Episode 108: The Obstacle is the Way (Finding Hidden Treasures, Purpose, and Growth) with Ginger Curtis


Show Notes: 

My next guest has a lot of experience in turning obstacles into opportunities. Ginger Curtis is the owner and founder of Urbanology Designs, an author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She is an expert in modern luxury design and passionate about all things beautiful. After surviving cancer, she began Urbanology Designs in 2015 to inspire and help others elevate their homes' beauty, comfort, and function.

In this episode, Ginger shares some of the obstacles that created opportunities for growth in her life, how she delegates and elevates within her business, and why it's our job to educate our clients about the impact our environments have on our well-being.



Mentioned in this episode:


Blinkist App: https://www.blinkist.com/ 

Wooden by Coach John Wooden

Ginger’s Book, Beauty By Design


Check out Urbanology Designs: https://www.urbanologydesigns.com and on IG: https://www.instagram.com/urbanologydesigns/ 


Learn more about Urban Fire House and Urbanology Cottage at https://www.urbanologyproperties.com/properties 

Fire House IG: https://www.instagram.com/urbanfirehouse/ 

Cottage IG: https://www.instagram.com/theurbanologycottage/ 


Get more info about our year-long mentorship and coaching program: https://www.designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery 


Text UPDATES to 214-380-1969 for all our DFCM updates.


To stay in touch with Michelle, please follow her on Instagram and join our Free Facebook Community!


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Podcast edited and managed by Haili Murch LLC.

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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.


Michelle Lynne: Welcome back to the podcast everybody. I'm Michelle Lynne, and I am honored and excited to introduce my guest today. It's Ginger Curtis. Many of you know her because she's the owner and founder of Urbanology Designs. And if you're on Instagram, you just see the beauty everywhere. She's also an author, speaker, and a serial entrepreneur. So today, we're going to go in a variety of directions, but I can guarantee you the conversation is going to be fabulous. So Ginger, welcome. Thanks for being here.


Ginger Curtis: Hi, thanks for having me.


Michelle Lynne: So much fun. I love, love the opportunity that we have to just really dive into a lot of your experience, because I know that a lot of our audience, if they're not familiar with you, they will be soon because they're just going to fall in love. But if they are familiar with you, it seems like everything you touch is just so genuine and golden. So it's going to be a great opportunity to get to know you a little bit better. And I think inspire a lot of listeners because your path hasn't always been easy. Let's just dive right in and talk about obstacles.


Ginger Curtis: Okay.


Michelle Lynne: Because as humans, as entrepreneurs, business owners, and so forth, we come across obstacles. But, you know, the little bit that I know you it seems like you always turn those obstacles and make them work for you. So let's talk a little bit about how you've taken those obstacles and turn them into opportunities.


Ginger Curtis: Yes, it's a topic I'm really passionate about, because it's really changed my life. And I've not only faced personal huge obstacles in my life I've had to overcome, but also in my business and I'll say, especially in my business. And I think obstacles force you to do one of two things, Michelle, you're either gonna grow weary or you're gonna become better. And when I discovered that I had an opportunity in front of me, I started looking at life challenges and obstacles a little bit differently. It's really never dependent on our situation, it's always about our mindset. And to me, that was breakthrough, because then I realized that I had a choice. That I could show up to my life with the thing that I wasn't expecting that I thought was going to derail me, or possibly drowned me, or overwhelm me. And I could glean something that could, you know, potentially change my life, change my career, and it certainly has. And so I've experienced both. I've been wiped out by challenges, and I've also stood in the face of them and created paths forward that never would have had ever existed if I was not forced to walk through that difficulty.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, and I love to say that life happens for us, not necessarily to us. And by shifting your mindset, like you talked about, you take a look at the setback, or this obstacle, and you can either let it hinder you or you can use it as something to jump over and learn how to jump higher.


Ginger Curtis: Yes, a hundred percent. And I feel like I would just, years ago when I was a baby entrepreneur, I felt this like crippling weight and this heaviness when things would come up that were unexpected. It was the way that it depleted my batteries felt like I could almost never recover, and I needed to be able to sustain and to move forward and I had to have some breakthrough in this area. And I'll never forget years ago, I feel like one of my greatest obstacles was feeling like I had to do everything. I felt like it was my responsibility. I felt like that no one can do it better, which was absolutely wrong. There were so many people who could do it a lot better than me. And the weight of this was suffocating and it was causing me to focus on things that my hands really shouldn't touch. And it was a noose around my neck, and it was impossible to grow. And then at the same time, I was keeping my staff small. I was keeping them so small and when I learned to empower them, I watched my business transform before my eyes.


