Starting Business Today - w/ Nita
So tell us a little bit. Who are you? My name is nita. Tom. I run. Tom made t h o m dash d dot com it's a new interior design business. I've been in interior design, industry or design industry, or about fourteen years. So you have someone of an expertise you'd say I do, um and though I will say starting a business, you know, by yourself, like, not a team of people or a company, I sort for, um, the gap I did store design here in services go at the corporate office and, you know, having a team of people it's a way different thing, just you being by yourself. And so I think I can identify with a lot of the challenges that, you know, come with starting a business selling yourself, being on your own. And then, you know, we talked a little bit. We prepped yesterday. And so one of things that you fall into is that you were looking for more information and more information and my videos and tim's books and all these things, uh, guru junkie. Yeah. So what do you think about that and what? What...
are you looking for, I think definitely looking for this kind of magic. Like there's going to be this one thing that I'm going to be like that's it and this is what I've been missing and I think even just talking with you know, some of the other participants and talking with you I realize like I know enough gurus like I actually and I remember things that they say and I've actually taken a ton away from just the day here with you and um but you have to apply it like I got like I've kind of fat on this you know on all this information and and really I think where you really learn is when you're actually doing and I need tio challenge myself to start doing more okay so we'll get to challenging yourself a little bit then I want to provide a more background for everyone in the room um so you you start having kids and you wanted to start moving on to your own thing what was the first thing you did to start your own business well I basically just kind of started to tell people told a few friends and actually in some ways it was more had to a couple people approach me so like magically people just come and say give me let me give you money well I did I did it some of my past design work which is actually was axis cafe down the street that you do for free no no that was probably about six years ago that I did that and threw another job so I think the thing that I find very valuable is like how exactly do people do it? All right, so first thing yeah s o I did have an education of it so I had, you know, people people knew I was a store designer there was a local group who wanted to open this cafe in san francisco they were like, hey, would you do it for us? I didn't make any money you get, but I'm a german uh my family made I mean, it was it was it took a year to build, so it was probably about ten thousand dollars, but over the course of the year and certainly if you did an hourly rate, it would have been pretty pretty sad, but over the years, like, it was just a, uh a lot of, you know, people from the city came in, people were always asking and one of the things I didn't do it because I hadn't really, um I don't know what I know now that I want things, I didn't do it, I didn't like I couldn't put my card out, so people were always asking, like, who did this place? And I didn't advertise it, I saw it all and so you know, it's a it's, a good lesson so coming back to starting kind of an interior design, but I think one of the interesting things that just to make sure I highlight is that she got her first customer through her own network, right? That was at church, yeah, does it hurt? And so how did they know you did design a church? Well, I was going to the church and I was working at the gap at the time, so we'll just knew that you're able to do it. And so I mean, what's the big challenge or what's going on with you today? Like, where are you now and where you want to be? I think like a lot of creative people, you know, people do photography, I have incredible, incredibly creative friends, graphic designer, a chef, um, incredible photographer who is actually a great inspiration to me because she was at our church started taking pictures that church because people, we always wanted photos and she's one of them probably makes about five to seven thousand dollars a wedding now, um, and paco and betty dot com she's amazing, and but she, you know, true to what we're learning today, she just for the last five years just have been has been doing it on day also events manager, but you've got all these friends and people around us who are creative and I think we're looking at like how do we you know, how do we make this even more successful and there's challenging you know, with you know, just photography or any kind of applied art you know it's a lot of time to make it good it you know, it's a big investment and doesn't always work out hourly so you you know, when we were talking originally we were talking about you know, starting this business and running things one of things you're talking about other people's businesses that you'd want to run like I'd really rather you know, I'm doing into your design but I really want one kings lane and some other you know, sites that just make money every month yeah right in my eye and my mind I don't actually I mean, they probably done all the work that you're talking we're talking about today but you know, perception is that they're just give cashing checks every day exactly yeah, I think that's a really key point is that we look at other people's businesses man that must be