Archive for the ‘Design Business’ Category

My 2014 Word of the Year

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I am so excited about 2014 that I can taste it. My excitement is real, palpable. I am serious about making this year AWESOME. I am certain it will be my biggest year yet. I have no doubt.

cb28ba73e3badcbec5a481f36a840201Did you hear that? I will MAKE this year awesome. Not “it will be” awesome. I will MAKE it that way. I am on a mission more than ever before.

I love picking a word of the Year each January as my intention…to set the tone–No, to define this year. It will happen. I put it out there and the Universe meets me. And it’s critical that I pick the right word that will define my attitude, my energy, and my approach to life for the next 12 months. It becomes part of who I am. It makes a difference when the going gets tough. It directs my self-talk.

The last two years have been BIG years for me in many ways. In 2012 with the word Discipline I got healthy mentally, physically, and financially.

In 2013 with Inspire as my word, I invested in building my team and my new multi-faceted Design and Consulting business in a way that allows me to inspire many people to be their best in their homes, their businesses and their lives. My new online presence that we launched this week brings all our efforts of 2013 together in one place so I can do the work I am called to do and can live my passion inspiring the world around me.

So now for 2014–(drum roll please) This year my word is … ACTION.


Here are some of my favorite definitions of Action:

1. The most vigorous, productive, or exciting activity in a particular field, area or group (Wants to be where the action is)

2. An act of will

3. Initiative, enterprise (A Man of Action)

4. Financial gain or an opportunity for financial gain (A piece of the action)

5. The way the body moves.

6. The accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages or with the possibility of repetition

And action will take many of these forms for me this year…Massive Action at work, massive action moving my body for my health, and massive financial action just to name a few. Plus I’m hell bent on crossing things off my bucket list, spending more time with friends, and doing many of the things I have been putting off “until I have time”.  No more waiting. I’m taking ACTION!


I am a doer. My top strength from Strengthfinders 2.0 is Activator. The synopsis for the Activator personality says “You are impatient for ACTION. You constantly ask…When can we start?” So it’s not that I am trying to accomplish something that will be impossible this year, but rather I am LEANING IN to my top strength. This year I am taking it to the top, baby!


In my job as a consultant, I coach many talented and creative people who are certainly a success in their own right but that just aren’t experiencing the sort of flexible schedule and financial freedom that they dream of. And in almost every case, I find that they already have and know everything they would need to be living their dreams, there is one missing piece…ACTION.


There is something holding them back from taking action, often something they can’t even verbalize. Of course it is fear, but what does that mean? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of knowing what they want but not how to get it, fear of what others will think, fear of taking risk, fear of not doing it perfectly, fear that they will regret it or that a better option will come along…there’s a litany of possible fears. It’s endless really.


But at the end of the day, there is just one solution. Taking Action. Not perfect action. Just action. And any action is better than inaction. Because at least if you do it wrong, you get feedback on what doesn’t work, right? You have to start before you’re ready. Take the leap. Don’t think, just do. None of us who take action and achieve big things have any more certainly than anyone else that what we are doing will work. And many times it doesn’t. We just trust our instincts, use our experience, and at some point we GO. And we have more successes than all those people who never even try.


So if I am so great at taking action then why do I need to focus on it more you ask? Well here’s why. Even though I make tons of things happen each year, I have never had a focus, or a mantra, or as my daughter would call it a “catch phrase” associated with action. I have never made it my mission to live my life to the fullest.


I have never made an extreme effort to totally eliminate procrastination , to stop saying I’m tired or I’m busy, and to wake up daily with an attitude that helps me attack the day with gusto. And that is where I am going this year. I want a different sort of zest for action and for life than I have ever had before. I will have a sense of urgency about my goals and my dreams. Urgency yes, but panic, No! This is about peace and happiness. About doing more of what makes me feel great and doing it right now.


And I don’t just mean about work. I want to take massive action with my family time, with my home renovation, with my hobbies like cooking and photography. I want to have gusto in all parts of my life and I think focusing on taking massive action obliterating procrastination will be fabulous, fun, and fulfilling.


