Business coaching for interior designers -The Design Paradigm


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1. Mind Your Own Business. (They said).

A business model for contrarians and non-conformists.


2. Creating cheeky cherubs, wondrous whizbangs, and a fearless faith in the prodigious piquancy of fire breasted flowerpeckers.

All the momentous things no one ever told you were a thing but which are absolutely necessary to rule the world.


The workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours every Tuesday at 12 noon central time beginning on January 17th.

The full schedule will be sent to you in late December. 

Pricing locked in only until December 31st.

Access to the ACT accountability app will begin in mid December.

49 credits towards DGD certification


  • 6 live dynamic workshops discussion and feedback ( 2 hours each)
  • Video and in depth written subject material in Kajabi for each subject you see here
  • Exclusive App with course highlights

  • Accountability assessments and communication for questions via app

  • Guest speakers that will make you money not just be influencers to meet and greet 

  • Additional “office hours” for annual enrollees

Additional Deliverables include:

  • Our custom calculator for flat fees and minimum expenditure- THIS IS EPIC AND LIKE NONE OTHER YOU HAVE SEEN–ASK ANYONE WHO HAS IT! Revised for 2022 
  • Goal calculator and working with Cheryl to get yours right for all enrollees
  • Contract language for flat fees and minimum expenditure
  • Quick Cash Flow Guide
  • Profit margin determination spread sheet
  • Chart of accounts for Cost of Goods on P an L- detailed
  • Chart of accounts for expenses on P and L – detailed
  • Chart of accounts for revenue on P and L- detailed
  • Post Mortem form for dissecting client metrics after a project
  • Post Mortem overall spreadsheet layout
  • Cost to be open Calculator
  • Template pages for your visual proposal 
  • Hours outline and calculator to determine how to allocate time
  • Budget recap outline and spreadsheet for determining where you are each quarter and month
  • Cheat sheet for terminology needed
  • And probably more I am forgetting

What to do next! 

  • Register in advance at launch pricing.

  • Multiple LIVE workshops scheduled within each of the 12 sections.

  • If you miss a class you have the option to take it the next time offered live but this is limited to class size

  • Damn Good Designer certification – minimum number of credits required: 100
  • Can purchase full course options or individual sections 

  • If you purchase the entire program a monthly payment plan is available.

“This is the business model that transforms your business into a growth machine. You can project income based on your projections even if you do not sell product. The reason I insist on Creating cheeky cherubs and wondrous whizbangs along with this business section is because you cannot have one without the other and you will see why I firmly believe this.

People think they understand the minimum expenditure but many still mistake it for something entirely different than what it is. Learn the right way to manage this business model and make it a win/win for you and your client.”

 Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Subject Topics in this Section:

Defining your product

The most important first step of any you take and so often not thought out. This is a process not unlike bringing a product to market and involves researching the competition and properly discussing the attributes of your product. You will develop these attributes in the workshop and then learn how to “demonstrate” these attributes in the marketplace to leverage and differentiate you from others

Flat fees and minimum expenditures

The game changing way to set up your business that has helped catapult so many designers into higher profits for their business. This is not a gimmick or a quick and easy thing to do. It is a business model and a layered approach to guaranteeing your profit. So many misunderstand this business model. Learn from the firm that has been doing it for 10 years.

Projecting income and growth goal mapping

You have to dive in and learn how you use this information to help you (1) structure better business principles with how to price your projects, (2) organize your costs so you understand how much of a nut you have to crack every month to be “open” and (3) develop a framework for yourself and your team of definable goals that stem from this other data. 

Pricing Your Services and Using the Calculator

Our calculator for flat fees, min expenditure and most importantly – your profit is second to none. The toughest thing for any design firm- learning the best formulas to price services. Once you have defined your product though in our very first segment, this will be much easier. We will walk through exactly how to use our calculator and it is a winner! 

Data Analysis and How to Make it Work for Your Pricing

It starts here. I know. I know. It is work ! Being able to master this course will ensure you can define predictability in the operating costs of your team for upcoming projects and ascertain if a prospect’s budget is tight, what you are or are not comfortable with when it comes to adjusting your fees or commitment level in an expenditure! 

Fun with Financials

P and L’s and Balance sheets. Cash flow. So many things. And no, you do not have to be a CPA to understand enough to not get hoodwinked–or surprised. No matter your long term goals or the size of your firm – this course is a MUST! . 

Legal Considerations

This is a smorgasbord of important and critical info-and key elements of any contract including the flat fees, min spend and importantly these days, a termination clause that protects you. We ALL have to cover our tush right?! Here is the nitty gritty where we cross all our T’s and dot our i’s because we do not want one thing getting past us. 

Creative Creating

What was sufficient to get you to this point is likely not enough to keep you here – and this is the crux of what we’ll focus on here. The creative process is never linear and certainly not mundane or about maintaining a “look” or “style” for your firm. Learn how to aim higher and develop the space and mindset for that work to take

Elements of Design 

We’ll work to outline the scope of your creative process from an internal perspective and then establish how that translates to the client perspective – how can it be defined in deliverables? How to live by the correct positioning for thoughtful, wholistic design presentations and design rationale? Training your clients to think this way reinforces the idea that what you do requires deeper analysis and evaluation of architecture, flow, and function (beyond which their inexperience can comprehend!)

Selling the Vision and not the Parts and Pieces

There is logic to presenting your overall vision and the interrelationship in the elements that make up your design ideas with specific clarity to how one piece impacts and draws from another. 

The Budget Strategy & Conversation

Establishing trust with your client is critical as you undergo this step in your design process. Building on our topics from Section 1 (see…I told you it was layered) we will be addressing how to approach the budget from the second you have spoken with a prospect and how to present the costs of a project with a wholistic mindset.

Creating Your Signature Visual Proposal & Review

Gamechanger alert. If you have not coached with Cheryl in the past and learned this, it is amazing what it will do for you. Learn how to outline & visually demonstrate the immeasurable heft of what you do for your clients in a succinct and professional way that they can understand.

Why is The Design Paradigm different?

For anyone who knows Cheryl well, it’s no secret that her world view of business has evolved from a long study of behavioral psychology and a deep passion and understanding of how the decision making process is influenced by consumer behavior. In her own business she works tirelessly engaging her team on how to harness this understanding in the business of design–a high touch and emotional business– cultivating good habits for critical thinking and technical brilliance when it comes to solving problems and winning over clients.

This outlook influences the way she teaches anything and everything about business and marketing.

Along with this unique vantage point, there’s no avoiding the wealth of experience her career affords having running a successful firm for 22+ years (20 of which has been with a team!) These insights will shape everything you learn from The Design Paradigm. She and the In Detail team are working actively in the trenches along side you, dealing with the same daily learning opportunities, shifts in market activity, and struggles with all facets if the business in an effort to do their best work and leave a trail of happy clients in their path. There is NO OTHER opportunity like this and is why it has taken a year to put together.

Our greatest strength is the unique approach we take to building a business-one layer at a time.