Ep #226: The Growth Path

Have you ever wished you had an all-encompassing system in your toolkit to help you eliminate the stress of all the unknowns in business? If you want a simple system that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to your revenue, how it gets allocated, and who to hire, this is your lucky day.

There are two pieces that are the most challenging when it comes to business: getting out of your own way so other people can help you, and being willing to make more money. The Growth Path is an amazing new tool that we’ve created as part of our all-new redesigned Designer MBA course, and it covers it all and so much more. And I’ve brought on my work wife, business BFF, and COO of our company, April to dive into it together.

Join us on the podcast as we show you exactly what The Growth Path entails, and how it helps you get out of the weeds and never drop the ball on your business. You’ll discover why it takes the fear out of business building, and how you can take it as it is or edit it to align with where you are right now.

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • What The Growth Path entails.
  • The detriments of not paying yourself as the owner of your company.
  • How The Growth Path ensures you sustainably pay yourself first.
  • Why the first $100,000 you make in revenue will be the most challenging.
  • How The Growth Path offers recommendations and a process for who to hire and when.
  • Why we also focus on growing your mindset.
  • How The Growth Path covers the obstacles you may come up against on your business journey.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 226.

Welcome to The Design You Podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey friends, welcome to the podcast. I have a treat for you today. I have brought one of my business besties, we’re kind of each other’s work wife a little bit, aren’t we?

April: Yes, a little bit, yeah.

Tobi: My work wife, my right arm, my BFF, April who is the COO for our company on today because we have been creating some really amazing stuff. And we haven’t talked about it in a little bit, in particular something called the Growth Path that is part of our all new redesigned designer MBA course in Design You. And I wanted to bring her on to talk about it, so welcome to the podcast, April.

April: Thank you. I’m so excited to be here. I’m a regular listener and I love jumping on when I can help, so I’m excited.

Tobi: It’s so fun and sometimes I forget, I’m like, “Who should we have on the podcast coming up?” And then I’m like, “Duh.” We have the most amazing people right here that I work with every day. So, we have been really excited about a lot of new things about this course. This is the signature course that I’ve been teaching for a long time, 15 years. But it’s had multiple revisions.

And I would say this is the most extensive revision probably that I’ve done since I created it which has been really fun because it’s been a collaboration with you, with our coaches, Lauren and Sommer, especially Lauren with Adrienne who’s the lead designer on our team that also creates a lot of content. She was a teacher before she came to work for us in the field of interior design. So, it’s been such an amazing collaboration.

But I brought you on today specifically because you did a lot of work with me on this new creation that we put into Designer MBA called the Growth Path. So why don’t you speak a little bit what the Growth Path is and I’ll chime in too. And let’s just kind of tell people because I just don’t think we do enough of telling people the gold and the goodness that we have baked into the things we offer.

April: Absolutely, I love it. And this as a former interior design business owner is just a gem for everyone out there who’s running a business of any sort. But the Growth Path has a couple of levels and pieces. One of the main pieces that’s kind of meaty is this Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheets doc that we basically took different revenue levels for businesses and we have seven levels set up. And we show you where all of your revenue can go with your people, your operations, your profit, your taxes on your profit, the taxes you pay to have your people.

We left no stone unturned and it’s exciting and a little geeky from a spreadsheet point of view because you can edit it for your own business. So, you can look at ours, you can say, “I love this. This is where I want to build my business.” Then you have a section where you can edit it and put in your own numbers and your own team people and really look at your operation numbers. And so, it’s just one of those things that I think we get questions on how much should I charge, and who should I hire, and how much should I pay?

And this addresses who should I hire, when, how much should I pay them, how does all of my revenue get allocated. And when you know those things it takes the fear out of the unknown. So, you’re not sitting there thinking, I can’t afford to hire someone. But when you look at the numbers and all the numbers, not just one salary because that doesn’t give you enough information. You have to look at everything. Where you need to save still, you need to save so you can grow.

So, this one piece of the Growth Path, and there’s more parts to it, but this one tangible piece can just really help you plug and play. I mean we do this in our business where we’re looking ahead and going, how much do we want to pay people next year? How much revenue, do you we need to pay people more? You can do that. You can play. You can say, “This is my 2023 goal. This is my 2024 goal.” And you can plug in all the numbers or you can work with your bookkeeper, CFO to plug in the numbers for you. So, there’s a lot of flexibility in this style in particular.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s so good. And one of the things that you didn’t mention that we’re most excited about is there is the very first line item in the Growth Path is how much you pay yourself. Because a lot of people don’t pay themselves because they believe they need that money to pay other people. And we know that is a very quick path to burnout. You could do that for the first year or so when you’re still excited about your business, maybe the second year.