really easy and you don't realize they've spent ten years getting to that point or even like the course where we help people like this it took us over a year for for a monthly one k dot com it took us over a year in over half a million dollars that we've invested to get to this point s so it takes a lot of time and what was interesting we were talking yesterday I didn't really she actually is making money running her own business and so how much have you made? I've been doing projects since may and I've made about four thousand dollars, so I'm about eight months is like may what we know in september was that eighty months, five months okay, so we've made, like nine hundred bucks a month yeah, and you know my doom it's at night it's I take care of my daughter eighteen month old daughter at home full time s o it's during naps and you know, it's not what I'm not doing it full full time so ok, it's the most you have kids that and they want to sort of business yeah, yeah two and then online, I'm sure there's a lot of people and not just kids, right? We'll have significant others we'll have obligations and so it's a challenge but I actually think that limitation is great because I only have so many hours how do I find some that's very valuable that I could charge a lot for it and take advantage of the fact that you are home all right, maybe there's something there one of the things that we talked a little bit yesterday was that you wanted to do other businesses where do you think what's wrong with that? So she was looking at all these other businesses instead of kind of like betsy what's working already, right? Do you think was going on that now? I think it's just it is again when you hear it from, you know, hearing that sea of, like, of course, why aren't you doing that? I think for myself, you know, it's for whatever, you know, whatever my fears are think I do realize I have had to have had a lot of fear, you know, I've never thought of myself as if you're fearful person, but I think, you know, it's just really a glass data data have officially like, I'm not I'm not actually putting myself out there, not challenging myself because I'm just saying, safe and so I'm not actually, you know, really seeing what I can do, and you had you asked me one question, you know, about if I was making x dollars, doing the same work when I feel differently, and I did because ok, well, then maybe you know my challenges with child care or, you know, whatever your individual charges might be, it kind of just asking myself different questions to really identify, like, what is it that I'm wanting? Yes on I think that's something that was been really helpful throughout the day you know a lot of people once they taste that first dollar and they feel that well I call it lost one dollars and you start realizing like oh my god this is gonna be successful like that actually will build momentum that will build it up we're like oh I could keep doing this but it's until you get to that point that it makes it a little more challenging or you've kind of held back a bit even though you are you not really recognize they're embracing that you are having success yeah um and so you know, we talked a little about you said um I don't want to do this this and you want to do other businesses yeah I think I up until yesterday I think I had been thinking ok why I'm doing this business but I really want to do something else but I'll just keep doing this until that other this other had this amazing idea out of one of the my guru books that you know that I'll start and I think again I feel challenged to really just like do what's working and you know continue tio asked the right question asked more questions of myself challenge myself more on dh you know you said well he said something about having my mind for the problem I need assault right now is having too many too many customers and I was feel like ok, I can I can work on that so it's a common thing I'm sure a lot of people online as well in this room have you guys had a future fantasy illusion where you start thinking of all the things they're going to problems even though it's not happening everyone while wow that's that's crazy it's a very common thing that stops me sometimes I'm like well I'm gonna have this thing and I have this thing and a lot of engineers have because they're so smart they think about all the edge case is well, you know all this but if you actually break it down it's not they're not real right? It's actually things you want to create as problems I want people to create problems and one of things that's missing with nina is creating a problem of having too many customers what yes creating a problem of having too many customers so she could go into her zone of genius nous or awesomeness where you you liked organization and design and so getting that point would be that and so one of things I think when you're starting a business is having short term goals you're trying to accomplish and so what was the one that you were interested? Well, we talked about potentially like okay, what kind of dio till the until december I do I'm having a baby and january first potentially um and so what can I do between now and then tio either hit a dollar amount or is the customer well you throughout the newsroom like another four thousand dollars said then it is what you want, girl yeah, what would you like to happen by the end of so that's what? You know the map right over my house is and then I could feel how to get there what would be the goal by the end of the summer? Um you know and I think this is a question