Drive: Ryan Turk

Jul 2, 2012 by     5 Comments    Posted under: Drive: Profiles of Success, Featured Articles

What are your personal factors to success?

For us, we believe in leading by example. We look for people that are teachable and that will not only trust us but trust the franchise system. My wife is an exceptional trainer and mentor. She and I work extremely well together.

Every business cycle has its slow times. How do you handle it?

It’s funny. We thought our first quarter was horrible this year, but when we actually looked at the numbers, we were ahead of last year. It all goes back to ability and efficiency. We hired an interior designer that works just for our franchise, so we have a much bigger production capacity. So while we thought we had a lot of free time, the reality was we’ve just become more efficient at producing the same amount of work.

Could you give one piece of advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?

Like Kenny Rogers said, you’ve got to know when hold ’em and when to fold ’em. People who could be successful quit before it starts to get good. You need to have a long-term view of your business and build the type of business you want to have. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane task of getting work done and lose sight of the big picture. It’s the big picture that gets you up in the morning. If I got up thinking I had to make a sale every day, it would probably make me want to stay in bed.

Was there ever a time when you questioned what you were doing?

Daily. I think there are intuitive decisions you make as a result of experience. Sometimes intuitive decisions are extremely favorable, sometimes they’re not. The key is being able to look honestly in the mirror and make a detailed assessment of what’s working and what’s not. I believe in the power of the “and.” It’s not this or that. It’s this and that. Between the two, something good will work.

You sort of answered my next question already, but how do you overcome those times of doubt?

Have good people around you. As we try to develop our franchise owners, we reach up to those around us. That’s very true in areas where we don’t have much expertise. Like with marketing and SEO and technology that we know is necessary, but it’s not our expertise. We look for proven business professionals to guide us.

If you could go back talk to yourself when you first decided to start this business, what would you say?

One of the hardest things is to believe in yourself, especially when you’ve had a couple of failures. For both Jeanette and myself, this is our third business. The difference is my first two failed, while her first two were successful. I’ve often felt a lot of guilt and remorse over those two business failures. What I’ve learned is those failures were important for me to learn the lessons to make this business as successful as it is today.

What do you look forward to?

The most rewarding thing is watching other people reach their ideas of success. It was nice when we won a lot of different awards, but it paled in comparison to when one of our owners got up to receive their awards. I look forward to knowing I’ve had such an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. That’s the most rewarding thing you could aspire for. That, and to be able to retire how we’d like to retire. Although, it’s hard to imagine retirement when your business is such a part of who you are. And it’s such a passion that you hope you can find a new way to interact with it when you’re retired. But who knows if we’ll even be able to walk away?

Anything else you would like to add?

I think I was always encouraged to find something I loved. My problem was I could never find what it was. I didn’t know that what I loved was being an entrepreneur, especially after those first two business failures. So I guess sometimes finding what you love is a complete accident.

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5 Comments + Add Comment

  • Great interview! I especially like Ryan’s take on looking at the big picture to stay motivated and get out of bed in the morning. I too would stay in bed if making a sale every day was the goal! Your track record is so inspirational and exciting – kudos to you and Jeanette for growing your business so well and setting a top notch standard for your franchisees to follow. Congrats!

  • Kudos to the Turks. This is not an easy business, especially in recent years. But the challenge and reward of not only helping clients, but also creative entrepreneurs new to the design industry to achieve THEIR dreams–that’s what makes it such a rewarding and stimulating career. Congrats to two very professional colleagues!

  • Jeanette and Ryan are sterling examples of the high caliber of indivuals Decorating Den Interiors attracts. Nobody is more caring than these two leaders. From the day they entered the DDI business, they organized themselves for success. Like leaders do, they overcame obstacles that won the hearts of those they now lead. Nothing seems to cause them to withdraw from the challenges they face. The forge ahead with creativity, a solid commitment to their business, and to those they serve. It has been a real treat to watch both Ryan and Jeanette grow into the positions they now hold. I wish them continued success.

    Mick Riddiough
    The Riddiough Group

  • Terrific interview! You really convey the benefits of our company. I especially like your emphasis on helping franchise owners improve their success. Congratulations to you and Jeanette.

  • Jeanette and Dana from the Decorating Den changed the entire look of my living room. They took careful time in selecting the right material and look that I was going for. I love my new window treatments! I am still in the process of giving the room a “face lift” with purchasing new furiture that they have selected. They did a wonderful job in capturing the style I wanted for that space. It has been great working with them.

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