But when you’ve worked that hard for a few years and it’s taking a toll on you and then you don’t have anything to show for it either in your personal life, or if you’re married, or have children, with your family, it gets to be pretty stressful. You’re working that hard being away from the people that need you and not having a return on investment. So, I love that right off the bat when you open that spreadsheet you’re talking about, that goes along with the Growth Path that you’re the first person.

And we like to use the profit first numbers, they’re just a great place to start. He has figured out all the percentages for those of you who have read that book. And we base the owner’s salary on those numbers. And then other owner draws later. I think so many designers just don’t pay themselves and just periodically look at the bank account and they’re like, “There’s some money in there, I’ll just take out 5,000 because I want to do this thing, or I want to go on vacation, or we need to pay the mortgage”, or whatever.

And we really don’t recommend taking owners draws until you’ve paid yourself up to a certain amount, really what it would cost your company if you were an employee. Because it just really skews your financials if you’re never paying yourself but you’re the main employee of the company. You don’t know if you’re really a viable company or not.

April: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why the path, it shows very slowly adding people in so that you’re sustainably paying yourself first as you said, absolutely.

Tobi: Yeah. And the other part of the Growth Path, just for those of you who are like, “So what’s the other part?” It’s actually a document, a PDF but it’s created on a Google doc. Where we literally start at zero to, I think the first level and they all have names but the first level I think is…

April: 60.

Tobi: Zero to 60 for the owner’s pay. But isn’t the revenue zero to 150 for the first level of the Growth Path, I think?

April: Yeah. And then on the chart we broke it down even more but yeah, we show different breakdowns.

Tobi: Yeah, even more than that. So, we showed you, if you were only kind of partway to that 150, that you could still start paying, what do you do even when you’ve only brought in 60,000 in revenue in the spreadsheet. But the Growth Path, we do range it. So, I think in the Growth Path there’s five levels. And in the spreadsheet there’s seven because we put some additional ones in, in between some of the growth to get you going.

Because some people are like, “Well, you say this is up to 150 in level one and you tell me all these people I could start to consider to hire, a VA, or an assistant, or even a coach. But what if I’ve only made it partway through that first level? I can’t get there yet.” So, we didn’t even expect you to get all the way to 150,000 in revenues before you got to start getting a little bit of help, getting a little of coaching. Some of the things that you’re going to need as you do that hard work.

I think the first 100,000 to me in a lot of ways feels like the hardest milestone. If you can do that you can do anything I think.

April: Yeah, because you have to really allocate and pay attention to where your money’s going.

Tobi: Yeah, and your time, yeah.

April: Yeah, and getting your clients. And one of the things I love that you and I talked about too in addition to breaking it down even further for people so they could take steps is what I think people are going to be amazed to see are recommendations of who your first hires should be. And we know that a lot of creatives love to hire other creatives to work with them. And so, in this case maybe a junior designer or a senior designer.

But what we talk about and recommend is that you hire people for the things that aren’t your strengths, so the things that support your business. And that we say make you look good with your clients. So, a bookkeeper is the number one thing we recommend because this is a business and you’re in it to make profit. So, bookkeeper, virtual assistant and if you believe in hiring coaches, which we do, those are the first three people we recommend. And honestly on our growth path, we don’t even show a junior designer until the revenue’s 500,000.

It doesn’t mean you have to do it that way but there are so many people in a business like design managing procurement, VAs managing the business. Those pieces that aren’t your strengths is where you should be hiring first so that you can keep that creative piece of the business, unless of course you don’t want to have the creative side and some people don’t. But let’s assume you do, then you want to hire that last because then you’re just adding onto things you’re doing already.

Tobi: Well, yeah, we watched people so often and they’re like, “Okay, I need help, I’m overworked.” And they hire a junior designer or even a lead designer and they give all the stuff they love the most to those people, so they replace themselves at some level, even partially and leave themselves doing all the stuff they hate, the bookkeeping, the integration, all the operations and the coordinating and dealing with problems.

