Maura Giannobile – The Home + Haven Co

Episode Transcription

00:00:00 – Glenn

Hello, everybody. Welcome again to another edition of the Empowering Entrepreneurs Harper and Company with I’m Glenn Harper. Julie Smith. How’s it going?

00:00:07 – Julie

You know, it got cold real fast. I’m ready to get out of here.

00:00:11 – Glenn

Well, we’ve got a special guest today. We got Maura Giannobile, a fellow entrepreneur who is the driving force behind the Home and Haven Company and Everwoods Cabins. Maura, how are you doing?

00:00:21 – Maura

I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me. Well, it’s.

00:00:24 – Glenn

Always a pleasure to have another fellow entrepreneur on the show Talk to me about a couple of things. I understand you’re from Columbus, Ohio.

00:00:31 – Maura

I am born and raised Upper Arlington and that I went to college at Denison University, which is just east of Columbus, Grandville, Ohio.

00:00:39 – Glenn

How did you never, ever make it out of Columbus?

00:00:42 – Maura

That’s what I keep asking myself.

00:00:44 – Glenn

There’s a standing joke. If you live in Arlington, you never leave. Is that.

00:00:47 – Maura

True? Oh, I laughed and I never went back after high school.

00:00:50 – Glenn

You go. All right. That’s the deal. Did you know when you’re at college, did that change how you think about things or did it just continue on the way? Who you were and what you wanted to do is just continued your progression to what you want to be when you grow up?

00:01:05 – Maura

I was a pre-law major and I have done nothing in terms of law in my entire career, but I do like a good argument and debate. My husband will tell you that.

00:01:17 – Glenn

Did you lose a bet to be want to be an attorney or how did you decide to do that?

00:01:21 – Maura

Oh, I just really, really like a good, passionate debate. I can completely relate with you. I can see that.

00:01:29 – Glenn

You had a good table for that. But then you decide you want to do it. Law Is that how that worked out?

00:01:33 – Maura

No. I actually graduated in 2008 during the recession, and everyone was going to grad school, law school. And I’m like, I just want to make some money. So I worked at a place all through high school and college spa over in Dublin. And the owner, she’s an amazing woman. She offered me a management role right out of college so that I could just kind of get my feet wet. I worked there for about a year and then I had a lot of friends telling me, Hey, I got into sales, you could make some good money. And I know this sounds awful, but I said, okay, tell me more. And one of my one of my buddies said, I’m in medical sales. It’s great money. It’s easy money. And I’m like, okay, I want to do medical sales. So I landed an interview with my now husband and he was my first medical sales manager. No way. And I hated that job and left five months later. And we didn’t talk for seven years after that, Not because of him. It was just a bad job.

00:02:32 – Glenn

Just was it the the the company, the culture, the jobs?

00:02:36 – Maura

Do all of the above everything. Selling oxygen and having to go service people who, you know, were career smokers. I mean, that was my my gig. And I just I couldn’t handle it wasn’t me. But it did launch a nine year career for me in medical sales, which everybody was right. It was great money, but I hated every minute of it. I had I had no fun. I had zero professional fulfillment at all, and I always knew I wanted out. It took a really, really bad manager just a few years ago to finally push me over the edge and do something that I actually wanted to do.

00:03:13 – Glenn

Were these big companies you worked for?

00:03:15 – Maura

Big companies? Yeah, I won’t. I won’t say names. Yeah. So way back to that. So you and your now husband, there was no spark in the medical sales arena? No, honestly, he was a great manager. He was my first real job manager. So I. I learned so much from him and he was just such a nice guy. But we didn’t reconnect for seven years and we just went to lunch together. And we have spent every day together since then. And he’s an entrepreneur too as well, right? He is, yeah. So interesting. Isn’t it strange? The funny thing is, you guys use the word entrepreneur a lot. We have never used that word for ourselves and people keep calling us serial entrepreneurs. And I never intended to be that. I just wanted to do what I like to do. And that’s where we ended up with. We have our three businesses.

00:04:11 – Glenn

So do you the point when you were doing this medical sales and you made the change to be an entrepreneur again, there’s always this. Some people have like, I’m destined for this, this is what I’m going to do. These are all been placeholders and I’m just going to work through this because I can ultimately get there. And some people just have that two by four to the face and say, You know what, this is crazy. I want to do it this way. Which way was it for you?

