Episode #0029 – Growing Your Design Business with Rebecca Hay

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson with fellow interior designer and podcaster Rebecca Hay where she has found new ways to continuously grow her design business. She is an expert at marketing. A wiz at adapting to changes in life, including what to do when a pandemic takes over the world. 

Rebecca will talk about how she got the point in her life where she felt called to be an interior design professional. She now had over ten years of experience in the interior design world but she’s still learning to be encouraged by others, instead of comparing herself. Moreover, she discusses business and how she’s used time blocking to keep her focused. This idea of time blocking is one Crystal has talked about in a previous episode. 

Rebecca’s design business is also successful because she does not do it alone-you need to hire a team. She points out that the biggest lesson is learning to get help. And, have others do the work that takes too much time away from your important tasks. She still oversees the creation and content of her work. She continuously find ways to better her business has been her best decision. In her podcast, Resilient By Design, Rebecca finds immense success in teaching others online. She provide tools and motivation that Designers often need, to move the needle in their business.

So, join Crystal and Rebecca as they talk about starting a podcast and how they manage their time. Listen to this episode then head on over to Resilient by Design podcast to hear the other half of chat. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for.

How to reach Rebecca:

Website : rebeccahay.com/podcast and rebeccahay.com 

Instagram : @rebeccahaydesigns and @msrebeccahay     

Private Facebook Group for Designers  – http://tiny.cc/designcommunity 

Twitter : @rhaydesigns 

lady design business owner in blue shirt smiling, sitting and holding a cup of coffee

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- Click here for the RAW, unedited transcript -

1:27
When my first met my husband and I had just graduated from Metairie just i We when my first met, I we when we first met my husband and I had just arrived. Okay so you’re doing the design thing. And, and that’s you’re doing very well with that and that’s great but what I really want to talk to you today a little bit about more so is that you’ve got this really strong marketing. I guess I want to say just this extra strong marketing ability now maybe now to hearing more about your acting background and all that maybe that’s part and parcel to it but you’ve got so you’ve got all these extra like tools for the trade. So talk about that you’ve got a YouTube channel, you’ve got a super active social media campaign, How do you manage to do it all. And, I mean, obviously you’re not doing it all but I mean how do you manage to fit, because even, even if you have people helping you, you still need to be the creative eyes on it and approve it and have the direction and all that. So how do you manage to do that.

2:23
Yeah I mean I think you just said it right there, crystals that I don’t do it all myself. So I don’t think any successful entrepreneur out there can claim that they’ve done it all themselves, there’s always a team or a person or something backing up. I feel very fortunate I have a really dedicated and loyal team that’s been with me for several years. But, I mean first of all thank you for saying that it’s funny I never really thought I was thinking anything about marketing, but it turns out I’m really interested in it, and maybe the acting like I do enjoy communicating and pretty good there. And it is certainly one of the core strengths, I’ve come to recognize in myself, but to do what all requires passion requires organization specifically I’ll tell you time blocking, has been a big thing in my life as an affiliate, and making sure like right now when I’m doing Instagram stuff, because it gets to be a lot like I will tell her lately honest with you, like a year ago I was like, burning out. I was wanting to be everything to everyone, I was wanting to be like everything like given every publication, and like be like top, Instagram, and like keep my stories going every day and have a post every day, and we’re gonna design business which you know was not an easy feat.

3:43
Or maybe the family

3:45
was forget. I always forget that. I like I kind of compartmentalize, I to be honest with you, yeah. Yeah, and then there’s also like the little tiny children that I have, yes, I was burning out a little bit and that’s where I really leaned on my team and that’s when I started to get way better at delegating and just giving up a bit of control. And so having a zero has been working for me now for a couple of years, and her role has really grown and changed within my organization, but she helps me. I mean that’s kind of a long winded answer I have a lot of help. Yeah, I’m passionate about it. I, I, I tend to. I’m all about progress over perfection. So there’s no by me it’s like I’m a prophet, I’m a recovering perfectionist, but me it doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to start, I do end up wanting to find perfection which I’m working on, but it does just got to get it out there. And so that’s why I’ll just put my face on Instagram. And then people are like oh wow, like a year ago, two years ago I

4:48
remember somebody saying to me,

4:51
someone whose opinion I valued. Well, what are you doing without makeup on Instagram stories, and this was like two years ago so not many people were doing that. Yeah, now it’s like really trendy.

