Episode 105: Sometimes You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up
Hey, y’all. You may have noticed that there have been a few rereleases of previous episodes recently. There is a reason behind that, and in this short solo episode, I want to share some exciting updates happening around here. I also talk about the importance of reorganizing and prioritizing tasks in your business and giving yourself some grace to avoid overwhelm and maintain your sanity.
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
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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: Hey, y'all. This is a mini episode with me and me alone, no guests, but I wanted to talk to you about, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but a handful of episodes in the last month or so have been rereleases. And it's important that we address the fact that sometimes done is better than perfect. Because I really struggled with trying to get new episodes recorded. But I have been in the midst of multiple outside projects. And it just did not allow me the opportunity to record podcasts and maintain sanity.
I mean, in all reality, I probably could have recorded podcasts at one in the morning and done some solo episodes. But one of the things that I have learned in my decades and decades of oh, what would you call it work? Time in the work, what do you call it? In the workforce, time in the workforce, and especially as a leader in the workforce, I've been in management, literally since I graduated college. And if you had asked me in my 20s, I would have said, do anything to get things done. No matter what the cost of your health or sanity or whatever it is. I was just hard driving. Even into my 30s that was the case. And I was working in corporate, and I remember the company that I worked for here in Dallas was a great company. There were three owners, though their partners. And sometimes they would just roll stuff out and it was half baked. And I would get so frustrated because it wasn't, it wasn't done, it wasn't perfect. And now I can look back. And as a business owner, I actually told, I actually told one of my former bosses, one of the partners, that I probably owed him, or that I did owe him an apology because I cursed him out so many times under my breath about rolling things out that weren't perfect. But now as a business owner, I understand that sometimes done is better than perfect.
So the last month or so, I have been working on releasing a software. It's a sales and marketing software called Sidemark. And coincidentally, the timing aligned with the time that we are moving into our new interior design studio, and opening a co-working space for other designers, architects, builders, landscape designers, and so forth. So the last month or so has been incredibly busy, not to mention still running ML Interiors Group, being a mom, a wife, all the things. I haven't been much of a friend lately because I'm in bed by eight o'clock and pretty antisocial at that point. But the rereleases were done intentionally, and it gave me a lot of space to breathe. And so I wanted to hop on here and just share that with you because whether you noticed or not, they were rereleases. So we still had content going out onto the podcast, but it was not, there was nothing required of me other than to say which ones I wanted to rerelease.
So giving yourself permission to get things done, while even if they're not perfect, is important. And the way you can look at it is the podcast, is it important? Yes. Is it urgent? Is there a deadline? To a certain extent, but when you prioritize things, it's important that you're working one, closest to the money, okay? No matter what that looks like, I've got multiple lines of business but even when it is just a focus on ML Interiors Group, working closest to the money, it's a sales term, like what are you doing to bring the money in? It could be that you are in the midst of creating a beautiful design so that you can get the balance of a design fee. It could be the fact that you're not going to design for a while because you have some phone calls to return that are inquiries to new clients. It could be that you are giving a scope of work presentation, instead of creating a design. So prioritizing what's closest to the money is a way to look at the tasks that you have to do as a business owner.
And sometimes it's hard to see through the forest, or to see the trees through the forest because we are so deep in the forest. But if you stand back, and you can make a list on a whiteboard, or legal pad or a journal or something along that line, just to get it out of your head, you will start to see patterns that emerge. And you can organize it based on level of priority. So I'm not sure if I talked about it in another episode, another podcast. But the way you can look at it is almost as a bull's eye. And working in the zone of genius is going to be, you know the goal and that's working on things that are important and not urgent. Okay, so that could be creating a design. It could be organizing your resource room. It could be organizing your files. It's important but it's not urgent, okay, but it does make you money or it makes you more productive.
Michelle Lynne: Simplify your marketing, simplify your life. If you are an interior designer who is serious about growth, you must check out Sidemark. It is an all-in-one marketing and sales tool. And it's made just for interior designers. Growth comes standard with customer relationship manager, you can attract, convert, and retain clients by nurturing your relationships. Email marketing is to create, grow, and maintain a healthy email list. A social media planner allows you to grow your audience and engagement and it has artificial intelligence. A sales pipeline manager, you can track leads, follow-up like a pro, and you can close more deals. There's plenty of marketing automation, where if you want to send an email update to your client at a certain point in your project, you can send them a congratulations email when a new deal is closed and welcome them onboarding by preplanning it. Would you like to unify your inbox? You can have all of your emails, texts, social direct messaging, a website chatbot, all in one inbox so you're not having to go back and forth between your email and your DMs on your social media. Text messaging, higher open rates and lower opt out rates. It's an amazing way to communicate with potential leads as well as current clients and it's all documented through this platform. Calendar booking, reputation management, a virtual phone number. Like I mentioned, a web chat widget, artificial intelligence-powered content. You just tweak it and make it sound more like you. There's forms and surveys so you can gather crucial information from clients and leads. And there's an exclusive learning content built into this platform. I can't say enough about Sidemark. I use it myself in my interior design business. I've been looking for this platform for over a decade. In all transparency, I'm a co-founder. It's just like furniture. If you can't find it, you customize and design it. So check out mysidemark.com, start your 14-day trial, and life will never be the same. I promise.
