Table Setters, Inc.
I went to High Point one year – and I had been going since 9/11. This was in 2013, so several years into High Point. I was like, I really should maybe try something educational instead of just shopping. Gail was on a panel. And the panel was so honest, and they were so raw. They were talking about things I’d never heard designers talk about out loud. So, I signed up for Gail’s second Genius Exchange. Didn’t know a thing about her. I just signed up. I’m going. I went, I was in tears the majority of the time. My husband and I both have businesses, so we both needed the kind of tools that Gail offers. Really it’s so specific to design, but it also goes across a whole entrepreneurial business model. I didn’t have the structure of a business. I didn’t have a background, I’m not formally educated. I do great design work and I’m real creative, but I didn’t know I could be a business owner – be the CEO! That was the first hot topic with her: We’re the CEO of a business.
I look at it as another employee. My Gail Doby bill each year is another employee. It’s been my husband that’s always said “Becky, you can’t not afford that.” The kind of support I get as an owner from their program is like hiring a high-end consultant that is with me every day, that I have access to every day, to help me run this business.
I would say that when I started with Gail, the very first thing was just value. I remember she said “You have to raise your rates by double.” I was like “No. How do you do that?”. Especially with my “lifers” that I have, that keep coming back, like how do you say “Oh, I’m going to double my hourly rate.” And I remember I had a plan. I had to go talk to four business owners that were all men. So I went and presented this plan that I had the confidence to share because Gail told me of my value. All four of those men were like “Now, who have you been coaching with? What’s your plan? We need to raise our rates, so how are you going about this? This is great!” It had nothing to do with my new rate. And it was really an “aha” moment in my whole career of understanding worth.
There were times in my business I wasn’t sure if I wanted to grow. There were times when I didn’t have a choice – we had to grow because we had work and we were committed. So, I would say that is really part of that blueprint. Gail gives you so much information. And she could say the same thing at every meeting, every coaching call. And you could only do parts of it. We go back to our culture; what is our culture? That affects who we work with, it affects who we hire, it affects what vendors we work with. We’ve talked about how our culture affects absolutely everything we do, that’s part of that blueprint.
It’s so much, you just take bits and pieces. You just work on it, and let the season of your business take you to those different tools that are offered, so that you don’t have to do it all at once.