5:04
Behind the scenes kind of thing and that’s the real life whereas the the real like your your post is sorry not the real but your your feed is more your curated, you know, more finessed version. That’s what I heard that recently and I thought oh that’s a good that’s a good analogy of how to differentiate something.

5:20
Yeah. So yeah,

5:22
I I mean I to have somebody that does my social media, and, but, but even then, I still, you know there’s still stuff that you have to, you know, you have to give and give information and, you know, so it’s just an even then, I’m only posting three times a week right now or two times a week because I just was like, It’s too much. It’s too much like, and then you know throwing in a podcast too because why not add another

5:47
element yeah that’s a max,

5:51
which then. When did they started. Yeah, I started it in May, 2020, it was the pandemic kick in the pants, because I am thinking about it. Yeah, yeah, for a while and I was like okay I’ve got some time I have no excuse, I got to do it. And, and then I was my thought was to do it weekly, and then I was finding that was just too much and I just said I have to give myself Grace, I’m going to do it every two weeks and I just, like, just accept it. Again, right the progress over perfection, it’s out it’s not out every week, maybe I’ll go back to Week, weekly, I don’t know but anyways it’s no

6:26
I thought I think as long as you’re consistent, I think that’s what is key, whether it’s every day and we’re sure. Yeah,

6:33
yeah, exactly, because you got to show up exactly consistency is probably one of the big words I use too is just, you know, if you’re going to commit to it commit to it and be consistent and give yourself I’ve given myself a year, I said let’s see how it goes in a year, we’ll see. So, so okay so your team you’ve got sort of does your. I know her name is VR does she work, like, is she do just marketing for you like, that’s her single role or does she do some office, like I want to say ordering or any of that kind of stuff.

7:00
So, she does not do ordering she does do more than marketing though. So, she’s an interesting role in my company because it’s really grown as I’ve seen where her strength fly ship photographer by trade. Oh, which is interesting I met her she was writing a blog post about me for a vendor, and she came in to interview me and she was so professional, took her job so seriously she’d done her research she had questions and was thinking whoa, this girl is pretty cool. Yeah, helping me just like part time and it slowly grew, and now it’s full time, she helps me marketing so she’s kind of like my sounding board, when it comes to marketing ideas. And then she helps me implement all my crazy ideas so she doesn’t do anything entirely without my involvement. So she will help plan out my instagram visuals, and the feed and the graphics but and then sometimes help with captions. Sometimes I’m reading the captions depends. She is really great with editing so she used to edit my YouTube channel and videos for that. He has been instrumental in helping me launch my online courses which we can talk about today. Yeah, and then within my design, because she originally was hired to help me with my design. So she was helped me were hired to help me with Instagram maintain my website, and, and now, because she’s so good with people, and this is the thing I think as a business owner, you need to look at the people who are working for you and see what their strengths are, what their strengths are, and they may be hired to do one position, but perhaps they really have this hidden skill set and didn’t know. And so that position can morph. So now she actually she onboards, all of our design clients. So, I still do the discovery calls, But she is the one managing our CRM. So when someone inquires through the website, she is all automated, we’ve had all automated through a system program that we use, but she is the one who’s sending that follow up email, she’s the one who’s booking that initial call. She’s also the one sending out the contracts. She’s the one who is forwards over the invoice that is created by our accounting department, so she is really that first impression, right, that via email and via phone for our design clients, so it’s kind of a weird role because it’s not, it’s when you know when you run a small business, you can’t have these like tiny very specific oh gosh, no, no no no wear multiple hats. Yeah, I kinda have to be continuing continuing to evolve and change so that’s what her role is, we call her her Tippett her title is community manager and Marketing Manager,

9:37
which makes sense right yeah cuz she. That’s great. No, I mean I think that’s a it’s a, it’s an interesting, you know, because I was looking at the size of your team that does just marketing that seems like that’s like a big role