00:04:32 – Maura

The latter, for sure. I, I quit my medical sales job with nothing lined up. I hadn’t started to build my website for my design business. I had not done a single thing. I walked away and two weeks later I launched my my website and my company.

00:04:48 – Glenn

Did you have an idea that’s what you wanted to do?

00:04:50 – Maura

Absolutely. I always had enjoyed design. Yes. And my husband, it was actually I quit my job two weeks before the. Pandemic lockdown. So like the first week of March. So it was kind of a do or die situation because I said, Hey, I got to keep making money and this is what I love. Why not? And it went crazy because everybody was stuck at home and they all wanted to, you know, change their houses, get home offices, redo their kitchens. They were sick at the walls they were looking at, you know. So it was great.

00:05:25 – Glenn

So tell us about what what exactly do you do for a typical customer? I mean, what do you what do you do for them?

00:05:31 – Maura

Sure. So I start out, I, I have a website. Usually people contact me through my website, I schedule. I set up a consultation with them. And in home hour long meeting, we go through all the spaces there. They’re looking to redesign essentially. Sometimes that’s just a single room. They need new furnishings or they need decor. They need a refresh for their room. Sometimes they want to renovate their whole home. I do all of all of that. So very small projects to very large scale projects. Are you were you doing any small projects on the side as you were doing that medical sales that kind of created that itch? Oh, I was. In fact, we had just moved into our new home and there was a lot to be done when we moved into that house, and I actually had a lot of professional photos taken as we were doing things in our own home. And those were all of my website photos in the beginning. You know, you want to maybe it’s deceitful, but you want to give people the idea that, you know, I’m a I’m a professional. I’ve been doing this, you know, for a long time. Maybe not. It hasn’t been my label, but I, I had professional photos taken of our home and that was every photo on my website in the beginning. You know, just fake it till you make.

00:06:48 – Glenn

It all day long.

00:06:49 – Maura

But it looked beautiful, you know? And I started getting those phone calls right away. And I have been insanely busy ever since. And I actually I just hired a design assistant a few months ago because I have to learn how to delegate because I have taken on far too much. So that’s an interesting thing that we talk about is delegation. It seems like you’ve learned that quite quickly in your journey. Yeah, well, I had to because I was going to have a mental collapse if I didn’t. My husband was like, you, you’re going to have to do something. So was your dream to build a team? And then what’s your vision around the team and what does that look like for your future? Yeah, that’s an interesting question because I, I’m a like a pretty stubborn person and I like to have control over everything. And I don’t I think an entrepreneurship that can actually be a benefit, you know, I think that you have to have some of that. But I got to a point when we launched our one of our newer businesses with the cabins, there simply are not enough hours in the day for me to be able to be a mom, a wife, run multiple businesses. So it had to happen. I was forced into it even though it was pretty painful for me at first. But it helps because now I have an hour or two back of free time in my evenings that I can actually just enjoy my family, which I didn’t have for a while.

00:08:12 – Glenn

When you say forced, like I said, this, this podcast, we hope lots of entrepreneurs are listening to this and there’s somewhere in their journey and we’re trying to find out what that advice that we’re trying to give to them that would help them. When you say forced, is it because you’re just you recognized it, you saw your family, you saw your clients. What was it that epiphany that’s like, I just can’t keep going like this anymore. There’s there’s too much to do and I can’t do it all.

00:08:37 – Maura

Yeah. So a lot of it. I mean, my husband and I, you know, we sort of feed off one another, but we have very open discussions and we actually had one, you know, a few months back and we just said this is this is too much for just us. You know, we we’re not doing anything for ourselves anymore. And we I mean, we love to have our date nights and we love to just, you know, watch Yellowstone on a Sunday night and drink a glass of wine. And we weren’t doing that anymore because we couldn’t we had so many responsibilities. And that was I mean, he didn’t, but I just cried. I broke down and I’m like, this is too much and something has to change. And that is when I knew a design assistant was in the near future and just delegating out what I could in our various businesses and kind of giving the reins to somebody else a little bit for for certain things that maybe I’m not good at or efficient at. And I think it’s a big thing is, you know, entrepreneurs like you said, that control is usually a big factor.

