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Jun 25

Charging $0 To $5K for Strategy in 6 Months

Where has Melinda LIvsey been? What has happened to her since coming on the show? Find out.

Listen to this article

Melinda Livsey
Marks and Makers

— [Transcription] —

[Chris Do] Hey guys, this is a special episode. I’m catching up with—you guessed it—with Melinda, and she’s here. And she’s had some tremendous growth. So I wanna talk to her, and, without further ado: Melinda, what has been going on with your life? Last we spoke, last time we spoke…LAST TIME WE SPOKE! She was like, “Chris! All my work is gone! What did you do to me? Are you trying to ruin me or what?” And I said, “You know: Stay with the plan, follow the process. Trust me, and I’ll take care of you.” So, wonderful things have happened.

[Melinda Livsey]: Yes.

[C]: You are leading the charge for a bunch of designers to start to charge for their knowledge. So I wanna hear kinda where you’re at, and then I’m gonna ask you a bunch of questions about how you got to be where you’re at.

[M]: Alright.

[C]: Give us the like the BIG update.

[M]: The big update, well, last time I was here we were here with Rebecca and I was saying how all of my leads had dried up and my work, and I was probably eating Top Ramen and something, ugh…

[C]: Oh, hush! HUSH!

[M]: Wasting away.

[C]: Top Ramen over Kobe steak! But yes!

[M]: But now! Yes! Yes! So since then, one huge thing that’s changed are the leads. The leads are coming in. I have a lot, a lot of leads, which now (and I’ve sold jobs at a much higher price), now I have to do them, and so I’m dealing with actually—

[C] New problems.

[M]: Yeah, new problems! Great problems! I’m not complaining, I’m very thankful. Um, but it’s a completely different—it’s a huge shift. A huge shift that just started…I would say right after Thanksgiving, I got all the leads.

[C]: So it does take time.

[M]: It took a while.

[C]: I just want to let everybody know: It does take some time. You all expect instant results. Like, if I do X, then Y will happen immediately. And it doesn’t work like that. Real life does not work like that. It takes time to, to prepare the soil, to, to plant, and then you don’t get the harvest for some time. So let’s just get into the nitty and the gritty, if you will. The nitty-gritty, which is: You’re getting a bunch of leads now, which is fantastic (we’ll talk more about how you got those leads), but let’s talk about charging more. Let’s just dangle the carrot out there for them.

[M]: Yeah.


[C]: What do you mean that you’re charging more? Like, how much more? Where do you go from and where are you at now?


[M]: I went from 1) not doing strategy at all (using a questionnaire as my “strategy,” I would say)…I mean, I wasn’t charging for that, and now I am charging. I’m leading with that. I’m actually selling that–I’m not really selling. I’m trying to align with my client. I don’t want to say sell because I’m not pushing anyone into anything. Um, I’m aligning with their goals and their problems, and I am offering them strategy first, really as the only option if they would like to work with me. And, um, I’m presenting it in a way that they’ve fallen in love with strategy, and then I’m charging for it. So that is a massive change from not charging for a questionnaire (which I DID call my “strategy”), to actually doing in-person workshops and selling that strategy. That’s a big difference.

[C]: Okay. I think you’ve done an excellent job of avoiding my question.

[M]: Well, repeat.

[C]: How much are you charging from–How much are you charging today relative to what you were just charging a little while ago? Can you give us an idea?

[M]: Well, it’s just completely different because the structure is different.

[C]: Well then, tell me about that structure and then the price attached to that structure then.


[M]:Okay. So previously, I charged zero for strategy.

[C]: Right.

[M]: Now I charge (the last one) I’ve charged 5,000.

[C]: 5,000 bucks?

[M]: So I went from zero…

[C]: WOO!!!

[M]: …to 5,000 for strategy alone.

[C] Okay. So that’s a big number for a lot of people to process right now and some people are like: “Well, what is strategy? Like, what do you mean you charge 5,000 and why weren’t you able to do it before?” So we’ll spend a little time talking about this part. And I think the people want to know, ‘cause this is radically different because people are struggling in the streets, wherever you’re watching this, to even get four or five hundred bucks for a logo. And that’s like WORK. You’re talking about like getting paid to think.

[M]: Mm-hmm.

[C]: That’s a good problem to have.

[M]: It is.


