Episode #0062 How to Increase your Productivity with Amber De La Garza

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the Productivity Specialist, Amber De La Garza.

Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast, and creator of the S.T.O.P. Leverage Formula. She helps business owners improve their time management. And increase your productivity to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most!

Crystal and Amber talk about productivity as a business owner. Amber explains that entrepreneurs need to know how to lead people and make decisions. She shares her S.T.O.P. framework. These are the four pillars that every business owner should focus on to move and grow faster with less stress.

Amber mentions that the most valuable asset in your business is yourself. She also emphasizes that productivity is a continuous learning process, and it is not something that we learn in school. As you grow in your journey as a business owner, you’ll learn how to adjust when met with challenges & obstacles , especially when you are feeling unproductive. Reminding yourself of the goals that you have set,  will help you to focus on getting the important things done. 

So join Crystal and Amber as they chat about how to increase your productivity and how you can use it to streamline your systems and business processes. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for and listen in to learn about Amber’s S.T.O.P. leverage formula.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Amber:

Website : amberdelagarza.com     I     Instagram : amber_delagarza I Podcast : Productivity Straight Talk 

Amber De La Garza on TPD episode How to increase your productivity

Video podcast : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doNXgRzVdpA

Related episode : Productivity Toolbox

Recommended podcast/books:

Grace and Grits, Profit Boss Radio, Speaking Your Brand

NEED STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE for your interior design business? Get it in the show notes of Crystal’s episode Why you need SOP’s in your Interior Design business.

Episode #0061 TPD & Sheilah Macsporran, CEO of “Design Files” on Interior Design Software

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the CEO and co-founder of DesignFiles, Sheilah MacSporran 

DesignFiles is an all-in-one interior design platform that empowers thousands of designers to grow their businesses with easy-to-use design and project management tools. With over ten years of experience in building interior design software, Sheilah remains committed to helping designers find a faster and easier path to success through the use of technology. 

Sheilah is living proof that failure is not the end of growing your dreams. Before Design Files, she and her husband had their share of failed projects and failed business approaches. Learning from your experiences will lead you to get better at approaching business success. First, you need to test out various samples and intensive research on your chosen niche to better position your product in the market. 

She also mentioned the importance of reaching out to your potential markets. Then, getting to know what they’re struggling with and how your product or service can solve their problems and challenges. In the Interior Design industry, designers have many tools to use to visualize their creativity. Hopping from one tool to another could mean additional hours to your workflows. Which means lesser efficiency which made her to create an interior design software.

She emphasizes the need to adapt and respond to changing market demands. As a result, Design Files continuously improve their features. Along with integration to companion software such as Quickbooks. As a business owner, you need to have a growth mindset where you use your failures to grow, improve and adapt to your customers needs. 

So join Crystal and Sheilah as they chat about Sheilah’s journey and the challenges she faced designing an interior design software. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” by listening to this conversation. And heading over to the link below to claim their 50% off Design Files subscription promotion available to listeners of The Productive Designer podcast.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Sheilah:

Website: designfiles.co     

Sheila Macsporran on TPD episode Interior design software

Resources mentioned: 50% promotion this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a small affiliate commission for anyone who signs up at no cost to you.

Episode #0060 Supply Chain Collaboration with Maia Roffey

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with fellow designer. Maia Roffey.

Maia is a graduate of McMasters multi-disciplinary Arts & Science program in Hamilton Ontario. She took a brief detour into law school on the West coast before finding her niche in design. She graduated with honours from Ryerson’s School of Interior Design. Completed her BCIN, LEED AP, and NCIDQ designations before founding Black Sheep Interior Design.

Crystal and Maia take a detour from their original topic, to chat about the supply chain collaboration and other issues we are all currently facing. Maia refers to lifting up a rock in the garden, and seeing all the ants working away. The COVID pandemic has revealed the inner workings of the supply chain. When one or two of the links in the chain breaks, the entire system is affected.

