Complacency Threatened Aya Shlachter’s Thriving Design & Architecture Business

Complacency Threatened Aya Shlachter’s Thriving Design & Architecture Business


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My guest for Episode #81 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Aya Shlachter, a mom, wife, entrepreneur, speaker, and CEO of MGS Global Group, a built environment, architectural and graphic design consulting firm serving the creative industry. Her team specializes in architectural support, graphics production support, and design consulting services in the retail, residential and hospitality sectors for leading brands, including Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and many restaurants.

Aya also runs the Architect My Life program, where she helps female creative entrepreneurs and CEOs like architects and designers scale to seven figures in 12 months or less while enjoying more out of life along the way. She will also be launching a podcast of the same name.

Aya earned a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

In this episode, Aya shares her favorite mistake about getting complacent in the early days of a business that was going really well… until it was not. Why was the business on “autopilot” and what problems did that cause? Thankfully, early recognition of the mistake prevented bigger problems.

Other topics and questions:

  • Mistakes in setting up her website?
  • Systems in place to prevent cashflow blindness?
  • Covid challenges — hold out or pivot?
  • Creating a system to look for blind spots / need to pivot?
  • Mistakes retailers make in store design?
  • Mistakes entrepreneurs make?

Scroll down to find:

  • Video preview of the episode
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (1s):
Episode 82, Aya Shlachter, mom, architect and entrepreneur.

Aya Shlachter (6s):
So my favorite mistake is complacency. And let me tell you what I mean by complacency…

Mark Graban (22s):
This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes, because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at For links, show notes, and more for this episode, go to Please follow rate and review. And you feel like the episode, share it with someone on social media.

Mark Graban (1m 2s):
Thanks. Our guest today is Aya Shlachter. Let me tell you a little bit about her to start. She is a mom, a life, an entrepreneur, a speaker, and she is CEO of MGS Global Group, a built environment, architectural and graphic design consulting firm serving the creative industry. Her team specializes in architectural support, graphics, production support, and design consulting services, and retail, residential and hospitality for leading brands. She and her firm have designed stores for brands. You would know Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, a number of restaurants. So before I tell you a little bit more about Aya, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.

Aya Shlachter (1m 43s):
Thanks for having me mark.

Mark Graban (1m 45s):
So I'm excited about the conversation today and w w we have a lot of things we can talk about a little bit more about Aya, first beyond the work that she does through MGS Global Group. She also runs a program called Architect My Life. I see where you, you came up with that name, right? She helps female creative entrepreneurs and CEOs like architects and designers scale their business while enjoying more out of life. Along the way. She has a master's degree in architecture and urban design from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in architecture from the New Jersey Institute of technology. And here's one other interesting detail she's completed over a does. I'm impressed by this over a dozen triathlons marathons and open water swim events.

Mark Graban (2m 31s):
Did, did any of those feel like a mistake now?

Aya Shlachter (2m 36s):
I really, I love it. Everything.

Mark Graban (2m 40s):
Yeah, that is impressive. I don't do those sorts of endeavors. So I'm glad you enjoy that beyond just surviving them. Yes,

Aya Shlachter (2m 49s):
It does good. It, architects are used to monotony and that's a very monotonous sport. So I think I was cut out for it.

Mark Graban (3m 1s):
So I, so we've probably established your favorite mistake is not in your athletic pursuits, but looking back at your career and the different things you've done, what would you say is your favorite mistake?

Aya Shlachter (3m 14s):
So my favorite mistake is complacency. And let me tell you what I mean by complacency. When I first started my business in 2010, I grew immediately within six months, I landed Coach as a client and immediately did 300 stores in like six months. So I was able to scale that and then got another client years later, Michael Kors was able to scale to like 4,000 stores. So, you know, although I worked so much in the beginning, like I created all these processes, all these systems, you know, everything was amazing.

Aya Shlachter (4m 1s):
Right. But then I realized that I became complacent because I was, you know, the pipeline was good. The money was good, mark. I was making like more money per month than I would have made as an, a yearly income. And that's for one client. So that was when I was living in the Philippines. So I'm like, life is good. I set up systems. Everything's fine. And then we decided to move to the U S so I focused on taking care of my kids, setting up how my house here finding another, an office space. So my business was actually running an autopilot and I was still raking it right every month until, I mean, I worked out, I felt like I was semiretired at 34.