[C]: Okay. So let’s talk a little bit about that then. Um, in terms of, What is strategy to you now? We kind of understand a little bit about what you referenced before, but, now that you’re doing it, tell the people what it is.

[M]: Tell the people what it is. Okay.

[C]: Pretend like—okay—pretend like I’m a client.

[M]: Oh, man!

[C]: Like: Ding dong! Hey, Melinda! I wanna work with you. I saw your work!

[M]: Oh, role play! Again?!


[C]: You can’t avoid it!

[M]: Chris, you know how this turns out!

[C]: It turns out great every single time.

[M]: Yeah, every single time. It’s great! It, yeah…Well it’s…

[C]: Okay.

[M]: …Open to interpretation. Okay.

[C]: Okay, so—

[M]: Yes?

[C]: I’m just a brand new client. This time it’s gonna be really easy because you’re a super pro now, so, you know: Ring, ring! Here we go.


[C]: I wanna work with you! I saw your website, I’ve seen you on all these podcasts, and your Instagram is amazing—I wanna work with you. How do we do that?

[M]: You wanna work with me? What are you looking for?

[C]: I’m looking to rebrand.

[M]: Oh! You’re looking to rebrand. Okay. So have you thought of a certain budget? Do you have a certain budget set aside for this?
[C]: I don’t.

[M]: You don’t. Well, okay. Typically, depending on the size of your company, marketing efforts are around 5% to 10%, depending on what your goal is, so, of your gross revenue, so, with that said, what’s your goal of rebranding? Why are you even…what makes you want to rebrand?

[C]: I just feel like it’s outdated, and you know, I hired some friend of the family who did it originally and it’s been okay, but we’re growing and I feel like when I look at what we do, I don’t feel proud of our identity. I’m not proud at all.


[M]: And so, could you describe to me where you’re at currently? As far as where you want to grow? I hear you wanna grow, so that’s your ideal. And you want to continue to grow, so that’s your ideal. But you feel that you are stale or…Can you describe to me what that feeling is? Why do you feel that way about your brand?

[C]: Well, I’m gonna show you this: Does this look jenky to you? This feels like it’s not professional, it doesn’t feel like we’re innovative, it doesn’t feel like it’s reflective of what our value is. We’re an 80 million dollar company, and this looks like some kid did it, because in truth, some kid did do it. I want a professional touch. I saw the work that you do: It’s very classy, it’s very stylish, it’s very modern–that’s what I want for my company.

[M]: Great! Well, it sounds like (from what I’m hearing) your ideal client…are they feeling the same thing that you are, too? Are you losing them? Are you gaining them?

[C]: Hmm, I don’t know. I think we would like to have more clients…We’re growing, so, I think we’re gaining clients and customers.


[M]: Well, typically during this conversation, I would have something visual to show, and I would be writing down where you are (which is here) and then I would be writing down your ideal (which is there), so that they can see it visually and we’re both looking at something together. And then I would break it down where the middle (this is your aim), so I start asking you questions: “Well, what is this…What’s an attainable goal about midway between where you are now and where you wanna be? What would that look like to you?”

[C]: Well, you know, I don’t know yet. I mean, I just, really would like to start with the rebrand, so I’m thinking: we need a new logo, we need a new identity system, probably somewhere down the line, we’ll need a website to reflect all this stuff, but for right now, I think the identity is really important.


[M]: Great, so, those are the tasks that will get us to that goal, [but] what does that goal actually look like for your company? Where is your company during that time? Is it–did your company grow in revenue? Do you want your company to grow as far as sales, as far as attracting a certain kind of customer? What does that look like? Because those things (the logo, the rebrand) are more of a vehicle to get you to the goal, or a task to get you there, but they aren’t the end goal. So they’re there to get you to your goal. So what would that look like for you?

[C]: Maybe I’m not understanding this: I just feel like things don’t look very good right now. And I feel like, if we could just do that, I’d be more proud to represent ourselves like, as we go out into the world. I almost feel ashamed. Like, I don’t want to even give you my business card right now. Do you know what I mean?


[M]: Yeah, yeah. So then, an attainable goal that I’m hearing is that, it would be that you’re proud of your company, and that you would want to go around and that you want to be proud of it, that you want to show it off, you wanna feel that you are above your competitors. Right?

[C]: Sounds good.