Michelle Lynne: The other area, so that's where you want to stay as much as possible. Done is better than perfect means that you're getting it done but honestly, perfection is perception. So if I had pushed myself to get these podcasts done instead of, or like new podcast recorded instead of rereleasing, it would have been done and it would have been quote unquote perfect because it would have been, you know, a standard operating procedure. It would have been guests, it would have been information, it would have been myself or whatever the case may be, but I wouldn't have had room to get some of the other things done that needed to be done. And some of those were urgent and important. So if you're working from a bullseye, you want to go for the important but not urgent. But sometimes you have things that are urgent and important, such as focusing on negotiating the lease for my new space called Studio Works, coming up with templates and so forth to include in Sidemark, because it's a social, it's a, what is it, a sales and marketing software. And it is tailored specifically for interior designers. So I needed to create some of that content, because I was the only one that was able to do it. We've got, I'm a co-founder. And so Ben's doing the technology, I'm doing the design, audience content. And so that had to be done in order to release the software. So these things were important, and they were urgent because they had really solid deadlines.
It's also important that you guys, that we, as business owners, and most of us are women. So not only are we business owners, but oftentimes we're moms and wives and, you know, caretakers in general, it's important that you don't burn yourself out. So I really struggled with not recording more podcasts. And then I thought, okay, well, I'm just going to see how this works. And remember that we are not in the operating room, we're not in the emergency room, nobody's going to die if something doesn't get done. So nobody was going to die if this podcast did not get recorded. Nobody was going to die if I rereleased some of the other podcasts, right? Take a look at that measure, when you're stressed out. Is it really going to matter five years from now that I released a few episodes when I didn't have time to create any new ones? And the answer is no. It could have mattered if I had burned the candle at both ends and tried to make that happen. Because then my health could have been sacrificed. My sanity could have been sacrificed. I could have been really grouchy to my husband, to my child, to my team at ML Interiors Group or the team at DFCM, Designed for the Creative Mind here, with all the other things that we have going on.
So take a look at those types of details when you are making decisions and trying to get everything done. And sometimes you also have to slow down in order to speed up. So I slowed down, say the podcast episodes, the new podcast episodes, creating new ones, I slowed that down. But I was able to speed up in some other areas with the Studio Works and with Sidemark. ML Interiors Group, we're getting moved into our new studio. We rearranged Debbie and Megan's responsibilities. Like there's a lot going on and so it's important that I give myself grace. And I want to give you the acknowledgement to give yourself the grace as well. Prioritize what needs to get done.
Perfection is one, it's overrated, it's not even attainable. And secondly, it's perception. So when you are working on projects, and you're pushing yourself to get them finished, step back and take a look and say, okay, who's really going to notice if this design isn't done in, let's say, six weeks instead of eight weeks? Okay, your client isn't going to know the difference if you're the one who tells them, this was going to take me roughly two months to get the details ready for presentation. Okay, why not 90 days? Why don't you give yourself some breathing room so that you can crank it out and then breathe and then go back and tweak it.
The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that we are the ones who set our own schedule and our own timeline. I'm going to bet that so many of you who are listening, have higher expectations for yourself and what you produce than what your clients do, which is a good thing. That is a very good thing. But it's also imperative that you pay attention to that and ensure that your expectations are realistic and that you are not over taxing yourself. It's imperative that you keep your focus on your health and your mental state. Because entrepreneurship is uncharted territory, every day. Every day. And the more balls you get in the air, whether that is, you know, children, multiple children and what their needs are if they're younger, if they're older. It could be multiple projects that you are creating for your clients. It could be multiple employees that you're hiring. It's easy to spread yourself thin. So take a breath and step back, when you start to feel that overwhelm. Where can you let off the gas when necessary? Okay, where can you let off the gas just a little bit temporarily, in order to give yourself room to accelerate in other areas? You can't be going full throttle at all things at all times, and not lose momentum.
So, take some time, I'm just here to, I wanted to talk this through, because I think it's something that so many of us are struggling with, on occasion, and potentially disappointing ourselves unnecessarily. So, when you're feeling stressed, when you're feeling overwhelmed, when you're feeling like you can't get it all done, you probably can't. And that's okay. Use the measure of that. It's like, is it gonna matter in five years? Is anybody going to die in the emergency room if you don't get this done? And then you can reorganize and reprioritize what needs to be done, I recommend doing that on a regular basis. But especially when you're feeling so overwhelmed that it's hard to see what you need to do next.
So thank you for your patience. I don't think we're going to have many if any more rerelease is coming up soon. I think I'm going to be rearranging the podcast and coming up with different seasons, topics, and so forth. So if you guys have any input, I would love to hear what you want. This is a passion project for me. I love sharing these ideas, these thoughts, these guests that I meet, but it's all for you. So feel free to DM me on Instagram at designed for the creative mind. I do read those and reply. And then also, I would really appreciate wherever you listen to your podcasts, if you would give us a review. If you're digging the content, if you're digging the guests and so forth, it really does help to get more exposure as a podcaster. Those reviews do help. So take a moment, I'd appreciate it.
And in the meantime, just a reminder, if you are an interior designer, and most specifically if you are just starting to hit the six figures in revenue and you want to scale your business up into the multiple six figures with profit and passion, check out my Interior Design Business Bakery. It's a one-year program that changes lives. So thanks for being here today. Thanks for leaving a review. Thanks for checking out the Interior Design Business Bakery. You can find that information at designedforthecreativemind.com. And I am going to stop recording now because I have some guests to interview to introduce you to on this podcast coming up soon. So again, thanks for your patience with the rereleases. I hope that this little TED Talk has helped you. And until next time, thanks for being here.
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.