9:49
for

9:51
a small company right

9:52
like that seems like but to your point, I mean she’s obviously got lots of skill set and I heard recently that they say you know hire for personality and hire for sort of attitude as opposed, and then. And to your point, you kind of see like you think you’re bringing them in for this but then you’re like oh my god she’s selling it this so let’s like morpher into that and I always find that, you know, I always say doing drawings in AutoCAD like that’s, you know you can find somebody tomorrow to do that, right, like you can farm that out so easily. But that, those types of skill sets, you know, even skill sets, you don’t even know you need to hire for. I think those are sort of, they’re just kind of become like your unicorns if you find in the lab told us to do this and do this and you know you can all of a sudden you’re like, wow, I didn’t even know I needed this position or this, this role filled and yet, you know, I’ve got this person in front of me that can

10:43
do it so

10:45
sorry just hire for personality, that’s something that I’m working on still because I’ve done it. Obviously successfully in the past but yeah I have done the opposite where I’ve hired for skill set and overlooked personality. Yeah, every time I’ve done it, it didn’t work out. Yeah, because you,

11:03
you all of a sudden you’re like, you know like this is starting to drive me crazy whatever or they’re missing this, or whatever the nuances,

11:10
why aren’t they smiling when they’re with our clients, you know like, yes,

11:16
no, we had that we had that issue. Yeah we had clients say super organized really efficient, but she’s a little bit, your clients, didn’t she just didn’t like bedside manner, non existent.

11:29
It was like,

11:30
I need this.

11:32
Okay. Yeah, so you have to, you can’t teach that right, that’s something you can’t teach. So,

11:38
definitely have to have that. That’s like a whole podcast in itself. I hope

11:42
we could like just slot this into silos okay hiring and yesterday, you know, oh my gosh, tools, because that’s another one, I’d

11:48
love to talk about,

11:50
because you were mentioning about time blocking and like I did, I did an episode on time blocking because that’s like one of my big things and I’m still, I like to preach it, I’m still trying to practice it, because life gets in the way and you see things that shouldn’t be done and it’s like, oh, like to really stick to your guns, it’s, it’s, you know it’s discipline. So, my hat’s off to you that you can do.

12:13
Hey, I don’t do everything I say to do I say like, I’m in the process of learning, I know exactly what little wins. I don’t like not every day is perfect. Oh my god, far from it. Yeah, and I will time block and then fall off entirely like it happens, definitely happens but if I continually strive to do something well, then eventually becomes more ingrained as a habit, more ingrained as a habit, and that’s my,

12:38
that’s my progress right progress over perfection right so if you can, like, hit, you know, 60% of those time blocks in a day or something that’s huge compared, you know, whereas otherwise you’re just kind of going kid now. Now what what’s the next fire right and I find that sometimes I’m like, okay, I get a little bit, you know, as I like to preach it, I gotta practice it. So tell okay so you’ve got the, tell us a little bit about your other sort of side or arm of the business where you’re working with designers and your courses, and how did that come to be, obviously, now that I’ve learned about your teaching background that, you know, this makes sense. So how did that sort of come about, you know, I mean I’m sure a lot of people think about it, but what was it that sort of said, Okay, this this looks like something that I should be doing.