And then they’re like, “I just don’t understand why I’m so fatigued. And I really got into this business because I love design and I almost never get to do any design, 10% of my life is design.” And we’re like, “But look at how you allocated the roles and responsibilities. You took all of that away from yourself.” Because it’s naturally the only thing they know how to replace. And they’re like, “Well, I’ve got to find somebody to help. I’ll get some help with these things.” And so yeah, we really have a kind of a counterintuitive thought process to that.

We’re like, “Hire the VA, get the people to do all the things you hate, all the busy work, helping you with emails, helping you with scheduling.” A VA can even help with a lot of the coordination of a design project until you get a designer in place. You’d be surprised. If you just stop and ask yourself, how much of what I need doesn’t require a design degree or expertise?

Yeah, because a lot of times even when people are hiring junior designers or lead designers they haven’t gotten to the point yet where they’re even really trusting someone to help them that much. So, they don’t let them do anything other than kind of VA work anyway, right?

April: Correct. And they may not have enough business to support having two or three designers on the team because you need a lot of projects so that you can stay in the creative game. And then to your point, I agree, VAs can do, and that can be a whole another podcast. They can do so much. I mean you can have a VA that can help put your presentations together and you just run a system on how you like it. You have a template and they do a lot of that kind of procurement and project assisting work.

So, the things that you want done really well and you want them to represent your brand, but you can teach someone else how to do them for your company. And then you can be the one taking care of your clients and doing all the custom creation.

Tobi: Yeah. And the cool thing about Design You, if you join Design You, not only do you get all of this Designer MBA course and the new Growth Path and all these spreadsheets we’re talking about. You also get the Design System that your VA could go in and watch the videos of the parts that don’t require design expertise. And you wouldn’t even have to train them. We essentially would train them for you which is amazing.

April: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. There’s so many things that we offer that help you with growth. So, it’s not just the numbers. And the other part of the Growth Path that I can’t not discuss here is the section in some of the Designer MBA part, we talk about the limiting beliefs. The things that you think you should be doing at your level, the things that you really should be doing, the opportunities for growth, the hiring practices. And then the aspiring mindset.

So, we do a lot of life coaching, and business coaching here and so even when you take this chart and you plug in all the numbers and you say, “Okay, I’m ready, I’m going to hire this person.” We know all the roadblocks you’re going to hit in your mindset. And we know them because we’ve seen them, we’ve had them. We’ve experienced them. And we are here to teach how to help you feel comfortable doing these things, how to help you delegate, how to help you figure things out.

All the things that you’re going to come up against that you’re not even necessarily thinking about right now. But when they come up we’re here to support you with the coaching side of it. And we’re here to basically say, “Yeah, we understand.” We make it look easy with the chart but we know there’s so much more behind it. And so that’s another part of the Growth Path is helping you grow your mindset so [crosstalk] support.

Tobi: Absolutely. I mean that’s been some of the hardest work. There’s two pieces that are the hardest work I’ve had to do. And the Growth Path applies to both of them. One is getting out of the way and letting other people really help me, hiring the right people that I can really trust to take things off of me. And then getting coached or coaching myself to let people really help me. And then the other part is really coaching myself and getting coached on being almost willing I guess to make more money.

And it sounds weird but there’s a thing that happens and a part of it’s because of the way we were conditioned as women in society. A part of it is that whole starving artist mentality that creatives do. We think we want a lot of money and we think it would be amazing. But there’s some level of guilt, and responsibility, and discomfort starting to pay yourself more, and starting to make more. And you have to do a lot of upleveling of your mindset to really be willing to receive more money without working yourself to death.

Because I think as women, people socialized as women, and then even men creatives, I did a podcast called Women’s Work where designers kind of falls into that category of work that the world thinks women kind of should do and are good at. So, I think even men that do this work sort of get into the same, lumped into the same category and maybe have some of the same mindsets of, well, my worth is based on how much I work. And there comes a point that if you’re working constantly and you’re only making a certain amount of money it’s impossible to work more.

So, you’ve got to do the mindset shift to be willing to let other people help make money, to charge more for what you’re making. And that feels really uncomfortable and almost like you’re cheating the system a little bit. Am I allowed to make more money? Am I taking advantage of someone? And this comes up all the time in Design You, we coach people all the time on how, we remind them, “You’re not stealing someone’s money. It’s like a barter system. They give you green things, or a piece of plastic and you give them in return a whole lot of service and value.”

