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Ann McDonald
Creative Based Business Consultant, MODERATOR: Business for Interior Design Community; Innovator, Thought Leader, Specialty: Equipping Creatives to Monetize their Brands. IIDA, NAPO. Founder, Couture Chateau, specialized custom design for Estates, Trusts and Multi-Generational, Multi-Location Families. Luxury E-Design for Same.
Creative Based Business Consultant, MODERATOR: Business for Interior Design Community; Innovator, Thought Leader, Specialty: Equipping Creatives to Monetize their Brands. IIDA, NAPO. Founder, Couture Chateau, specialized custom design for Estates, Trusts and Multi-Generational, Multi-Location Families. Luxury E-Design for Same.

Ann's posts

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Thank you so much +Veronika Miller Modenus CEO . Ridiculously excited and HUMBLED. A true honor.

A quick thought on Self Promotion vs Stewardship with your Interior Design Business as we head into the Holiday Season. Anxious clients (we have done several installations these past weeks) with Holiday parties & out of town guests squeeze precious time allocated to marketing and securing new clients for the new year off our days and weeks in November & December.

That means we often end up in January with insufficient revenue streams. Is that you? Does mid-January look desolate sometimes?

Consider this as you think about ramping up your efforts to secure new clients between 1 - 3 months out:

1) Self promotion is all ME ME ME. Stewardship is about doing a great job for THEM THEM THEM. Trust me, serve someone in excellence and they will do the promoting for you. The BEST example I can think of? +Laurie Laizure . Seriously. She serves others and is changing the world doing it.

What we say in our office: what you get through self promotion is maintained through self promotion (sounds exhausting to me), what you get through stewardship is maintained by those you steward.

Have a great Monday - and consider where 15 minutes spent on stewarding a current project or client could make a world of difference when you are asking for the next referral. Do great work & be the outstanding Designer.

Have a great day +creatives.

xx +Ann McDonald 

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Nice! +Eric Schimelpfenig 
Here is a video and post about the geodesic domes I fabricated and then built with the +SketchUp team at +Make: These were so much fun to build. I'll be posting build instructions in the coming weeks.

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I can hardly wait!
Watching from Mobile or Tablet? VIEW HERE:
Jerry Cohen is the highest regarded attorney for the home and furnishings industry and we are so lucky to have him as our guest for this weeks show. 

A founding partner of CTSW and managing partner of the firm, Jerry Cohen has been engaged in business and commercial law for over thirty years. As a business attorney, Jerry handles corporate, financial, commercial and intellectual property transactions. Bringing both legal and business experience to balancing risk, reward, and the legal ramifications of business decisions, Jerry counsels clients on the best ways of achieving their business goals.

Often in the role of a company’s day-to-day advisor on legal and business affairs, Jerry provides strategic business advice to public and private corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. Jerry advises clients in a wide range of transactions, including strategic alliances, joint ventures, licensing, marketing and distribution arrangements, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and financings.
Contact his law office here: 

Mr. Cohen has helped some of the biggest names in the design industry make licensing deals with some of the largest manufacturers and retailers in the country. Many designers see these opportunities and we think it is important to ask:

1. What should designers negotiate FOR in a licensing contract? 

2. What are 3 key deal points included in almost every licensing contract? 

3. What is a realistic assessment of what designer's can expect to earn in a licensing contract.

Bring your questions and be LIVE at this one Friday at 4 PM Eastern for some top advice about this revenue stream for designers. Email me ahead of time at if you would like to ask a question in advance. 


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Make sure to catch this live today or in recording if not. A GREAT team for this week's HOA on #boomer  with +Mitzi Beach +leslie carothers +Laurie Laizure +Interior Design Community .
Who's joining us live today at 4 pm ET with our guest +Mitzi Beach - for our Friday #HOA? Here's the link to click YES on.. so you get the invite at 4 in your Gmail inbox!

We  hope to see you all there, so you can learn about trends in housing + design + learn about Mitzi's new #BoomerSmarts  program to help YOU, whether you're a designer or a brand with a product, learn how you can reach more of America's wealthiest demographic: the #USA's approx. 80 million baby boomers. 

#babyboomers   #design   #interiordesign   #AARP  

Good morning +Interior Design Community. A quick post on #Designbusiness  Income Forecasting. 

First, in order to know where you are going you have to know where you have been. Take at least 4 hours in the next week to really sit and pour over your numbers. Cry if you need to but dust off and get back to work afterwards.

Past failure has NOTHING to do with future success unless you buy into the lie that it does. My contention is that you are actually primed for the leap if you have failed a few times.

Each week, my team and I allocate time blocks for non-negotiable activities related specifically to finances.

This does not come naturally to me. Trust me, if I can do this, YOU CAN.

As many of you know, Thursday and Friday we check in with every active client. Wednesday is our Accounting and Bookkeeping morning. Sometimes the numbers take 6 hours (like yesterday) and sometimes it's a quick look for 45 minutes. The real issue is we account for each week. We look at the hard costs, break down the p & l for each activity (see +leslie carothers and +Laurie Laizure  post on Diversification, I'd be DOA without it!!) we engage in from Product Creating, Custom Furniture, Custom Fabric, Coaching, Speaking...the list goes on.

If you don't know where to start in  #creativesinbusiness  set aside 10% of your work week (I'd prefer 20% but I will settle for 10%) to work ON not IN your #InteriorDesignsBusiness.

Let's get profitable NOW.

Have a great day!

+Ann McDonald #gintdesign

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A #designbusiness quick note for this late summer week.

Income projections.

Yesterday I noticed as I was spreadsheets out, others on Social Media were bantering on about the same. I have taken this week off from design to get those projections down and focus on the financials for 2015. 

Would you like to know how to do Income Projections for your #Designbusiness?

Would you like video tips on these?

Let me know. There are nuances depending on the size and scale of your Business, number of employees, focus and model but I think it's high time we went there.

Too many of us are simply (or have been) bound by poor financials. We can create cover worthy designs but struggle to flourish financially.

Let me know! #Projections  are actually easier than you think #creative and more fun than you believe.

There is #hope even in the midst of the storm.

Shall we go there?

Let me know!

+Ann McDonald 

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Have you nominated yourself or a friend for the NKBA Professional of the Year?
Deadline 8/22 Nominate here:

Finalists will receive airfare, accommodations and a VIP pass to attend @KBIS2015 in Las Vegas where they’ll compete in the final round

The Winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Spain, courtesy of Platinum Sponsor @SilestoneUSA

Runners-up will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, courtesy of our Gold Sponsors, including @Kohler, which will include a tour of its global headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Kohler, Wis., and @GEMonogram, which will be providing a tour of its Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Ky. 

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On the new blog today.....a #process for sure. We are still cleaning up bits and pieces here and there, but may this be a blessing to you. Off to our conference. Watching  #virtually  on Friday's HOA.
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