13:22
So, I mean the pandemic has really been a catalyst for a lot of things for me, but prior to the pandemic, I had started hosting designer meetups here in Toronto. So the first one I did at a pub, and it’s interesting story actually I just this just made me think of it when I lived in Vancouver as an actor, I had this idea that I was going to start a Facebook group for actors, other actors who were like me who are just starting out in the industry and wanting to get work and we would meet up, and it was meetup. And we would meet up at like a pub or whatever and like for me, it’s usually like social let’s have a beer. Yeah, and so I set it up I invited a few like friends, and then a few other actors that I knew within the industry. It was in Kitsilano, and we went, the plan was to go to a to this bar and so I set the date, and nobody came. One friend came, and he wasn’t even an actor. And I was like, devastated. I gave up after that one track. So, anyhow. Fast forward to, like, you two years ago now, I’m like, I’m gonna do it with designers, I feel like I can do it with designers, they’re a little bit more dependable. Yeah, and I knew more designers, right, like I already have my own little posse of designer friends and so I did the first meetup was at a pub by my house. I think like 70 people showed up, which oh my god, mind I was like more than 50 and I was like, Oh, this thing has legs like people really are desperate for intercommunication within the industry because we work in these silos, Actually, and like most people don’t have a team. People work alone, from their house and it was really successful so that I thought I better do this every month and I started doing them and we would have different vendors would hostess and I would have speakers come in and it was all free. I remember my business coach at the time was like you have to stop doing these things for free, because these people like to come and listen to me preach about something like who am I, yeah. And then the pandemic hit, and we couldn’t do them anymore, so then I started doing virtual designer meetups, which was on Zoom, and every month and I would have a great turnout was usually like 20 to 30 people would show up on Zoom and we just chit chat and what I started to see was that people wanted to come. But we’re a little bit shy to like actually share there’s always like those few really okay well that would talk and the onus was kind of on me to carry the conversation so I started carrying the conversation topic and I would say, well this is what I’m doing and people were like, Oh wow, that’s really good. That’s really good. And then it just kind of naturally grew out of that. And I always have had this passion for teaching right I didn’t just college, and following, you know Rachel Hollis, Amy Porterfield course creators down in the US and seeing what they were doing and I was really inspired by them and so the pandemic hit. And I’d always want just like you, I always wanted to do a podcast and I was dragging my feet. And remember, Michelle Burnett started her podcast I was like, Yeah and I will wait for me, which is an offer. And I was like, oh, and then finally you’re just like you I’m like well now I have the time. And I’m gonna do it, and I’m gonna do the podcast, and I’m going to I’m going to develop a course, and I’m going to do a course on what and I started to pull my audience I’m like What do you guys want to learn from me and a lot of it came down to marketing which apparently people think I’m good at marketing, which, which to me was so funny I don’t see myself as good at marketing, but I’m interested in it so I’m constantly learning. And so I developed the momentum course which launched last summer, and I had we had like 18 or 19 students which was like amazing. And I did a live course where every week I went on Zoom live and I would talk about a topic and it was a huge success and after that I thought okay then from that people started saying what do you want, or sorry, people said, Oh, we want to know more about process process process. Yeah. And so I said to veer on like I think we’re gonna do a course on process, because like this has been a big game changer for me and my business and so we developed power of process and we launched it in the fall and it just completed, and we’re gonna launch it again it was so successful we had 50 students. And, yeah, it’s been, it’s been incredible. The community has been amazing. The students are just so collaborative and I think what’s nice about these online courses is it’s just a different way to learn. And there’s so many people you can learn from there’s so many memberships and courses that you can take and what I, what I’ve learned from the courses I’ve taken is a lot of people have similar information to share, but you need to sort of, you go and learn from the person who resonates with you, totally 100% Well it’s really cool to see people that like, I’m like, I want to be your friend, like yeah, let’s head out. Yeah, yeah, that’s kind of a long story but that’s how I ended up ended up becoming like this online course creator,

18:25
which is amazing because it to your point, I’ve seen a lot of you and I don’t know, a lot of the same, you know course creators out there in the interior design community and a lot of them are from the US, which I find there’s a lot of similarities but then there’s a lot of the stuff that I go, Yeah, candidates bit different, yeah and candidates but, I mean, generally speaking world with the very similar, but I think to your point, I think it’s who you resonate with who you just feel like exactly I could be friends with that person, you know, that kind of thing that you’ve just got it you got to connect right and if people will say that, you know, there’s, look at us there’s how many designers that are that are out there, and but we all bring something unique to our clients and that’s why our clients hire us right like it’s this, this, it’s you may have the same information but you’re gonna do something different.

19:12
So, and that’s what the power of process is all about. And it’s launching I mean I’m not sure when the podcast, or podcast to go live it might happen but it’s, it’s about creating a process that is unique to your business. Yes, idea that there is no cookie cutter one size fits all, because what I’ve started to see in the interesting industry story. Not everybody wants full service design, not everybody are to do it as a designer, I know people don’t want to do staging I just interviewed someone for my podcast who’s a student of the Course, and in during the course he had this like aha moment where he’s like, I’m gonna move into staging entirely and I’m going to leave the design behind. So I think it’s kind of neat that there is an opportunity yes to be unique and learn from someone else who feel that the same way as you.