Aya Shlachter (4m 43s):
Like I could see all the money coming in. So it was great. But then my husband, who, who takes care of our finances and payroll, he said, I, what are you doing about business development? Because if you don't, we're going to have to lay off people in six months. I'm like, wait, what's going on? Because I was busy, like living my life. Right. I was complacent. So you said we've maximized, we've already built so many stores for our clients. I mean, how much more can they build? And this is like six years of raking it. And he's like, if you don't do anything, we're gonna probably have to lay off or shut down the company.

Aya Shlachter (5m 25s):
And that was like a shocker for me. Yeah. So that was, that was my biggest mistake. And I already, at this point had a staff of like, are on 18 people in the team. So yeah, that for me was like, not good. So

Mark Graban (5m 43s):
There, I mean, I'm glad it's, it's good that your husband looked down the road a little bit, at least there wasn't the mistake of both losing track of that or, or I'm glad your story is not one where you said you became complacent and you did have to shut down the business. So there was at least, I mean, I think this is an example of a favorite mistake where early recognition of the mistake prevented a bigger, a bigger problem. Right. Can you say a little bit more about that?

Aya Shlachter (6m 15s):
Yeah, so, so my husband, I mean, we, we were operating a mom and pop firm. Like I thought it was a small firm with 15 people, but our clients are quite major. We've already pivoted to hospitality, but then I'm glad he was there too, you know, kind of find my blind spots. So what I needed to do was to stop the bleeding. I needed to lay off a few people, which was not good. And for the people who remained, I had to cut down their hours. So, but that was only a short term solution. Right. For the problem. Again, I was an accidental entrepreneur. I always saying it when I started my business, I didn't really mean to start the business opportunities.

Aya Shlachter (7m 1s):
Opportunities came into my lap and I kind of ran with it. So I never learned how to do business development. That was not part of my DNA. Right. Creatives were taught how to master their craft, but not taught how to run or grow a business. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and

Mark Graban (7m 17s):
I think that's often true for people who do work like me, people who are solo, preneur consultants, there's experience and skill that is marketable. And there's a similar trap where, you know, friends who are solo consultants are always lamenting. For example, I'm curious if you ran across this, the balance and the struggle of you're super busy doing work, but yet you need to be selling work at the same time. You had a affirm in a team was part of the autopilot you described kind of relying on that team on the execution of the work you've already sold, right?

Aya Shlachter (7m 54s):
Yes, exactly. Yes. So that was the short term solution. But what I did was in terms of what I learned, I learned that I was an amateur business woman and, you know, I thought I knew everything because I had big clients, but I was not an expert. And that was a major problem. So the first thing I did was to hire a business development consultant. And for creatives, we don't want to spend money. And these people make more than me. Right? My missed this consultant has hourly rates are like maybe twice or triple my hourly rates, but this are the things that we need to do as entrepreneurs. We need to help. Or we need help from people who are better at doing things so we can learn from them.

Mark Graban (8m 39s):
I've I've I've. Yeah. I've had a lot of guests who are coaches who have hired a coach for one reason or another they've did. So what, what, how did that play out that hiring that biz dev consultant? Was that effective? Was that, did that play out the way that you would want it to? Yeah,

Aya Shlachter (8m 59s):
It does very humbling. The first thing he said when he saw my website and I was so proud of my website, it looks so pretty superficially. And I met him. He's like a 60 year old, older gentleman from HP, you know, he's, he does really amazing work. And I was so proud. It's like Aya, your website sucks. And so he explained why there was no call to action. There were no blogs. Then it opened my eyes. Luckily I was open to knowing that I don't know everything. And I was desperate because, you know, I have bills to pay. I have payroll, I have a mortgage, I have cars, I have kids. So, you know, I borrowed money and then paid my business development consultant.

Aya Shlachter (9m 44s):
And he said, don't expect results in a month. This is a long-term strategy. So we needed to stretch. So it was the best thing I learned so much from working with a business consultant or business development consultant. Yeah. And did,

Mark Graban (10m 0s):
So it sounds like, so I hear you saying is that there, there had been mistakes in setting up the website and they're important lessons there. Cause that's got me thinking a different websites for businesses I'm involved in it. It's got to be more than attractive. It's got to serve the, the, the user of the website in a way that serves you as the business owner.

Aya Shlachter (10m 23s):
Yeah. And he just pointed it out, flat out. And I was so proud, but then I humbled myself and listened and we did a revamp of the website. He's like, your website is pretty, but you don't have testimonials of your major clients. You need to put the logos at the top. Right. What the pretty pictures do people don't have there. They only have an attention span of five seconds in the beginning. Right. So I learned all these strategies. So that was pretty impressive. And you know, he taught me content creation. I need to blog. I need to up my influence in LinkedIn, create all these content. I'm like, oh wow. Can I just ask my clients to refer me to other clients?

