Wingnut Social: The Interior Design Marketing and Business Podcast
Pivot Your Business with a Strategic Business Coach [Like Michele Williams] - Episode 238

Pivot Your Business with a Strategic Business Coach [Like Michele Williams] - Episode 238

October 13, 2021

Michele Williams is a strategic business coach who works with designers to help them create a strategic focus for their business, finances, and all decision-making. She firmly believes when you have a clear idea of where you want to go, you can get clear steps forward in place. She empowers business owners to take back the reins. 

When Darla came to Michele, she was struggling through a messy divorce while managing a full-time design business, Wingnut Social, and a podcast. Darla was ready to break and felt out of control. How was Michele able to guide her through her next steps? What did Michele do that helped Darla reclaim control of her businesses? How can she help you, too? Listen to this episode to learn more! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [4:37] Mini News Sesh: Content Facebook likes
  • [8:40] Learn more about Michele Williams
  • [13:37] What makes your heart beat? 
  • [26:32] Check out Build Lane for custom furniture! 
  • [28:00] Get on Wingnut Social’s waitlist—you won’t regret it
  • [29:42] How to find the right coach for you
  • [32:00] How to pivot if you can’t afford a coach
  • [43:43] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [47:26] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Michele Williams

Resources & People Mentioned

How to decide what you love—and what you can live without

Darla was running three businesses—the design business, the podcast, and Wingnut Social. Far too much for one person to handle. None of the businesses could function without her in them. What was her first step? Michele told her to take a step back, pull her head out of the day-to-day, and decide what she loved doing. 

Michele emphasizes “Stop building businesses that you don’t like. Stop building businesses that drain you. Stop building businesses that ask more than you’re willing to give. Start building businesses that you love with an intention and with a strategy.” That’s what Michele helped Darla work through. 

Which business did she want to put her time and attention into? What made her heart beat faster, that she felt passionate about? What wouldn’t she regret losing? Michele notes you must “Clear everyone else’s voice and hear yours.” You can’t make a business profitable if your heart isn’t in it. 

Michele isn’t there to make you a better designer, social media expert, or podcaster. She is there to help her clients run their businesses and make them better business owners. You develop a great business by having a strategy that leads to goals that lead to a plan. It becomes a framework for decision-making. The strategy allows you to say “yes” or “no” and not feel guilty about the decisions you’re making. 

How to pivot your business if you can’t afford a coach

Michele says the first step is easy: find someone you trust and consume all of the free information you can from them. Michele—and most coaches out there—offer some sort of free resources. Michele has a weekly podcast (Profit is a Choice) that shares 100% free content. She produces newsletters with actionable tips. You can write down takeaways and start using the free advice that coaches share. 

Michele has met numerous people who’ve listened to her for years, implemented everything she’s recommended, and got to a place where they could hire her. What else can you do? Invest in courses. Courses can help get you where you want to go so you can make enough money to do the next thing. 

Are you pivoting in your business because you want to—or someone told you that you have to? You need some understanding of why you need to pivot. Then you need to decide to pivot in a direction that will make you happy and joyful. You create a strategic plan and vision of what could be. Then you put one foot in front of the other and gain clarity. 

When you’re creating a vision, Michele emphasizes that you have to believe that the best is yet to come. If you’d like someone to guide you along the way, reach out to Michele today! 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Kathleen Jennison’s 7-Step Cheat Sheet for New Interior Designers - Episode 237

Kathleen Jennison’s 7-Step Cheat Sheet for New Interior Designers - Episode 237

October 6, 2021

Kathleen Jennison experienced a traumatic event that left her between two choices: living life by design or living life by default. She chose the former and has never looked back. It led her to make a drastic career change from an accountant to an interior designer. What led to the change? And how did she learn the interior design business in a time when there were no podcasts, Facebook groups, or coaches? She shares 7 critical steps she made—and what new interior designers should do—in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [4:10] Mini News Sesh: Instagram map search
  • [6:48] Kathleen Jennison’s career story
  • [14:24] The don’ts of changing careers
  • [21:11] Build Lane is changing the custom furniture game
  • [22:38] Hire Wingnut Social for your social media marketing needs
  • [24:22] Switch to accounting software for interior designers
  • [26:09] Find the one guru that resonates with you
  • [27:46] Attend your local markets to network and learn
  • [29:34] Hire a professional photographer to document your work
  • [31:43] Consider opening a storefront for your interior design business
  • [34:33] Outsource anything outside of your zone of genius
  • [36:11] Kathleen’s What Up Wingnut Round! 
  • [38:34] How to connect with Kathleen Jennison
  • [40:43] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Kathleen Jennison

Resources & People Mentioned

Kathleen’s transition from accountant to interior designer

In 2006, Kathleen came around a hairpin turn to encounter a car that was parked, taking photos. To avoid the car, Kathleen veered towards the side of the road—right over a cliff. She fell 200 feet into a ravine. The last thing she remembered was the airbag deploying and thinking “This is not gonna be good.” 

Kathleen was airlifted to UC Davis medical center. She had a traumatic brain injury, lost the vision in her right eye, and had broken many bones. She also struggled with short-term memory loss. Thankfully, it came back—but she had to relearn many things. 

Because of the accident, Kathleen lost her peripheral vision. Her ophthalmologist suggested she take an art class to help with her depth perception, so she dove in. The Art Institute had an architectural drafting class, so she decided to try it. After the drafting class, she took the fundamentals of interior design and color theory and enjoyed it. She decided to quit her job and go back to school for interior design. Before she knew it, she had a degree. But there were no jobs available. 

So Kathleen started her own interior design business in 2011. Because the design industry doesn’t have standardized processes and procedures, she had to learn how to do everything on her own. She didn't realize she needed experience in marketing, website development, psychology, and more. What did she learn that new interior designers can benefit from?