19:59
Yeah, I think, I think our business in itself is just like there’s no cookie cutter there’s no cookie cutter with pricing, there’s no cookie cutter with a process because your your services are like it’s just a such

20:13
thing, sometimes it’s frustrating sometimes for sure it is, we just all do it the same way. Right,

20:20
I know it’s like you know lawyers, they’ve got this figured out right they just try the hour and charge a lot by the hour and everybody just accepts it and that’s just the way it goes. But yeah, I find it just that’s what they’re the conversations about,

20:32
you know, and

20:35
probably the two most talked about whenever I’ve been with groups of designers we just everybody does something different and apps, you know like software, like what are you using for you know like all that conversation. Yeah, that’s a whole other could be a podcast in itself. Right,

20:51
totally, because you

20:52
have to make it work for what you do. Right, so, you know, I mean, you’ve done some model homes as as I do and you know it’s a different, it’s

21:01
a totally different

21:02
beast than doing a residential, you know, clients for somebody whose home that they’re living in. It’s so I found a lot of the apps just didn’t work for me because I was like, it doesn’t work either because it’s too time to do, or whatever the issue was, but yeah, so anyways, that’s, that’s my little rant on our

21:18
business. Yeah,

21:20
and consistent and non systematic it is. So just getting back to the marketing a little bit. So, how do you, do you have an ability to measure your return on your investment because I invested in, you know, an employee who’s doing predominantly that but obviously other stuff has been discussed, but how do you find that because I find that social media is one of those beasts that. I mean, besides getting somebody that said hey I saw you on Instagram and I want to hire you. Okay, like that’s that’s a no brainer, but how do you how do you measure that, like, do you have some sort of metrics or are you just playing the game because you have to

21:55
know I really wish I had a good answer for this question. It’s really difficult to measure. I mean, like I used to work with a publicist, and you know she would say all the time that you know it’s not like you get published in one magazine, and then you get five clients. It’s a long term game. You know I worked with over three years and then it was only by year three, that it was like okay there’s some serious momentum happening we’re getting tons of publicity and clients are starting to come through the door, so it’s really hard. It’s not like product sales like I know my marketing so he does like Facebook ads right so he runs Facebook ads when we’re trying to grow our audience and grow our email list, if we’re trying to advertise like a masterclass free masterclass and so he can say this many people clicked and converted right. Yeah, he does that for pizza companies he’s done it for builders, it’s a lot more straightforward for a pizza company, this many people order pepperoni pizza from the ad, like you ran your conversion, it’s very different in a luxury service offering like design, because oftentimes people need to see. They need multiple touchpoints with you before they hire you. They may see you in a magazine, like, like what she did. I’ll follow her on Instagram, so then they start following me on Instagram, then they run into Suzy at the grocery store and Susie said she just worked with a designer and Rebecca should be like, oh that’s so fun. I just started following her. Oh and then all of a sudden it’s time to do the home run out, and they’re like nah girl that who was that girl right Rebecca, so it’s like it’s so many touch points. Yeah, that, I mean I hate to say like I don’t really have a way of tracking. i We are trying to get better at looking at, okay, this week on Instagram, this which posted Well, yeah, what type of content should we put forward holding our audience in our like we have a designer meetup Facebook group. And, you know polling that group like hey like what type what type of content do you want to see what are the issues that are facing, it gets. I don’t know, I’m sure somebody else has the answer I’ve never been very good at tracking how I do anything like ours, which is why I don’t charge hourly anymore. I’m terrible at that stuff.

24:08
Well it’s just interesting because that’s that’s sort of the same frustration but that’s how I felt about about social media in the sense to that it’s like, it’s I call it kind of the necessary evil, because you don’t know to your exact point you don’t know how that person came to you and they may be, but if they’re like they may be following you and love what you do but if they don’t actually have a project, then they’re not hiring you, because they don’t have any. It’s like, like you said, it’s not like they’re just going to buy a pizza. This is a big investment so I just always find it interesting, I just, I look at it as like staying top of mind staying in, you know like it top of wine in their face being just sort of oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah, and then, you know,

