Questions pour in about The Fixer. To answer queries I take this show on the road and ask someone who worked with her. I deliberately choose a business very different from Duchess Diaries.
Mary Wild, of Wild Development, a design and renovation company, spent three months under The Fixer’s tutelage. Her company serves the metro area, but knowing Mary, she’d go just about anywhere to help a kitchen in need.
The photos are of kitchens and baths. Seen most of them—to die. Her work is also featured on the site, Houzz. The woman’s got a way with cabinets, faucets and where the sink should go.
Does she consider herself “fixed?” Her answer, in plain English, yes, yes and yes.
Her journey begins in May 2014. For Mary, The Fixer concentrates on appearance, presentation skills, overall attitude, increasing confidence and points out things she does that are counterproductive to business success.
“She taught me to treat business as business and not personal or friendship based.” Sound familiar, girls? “No hugs. I’m not there to make a new friend. I’m there to make their home awesome! Being nice and pleasant to work with is icing on the cake…not the cake.”
She laughs aloud when I ask if lessons are difficult.
“Hell yes! She had me put together thirty different outfits for thirty different types of clients and meeting types when it was 112 degrees with limited AC in my closet. Think Anne Hathaway with Julie Andrews in Princess Diaries, no exaggeration. She taught me to walk and talk like a lady and refers to me, even now, as Ms. Doolittle.”
But, how did she make a difference, besides dress you up and have you wear makeup doll?
“I have much more confidence. I am more professional, poised and have purpose. I recognize now that just as potential clients are assessing whether I will be a good fit for their project, I in turn also have the opportunity to assess whether or not the client will be one that I want to work with.
“I’m also not as fear-based. Before, I believed I had to turn every prospect into a client, regardless of whether it would be a positive experience or not.”
In order to increase confidence, we must become competent. It’s one of The Fixer’s hallmarks. “People will work with and hire those who demonstrate competence – not just someone that they like or think is nice. Lead with competence. She had me write out a professional code of conduct for myself, my crews as well as my clients. Expectation setting is important. Having standards and expectations and adhering to them lets everyone know how things are going to work. It is important to get everyone on the same page.”
But, as all us nosey noses want to know, are you more profitable? Are you making more money?
“The improvement is exponential. I am more profitable. References increased, word of mouth is increasing and my margins are up. I’m much happier and confident. I’m focusing more on working with my target market and not everyone, like before.
“I’m also charging what I know I am worth instead of what I think I need to charge to get the business.” Badass, non?
“I’ve learned that as my business grows I have to delegate some of the operational tasks to my crews. I’ve also learned each individual has his or her own strengths. When we focus on what we each do best and leave the things we aren’t as good at to someone better suited to the task, business grows and clients are satisfied.
“I used to be kind of mousy when dealing with issues with workers. I didn’t want to come off as a bitch. Now I clearly explain I am holding everyone accountable to deliver the same level of excellence clients expect when they make the decision to work with me. It’s just business and although I’m still nice I have less trepidation when resolving a conflict knowing that it’s just business. If they do their part and make me look good I can continue to provide them with steady work.”
Was it worth it?
“Absolutely. It was a life-changing experience to say the least and I would highly recommend working with her to anyone.”
Need a kitchen, bathroom or just a kickass new pal; that is if you’re not working with her. Wild Development, and Mary, can be reached at 480-227-3813. Tell her The Duchess sent you.