Kathleen’s 7-Step Cheat Sheet for Newbies

  1. Hire a web designer that specializes in interior design: Kathleen recommends hiring someone who creates websites for designers. She accidentally hired a web developer who told her she still needed to hire a designer and SEO specialist. 
  2. Hire a social media marketer for designers: Kathleen hired someone who created 12 Facebook and Twitter pages (which Kathleen is still trying to delete). If you don’t know what you’re doing, hire an expert who is actually an expert. You don’t have to outsource everything but at least have the expert set things up properly. 
  3. Invest in accounting software created for designers: When Kathleen made the switch, it not only streamlined the entire process but helped her scale her business.
  4. Find a guru that resonates with you: Don’t jump on every bandwagon or follow every trend. Don’t try doing it all—there’s a lot of noise out there. 
  5. Attend your local markets to network and learn: Kathleen had no idea how pricing and design centers worked. Luckily, she found showrooms that put their arms around her, explained everything, and helped her open accounts. When you attend markets, you’ll also be able to network with other designers and vendors. Those connections are priceless.
  6. Hire a professional photographer to document your designs: In the beginning, Kathleen had photography students take photos for her (probably not the best choice). Instead, she recommends networking with different businesses to find a photographer. You can design the most beautiful rooms, but if the photographer butchers the shoot, it does nothing for your portfolio.
  7. Consider opening a storefront for your interior design business: Kathleen had the opportunity to get a cheap space to put together a small storefront. People could see and feel samples, she could hold consultations there, and it gave her some street-cred. It also gave her better dealer pricing with vendors, which increases your margins. It’s a great way to help you set boundaries between business and personal life.

Bonus tip: Outsource anything outside of your zone of genius. Kathleen outsources her social media, blog, and even her accounting to experts. Once you have the revenue to outsource what you don’t excel at, outsource, outsource, outsource. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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How to Balance your Marriage + Business + Self [with LMFT Amber Hawley] - Episode 236

How to Balance your Marriage + Business + Self [with LMFT Amber Hawley] - Episode 236

September 29, 2021

How do you communicate with your partner when one or both of you run a business together? How do you avoid reaching the point of burnout? What are the signs of burnout? These are just a few of the burning questions Amber Hawley answers in this episode of Wingnut Social!

Amber Hawley is a licensed therapist specializing in couples therapy. She owns a group practice in Silicon Valley. Amber also runs two online businesses—The Couples Fix podcast and The Distracted Entrepreneur podcast.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:16] Mini News Sesh: Grow Your Audience on Pinterest
  • [8:19] Learn more about Amber Hawley
  • [9:33] The struggle of couples who run a business together
  • [13:44] How to prioritize communication in your marriage 
  • [19:00] How to recognize the signs of burnout
  • [23:33] Check out Build Lane for custom furniture! 
  • [25:00] Get on Wingnut Social’s waitlist—you won’t regret it
  • [26:43] Strategies to avoid reaching the point of burnout
  • [40:41] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [42:37] How to connect with Amber Hawley
  • [47:45] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Amber Hawley

Resources & People Mentioned

How to prioritize your marriage + your business

When Amber works with a couple who are in business together, she starts by helping them nail down boundaries between work and home. She emphasizes that you have to make sure there’s space for both in your relationship. Then you create routines where you can separate the two. You also need to make time to intentionally connect as a couple. 

You have to create a dedicated time to talk about your relationship. If you’re in conflict all the time you know it needs to be addressed. The flipside is also true—if there’s no open communication, you need to connect. If you’re having a good day, you don’t want to ruin it by bringing up something you’ve been struggling with. And when you’re already enmeshed in conflict, that isn’t a good time either. That’s why creating a ritual where you come together and talk about your relationship is key.

What’s going well? Where are you struggling? If everything is going great, you’ve simply carved out time to have a conversation. But if you’re not talking at all, that dedicated time once a week or monthly is imperative. 

Mitigating burnout as a business owner

As a business owner, you have a lot of demands on your time and energy. The hustle culture makes it hard to set boundaries (but you need to). What are the signs of burnout?

  • You start to notice that you’re easily irritated and quick to anger.
  • You aren’t enjoying things that you normally do.
  • You feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get (and other physical symptoms).
  • You struggle with compassion fatigue, especially for those in the helping professions.
  • You may dread going to work or don’t look forward to seeing your clients.
  • You procrastinate on the simplest of tasks. 

The first time Amber experienced burnout, she didn’t recognize it because she loves seeing her clients. But everything else in her business overwhelmed her. Simple administrative tasks stole her energy. She thought she was just struggling with her ADHD. But when you put off important things in your business—like billing clients—it becomes a problem. 

Strategies to avoid reaching the point of burnout

Amber’s favorite strategy is to hire and delegate (sound familiar?). Some things need to be done in your business and you may not be the best person to do them. That fact can be hard to swallow but it’s true. Amber also believes that you need to assess what’s important and see what you can delete off of your list immediately. If you struggle to let go, you can put a pin in it and return to it another time. 

Setting boundaries around how much you—and team members—work is key. You can experiment to see what works. Business owners are chronically over-scheduled and need to create more space in your day than you think you need. You must be diligent about not adding more to your plate. 

