Failure vs. Failing

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I just had a setback as I was heading toward my goal. Something that I thought was a sure thing, that I worked toward for over 18 months, fell apart in what seemed like a nanosecond. And it was great!

No, I’m not crazy – it really was a good thing. Things that don’t work give me my very best feedback. Failure isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually very important for getting me closer to success. I really believe that we all need to fail often and quickly to get to our goals faster! That’s the biggest difference in my mind between FAILURE and FAILING.

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Failure is a teaching moment, really. Failing is when you give up and admit defeat instead of learning from the challenge or setback that you’ve hit. In some circles, failure is actually cool now. “Fail fast” is even a buzz phrase in the tech world. In today’s business climate, when you fail, it means you’ve been willing to try, to at least take a leap. And it means you’ve learned.

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Ideas that don’t work give us some of our most important feedback. I reframe failures before they even happen – I always imagine the worst-case scenario before I make any decision, but from an optimist’s perspective. I’ll think to myself: “If all I get out of this is x, then it will be worth it.”

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And then I can immediately see the value in any failure so it becomes not a failure but a learning experience and an opportunity for growth – and it ends up on my gratitude list. Yes, I do truly give thanks every day for what many people would consider failures. So successes are successes to me AND failures are successes to me. That is why I have no fear of either. I consider both of them good things. There is nothing to lose. There is no way to fail. This is my #1 tip to stop procrastinating and to take actions that feel like risks. There is NO WAY you cannot succeed.

So take risks, go for big goals, and just leap! You’ll always succeed if you are willing to try.








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Tobi TV: Living My Passion

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There is one question that I am ALWAYS asked – and it may surprise you to know that it isn’t a design question. It’s this: “How do you DO it all?” That’s a universal question for women, isn’t it? We all struggle with balancing everything and trying not to feel like we’re letting someone down in our lives. And the grass always looks greener when we try to compare ourselves to someone else.

But I’ll tell you two secrets – one is that I have just as many issues trying to balance everything as you do. It’s hard, and there is no such thing as perfect balance. Something always has to give. And my second secret is that I do all of what I do because I am living my passion! That’s really the key!

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Because if we aren’t doing something that we really LOVE every day, then what’s the point? My passions are both interior design and helping others find THEIR passion in life. The one thing that is a constant in my entire company is that need to pay things forward for women, to help all women succeed!

Lifting others up and sharing what I’ve learned is what I feel is my purpose! I feel like I’m supposed to help women find their perfect place, whether that’s in the design for their homes, or in their design businesses.

At the most recent High Point Market, I was interviewed by Fox8 to discuss that very thing. Click here or click the photo below to see that video and my discussion about how I live my passion.

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So how can YOU live your passion? Here are some of my tips:

1. Do what you love every day. Even if you’re stuck right now in a job you don’t really like, but it pays the bills, you can still do one thing that you love. Find a hobby, a sport, an art project – whatever lets you feel that joy! And THAT could turn into your job one day.

2. No one gets to a great place by themselves. You have to have support, both emotionally and to help you get things done! Having a great support system with family, friends, and coworkers is so important.

3. Believe in yourself! Having the confidence to believe you can achieve a goal or dream is half the battle. I was never really sure exactly how or when I would design a product line, for instance, but I have always BELIEVED I could and I did.

4. Listen to that gut instinct. Deep down, you really do know when something is right for you, and when it isn’t. Learn to trust your own intuition because it will rarely lead you astray.

Find and cultivate the life YOU love – it will give you the passion to keep going, even when your life isn’t as balanced as it looks like it is from the outside!

Already living YOUR passion? Tell me about it in the comments section below!







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School Is Back in Session with Tobi U!

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If you’re an interior designer like me, I know you’re incredibly busy just running your business. Sometimes you’re so busy that you feel like you don’t even have time to stop for anything – even if it’s something that can help improve your business systems so you don’t have to work as hard!

That’s why I created Tobi U, my online learning center for interior designers, with courses that will streamline your processes, rev up your creative engine, help you learn how to charge what you’re worth, and how to sell your services!

These online courses are there for you when you need them – so you can work through them in your own time and at your own pace! These are the foundational courses that I’ve been teaching for years, and that have transformed interior design businesses across the country!

