Posts Tagged ‘Mastermind’

On the Road Again!

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I can’t believe it’s almost July! The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of travel for me, which has made the time really fly by. And as much as I want to be home working on my interiors, I do find lots of inspiration from my travels and fabulous finds for client projects! And aside from the amazing inspiration in the cities I visit (like Chicago last week), the events I’ve held and attended have introduced me to incredible people and let me visit with longtime friends.

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In May, I held my Designer MBA class at ADAC in Atlanta, where the Duralee team (above) hosted a fun cocktail reception for my attendees and my new fabric launch. Atlanta is so much fun, and the ADAC group was fantastic to work with, too!

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Then I got to meet up with my great friend Barry Dixon in Dallas and Houston as we hosted a presentation on the business of design, and also talked about his new line with Fabricut and mine with Duralee. I always love catching up with Barry!

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In Chicago, my Mastermind group met at the Eastern Accents headquarters, which are amazing! The Eastern Accents team also gave us an incredible tour of their factory where we were able to see their stunning designs under construction, like the pillow above with its pattern template. So cool!

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The group also heard from successful designers about how they do business, and I’m so thankful to Denise McGaha and Tiffany Brooks for being so open and sharing so much with the members. We also had fun doing a little shopping in Eastern Accents from their samples. And designer Rachel Cannon Lewis even spotted her client’s order, waiting to be shipped!

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And while I was in the Chicago area, I also hosted consumer and designer presentations at two Toms-Price retail locations in Lincolnshire and Wheaton. It was so much fun to meet everyone who came out to hear me talk about color and the business of design- and to see my CR Laine designs on the retail floor and get a glimpse at my Woodbridge collection hitting Toms-Price locations this summer.

Whew! It’s a good thing I’m heading to the beach this weekend. Yes, it’s more travel, but this time with family and friends so there’s a lot of relaxation waiting for me at the other end of this trip! And just for a week I am leaving work, my house and dog, plant watering, my home renovation and punch list and all my daily responsibilities to my fabulous team, sub-contractors, house-sitters and friends back home.

Happy Summer!







PS – If you’re interested in becoming a member of my Mastermind group, just click here! This amazing group of designers is serious about elevating their businesses with me, and I’d love to do the same for you! Click through this link, or email me at to get started today!

The Learning Process

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Recently, design icon Richard Mishaan spoke to my Mastermind Consulting Group about inspiration and motivation, and he said something that really resonated with me. He said that the one thing that he thought was the most critical for his success, and for his enjoyment, was to continue his education.

Not only has he studied architecture, fashion design, and interior design, but he also recently completed a management program at Harvard Business School! Richard said that continuing to learn was really the secret to his success. And I feel the same way!

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I recently was talking with someone who was surprised that I have a business coach, since I also coach and consult with others. But I believe that there is always something that I can learn to help my business! And since my coach isn’t involved in the design world, he gives me different perspectives and strategies to help me up my own game.

Education used to be something that we thought we needed to do just to prepare us for being adults. But really, it’s a continuing process of growth and development that never actually ends! If you aren’t challenging yourself and pushing yourself to learn new ideas and concepts, then not only are you not taking advantage of your full potential, but you’re also missing out on opportunities to make you a better designer and businessperson!

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If it’s been a while since you’ve challenged yourself, think about what you can do today to kick-start your education again. You could read new business and marketing books (click here for a few of my faves), you could learn a new language, take an art course at a local museum, learn to draw or paint – the ideas are limitless!

You could take interior design or business courses to keep your skills sharp and up-to-date, or even add a coach/consultant like I have. But you need to keep pushing yourself and expanding your knowledge base. It will make you a better designer in the long run, and as Henry Ford says, the bonus is it will also keep you young!

Educationally yours,






PS – If you want to continue learning new ideas and strategies for the interior design business, check out my online learning center called Tobi U, created specifically for interior designers!

And if you’re interested in challenging yourself to take your business to the next level, join me in my Mastermind program! I’m happy to talk about how I can work with you – just email me at!


It’s Time to Light a Fire! And Not Just Because It’s Fall

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It’s getting close to the time of year when the weather is cool and we can light a fire to stay warm and cozy. But when is the last time you felt a different kind of fire? I’m talk about a burning passion – for work or even just for life? For many of us, it’s been a while since we felt that fire. I can tell you that’s true because that’s what has happened to me. Just a few years ago, I was burned out, stressed out, and wrung out. I knew I was at a crossroads where I was either going to revamp everything about my company, or I was going to throw in the towel. We’ve all been there at some point, right?