Aya Shlachter (11m 6s):
Which also I did, but that the first thing was to revamp my online presence and really re you know, look at my website, so their call to actions. So that was the first step we did among many others. Great.

Mark Graban (11m 22s):
You mentioned short-term solutions. Were there other longer term solutions? I, you talked about sort of the, the, the blindness to cash flow, looking down the road, did you put systems in place to try to help prevent making that mistake again?

Aya Shlachter (11m 37s):
Yes. What's the first thing I did Mark was to reassess, and this is my long-term plan. Now this is like five years later. I'm doing well. Like I mentioned, in our last conversation, I never had to lay off a single person in my team during COVID, even though our pipeline was down so that my first mistake complacency was in 2012 or '14, I think, and now I've made it work. So these are my longterm solutions. And I really hope that all entrepreneurs and business people can learn from what I have to say. And you don't have to do what I, what I did the first initiative.

Aya Shlachter (12m 18s):
I said, assess your value systems, right? Where do you want to be? What do you value the most as an architect? Do you want to have a S you know, a firm that a legacy firm that you can sell or will it die when you die? Right. Are you trying to build an asset or just work on the business and then ended when you retire? So what are your value systems? And what's the end goal? That's the first thing. Cause we can't be just grinding and working. And then what, how are we going to retire? And this is the problem with creatives. There's no end game, right? And then the second for me, at least as my succession plan, I want to sell the business.

Aya Shlachter (12m 58s):
So what do I need to do to be able to sell the business? So build a good client base, diversify your service offerings and income generating streams. Thanks. So it becomes enticing to an investor, by the way, I didn't know any of this back in 2014. So, and then I became FA finance became a priority. People don't want to talk about money for some reason. I don't know mark, is that, is that a thing for, I think a lot

Mark Graban (13m 28s):
Of times people want to focus on the work and the business around doing the work is difficult, right? So I've had a guest who was a chiropractor, who said like you did I a in chiropractic school, they weren't taught anything about running a practice. And his first one did fail before he then learned from that and did better. I've heard the same thing from other, other types of doctors from, from veterinarians lawyers, other professionals, where there's, I think there's often the blind spot to running the business around the work. And I think there's this assumption of like, oh, well, those are just trivial details. You'll figure it out.

Mark Graban (14m 10s):
But that that's a risky strategy.

Aya Shlachter (14m 11s):
Yeah. I mean, we went, I went through like seven years of architecture school ed master's degree, right? Like I want to make sure that I spent maybe a month for a year planning my financial future. Right. So this is one thing people don't want to do that. So what I did was I hired a virtual CFO and I hated showing my books to someone like how much money did, I didn't even know how much my marketing costs were. Like, I learned how to read a P&L statement, my balance sheet. This is not what architects were taught. So that was, I bet finance became a priority. And then I met I financial goals per quarter.

Aya Shlachter (14m 55s):
Right. But then when you set goals, I want to make like 50% sales. You can't just say that you need to create like a roadmap for that. So I did that, but then have an accountability partner because I can just write that in my notebook. But if I don't have a partner to say, Hey, what's going on? How much money did you make? How are you working towards your financial goals? So that's important too. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (15m 22s):
So, I mean, it's, it's great that you've, you've got these lessons learned and I really do appreciate you sharing those with the audience because I'm sure people are listening. Even if they're not an architect, there is a lot of applicability. There's this need again, for the balance of I've I've heard somebody, I don't know who to credit for this working in the business versus working on the business.

Aya Shlachter (15m 47s):
It's visited by. I have the book at the back. Yeah. It's like, yeah. Yep. The

Mark Graban (15m 53s):
That's something I read a long time ago. And that book, you know, you talked about the, the lessons that I hear, the influence, I, when you talk about thinking of building a business that you can sell, as opposed to having a job that you're trapped, like a lot of times a company becomes a job that people are trapped in. They can't take vacation the way they could have when they were an employee someplace else. And that's the trap to try one trap to try to avoid, I guess.

Aya Shlachter (16m 22s):
Yeah. And the problem is entrepreneurs. We like, we started a business so that we have freedom of time, but at the end of the day, we don't really have freedom of time. We're kind of chain to our laptops and our phones. So, you know, that's why it's really important to spend some time planning your financial future. And recently I just gave a pitch for a talk at the young architects convention, because I want to educate young architects, right? Growing ups like us, we, we buy car insurance, we buy health insurance, we'll buy house insurance, but what happens when there's a recession or an, you know, another pandemic, how are we taking care of our financial future?

