Reacting vs. Responding

This is a big issue for interior designers because we get a lot of “emergency” phone calls…

Even though no one has ever died of ‘sofa’ – it hasn’t ever happened – nor from ’tile grout’ or ‘plumbing valve’.

Yet, these random calls lead us to have a knee-jerk reaction, where you drop what you’re doing to solve a problem… and usually, destroy your schedule at the same time.

Helping solve problems isn’t the issue, but it becomes one when it totally throws off what you’d planned —  especially when your day includes something that needs to get done for an active, paying client.

The problem of this heart-centered reaction can become clear because it’s what’s waiting for you when you return from solving that problem three hours later.

That’s about the time you realize you’re going to be up until 10 ‘o clock at night, working well after dinner, doing the paperwork necessary to stay up on your work; and this makes for a very long day and an unhappy family.

The solution?

The next time you get one of these ‘emergency’ calls, take a second and let yourself respond.

Responding means asking more questions and finding out if it’s actually an emergency or not:

  • Is somebody bleeding? No, good.
  • Could I be there to deal with this on Wednesday, which is my in-the-field day? Yes, great!

By asking a few more questions, you can get down to what the problem really is and respond with a solution that won’t throw your world into a spin.

Heads Up: Sometimes when a contractor calls you with an issue, they’re trying to get you to make a decision for them… instead of them making the decision and taking responsibility for the outcome.

Why? Because if you take over (aka make the decision), it gets them out of the hot seat and creates more liability for you.

This is a terrible place for you to be in because if somebody is going to be thrown under the bus, they’re going to go after you first!

Instead, slow down a little bit when you get those phone calls and decide if there’s an actually an emergency and/or what’s a proper response.

TIP: Answering a question or getting to the job site within 48 hours is plenty good when it comes to customer service!

Although it may feel good to be asked to make decisions, you want to be careful with what decisions you’re making for whom and practice responding (aka asking questions) before reacting…it may save you MORE time, money, and energy in the long run!

Running your business as a professional doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and sacrifice your life in the process.

If you’re having trouble responding instead of reacting when it comes to your business, it might be time to get some outside support.

We’ve created a community of heart-centered, high-functioning. and self-aware interior designers who openly share what they’re doing in their business (and life) so they spend more time doing what they love while getting paid what they’re worth.

If you’re looking for support and a community, then I invite you to have a Clarity Call with one of our IDBA Enrollment Coaches.


This call is a no-sales-pressure call to help you decide what’s the best next step for you.

And until then, please remember to think about the difference between reacting and responding. Your life will get easier, your day simpler, and you’ll have more time for yourself.

Design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth!

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