What else does Ambera recommend to avoid burnout? How can entrepreneurial couples strengthen their marriages? Listen to the whole episode to learn more! 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Break Boundaries as a Female Founder with Casey Gromer - Episode 235

Break Boundaries as a Female Founder with Casey Gromer - Episode 235

September 22, 2021

Are you a female founder who’s tired of the hustle mentality? Do you feel like your mental burden is becoming too much to carry? Or maybe you’re a visionary dreamer stuck in the role of CEO? In this episode of Wingnut Social, Casey Gromer shares how you can step away from being the “boss” and still be a passionate and purposeful leader of your business. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:49] I just bought a new house!
  • [3:49] Mini News Sesh: How Instagram search works
  • [9:21] Learn all about Casey Gromer
  • [11:29] What you’re doing wrong with vision statements
  • [19:15] Outdated leadership structures don't work for women
  • [24:30] Check out Build Lane for custom furniture!
  • [25:57] Learn more about the Wingnut Social Marketing Agency
  • [32:12] The difference between being a CEO and a visionary leader
  • [37:17] The steps to take to move out of day-to-day operations 
  • [39:48] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [42:40] How to learn more about Casey Gromer
  • [47:07] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Casey Gromer

Resources & People Mentioned

Toss out outdated leadership structures that don't work for women

When Casey left the corporate world and went out on her own, she realized the advice that women are getting didn’t work. Why? The hustle mentality. As a woman and mom, you’re likely raising kids, taking care of your home, and working full-time. Women need a flexible structure for their work and life. But that often isn’t the case, so women carry a large mental load. Corporate environments put work first and leave everything else to come second. That mentality doesn’t fly for most women—it can’t.

Casey emphasizes that “We’ve created a society where if we’re not hustling, we’re not worthy of making the money.” Women hustle just as much as men—but not all 120 hours of hustle are dedicated to the business. Yet women feel they don’t deserve to get paid when all of their time and energy isn’t focused on hustling. That needs to change. 

It’s a new concept that you can build a business where you can step away and have other people run it and take ownership. As long as you’re working with a team toward the same vision, it doesn’t matter if you’re the one doing all the things. You’re still the owner of the business. 

The difference between being a CEO and a visionary leader

Your typical CEO is someone who is a leader, a planner, an executor, well-organized, and knows what’s happening in the business at all times. They get stuff done. That’s where Casey feels her sweet spot is. But a visionary leader is an idea person. They have 100 ideas a day, hate being tied to a desk, don’t like being responsible for people, etc. These are the people that start amazing companies and get burned out. 

The CEO doesn’t generate ideas so their business tends to stay stagnant. They don’t get to dream about tomorrow. That’s why you have to partner with visionary-style leaders and allow them to dream. Casey partners with visionaries so they can dream and she can plan and execute. 

If you’re a female founder who’s ready to step back from the day-to-day and leave behind the hustle mentality, Casey has some tips for you. Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • What are the major functions that keep your business running? 
  • What’s involved in each function? 
  • What are you good at and what should be delegated? 

But even before you do this, Casey implores you to get an assistant that can make sure your ideas have a place to go who works to keep you organized and focused.

To hear a full discussion about crafting a vision statement for your company that actually works, listen to the whole episode!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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Convert Calls to Clients with Nikki Rausch [Throwback] - Episode 234

Convert Calls to Clients with Nikki Rausch [Throwback] - Episode 234

September 15, 2021

Discovery calls. You’ve all had these conversations with prospective clients, right? Identifying whether or not they’re a good fit for your brand and business can be tricky. In this Wingnut Social throwback, Nikki Rausch shares how to ask the right questions—not only to determine if they’re a good fit—but to close a new client. Don’t miss it! 

Wingnut REPLAY: Reach Your Soul Goals with Anna Tsui - Episode 233

Wingnut REPLAY: Reach Your Soul Goals with Anna Tsui - Episode 233

September 8, 2021

We thought this topic was SO important to take to heart that we’re going to repeat it—just so you don’t forget it. In this special replay, Genius Coach Anna Tsui shares how you can learn to overcome self-sabotage and finally land in your zone of genius. If you’re a business owner struggling with doubt and unable to follow-through on projects, this one's for you.

 

Achieve Massive Business Growth with Monique Allen’s Methods - Episode 232

Achieve Massive Business Growth with Monique Allen’s Methods - Episode 232

September 1, 2021

Monique Allen runs a multi-million dollar landscaping design business. She started it with just one employee and now has 22. She makes bank and has zero debt. How did she scale her business? What was the key to her success? Learn more in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

Connect with Monique Allen

Resources & People Mentioned

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:11] Mini news sesh: Swipe-ups on Instagram stories
  • [5:40] Learn how Monique Allen got into landscaping design
  • [11:01] Why did Monique decide to scale her business?
  • [21:26] Learn more about what Wingnut Social offers
  • [23:06] Check out Build Lane for custom furniture!
  • [24:36] The service packages Monique offers
  • [28:14] Building a business from one employee to 18
  • [33:57] One mistake Monique says NOT to make
  • [35:41] Take the time to imagine what’s possible
  • [36:52] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [38:54] How to learn more about Monique Allen
  • [41:00] Blooper Reel!

Why did Monique decide to scale her business?

Monique bought a house, got married, and was about to have a baby. So she wanted a wedge between her personal life and her business. At the time, she had six or seven employees. She wanted to do more of what she excelled at. She decided to gather people around her that had expertise in areas she didn’t. She continued adding hires that lined up to elevate the company. It allowed her to have support and have the impact she desired.

She notes that you can look at your skillset as four quadrants: incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius. She emphasizes that you can’t scale your business if you’re working in your competence. You have to be working in your genius (at the very least, something you excel at). Monique learned to let go of what she was competent at to spend time working in her zone of genius. That’s where your business starts to catapult.

Monique believes the hardest part is to hand off the design work or the client contact. But she has a team that she completely trusts to complete a project—all because she niched down. When you choose a niche, you’ll begin to attract your perfect employee or design partner. Those people are ambassadors of your design strategy.

What is another mindset shift business owners have to make to scale their business? Why did she shift from hourly pricing to packaged services? Listen to hear Monique’s thoughts!