To avoid the stress in the procurement process for any design project, Maia recommends documenting everything. And to be as transparent as possible with the process to your client. During the last 2 years of the pandemic, no matter where you purchase from, you will meet exhausted people along the way and oversight and mistakes still happen. Patience and kindness plays an essential factor in understanding and building a great network of people to rely on and work with.

From the moment we signed in on the contract to the right end of the project, we must be responsible to our clients and to our collaborators. Be transparent with the documentation of the process so clients can have proper expectations. Communication is key to the successful supply chain collaboration, project management, and procurement of any design project.

So join Crystal and Maia as they talk about supply chain collaboration and the effect of Covid in the supply-chain. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. Listen to this conversation and also consider supporting Eva’s Initiatives Charity.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Maia:

Website: blacksheepinteriordesign.com      I      Instagram: @blacksheepid 

Facebook: Black Sheep Interior Design

Maia Roffey on TPD episode Supply Chain Collaboration

Recommended podcasts:

Bunga Bunga I i-Weigh I Momgasm

Episode #0059 Brand Strategy To Build A Dream Interior Design Business with Mohammed Abdelghfar

Crystal and Mo talk about brand strategy for interior designers and how to effectively position your interior design firm in the customers’ minds. What questions you need to ask in order to gain clarity and focus to build your dream interior design brand. What it is that you do, that will ensure you build a long-lasting emotional relationship with customers that turns them into loyal ever advocating fans.

Mo believes that brand strategy begins with basic human design rather than seeing how to make money. Giving value to your clients on the human level enables you to resonate with them and help them efficiently. You need to build great client relationships to produce loyal fans and create more referrals as a service-based business.

He emphasizes the significance of figuring out who you want to serve, and why you want to. Mo advises to focus more on the intrinsic motivators than seeing people as transactions or figures. Since business is a game of trust, you need to ask yourself what makes you different from your competitors and valuable to your clients?

The transaction is just the start of building client relationships. Mo mentioned the need to leave them with an excellent first impression and continually nurture them even after the project is complete. People liked to be asked their opinions, for example asking them for feedback after the project is done. You want your client to remember the interaction in addition to the product itself.

So join Crystal and Mo as they talk about branding and brand strategy. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”.

How to reach Mo:

Instagram – @moinsights

Mohammed Abdelghfar on TPD episode Brand Strategy To Build A Dream Interior Design Business

Recommended podcast/YouTube:

Gary Vee

Chris Do

Valuetainment YouTube Channel

Episode #0058 The Business of Design with Kimberley Seldon

Kimberley is also a broadcaster and writer who advocates for spaces that celebrate the people who live in them. Based in Toronto and Los Angeles, the award-winning Kimberley Seldon Design Group today creates exceptional living spaces for exceptional people throughout North America. She founded Business of Design to share what she’s learned about how professionalism powers creativity.

Kimberley is a firm believer of having a process in place, enabling you to streamline your operations. Track your tasks and time, gathering this data is crucial to running a profitable business.

As a new Interior Design professional you need to be discerning in who you work for. Learning from a design firm that has structured business practices will influence your future work habits and operations if you plan to eventually run your own design business. 

Kimberley also stresses transparency with your clients from planning, negotiation, and pricing. Show your clients their wishlist and provide them with the actual price. It is up to your client to decide on what they would like to spend their money on-not yours. 

So join Crystal and Kimberley as they talk about her  journey in starting her coaching business, implementing systems to streamline her operations and managing her projects and clients. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. After you listen to this podcast, check out The Business of Design podcast to learn more about Kimberely Seldon and The Business Design coaching program. 

