I’ve been rereading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and it’s so good. So many wisdom bombs that has me underlining and affirming to myself. But of course, I’m always thinking of you and how it applies to running an interior design business.
So when I read the part where the author defines “effectiveness” by using Aesop’s fable of the goose and golden egg, I thought of interior designers over their head in business.
The Goose and Golden Eggs
If you’ve forgotten this tale, a farmer has a goose that lays solid gold eggs. Laying one gold egg a day the goose delivers unbelievable wealth to the farmer.
Covey uses this fable to demonstrate what he calls P/PC balance - P stands for production and PC standings for production capability. The P (production) is the golden egg and the PC (production capability) is the goose.
Ultimately, the farmer kills his goose in a misguided attempt to get all the golden eggs - but there are no more golden eggs because he has destroyed the production capability (PC) when he killed the goose.
We must keep our production and production capability in balance. If you think about it, this concept can explain an imbalance in so many aspects of life and business. The recent self-care movement is an attempt to take care of the goose (you) because culturally we focus more on the golden eggs (productivity and busyness). The burning of Amazon forests - we’re killing the goose/PC/earth for more golden eggs/P/profits. In a smaller scale, maybe you’re working your computer too hard and not doing anything to maintain it such as backing up, antivirus, cleaning up files, etc. In every situation where we focus on production, in the short term we may achieve greater returns, but ultimately we’re ruining the asset and PC.
The idea of P/PC balance can also work for relationships. Where are you focused on results and outcomes of a relationship (maybe with marriage, partnership, parents, children, family, friends, clients, vendors) and not putting in the work it takes to properly nurture that relationship?
Pamper Your Goose
This story of the golden goose was so powerful to me because I see designers running their interior design business and essentially they are killing the goose. The focus becomes so much on the golden eggs - paying clients and profits and finished homes - that the production capability of the business is ignored.
Yes, golden eggs are way more fun. This is usually the interior design portion of interior design business. But when you have a business there is the whole business portion you need to nurture, grow, and develop.
Your golden eggs are only as strong as your business. I regularly say to the talented designers in The Golden Blueprint course, “You have to treat your business like your favorite and best client.” This I believe is the essence of P/PC balance.
So how do you keep your production capability healthy so you can continue producing golden eggs?
✔You also have to be creating a clear, consistent, and smooth client experience. You want to be effectively attracting and qualifying the right ones that’ll help lay the golden eggs. You want to know when to say no to projects. You need to put the how to price question to bed once and for all! But still watch your finances so you know when your pricing model may need an adjustment.
Running an interior design business is not something to take lightly. If devoting equal attention to your production capability as you do your production doesn’t appeal to you, then working for someone else is the better option.
I’ve helped hundreds of designers and decorators navigate the business of running an interior design business. I’ve seen firsthand how powerful devoting time to building the business can be in producing those desirable golden eggs. I’ve also seen what happens when you don’t. I know the success that can be achieved when you have a good P/PC balance.
Take Away: Ultimately, what it comes down to is that you must always be working on your business. Always. A strong business produces solid gold eggs.
If you want more golden eggs you have to have a solid business foundation. That starts with The Golden Blueprint!
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