If my normal way of life already looks like a success to me and most everyone else if I am already not a procrastinator 90% of the time, I am curious to see what massive action and zero procrastination looks like. Exciting stuff, huh?

I will do more cooking fun new recipes, more baking and giving it to neighbors, more painting with my daughter, hiking with my friends, starting that veggie garden I’ve been talking about, trying new types of exercise, traveling to places I’ve never been. It is really about this–“life is short, don’t waste a moment”.


Talk is cheap. 2014 is the time to stop talking and start doing.


Actions speak volumes and the person I am speaking to this year is me. My mental loop is saying “Come on Tobi, show me what you got!” and boy do I love a challenge.


So in a nut shell, here is what my life will look like in 2014…


What about you? What word will you choose to define your 2014 and why? I can’t wait to hear.


Tobi Signature






p.s. Speaking of taking action, another of my goals as been to get more of my consulting out to the world at a great value. And so starting January 30th, I’m taking action and doing just that with my first ever Tobi’s Teleseries which is the most affordable course of this caliber that I have ever offered. And this course isn’t just for designers–it’s for designers, creatives, small business owners, really anyone who wants to skyrocket their business this year.

If you are ready to take massive action this year and want my tips and techniques that have helped me stop procrastinating and build a business and a life I love, join me for my 6 week teleseries Build Your Dream Business. To get more information and to sign up, go here.

I hope you’ll join me in building your dream Business in 2014. This time next year, you could be celebrating BIG Business Actions and Success and experiencing financial freedom like never before.

Is Procrastination Holding You Back?

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Today I am so excited to announce a brand-new way that design professionals can hire me as their business coach: I’m launching a six-week teleseries that’s all about how to Stop Procrastinating and Build Your Dream Business NOW!

email-BuildYourDreamBizThis is an important announcement for me, because, as I look back to the very first business coaching group I led and to my very first live trainings four years ago, I can so clearly see my own development and how it has prepared me to be a guide through the wilds of owning your own business. And, as they say, “It’s a jungle out there!”

You entrepreneurs  know what I’m talking about, for sure, but I think this applies to everyone! True and lasting success in business requires real vulnerability, total authenticity, and massive ACTION. And all of those things are scary. Really, really scary. It’s a lot easier and it feels a lot more comfortable to keep your walls up, avoid the tough and touchy work that you have to do to before you can begin to 1) believe you’re worthy of success 2) access the power you have when you’re working in your passion, and 3) take each and every terrifying step required to build the business the LIFE you’ve always dreamed of.

So we procrastinate. We find other people to “do” for, first. Or maybe we are refiners, stuck in the planning phase and never taking the first leap into uncertainty. We play small; we play safe; we stay comfortable. Until one day…we realize that our dream is still there, waiting to be LIVED. We see that we’ve just been “playing” business, not doing business.

And that is a terrible feeling! The courage it takes to declare yourself an entrepreneur is HUGE, but it’s only a drop in the bucket of all the HEART and HARD WORK it takes to choose that same dream every day that follows. And a very big piece of my own life’s purpose is to encourage all of us who are together in this trench to not lose sight of our individual visions and to keep driving hard toward our ultimate goals.

And that’s what this teleseries is going to do for anyone who takes the leap with me. I’ll offer you the clarity, insights, and strategies I’ve gleaned from 15 years in the industry and from the work of countless mentors, gurus, and experts. I’ll give you the push you need to take that very next step. In each call, I’ll be talking straight and getting down to the nitty-gritty on topics like financials, effective marketing, and ideal clients. And I’ve never before offer this type of AMAZING content as such a great price!

So if you’re feeling stuck, like you’re spinning your wheels, over-worked and underpaid, OR if you’ve been sinking money into a “hobby” business and not really giving it your all, this teleseries may be EXACTLY the supercharge you’re needing. I want you taking your business and YOURSELF seriously!