But that does a number on your brain, it really does. So, we know all of those things. And it’s funny, we tell you, we’re like, “When you hit this point, your brain’s going to start all these imposter thoughts, or these limiting beliefs, or I’m afraid to give up control.” And that’s what you were talking about.

April: Yeah, I love it. I mean things like “I’m not as smart as I thought. I thought I already overcame this,” each time you get to a new level. I have to work hard to make money. I won’t have time to do the things I love if I make more money. These thoughts that they sound, if you’re not in them, they’re like, “Really, someone thinks that?” And then you get there and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m thinking that.” And rest assured you are not alone. A lot of people are thinking these things.

Tobi: Yeah, most people, yeah.

April: Yes. And that’s the piece that really, we can give people all the tools, many of you out there have obtained tools from different places and they are great. And then you go to use them and you try to implement them and you get stuck. And that’s the piece that I love that we bring into Design You and is part of all of our programming, but Designer MBA too. It’s not just the numbers, it’s the thinking behind the numbers that is going to get you messed up a little.

Tobi: Absolutely. And I think that that’s one of the places that we have such a, like you said, a unique offering because I’m a master certified life coach. We have two certified life coaches on the team that are in fact the success coaches. So, every single member of Design You gets assigned one of our two success coaches that they get to meet with quarterly in a one-on-one place. And I love to hear our coaches talk about, we have these amazing live calls and people come and get coached.

But sometimes we’ll talk about this person, this guy or this girl, this lady in our program. They don’t really ever ask questions and then one of the coaches will say, “But we have some amazing breakthrough one-on-one sessions with this particular person.” And so, it’s so beautiful because it allows people who are introverts that don’t want to be on camera to get to watch and listen at their comfort level. And then have these one-on-one sessions with their coach.

So, we try to meet everybody where they are in all different ways. You can come live. We’re currently running a cohort, in fact why don’t you talk about the cohort a little bit because we’re teaching this exact course in the Growth Path in that cohort.

April: Yeah. This is a really cool thing, we just started with this relaunch of Designer MBA. And we’re going to do it with the rest of our courses. So we have, our courses are broken into modules. So, each week we would drop a module in the program, you watch the videos, you see the worksheets, then you come to a call with everybody else who just watched that with you and the coaches. And you ask questions about the content that you just learned.

So, it’s a week by week learning and reviewing together. You don’t have to do it but a lot of people love it because then everyone’s on the same page. You all just watch the section on the Growth Path for example. And you have questions about the Growth Path and then everybody gets to ask them together. So, it’s very specifically coordinated with the courses. So, it’s separate from the coaching call.

So really great, learning together helps you do it in bite size pieces because sometimes – our courses are so meaty. We would drop all seven modules at once and then people want to watch them all but they get overwhelmed and they don’t block it in their calendar. And they find out they never watched it. So, this way it’s nice, every week you take a lesson. You come and learn on the call. So, I love this way we’re doing this [crosstalk].

Tobi: Yeah. I’ve loved it too and it’s given us such a place for these very business specific questions that come in. Not that you can’t ask those every week on our Wednesday call, you absolutely can. But a lot of those calls end up being mindset coaching, or something even personal somebody’s going through. They’re kind of across the board with business mixed in. But on these calls it’s strictly about, right now in particular, it’s strictly about this business course, Designer MBA.

And we do get a lot of questions, is this just for interior designers? And in this version, this brand new version we’ve really made sure that it goes across the board for other types of creatives. We call them other types of designers, product designers, graphic designers, interior designers, landscape designers, event designers.

We have one partnership in our membership that one sister is an interior designer, and the other is an event planner. And it’s so fun because they both come and they learn so much from the content. So, I think that’s really fun too. And we even have a lawyer in our program right now. She comes every time to the Wednesday calls and she’s like, “I want to remind you I’m the lawyer. But thank you all for letting me be here.” And I’m like, “But she identifies as a creative lawyer. And she’s doing so much fun stuff.”

So, let’s talk a little bit about the next cohort that we’re going to do because we are moving into our second cohort in about a month or so.

April: Yeah, just about a month, yeah. Our Design System which Tobi mentioned before is our program of how we run our design business, the interior design part of our business. I mean I almost can’t even say enough about it. All the steps, all the emails, we literally wrote emails for you all for every occasion that you can think of that you have to tell a client x, or a contractor y, or this is how you could say it. This is your onboarding. This is how you speak to your clients to get the right clients in your business.

