The Guest Expert Series in Quill Collective has easily become one of my favorite things, and it’s been a huge hit with members as well! So far, we’ve discussed being an authority on Instagram, packaging design, outsourcing work for your design business, and this week, mindset and confidence.
We were lucky enough to have Cassie Gudmundson join us this past week to share her knowledge and expertise on how mindset shifts can impact your design business. As a brand designer turned Mindset Coach, Cassie knows a thing or two about the power of healing your relationship with money and charging your worth. We talked about how she got started doing mindset work, how it changed her business for the better, and how other designers can take steps to begin this work themselves. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Q: Can you tell us a little about your business and where you’re located?
A: My name is Cassie and I’m a designer turned Mindset Coach! I’ve owned my design studio for about five and a half years now and I live in Southern California with my husband and our little one. I am a self-taught designer, I didn’t go to school for design at all, and did the thing as a brand and website designer for all of those years in my studio, I sort of stumbled into design in my career path and started my own business from there. Through that journey of figuring out how to effectively make money through my own design work and going through many years of burn-out and struggles around pricing,
I realized that a lot of my hang-ups were around mindset. About a year ago I really started diving into my own personal mindset work around money and selling. By doing that work, my income and my studio grew so quickly and I realized this is a topic that a lot of people are probably struggling with and from there I transition into doing mindset coaching, mostly with other designers or creatives, in addition to my design services. Coming from a design background myself, I really love helping designers navigate the mindset issues around charging high-ticket and working 1:1 with clients. As of now, I mostly do mindset coaching and I don’t take on very many client projects anymore. I have pretty much transitioned into coaching 70% of the time and I’ve been loving it!
Q: Was there a lightbulb moment where you understood the true power of mindset work?
A: Yes, most definitely! I feel like I had such a drastic change because right after I really started digging into the mindset work, I had a client who I had worked with previously for design work and I charged her maybe $2000 for a brand and a website. She came back to me with her second business and at that point I had started to heal a lot of my money beliefs and began to feel more comfortable with higher prices and charging my worth. She ended up booking her second project with me for around 8K and not only was it a higher price, but it was around half of the deliverables of the first project. I remember feeling mind-blown that this was even possible for me! Nothing else had shifted but my beliefs and energy around money and pricing when I came into that conversation with the client. That was really my first indication that this idea of mindset shifting could make a really big impact on my business and it’s not just woo-woo stuff that I’m journaling in the morning to make me feel better — it’s this deep work of shifting my belief and making lasting changes.
Q: What’s a misconception that people might have when it comes to mindset work?
A: The thing that comes up most often is this idea that mindset work is simply feeling good all the time, and that’s totally not the case. This sort of ties into the idea of “toxic positivity”, that we need to feel good about ourselves all the time in order to be successful. To me, this is a very “surface-level” idea of what mindset work actually is. Feeling good about yourself all the time is just not realistic; as small business owners we deal with lots of emotions, our own and those of our clients, and have to work with clients who sometimes say no or just overall stressful situations.
On the flip side, the more valuable way of looking at mindset work is that it’s about analyzing your core beliefs and values. This can look like the core trust you have in yourself or worthiness you feel, even when hard moments happen in your business — because they will happen. One of the things that I most often work with my clients on is how to handle when a launch doesn’t go as well as they wanted it to or when a client says no to their proposal. Those are truly the moments when you need the mindset work the most, to help yourself not spin out and head into a downward, negative spiral.
Q: How has working on mindset allowed you to scale or pivot your business?
A: So for me that really worked out in two different ways. The first way this happened for me was by selling higher-priced packages with a ton more confidence. This showed up for me by being able to go into conversations with potential clients and not feeling uncomfortable discussing higher amounts of money. I used to have lots of thoughts like, “is my work even worth that large price tag?” and “will I even find people who will pay this?” and a myriad of other non-helpful thoughts. Once I worked through my mindset issues surrounding money overall, those thoughts changed from questions to statements such as, “my work IS worth a high price tag”, and I felt more confidence around charging higher prices.
