Creative Genius Podcast
Season Two Episode Five
Most interior designers start a firm because they have a passion for design, not because they have a passion for running an interior design business. In fact, some would prefer not to have anything to do with the business side of their business. Even if you think you don’t have a mind or taste for business, you can learn to love it. When that happens, see how fast and how much it can grow.
In today’s podcast, Gail and Erin talk with Matthew Tirschwell, founder of Tirschwell & Co., Inc., Architectural Lighting Design, with offices in New York City and Beverly Hills. In operation for more than 20 years, the firm works in all areas of lighting design, including hospitality, retail, institutional, and residential.
Several years ago, Matthew felt that his business was just treading water. It was very successful but seemed to be running on autopilot. He knew he wanted something more but just didn’t know what or how to move toward it. He was introduced to Gail through a friend who also is a client of Gail’s and signed up for a VIP session.
With Gail’s guidance and encouragement, Matthew was able to develop a business plan and strategy to take the business in a new direction. Matthew admits that at first, he was reluctant to work with a business coach, but realized he needed to get another perspective on his business. “To establish a real direction, you have to get past yourself,” commented Matthew on why he decided to work with Gail. “I knew I needed a guide.” He has been a regular client ever since.
In the first year after that initial session, revenues jumped by 93 percent. Matthew also rediscovered his passion for the business—not the design side but the business side. That is what really excites him now, and he’s looking forward to implementing the 10-year plan that he and his leadership team recently developed, with Gail’s help.
Gail asked Matthew what his biggest challenge was in changing his business. He said, “Paying myself what I’m worth.” Before he was drawing a salary but wasn’t comfortable giving himself a bigger paycheck. Gail congratulated him on recognizing his worth to the company. “You need to make a living and reward yourself for the value that you’re bringing,” she affirmed.
To learn more about Matthew’s journey, why he now loves his business, his plans for the future, and three important lessons he’s learned along the way, listen to the entire podcast.
Mentioned in This Podcast
Matthew mentioned that his go-to book for insights into how to improve his business is Michael Gerber’s The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. You can find out more about the book and the author at emyth.com.
Erin asked Matthew what were his favorite recent business reads. He mentioned Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman, and Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney. Both are available in print and ebook from bookstores or online.