00:09:40 – Julie

How were you able to empower and trust someone else? How long did that take? Was it instant or was it were you just like, I’m done, I can’t do it anymore?

00:09:49 – Maura

No, I don’t think that’ll ever be me to just say I’m done. I can’t do it anymore. I just that’s not in me. I the gal that I hired. Jen. She’s fantastic. I actually she had worked with me on design clients before. She was a painter by trade, and I noticed that she had a really good eye for design. So being able to work with her before actually hiring her was very helpful. But she has been an asset and the proper training and ensuring that she understands all of my processes is very important to me. Even so much as writing an email back to a client, I have to ensure that the grammar is correct. All the punctuation is correct, everything is aligned perfectly. I probably sound insane, but. But it’s your business is my brand. Exactly. And I, I it has to look the way that I need for it to look to maintain that like high professional level.

00:10:51 – Glenn

Yeah I think the we call those things, you know, control issues and we all have them, especially entrepreneurs because we know what we want and we believe that nobody else can even come close to understanding that. Right?

00:11:03 – Maura

That’s I am absolutely agreement with that.

00:11:07 – Glenn

And then not only that, but it’s all up in our head. And how can anybody else figure that out if we don’t have it out? So for you, I think the first step was you kind of took some of those processes out, put them on paper to so somebody had a template to work with because they can’t just guess and you’re going to set them up for failure if you don’t do a process for it. So I think that was probably a really good way to start to do that for sure. But I’m telling you, it’s terrifying the first time you send somebody off there to try to represent you and do the brand. I mean, it’s it gets you the heebie jeebies.

00:11:39 – Maura

It absolutely does. And I have dealt with a lot of micro managers in my medical sales career, and that’s the last thing that I want to be. But it has given me a little perspective as to why people can become that, because, you know, you do care so much and and you want it to be at the same level professionally that that you’re at. And I think if you do the proper training and they can get.

00:12:06 – Glenn

There, are you going to go back to that horrible manager head for the last job and bring them in to help you out here, show them how to do it right?

00:12:13 – Maura


00:12:14 – Glenn

Okay. Just asking for a friend.

00:12:16 – Julie

So you’re designed business took off and, you know, March 2020, during COVID, during lockdown. Obviously, you’ve been wildly successful. How did that dovetail into, hey, let’s build some cabins in the hills?

00:12:27 – Maura

That’s a great question.

00:12:29 – Glenn

You’re a psycho.

00:12:30 – Maura

I don’t know. Yeah. I mean, we look back and we’re like, we’re crazy. Why? Why on earth did we think that this was a good idea? But it is a good idea. It’s just a whole lot of hard work and it’s taking on multiple full time jobs. We have had a real estate business in Columbus for the entirety of our relationship, and Tony actually had a long term rental before we got together and we scaled that to seven properties in Columbus, where we are the landlords for long term, which is very different than short term rentals.

00:13:08 – Glenn

Lots of different rules.

00:13:10 – Maura

And different probably different rules. But I would say that that is more of a passive income scenario. The long term rentals are the short term is much more hands on. It is active, very active. So just drive to the hills and saw some property and we’re like, Hey, Tony, I think we should just design something and start building.

00:13:34 – Glenn

He’s like, Woman, what are you talking about? This is.

00:13:36 – Maura

Crazy. He’s like, I want a divorce. Now he’s not, thankfully. Yeah. We actually are in love with the west and the mountains. We got married in Jackson Hole. I spent my childhood spending all summer long and in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Every time we take a vacation, we always joke that we have to bring ice cleats with us to hike because we take these, like, cold vacations. We don’t even mean to like there in fall, but it always ends up snowing wherever we’re at. We just we aren’t the like, hang out on the beach, people. We’re like the get up and go from the time we wake up until sundown. And then we drink our wine at night and we do the same thing. I mean, I think that fits your personality. What you your vacationing is your personality to a tee. I know Tony is like, are we ever going to just go somewhere where we just, like, hang out? I’m like, No, that’s not us. You know.

00:14:30 – Glenn

Literally the entrepreneur mindset, it’s always attack.