The second part of it is that mindset work really lets yourself lean into ideas for your business that you may not have explored otherwise. When I wanted to sell a course around mindset, I felt a lot more confident in my ideas and my abilities to sell that and change people’s lives in the process. A lot of my business growth has just been giving myself permission to lean into these different revenue streams and make room to experiment and try different things.
Q: In your experience, what is a false belief that holds back creatives? And how can they begin to change that?
A: There are so many when it comes to money and working in creative industries, and a lot of it actually comes from our childhood or beliefs from our parents that crossed over into our own adult lives. But across the board, something that I see so often is this thought that you have to work harder or prove yourself more to raise your prices. With designers who want to raise their prices, that idea almost always comes up for them as a form of resistance. They think they need to be working doubly hard or offer double the value in order to raise their prices significantly, and it just isn’t true. That really comes from this scarcity view of money that isn’t really serving us in the long run. To change this, it comes down to starting to view money differently and being able to see it as more of a neutral resource and not so emotionally-charged.
Q: Something we talked about before going live on this chat, is how I just re-launched my course and while it’s been my most successful launch so far it’s also been the easiest launch ever. It’s normal for us to question it and wonder if we should be working harder for our wins!
A: Totally! And that is so common to have around money, that feeling of “shouldn’t I be working harder for this?” And then following that there are even more questions about your worthiness of making that amount of money. All of that is conditioning. We’re brought up that our income is the result of our hard work. And while hard work is important, there comes a point where you are indeed an expert and it may take less hard work to do something successfully! It doesn’t mean you should be compensated less, if anything you deserve more because now this creative work you’re doing is the by-product of many experiences. And as you start to hit new levels, you’ll see that this mindset work doesn’t go away but rather manifests in bigger, larger numbers as we rise. This work is constant and so crucial at every stage of entrepreneurship.
Q: What’s been the biggest learning lesson in your mindset shift and growth?
A: For me the idea that I can get paid, and paid well, for something that comes really easy to me has been a continual work in progress. Listening to someone talk about their business, and I’m able to easily see connection points between things that will help them clarify or streamline their business just comes so naturally to me. It brings up a lot of feelings and doubts around the idea if I should be paid for this, since it feels as easy as talking with a friend. This is something that I’ve had to continually work on over the past year or so.
Q: What is some advice you would have for a creative who wants to raise their prices and feels on the edge of a burnout?
A: You have to start by asking yourself, “Why am I afraid to raise my prices?” If you’re wanting to raise your prices because you’re feeling really burnt out, then I think you need to go deeper and ask yourself what is the core fear holding you back from doing so. I usually suggest journaling for this, because it gives you a lot of space and time to really get into your thoughts. From there, you’ll start to really figure out where these thoughts and narratives are truly coming from. It’s extremely hard to change your beliefs if you don’t know where they come from. Bringing awareness to the stories or moments in your life that help uphold those beliefs in turn lessen the power that they have over us.
Q: What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your journey?
A: So many things! But the main thing would be to trust where you’re feeling lit up and inspired. When I got to that point where I started doing mindset work because I was feeling so incredibly burnt-out and stuck, part of that was because I was trying to listen to so many other people tell me all of these strategies that I needed to be doing. It felt like being on a hamster wheel and overwhelming to try and do all the things. I ended up doing those things (trying to cram out a million tasks a day and be on every social platform) not because they felt good to me, but because I thought I needed to do those things to be truly successful. I believe that if I had spent more time at the beginning leaning into the areas where it did feel exciting or inspiring for me, I would have picked up momentum a lot more quickly and saved myself a lot of trouble.
Q: Where can people connect with you online?
A: You can find me on Instagram where I share a lot of resources and thoughts on all of these topics! I also love doing Instagram lives over there and just chatting casually about mindset and selling confidently. Folks can also connect with me on my website which has even more resources and information.
Special for all Quill Collective members, Cassie is offering a Money Mindset Workshop all about rewiring your money beliefs in order to better scale your business. This workshop is truly a culmination of everything I’ve learned on my own and the things I’ve worked with clients on. We go over some of the top mistakes and beliefs that hold a lot of people back from growing their business.
If you haven’t yet joined Quill Collective, now’s the time to become a member so you can catch the full replay and binge other episodes from talented guest speakers!