[M]: Well, this is how I do it! (And then, you would see visually, how strategy comes into play with that.) Strategy is the core that we have to start with, the next thing are objectives (so that would be something like UX, that would be marketing funnels, that would be goals (measurable goals), from there we have deliverables. And so, if we actually start with the logo first, we’re going to have a very shell of a brand, and it’s not going to be held up by anything because there’s no goals, and there’s no purpose. So we actually start with brand strategy first. And then you would see a goal, or you would see a diagram of that if you were sitting down with me.

[C]: Okay. This feels right. I feel like you’re the right person to do this. So, how much do you charge to do this?


[M]: So typically, brand strategy is, it starts at 5,000 and it can range all the way to 15. And you would see also what those options would be.

[C]: Okay, and what do I get for that? Like, why do I have to do this?


[M]: It sounds like you want to get to your goal and typically my clients, which in this conversation, we would end up seeing that you’re possibly not focused, that you’re trying to do several things at once, but not getting very far, and so I have some things to walk through to show that, and usually clients are like: Yes, I totally relate to that. So with that, focus and clarity are what I’m mainly leading with, with strategy, and so the first package is strategy to find out who the ideal client is, to know them very well, to also provide a marketing funnel strategy (so the overarching funnel of how does the client become aware of you, all the way to, how do they end up  being an advocate for your company)? Because you want people to share and re-feed the funnel so that you don’t have to keep putting money in. So does that sound good? Put money back in to gain those ideal clients if they’re your advocates?

[C]: That sounds great.


[M]: And we would also go over your brand, too, and who you are so that what you said about wanting to be confident in your brand and be able to feel like you’re above the competition, we would also nail down all the attributes, the positioning statement, the value proposition, in that early time so that we know where we’re going and you know where you’re going.


[C]: That sounds all wonderful, but I just want you to do our identity. Can we just skip this process?


[M]: Well, do you have a brand strategy already?

[C]: I have something, yeah.

[M]: You have something? And what does that entail?

[C]: Uh, I can send it to you after this.

[M]: Okay.


[C]: Maybe I can kinda share with you what we have. It has a little bit about our mission statement, what some of our beliefs are…


[M]: Okay. That more stands for something that is aligned with your business plan, and this is more aligned with how you reach your ideal client. So they’re a little bit different. And I work through this certain process, so if you’d like to work with me, then we do start at brand strategy.


[C]: So you’re saying you won’t do this unless we hire you to do the brand strategy?


[M]: That’s correct because I feel that I’ve actually used to do this, I used to be a freelancer and I used to take on the projects that were the deliverables, and I didn’t even think about what my clients’ goals were, and if we were reaching those goals, and if we were helping the client get to those goals, and it was–I ended up being an expense. And I don’t want to do that to my clients anymore, so I have switched over to the world of brand strategy because I want to align with my clients’ goals, and then have them align with their own clients. (So this is again, there is a diagram here where it shows “brand strategy,” “objectives,” and “deliverables.” So people typically come to me for the deliverables, but there is no goal or no strategy attached, so you don’t know if you’re reaching your goal. So then, it always ends up being an expense and not an investment.)


[C]: Okay, you’ve given me a lot to think about here. So if this strategy part costs $5,000 dollars (and I hear a lot of people say this, so I’m not sure if y’all’s are saying the same thing), but if I have to spend 5,000 bucks, then okay. What’s the logo gonna cost me?


[M]: The logo is going to cost you a minimum of 5,000 on top of the strategy.

[C]: Okay, a minimum. Okay, what would affect the price?

[M]: The complexity…the…(I’m breaking character.).

[C]: You, you can’t just decide when you want to break character!

[M]: Well, yes! I can! I can!

[C]: Yo! Yo! My brain can’t process like when you’re like: Is she breaking character?


[M]: Well I have visuals, so we’re breaking my own process.

[C]: No, we’re just having a conversation.

[M]: I know, I don’t have this…I do visuals, yes.

[C]: Mmm. Alright. 

[M]: So I go from initial…

[C]: I gotta coach you on how to do this without anything.

[M]: Well I, I have to do it with visuals currently because I have nothing on my site to show this, at all.

[C]: Well, it doesn’t matter.

[M]: Okay, well then…

[C]: You have it up here (*points to his head*)

[M]: Do teach, Master Do.

[C]: I will. I will, but let’s just finish this out though.