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Kimberley:

Website: businessofdesign.com     

Facebook: businessofdesign     I     Instagram: business_of_design     

Kimbereley Seldon on TPD episode The Business of Design

Recommended podcast / book:

Political Gabfest podcast

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Episode #0057 The Success Factor, with Dr. Ruth Gotian

She has been hailed by the journal Nature and Columbia University as an expert in mentoring and leadership development. She is currently a contributor to Forbes and Psychology Today where she writes about ‘optimizing success’. In 2021, she was one of 30 people worldwide named to the Thinkers50 Radar List, dubbed the Oscars of management thinking. Also, she’s a semi-finalist for the Forbes 50 Over 50 list.

Ruth’s  research is about the mindset and skill set of peak performers, including Nobel laureates, astronauts and Olympic champions. Her book, The Success Factor, shares the stories of extreme high achievers and unlocks the path to success.

Crystal and Dr. Ruth discuss the success factor – traits & characteristics of high achievers and the four elements of success. Ruth believes that everybody wants to be successful they just don’t know how. She believes that success consists of a skill set that can be taught. Also, discovered that what works for one person may not work for another. And an individual approach is needed. Ruth explains that these are not habits but a mindset shift.

So join Crystal and Dr. Ruth as they talk about the success factor and her insights about mentorship.

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. And order Dr. Ruth’s book now, available January 2022.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Dr. Ruth:

Website: ruthgotian.com I Podcast: The Mentor Project I LinkedIn: rgotian

Dr. Ruth Gotian as guest on TPD episode titled The Success Factor

Recommended podcast/book:

Adam Grant, The Women’s Network

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm book by Robert Lefkowitz

The Long Game book by Dorie Clark

Resources mentioned:  

The Success Factor book

Passion Audit

Mentoring Team

Episode #0056 When You Know It’s Time To Fire A Client – Solo Episode

We never go into a project thinking about how and when we would need to fire a client. Join Crystal in this solo episode as she discusses her recent experience firing a client and the lessons learned. 

Crystal emphasizes the importance of establishing a clear direction. Set of rules that can make your collaboration successful from the start right to the end. She shares that if your client is unsure of their goal, we must guide them in order to clarify the end objective. As obvious as this may be, clarifying the desired end goal upfront is so crucial. It puts you both on the same page from the beginning.

Some clients just do not communicate effectively. Their communication style may be by bombarding you with many requests that you need to complete immediately-everything is an emergency. Others do not know what they want and are unable to articulate it clearly. It is the responsibility of the project leader to get this information out of the Client’s heads and into a clear scope of work.  

There is a saying “we teach people how to treat us”. This method not only sets the boundaries for the Designer and the project scope of work. But it’s also the best way to meet the Client’s needs and expectations. Clearly communicating a detailed process and workflow will help clients understand how the project will progress. 

Learning the type of client that you should or shouldn’t work with will help to hone in on the early warning signs. And to know if the partnership will be a good fit or not.  As a business owner you must be careful in choosing the right clients not only for you but for your team as well. The wrong client puts a drain on time but company morale as well. Ideally, we want to address creative differences early. Firing clients should be a last resort. Establish a defined direction, set specific boundaries and deliverables upfront. 

So join Crystal as she shares how she’s dealing with difficult client situations like fire a client that drains your energy and motivation. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and set a process for managing your clients and your boundaries.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

Resource mentioned:

The Wonderful World of Difficult Clients [Infographic]

Crystal Collinson solo TPD episode, When it is time to fire a client.

Episode #0055 How to Implement Consistency Within Your Interior Design Business with Desi Creswell

Desi has worked at world-renowned design and architecture firms prior to establishing her own design practice. Her personal experience with burnout and the competing interests of work and home led her to transform her own life. She then used this new knowledge to provide support to the interior design community. 

Her training as a life coach aims to help interior designers stop feeling overwhelmed so they can intentionally build profitable, fulfilling businesses that enrich and support their lives as a whole. 

Crystal and Desi discuss how consistency in business is crucial in all areas of our life and business. We need to be kind to ourselves when it comes to implementing consistent practices. We have to give ourselves grace and not “should” all over ourselves. Bringing awareness to our slip-ups is the first step, then with this awareness, we can begin to be more consistent in habits we want to make.