Aya Shlachter (17m 5s):
Right. If you're an employee. So this is like my thought process now helping in my architect, my life, I want to help architects and creatives find alternative sources of income in case that happens. Yeah.

Mark Graban (17m 20s):
Well, so thinking of your business, I mean, one thing I was curious about is we're recording this where, you know, a year into COVID times and, you know, thinking of the types of businesses you were serving retail, hospitality, those have wow. Like that, that it's been a bad year with malls shut down. And the, the future of in-person retail and dining coming into question, did you have to think through, in the context of mgs group, the need to pivot, like, do you need to go into other sectors or do you just kind of hold out and be in a position where you can wait until things are recovering?

Aya Shlachter (18m 2s):
So that's a great question because that was my, the last advice that I wanted to share. And I think it's the most important one. So what I did was I created a process for finding blind spots. So what did I do by what do I mean by that? I basically had hired a business and management consultant that I consult with every three months. He sent an investor and also he, he said, angel investor in the technology space. So why do I do that? So he can find my pivot indicators. He can help me like, Hey, I, the future is towards e-commerce now.

Aya Shlachter (18m 43s):
So you, maybe you should focus on your e-commerce business and your graphics, or like there's going to be electric vehicles all over the country or the world. So maybe you can focus on redesigning of parking lots. So when you have somebody in technology, who's not an architect. That person really helps me find my blind spots so I can stay relevant and people are confused. Like, why do you hire an investor technology person? I'm like, cause he knows what's going to happen in 10 years and he could get my company relevant. So that's, that's my, my secret sauce.

Mark Graban (19m 25s):
I, I'm curious a little bit, you know, thinking of, of retail. I had to go on Saturday to an apple store to get my, my Mac book that I'm using here to record this, to get that looked at, you know, apple is often held up as an example of, you know, you know, a retailer with great design. And, but I think there's, there's a question of effectiveness and you know, I think the store designs have, it's funny, the store designs and apple stores have changed a lot over the last 15 years and probably for the better, but I'm, I'm curious IO with the work that you do with other retailers. Is there a parallel to the story you told about your website, where you might have a store that's pretty, but not really usable or a store that looks nice, but doesn't really help drive sales.

Mark Graban (20m 16s):
I'm curious what some of your lessons learned are with looking at physical retail,

Aya Shlachter (20m 23s):
Physical retail. I think physical retail has to do a lot of it has to be more exp experiential, right? The reason why apple works so well, even though some of the design spaces, it could be a little bit loud. It works so well because the customer experience, right. And that's the most important thing you can have the nicest looking store, but if customer service sucks, no one's ever going to go or go to a fancy restaurant. That's a hospitality. It's so pretty. But you go there and it's so loud, you can't hear your, you know, you can't hear your date or your spouse or your friends because the soundproofing was not addressed. Right. So it's all about the, your census, like your, the way it looks, but also your experience when you enter the store, it's not necessarily superficial only.

Aya Shlachter (21m 11s):
So that's one of the things that I think retailers and hospitality, people should do, like the entire experience all throughout.

Mark Graban (21m 21s):
And, and I think that's an interesting reminder to think about all of your senses. I mean, you know, the apple store in COVID times the store, can't be very crowded. So that keeps some of the, but I can think of times before during a busy shopping season or a product launch there there's energetic. And then there's beyond energetic. There's maybe an optimal noise level, but you know, when you're talking about using your senses, it seems like there's been a trend where hotels and retailers have kind of a signature scent as a way of connecting with people, which there that's one of our other sites.

Aya Shlachter (22m 0s):
That's absolutely right. Every year we go to this hotel in Arizona, cause we visit our father-in-law and it smells so good. It feels like home. I've been away for five years. And when I walk into the lobby, it smells so good. So I asked the, the LA you know, the lady I'm like, where can I buy this? It's actually a custom made just for that hotel. And each brand, like the Marriott Arizona has a different smell from the Marriott, California. So they customize it. And that really works. But these are the subtle details that designers should really think about. It feels like home kind of like real estate people when they're trying to sell a house, they bake cookies.

Aya Shlachter (22m 41s):
Yeah. Right, right. That's a good

Mark Graban (22m 43s):
Point. Yeah. These proprietary sense. So they wouldn't sell it to you. They're like, no, we're not equipped to, they did

Aya Shlachter (22m 49s):
The spa. They sold it, but I can't find it in Amazon. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. How do you do know about this mark?