24:48
when they are ready. Hopefully, they think of you, so I mean one thing I tip I can, I don’t know if your audience is your audience mostly designers, yeah, yeah, okay. So a tip that I can offer to designers that we do more diligently now than before, is in every initial client intake form or discovery call we’d ask how they heard about us. Yeah, and they don’t always put it in the email intake because sometimes we’ll just email us direct, so I always ensure even if they’ve told me if they say social, I just had a call the other day and it said, How did you hear about us and someone puts social media. So then I dig a little deeper. I was like, oh it looks like you found us on social media, you know, what platform was like was it on Instagram and then sometimes people don’t want to say and they feel awkward or something but more often than not I can capture that information and we use a program that we able to capture all that information and so then what I do the second part of that is at the end of every year or in January. In this case, this year, I sit down and I look at all my projects from the past year, and I look at all my referral sources. So, I can see, and then I can track year to year and I can look back and be like, Okay, last year I had a ton of projects referred by my friend Jackie. But this past year, it’s not interesting, I have three projects that they say they found me in a magazine. And so you can start to see where potentially those marketing efforts are paying off now right, often they haven’t like I said, they haven’t just seen you in the magazine they probably also follow you on Instagram, maybe their best friend went to high school with you or who knows what. But at least it helps to give you some indication and also what I like about that exercise, and I learned this from Jenna Kutcher from listening to her podcast is, she said when she was a photographer. She did fantasize and she realized, like, all her photography jobs were coming from one wedding planner, she’s like, Oh man, I gotta like entertain this wedding planner. And so that’s when I started to realize, oh, shoot there was this one friend from high school referring me all these great jobs. I’m gonna send her a bottle of wine, I’m gonna hit, I want to try and make more of an effort, and it’s maybe sounds calculated but it’s marketing right, even though

26:49
it’s you people want to be recognized and it’s just nice to be, you know, to be referred to and thought of, right, like,

26:56
you know how grateful you are. Yeah, makes a difference,

27:00
because I think in our industry. We are so if there’s so much referral, right, like, I would say I don’t know if you’re, if you find the same but I think generally speaking, you know when you’re working in a certain area of a geographical area, you know, you’re going to be friends of friends and stuff. And who did you run out when you did this, you know, and it’s just, it’s a lot of word of mouth referral so that’s why I always think with those social media is necessary boys anything ever gonna come out of it but you got to be, you got to play the game. Either way you look at it right, you’ve got to be out there.

27:31
Yeah and I think if you look at it though as it being a necessary evil, Crystal, I will say it will feel like an it’ll feel like a laborious task yes so you need to find a way to make it enjoyable and fun and if you really don’t like it then that’s when you find someone to do it for you.

27:48
Yeah, and that’s and that’s what I have somebody doing it and we’re sort of streamlining because I was doing it for the podcast I’m doing it for my you know my interior design business, and then my husband does renovations and so I was doing for that I sort of get this insane, I’m like done we have like six different channels that we’re streamlining it’s we’re literally going through the process of redoing our website and we’re getting everything and I’m like, one because, exactly. That’s what I said is becoming too, just too much right like it’s too laborious, it’s not I’m not being consistent with the other ones because I’m just I got other things to do and it is a lot of work right so I’m you know I’m like okay I know it’s important, so I just need to streamline it a little bit more and and hopefully I won’t. It’s not a negative, it’s just like, oh my gosh it’s somewhere thing else on my to do list.

28:33
Yeah, yeah, but I would say like necessary evil makes you sound pretty negative.

28:37
Yeah, I know that’s true, that’s true, okay I can flip the switch and make it,

28:41
I’m calling you out on you.

28:42
So thank you. So I do need to do that, I need to I need to notice that. So, See that’s why you’re so much better at it than I am.

28:52
I just enjoy it, to be honest, I just wanted out. For me it’s fun, it’s like a platform, it’s like I get to be on stage. Yes, I like to be creative. I love strategy, it turns out like a strategy. So, I mean I didn’t know that about myself, like, shoot, I just turned 40 And I’m only now realizing what I’m good at, what is wrong with this world. Oh my gosh,

29:14
I know that’s what I say I don’t know how kids nowadays go okay I’m gonna be a whatever because maybe there’s jobs that we don’t even know like there’s there’s locations of things you can do and make money that you can’t even think of. So, yeah,

29:26
I couldn’t even imagine. If I taught my six year old son is convinced he wants to be a YouTuber. Like if I have to dress up as we’re reading these books in total sidebar. We’re reading these Junie B. Jones books, they’re like yeah, the books for like you know gardeners or whatever. Yeah, one of the books she has to get dressed up for like job day to dress up was what you want to be and she doesn’t know what she wants to be and my son’s like, well I would dress up as a YouTuber, but I don’t know what they would wear I think they would wear all black and headphones. I’m like okay buddy like I want to support his dreams but at the same time I’m thinking that didn’t exist when I was a kid. Exactly. How is that even a job.