Any type of habitual change starts with a mindset and setting realistic goals that are actually attainable. There is no use in setting unrealistic goals that one would have a hard time completing or committing to. Start small and build on your wins. These wins build over time, and eventually, the habit/change becomes routine.

So join in as Crystal and Desi as they chat about Desi’s journey on being a life and business coach to the interior design community and having the right mindset when it comes to consistency in business. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and get Desi’s planner and attend their upcoming workshop.

If you enjoyed the episode, show your support by buying me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/TPDpodcast

How to reach Desi:

Website desicreswell.com I Instagram @desicreswell

Desi Creswell as guest in TPD episode How to Implement Consistency Within Your Interior Design Business

Resources mentioned:

Interior Designers Get It Done Daily Planner (Free)
Goal Setting For Busy Interior Designers
Friday, December 3 at 11 am central

Episode #0054 Looking for Entrepreneur Freedom? TPD chats with Peter Mohr, Host of the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast

Peter is a serial entrepreneur, owning several businesses, he is also a business broker helping people buy and sell businesses. Peter uses his entrepreneur background by helping other business owners create turn-key businesses so that they can enjoy the entrepreneur freedom and have the majority of their time working “on” their businesses, not “in” it.

Crystal & Peter discuss in order to have a successful business and enjoy entrepreneur freedom,  you need the four P’s of business, Product, Process, People and Profit. Stating how important it is to understand the problem you’re solving and by showing your customer how life will be “after” your product or service. 

As a Business Made Simple Certified Coach, a framework Peter developed. He has simplified entrepreneurship. Depending on where you are and what you need, he can best suggest the best framework to help you in your business. 

So, join Crystal and Peter as they chat about Peter’s coaching business and how to gain entrepreneur freedom in your business. Check out Peter’s website for a free business assessment test which will take 15-20 minutes to complete. However, you will get a very detailed 50-60 page PDF document. Outlining what you’re doing really well with your business and what you need to work on. So, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and take Peter’s assessment test.

How to reach Peter:

Website: simplifyingentrepreneurship.com

LinkedIn: petermohr     I     Facebook: SimplifyingEntrepreneurship

Peter Mohr on TPD episode titled Looking for Entrepreneur freedom?

Recommended podcast: Huberman Lab, Genius Network

Recommended books: Business Made Simple by Donald Miller

Resources mentioned: Assessment Test

Episode #0053 West of Main’s Sasha Lafleur on Organically Growing her Interior Design Services

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson, chats with fellow designer and the Principal Lead Designer and Co-Owner of West of Main Design, Sascha Lafleur.

Sascha had a passion for design for as long as she can remember so she  moved to Montreal to study Interior Design. She is committed to design spaces that are not just a valued addition to the client’s varied lifestyles, businesses, and environments. She believes that spaces are a true reflection of who they are, where they’ve been, and where they are going.

West of Main was initially established as an interior design services business. Over time it organically became a multi-faceted business. I includes a brick & mortar furniture store as well as a newly added e-commerce store. By launching an online e-commerce store, it allows the business to reach audiences across Canada & the United States. 

Sascha shares how her amazing team collaborates on the concept development to nail down the design direction.  When moving on to the planning phase, this allows for the implementation phase to run smoothly as possible. When you implement something completely unorganized in your interior design services, people live in chaos for a year to two. Which is extremely frustrating for the client, construction, and the design team. Take the proper time to plan the entire project before starting construction. Then the implementation experience can be a pleasurable journey for everyone involved.

So join in as Crystal and Sascha talk about Sascha’s interior design services and how she has expanded her team and furniture store . Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and listen to this episode. 

How to reach Sascha:

Website – westofmain.com

Facebook – Westofmainshoppe I      Instagram – westofmainshoppe

Sasha Lafleur on TPD episode on how she organically grow her interior design services

Recommended podcast : Gut podcast