Michelle Lynne: It's amazing.


Ginger Curtis: Superstars. I mean, like, rise. And I just thought how could I have ever been so narrow-minded, so small? And I really started to learn to delegate in order to elevate myself and focus on the biggest priorities for our business. It changed everything a hundred percent.


Michelle Lynne: And it's not easy to do. Delegation is, so I've been in management since I got out of college. So literally, like, I don't know, 20 years, 30 years, a long ass time. But in that respect, it reminds me of when you parent, like you cannot do everything for your children, you have to allow them to do something even though you know you can do it better. So I always joked because I've been in management so long, that I was going to be a really great parent. I think it's exhausting, it's completely different. But in the same, in the context, you have to teach your children, so for those of you who are listening who have raised children, delegating to your team is not that different. It's just something else. So instead of picking up their room for them, you allow your team to excel where they where they can fly. And my team, Ginger, like, my team is 10 times better at designing than I am. So you learning how to delegate and share that, you can see your company has just exploded. How many are on your team right now?


Ginger Curtis: Eleven and growing.


Michelle Lynne: Now, is that just for design or is that for all of the other places where you have your fingers?


Ginger Curtis: That involves procurement, operations, my role, so all together we have eleven, and we're hiring a junior and a senior. But you know, Michelle, I really resonate with what you said about it's like raising children. I remember when my oldest, who's now 23, Tyler, he's in the Navy, and I just thought like, I was so tempted to just sweep the Cheerios for him. I was like, he's just never going to sweep every Cheerio. And I was so tempted to just be like, you know what, I'll just fold those towels myself. And I did it. And I had to let him figure it out. I had to let him stumble a little bit, I had to let him, you know, figure out his own system for how he wanted those towels. As long as they were clean and they were folded and, and I remember looking over one day on the couch and seeing a pile of fluffy, white, bleached, perfectly stacked towels. And I thought when did that happen? It happened right before my eyes. And it didn't happen like day one, it took a little bit of time, but by me not micromanaging that situation and allowing him to do it on his own, he eventually did, he figured out his path to fold that towel perfectly.


Michelle Lynne: Well and you have to figure out what doesn't work. So you have to give them the space to say, okay, this doesn't work, this does, and develop that. So yeah, it's and also giving them a safe place to fail.


Ginger Curtis: Yes, yes, yes. And that requires us getting out of our comfort zone. Because it's a different mindset to say, look, I want you to take risks, I want you to feel empowered, and to give somebody empowerment and responsibility means you do have to take some risks. And you've got to let them know that, hey, this a safe place to fail. Not be reckless, those are two completely different things. I fail, I make mistakes, and I need my team around me to support me when things go wrong, or I thought I was making the greatest decision that turned out wasn't and I have to offer the same for them.


Michelle Lynne: No, that makes perfect sense. Now, do you have a system to delegate and elevate? Or is it just like, do you have a particular system to delegate and elevate, or is it just a practice that you have in place? Like, this is what I do, I delegate so that it elevates them and your business and you as a person as well?


Ginger Curtis: Well, I think the first place it starts with, as you know, is really clearly defined responsibilities. Who is responsible for what?


Michelle Lynne: Wait, so your people can't read your mind?


Ginger Curtis: Right. Exactly, exactly. So that communication is imperative. And you don't want anything to get lost in translation. I think being crystal clear about what the responsibilities, what the expectations are. And then what we do internally, every quarter, we sit down, and we list out what are our goals for our company, and how does that translate to department, and then how does that translate to every single individual. And so that right there is the overall framework that allows us to delegate and elevate. And I'm not the only person who delegates and elevates. I have people, I have my design manager and senior designers and so on.


Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. So do you meet with all eleven people soon to be thirteen? Or do you just meet with your senior staff?