But I sat down and really thought about what sparks that inner fire for me, what drives me, what’s at the core of who I am, and what I really have to do to do. And that reinvigorated me and led me to new ideas and a new passion for my work.


My passion, and the thing that I HAVE to do is to help others achieve their dreams. That’s true in every part of my business, from designing homes that make my client’s happy and fulfilled, to coaching other designers to find their own paths to success.

So now I want to help YOU. I want you to find that same fire, that same passion. Ask yourself what it is it that’s at your very core, the thing that you know is the most true thing about you. There is something that you can do that NO ONE else can do. So what is that one thing?


I promise you that if you can answer that, and if you can begin to build your life around that fire, you’ll be more fulfilled, more filled with energy and excitement, and more successful than you ever have been before!

You have to have a spark or two to build a good fire, though, right? And I’m about to give you two of mine. One is the book Fires Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. It’s a life-changing book that points out that we must all live to our core – that our core feelings should be at the center of all of our intentions. So smart!

The second spark for me was Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. He says that we must all ask ourselves WHY we are doing anything – why are we in business, why do we get up in the morning? If we can answer that, if we can define our WHY, then it will fuel our passion and give us a sense of fulfillment. But it will also help us stand apart in a crowd.

I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about today – I really want to inspire you to dig deep, and to light that fire that I know you have in YOU!

Let me know in the comments section below what your spark is, and how you plan to live your passion!









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.








Focus on Your Business with Mastermind

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It’s hard to believe that the 4th quarter of 2015 is quickly approaching! I always find this to be a great time to set goals for the last part of this year, and to start planning where I want my business to be in 2016. So where do you see your design business in the coming year? What are YOUR goals?

Like most CEO/owners of a small business, I’m sure you’re wondering how you’re going to get it all done, how you can improve and grow your company, and what it will take to refine and improve your client roster and your income. That’s where my Mastermind Consulting Program comes in!

This is the 5th anniversary of Mastermind and in that time we’ve completely transformed hundreds of design businesses and set them on the path to make more money, to attract ideal clients, and to get published! I want that same thing for you!

My theme for 2016 is FOCUS – and what we’ll be doing in Mastermind will help you get laser-focused on the critical ideas, systems, and tools that will take your business to a whole new level next year!

Let’s look at a great testimonial from one of my former members on how Mastermind impacted her business:


Denise is just one of the many designers that have found success with Mastermind:

“I just gave a proposal presentation today for DOUBLE my fee from last year! I would have taken much longer to have gotten to this point in my business if it wasn’t for you!” – Michelle Lynne, Michelle Lynne Interiors Group

“If it were not for Tobi’s business advice in Mastermind on how to create Marker Girl into a brand, my business would not have become as successful as it has today! She taught me that Marker Girl needed to be my entire business brand and from that I gained a better business model by generating multiple streams of revenue for myself.” – Karen Davis, Marker Girl

“The lessons I learned in Mastermind taught me how to increase my income level while decreasing my workload, which allows me to be more discriminating about the projects I choose to design each year. Mastermind equipped me with the skills I needed to streamline my business, introduced me to opportunities, and forged relationships that would have taken years on my own.” – Lisa Mende, Lisa Mende Design

Let’s make that kind of magic happen for YOUR business, and let’s do it NOW! In Mastermind, we have 3 live sessions with instruction and fabulous speakers, with presentations that earn you those valuable CEUs! In 2016, the themes and locations are:

  • Feb. 9-10, in Florida. The theme will be Developing/Refining Your Unique Point of View, including branding, niche, promotions and more.
  • June 14-15, in Chicago. The theme will be Putting Your Business Under the Microscope, including client management, selling your services, project management, and logistics.
  • Sept. 20-21, in Boston. The theme will be Focus on Revenue, including the best strategies for making money, new revenue streams, developing products, and ecommerce for designers.

In addition, members also receive:

  • One semester of Tobi U, my new online learning center
  • Weekly accountability emails
  • Monthly telecalls from me on a hot topic for that month
  • 6 Book Club telecalls a year, on my favorite new biz books
  • Members-only Facebook forum
  • Admission to Designer MBA where you can earn .8 CEUs!

As you can see, Mastermind truly is FOCUSED on changing your business and setting you on the path for success! So what are you waiting for? Email me today at and let’s talk about how we can make 2016 your best year ever!