Building a business from one employee to 18

Monique hired her first W-2 employee in 1991. In 2000, she had six employees. She’ll have 22 employees in 2021. At one point, Monique had capped her business at $1.5 million. She was bringing the right clients in and she wanted to hit $2 million, but she realized she needed to shore up her organizational chart and have role clarity in place first. She worked on that for several years. Now she’s in a place where she’s working to scale her business to $2.5 million.

Monique has a corporate team and a production team. Her production team consists of two production leads with direct reports. As the creative director, she makes sure that the strategy around marketing, sales, and onboarding clients is done well. Her tagline is that she is the gardener of people. Her job is to make sure all the people—both clients and employees—are being supported. 

How does scaling her business bring her freedom? What was her dream for herself that she extended to her employees? Listen to learn more!

One mistake Monique says NOT to make

Monique says that as a business owner, you have to be clear that there isn’t anyone out there who is going to rescue you. She states: “There isn’t a hire, a client, a job, or software, that is going to rescue you.” Monique believed that if she hired the right person, that everything would fall into place. She was repeatedly disappointed until she realized she needed to embody her vision and direct things the way she wanted them to go. She had to release the death grip she had on the idea that someone would rescue her from the hard work of owning the business.

Check out this week’s episode on Wingnut Social Premium to hear exclusive content about biophilic design and how to partner with landscapers to strengthen your business.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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Infuse More Joy in Your Life with Tanya Dalton - Episode 231

Infuse More Joy in Your Life with Tanya Dalton - Episode 231

August 25, 2021

Do you find joy in what you do every day? Or do you struggle to get through each day? Tanya Dalton is a best-selling author, speaker, and nationally recognized productivity expert. In this episode of Wingnut Social, Darla and Tanya talk about some of the concepts in her first book, “The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less.” If you’re ready to infuse more joy into your existence, this is the episode for you!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:46] Check out Build Lane custom furniture 
  • [1:28] Learn more about Wingnut Social!
  • [3:03] Check out Wingnut Premium for a 7-day free trial!
  • [4:09] Mini news sesh: TikTok is testing a Stories feature
  • [7:14] Learn more about Tanya Dalton
  • [9:17] Does your business still give you joy?
  • [14:39] When do you call it quits and pivot?
  • [25:30] What “Loving what you do” looks like
  • [27:28] Learn to live each day on purpose 
  • [32:53] How to get your joy back
  • [38:07] How to connect with Tanya Dalton
  • [38:43] The What Up Wingnut Round
  • [42:23] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Tanya Dalton

Resources & People Mentioned

Does your business still give you joy?

Tanya points out that most people go into business because they’re passionate about it. But then you get bogged down by the behind-the-scenes things that are part of running the business. You lose sight of why you started in the first place. So what do you do? How do you find joy when you’re burned out? Tanya says to take a step back and assess, are you happy? Is this where you want to go? Tanya believes you can inject joy into your business by adding systems and structures that lighten your load. You have the power to choose how your life—and your business—is run.

Many business owners wear a lot of hats—and feel like they have to. You worry that something won’t get done to your standards. It ties into the idea of perfectionism. But guess what? There’s more than one way to do things. You have to relinquish control and delegate. You will get burned by team members and bad hires. You can use those times as learning lessons. It’s part of the journey of entrepreneurship. “That’s part of finding our way to what it is we really want. It’s when we stop doing what everybody else is doing.” You can define success on your own terms. You can define how your business is run. When you take that power and use it, the difference it can make in your life is incredible. 

When do you call it quits and pivot?

Tanya points out that moving on and pivoting is part of the evolution for many people. You start something because you think it’s what you want. Tanya’s first business was successful. Her husband quit his job to come work alongside her. The business paid her bills and fed her family. It was checking all of the boxes. But five years into it, she didn’t love the work. She spent a lot of sleepless nights staring at the ceiling, questioning, “Why am I doing this?” If you’re not happy, what’s the point?

That meant taking a step back and assessing her life. She closed her business and took the things she was passionate about and created Inkwell Press Productivity Co. She scaled her business to seven figures in 18 months because she was so passionate about it. 

What holds people back? They feel stuck because they’ve put so much time and effort into something that they’ve built. But Tanya emphasizes that you’re never stuck. You can always shift, change, and grow in the direction that you want to grow in. For Tanya, it meant starting over. It was a redefinition of success.

So how do you make a change? Do you take a blind leap of faith? Or engage in purposeful planning? Listen to hear what Tanya would do.

How to live each day on purpose 

People get bogged down by the idea of purpose. But Tanya believes that having a purpose is simply living bigger than today. It’s seeing who you want to be in the future and working toward that. It’s rising up to be the best version of you. You have to understand where you want to go and then work backward to map it out. What is possible in 3–5 years? What’s practical to get done in a year? You break it down into what you can prioritize in 3–6 months. Then you take your goals, your daily actions, and tie them to that destination you want to get to. When you do fewer things tied to your vision you find that you’re happier. Five small steps toward your purpose bring you closer to where you want to go. 

To learn more about Tanya’s processes, methods, and her “MTO Method for Setting Goals” head on over to Wingnut Social Premium!

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Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner

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Learn to Rewire Your Brain Patterns with Adele Spraggon - Episode 230

Learn to Rewire Your Brain Patterns with Adele Spraggon - Episode 230

August 18, 2021

Do you struggle to reach goals? No matter how many vision boards you create or how you shift your mindset, you’re always falling short? Maybe you’re doing things all wrong. In this episode of Wingnut Social, Adele Spraggon shares how to recognize brain patterns and what you can do to deconstruct and rewire them. Her process can transform your brain and help you achieve what you never thought possible!