Ginger Curtis: So I meet with my senior staff weekly. Every Monday morning, we do a leadership huddle up and it's the four of us. And it's kind of like the State of the Union, solve big problems, big ideas, knock down big ideas, focus on priorities. It's kind of, you know, it's a very fast-paced, energetic meeting. I love it, it sets our focus for the week. And then as far as like the next after that, I will do what we call team huddle ups. And so I go up to our design loft, and I meet with the entire team, and just cast vision and the vision, there's a little bit of fresh vision and tweaking on a weekly basis. It could be like the overall vision is the same, but I've got an update, I've got a nugget I want to share, I want to praise someone, I want to share some exciting news. Or if there's a new opportunity that we're tackling or something like that, then I can share that with the team. And so that's that. And then the other thing that I do to get some one-on-one time is to have one-on-one lunches with every single employee in my lineup, and that is harder than it seems. I thought it would be a breeze and I was wrong, but it's whole heartedly worth that investment into them. Because if you think about your clients aren't your greatest asset, it's your people. You have nothing without your team.


Michelle Lynne: I absolutely agree. And I'm laughing because it's true. I have regularly scheduled lunches with my team and it's like, oh I'm sorry, Nicole, we're just gonna have to reschedule. Tomorrow, we'll do it tomorrow. Or just bring your lunch to the office. That's what we're gonna do, we're not gonna make it out. I get it.


Michelle Lynne: Imagine trying to bake a cake without a recipe. You kind of know what the ingredients are, but you don't know how to put it all together. After lots of hard work and trying different combinations, all you are left with is a sticky situation and a stomachache. Babe, running an interior design business can feel exactly that same way. That is why I created The Interior Design Business Bakery. This is a program that teaches you how to bake your interior design business cake and eat it too. If you don't want to figure out the hard way, and you want guidance to follow, a recipe that has already been vetted, someone that has already been there and done it and will help you do it too, then check out the year-long mentorship and coaching program, The Interior Design Business Bakery. If your interior design business revenue is below $300,000, or if you're struggling to make a profit and keep your sanity, this is the only program for you. You can find that information at designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery. Check it out. You won't regret it.


Michelle Lynne: So you were talking about clients. Let's kind of switch over there. No, actually, I want to back up a little bit. So in our introduction, we talked about your being a serial entrepreneur. But then I also asked Is your quarterly goal meeting with your entire staff, because, girl, it's not just a design firm that you run. It's, you've got a book out, you have a short-term rental, and then you also have an event space. So with all of those you've got, and I think your short-term rental is called the Urbanology Cottage.


Ginger Curtis: There you go. Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: It's lovely. Y'all need to check it out. I'll make sure that at the end today, Ginger, you can tell everybody where they can find you and all these wonderful things. But then we'll also have the links in the show notes. But do you take your staff on to these projects? So is your staff involved in your overall vision of the company?


Ginger Curtis: Always. Yes, because I couldn't do it without them, nor would I want to. And so yeah, it first started with tackling our building, which is a commercial space. It's called the Urban Fire House. And that's our design house. It's where we operate.


Michelle Lynne: Yep, that's what you said you go up to the design loft.


Ginger Curtis: Yes, we go to the design loft.


Michelle Lynne: So the design loft is awesome, okay.


Ginger Curtis: It really is. We really made it special since we live up there so often. I wanted it to be a place that was inspiring and beautiful and comfortable. Well, then the rest of the building is spacious and it's gorgeous. It was an old fire station that was abandoned, we renovated it, we transformed the space. And I decided to, I thought, you know, like hey, why don't I just like tackle running another business? How about we start a venue? Like I don't have anything else to do. And so we transformed that space into something really special and it's now a full-time venue called the Urban Fire House and you can rent it out for events or weddings or birthday parties or anything like that. It's available and it's located right between Dallas Fort Worth and North Richland Hills. So it's very centrally located to the Metroplex.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, fantastic. Yeah. So okay, so you've got that. And then you've got Urbanology Cottage. And then you have the book. I mean, you've got the venue, you've got the cottage, and you've got the book, and the design firm. So that is, you take everybody on your team along for the ride?


Ginger Curtis: Yes, absolutely. I feel like the book was a solo project. But then again, at the same time, it could have never existed without them. So I took the charge to create the book and put it all together. But all the stories are of me and my team together. Nothing ever happens without being a team effort. And it's really, and you and you do this so well, Michelle, but just so lavishly and, you know, beautifully credit your phenomenal team for what they contribute. And I believe in that a lot. Because I know that I may be the face of our company, but I am certainly not where all the talent lies. And I'm just, I'm so wildly impressed by my team and their level of commitment, their hard work, the way that they show up. I mean, it's just, it's inspiring. And, you know, when I had this aha moment that they were true leaders. And then I was capable of creating leaders who could create leaders, that's when things got really exciting. But yeah, back to the back to oh, okay.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, tell me about those raising up leaders to create. Yeah, I love that.


