What Level is Your Design Business?

Power Talk Friday: Sara Lynn Brennan: Showing Up is Not Enough

Episode 524 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s Power Talk Friday! Sara Lynn Brennan joins  LuAnn to chat about faith or fear. Earlier this year, Sara wrote a blogpost titled, “Are You Operating Your Design Business Out of Faith or Fear?” and in the midst of the current pandemic, it seems like a great time to re-visit her reflections. Although her original intent had nothing to do with the Corona Virus, there are lessons in the article that are certainly timely and applicable to our current situation.

Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn’s interview with Candy Scott in Episode 279 was the inspiration behind Sara’s blogpost, “Are You Operating Your Design Business Out of Faith or Fear?”.
  • A lot of drama stems from fear, and this was Sara’s epiphany that even the design experts have the same doubts as everybody.
  • Be prepared for problems, but having the right processes in place will give you confidence that you’ve covered all of your bases. Problems that might occur will not be because you weren’t following through.
  • Drama in projects can stem from lack of communication, expectations, mistakes, personalities, etc. How you handle it is what makes all of the difference. Look for common ground where your clients feel heard and happy.
  • If you’re working from home during this outbreak, explain upfront to your client that your kids are home and there may be some interruptions during a phone call.
  • Conversely, if you’re talking with a client and their kids are home and interrupting, don’t roll your eyes or express frustration. Let them know it’s ok because you’re both in the situation together. Offer to reschedule if that is better for them.
  • This quarantine is slowing us all down and giving us common ground, and opening up opportunities to have hard conversations.
  • LuAnn addresses fear and the ways it can impact our business relationships.
  • Sara offers ideas to make things happen during this downtime. Know your worth!
  • Doing your best isn’t just what you showed up that day, doing. Doing your best is being prepared to do your best and doing extra.
  • Gather your best resources, and spend your time sourcing so that you have the opportunity to provide your finest services.
  • Showing up with a plan, some knowledge, and a background will separate you from the others who are just showing up. This is what Sara means when she says, “Showing up is not enough.”
  • Are you going to be the person who deflects and doesn’t want to look bad? Or are you going to be the person that owns it because you can see where it went wrong and you’re going to make it better?
  • Take this time to re-organize and streamline your business.
  • The more informed the client is, the further along you can get with them, faster.
  • Clarity is key and comes from preparation.


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Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday


  • Event: 19hours
  • Hosted by: Mydoma Studio
  • Monday, April 6th – Thursday, April 9th
  • Presentations Each Day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm EST.
  • It will be recorded for later viewing.
  • This Is The Industry’s Answer to Covid-19 and Contains Much of the Content That Was Planned for HP Market.
  • DON’T MISS the Solo Presentations by Some of the Industry’s Top Business Leaders and Panel Discussions with Some of the Industry’s Top Designers!
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Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

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Previous Shows Mentioned:

Nancy Ganzekaufer: 15, 159, 256, 389

Nicole Heymer: 125, 317, 466

Candy Scott: 227

Sandra Funk: 02, 145

Sara Lynn Brennan: 463, 514


What Level is Your Design Business?