[M]: Okay. So I’m just saying this because my process that I’m currently doing, this would not happen. Because I have case studies to show.

[C]: Okay.

[M]: And I have a process to show.

[C]: Okay.

[M]: So.

[C]: Ah. Interesting. Okay. So, where were we? I was asking about like—

[M]: Logo.

[C]: Logo.

[M]: Yeah.

[C]: And it’s like, “What can impact the price?” And you answered that, right?

[M]: Yes.

[C]: Alright. Now you see, now we’re like busy arguing about something, now I can’t remember anymore! It’s like an old married couple over here! It’s like, “What are we talking about?” Okay. Alright. I think we got your role playing. I think I have some tips for you, but we’ll circle back to that later.

[M]: Okay.


[C]: Okay. So we’ve established now that you charge 5,000 dollars to do strategy, and it really can impact the client’s business, which makes you feel good. It gets you a seat at the table so you’re not an “order taker,” you’re an advisor to the client.

[M]: Correct.

[C]: And I like that you stood your ground, so if they insist that this is not going to happen, what–how do you say it? So let me get back into the role play. Don’t break character now! Stop pointing to the screen like, “At this point—“

[M]: Well, I have to—

[C]: No! No!

[M] Because you’re breaking my process.

[C]: So what?

[M]: I’m just! Well, if you want to—

[C]: Improvise! Improvise!

[M]: But if you want a true example of what goes on, then…

[C]: Okay.

[M]: If you don’t…If you want something new, that’s okay. But if you really want to know what’s going on, then, this is not what’s going on!

[C]: It’s too much! It’s too much!

[M]: Okay. Go back to strategy then!

[C]: No! We’re moving on. I don’t even know what we’re talking about.

[M]: We’re talking about if I don’t—

[C]: We’re going to have to do some editing here!

[M]: If I don’t take them on, then—

[C]: Yeah, okay.

[M]: It’s deliverable only.


[C]: So, so, get, get rid of me then. Let’s just say like: “Look, I really like you. I think I can spend 5 to 8 thousand dollars on the logo by itself, I’m just not really into this other thing. I just, I need to get this thing done, and we’ve had somebody do this before and it really got us nowhere. So, are you saying that you won’t take on this job?

[M]: Uh, see it—I would…delve into the why…

[C]: Go ahead.

[M]: Things went bad over there.

[C]: Stay in character!

[M]: Okay. I thought you were leading me somewhere else. This is bad. See? This is…

[C]: This is why Melinda never comes on the show! So that’s why she won’t come on the show anymore. Alright. 

[M]: Ooooookay. Well.

[C]: Yes?

[M]: That is—[Laughter.] Because I don’t feel that it would get you to your goal, that I’ll have to refer you to someone else that would take on a logo only, from the start.

[C]: Hmm, okay, that’s a bummer.

[M]: I would love to work with you, though. I would, truly.

[C]: I would love to get those referrals. Who are you gonna send me?


[M]: I have a list. I’ll send you.

[C]: Are you checking it twice?

[M]: I’ll send you right after this call. Yes.

[C]: Alright. End scene! We’ll, we’ll stop it right there. Okay, so let’s get back to this whole thing. Uh, I’m gonna have to teach you how to say no. I’m gonna have to teach you how to do this without visuals, and so that you can be in the flow. A lot of this (okay, you’re relatively new still, relatively speaking), so soon you’ll be able to do this kinda over the phone while you’re driving to have Starbucks. It’ll be no problem.

[M]: And the initial call, which I took from you last time, was to qualify the price. So the initial one is that and then the second one is (just letting you know what I’m current doing) to get them on a Skype call or an in-person meeting if I am local. And that’s why I use visuals because I have nothing on my site. Because I lead with deliverables at the moment on my website, which is not going to be that way next month.

[C]: Good. You already know the task.

[M]: I already know. So that’s why I felt like instead of having things on my website and case studies that I’m gonna have them in-person and show them and talk them through it that…which so far has worked out for me to get to five thousand.


[C]: Alright, so! I’m gonna say this because I’m gonna give voice to our audience that are watching: They’re like, “Oh, my God! I can’t believe she’s saying no to a five to eight thousand dollar logo!” How are you gonna handle that criticism? Like, what did you charge to do this, like, a year ago?

[M]: A year ago? I was charging…

[C]: Before we met.

