Ep #259: The 3 Things All Designers Want

The Design You Podcast Tobi Fairley | The 3 Things All Designers Want

Last week, we talked all about reinvention. We’re building on that topic in this episode, focusing in on some particular ways that you’re hoping to change, and discussing what it would take for you to make that your reality. There are three things that designers and creatives tell me they want most in their businesses. They want more money, higher-end clients, and more freedom around their time.

My suspicion is that you can relate. So, whether you’re here to make more money, land clients that give you total creative freedom, or you’re worn out and you want to be able to spend a little more time away from your business, I’m showing you how you can create all of it for yourself.

Tune in this week to discover the three things all designers and creatives want, and how to get them. I’m sharing how to keep your business and your client base evolving, and showing you how to be willing to handle the discomfort of leaving your non-ideal clients behind, so you can start demanding what you’re worth.

This is your last chance to join the Design You program! We have one 12-month cohort remaining, then our doors will close for good at midnight on March 29th 2023. This is the last time all of the courses in the Design You program will ever be available at the current price point, so don’t miss out. 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why money makes every area of being an interior designer more fun.
  • How designers cut their own profit margins to satisfy the needs of non-ideal clients.
  • The stories entrepreneurs tell themselves that stop them from moving into a higher price point.
  • How to decide whether your designs are currently worth the hype required to move to the next level.
  • The difficult decisions you have to make to keep your business relevant at the highest level.
  • How to be willing to venture away from where you are in search of the next level.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 259.

Welcome to The Design You Podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey friends, okay, so here’s what I want to talk to you about today. We had a really good talk last week about reinventing yourself. And today I want to build on that, kind of really more aligned with some particular ways that you’re hoping to change. And we’re going to build on what we learned last week and see what it would take for you to do that. And then at the end of this episode I’m going to tell you about those exciting changes coming to our Design You program. They’re going to blow your mind.

So here we go, let’s get started. The three things that I hear designers and creatives, especially interior designers say are the things that they want most in their business time and time and time and time and time and time and time again and I have a suspicion that this will probably be true for you too is all the same three things and let me tell you what they are.

Number one, I hear designers say they want more money, duh. Who doesn’t want more money? But I hear them say, “I want more money.” And so a lot of times it actually sounds like this, they say, “I want an additional revenue stream or a few of them.” But basically what they mean is they want to make more profit in their business. They don’t just want more things to do usually. Some people do, they’re like, “I’m bored with my thing, I want something new.”

But most of the time when I hear people say they want more money, they don’t really want to have to go create a new revenue stream. They just want more money. So if the thing they were currently selling could just start selling like crazy, they’d be thrilled. They just want more money and more profit for a few reasons. They usually want to pay themselves more. They also usually want to be able to afford to hire help, which goes into another one of the list of three things I’m going to tell you about today that people want.

And another thing is they need money for marketing because it all is kind of this chicken and the egg or this cycle. They’re like, “If I have more money, then I can spend more money to make more money. If I have more money, then I can spend more money in the marketing to get more sales. If I have more money, I can spend more money to hire more people to help me make more money.” So they want more money. So if you want more money in your business, so far in my three things that I hear all the time from people, you put a checkmark by number one, I want more money.

And the number two thing that I hear people want is they want better clients. I hear this all the time, designers saying, “I want better clients.” And the way they define that is I want better clients with better budgets. And I want the clients that let me be really creative. I want the clients who will actually be willing to invest the money in more expensive products and things in their interiors. So kind of everything from I wish I could buy that $200 a yard fabric but my client wouldn’t pay for that especially for their drapes. It would be tens of thousands of dollars.

Or I wish we could get original artwork or I wish we could do really unique things with furnishings and custom pieces. Or I wish we could do really unique things with materials and finishes and millwork. And I just want better clients with better budgets because they think a few things. So most designers who say this are hoping for clients that will spend at least six figures, if not multiple six figures or more at a time on their interiors projects. And I get that.

I work for clients that spend that much money on their projects and I didn’t always so I wanted it too. So I think one of the reasons that designers want this is so they will get less pushback on the products and proposals and things that they really get excited about putting in a project, the really unique things. They’re like, “Well, I really want to do this unique stuff and I don’t want the budget to be the reason we can’t do it.”

And I think designers also want better clients because they believe that they can really do the sky’s the limit creativity thing if the budget is not the main concern or if everything doesn’t always get shut down with the budget. They also want to make more money and they think they will make more money if the client’s willing to spend more money.

So money does make designing more fun because you get to do more cool stuff, buy those dreamy things you’ve been looking at, at market or in an antique store or something you saw in a magazine or just a unique idea you had on your own. And money makes that stuff possible. So better clients with better budgets, number two, if you want that, put a checkmark by it.