Adele Spraggon is an award-winning author, thought-leader, international speaker, and trainer. She was awarded the 2020 Women of Inspiration Award and was recognized as a top behavioral expert in 2021. Her book, “Shift: 4 Steps to Personal Empowerment,” has won three awards and is sweeping the globe, transforming how people are setting and achieving their goals. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:28] Mini news sesh: How the Instagram Reels algorithm works
  • [8:40] Learn more about brain pattern expert Adele Spraggon
  • [14:46] What a brain pattern is and how it impacts you
  • [21:18] Does the brain develop patterns based on past experiences? 
  • [25:24] Check out Build Lane at https://buildlane.com/
  • [26:54] The steps to take to change your brain patterns
  • [33:12] Why shifting to “positive thinking” isn’t the answer
  • [38:56] We continue the conversation on Wingnut Premium!
  • [39:13] It’s time for the What up Wingnut round
  • [40:19] Rerouting neural pathways with psychedelics
  • [44:00] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Adele Spraggon

Resources & People Mentioned

What made Adele quit her first three businesses? 

After 15 years in the personal development industry, Adele realized that traditional mindset methods didn’t work. She did all of the right things, yet started and quit three different businesses. So she decided to learn more about the human brain. Adele went back to school and got a master’s degree in humanities. When she learned how the brain works, she realized where the disconnect was. 

We think that what our brain “sees” is perfectly aligned with the external situation. But your brain creates its reality from the external situation.She had to learn how to re-pattern the part of her brain that led her to quit repeatedly. She developed a new set of operating instructions. Everything changed.

In Adele’s case, she discovered that her brain pattern was people-pleasing. So anytime she thought she upset someone, she ran in the opposite direction. But how do you recognize your brain pattern? Start by learning what a brain pattern is. 

What is a brain pattern?

A brain pattern is a combination of three factors: a physical sensation, an emotion, and a thought. When these three things come together, they result in a particular action, behavior, or belief. The brain is like an iceberg. Above the water is everything you do, think, or say is above the water. Under the water is the brain pattern that gives rise to your actions.

When Adele started a business, her initial brain pattern was one of excitement. But her brain perceived the world as being displeased with her idea. That triggered another pattern, one of discomfort, anxiousness, and panic. Her action was to quit. Her brain was warring over two different patterns. They were neural pathways in her brain that she needed to identify. 

Does your brain develop patterns based on past experiences? 

Adele notes that human beings are not born with instincts like many animals are. From the moment a baby enters the world, they must piece together brain patterns to take action. Every situation causes a reaction in the brain which causes it to create a neural pathway (i.e. a brain pattern). Once that pathway is created, your brain prefers to use that channel. Until you recognize and remove that brain pattern, your brain will default to it.

But the beautiful thing is that brains are plastic, they’re malleable. Adele notes that in the last 20–25 years, there has been an explosion of research in the field of neuroscience. We used to think that the brain was hardwired when we reached adulthood. The truth is that you can quickly re-pattern the brain because it is designed to keep rewiring itself—you just need to know how to work it. 

The steps to take to change your brain patterns

How do you give your brain new operating instructions? Adele advises that if something is preventing you from moving forward, you need to ask “What am I feeling? Where am I feeling that? What is my one thought?” In Adele’s case, she felt anxiety in her stomach. Her thought was “I have to quit.” That is a pattern. Her next step is to own it as a pattern. She just had to acknowledge, “I created a pattern in my brain that is now feeling and doing this.” Then you must deconstruct the pattern and replace it with something else. But you can only create the new pattern once you remove the old one.

So what does the process look like? Why is positive thinking more harmful than helpful? Listen to the whole episode to learn more about rewiring your brain’s patterns. And to learn more about recreating your brain patterns by listening to your right brain, check out the extended interview at Wingnut Premium

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Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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Niche Until it Hurts: Erica Reiner’s Love for Eco-Friendly Design - Episode 229

Niche Until it Hurts: Erica Reiner’s Love for Eco-Friendly Design - Episode 229

August 11, 2021

After a career in environmental science Erica Reiner decided to marry her two loves—environmental science and design—and became an eco-friendly designer. Erica’s passion is to help people transform their space, health, and the planet. She does full-service and eDesign for both residential and commercial clients. She also has her own podcast called “Green by Design.” Listen to this episode of Wingnut Social to hear about her journey to niche until it hurts.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:16] Don’t forget to check out Wingnut Social!
  • [4:45] Mini News Sesh: Instagram’s newest feature
  • [7:24] All about eco-friendly designer Erica Reiner
  • [13:20] Wat eco-friendly design means to Erica
  • [17:09] Erica’s strategies for marketing
  • [20:50] Check out Build Lane for custom furniture!
  • [23:02] Don’t be afraid to niche until it hurts
  • [28:48] Did COVID ramp up the desire for eco-friendly design?
  • [30:48] How can the design industry become greener?
  • [34:10] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [39:34] Blooper Reel! 

Connect with Erica Reiner

Resources & People Mentioned

What eco-friendly design means to Erica

Erica notes that eco-friendly is an umbrella term that can include human health and a deep look at chemical exposures and toxicity. It can also include the impact you’re having on the earth itself. It’s why Erica incorporates eco-friendly design into her entire method. She weaves in eco-friendly things that make sense in every project. Her goal was to make sustainability and eco-friendly design as accessible as possible. 

Each client Erica works with is kept informed of what she’s doing with a customized “green guide” for their project. While she is careful to spend money on what’s important to the client, they are all aware that she incorporates eco-friendly sourcing. She works with vendors who strive to create sustainable pieces. 

So is Erica’s design style considered Vegan? Listen to hear why Erica believes she can’t fall into that category. HINT: it’s about sustainability...

Don’t be afraid to niche until it hurts

Erica designs so many different types of aesthetics but it’s always classified within eco-friendly design. After Erica shifted to full-time design in 2018, she felt like she failed miserably. But when she stopped offering eco-friendly design as a separate service and incorporated it into her entire process, everything changed. The efforts she made with SEO started to pay off. 