Ginger Curtis: Yeah. So one of my favorite quotes is by Tom Peters, leaders don't create followers, they create leaders.


Michelle Lynne: Yes.


Ginger Curtis: And I just, I believe in that, and I feel like grabbing hold of that concept changed my business, which changed my life. When I started seeing my people and the potential in them, and again, I had to move away from this mindset that I should do everything. And I had to start empowering them and then sowing into them at a different level, really investing in them. And so good leaders have vision, great leaders inspire others to have their own vision. That's when things like, I mean, just can really go off the charts. This level of thinking can change your organization. So if micromanagement is soul crushing, then empowerment is life giving.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that.


Ginger Curtis: And that is what I strive to do with my team. And I tell you what, it is so much more fun. It's so much more fun to do it that way.


Michelle Lynne: Well, and the way I look at it with my peeps is like, you have more business owners in your business and maybe not, I mean, they don't have ownership in it, but if they have the mentality of being a business owner alongside of you because you empower them, and you allow them to be leaders,


Ginger Curtis: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: I mean, think about all the brainpower that you have. It's not just you that has to come up with all the solutions.


Ginger Curtis: Exactly, exactly. And how many ideas have been brought up that have changed the course of the way you operate, or a process, or an interaction with client, because one of the team members said, hey, I saw this, I observed this, what if we did this? I mean, holy mackerel, like that is to be celebrated.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, absolutely. And it's a testament to you that they continue to bring those ideas to you that you allow them to implement whether they work or not, because I'm assuming that not every idea that's brought to the table is, you know, game changing. But sometimes you have to try things that you might not otherwise pursue, simply to determine, hey, that's so off the wall it could work.


Ginger Curtis: Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: So whether it's in design or business, like that's so off the wall, it's either gonna flop or just knock the socks off.


Ginger Curtis: Yeah, absolutely, it's so hilarious. I find it's usually not my team who comes with ideas that don't work, it's usually me. Because I am an idea generator. I'm 10 light years into another realm of like, what could we be working on? What could we be doing? You know, it's like, how's that saying go, ready, fire, aim? That me. And so when you approach life ready, fire, aim, for better or for worse, there's gonna be a few misses. And so really the challenge for me as a true, I feel like I would say I'm a true entrepreneur. I love running a business. I love running a company. I love leading people. I feel very called and born to do that. And yeah, it's exciting. And so, but with that visionary mindset, and that just ready for action, I have to be careful. And the watch out for entrepreneurs is, and visionaries, you have got to stay focused because everything, every great idea is not a now great idea or maybe even ever, and it's really, really challenging to dial it in and focus on the most important thing and stick to it ruthlessly. Ruthlessly focus on that thing and get your entire team on board. Everybody's rowing in the same direction. Because, you know, I could have, years ago, I could look around at my team and I'm like, okay, someone is in a floaty floating over there, someone's in a paddle boat, someone's just doing breaststrokes across the pond, someone's sunbathing on the shore, like everybody's kind of in the water or by the water, but we're certainly not all in the boat rowing the same direction. And when you align yourself and your entire team to a singular focus and vision, that's when big change happens, that's when you actually move the needle.


Michelle Lynne: And I love what you just said, because we literally, for ML Interiors Group, we were all together, and then COVID happened and we've all been working like, floating in the water, like in different areas. The consistency for ML Interiors Group has suffered a bit because we were not all rowing in the same direction. Plus, we have, you know, the coaching side and then now we've got the Studio Works, and just the things, my team was all over the place. And we have recently, we're housed in the same office for the last year. And we are doing things consistently and just reviewing our processes and our procedures and tightening up what we know works. And it doesn't matter, like what you just said, y'all that are listening in the audience, just know that even mature businesses can stray off the shore, to use your analogy, can stray off the shore a little bit. And you do, you just have to throw everybody back in the boat and as the leader point them where to row.