These are all the systems, the steps, you guys know, all the things you have to go through your design business, we’ve put it in a system for you to follow or for your assistant to follow, for your procurement manager to follow, for anyone on your team to come in and take the course and implement it on your behalf. And so, it’s just amazing. It’s phenomenal. We’re running that with a cohort, the program, it just launched last August. So, we’re just rerecording it and launching the cohort calls with it.

So, every week again, you take a bite sized course, you come on the call and you ask questions about it. So, you don’t feel like you’re getting behind, you get those questions answered in the moment when it’s on your mind. And so, it is a great companion, like you said, to this course because you can get your VA in to watch both of them and they’ll help your business run.

Tobi: Yeah. So, Designer MBA is like the what and the who. And then the Design System is like the how. And I think that’s what was really missing from some of our content until we launched the Design System last year is we would tell you all the things. But then you would have to still go figure them out, or make your own worksheet, or create your own Asana template, or figure out how to talk to someone, or how to run a meeting schedule, or how to run a whole project schedule. And Adrienne our lead designer was so instrumental in creating that content.

She took the system that I’ve had for years that was on paper but it was something that so often we would have team members not really following it. And so, we wrote it in a way that we gave you all the templates, video trainings for everything, every one of our SOPs, so Standard Operating Procedures that you don’t even have to train your people. They watch the video, they read the SOP and they follow it. And it’s for every part of that Design System, every, I think it’s five phases from pre contract really and kind of selling somebody into the onboarding.

And then all of the phases of a typical design project, the schematics, and the brainstorming, and the presentation, and the procurement, and all the way through, installation and even following up installation. How to ask for testimonials, when to photograph the projects. So, everything that we do is in there beautifully organized where you can just download it into your own system, copy all the files and folders. It’s just kind of mind blowing, brain bending is what I’m trying to say, when you really know what all is in there.

If I had had that 15 or 20 years ago and not have had to figure any of that out, oh my gosh, I would have paid so much money and saved so much money, not making those mistakes.

April: Yeah. So, if you’ve ever said, “I need a system, I need to run my business with a system. I need a system for my design projects. I need steps. I need things that I follow all the time”, this is it. And what we find the results are in addition to having your design business run smoothly, it gives you confidence because you know exactly what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it. You’re not going to drop a ball because it’s all listed. And it helps you. Therefore, you usually can charge higher fees because you’ve got the confidence, you’ve got system.

Clients love that, they want to know they’re being taken care of and that you have all the steps to take care of them so now you do. So, you’re more confident, you can charge more, you can pass it off, like we said, to an assistant, so you’re getting out of the weeds. So, it does so much for your business and hopefully for your profits too. So, it’s really a great program.

Tobi: Yeah. I love the part that you just mentioned because what we also watch people struggle with a lot is because when you’re first starting a business and you’re so excited, you’re doing everything. And we watch people hold on to stuff way too long that somebody else could really be doing for them. And so, we start over in Designer MBA now teaching you how to think like a CEO, understanding what the role of a CEO does, how that fits with your kind of role as the principal designer initially, that subject matter expert.

And through the growth path we show you when and how to wean yourself off of things. But the beauty is, in the Design System we don’t ever really teach you to start holding everything on your own. You know you can but we start right off the bat saying, “Here’s the perfect thing for a VA or an assistant to do.” So, you don’t have to even make those decisions if you don’t want to. I mean obviously you can customize, we don’t want to tell people that there’s one way to do something, there’s a million ways.

But we give you a roadmap. Some places have options. You get to customize what you want to do but we just show you how it can work together and how it could piece together and I love that.

April: And that’s absolutely, yeah.

Tobi: I love that even about the Growth Path because we might say, “Between 150 and 350 here’s the different team members you can consider.” But we don’t tell you that you have to hire all those people, we show you. And even in that spreadsheet that you created that’s so beautiful, it’ll say optional, optional, [crosstalk] different team members.

Because some people, maybe they’re really good at graphic design and they don’t want to hire a graphic designer. But they really need an ops assistant or something like that. And so only you know your own business, your own strengths. And so, it’s not a one size fits all rigid process. It’s here’s all the ways you could come at this. And we show you all the prices for all of them. And then like you said, they have a blank version of the spreadsheet and they can say, “If I hired this person, but not this person what would that look like with my numbers?

How much more could I add to profit? How much more could I pay myself?” And it’s really, like you said, that plug and play process.