[M]: The top one, which was a branding package, was $6300.


[C]: Okay, so a year ago, you were happy with $6300. And now, just a year later, if somebody’s gonna offer you five to eight thousand dollars to do a logo again, and you’re like, “Hm.” How do you speak to that? Like, what has happened to you? So spoiled so fast.

[M]: Well, those people that are complaining, now they have a client! Potentially.

[C]: That you’re gonna give them

[M]: That I will give them.

[C]: And why would you do that now?


[M]: Why would I do that now? Because of the reasons that I was telling you, that, as the client, one, I know that it’s not necessarily (I don’t know this for sure, but) it’s not necessarily gonna reach their goal, and so, if everything’s not in alignment as far as strategy and their goals and we’re not getting anywhere, we’re just checking things off a list, so it’s like: “Do you wanna have–do you just wanna check something off a list or do you want to be effective?” And I (now that I’ve tasted the greatness, I wanna be effective! Because to me, that’s worth more than money. It really is.

[C]: I see. So it’s almost like you took the pill and you entered into the matrix, and now you know it’s all fake. That’s not cheeseburger that you’re eating, it’s like code, and you can’t go back. You’d rather live in the raw, dirty world that we know, rather than go back to that place.

[M]: Yeah.

[C]: That’s interesting. Okay, so, there’s a lot of people in our group (in our pro-coaching group) who are still… (I don’t wanna use the word “struggling,” but it’s still a challenge for them to get to that place where they can charge five thousand dollars just for the thinking part. There’s only a handful. There’s about half a dozen of you guys so far that have separated out (and I know that there are a lot of people that think that, “Mmm, I charge strategy for all of that, but it’s all lumped together). So first of all, I want to say kudos to you for being able to do it, and also, kind of listening to the advice that I give you, and, a lot of people are like: “I’m doing it.” But they don’t do it the way that I tell them to do it, so then I’m like, “You’re not doing it.” Right? So some people still kind of mush it together and I don’t think they’re confident enough to separate it apart. Because once you separate it, you’re validating that there’s value there, and that they’re willing to hire you for that reason, and that’s excellent. So I have to ask you this question: What makes you so special? What makes you so different? Because I give advice out to strangers on the Internet, I give advice to the coaching group, one-on-one coaching…Why, why were you able to achieve what they weren’t able to achieve?


[M]: That’s a deep question.

[C]: That’s what I’m here for.

[M]: I feel like it’s a simple answer though.

[C]: What is it?

[M]: I just did it. I just started.

[C]: That’s helpful. [Laugher.]


[M]: Well, it is to those who are stalled. Just do the first small, very small step. Whatever that is. For me, it was: Learn how to do strategy. The second one, it was: Get someone to agree to let me do strategy for them for their company. One of them was my cousin! One of them was my good friend/client that I have worked with before. Uhh, another one was a previous client. Um, someone else was a friend, and, yeah, I think one other was a previous client as well, so, a lot of them were friends, they were family members, they were previous clients, that I felt comfortable with, and they agreed to, to let me do strategy for them. And with every single one of those, I got more confident with it. And then I realized, “Oh my gosh! There’s magic in this!” Like I, I was converted after that!

[C]: The skies parted and this ray of light came and you’re like, “Oh, it’s so warm in the sunlight!”


[M]: But it really came–It came after every single strategy that I did for someone, I saw the difference that it made or the lightbulb that came on with them and the clarity that they had, and then I thought, “Oh my gosh! If this happened with the first person, just think about what will happen with the next, and the next! And, every time I did it, yeah! I got better, I changed my strategy document and my process as I went ‘cause I was seeing the needs, or I saw the roadblocks, or what was not necessary. Or where things got confusing and I straightened those out and, every time…Every time I do strategy now, I add something or I take something away because of what I’ve done previously, and now I’m…I feel confident in what I’m charging and I feel confident in even raising my prices because I see the impact that it’s making on the businesses that I’ve already worked with–and the people! It’s not just the business, it’s the (like, I had one client–and she’s the one that was my friend, she said, “You’re the only one that I feel got, who understands my vision.”

[C]: Mmm. Did she give you a hug?

[M]: Pretty much, yeah. She did.

[C]: Did she cry?

[M]: Uh, I don’t know about crying.

