Designer MBA Day 2 Lesson: You Can’t Please Everyone!

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Hi, Friends! It’s Tobi back with another Backstage Pass to my Designer MBA Camp. This week is AMAZING, as I knew it would be. We have a great group of women (and it’s a BIG group, too!) and their excitement and energy are so contagious. I can hardly wait to get started again today.

Have a great day!

These women are easy to please; they are already “drinking the Tobi Kool-aide” as we lovingly call it. They are already convinced that I have love and support for each of them and that I have their best interest at heart, so that means there is a great chance they will be able to completely trust what I say and take action as soon as they get home, or even before. This is why it’s so important to have a coach, mentor or even friend who can help move you to action if you want to reach your goals and dreams: No one can do it alone.

But isn’t it interesting how even when you are changing peoples lives–whether through your design work or another profession, or at home with your family, or on your blog and social media–that with some people you strike such a cord and others just don’t like what you are doing? You can’t please everyone, right?

Well that is one of the big Take-aways from Designer MBA in our discussion of Niche Strategies for your business: You can’t please everyone. I love to say “if you are trying to be everything to everyone, you will be nothing to nobody”. That’s right, if you have a fear of committing to your signature style, or to one type of ideal client that is authentic to you and you try to “keep your options open”, you will just confuse your potential customers. And those people who would be a fit for your style or your passions, won’t even be able to recognize you. You will have watered down both your style and your marketing message.

I learned a similar lesson just this week again here on the blog. Yesterday I received 3 emails and a text telling me how I had changed lives by being authentic and sharing my journey sincerely here on the blog. I even had one person say that since Oprah had gone off the air, I had replaced her in their life with my inspirational quotes, transparency, and sharing my real and authentic feelings, struggles, and joys here for the world to see. WOW! Now that’s a high compliment; I was on cloud 9!

And that was followed directly by a person saying…”I’m so disappointed to see more quotes. Ugh, I wanted to see design inspiration”.

What immediately came to mind is a post by my favorite daily source of inspiration, Mastin Kipp at The Daily Love. Just last month he spoke of almost the exact thing and how he had learned that neither comment really defined him, the good nor the bad. But he knew that his job was to keep bringing his authentic self, his passion and his mission 100% of the time and not be swayed too much either way by the good or the bad.

And though he was really talking about how to not let your self-esteem be affected too much by one negative comment and to not become arrogant with one good one, I think this is some of the best business advice I have ever heard! This is exactly what needs to happen when embracing your niche strategy and your strategic plan.

It is so important to take feedback, on both sides–good and bad, and be asking yourself regularly, how could this feedback make me better without changing my authentic self? Because there’s always room for improvement, right? But the caveat is to not shy away from what you feel in your heart, and your gut, and your mind is authentically YOU just because it’s not what one person wanted from you.

You can’t be everything to everyone, or you’ll be nothing to no one. But if you are 100% YOU, you will be many great things for a lot of people, or at least enough people that will help you reach your creative dreams and financial goals. And you will be the source of inspiration for them to do the same. And that’s called living your purpose. And it feels AMAZING!

Here’s a little video clip to help you hear more on this idea and get a peek at what else we are diving into in Designer MBA today.


I’m wishing you the courage to be “Authentically You”, today. And if there is a way to honor that AND please a few more people in the process, then by all means…give it a try. I can’t promise it will make everyone happy, but as long as you are, that’s all that matters right?

So on that note, for all you Design Lovers here who are tired of my inspirational quotes, here are some of my Designs that I feel are most “Authentically Me”. You see even in design, I’m not trying to be everything to everyone, but those of you who my work resonates with, I hope these inspire you to be a more Authentic YOU in your Home Design this year.

Love the chairs! Tobi Fairley



Here’s to living fearlessly in your business, your life, and your decorating!



p.s. Want more help being Authentically YOU in your design business this year? Maybe my E-coaching virtual mentoring program or my Mastermind Consulting Group would help you stay accountable and even stretch yourself to reach all your dreams in 2013. Email us at with questions on either of these GREAT services.

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10 Responses to Designer MBA Day 2 Lesson: You Can’t Please Everyone!

  1. Tobi, I love that once again, you are showing that you really know who your audience is. For all of us in the design biz, we look to you as our example of success and strength. As anyone who has done this for even a short time knows, if you let it, this industry will chew you up and spit you out! Thanks to your willingness to share your experience and expertise, many of us have the tools we need to hang in there and continue on our paths to our goals. Keep the inspirational quotes coming…they’re my favorite flavor of “Tobi Kool-Aid”. xo, Rach

  2. You just keep being you Tobi! It kills me when people criticize something that has been given to them for free! I know how much time and effort it takes to keep up a blog, so you have to post about what you find interesting in order to stay interested yourself! Keep it up! I love your designs and your personal inspirations!

  3. Tobi, Hello! I love your design work, and I love todays message. This has been the exact conversation surrounding my new business model for 2013. Thanks for the reminder. Have a fantastic day!

  4. Franki Parde says:

    It IS your blog!!! franki

  5. Tawna Allred says:

    Two of my favorite sayings:
    On receiving compliments…”Don’t inhale” and Dave Ramsey’s thoughts on momentum…when it’s going great, we look better than we are; when it’s not there, we look worse than we are. It’s hard to kind of “float” above criticism and compliments to keep our perspective clear, but necessary. I think about this a lot. We always need to realize we’re somewhere between the two, and if we do, it should keep us out of trouble :).

  6. I found your blog through other design blogs I follow because I love design. However, your blog speaks to me even more thoroughly – I run a farm and teach nutrition classes and speak at conferences on nutrition. I find everything you talk about in your video clips and inspirational tips and business growth blog posts applies directly to everything I do in my business!! Today’s takeaway… I can’t be everything to everyone (which I try to be too often). Today I will let that go and just be me, because that’s what I hear from 99% of the people that they want… the others will fall away and their criticism won’t matter. Thank you for being you!!

  7. pretty pink tulips says:

    You are an inspiration because you are not only living your dream but encouraging others. Making a difference in their lives, not just in their decor!!

    Keep on keepin’ on!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  8. nicole says:

    Tobi, you have absolutely the perfect balance of inspirational quotes and design inspiration all wrapped up in one! Your blog tops the list for my daily dose of inspiration! I’m featuring the redesign of my almost 100 year old farm house on my blog this New Year and am writing a post on my inspiration for the first room that I’m redesigning. Since you’ve been such a source of inspiration for me, I’d like to make mention of your blog and link to your New Year’s post, with your permission. Thank you so much for considering!

  9. Kelly says:

    Love your blog and all that it is! It is you! I especially love, love, love that navy and coral room! Beautiful!

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