Darla never recommends that you do something you don’t love. If you’re passionate about different aesthetics, do it. Erica still has the thread of eco-friendly design woven in. Erica believes that if you’re afraid to niche, you’re embracing a scarcity mindset. If you niche into something you’re passionate about it will be enough to sustain you. 

Erica also chose a niche because she desires to teach other home pros and designers about the importance of eco-friendly design. She launched a podcast that shares tips and tricks, how-tos, what to be aware of—anything green. It’s another piece of the marketing puzzle to become an authority in the eco-friendly industry. Erica emphasizes that environmental problems and human health problems are one and the same. There is so much improvement to come in the movement toward greener and cleaner.

Want to learn Erica’s client satisfaction process to not only end a project with happy clients but also get referrals? Head on over to Wingnut Premium!

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Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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Why You Should Use Case Studies to Boost Your Business - Episode 228

Why You Should Use Case Studies to Boost Your Business - Episode 228

August 4, 2021

How can you incorporate case studies for your interior design business on your website? Why should you? Case studies are a testimonial with black-and-white hard numbers of what a business has accomplished for a client. In this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast, Darla is going to talk about two of her case studies—and why they’re so important. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:56] Real-life case studies from current clients
  • [2:40] Mini news sesh: Instagram security tips
  • [9:00] Case Study #1: Plush Couture Interiors
  • [13:27] Case Study #2: MOOD | Design + Build
  • [14:46] Learn about designing custom furniture with Build Lane!
  • [22:10] Join Wingnut Premium to learn more about creating a strategy
  • [24:59] The wackiest Wingnut blooper reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Case Study #1: Plush Couture Interiors

When Teresa Gonzalez contacted Wingnut Social, she was relocating from LA to Portland, Oregon. Her business needed to establish a presence in a completely new demographic. She needed to adapt her brand voice to attract clients in Portland. So Wingnut Social created a strategy that focused on branding using consistency in voice, messaging, and imagery. They also made sure she was known for luxury design and as a lifestyle influencer. 

How did Wingnut make it happen? By interspersing Teresa’s feed with both luxury and inspirational content, while including images of Teresa. They also made sure to write posts in Teresa’s voice so it reflected her approachable personality. They wrote posts to engage her audience and start conversations. Followers would also learn about what Plush Couture could do for them. They also researched hashtags to use based on analytics and customized them to each post to reach more Instagram users who weren’t yet followers. 

What were the results? In the first 2–3 months her account saw an increase of over 12,000% in impressions, over 7,800% increase in engagements (likes, comments, shares, saves), and a 900% increase in followers over two months. Her closest competitor only saw an increase in followers of 15.2% during the same time. Even better? Some of her posts have gone viral. 

When you’re starting a successful Instagram campaign, you want to make sure that brand awareness is the main thing you’re working on. What can you do to engage your followers? Listen to hear Darla share some tips!

Case Study #2: MOOD | Design + Build

Candy Scott came to Wingnut Social for help building brand awareness for her design firm. She wanted to be known, heard, and seen in the industry and build brand awareness, beginning locally in Chicago. Differentiation from competitors is key to positioning. Where do you fall? What do you offer to an ideal client? Candy differentiates herself because of her expertise in project management for large design-build jobs. 

To attract clients on Instagram, Wingnut created a strategic content mix of interior design and interior architecture—to emphasize the build part of her business—as well as lifestyle photos of her team. They used highly engaging questions in captions to provoke replies and comments. It may seem basic but people often neglect drawing readers into conversations. 

Candy’s second goal was to show up in Google searches for build design firms in Chicago. So Wingnut optimized her website to appear in the top-10 of search results, increasing brand visibility online. They used keyword research to optimize her website for local Chicago-based searches. They continued to build heavily optimized blog posts so they’d appear in Google searches. Even better? Blurbs, testimonials, quotes, etc. from blog posts can be used on social media.

What were the results? MOOD Design + Build’s impressions on Instagram increased 20,400%. Their engagement increased 48,300% and their followers more than doubled. Wingnut Social increased their search position on Google by an average of 27 spots leading to an increase in organic search traffic of 27%—in the first three months.

If you post case studies for your clients on your website—and potentially on your social media, depending on your strategy—it can boost interest in your services. Learn all about it in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

Join Wingnut Premium to learn more about creating a strategy from scratch. But if you want help with marketing, let us know!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

  • Looking for a great custom furniture option? Check out Build Lane

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Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs to Charge What You’re Worth [Sarah Schneider] - Episode 227

Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs to Charge What You’re Worth [Sarah Schneider] - Episode 227

July 28, 2021

If you are a regular listener, you’ve likely heard the phrase “Charge what you’re worth.” But how do you know what you’re worth? How much work does it take to get to a point where you can charge what you want? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? In this episode of Wingnut Social, Executive Coach Sarah Schneider breaks down how to figure out what “Charging what you’re worth” actually means. Don’t miss it! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:49] Learn more about episode sponsor: Build Lane
  • [1:21] Wingnut Social is the real deal
  • [3:18] Mini news sesh: New Instagram sticker feature
  • [6:21] Learn all about Sarah Schneider
  • [10:38] Why designers struggle with charging what they’re worth
  • [15:56] How to work through the psychological struggle
  • [24:02] How do you determine what you’re worth
  • [32:47] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [34:41] How to connect with Sarah Schneider
  • [35:37] Learn more about the Wingnut Premium program
  • [38:20] Check out this week’s blooper reel!