[C]: Alright. I’m gonna get you to “Do” status where they start crying and huggin’ you. Like, “Oh my God! You’re so good!” Alright, this is good. ‘Cause it can be cathartic. I just wanna say that. “Cathartic.” And we’ll put the definition right there: “cathartic.” Okay, so, you did a great job of explaining something, but you didn’t answer my question. I wanna get into your mind. I wanna crawl into this brain and say like, there’s some random dude that you saw on the Internet. And you come in, and you chat with me a couple of times, a little bit of coaching and I told you that you’re not doing strategy. And, you took it like a champ. You got like an iron chin because I smacked you and you were like, “Yeah, what else you got?” I’m like, “Oh, I got more.” And then, you get into the core framework, and you quietly go off and do your thing.


[C]: It is a special somebody that can just take a little bit of information and even though it’s counter to everything that they’ve done before that moment, yet you’re willing to just move forward without sitting there and thinking, over-analyzing, over-thinking, and die a death of paralysis by analysis. You just did it! And, what, what, what’s in your personality, what’s in your background and your upbringing, your belief system that allows you just do it. Because that’s the magic. If I can figure it out with you, I can make a lot of difference to those people out there.


[M]: Right. Okay. That’s deep. Hold on.

[C]: I’m gonna move you center to the camera and I’m gonna move out.

[M]: Are you gonna have music? Can you have music and…?

[C]: Just tell the people.

[M]: The people. Okay. First, it’s my beliefs. Because I feel that my accomplishments don’t define who I am. That who I am is, is not attached to what I do, or what I accomplish, or even the things that I fail with or fail doing. Um, that’s a first one that, that who I am matters to the one that matters most to me. Um, and so, that, to me, that’s my guiding light in life, and so that’s how I approach most situations and I’m growing (obviously I’m not perfect, but that’s…that’s my beliefs). ‘Cause I feel like we talked about thoughts influence behaviors, but even before that I believe it’s beliefs. Um, belief about who you are and why you’re here. Um, that’s the first one, it’s like the deepest! The deepest one! Uh, the second one is, I believe it is in my personality to just do things. Um, when I was sixteen, my cousin/piano teacher, he wanted me to start teaching piano and I was like, “I’m sixteen years old. I don’t even know piano that well. I’m not that great.” And, um, a lady called me two days later and she’s like, “Hey! I heard that you give piano lessons and there’s two–I have two kids I want you to teach.” And I was like, “Well, I do now.” So, I took that, that way of just accepting things as they come, like the crazy (you know) man on the Internet that I was standing next to, um, that when opportunities come to you, when things that you learn come up, that you just embrace them. Kind of like what Chris always tells us: Embrace and pivot. But you can do that in your own life. And I, I do that in my own life. I embrace what comes and then I move forward. So, if you want it at the deepest level, that’s what…


[C]: Aren’t you scared?

[M]: Of what?

[C]: I don’t know. Most people are afraid.

[M]: I feel like this is weird ‘cause there’s just a voice coming in from the side! So you don’t wanna come back?

[C]: It’s okay! Just look right there. Just pour your heart out and, right into that camera. Look right down the barrel.

[M]: Say that question again.

[C]: Aren’t you afraid? Like, why can you do what few people have been able to do? Besides saying, “Yeah! I just did it!” Help ‘em out!


[M]: Umm, there is fear there, but to me, for me, the excitement is…it overshadows the fear. And the other thing that I had mentioned to Chris before when he had asked me that, um, a big difference, too, for me this past year was, was being aware of what I’m thankful for, and that, um, what that looks like for me is sending two of my friends a gratitude list of three things I’m most thankful for every single day. Every single morning, no matter how bad our day was, no matter how bad we’re feeling, that we always send three things we’re grateful for. So one, it helps with accountability because you see that your friends are doing it, and we never bash each other if we forget, but it’s the fact that we see someone else doing it and then we do it as well. Um, the other thing is just sharing in gratitude and it changes your mind that you start actually looking for those things that you’re grateful for and that are good things instead of, um, I think are–it’s easy to get into that rut of naturally seeing what we suck at, and what went bad, and how someone treated us, and start blaming things, or people for what our life is right now, so doing the gratitude list has–I feel like it’s changed my brain, too, over the past few months since…I believe I started that like a couple weeks after I got coached by Chris. And that, coupled with just moving forward and doing it, and so when I, when I did the first strategy session with my client, I had to do my gratitude list the next day and so instead of thinking, “Oh, that went horribly, I did this wrong, and I should have done this, that I was just thinking of all the good things that came out of it. And I thought: “Oh my gosh! My client was excited.” And, they found out this about their business. And they did this and I was able to uncover this or make this connection, and so, I’m constantly now thinking in the positive light instead of the negative. So that’s a big one.