Ginger Curtis: Exactly. Get alignment and focus and it has got to come from you, it has to. You've got to be the champion for the message of what is the most important thing and are we all rowing in the same direction. And make sure that they have the support to do that. And somebody's, you know, once everyone, there's Good to Great, it's a wonderful book, make sure everyone is not just on the bus or in the boat, but that they're in the right seat. And that also makes a really huge difference. But also, just kind of going back for a minute, Michelle, to obstacles, and thinking about opportunities in our business. And sometimes we can get a little bit off track and you got to refocus and get everybody aligned. I was just talking to an interior designer on the northeast coast and asked her how her business was. And she said, everything is drastically slowed here in the Northeast. And I was like, oh man, I'm sorry. And then like the first thing I thought of is, wow, what a fantastic opportunity to get some alignment in your team, and focus on culture, focus on processes. Take a deep dive audit, do an audit of your website, edit out old portfolio images that are not as strong. Like get some training and uplevel what you're doing with customer service. It's like, we dream to have time enough to do those kinds of things. And so instead of panicking and focusing all that energy into just this fearful state, we can use that time and those moments to our advantage. So it's just such a great example of looking at obstacles as opportunities.


Michelle Lynne: That's a great point. And it also changes the energy that you're sharing with individuals around you. Because if you are being productive and you are making strides to improve your business, that mindset of scarcity, it doesn't have room.


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Michelle Lynne: Okay, so we've talked a lot about like all the business things, delegating/elevating, obstacles and so forth. Let's kind of shift into a client-centric conversation. You know, going back to the person you're speaking to in the northeast, things are slowing down. I think you and I agree that it's our job to educate our clients on the impact that their spaces have on their wellbeing, their life, their performance, like all the things. How do you go about sharing that information with the client and getting them to make that investment?


Ginger Curtis: Yeah, it's such a worthy pursuit, it's a worthy pursuit for us as professionals, it's also a worthy pursuit for our clients. And you said it, it really does start with educating them. And some people view design as unimportant, as sad as that is, or as an unnecessary indulgence. Even the people who hire us and value what we do at some level really don't always understand the greater significance of investing in yourself, your family, and the overall quality of your life, through your home, through elevating and improving your environment. And what is really, really exciting is that there's now hard facts and data and research out of John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. So the science and the medical communities have now come together and say, guys, we have some compelling information we want to share based off of years of research. And in fact, your environment impacts not only your productivity and your sense of calm, but also your wellness. So what does that tell me, Michelle? It tells me that interior design, that our environment is design is a vehicle to improve the way you live in your home. That is a message that our clients need to hear. That is a message that is important and will change people's lives, the way they raise their children, the way they heal, the way they grieve, the way they celebrate. So you are so worthy of being invested in and so are your clients. And so I want this mentality of it being this fluffy, unnecessary thing to be gone forever. Because now we've got information says it is not fluffy. It is not unnecessary. It is the exact opposite. It is profound, and important.


Michelle Lynne: I love that. And yes, and I think by having those establishments like John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic stating that, it's more than just our instinct because we know it as professionals in this industry. We also know it just even, I mean even before you got into opening Urbanology, you knew the healing that your home does. You know the joy that it elicits when you walk into a space that is just done well. So I'm gonna go Google and find those papers.


Ginger Curtis: So, okay, this is what you guys need to check out. It's called neuroaesthetics. It sounds super geeky, but it's the coolest thing you will ever uncover. And neuroaesthetics is really about how we are impacted by our environments. And it is absolutely fascinating. And it's something that I've studied and talked on quite a bit. And the first time that I ever had this experience that I was actually like aware of was years before I started interior design. This was back when my daughter was five months old and had just been diagnosed with leukemia, and we had found ourselves at St. Jude in Memphis. And we stayed at a Ronald McDonald House that changed my life. And I cannot even describe to you like the difficulty of that journey and watching my daughter suffer and walk through that. And then walking into this place that was so magical, that was so special, and thinking somebody had the foresight to realize what these families were battling. Somebody was smart enough to realize that if we created a space that was beautiful, inspiring, wonderful, intentional, it could change the way that these families walk through this journey, the way that these children heal, the way these children fight for their lives. And that was profound. Never in my life that I had experienced like that, and I would have something similar happened to me later down the road when I would fight my own cancer battle once Avery finished her treatment. And just once again, it was just this awareness that honestly, we shouldn't have to be fighting for our lives or for someone else's, for our homes to be a place of joy, reprieve, and healing.


Michelle Lynne: That's, y'all, I told you that this was gonna be a good episode. And I pray that people don't have to go through that in order to realize the importance, but you're getting the message out there as designers, you know, I hope everybody listening goes and Googles the, it's neuroaesthetics?