Mark Graban (22m 58s):
I think just from reading in the business press, but I, I have another experience when I lived in San Antonio, the condo building that we're in actually had a signature scent that they would spray around the lobby or after cleaning. And they w they weren't selling it. But after we moved, I managed to get gifted a bottle of it. And we still have some, we don't use it very often, but even in our new home now to spray that scent, it's, it's funny how there's that connection to place? Like, it brings back fond memories of people in that place when we smell it, it

Aya Shlachter (23m 33s):
Really does. So every year we go to Arizona, right. But this year we didn't. So my husband, it was my birthday in November. He said, what do you want for your birthday? I'm like, can you just get me those incense sticks? Because we said, we can't go to Arizona. Can you just do it for me? So, yeah. I have the scented candles. I feel like I'm in the desert, but I'm in Ohio. Yeah. Yeah,

Mark Graban (23m 57s):
No, we're not traveling right now. But in, in my mind, another connection with sent to me is the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. For one, there are a ton of fresh flowers, but I think they also have a scent pumped in. So I can almost kind of close my eyes. And I was about to say picture of that, but that's not the right word to use for my nose.

Aya Shlachter (24m 19s):
That is so interesting that you're so sensitive. Other people will look at me like, what, what is she talking about? Well, maybe it's, it's subtle.

Mark Graban (24m 28s):
And it, it it's effective in a way that doesn't hit people over the head. So maybe that's a good example of effective design. Yes. So I want to talk a little bit about, you know, some of the work that you do with other professionals, architects and otherwise, and you know, I, as a program called architect my life, and one thing I wanted to explore a little bit is how you focus on women and know particular challenges, let's say from you in your career, being a woman, and what's often a male, is it fair to say architecture's a male driven industry?

Aya Shlachter (25m 5s):
Yes. So I created this group because over COVID I was looking at some Facebook groups in the women, in architecture and mothers and architecture, and everyone was struggling. Right. I mean, including myself, but most of them were struggling on how to get business. I mean, living and working at home there, they hate their jobs. They hate their kids. They hate their spouses. I mean, that was early COVID. And a lot of them were like, how do I find new work? So I decided to create a business or not a business, but a coaching program, or maybe online digital courses to help women number one level up the playing field. Right? How do you get bigger clients?

Aya Shlachter (25m 45s):
They can do what my business development told me to do. Upgrade your website. If you want to play with the big guns, your website has to look really good, right? So issues like how to level up the playing field, how to get the bigger and bigger and larger clients and contracts. So those are the things that, number three mother's guilt, that's major Mark. A lot of people have mothers guilt because I was working so much, but then I also felt really guilty, but my husband was very supportive, but some people around me were not, were like, why are you traveling so much? Like the older, you know, aunts and uncles, they, I wouldn't mention names, but you know, it's okay to be the breadwinner.

Aya Shlachter (26m 27s):
It's okay. To, to work a lot. Right. As long as you have a support system. So that's a big thing. Mother's guilt, number four burnout. Like how do you prevent burnout? Right. So a lot of mother issues and also like how a lot of women try to dim their light or underplay their success, you know,

Mark Graban (26m 51s):
Say, I'm sorry, sorry. Sorry. I it's a mistake on my part as an interviewer, I was going to ask you to say more about that in, in the process I cut you off. So what does that mean to dim their light?

Aya Shlachter (27m 7s):
So when, when I first started see, as a woman in animation, I, when I meet like some of my friends in Cleveland rate their Filipinos, a lot of them are nurses. Sometimes. I don't want to tell them what I do, because I don't want them to feel intimidated by what I do. Like I travel so much. Cause I w when I moved here, I was new in this town and my friends didn't know the capacity that I was working on. And I have a funny story when I told my friends that I got the McDonald's account, they thought I worked in, McDonald's like literally serving burgers. I'm trying to dim my light and underplay my success, especially when I'm hanging out with different people.

Aya Shlachter (27m 51s):
Right. So it's, I don't know if it's a female or woman thing. It's probably, would you consider, I mean, have you ever had that experience when you're with peers that were not as successful and you had to like tone down your success?

