podcast | Feb 28, 2024 |
Wesley Moon on the secret to making clients feel heard

When Wesley Moon launched his design business, the odds were stacked against him. It was 2008: The design industry was beginning to feel the effects of the recession, and Moon had finally gone out on his own after years of learning the ropes at other firms. He was intent on breaking through in the industry and building a firm with staying power.

“When I started my business, I felt I had a lot to prove,” Moon tells host Kaitlin Petersen on the latest episode of the Trade Tales podcast. “I was only 30 years old. I came from humble beginnings. I just felt like, ‘I’ve got to make it’. But that’s when I realized proving yourself isn’t about being right or always having the best idea in the room. It’s about making sure everyone feels heard.”

He had finally figured it out: His superpower was the unique ability to put aside his ego and home in on the design vision inside each client. Leaning into his newfound skill led to a seemingly endless stream of client referrals, a quickly expanding team and a business that seemed unstoppable. For nearly 15 years, Moon was unstoppable too—until he realized that the late nights and weekends spent working had amounted to a business that was steadily draining precious time from his private life.

As the designer came to discover, leaving that hustle behind meant slowing the breakneck pace that had helped drive his firm to such heights—but it would also mean trusting that he had built a team that could share in the responsibility of carrying on the vision. Elsewhere in the episode, Moon shares how he came to the realization that expanding his team was the key to boosting revenue and why understanding his employees’ strengths and weaknesses guides his team-building approach.

Crucial insight: When hiring, Moon isn’t simply looking for the best candidate. He’s also looking for an employee who brings balance to his team. In order to find that person, he learned to ferret out not only his team’s strengths but their weaknesses too. “No one’s perfect. No one’s coming in the door good at everything,” he says. “Part of building your team is finding people that complement the other people, and then delegating is all about giving the right person the job. That’s the way you can trust it’s going to get done the best way.”

Key quote: “The clients need to feel like it’s their home,” says Moon. “And that’s something a lot of people sometimes miss: They’re hiring you, but they’re hiring you to make their home—not your home.”

Listen to the show below. If you like what you hear, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. This episode was sponsored by Universal Furniture.

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