Growing As a Designer: Asking for Help When You Need It

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received - hatred. The great creators - the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors - stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
— Ayn Rand, Fountainhead

Don’t Be Afraid To Grow

I learned that breaking out of my comfort zone has some of the greatest rewards.

Throughout our lives, we’re introduced to people who can have positive, or sometimes negative, impacts on us. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. On an all too consistent basis we’re putting ourselves out there, sometimes pushing our normal comfort levels of privacy. I’ll be honest, if someone told be a couple years ago I’d have an active blog I may have rolled my eyes and said yeah right. The truth is, it’s takes going out on your own, building your confidence, and learning to trust your value to realize there is a commodity to your words. And so, I’m going to introduce you to someone who’s changed my professional understanding of my business goals, opportunities, and clientele in the little more than the year that I’ve known her. Who is she you may ask and what does she have to do with renderings, design, and quite possibly my even more narrowed specialty of Chief Architect and Home Designer training? My colleague, mentor, and COACH is Nancy Ganzekaufer, Business Coach to Interior Designers. 

So here’s the truth, my business wouldn’t be where it is today with out Nancy’s guiding hand and accountability. I’ve been meaning to film a quick video testimonial for her, but she deserves so much more than that, so I decided to write her a full blog post here AND record a visual as well (embedded below). I was introduced to Nancy a little over a year ago via an webinar. During that 45 minutes of her demonstration, she taught us (fellow Ivies) the value of our ‘Business in Words’ and how our self representation is the key to nailing more sales. Well, her presentation had me hooked. I signed up for a 50 minute consultation with her and within less than an hour of one-on-one time, we figured out my elevator speech and established just how much help I really needed to develop the vision for my company. I have since been working with Nancy on a bi-weekly basis to build my business and work to help amazing Interior Designers, like you, earn more money and solidify sales by incorporating beautifully, realistic 3D renderings and presentation materials. 



Just jump in. Feet first. You may get wet, but you needed a refresher anyways.

Specifically, there are a few things that Nancy helped me establish and achieve, both mentally and financially. The first is still a daily hurdle of mine, which is knowing and understanding that my education, expertise, and talent all come with a price tag, for both myself and my clients. Holding a Master of Architecture and the student loans that came along with it, plus over 8 years of in-field professional experience, have all equated to specialized training and experiences directly represented in my final products and fees. This took Nancy more than a few sessions to help me understand. I think as designers, most of us are so grateful to be working in our field, and excited to take on jobs, that we forget that we’re a modern luxury and our pricing should reflect that.

Prior to hiring Nancy I was charging almost 50% less than what I am now. I prided myself on helping my clients, I rationalized that their gratitude was an equatable difference in my less than adequate original rate. I was second guessing myself, because I was afraid to say “No”, to ask for my worth, and be truly proud of what I offer to designers. If you’re anything like me, comparison and self doubt may also be a hard habit to kick as an entrepreneur, and this is something I’m learning to look past and grow. I started offering Chief Architect and Home Designer Training Sessions per Nancy’s suggestion, despite my worry of losing clients. I was was afraid I would teach them not to need me anymore. I remember when I expressed this, Nancy gave me a kind, but forceful, proverbial ‘bitch slap’ and told me that helping others will only help myself. She reassured me, that growing beyond my own self doubts and teaching other designers, what someone else had also taken the time to mentor me on, will evolve to even greater opportunities and relationships. She was right. Since that time I’ve worked with many Interior Designers helping to professionalize, streamline, and expand their abilities so they can grow financially and independently as well. Working with Nancy has become a trickle down approach that included my growing (and changing) success and those of my clients.

In addition to Nancy Ganzekaufer’s strong approach in helping me grow beyond my self doubt, she’s also a great advocate and teacher in the art of social media, marketing, and establishing a well thought out approach to having meaningful relationships and contact with clients. This blog, for example, is one of them. Technically, the SEO for this testimonial probably won’t help me too much, to drive Interior Designers looking for Chief Architect help, but I’m hoping it helps you know a little about my current story and someone who is really guiding my growth as a business owner. Along with what I’m intending to turn into a steady stream of emails, blog, and Instagram posts, I’m also planning to utilize Nancy’s multimedia approach to include Facebook lives and Youtube postings; for anything I think would be beneficial to Interior Designers looking to improve their own renderings and Chief Architect/Home Designer knowledge. Oh, and this starts on Friday, with Nancy’s help. I’ll be a guest on her weekly Facebook show, ‘Weekend Wine Down’ at 4:30pm in her FB Group ‘The Interior Design Business Forum’ , February 12, 2019. During that show, I’ll be making a BIG announcement that you won’t want to miss, so please join her group and put it on your calendar!

Update Feb.18, 2019: Check out how the Interview went by following the link above!

So, this wouldn’t be much of a testimonial if I didn’t tell you how YOU could also work with this amazing woman. For the last year I’ve been working with Nancy on a private bi-weekly basis, but not all of us need that. Luckily, Nancy has a few options that make it easy for you to get on the right track. As I noted above, the first step I made was signing up for her ‘Reduced Cost Strategy Call’. It’s a 50 minute intensive coaching session that really helps you nail down what you need and help steer you in the right direction, for me that meant jumping on the Nancy train for a nice long trip. Another amazing opportunity, especially if you’re ready to just dive right in, is The Interior Design Profit Formula Course. As described on her website;

“This online program covers the most common pitfalls and the ways to avoid them PLUS the very best strategies business coach Nancy Ganzekaufer uses with all her 1-on-1 business coaching clients. The course is comprehensive and broken down into 9 Modules, each with lessons and worksheets, in addition to a bonus 10th module about becoming the CEO of your own company. All together, there is over 8 hours of video content (plus interactive worksheets!). The course features Guest Coaches such as Yian Quach on “How to Convert More Clients With Your Interior Design Website”, Nicole Heymer on “Defining Your Brand”, and Lori Ann Robinson on "Your Look, Your Feel, Your Image", in addition to others!”

For the record, I know a few designers who are taking this course. They’re changing they’re business for the better and loving each course they complete! So give yourself some love this February (it is heart health month after all) and not only ‘treat’ yourself, but learn to love and trust your business practices.

I hope this post has helped you realize that you aren’t alone, that we all have means of growth, and sometimes just when you think you have it figured out, it changes (I feel like I hear men talk about their wives like this all the time). The key, is to keep moving. Luckily, as an entrepreneur who’s self boarded ‘The Little Engine That Could’ I jumped on the car with the help of an amazing business coach, Nancy Ganzekaufer. So now, instead always saying, “I think I can, I think I can” as I hit those hills, I find myself singing, “I know I can, I know I can.”


TESTIMONIAL | If you're an Interior Designer looking for a business coach, don't look any further. Nancy is AMAZING!

MARCH 13, 2018 | Weekend Wine Down | I’ve been a guest before, but make sure to watch use LIVE this Friday!