Ginger Curtis: Neuroaesthetics, yes. We need to start talking about this. I'm going to proclaim it from the rooftops. I'm going to be doing a lot in this area. Because you said it again, Michelle, earlier that we know it innately, we are connected to this so deeply. But now, it gives us words, it gives us tools, it gives us a greater level of authority and permission and is something that's already innately wired in us. And now with that vocabulary, we can share it. Share that with the world and with our clients, you know, the actual importance in the weightiness of this.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I absolutely love that. And I will share in that platform and hold you up to say, yell it from the rooftops there Ginger, because it is so important for the design industry to know that there is this foundation that backs up what we already know instinctually, but also for the general public to learn that, you know what, sometimes paint color, yes, it really can impact your mood, as well as all of the other details that go into a room.


Ginger Curtis: Yes, at every level, Michelle, like every demographic, every budget, at every location, like you should not be disconnected from that ability to be intentional with your environment, right? So I specialize in luxury interior design, right, and so, even though that's my specific niche, I one million percent believe that at every level, in every investment, wherever you're coming from, you deserve to be able to look at your environment in a way that you can have an awareness that you are worthy of beauty, you are worthy of investing in yourself, and you are worthy of investing in your family.


Michelle Lynne: And that brings us I mean, that literally brings us full circle, because I think one of my first questions was how have obstacles created opportunities for growth in your life? I mean, there you go. You're sitting there at Ronald McDonald home. How's that, I mean, that's a hella obstacle.


Ginger Curtis: Exactly. And that was an example of something that would take years before I would ever connect the dots on that. And boy, though, when I finally put those pieces together, you can imagine my delight of gosh, man, nothing, nothing has to be wasted. Especially a difficult journey where, you know, life is too short and too precious to allow anything to be wasted in our lives.


Michelle Lynne: And that's a God thing.


Ginger Curtis: Absolutely.


Michelle Lynne: He puts you where you need to be and just opens your eyes when you're ready. I love that. Ginger, I could sit here and speak to you for a good couple of hours. Of course, I would need to get some food, but besides that. Let's segue into the section where it's just a fun rapid-fire Q&A.


Ginger Curtis: Okay.


Michelle Lynne: Just for the audience to get to know you a little bit better. So let's start with something easy. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?


Ginger Curtis: Cookies and cream.


Michelle Lynne: What's your biggest pet peeve?


Ginger Curtis: Loud chewing.


Michelle Lynne: Oh yeah. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?


Ginger Curtis: That I used to race jet skis.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, fun, fun, fun and speed.


Ginger Curtis: And that I'm deathly, deathly afraid of grasshoppers.


Michelle Lynne: Of grasshoppers? Girl, don't you live, like how much acreage do you have? Like, don't you live on a pond thingamajiggy?


Ginger Curtis: That's why I need a lot of prayer and intervention in my life. We have so many grasshoppers. It's a real issue that I didn't consider when I moved to this property. But I need Jesus every single day. What can I say?


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, no joke about that, grasshoppers are, yeah, kind of buy one get 25 free. What is your favorite productivity hack?


Ginger Curtis: Favorite productivity hack? Whew, man. You know what, okay. Blinkist. I love to read books, especially business books. And it can take a while to get through an entire book. And so the Blinkist app bullet points it for you and reads it to you, audibly. And there you go. And that I feel like I can be productive and get all of the nuggets and the information without sacrificing any of the big stuff.


Michelle Lynne: Right. No need for all the fluff and the stories behind it.


Ginger Curtis: Exactly. There you go. That's it. I love that.


Michelle Lynne: Okay, so what is your favorite book? It doesn't have to be business.


Ginger Curtis: Let's see. Gosh, man, I have a couple but, Wooden by John Wooden. He is a very famous basketball coach. So random. I don't even like basketball. Okay, yes, hate me for not liking basketball, I can deal with that. But somebody made fun of me when I was in elementary school and teased me of how short I was, and I wanted to try out for the basketball team. And they laughed, and it kind of put this bad, you know, anyway, it's fine. I did inner healing. Well, moving on.


Michelle Lynne: But it was a good book?


Ginger Curtis: It was an amazing book, I highly do, very inspirational, super practical, reminds you to slow down and just focus on the little things and doing the little things well. It's rarely one big breakthrough that we have in life. It's showing up every single day and doing the small things well, over and over and over.


Michelle Lynne: I love that. And I joke about it often on the podcast that that's one of my favorite questions, because I get this whole list of books.