00:14:33 – Julie


00:14:34 – Glenn

You have enough. Just challenge yourself because the second you step back and relax, you fall behind, right?

00:14:40 – Maura

Absolutely. But we try to stay in as many really cool places as we can. So we’ve gathered all of these experiences and places we’ve stayed and we felt like the Hocking Hills is really the only place in Ohio that you can even get a little taste of what’s in the West, right? So we would always take our son down there just for day hikes and whatnot. And I always told Tony, I said I would love to build a cabin someday. Now, I meant for us to live in somewhere, but somehow it spiraled to us building cabins for others that kind of fit that same aesthetic as you would maybe see in the West. That mountain modern style of cabin that I think is I don’t want to say it’s trendy. I think it’s just starting to catch on in other areas. And we wanted something really unique that people could have here that maybe they don’t have the opportunity to go out west or they want that weekend getaway where you don’t necessarily want to fly to Colorado for 36 hours, but you could certainly drive an hour outside of Columbus and and go spend a weekend, get get that, you know, that taste.

00:15:52 – Glenn

They want the mini Yellowstone experience.

00:15:54 – Maura

Exactly. Without their horses and the murders and all of that.

00:15:58 – Glenn

I’m sure it’s going on down there. We just you just don’t talk about it.

00:16:00 – Maura

We do say it’s the Wild West down there.

00:16:02 – Glenn

It’s an interesting place, but it is beautiful. Do you feel like when you are being an entrepreneur, there’s always you hurry up, you get crazy busy, you can’t take any anymore, and then you delegate something. And as soon as you find a little bit of bandwidth, what do we do? We fill it up with something again. Do you feel like this is a I don’t want to call it a problem because that’s how entrepreneurs roll. But do you feel like this is probably how things go with you guys? As soon as you get a few minutes, you put another project in or start another business. Is that how you guys are going to keep doing this? You’re going to stay with what you do and try to scale just the businesses you have.

00:16:43 – Maura

This is a huge problem because we are overwhelmed all of the time, as most entrepreneurs are, but you sort of thrive off of that. It’s like this chaos that you’re just like addicted to. And we’ve had so many people ask us, When are you going to start building more cabins? And we always kind of relate it to this analogy of like, it’s like having kids, you have one, and then it’s crazy for a while and then you kind of forget about all of the sleepless nights and and then you’re like, Let’s do it again.

00:17:16 – Glenn

Then you get twins, and then you’re like, What have I done? Right?

00:17:20 – Julie


00:17:21 – Glenn

Yeah, that’s what happened. Then you buy four cabins and then here we.

00:17:24 – Maura

Are, right? So it has been a really to not even sugarcoated at all. It’s been a very trying process. I don’t know that us building more cabins is in our near future. I think that scaling that business down there is quite plausible. We have made a lot of friends down there, people who have been doing it longer than us, and it seems like there’s never just one or two for anybody’s business. It always turns into we have ten cabins, we have 12 cabins. If that’s in the cards for us, great. But we are going to have to get more help if that’s the case, because two is a lot.

00:18:06 – Glenn

Well, I think that’s I think what’s happening is the same thing that happened in your design business is that at some point you’ve got to put the right team together. Right. And as you’re doing these cabins, again, maybe it’s a builder or maybe it’s electrician, maybe it’s the zoning, who knows what it could be. But ultimately, you’ve got to have your system and process down so you can duplicate it. And entrust and empower everybody and it’ll be okay. But without that, it sounds like it might be in some disarray. But that’s as entrepreneurs listening, that’s really what it comes down to. You have these great ideas and want to do it, and you’ve got to learn the school of hard knocks and then you go, Oh, wait a minute, I should just hire all these things out because that’s not what you do as an entrepreneur. You like are the visionary and the leader, right? But absolutely, you’ve got to get to that point and you’ll get there because you do so much.

00:18:51 – Maura

And finding the right team is a struggle, especially in these rural areas. It is really hard to grow a team in a place where, you know, it’s different than the big city. There’s there’s a different mindset. And we have we do feel like we’ve found some really good team members to help us out down there, but that would really be the key for us to be able to scale the business down there. And right now it’s just a little bit of chaos and we’re kind of doing a lot ourselves. And, you know, we’re down there multiple days a week right now on top of our other full time jobs, Tony. Still full time medical sales.