I had maybe some other people have it as well like where is the line between like what's realistic got a lot of course we also have ten thousand dollars but you know what's realistic and what's attainable so that you know, like especially, you know, having a baby scene but I think in if I think another I think what you said was actually because that now it feels like a bit out of reach for thousand even, you know, can I do what I've been doing in a shorter period of time? It's still out of reach those just out of reach it's maybe not like it was twenty thousand would seem crazy impossible, but if I say four thousand like that seems challenging but it maybe is not so so out of reach what's really interesting is yesterday she it was attainable and so I think that that's what? So what happened from yesterday until now is it that change your mind that you can't? So her goal and I think it was yours was to have her children not being being daycare it was a dictator large, I think have them haven't have enough money to be able to put them if I have a client meeting, I'm not like racing around and you said it's eighteen hundred kid nine, eighteen hundred dollars I cannot generating well, eighteen hundred kids expensive small four thousand that's why we came to four thousand by december and so I think when you map out where you want to be, you could start saying, well, how do I get there? Yeah, you're in nine hundred a month? Yep, right? So I have to be at I'd have to be at four thousand often want tio cover child care for both kids, okay? And so what happened from yesterday when you were more certain of getting in today besides effective actually think I'm I'm not in I'm not afraid of getting the business, I think it's the it's, that gap in between having anything in place or having the money coming in there's the going to be a lag time where I'm having to provide the service without necessarily having child care in place so what happened here? What does she say here's coming in what the fears coming in right there in the in the risk now it's true okay, yeah throw workers I can't not because you're so it's a little where I was so I had my first kid and I had seven houses going yeah, because I think it's very but you know the other thing you could do that she's an architect your architect ing seven house was in various sides of the building and one thing you could look at is going for the ten grand to be expanded enough to have someone that is working part time on your drawings in the office and have your kids in the office its title possibility that's thank you congratulate being it and bring the kids in what's that well, you said something yesterday that again I think a lot of people who are like watch preneurs mode or like afraid to get started is you know, at this point I have been doing everything myself. But if I get you know, ten thousand dollars which we now in december or I get, you know, potential amount of work then I can go and find space to do that to do the drawing so I could outsource some of the things and make that part of my my, um you know, my project fee which I haven't you know again not looks bored because I got right well so there's what you're afraid of I think just the I'm not ready I don't have the infrastructure in place for a ten thousand dollars you know project right so this is the exciting moment where it's like I have all these things I'm not ready for right but she's actually making money be probably pretty easy for you to be like well I need to solve that problem that I have that money so here's not what we're gonna explore and then we'll move on to a shonda um is how did you make how did you get so understand what's worked how did you get the forty five hundred dollars um it really has been just like port of mouth and network and you know, friends of friends and well ago I did an interior designer to help me with this okay so so you asked your network right yeah and I haven't I haven't asked like they've airbrushed company and come to me okay so what's worked is getting people that are in your network for renters and what kind of design like houses are ivy residential small commercial residents and small commercial and in terms of a goal we I've already decided she her map at the end of the destination is forty a month so one of things that we found helpful on the monthly one k courses that how do you set time limitations and what I challenge you was what if you had to make the four cave by the end of september or one one three in october so let's say you had to make four thousand by the end of next month would you know what we talked about louis but like what would you do the high way but because I mean this is the rial thing it's like you can kind of talk about different possibilities but it's like ok when you put the time limit or we've got a salty fun it's like businesses like it's supposed to be fun it's supposed to be enjoyable let's try to relax a little bit okay ok, so what would be fun and think about it? All right so now you have to do for thousand because you want to have your kids there and then you could do more things that gives me more time with them more husband more in this business whatever badness september october october it's already so you know that's just mean s until the end of october how would you make another four thousand? Um well, I think some of the things I had thought about since we talked to us um offering you know, like creating a simple package like just you know I'll come are all due a video skype call with you one hundred dollars under fifty dollars