Financially Strapped Designers

Broke? Living paycheck to paycheck? Taking whatever work comes your way? Time for some tough love. #interiordesignbusiness

{Warning! Do not read this if you can’t take some tough love.}

Is your business financially strapped? Is your financial life a mess? Can you not afford to invest in your business? Are you taking whatever measly work comes your way just to make ends meet? Living paycheck to paycheck for years?

It’s time to get on top of that, my friend.

If you’re running your business this way, I don’t even want to say “running” because if this is you, you’re not really running your business - you’re scrapping by.

Here is something I’ve never shared - I once cried because my mom sent me $100. I was so stretched for cash after I started my business that when I received that $100 bill in the mail, I broke down in tears. It’s stressful and I’ve been there. I also acknowledge that I have a lot of privilege, my college was paid for, I had supportive parents who could afford to make sure I succeeded, and had a white middle-class upbringing.

If you’ve chosen to become a business owner, you have a responsibility to yourself, your business, your industry and your clients. And being continuously broke isn’t one of them.

  • How can clients trust you to manage their project when you can’t manage your business?

  • Why would a client trust you to handle their money if you can’t handle your own?

  • If you’re not successful, or at least, appear successful why would they hire you?

  • If you’re not willing to invest in yourself why would clients invest in you? Or trust you to invest in their home?

Client’s don’t trust business-owners who can’t manage their money. People with means hire successful businesses.

Stop Being Financially Strapped

And here is what I know, without reasonable project minimums, you will be stuck in a loop of low-cost projects never making enough money. Interior designers deserve a living wage for their work. You deserve to be paid. I’ve taken my business from crying in relief over $100 to 6-figures. I know that investing financially in your business will get you making more money faster. As annoying as the old saying is, it truly does take money to make money.

Tony Robbins says that it is not a lack of resources that are keeping you broke and stuck, but a lack of resourcefulness.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is this the right career for you? Do you have enough passion and drive to make it? Not everyone is meant to be a business owner & that’s okay.

  • To paraphrase something Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic - Are you putting too much pressure on your passion to support you financially? I highly recommend this book for understanding how to live creatively.

  • Are you truly investing your resources to make your business successful? This is where it takes money to make money comes to play. Invest in your business - read books, create a damn good website, pay experts & coaches, buy the programs that make your life easier. Are you prioritizing your business and giving it your time and energy?

  • Are you selling yourself short? Are you not charging enough? Not going after bigger projects? Choosing the wrong clients? Working for little to nothing? You may be undermining your own ability to make money.

  • What are your limiting beliefs that may be holding you back? What excuses are you making for yourself?

  • Are you putting all you can into being profitable and successful? Consider reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

  • Are you treating your business like a hobby and wondering why it’s not profitable?