April: Yes. I love it. I love that you get, and we have another course, Financials for Creatives but until you get to that course, I love that you have this tool you can meet with if you have bookkeeper, a CFO or just if you don’t right now, you can use it on your own. But you can get a really, really solid clear understanding of your numbers.

So, you’re no more waking up with the sweats and wondering how much do I have, or how much can I. We’re eliminating so much stress and unknown because when it’s clear and you can see the future and you can plan, you just take that piece of worry out of it and you really can play with it if that is your jam. And kind of plug in different numbers and see how it could all work out helps you budget, helps you plan for your growth, helps you plan for your salary increases.

Tobi: Bonuses, anything.

April: Bonuses, absolutely.

Tobi: You can know what you have left for things, could I do a website this year? And when you’re looking at how much is left, you’re like, “Maybe I’ll wait on hiring this person because we want to do a website. And we want there to be extra in the kind of expense budget.” The other thing I love is that we also show them, so we mention in the written version of the Growth Path, here’s where you would consider hiring say a VA or whatever. But when you get over to the spreadsheet, that doesn’t mean 40 hours a week.

That doesn’t mean you’re taking on a $50,000 or $40,000 team member or more. We have two hours a week, or five hours a week, or once a month to meet with a coach. We really break it down so that you can start sooner getting help and get yourself used to getting help but in bite size doable ways. Because I think people think worse case scenario when they’re thinking about hiring. They’re like, “I don’t have a whole salary and a whole workload for this person.” So, they wait way too long to get help and then they’re really overworked.

April: A 100% a great point. And yeah, we have a bookkeeper in here the first, you know, if your revenue’s 60, we put a four hours a week, a bookkeeper. And right now, especially and even before COVID, so many great contract people available in these fields. I mean there has been but now I think even more so. A VA 10 hours a week. And you’d be surprised at what you can get done when you’re really clearly delegating and clear on your assignments.

And so, it doesn’t have to feel like I have to pay everyone 50 grand a year, I don’t have that kind of money. We show you, again you can update it and change it as you want to but we show you.

Tobi: You could go to two hours and five hours if that was all you needed but you can start that process and just see. And we try to, on expenses we try to do a little hire so you’re not lowballing. And then on the revenues we try to do a little lower so you’re not rose colored glasses. We come at it kind of conservatively both ways because usually people do the opposite. They’re like, “Surely I’ll make more money than that and surely this will cost less.”

And that’s when they get themselves in a bind. So, we like to do the opposite, let’s say a little higher on expenses, a little lower on revenues and still show you what’s possible. Because that’s really worst case scenario or that’s if a job didn’t come through like you thought or right now, a lot of us are dealing with the pandemic, and the economy and businesses up and down. And when you have contract team members like that you could always say, “For this couple of months I’m going to go down to five hours a week on my VA but I’m not going to let them go.”

And I know exactly what that would look like and what we could afford, what it would cost us to do that.

April: Absolutely, yeah. It’s so good, you all, it’s just good stuff. It’s helping you grow.

Tobi: Yeah. Can you speak a little bit too before we wrap up, I know that sounds probably still a tiny bit scary to some people who are like, “I wouldn’t even know how to use that worksheet.” It is so simple to use but can give them so much confidence. When you were a designer, when you were the CEO or principal of your firm, can you imagine what the difference would have been in your confidence level or your clarity? What does that look like do you think for people that are still a little nervous about it?

April: Yeah. Well, I mean I think it’s the math not drama, we talk about. So, this is the math. I mean there’s no faking it, there’s no grey area, this is the math. I think it’s so reassuring and I had been a businessowner who at times had been scared to look at numbers and turn that around quickly and was much more confident when I was able to know my numbers and look at them. Even when you’re working with another professional you should know them and understand them.

So, it just gives you so much more confidence. And so, when you can look at the math and not the drama, and plug in actual numbers and it is really, really simple you all. And I mean if you join Design You, we’re here to walk you through it. But it’s so much peace of mind to know, okay, my revenue’s 100, this is how much I need for operating. I can afford a VA for 10 hours a week. I’ve just looked at the actual numbers on paper and now I can understand.

And the benefit of having that person means you get to take on more clients. So, if you can get the mindset around it which is the more challenging part than the numbers usually, having the numbers just really just gives you so much confidence. That’s what I would say. It’s a win/win.