Connect with Sarah Schneider

Resources & People Mentioned

How to overcome the psychological struggle to charge what you’re worth

Sarah knows that designers struggle with comparison and self-criticism. They think they need more experience or that people won’t pay their rates. She emphasizes that you have to take an honest look at your background, skillset, and the results that you provide people. Make it about what you deliver and the impact you have. If you’re a high-end designer you’ll charge differently than someone who declutters and organizes spaces. You also have to take into account what you need to make based on your overhead. 

People get lost in, “Who am I to charge that?” From a psychological and self-worth standpoint, how do you overcome this limiting belief? Sarah believes that you’re never as new at something as you think you are. A designer has likely used their skillsets in other areas of their life, right? Now you’re simply executing it differently. Sarah challenges people to always take a beginner’s viewpoint and look at things with fresh eyes. But “new” at something doesn’t mean inexperienced. Don’t take your knowledge for granted. 

Focus on what you bring to the table

Self-doubt is a dream and performance crusher. It's the beginning of the end of your goals. It’s so easy to discount what you know because—let’s be honest—it comes naturally. Sarah coaches people to take inventory of what they bring to the table. If you’re your own worst critic, this can be easier to do with someone who knows you well (someone who champions you or a client that loves you). 

  • What have you done since you were a kid? 
  • What was your formal or informal education? 
  • What roles have you had throughout your life and career? 
  • What type of advice do people ask you for?

Brainstorm this with someone and write it down—even if you think it’s an obvious or trivial skill. When you’re in a place of self-criticism, you can look back at the list and see what you bring to the table. It’s easier to be kind to yourself when you have collected evidence in your favor.

How do you determine what you’re worth

Sarah works with a lot of entrepreneurs. People are often coached to charge a certain amount if they want to appear credible. Sarah recommends that you find a middle ground somewhere between what you’re comfortable with and what the “experts” say you should be charging. It needs to be an integration of a number that stretches you that you’re willing to say out loud—without throwing up. 

When Darla started charging what she was worth (to make a profit, stay in business, and give clients the service she’s renowned for), clients started knocking down the door. Darla has a waiting list and she’s never been busier. Darla has found in some cases that doubling your hourly rate can make people pick up the phone. Why does that happen? Listen to the whole episode to hear Sarah share her thoughts.

To hear more from Sarah about the breaking away from the comparison game, head on over to Wingnut Premium for an exclusive episode! 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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How Using a UTM Will Transform your Marketing Metrics with Chris Mercer - Episode 226

How Using a UTM Will Transform your Marketing Metrics with Chris Mercer - Episode 226

July 21, 2021

How do you really know where your leads are coming from? How do you know if a campaign you’re running is successful? In this episode of WingnutSocial, the founder of Measurement Marketing—Chris Mercer—shares a genius way to track your leads and manage your campaigns with UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules). Even better, it can save you a whole lotta moolah. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:47] For more info on this subject head over to Wingnut Premium!
  • [2:13] Mini News Sesh: Instagram changing its model
  • [6:12] Learn more about Chris Mercer’s expertise
  • [9:55] What in the world is a UTM?
  • [12:42] How to set up a design campaign with UTMs
  • [18:25] How to understand the UTM terminology
  • [23:07] Learn more about our sponsor Build Lane
  • [25:35] Email marketing using UTMs
  • [34:24] Learn to be good enough to get going 
  • [35:32] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [38:32] Where to learn more about Measurement Marketing
  • [43:39] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Chris Mercer

Resources & People Mentioned

What in the world is a UTM?

An Urchin Tracking Module (Thank God someone shortened it to UTM) is a parameter. When you go into your email and go to click on a link, look at the link. It will often end with something like “UTM_Source=” AKA a parameter. They identify themselves with platforms like Google analytics. So if you click on a link in an email, the UTM will tell Google Analytics that you came to someone’s site from an email. It will tell them the email you clicked on and even the subject line. Social media is a place you can get really busy and it’s great to know if your activity leads to results. That’s why a UTM is important. 

You might go into Google analytics and see something like Facebook.com/referral or Pitnerest.com/referral. You know those platforms caused that person to come to your site. With UTMs you can take it a step further and know exactly where the referral came from (such as a paid ad or pin that they clicked on). You get better at identifying where your traffic is coming from. 

How to set up a campaign with UTMs

Chris points out that when you share a photo or story you usually have a call to action where someone can click on a link to learn more. When you create that CTA, you can add the UTM parameters. The goal is to identify the who, what, and the why. Who is sending you traffic? What type is being sent? What was the purpose of the traffic?

If Chris just enters his homepage, Google will tell him they came from Instagram to the site but it doesn’t tell him much else. But he could add the parameters “UTM_Source=Instagram” to identify the source of the traffic (i.e. the “brand name” of the traffic source). He could use “UTM_Medium=Social” to know it’s stuff that he’s sharing for social engagement (i.e. the type of traffic). A parameter of “UTM_Campaign=Academy” can tell him the purpose of the traffic (to join his training academy).

A UTM allows you to identify where to spend your time, including the platform and type of posts. You can really hone in and employ the most effective marketing for your business. Using UTMs should NOT be optional for you. 