Here’s a quick video to tell you more about what Tobi U can do for your business:

With the relaunch of Tobi U, I’ve added a whole new semester of 8 additional courses, and interior designers now have the opportunity to earn up to .8 CEUs! For most recertifications, that’s almost all you need for a two-year period.

With Tobi U, you can now choose between:

  • Semester One – The Essentials
    Created for designers at any experience level, these 8 modules focus on the essentials for your business, including branding, niche strategy, financials, time management, selling your services, and marketing.
  • Semester Two – The Solutions
    Building on Semester 1’s courses, the 8 modules in this semester offer next-step solutions for finding your ideal client, charging what you’re worth, building processes and systems, perfecting presentations, and getting published.

The content for each module includes videos, webinars, podcasts, and downloadable PDFs that will help you plot your course to success! Each semester has the Early Bird Price of $999, and you can purchase them separately – or you can buy BOTH semesters together and for a limited time I’m offering them for the crazy low price of $1,299 because I want don’t want you to have any excuse for not signing up for both semesters of this business-changing content! That’s close to $700 in savings, but again that price won’t be available long.

Click through this link to download the syllabus for either semester or to purchase these amazing courses!

Sharpen up your pencils, get out your notebooks, and let’s put you on the path to success!








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Tobi TV: Dreamy Bedrooms

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Tobi-TV-logo-600x332As you know, last week was moving week for me, and it just happened to coordinate with the long holiday weekend for Labor Day! Now I’m exhausted and ready for a nap – which made me think about how I want to design the bedrooms in my home when the renovations are complete.

There is nothing better than a bedroom that functions as a restful retreat. It not only gives you a sense of escape from the crazy world, but also really relaxes and recharges you!

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On a recent rainy day, I recorded some great tips for creating a fabulously inviting bed for my friend P. Allen Smith – who also just happens to be a top garden and lifestyle expert! Check it out:

I’m feeling relaxed already, aren’t you? So let’s review those fun tips:

1. Layering is key. I like to use a cotton blanket layered over a quilt. That gives you a lot of options for how warm (and cozy) you want to be.

2. Pillow talk. Pillows are so important for creating that perfect retreat on your bed. Be sure you have enough to support you, especially if you like to read in bed. I like to use a lumbar pillow for back support, a bolster to prop on, and a great sleeping pillow.

3. Color your world. Quiet colors that help you get into that restful place are so important in a bedroom. Bring in pops of color only in accessories, like one of the pillows on the bed.

Now you’re ready to create that perfect quiet place to recharge in your own home! What are your favorite tips for restful rooms? Let me know in the comments section below. Sweet dreams!








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Tobi TV: Cooking with Style

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As I told you yesterday, I’m moving out of my house this week! Wow! And there is one thing that I will miss more than anything else about my house. Can you guess what it is? It’s also the one thing that I am MOST looking forward to in my new house.

That’s right, it’s the kitchen! If you’ve read my blog for any time at all, you know that I love to cook and to bake. It’s such a huge stress reliever for me. So I’m really going to miss having my own kitchen to cook in, rather than the little rental we’ll be in for months.


On the other hand, when we move back in this winter, I’ll have my kitchen set up JUST the way I want it. It will be so nice to have the exact stovetop and ovens that I’ve always wanted. I’ll let you have some sneak peeks into what I’ve selected for the new kitchen in the coming weeks, but let’s just say that being the brand ambassador for Thermador has really given me a lot of time to test products and decided what will be on my shopping list!

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In this video I made for Thermador in my client’s home, I go over some of the most amazing features of the stovetops and ovens that they have to offer. You may see some of these in my own new home! Check it out:

Now I think you see why I’m so excited about partnering with Thermador, right? And why I’m really going to miss my kitchen! Luckily, I can always show up at my mom’s house to bake things on her Thermador range like the delicious banana bread that my daughter and I love to make – and eat!

Banana Bread

And if you’ve seen my mom’s kitchen, you know it’s a great place to get my baking “fix.”

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Stay tuned for more kitchen ideas and more videos as we work through construction on my home in the coming weeks! And now I’m headed back to pack more boxes. Wish me luck!








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