Tobi: I love that. And what I was thinking about when you were talking is the drama piece that also comes in for a lot of people is I should be farther along than this by now. Or I should be in a certain place, or there’s so much pressure out in the world to make six figures, make seven figures. And people put all these constraints, it’s almost like negative self-talk and limits that they put on themselves and beat themselves up.

And so, what we love about the Growth Path is we love every single level and you never have to grow past 100,000 in revenues if you don’t want to. Or you never have to grow past 350 or 500 if you don’t want to. You can pick the place you want to be and stay there. There’s nothing that says every single person that does some type of design or creative work needs to have a million dollar business or needs to have a half a million dollar business. And so, I think it gives a lot of confidence there too because most people can’t envision the difference.

And they’re like, “I don’t know. I mean I guess I’ll just go for a million dollar business, I don’t even know what that means.” And then they look at the Growth Path and they’re like, “Oh no, I don’t want to have seven people on a team. And I don’t want it to look like that.” And so, they can say, “I like what this looks like at half a million or 350 and I know exactly how much I can make there. I know how much my team can make. I know how many people that might look like.”

So, I think even just that, it’s almost like looking into a crystal ball a little bit like you said, of envisioning the growth and what it takes. And it takes a lot of the guessing out of it but it also takes a lot of the fear out of it because you know exactly. If I want to get to this level here’s what I can now do. And you can make a better decision, how much time that would free up, we even give you Designer MBA the org charts for every size of the business, who those people would be.

We give you all their job descriptions, what all they would be doing and then what you obviously would be doing at that point too because you keep removing responsibilities and moving them on to other people. I think we’ve taken every piece that was missing around hiring, interviewing, job postings, job roles and it’s all connected and based on the growth path. So, there’s this throughline all the way through the whole thing.

April: Yes. Absolutely. No, I’m glad you mentioned that because that is another big piece of it, how people relate together, job descriptions. I mean there’s so much great stuff in here. And again it’s, you can take it and use it or you can take it and edit it for where you are. And I do love also that you mentioned just because we have a growth path that shows a million dollars, obviously you could go way higher or you could decide like you said, I want to go to 200.

And so, we’re not saying you should be going to a million just because we show it but I think it does help you see what you’re getting into if you want to go that high.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that, I love that so much. So, if any of you are listening and you’re like, “I’m in Design You.” As we’re recording this, it’s currently closed. We only open a few times a year but we are going to open just for, I think, 48 or 72 hours, or something right before we start the Design System cohort because we want people who didn’t get in before the Designer MBA cohort and they’re like, “Dang, I wish I hadn’t missed that”, to be able to come in and get in on the Design System cohort. And you haven’t really missed the Designer MBA, you could still watch all of it.

You can watch any of the recordings, it’s all in there. So, if you’re listening to this and you go to our website and the Design You cart is not currently opened, then you can get on the waiting list. But you can also just go DM us on Instagram and say, “I want in Design You.” And we will make sure that in that little bitty window that we’re going to open the cart this time that we reach out to you, that we get your questions answered and we get you in, right?

April: Yes, yes, yes. And to Tobi’s point, yeah, Designer MBA is always available all the time any time you join. So, you haven’t missed anything and we would just love to be able to help you grow your business with all of these tools and help you make it what you need it to be. So definitely DM us if you’re interested, and curious, and want to learn more.

Tobi: Awesome, thank you. Well, I love just to showcase our other team members like you because it really is a team effort. We’ve got our salesperson, our sales director, Sommer, sales manager working on sales content. We have our senior designer working on design content. We have coaches working on mindset content. We have you, our COO working on these Growth Path and the growth content and the numbers. You worked with our CFO to make every spreadsheet.

So, we’re just not making this stuff up, you all, and we don’t have just interior designers doing finance. We literally tap into our team and our experts so that this is just solid usable trustworthy material that you can build really a strong firm foundation on. So, thank you for talking about your expertise, it was so fun to have you here. I’ll have you back soon because you secretly were telling me recently that you have a wish list to be a podcast.

April: I do. I’m looking for topics for my own podcast.

Tobi: I said, “Well, any time you can come host, you can be my co-host.” And I love just to share the wisdom of our team, so thank you for being here. It was so fun and we’ll have you back soon.

April: Thank you. Alright, bye, you all.

Okay, friends, that’s what we have for you today. We are here for you, if you need anything especially growing your business, we would love to share our brand new Growth Path with you, it is truly amazing. And I’ll be back next week with another great episode of The Design You Podcast. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to The Design You Podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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