Right now we’re all in “get through this” mode, “figure out how to handle this” mode, and “let’s somehow turn this around and set ourselves up for success” mode. There’s up, there’s down, and there’s all turned around. Let’s be honest, dealing with this has us all on an emotional roller coaster. But, there is a way to get through this successfully.
As you’ll hear in our first episode of “How Are You Handling This?” with designer Emma Navajas of Emma Elizabeth Interiors, right now you have a huge opportunity to make a big difference in your business. This is a time that you’ll look back on years from now and be able to say, “Wow, I watched a lot of Netflix.” or “Wow, that was a real turning point. I doubled down, used the time to focus, improve, create, and adapt – and my business is what it is today because of those actions.” Your reality in a few years, is going to be due to the work you put it now. So make sure you’re mindful of how you spend these extra moments.
A Virtual Design Conference from MyDoma Studio
But before we get to our first fantastic and frankly hilarious episode of “How Are You Handling This?”, I first wanted to share another incredible resource on how to push your business forward during this time. Mydoma Studio, the interior design project management software company started by Sarah Daniele, and LuAnn Nigara of A Well-Designed Business, have paired up to bring you, “19 Hours.” It’s 4 days of experts working together to share their expertise, advice, and experience with you, online. All of the education and information you need, without ever having to walk out the door.
Here’s a description of this amazing event from Sarah of MyDoma herself:
“19 Hours is a free virtual design industry conference, and is the brainchild of Sarah Daniele, CEO of Mydoma Studio and LuAnn Nigara, Host of A Well Designed Business. This event will be like no other. Join us from April 6-9th for four days of free live educational and inspirational content from design influencers, leaders and educators around the world!”
Sign up here to be a part of this fantastic event!
The Plague and Moving from “Panic to Pivot”
Now, onto the first of three episodes of “How are You Handling This?!” Like I said above, in this episode I talked to Emma Navajas of Emma Elizabeth Interiors. She’s a designer from Atlanta and is hilarious, incredibly kind, and smart as a whip. And oh, side note, in a past life she was studying to get her Ph.D. in epidemiology. Yep, you heard that right. She was originally, and coincidentally, going to become an epidemiologist. She would have been knee deep in figuring out our corona crisis right now, but without of course knowing what was coming, decided to leave her Ph.D. program and pursue her passion in interior design instead. So, here she is, and here we are.
Oh, and sidenote, while we chatted I found out that the plague still exists. Say what?! The plague?! Yep. Don’t worry though, it’s nothing that needs to keep you up at night, as it was about to do to me. After our chat I frantically Googled to find out more, and discovered that there’s usually less than ten incidents a year in the U.S. So, nothing to worry about there. Thank goodness…
Anyways, during our chat Emma shares the path that she took to get from “panic” to “pivot” when first realizing this crisis was upon us. She’s a new business and as such, could have stayed in panic mode, or totally understandably gone into “maybe this isn’t the right career for me” mode and subsequently quit, but she didn’t. Instead, she focused on making this moment in time work for her and her firm as much as possible. She wanted to make this time really count.
We discussed how she’s spending her free moments continually up leveling her firm, through systematizing all that she can, creating checklists, making her site more user friendly, creating new blog content, and adding additional services. She’s dedicated to design, and the client experience, and is doing all that she can to make sure she doesn’t waste this rare moment in life when we can slow down and really think about how we want to manage things going forward. She’s a woman of action, and has really taken this pandemic in stride (while also becoming overwhelmed with the news and then subsequently having to rein it in, just like the rest of us – so don’t feel bad if this is you on a daily basis. It’s me too.).
Government Assistance for Small Businesses in Crisis
During our time, we also discussed the government assistance that’s being made available to small businesses in crisis and how crucial it is to look into these options. Now, I don’t know too much about these deals and packages, but I do know that they are being made available, and I encourage you to learn more.
Now is the time to get help if you need it, and don’t feel bad about doing so. This is something that none of us could have predicted even just a few weeks ago. Yet here we are in a completely different reality. So I encourage you to take advantage of the help that’s being made available as that’s what it’s there for. The descriptions may be a bit confusing, as they are to me too. So I encourage you to talk to your accountant about them, or call the Small Business Administration or Department of Treasury to learn more. Here are a few great resources to get you started:
- List of Coronavirus Small Business Relief Programs
- The CARES Act from the Department of the Treasury
- Small Business Administration Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Tiger King & Toilet Paper
And don’t worry, this episode isn’t all panic and pandemic, business and government relief. We also talked about the fact that over time, this crisis could actually birth new opportunities and avenues of interior design (and that there’s likely a huge boom coming as people are realizing just how important their home is). Of course we then also covered toilet paper stock up, Tiger King, and my unknowing nod to Carole Baskin with my clothing choice too.
We had a great time, a great laugh, and I learned a lot (ahem, again, that the plague still exists…) It’s definitely not something you want to skip watching – both for the laughs and for the learning. You can watch it all here.
And next week we’ll be back with episode 2 where we’ll be talking to Kirsten McCoy of Meadowbank Designs to find out how she and her firm are strategically setting themselves up to get through this crisis successfully.
Let me know how you’re handling this quarantine both in your business and your personal life, leave it in the comments below!
And if you’d like help focusing on the client experience at this difficult time, check out the listing of guides and resources available to you here!