[C]: That’s fantastic! That’s fantastic. So, you, you…how long ago did you graduate from school?

[M]:Ten years.

[C]: Ten years. Okay. So that means a couple of things. That means you can be pretty set in your rhythms in life for ten years and have a change like that [*snaps his fingers*]. Yet the only thing that’s stopping you is you. And that’s why I’m just so appreciative of being able to watch you grow, to see you take on things and just…you know, I’mma give myself some credit.

[M]: Go for it.

[C]: I’m just gonna go and do one of these things [*pats himself on the back*]. I’mma, I’mma say something here, is: People always ask me: How do you determine who’s gonna be on the show? ‘Cause obviously there’s a lot of people who reach out and say, “Chris! Help us! Help us! Critique this! Help me! Coach me! Mentor me!” But you see, I, I pride myself on being able to spot talent. And talent isn’t necessarily what you guys think. Some of you guys might think, “Talent? Well, she has a giant Instagram following,” or “She’s already a design superstar.” And that’s not the case at all. What I saw in Melinda, which is very rare, is, I put out a task for people to do. The task was to draw grids over logos. And, what Melinda just exceeded my expectations in such a way that I was thinking: “Here’s a person who took a little bit of an idea, a kernel, and made it blow up.” So, this is a lesson to all of you guys that that kind of spirit is rewarded whether or not you have a mentor or not. So I think that that’s the kind of attitude that you have. Give you a little bit and you just take it and you run. Nose down, head down, and you just bash with the barriers, and I just love that. And I love that you just said that you’re really excited about the potential of what’s gonna happen, and you didn’t focus too much on what you had to lose. And that’s the key thing in life. Most people think about what they have to lose; few people think about what they have to gain. That’s what you did. Excellent job there. Okay. Now that you’re just killin’ it (Killin’ it!), what do we think, the end of 2018, what are you gonna do in terms of your gross billings? ‘Cause we had said before (at the end of 2017) you wish you could get this, and that freaked people out. They were like, “What’s she complaining about? That’s a ton of money!” Yes, relatively speaking, it is, relatively speaking, but we have goals. We set goals, we smash goals, we go to our stretch goals, so what is your goal for 2018 in terms of gross billings?

[M]: A hundred and eighty thousand.

[C]: Woohoo! A hundred and eighty thousand! It was a hundred before, right?

[M]: It was a hundred before, until you told me to change it.

[C]: I did?

[M]: Yes, you did.

[C]: Shh! We’ll edit that part out. I didn’t say it.

[M]: Okay. Yes! It was.

[C]: A hundred and eighty THOUSAND. Boom! Now, I have to ask you a couple of questions. Back when you were going to–what school did you go to again?

[M]: Cal State Fullerton.

[C]: Cal State Fullerton, what up?! Cal State Fullerton! Did you think, in a year, you could possibly pull down a hundred and eighty thousand? Was that part of even your idea of what you could do as a graphic designer?

[M]: No. I’ve heard–well, in school, I did hear of people getting like hundred thousand rebrands, but that in my mind was for those top agency people.

[C]: Yeah.

[M]: Like, it wasn’t…it wasn’t anything that I thought I could necessarily do, or…

[C]: Like, out of reach for mere mortals, right?

[M]: Yeah.

[C]: Alright, so you’re closing it. You have a killer attitude. You just, now you’re in the process of redesigning your website.

[M]: Yes.

[C]: Excellent. You’re doing everything that you need to do.

[M]: Thank you.

[C]: Is there anything else that we need to talk about before we kinda get into some coaching stuff?

[M]: I wanna get into the coaching stuff.

[C]: You do?

[M]: Yeah.

[C]: Alright. We’re gonna get into some coaching stuff on the next episode.

Chris Do

Chris Do is an Emmy award winning director, designer, strategist and educator. He’s the Chief Strategist and CEO of Blind, executive producer of The Skool, and the Founder and CEO of The Futur— an online education platform that teaches the business of design to creative thinkers.