done. Like that was something that, you know, I didn't want it to sit and sit and sit. And I have, I actually have a second book sitting in the drawer and a third book in my head, so we don't get them all out, but there'll be coming in due time. But I think the thing with the book is just you know, then I can do it. And it honestly, wasn't as hard as my brain made it out to be
(28:07): Greg good for you. Are we allowed to know about the second and third book? What can you tell us about that? So currently have a six week course that I teach designers about becoming in demand as a designer. So the second book would be based on that called in demand designer. So that one is, you know, sort of in the works. And then the third one is actually the consumer book. So it's a book about design to the consumer saying, why do we do it this way? Why do you go to a designer? And they have three different, they might have three or four different ways of charging and what what's up with furniture. And why do builders not want to take the time to help you with certain finishes or whatever? So it's all these like questions that keep coming up, like what does retail really mean? And who's responsible for what? And so that book is more of a, a consumer book
(28:57): That is a consumer book that other designers would love and builders would love to give out and distribute. I heard that from someone else too. And I thought that was a really interesting perspective because I did not think of it that way.
(29:11): Wow. You're really having a, you're having a lot of impact on people. Do you have any books or any resources or mentors that went into shaping the direction that you've gone or that are must haves in your business collection? Is there anything that resonates with you as, Hey, go out and get access to this particular resource?
(29:32): You can tell. I love my books. So I love, I'm a definitely a book lover and I like the physicality of books on your yeah. They're like there's appeal. So I would say number one on my list is a book called essentialism, the disciplined pursuit of less. And I'm sure you guys have heard of that one. One of like all time favorite kind of goes along with managing your time saying no to the BS that we think we need to do and handing things off. So I love that. So I call it, I call them either you automate it, you delegate it, or you eliminate it because you don't need to do everything. And we think we do, but we really don't. So centralism is an amazing book. The other book is called magnetic marketing. And that is, of course all the things that we've been talking about ways to be magnetic.
(30:22): And it really uses even techniques from the twenties. Like some of these concepts have not changed. So I love that. And then also being using techniques that believe it or not, you want to be doing mail right now because nobody's sending any mail anymore, not email, just mail, mail, mail mail, because you're the only person in the room when it comes to that. So there's certain things that I just love about ways that we should be, we should definitely be standing out. So those are two of my favorites. And then profit first is an awesome book about really looking at how instead of we should be taking all our money and spending it, how we should be paying ourselves. And we should be looking at our profits first. And essentially that is like the envelope system that our grandparents used to use. It's the envelope system for your business. So when money comes in, certain percentage is allocated to operating expenses to your payroll. Maybe your product costs, sales tax, things like that. And so that has been a game changer in my business when COVID hit, I wasn't, I did not have one sleepless night when COVID hit, because I knew I was covered. Cause I knew exactly where all my money was. Right. And everything was sort of planned and prepared for. So profit first is definitely an awesome book.
(31:43): That is awesome. I just, I just turned around and look on my shelf. I know I've got it here somewhere. I may have even lent it out to someone. I want to touch on something you and I spoke about several weeks ago. You said you were a huge fan of time management and it's, it sounds as though you've gotten pretty good at it. One of the things Dave and I hear all the time and I know it's not just our industry, I'm sure it goes across the board in many businesses, but that instant reply, it's almost a reflex reaction of, I don't have time for that. And from a coaching perspective, we hear it all the time. I know it's difficult now more than ever, everybody is just totally overwhelmed. We're all so busy. But what have you seen from a time management perspective, whether it's tips or tricks. I mean, what's the biggest thing people need to change or get their head around so that they stop using the excuse. I don't have time for that.
(32:32): Exactly. So it comes back to, first of all, I I'm so passionate about it that I, I made a course on it. So I do have a course on time management, which I think is a perfect dovetail to any kind of marketing, because this is what everyone says. I don't have time for marketing. I don't have time for that, but yet you don't like being busy and then being dead and then being stressed and then being busy. Right. So why not block time out proactively ahead of time for these sorts of things. But when you say you don't have time for that, I think he needs to sit back and realize, is this something that is a important, important enough to make time or not important enough? Like it can just go like how about instead of just keeping the hundred items on the to-do list, like I do a three priority item for the day.
(33:17): There's three priorities. Once those priorities get done, then I'm like, I'm in the bonus round. As they say, like, I feel like that's, I've gotten the most important things done. So you have to really look at what's important to you. Are you looking to really move your business forward? If you are, then that needs to be a priority and that needs to be a priority in your calendar. I used to block out when I first did time blocking is to block all 24 hours out like a crazy person, because I think honestly, that's the best way to start, which is making sure you're getting enough sleep, making sure you're taking rest. And during the day breaks you're exercising or whatever, and doing your, you know, I do personal development in the morning and things like that. But all of that gave me some space in my day and a less, a lot less noise for me to then process what was happening.
(34:06): Cause we get like very reactive and when we're too busy, we just react, react, react. Instead of saying, hold on, is this something I want to do? Should I be doing it? Do I need to be doing it? Or can I give it to someone else or can I get rid of it? And I think those are the important questions that you need to ask yourself because there's only 24 hours in a day and you're a business owner and you can't be running on a thread all the time. Because as the captain of your ship, as I say, you have to be setting the direction for your entire business. You can't always be swinging a hammer or designing a room you need, you know, you need time to figure out strategy.
