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  • Rachael King

Gold.

Updated: Oct 31



I own R. King Design Group, a small and up-and-coming design firm. I am a career graphic designer and content creator. I have been in business for about a year and a half, building websites and creating content for them, social media, and more for my clients.


I recently reworked my business’ website. It took an entire Saturday to complete. I loaded my most recent work and experience and updated some old copy. I began the process at 8 am and finished at 10 pm. I was proud of my work. I thought this was it. This is the website I have been wanting. I happily texted the link to all my friends and family and got back, “This is nice!” “I like what you’ve done here.” “This will help with getting clients!” “Way to go!” and other comments of the like.


I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I had nailed it!


While sitting in my glory, I remembered that I had one more person to share my new incredible website with; my uncle-in-law, Larry. How could I forget Larry? We’d been working together specifically on websites for a year. I happily hit send on the text.


Before we go any further, let me introduce Larry properly. He is a career sales and tech guy and is very talented, organized, and highly intelligent. And either by innate personality, years of experience, or both, knows people and understands communication.

Ok, back to our story.


My phone dings; I pick it up to see the following message:


I think it needs work. Details tomorrow evening.

I text back, OK. I get a thumbs-up emoji in return.


I immediately opened my website, thinking my site’s responsiveness was obviously off or maybe the whole thing had just crashed. I mean, I had produced greatness. What else could it be? It was exactly as I had left it. I shut my laptop with a snap and meant to get to the bottom of this latest “feedback” as soon as possible. Tomorrow evening. Sigh.


The “tomorrow evening” meeting was for me to gain some mentorship about the process and thinking behind selling my services. And despite the disturbing text about my brilliant website, I was looking forward to the conversation.


We met the following evening, and I said, “Ok, let me have it.” Larry said calmly, “Your website is all about you.” Keeping my best poker face on, in my mind, I thought, yeah, why wouldn’t it be? It is, after all, MY business. This thought, of course, marched across my features, and Larry cracked a big grin.


Damn amateur poker face.


He said, “It’s not about you. It’s about your customers.”


I engaged my famous poker face again, trying to hide my apparent lack of understanding. I said, “Right, they have to know who I am and what I do.”


Another grin.


He said, “No, they must know how you will solve their problems.”


In that instant, I dropped my lame attempt at looking like I knew something and tried not to fall out of my chair. Larry, my trusted mentor and friend, had just dropped gold in my lap. The rest of the conversation followed suit, and he led me through how to communicate that on my website and during face-to-face encounters with other businesses.


In hindsight, his feedback seems obvious, but it was a pivotal moment for me. It has since changed how I look at my skills, my business, and every interaction I have with current and prospective clients, and it has doubled my business.


Have you had a pivotal moment in your business? Who helped you with that, and what changed because of it?


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