00:19:34 – Glenn

So So he didn’t quit his real job?

00:19:36 – Maura


00:19:37 – Glenn

The guy’s a psycho, too.

00:19:39 – Maura

He’s insane.

00:19:40 – Glenn

So, you know, it’s a funny thing that is just notice and it’s holds true most all the time is that, you know, an entrepreneur is either going to do business where they basically start a company and they do all the work and they’re in they do everything because it’s a passion and they’re either going to continue to do that and then they get kind of capped out, but they just love what they do and they’re not going to be they’re not going to make maybe a ton of money, but they’re just very passionate what they do. And then all of a sudden the switch flicks and they go, Wait a minute, I don’t want to just do business. I want to build a business. And it seems like you kind of just skip ahead right to the build business kind of thing, right?

00:20:16 – Maura

Yeah. I think that what’s been really cool is that we have made it a point to build a brand. We’ve spent a lot of time or I have I have spent a lot of time. Tony’s not the social media guy, but spend a lot of time on social media for both my businesses. And that’s been a huge way to grow our brands. My son Rocco actually at school came home the other day and said, My friend, my friend Lucas is Mom said she was at the Everwood this weekend, which I was floored that a kid could retain that, but not just at a cabin in the Hocking Hills. My mom was at the Everwood, so we always refer to our cabins as the ever ones that we want to keep that brand going. We feel like there’s something really special about that, that maybe not all people take that ownership and want the brand. It’s really just more of a we’ve got a bunch of cabins down there, you know, that’s not what we want.

00:21:16 – Glenn

I think the brand is genius.

00:21:18 – Julie

Well, I think when you build a brand, you’re not it’s not you. And that allows you to build a team because it’s the Everwoods. It’s not the Maura show, right? It’s the Everwood. And so when you do are able to expand and build the team, it’ll be behind a brand, not your agreed.

00:21:33 – Maura

I think if it was the Maura show, everything would be way less successful.

00:21:37 – Glenn

Which is the darndest thing. Because again, a lot of entrepreneurs generally have egos that they have to then get out of the way of to then let it happen. And when you realize that it’s really not about you anymore, it’s about your team and your brand now.

00:21:51 – Maura

And it’s funny that you say that because I would like to think that I don’t have an ego. I’m actually like an extreme introvert. Like I don’t choose to meet new people if I don’t have to, But I’m meeting new people every day. I’m going to consultations with people I’ve never met before for my design business. I’m talking to people through Airbnb every single day and I’ll probably never meet them, but I have to make sure that they have the best experience at our cabin and answer all of their questions and communicate really effectively. But by nature, that isn’t what I do. Or it’s just an interesting thing. It’s what you have to do when you’re building a company and building a brand.

00:22:33 – Glenn

So you’re saying if you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be sales, you have to do sales that everybody thinks you don’t have to do sales. You have to do.

00:22:40 – Maura

You have to do sales. Yeah.

00:22:42 – Glenn

So if you would you prefer to do have a new build design that you have to go in that somebody just build it. Now you’ve got to go and do the interior design or do you like when somebody takes an older house, you know, like a, you know, 100 year old house and wants to redesign that, which is your passion, what you like better?

00:22:59 – Maura

I think there’s something really cool about both. I love, like the charm of historic homes. When I get somebody who reaches out from an upper Arlington or a Clintonville, I know that I’m going to have a huge task at hand because with old homes comes a lot of problems generally. But I have a great team. I have great contractors that know how to handle those those things when someone has a brand new home. Not a single furnishing they’re bringing with them and knows the direction that they want to go and just needs help implementing that. That’s also really cool. I would say that that of the two is probably easier, but I truly enjoy both.

00:23:43 – Glenn

So I’m going to ask a weird question in a weird way. So you know, don’t you? So we we believe that every entrepreneur has a superpower of some sort. Like that just sets you apart from somebody else. I could line up, you know, ten designers working at companies and I could put you in there, and you’re going to have head and shoulders above everybody, a certain superpower. Do you know what that is? Because I think I might know what that is, but I want you to tell me what you think it is.

00:24:07 – Maura

I, I would tend to think that people who maybe don’t know me and see me on the street probably think. Am I allowed to curse?