and I will give you a floor plan and some you know ideas in terms of like here's like you know three pieces you need to really finish your room um you know I think that's something I you help me a little bit tap into is like well what's really fun and I think I love I want people to love their space what people did not be frustrated like I hate this room and I would tell my coming here I have to look at that and I get excited about that because I could help people with that and I think that's something tio I think with everybody's you know individual business I think I was too big a bit caught up too much and like I'm not making enough money but I think my focus on I really love helping people just love their space you know and not be frustrated not feel that hate coming into this room but actually feel like I love it in here I wanna hang out I want to be productive and so in terms of that it's pretty broad it's like I want help people feel good so how do we kind of deep dive on that? It sounds like there's two options um so one she's had customers if you already had successful what do you think she could do phone a friend what do you think she could do with people who already alex yeah, it hit up that never again actually for the first time you go out to them instead of them coming to you okay down that you haven't done that all okay, so I think you guys wanted to do it live I asked you to stay and she said she'd be okay with it and I told her not to tell a friend which is gonna do you guys call if she calls? You wanna call your friend? Yeah does she know you're going? I sort of asked her she was around ok, so why is this so just the audience and everyone watching knows yeah so this is ahh she's actually an event designer so she's created herself she's a thrasher events dot com and she's event designer and I worked on her office and every time I go to her house now she's like I love my office thank you so much like you know, just and I just helped her with the layout gave us some design ideas and you know she's executing it but it's just funny how much it's made an impact on her and her even her husband's like I love this office they now they fight over the desk space so she's she's ah she's been it was a good, great easy customer so what would you think? And this is important what's the objective of the call I think just to ask her I've never asked her and I think she would but and never asked her about hey, can you you know, send a an email toe like five of your friends? Hey, I have this front is an interior designer, you know, she's offering x or she's offering her design services. She has some time in her schedule if you guys have any projects that you need help with daily caller okay, so that's I don't know that students don't know and I got to sit back and that's a little too passive. I think it could be even better. So instead of hey, we think about how many times have you been like, yeah, can you contribute to that person or yeah, I'll do it right? And what they do is they like, don't do anything, are they sending email and it goes somewhere what I think is stronger is actually her introducing you to them, okay? So instead of like, oh, can you email some friends be like, hey, do you have? And I always try to make it a very small amount. Do you have to? People are there to people that you can personally and I'll send you the email to send to them make it easy you have two people that you could personally introduced me to that's it right and that actually makes it a lot easier more digestible than like think of five people that'll be good and you want to make it easy for them to people that have offices that you think might actually enjoy a free consultation with me sure there questions about what he was thinking hero shots of your work I've been pretty bad about that I put it out of you just because he told me look there what's a hero shop here a shot like that the fight and that makes it just looked like rock stuff yeah so we're gonna do another business validation after this that I'm not sure if it'll working on uh but I also want with thirty working is referrals in her network so I don't want her to completely go to something new so uh nice pretty all right do you are you ready to call? Yeah all right let's do it think he's alright make quick see I I added her to my favorite so we'll see we'll see uh taking way it's coming it's coming it's coming I feel like I feel like it should be on the you could put on speaker guts mita hi, how are you? Good. Listen, I'm a little pressed for time but I was calling to ask you to follow up on it's the design work that I did for your office and to see just to see if you would be able, tio, maybe possibly refer me, teo two of your friends who might possibly need some design work. I have a little bit of a hard time understanding the oh you're asking for, ok, yes, I'm taking out speaker phone. I was calling to see if you would be up for referring me to to two of your friends who need some interior design will help just for a free, like a free consultation. Sorry. Can you say that over time? She said yes? No, no, no, no. Just any friends that you can think of that would be and that, you know, might need or would be interested in interior design service is ok. You're awesome. I don't know why I didn't ask you before, but I'm asking you now. So, um, that that I'm here with no occasion live and on creative lives. I wish I was. You are alive and, uh oh, yeah, I really appreciate it. No that's all like, oh, well, I'll give you a call later. I'll call you later, ok, thanks by the oh!