Mark Graban (28m 9s):
I that's a good question. I, I think in a way, sometimes people like here's one thing I've run across, this is different. I've, I've run across where, where people assume I'm super busy, even if that's like, in terms of business, if that's not the case. So I think sometimes that people don't reach out like, oh, well, I would have talked to you about this opportunity by assuming you must be so busy. I'm like, oh, unfortunately, and I don't think I'm out there overstating success, but it's just interesting. One way or another, when people make assumptions that those assumptions are often incorrect.

Aya Shlachter (28m 44s):
Right. So th that's what I mean by dimming the light. And a lot of right now, a lot more women are making more money than their husbands and that's okay. A lot of husbands would rather stay home and that's okay too. Like, there's nothing wrong with that. But sometimes women still have an issue with making more than their husbands and, you know, the male ego and all of that. But I mean, I have a lot of threats where dads who are just happy to be home and I'm jealous sometimes like, yeah, they're writing triathlons, taking care of their baby while I'm working like 18 hour days that was before. But yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (29m 21s):
I mean, it just goes to show that there's no single model that works for a couple or a family, but it's societal pressures and norms do sometimes bump up against what people are doing. And I guess that's where I winded aside and say, Hey, do I care what society thinks about? You know, it's, it's my life. And we've got something that works,

Aya Shlachter (29m 48s):
But I'm also Asian and Filipino. And in our culture, it's not good to women, our support, well, the traditional than men are supposed to serve. And like, you know, it's kind of weird and we're supposed to be really very modest. We can't really talk or brag about ourselves. It's not, I think it's an Asian thing too. Like the Japanese are always like Maui, you know, it's, it's cultural or the Thai culture. We don't want to brag about our, our accomplishments. So yeah.

Mark Graban (30m 21s):
So there's a lot that you've had to navigate. And I'm sure a lot of this has this, this, this might be the first generation where, where you and other Filipino women are breaking into new areas is that

Aya Shlachter (30m 35s):
I might know a lot of my friends or colleagues from college or grad school, we have the same, you know, like level of success, a lot of them. But when you go outside of your, you know, your college group or your peers, and you start socializing with like some others in the group, then that's when I start to shut down. And I'm just like, yeah, right. Yeah. It's funny. One time Mark is I work now, my office is in the Philippines, so my kids don't see me go to work. Right. When we first moved here, they had to talk about what their parents did. And my kids were young when we first moved here and my daughter was like, my mom cooks all day long because I work at night.

Aya Shlachter (31m 20s):
And then I worked during the day, you know, I never working when they were around, but that was also the time when I was complacent when things were great. So yeah. So that was, yeah. I think it's like this whole six years, it's like a crash course in business. Yeah. Well, and

Mark Graban (31m 40s):
Like you were saying, you know, that you're, you're, you're making up for what you didn't get in your formal studies, and I'm glad that you have learned from mistakes. You know, I'm thankful that you would, would share them here and that, you know, you've, you've adapted and, and figure things out better, better, late than never, you know?

Aya Shlachter (32m 2s):
Yes. And this is what exactly why, why I want to launch Architect My Life. I have a Facebook group for creatives. It's called Architect My Life. I do a lot of live videos and I just talk about some mistakes and some, some business development strategies, how to get clients. I want to help, you know, women accelerate themselves and their businesses.

Mark Graban (32m 26s):
Well, that's great. So as we wrap up here again, our guest has been Aya Shlachter the, the program. And so she mentioned the Facebook group Architect My Life. You can also go on the web And then final thing to ask you about, you are launching a podcast of the same name architect. My life was that right. Can you tell us a little bit about the podcast? So

Aya Shlachter (32m 51s):
The podcast is really a platform for women, architects and creatives to highlight their stories of success so they can share their journey to other women who want to start a firm. And mostly it's, it's more of an entrepreneurial kind of podcast in the creative space, because this is the one there's a gap between creative and business. So I hope to, you know, fill the gap in terms of helping people start their business through stories of success. Yeah.

Mark Graban (33m 21s):
Well, that's great. So I thank you for sharing your stories and your lessons and your perspective, kind of an accelerated abbreviated business education. I think for a lot of our listeners today. So again, our guest has been Aya Shlachter thank you so much for joining us today. Really appreciate it.

Aya Shlachter (33m 38s):
Thank you, mark. Have a great day.

Mark Graban (33m 40s):
Thanks again to Aya Shlachter for being our guests today for show notes, links to all of her projects and more go to Thanks for listening. If it's your first time, please follow. If you like the podcast, please rate and review and share the episode with a friend or a colleague. And I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes and how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they've started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work, and they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems, cause that leads to more improvement in better business results.

Mark Graban (34m 21s):
If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me And again, our website is

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.