Don’t wait another minute. The timing is just right to take FULL advantage of 2014. This time next year, you could be living your dream life and dream business if you take the leap with me. So don’t procrastinate on learning not to procrastinate. Take action now. I promise you it will be worth it.

It’s a major step in my own business journey to be able to offer this kind of coaching opportunity, and you–my blog readers–have been such a pivotal part of that evolution. Cheers to us!


Tobi Signature

Design in Conversation!

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I’m still bustling around NYC, but I wanted to share with you a really fun conversation I had with Zak Graff as part of the brand new podcast series, Design in Conversation.

It’s a sprawling exchange and we discuss everything from the business of design to Oprah to flank steak! The interview can be downloaded from iTunes and supplementary materials (including recipes!) are all found over at the Design in Conversation site. AND there’s a Pinterest board with images and links relevant to the recording!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Tobi Signature




p.s. In the interview, I mention my upcoming Getting Published and Social Media Strategy events, and you can still get the Bring a Friend for $500 special offer, but only until November 18th!! So don’t drag your feet…come learn exactly what you need to know to really launch yourself to widespread visibility!

Celebrating Success and Seeking Inspiration

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memories from last year's summit in Marrakech! Click the image to see my recap of that trip.

Memories from last year’s summit in Marrakech! Click the image to see my recap of that trip.

This week I’m in New York City for the 2013 Design Leadership Summit of the Design Leadership Network. This is the first year for this event to be stateside and the lineup of speakers and events looks incredible. Plus it’s so inspiring to spend time with the top designers and architects in our industry sharing ideas and best practices. It’s pretty much a celebration with my great design industry friends. I always walk away from this event with some major insights and big new ideas, and I’m sure this year will be no exception! Get ready Team Tobi, I’ll be bringing back my Ah-ha’s next week.

Speaking of celebrating…I’m also celebrating another exciting magazine feature; I am honored to be included in the “Designers on Design” chapter of Décor magazine discussing what really fuels my design inspiration!

Image001 (15)

This interview was especially fun and I think it really captures my current design inspirations and philosophies.


And the photos of my own home and the Hampton’s Showhouse have never looked better in this gorgeous Meredith publication from the parent company of Traditional Home.


The paper the book is printed on alone is worth the purchase. It’s glossy and gorgeous and makes the images look so fantastic!  This is a truly GREAT magazine with tons of inspiration from many top designers. It’s one you will want to hang onto for a while, so be sure to pick it up.

Now I’m off to be inspired in one of my favorite cities.

Cheers! from the Big Apple,

Tobi Signature





p.s. For more NYC Inspiration, see my highlights from my last wintry trip to this amazing city on my Pinterest board, called Travelogue: NYC!

p.p.s. To put YOURSELF on the fast track to seeing your designs in print, join me for Getting Published and Social Media Strategy training this December!

More Fabulous Guests at Getting Published!

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I have BIG news about the Getting Published event I’m hosting in December! We are honored to have two MORE publishing superstars sharing their wisdom and advice: Beth Brenner and Michelle Adams, the brilliant women behind the re-vamp and re-launch of Domino magazine!

Michelle Adams

Michelle Adams

Beth Brenner

Beth Brenner


In addition to our already-amazing lineup of experts and personalities (not to mention high-powered content) having these ladies join us virtually for a discussion is really just the icing on the cake! This training event is going to be THE place to be if you’re looking for inspiration and guidance on breaking through in the world of print and online publications. Can you tell how excited I am?!

To learn more about the Getting Published and Social Media Strategy “sister” events we have in the works for December, CLICK HERE.


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p.s. Two quick reminders for you:

#1 If you love my blog, please vote for me in the Lamps Plus Best Home Blog 2013 Contest. Each time you vote (up to 1 time each day) you’ll be entered to win a $500 Shopping Spree at the Lamps Plus online store. Just follow THIS LINK to the contest page.

And #2 time is running out for you to sign up to be a member of my virtual audience for a FREE live training on creativeLIVE. To learn more about how to enroll in my workshop on Using Color in Home Design, CLICK HERE.

Tobi Fairley & Associates thanks our event sponsors: