By Melissa Mahoney, as told by Sara Shelton
Part of our “My Blueprint Story” Series
When I officially launched my interior design business just over a year ago, I honestly had no idea what to expect.
I’d spent the last 12 years building a career at a commercial interior design firm. That was the world I knew. It was a world I was comfortable in.
But after adding two children to our family and trying to find that elusive work/life balance, I knew it was time to take a step that would give me more freedom and flexibility at home and push me out of my comfort zone at work.
So I talked to my husband, signed up for The Blueprint Model course, and six months later, launched my own business, Melissa Mahoney Design House.
There was no official launch or big kickoff to get the ball rolling. I just started talking about the company and working hard at what was in front of me, and somehow, clients started rolling in.
But if I’m being honest, I wasn’t at all prepared for it!
When I left my job, my husband and I talked about the road ahead. After all, launching a brand new business isn’t easy. It takes time! We were fully prepared to not see a paycheck from this new venture for months. So when we hit the ground running and momentum kept building, I honestly wasn’t ready.
As it turns out, there are a lot of challenges that come with growing a business so quickly. Even though they’re good challenges to have, they remain challenges nonetheless.
With 13 active clients and counting, I realized pretty quickly that if I was going to keep this business going, I needed to make some major shifts to keep up with the growth I was experiencing.
So this is what I did!
So many of my first clients have been friends (or friends of friends!). I was born and raised in the area outside of Chicago where I work so word of mouth is what helped me get going and growing so quickly in the first place!
Having some sort of previous relationship with my clients allowed me to be a little more transparent with them from the get-go. So as the business was growing and I was figuring out how to keep up, I simply asked for patience in the process.
And you know what? They gave it to me!
My clients were super patient and understanding in those early days, and that allowed me to be a little more patient with myself, too!
I launched this business without a real website, portfolio, or brand.
I thought I’d come up with those things as we grew, but when growth happened so quickly, I realized I couldn’t wait on investing in that part of my business. The only problem? I had little experience and even less time to actually create any of those things.
So I made the move to connect with someone who could do it for me. She helped with everything from social media and marketing to photography and a website. And that investment in her has been absolutely invaluable in growing my business. It gave me a more consistent and professional brand and took the weight off of me to figure it all out on my own.
The business may be called Melissa Mahoney Design House, but it’s taken so much more than Melissa Mahoney to make it happen.
We may have started out that way, but with so much growth so quickly, I just couldn’t do it on my own! So to keep up, I got help.
Six months in I connected with a consultant who is basically a guru in the ins and outs of interior design. She now works remotely to help me with all the details so that I can have more hours to work with our clients. Without asking for help, I’m convinced the growth would’ve outpaced my ability to keep up alone.
Sure, I was working in the design world for over a decade before I launched my own business, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t still more to learn.
I was great at the details, design, and management of a project, but had very little business experience in my background. So when growth hit fast, so did the learning curve. I had to learn how to actually run this business, and honestly, I’m still learning!
But taking time to really focus on the business (something the Blueprint Model gave me the tools to do!) helped me keep up as the business grew.
→ finally make money doing what you love!
→ provide real income for your family without having to sacrifice all your time and energy to the non-stop hustle.
→ transform your business (and life!) just like hundreds of other men and women who’ve implemented this proven business blueprint.
If that sounds like a dream year, then I want to invite you to join us inside The Blueprint Model!