30:05
Yeah, I mean, that’s just don’t even get me stuck, talking about gamers people that like make a living at gaming, what he’s

30:11
referring to because he loves Minecraft so he got those like YouTuber wasn’t as name. Anyways, yeah, yeah,

30:18
yeah, but that that just, that makes my head just go are influencers, you know, tick talkers,

30:24
like, don’t get me started. Honestly, that’s a full time job I’ve always said like my goals never been to be an influencer, people have said to me oh your Instagram account it’s like once you hit 10,000 followers and you can get back to them like that is very time consuming to be paid to then talk about a product like for me like again tracking number of Instagram posts I need to do. Did I do the Instagram stories to me I see Instagram, and social as a platform to grow my brand and my business, Right. But influencing just to be an influencer to me sounds like a really a lot of work which is so ironic because obviously we both do a lot of work and what we do but yeah

31:03
but your it just doesn’t sound like fun work right. Or, yeah. Or it’s like oh I got this product, I’m not really, you know, jazzed about it and now I got to promote it or talk about how great it is. And, yeah, yeah, I would never be good at that because I just, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’d be like,

31:21
I buy this

31:22
coffee. It’s really good. I’m like well I

31:26
don’t drink coffee but if I did, I don’t drink coffee. No, I do, I’m just joking. Okay, but I mean like, I don’t drink wine, Kim Crawford came out with this great arrival slider last year was like, Okay, I’m gonna get in trouble, but everybody better last year was like hugging cream Kim Crawford wines, I’m like, How come I didn’t get the invite, I actually drink Kim Crawford, why

31:48
are you selling your blog, that’s my why he did that or or survey.

31:52
Oh my god, I’m doing dry February though, so Okay, hopefully right now. Are you okay

31:58
yeah it is.

32:01
So, okay so the last little thing I want to talk about is and I think we sort of talked to everyone kind of talked about this but I mean I love, I think when I started my business I’ve been in this 20 years now. And I think, times have changed so much that you know were when I started, people did not want to talk about their sources didn’t want to talk about their process, didn’t want to talk about how they do things they didn’t want to talk about, Like everybody was so guarded and hush hush. And now I just think it’s such a you know a breath of fresh air that everybody is now so much more open and like you know, so many Facebook groups, you know what you’re doing, it’s just, I think it’s amazing. And yet, we still, we probably, you know we still fall into this comparison trap with you even though we’re collaborating so much but it’s still, how do you start, how do you find you deal with that in the sense of, you know, being on social media a lot because it’s sort of sideways to that, you know, and you’re seeing what you’re doing I think is fantastic but then you’re scrolling you go oh, look at that. Look at that. How do you like do you just sort of go okay I got to do what I got to do on social media and get off or do you find that you’re following others, like, like how do you how do you look at it from your perspective, not being an active poster but being a receiver of social media.

33:16
So I mean I go through ups and downs with that. To be completely honest with you. I am not immune to the social media trap, if any extra affected sometimes because I care so much, and I put so much of myself out there. When I first started really like doing makeup lists, Instagram Stories, a close, very close person to me. Basically over a glass of wine said, I don’t think you should be doing this. Nobody wants to hear a new mom complain about being tired. We’re all tired just shut the EFF up and suck it up and oh like this was me being this authentic version of myself that I hadn’t been in so long. And it was resonating I had all these moms. Oh my god, me too. Oh, that reminds me of when I had first had my kid they’re grown up and like all these comments like hold back. And I was like no you know what I think I should be this polished version. She’s right, I should be this polished version that I see everyone else doing right, and, and then like the engagement slowed down, and then I was like not feeling. I felt like I was constantly having dispenser of who I was on stories when I like I’ve just always been someone who’s an open book and shares to high school. And so now that I am so active on it. I find that in order to avoid the comparison trap where I judge myself, based on what I see others doing because let’s be honest, that’s really what it’s about. It’s like yeah, you’ve got it together. And then you start scrolling, and you’re like, oh, wow, that that projects, really awesome. I wish I had a project like that. And then you scroll a little further, you’re like oh my god I would never thought of doing real like that oh my god I was like so much work I’ll never have time for that. And then you scroll and then you go deeper and deeper into this pit of despair and I know everyone who’s listening knows exactly what I’m talking about. Yeah, like you have. I mean, I have all speak up to myself but I have like a physical reaction like I have a physical like, yes. Yeah, but I feel less than. I feel not good enough, and I’ve done it to myself, and that breaks my own heart, and I know that others and I feel so sorry for our younger generation, like I didn’t even grow up with social media, and it’s affecting me. And so there are times where I just like you said, we’re still, I literally have what I need, what I want to put on Instagram. And then I don’t look. I will tell you I do not. I do not consume Instagram as much as I used to. It’s just it I can’t. Yeah, I’m too susceptible to self judgment. I’m too susceptible and too insecure in some ways, I can’t, like I would rather put myself out there, check all my posts, engage with my community, the people that I know have my back and I will maybe do one or two scrolls, and, and, and I won’t even tap like you know the little stories that go. Yeah, I stopped tapping on people that I know that I might feel envy, if I see their story. I might feel like let’s say you like maybe this hasn’t happened to you but like maybe I see you and you’re like working with a big builder or doing this incredible project and I’m like, I’m so jealous. I want to do that. And I start thinking well why am I not getting projects like that, how do I get in front of these builders, how do I do this thing, right, as opposed to being so happy that like this base I just did was featured on the cover of our freakin magazine. Yeah, each, and probably other people are looking at me and feeling bad about themselves I click critical party, my friends, you could add in this third goal of like self hatred and judgment and envy and jealousy and we just want to collaborate, but it’s like, hard to do it is,