00:24:15 – Glenn

You can say anything you want.

00:24:16 – Maura

They probably think I’m a bitch because it’s the hair. Tony always says it’s the hair. I think I can become really disarming really quickly with people, and I’m really effective at communicating with them and understanding what their needs are. And I think that works to our benefit in all of our businesses, whether it’s our tenants or it’s my design clients or it’s people staying at our cabin. You know, we haven’t had anybody have complaints, but we did have like the hot tub just wasn’t getting warm. And I could tell she was really freaking out about it because she really wanted to get in the hot tub and just having a really calm conversation with her and walking her through what she needs to do. And she ended up sending a message afterwards. She said, I just really so appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. Like, it’s my job. I didn’t say that, but it is. It’s my job. So just trying to disarm people and empower them because a lot of times, like in my design business, they actually can they they know what they want. And to be able to teach them a little bit about what I do so that they’re able to do some of that themselves in the future is actually really cool to.

00:25:24 – Glenn

That was I was thinking your superpower is the fact that you have a particular type of style that you probably like and you gravitate toward, but being able to get in somebody else’s head who’s hiring you, you have to get in their head. Yeah. And that is very hard to do because, you know, you know, what you think would make it look great, but that’s not necessarily what they want it to be. So I think that’s probably one of your superpowers is to be able to yeah, I know this be better, but this is what they want. And then you take what they’re going to give you and make it the best you can.

00:25:57 – Maura

That’s very true. And I have had a lot of clients who are not they don’t fall in my design style and it can be really difficult. It’s a little bit of a it’s a painful process in the beginning, but I can at least give them, you know, their style. I can make it look the best that it can with their style. But I do. I give advice, and I’m brutally honest to direct.

00:26:22 – Glenn

We call it in the business, correct?

00:26:23 – Maura

Yeah, I’m direct.

00:26:24 – Glenn

No RBF. It’s just direct. Right.

00:26:27 – Julie

That’s what he keeps telling me anyway.

00:26:28 – Glenn

Oh, hey, Julie. What are you.

00:26:30 – Julie

Doing? I can see it.

00:26:31 – Glenn

So the funny thing is, and again, I just. This kind of stuff cracks me up. But I can’t imagine if a if a dude says, Hey, I want you to design my house. I’m thinking, like, late nineties beer pictures and, you know, that kind of design, you’d be like, All right, ten bucks here. You’re good to go. Now, if a chick comes up to you, it’s a whole different conversation. So it’s got to be kind of interesting watching dynamic with couples on what they like or don’t like and how they probably sit on one thing they aren’t going to cave on. And you’ve got to be like the little matchmaker to make that thing work, right?

00:27:04 – Maura

It’s really interesting. There is such a like a range of clientele and the way that the husbands and wives interact and the level of wanting to be involved and or not be involved. I have some husbands who are so over the top involved. They want to be in on every single decision. And then others who are like, I don’t even need to be there when she comes over because I don’t care. So, you know, I figure that out kind of right away. You know, if they’re if the husband’s at the consultation and he’s giving any input, I’m like, all right, he’s going to be involved. So that’s interesting. And generally speaking, and this is kind of funny to me, but I will say that usually the husband and the wife have really like opposite desires for the house. So being able to marry that to like where everybody can be happy with how it turns out can be really difficult. And sometimes I feel like I’m like a therapist. Oh, I can only imagine. Yeah.

00:28:05 – Glenn

It’s a funny thing. In our line of work, literally, that’s more mental psychological things for clients than it is the actual product or service that you’re doing. It has nothing. I mean, it’s a piece of it, but more it’s about for you. It’s they both got your couple that you’re working with. They have to both probably be in a position where they’re both satisfied with what you did. It may not be what they each want, but they’re going to have a positive experience more than anything else, it would seem to me.

00:28:40 – Julie

Which is that goes back to your superpower, which is why you’ve been so successful.