(34:49): How long did it take you to develop that level of discipline? And did you have anyone else working with you to keep you accountable around that? Because that's one of the things that we've seen. And when, when, when we look at even other companies like Peloton and Peloton accountability, where it's the power of the group and being accountable and motivating each other, it's one thing to be able to do that on your own and have the self-discipline to do that. But it's a whole lot easier if you've got other collaborators stakeholders or like you said, if you're the captain of the ship, how do you get the rest of the ship, all involved in that accountability culture and sticking to these things,
(35:25): Certainly not easy. And this is one of the reasons, especially with designers and I'm a big fan of coaching and masterminds because generally 90% of the design firms out there are between one and four people. And honestly, as the owner of your business, I don't know that you should be expecting other people in your business to hold you accountable to the things that you should be doing. So you need someone that is a peer that can help you with that. Because I also think that that's really not necessarily the best role is to have other people hold you accountable. You need to be the best example. I don't know that I would want my assistant to be like, you need to be doing marketing right now. You know? So to me, I think that I would rather go to a peer group that says, I'm struggling with setting the time for this marketing.
(36:19): What have you guys done? So to me, that's where I would go. But the other thing is, I think it comes back to like, why are you doing this? And this is not like, who was it? I think it was Stephen Covey. Might've said, you know, motivation, doesn't last. That's why we need to do it daily. Kind of like bathing. It's a continual process. It doesn't like you don't set it and forget it and be like, I'm good. I'm perfect at time blocking. There's no way I'm perfect at time blocking stuff slides. And it's one of the beauties of being in your own business, but you have to know what the trade off is. Right? So if something slides and you're like, I just, I'm just spent right now, I need to take a couple hours. That's the trade off so that you can get back to it. But I like peer groups in terms of accountability for keeping yourself on track. But there's definitely multiple ways to try to keep yourself motivated. But if you literally block it off in your calendar, it should be a better way to say this is what I've committed to dedicating time to as opposed to I'll get to it sometime today
(37:25): With a purpose. So you've written this book, you're an expert on magnetic marketing. And what makes you an attractive? What if you were to give advice to builders, what do you think makes builders attractive to their clients and to, from a designer perspective too, what are you looking for when you are researching a builder or looking at a, is this somebody I want to work with? What are the clues that you're looking for?
(37:57): Okay. So of course we start with, you know, what kind of quality products are they building? That's the, you know, sort of the first, I think the first thing I would look at then from there, there's a couple of things that I would look at, which would be, I like a builder to be organized, just like I am, because that's important to me. And I know that's important to clients. So organization would be one, a good communicator would be an excellent candidate for me. Cause I like to, even if there's no news, I'm a big fan of, okay, I can tell a client, there's no news this week, but I'm still going to tell client there's no news because I think proactive communication eliminates. So, so many problems. So being organized, being a good communicator. And then the third thing is how tight and clean are their job sites?
(38:48): How tight are they are with yourselves? What's their level of expectancy? What are they willing to let go or let slide? I don't like subs to have, you know, crap all over jobs. And so when I think when I see a builder, that's running a tight clean site, but definitely that has that someone that has, that believes in getting better as a person and also they're nice people. I only deal with nice people. So that's the other thing, but that just believes that there's always a better way. There's ways to improve some of these builders don't feel, they feel like it's done. Like, you know, they've, they've, it's all set in stone. There's no way to improve anything and you know, just kind of reacting to fires as they come along. And I would rather be dealing with someone who's like me. That's like, how can we anticipate as many things as possible? So while there's still going to be problems because it's construction, they're going to be as minimal as possible.
(39:45): One of the things we love to ask our guests is, you know, what's next for you? What are, what are you excited about? It feels like you're excited about a lot of things. You've got a second and third book, you've got coaching programs. What's on your mind right now for what's next for you. What, what really gets you pumped up? Right.
(40:02): I think just really extending my reach to help people and to realize that there's some, you know, some relatively easy ways to get really much tighter on our businesses and how we run them. And then to also embrace the power of individuality. So I see that things are starting to get a little watered down. We're using the same exact words in our, all of our websites are written the same. And I want this industry to start talking about their individuality and what makes them different and why they're different and to express themselves more forcefully than I think what's been done up to this point,
(40:42): Be yourself, Laurie. Yeah. I want to hear it. I want to know the story, Your story run away from the commodity mind. Exactly. And just, and you know, let us get to know you as people because these relationships, as you know, are long and there's, you know, there's a lot of bumps in the road and they can be 12 months. They could be two years. It's a long time relationship. This is a marriage. So why not get to know and enjoy the people that you're with and feel that you are hanging out with the best that you can.
(41:18): This was really some great stuff here today. And I appreciate you taking the time Pam and I certainly hope you'll come back and I would love that. And it was, it was really a interesting audience and great questions. You had me going there to get those great how's well, That's it keeps you on your toes. Hey, we mentioned in the in the intro that your book is available on Amazon, what other places are, is it available? How can we help to promote it for you and help other people to get in touch with you or learn more about your courses and this, these fantastic things that you're doing to help people.
(41:53): So the books on Amazon, it's also on Kindle, if you like Kindle books, and I'm also continuing to do my interviews. So if anyone would be interested in talking to me about what's going on in their own business, and then to get a copy of the book, I'm always happy to do that. You can reach firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course I have a free Facebook group for designers called in demand designer. And then you can find me on all platforms, Pamela Durkin, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, all there.
(42:25): And the book is called elevate with an exclamation Mark. Yes, it is. It says how to take your business from the ground floor to the penthouse. Great. This was really fun.
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