37:10
I find it this is just like struggle right like it’s this constant sort of internal struggle, struggle up. I look at somebody post and go, Oh, she’s done that’s great, or oh wow she’s got a staff of tech and then they go, hold on, I actually don’t I really don’t want that, like, I don’t. I love working from home, I have an office. I love I have virtual like might all my team members for virtual, we have one that comes in but you know that she can work from

37:36
home. Like, it’s just like, Hey,

37:38
why do I, why am I envious of that when I actually in deep doubt don’t even want that, but it’s like, that’s what I that’s what I think I’m supposed to want,

37:46
I think is maybe what it is. And it’s like, you have to check yourself. Yeah, all the time, Lisa canning says this and she said, it’s always resonated with me. I’ve had this on the podcast before, but she talks about when she was a designer in China, and she. All she did was like kept trying to like get the purse and have the car to be like that level maybe she needs a team like that, like the people that work within her peer group in that sort of you know we all have our little peer group in our own cities in our industry. And then she realizes like this isn’t even what I want. This isn’t even my dream, but this what the industry is, I guess, the word is, it’s the it’s the level of success that success benchmark that we’re going to meet it’s like I look at designers and all the time like, oh man, they’re working, they did that condo complex or like they did, like, I’m trying to think of something that’s like recently happened where I’m like, yeah, and then I just feel shitty doing is wonderful and what I’m doing is great, and my aspirations and dreams are different and with the coaching I’ll tell you, Crystal it’s been, it’s definitely been a struggle for me, because I’m trying to balance this like desire and passion for teaching and online courses and the podcast, but then also this traditional design business, and I don’t want to like rock the boat, or like I don’t want to screw it up, but I really want to follow this one passion without sacrificing another one and what are people gonna think like I had a lot of imposter syndrome going into creating a course, but I think I honestly believe the only reason I was able to do it so quickly, without so much self judgment was because we were in a pandemic. And I had less exposure to those people. Yeah,

39:37
that’s your kind of isolated and said I’m just gonna do what I want to do and get it out there and just Yeah, put the blinders on and, you know, and obviously it’s been very well received. So, yeah, doing something right, you know. Yeah, I think that it’s funny that you say it’s this internal struggle of, I think what success of your business success is supposed to look like when we all have a different perspective of what that’s supposed to be. And, but, but we do look at, you know the industry in itself I mean, I’m graduating for schools like, Oh, you got to work the big design firms and oh yeah I’m working at whatever, you know, and it’s like, you know you get there and it’s like a sweatshop and it’s horrible and, you know like, you’re working ridiculous hours and you’re thinking, well yeah this is, this is great, this is a lot of fun you know this is what I want to do.

Published by theproductivedesigner

Crystal is the principal of Crystal Collinson Interiors, a full-service design firm specializing in the Design and Decorating of Model Homes, Sales Presentation Centre’s, Condominium amenity spaces and small commercial projects. Crystal & her builderdesigner team work with many of the GTA’s largest home builders.

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