00:28:45 – Maura

Well, thank you. I, I will say, though, I am a professional and and I can tell everybody what is going to be best for their home. And but at the end of the day, they have to let go of that control on their end and think that that I’m correct. Right. I have had a couple of people who it just wasn’t we weren’t jiving. Right. And I had to make the decision to walk away from that project. You know, I. I think that you there comes a time where you have to say, this isn’t working out. Kind of like it’s not you, it’s me type scenario. And and I’m not above that. You know, I had a big struggle. I’ve only had it happen two or three times, but I had a really big struggle with it the first time. But I could just see the project wasn’t going to go in a direction that I wanted it to. And the communication just we weren’t on the same wavelength, right? So I said, You know, I don’t feel that I can meet your expectations. And I think that there’d probably be somebody better suited for them. And then, you know, I pass them along to somebody who is ready to take on a total pain in the ass.

00:29:53 – Glenn

Well, I think that’s the. You know, that’s their our easy button moment for our listeners is that you don’t have to do that struggle on every project. You’ve got to be able to as you become a seasoned veteran, you learn quicker before you get too deep into a project to say no. And it’s okay to say no. But when you first start out, most everybody will say yes because you you have to take your clients, but that’s how you learn. But at some point it’s got to be like, you know, this just isn’t going to work out and it’s okay to say no.

00:30:25 – Maura

It’s absolutely I was exactly what you just said. I was saying yes to every single person that would reach out to me. And I quickly learned that that is that is not the way to do it. So that is why I take an hour in home with the customer prior to moving forward with a full design project. I want to get to know them. You know, they think I’m just there to take photos of their house. But a lot of the times I’m sort of interviewing them as well to make sure it’s going to be a good fit or if I see a bunch of red flags. I had someone recently that I went to their home and they told me that they fired four designers before me and they said, I think that you I, I see your social media. I watch like your videos that you post. And I just think that we’d be a really good fit because our design styles are the same. But I knew in my head in that first 5 minutes when she told me that that I’m not going to work with her, you know, and I will I’ll still spend the hour with them and I’ll give them advice here and there where I can. But I sent a nice follow up message and just says, you know, I don’t feel that we’re a great fit. I hope you find, you know, what you’re looking for and your home is beautiful and and we go our separate ways. So in Maya’s mind, which I know there’s a lot going on in there, even as we’re here, what’s the next thing? That’s a great question. We have a second cabin that we are trying to get up and running right now. And it’s really hard when you’re in the trenches in a project like this that is all consuming to think about another step. After that. So the next thing is getting our A-frame cabin up and running, which we feel will be ready by spring, and then we will take a vacation because we haven’t taken one in about a year and a half.

00:32:19 – Glenn

You’re you’re funny. You never take vacations. You know that You’re going to you can’t sit. You can.

00:32:23 – Julie

Go someplace else, but you’re.

00:32:25 – Glenn

Still still going to be working.

00:32:26 – Maura

That is so true there. I think the one thing we’ve learned as there is constant work, the job is never done right. And that’s okay. Because if I can be out in the mountains and I can be doing my my job from there, my job’s I’m okay with that. But I right now, we’re kind of just taking it one day at a time because this has been such an over overwhelming process with building the cabins out that that really is next for us. And I really can’t say that more cabins are in our immediate future. But if you were to ask me what’s what’s next for our businesses, I another year or two down the road, that that is probably what what’s next just scaling that business because it’s something that we’re passionate about and it’s something that, you know, we also know is it’s lucrative. And of course we’re trying to build a future for ourselves as well. And you’ve been in the trenches, You’ve you’ve lived, you’ve learned, and you’re going to do a couple of things differently next time. And for sure.

00:33:33 – Glenn

You know too much. You can’t stop now. This is why the endgame question that we kind of always ask and you’re kind of new on your journey, right? You’ve only been doing this for, what, three years?

00:33:44 – Maura

About three years. Yeah.

00:33:45 – Glenn

Right. So you probably haven’t even thought about, you know, the exit of this, but, you know, the shortcut is to the listeners and but there is no exit as an entrepreneur because we just, we, we know all the secrets. We know how to get there. We have the relationships, we have the passion, like you keep saying. And I think you guys like it isn’t work. If you love what you do, people call it work because they don’t want to do their job while they’re on vacation. But entrepreneurs, that is a vacation is changing a venue and thinking outside the box and getting out of the office walls. You can get more creative and you can like, Well, let’s do that, that and that. And then you come back with a whole list. You’re like, What an idiot. Why am I doing this?