Listen to the whole episode to hear Chris explain why you should use UTMs for emails—and how to do it! And to learn how to use UTMs for different mediums, head on over to Wingnut Premium for an extended interview. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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An Unexpected Way Designers can Leverage Pinterest per Chandler Oldham - Episode 225

An Unexpected Way Designers can Leverage Pinterest per Chandler Oldham - Episode 225

July 14, 2021

We’ve talked about how designers can leverage Pinterest with their social media marketing strategy. But is there another way to use Pinterest, both internally and externally? Chandler Oldham certainly believes so. In this episode of Wingnut Social, she shares the unique way her firm—DXA Studio—uses Pinterest. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:43] Check out Desi Creswell’s coaching group!
  • [1:05] Head on over to Build Lane for customer furniture 
  • [2:49] Mini News Sesh: Live audio groups on Facebook
  • [6:30] Learn more about Chandler Oldham
  • [11:16] How COVID changed the landscape
  • [13:26] How Chandler is using Pinterest with clients
  • [19:07] How Pinterest helps with the creative process
  • [26:04] How to combine Pinterest and other resources for inspiration 
  • [29:40] Pinterest applies to hospitality and commercial design as well
  • [32:00] How Chandler sources products and vendors on Pinterest 
  • [38:36] The What Up Wingnut Round
  • [41:12] How to connect with Chandler Oldham
  • [46:12] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Chandler Oldham

Resources & People Mentioned

Pinterest for collaboration

As a way to collaborate on ideas, Chandler’s team likes to create a Pinterest board for projects so people can save things in it. It’s also great when you have clients who want to be more hands-on, which developers seem to be moving toward. During COVID, it was also one of the easiest ways to communicate and not waste time going in the wrong direction.

Chandler points out that their use of Pinterest is heavy-handed during the concept period when they’re doing most of the designing. But Chandler loves to use it throughout the entire process. You can send a detailed image to a client or a contractor and it conveys so much more than trying to explain with words. Plus, it saves you from having to make a sketch. 

The only downside of Pinterest is that you can go down the rabbit hole trying to find something. Their algorithm tends to send you the same images repeatedly and you have to know how to get to what you’re searching for. 

Tips and tricks to best utilize Pinterest

When you find a furniture maker or designer that you like, Chandler emphasizes that you should spend time on their websites. Use the Pinterest plugin so that you can save images from their site. That way, you’re constantly saving things to Pinterest for yourself. It gives you a new place to get images and it changes what the algorithm gives you versus solely searching inside Pinterest. She makes sure the original owners of the image get the credit for the image. Lastly, Chandler recommends that you create as many boards as you can for yourself and save, save, save photos. You’ll be upset if you didn't save an image and try to recall it later, only to realize you can’t find it.

How Pinterest helps with the creative process

Chandler uses Pinterest all the time because she’s always thinking one project ahead. She wants to always inspire herself and stay on top of the next best thing. Pinterest helps her firm stay on top of what’s trending and what’s happening in the marketplace. As a designer, Chandler loves any site that allows her to peruse images. Pinterest also makes the world smaller. Since the world couldn’t travel, every resource was posting new things on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Social media allows the whole world to open up to you and you can see things from a different perspective. How does Chandler use Pinterest to source vendors and tradesmen? Listen to learn more!

Want even more great content? Head on over to Wingnut Premium!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

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Interior Designers: You NEED to Network with Realtors [per Eric Reeves] - Episode 224

Interior Designers: You NEED to Network with Realtors [per Eric Reeves] - Episode 224

July 7, 2021

Why do interior designers and home stagers need professional relationships with realtors? How can this relationship further your business and put dollars in your pocket? How do you build those relationships in the first place? Darla and Eric Reeves set out to answer these questions in this episode of Wingnut Social!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:49] Get your custom furniture through Build Lane!
  • [1:21] Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” group
  • [3:16] Mini news sesh: Rumored Facebook news
  • [5:46] Check out Wingnut Social Premium!
  • [7:40] Learn more about Eric Reeves
  • [11:00] How real estate + interior design mesh
  • [13:45] Why interior designers should network with realtors
  • [23:05] How Eric built his reputation in his community
  • [25:58] How home stagers can sell their value to realtors
  • [28:00] Eric’s thoughts about digital staging
  • [33:16] The “What Up Wingnut” Round!
  • [35:43] Darla’s take: Networking tips + tricks
  • [38:32] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Eric Reeves

Resources & People Mentioned

How real estate + interior design mesh

Eric is one of the few that can stage a home, sell it, and remodel it. Because of his degree in interior design, he can help buyers visualize the potential of the space when he’s showing it. He can help people see how to make a home of their own. He can also advise buyers of resale value and help them determine changes to make that stay within the budget of the neighborhood. When Eric started his business, it was geared toward home staging because there was nothing in his area. As a realtor, seeing how homes were presented, he knew his market needed the service.

Why interior designers should network with realtors

Eric points out that realtors are a great resource to home buyers and sellers. New home buyers might need an electrician, plumber, contractor, etc. Most of the homes in Eric’s area are resales—not new construction—so remodeling is always a consideration. Most people who own a home at some point will need to sell or buy. The homeowner will likely ask you for interior design recommendations. That’s why a symbiotic relationship between designers and realtors is imperative. 

What benefit does the realtor get? When you’re a great resource for your clients, it keeps you top of mind. When they go to buy or sell, you’re the person that comes to mind. Eric’s market is a lot of second homes and vacation homes. They tend to be empty or furnished with pieces that are outdated and old. They often need a designer’s touch to help them move.

How home stagers can sell their value to realtors

Eric recommends that home stagers and interior designers need to build a good relationship with realtors—and know your numbers. You need to be familiar with the inventory on the market. You need to understand if the market is hot or barely moving. It’s all about perceived value. 95% of people start their home searches online. So you need to communicate to your client the value of a well-staged home. 

You also need a professional online presence (website and social media). You need a packet of information that’s exceptional that you can provide outlining the services you offer. You also need to be able to communicate the value of your work (and how it can lead to more money for the homeowner and realtor).

Eric believes there’s a place for both normal and digital staging. If someone needs a quick turnaround at a low price point, digital staging may be the way to go. But Eric points out if he’s showing a home with staged photos online but walks into an empty house, it’s a letdown. People don’t have the vision to see what could be. But if you can learn to do both, do it. You don’t want to be the Blockbuster of the interior design industry

Listen to the whole episode for some networking tips + tricks from Darla!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner
  • Desi has a six-month customized coaching experience

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

 

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