Ginger Curtis: Smart. There's your productivity hack. Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: Okay, and last but not least, if you could have dinner with anybody, past or present, who would you invite?


Ginger Curtis: My siblings. My siblings, James and Laura, who passed away. Does that count? You said past.


Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. Yeah, past or present.


Ginger Curtis: Yeah. I would just do anything to sit down with the two of them and share a meal or an appetizer or a glass of wine or an appetizer or anything. It would mean the world to me. Obviously, that can't happen. But two people who passed away at a far too young age, who I miss dearly, who really inspired my life and a lot of who I am today.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that would be really, really special. Well, thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself and your journey and obstacles, turning them into opportunities. And it's just always so fun to catch up with you, Ginger, and I feel like, have you ever done Human Design?


Ginger Curtis: Human Design? No. What's that?


Michelle Lynne: Okay. It's, um, I can't really explain it. But I feel like you and I probably have a similar, I'm what you call it an emotional manifesting generator. And it's just this whole study of all the, I can't explain it, but it's just,


Ginger Curtis: Is it a test? Or a profile?


Michelle Lynne: So it's a profile. Thank you. Yes, it's a profile. And it's based on where you were born, what time you were born. Like, literally where the stars were. It's got all the, it's not astrological but it's that, and like, some of the eaching. And it's just, it's crazy. And it has all of these. Yeah, my friend Nicole Laino, did you mean Nicole at the summit last year? I don't know. No, I think she might have been opened and you closed. That was two years ago. But anyway, she did our Human Design. And it's just very interesting the things that it's, I don't know, I don't even know how to describe it.


Ginger Curtis: I love stuff like that. I love stuff like that. I feel like I've spent a lot of my lifetime being very non-self-aware. And I feel like as a leader, that is an attribute that you really, you can't afford not to do. You need to be self-aware as a leader and understand your strengths and your weaknesses and all your differences. So it sounds fascinating.


Michelle Lynne: Well, thank you for giving me some words because I was just sitting here on the struggle bus.


Ginger Curtis: So many.


Michelle Lynne: Yes, and I did it for my husband to kind of see where we mesh up, with my daughter to see things, and my entire team. I had their Human Design done so we can all see how we work better together too. So it's very interesting.


Ginger Curtis: Cool. I'll have to check it out.


Michelle Lynne: But anyway, I can get to Nicole's information. She's fabulous. But thank you for being on the show. I always enjoy our conversations and appreciate your time.


Ginger Curtis: Likewise.


Michelle Lynne: I know it's valuable, and I know our audience absolutely loved everything that you shared. So as a recap, social media handles. Where can they find you and all of your cool things that you're doing?


Ginger Curtis: Okay, all the cool things. So Urbanology Designs, is our Instagram handle and our website, the Urban Fire House is our venue and that's on Instagram as well and we've got a website, and then the Urbanology Cottage, which is our luxury vacation rental. So it's located in Weatherford, a few blocks from the charming town square and the courthouse, and it's got its own Instagram feed and website with beautiful imagery that will get you, like it will suck you in and you will never want to leave. In fact, you'll have to go book yourself a getaway.


Michelle Lynne: There you go. That's the plan and your book?


Ginger Curtis: And my book, thank you. It's called Beauty by Design. And it really does share my story and how it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, I really did face some tremendous obstacles, but how those obstacles shaped and formed who I am and eventually launched my business. And then in addition to that, it's also a field guide. It shares best tips and practices for design and favorite go-to for products and paint colors, and all those really wonderful things. And so it's kind of like a dive into my brain and what I love and just my personal point of view, from a personal perspective, and a professional perspective.


Michelle Lynne: I think it's one of the few coffee table books that I've read and not just flipped through and looked at the pretty pictures. So it's got a lot more substance.


Ginger Curtis: Thank you.


Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. Well, I'll make sure that those details are listed in the show notes for our audience to reference. And for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, you can check out designedforthecreativemind.com. From there, you can navigate into our free Facebook group where we have a fantastic supportive community. You can check out our paid program, the Interior Design Business Bakery. And I just mentioned that the summit will be coming up soon, we've got a sales and marketing software that has just launched called Sidemark. So all of that is housed under designedforthecreativemind.com. And finally, wherever you're listening to your podcast, please drop a review. It really helps keep us relevant. So thank you for listening. Until next time. And thank you, Ginger for being here.


Ginger Curtis: Thank you for having me. It was wonderful.


Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with the name and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition, so let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.

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