00:34:28 – Maura

Absolutely. Yeah. So. So what’s next? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll start our own podcast. Don’t be.

00:34:35 – Glenn

Fun. It’s a hoot.

00:34:36 – Maura

It’s we’ve we’ve had a lot of people ask us if we would be willing to be mentors and help them. Short term rentals are kind of all the rage right now. And we’ve had a lot of people who have seen what we’ve gone through, what we’ve done because we documented all of it on social media and they want to learn more. They want us to help them do the same thing that we did. So maybe that’s somewhere in our in our future of being, you know, a mentoring, newer entrepreneurs and things like that. So I heard 5000 ideas for you. Great in the 2 seconds.

00:35:15 – Glenn

So maybe we have the next was those people. I think in Texas the gains are everywhere. Yeah, maybe that’s going to be you.

00:35:21 – Maura

And that’s really funny because we actually had someone reach out to us to see if we wanted to do a TV show for Magnolia Network. We didn’t make it to the final round, but we were. Yeah, they, they recorded us and I was like, Oh my gosh, we’re going to have a cabin show on Magnolia Network. And then we never got a call back. But it’s because there’s something bigger out there. You need it. We’re going to start our own network.

00:35:46 – Glenn

You needed more. Your soap opera of them filming needed a little more controversy. So you need to bring some special guests down to make it keep it more entertaining. That’s what you’re.

00:35:56 – Julie

Lacking. If we would have. Yeah, I could bring Glen. Bring Glen? He’s bringing his beer pictures and his 1990s.

00:36:02 – Glenn

I wear my coveralls. It’ll be great. People will love it for sure. The three Darryl’s will show up. Well, great. Well, you know, we really appreciate you coming by today and sharing some insights. And I think the takeaways for our listeners is, again, don’t be scared to go do it. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, you just do something different, and if you don’t try to do it, you’ll never know that you had something special in you that you could tap into.

00:36:30 – Maura

And I totally agree with that. And I think, quite honestly, you know, we’re both Tony and I are self-taught. We don’t have backgrounds in anything that we’re doing. So whether you made or if you think that you went to college and majored in something and that’s what you have to do, or if you do something for ten or 20 years of your life and you think that that’s your only, you know, you’re just stuck there, you know, that’s that’s what this is what I know how to do. Know that there’s a whole world out there of other things you can do. You just, you know, have to be committed to that and to learning those businesses. So.

00:37:01 – Glenn

Take a little bit of risk and you can have a huge reward.

00:37:04 – Maura


00:37:05 – Glenn

Laura, thanks for coming in today. Appreciate it.

00:37:07 – Julie

Thanks for having me.

00:37:09 – Glenn

You bet. We’ll see you. Hey, Julia. I’ll talk to you later.

Episode Show Notes

From medical supply sales, to now interior design, Maura’s entrepreneurial journey is one to learn from.

We welcome Maura Ginnobile, the owner of The Home + Haven Co and Everwoods Cabins Rentals.

Her start in medical supply sales (which she hated but loved the money), led her to her entrepreneurial career in interior design. And what a start – right before the COVID shutdown.

She is now to a point, being a serial entrepreneur with her husband, adding staff. She talks about how she is approaching this, all the while keeping her brand strong. And how growing the team can be difficult.

She is now delegating her work to accommodate what is important to her, her family, and her life. But when you gain the time, how do you NOT fill it with more business craziness?

Brand building is a major part of both businesses. She goes into detail on how she has been true to her branding, all the while growing her businesses.

Her superpower? Disarming personality, and great listener. These are two key traits that make a great interior designer.

As Maura notes, “Know that there’s a whole world out there of other things you can do. You just have to be committed to that and to learning those businesses.”

Running a business doesn’t have to run your life.

Without a business partner who holds you accountable, it’s easy to be so busy ‘doing’ business that you don’t have the right strategy to grow your business.

Stop letting your business run you. At Harper & Co CPA Plus, we know that you want to be empowered to build the lifestyle you envision. In order to do that you need a clear path to follow for success

Our clients enjoy a proactive partnership with us. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Download our free guide – Entrepreneurial Success Formula: How to Avoid Managing Your Business From Your Bank Account.

Copyright 2022 Glenn Harper

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