And then the third thing that I hear designers want more of is more free time or to work less which is kind of really similar. I’m tired. I don’t want to work so hard or I want more free time. Or a lot of times it sounds like I want more time with my family. It’s usually part of a story around overworking and burnout and wearing all the hats. And they are worn out from working so hard in their businesses and I get that. And I think this goes hand in hand with number one and number two that we’ve already talked about, more money and better clients.

Because if you are getting paid really well and you’re given a nice or even robust budget to be creative with, it’s not that exhausting to do our work, it’s way more fun. But when you’re working so hard for your clients and you’re not getting paid well and you’re trying to make magic out of a less than ideal budget it can be really frustrating and exhausting. And this is how many creatives are working every single day, undercharging for their services and working with less than ideal budgets and it’s really, really hard.

So some clients think that we’re not designers but that we’re magicians. And they think they can just say, “I don’t want to spend more than x.” And that magical designers like us can make their spaces look like they spent two to three times that without actually spending it. We’re not magicians. I also see a lot of designers who feel like it’s their job to keep clients in their given budget that they ask for. So if the client isn’t willing to pay for it, the client will say something like, “I’m not spending more than x.”

I see so many designers start discounting their own fees or they’re cutting their profit margins on product because they still want to get all the cool creative stuff in the project. They’re attached to that and they want the finished result to look another way. So they’re just going to take a hit themselves. The client won’t pay for it so they’ll just take it out of their profits so that we at least get that amazing thing into the project.

So instead of being willing to say, “Okay, great, Mr. and Mrs. client or Mr. client, or Mrs. client or Miss client”, whatever they are, client, let’s just use that. We can totally just spend x if that’s all you want to spend. So which part of the project do you want to cut out but we don’t say that. We’re like, “Great, you only want to spend 40,000 instead of 120,000, okay, do you want to cut out the outdoor spaces, the master suite, the living room or in fact we’re going to need to cut out all of those because your budget is not going to do what you want it to do.”

But designers don’t say that so often, they’re afraid to. They’re afraid to tell the truth. So here’s what I want you to see. It’s sort of this self-fulfilling prophecy that you don’t get more money and you don’t get better clients and you don’t have more free time specifically because you are helping these non-ideal clients on your dime, on your profit margin instead of being honest about their budgets and saying, “No, I can’t create that for you for that price.”

If you stopped taking the non-ideal clients or you started at least telling them the truth, “Yes, we’ve got $40,000. I’m going to need all of that in this one room, this one smallish room to give you what you’re looking for.” I promise you, you’re going to be way more motivated to go out and find the clients who will and can pay for what you’re hoping for, if you’ve walked away from all the other people that aren’t ideal. You’ll need to. You’ll be forced to. You’re like, “Well, I’ve got to make money.”

And I’m not letting myself take these people who won’t spend enough so I’d better go find the people who will. But as long as you keep yourself working for those less than ideal situations and you keep discounting and you keep cutting your fees or not telling the truth or letting scope creep happen and all that stuff. You won’t be motivated to do what it takes to uplevel. You would think you would but you won’t because you’ll just be tired.

And you won’t even have time to think about finding the new clients because you’ll be exhausted trying to make magic with your little magic wand and sprinkle fairy dust on these projects and try to make budgets into something that they’re not. You’ll still fail at it because we still can’t do it. We can’t give somebody $120,000 interior for $40,000 but we’ll try our darndest and we’ll kill ourselves in the process and kill our profits in the process. Plus we’ll also be so tired and overworked that we don’t have room to go out and find the clients we really, really want.

So I get that it’s hard. And it’s like I was talking about in last week’s episode, that you can’t keep one foot on the dock and also set sail. Remember that? If you didn’t hear that episode, go back and listen. It’s a really important one. You can’t keep one foot in the non-ideal client land and also hope to set sail to finding those ideal clients that you want. They’re not going to be flocking to you all by yourself while you’re over here still trying to make magic with a non-ideal budget and taking a hit yourself.

So I get that you’re afraid to turn down these non-ideal clients because ‘you may need them’ or you may need their money. What if you say no to them and you can’t find the other people? But you’re basically telling yourself and if you’re a woo woo like I’m a little woo woo, you’re also maybe sending a message to the universe that these are my people because I keep staying with them. I keep being obligated to work with them. I keep not telling them no. I keep not repelling them.

I find it so interesting how many of the designers that I work with are wanting better clients, are wanting more money but they don’t want to outgrow their existing non-ideal clients. Think about this for a minute. You say you want better clients but the thought of telling your current clients that you’re raising your prices to a point that they may not any longer be able to or want to work with you seems horrifying to you. You feel guilty for not bringing them along with you forever. You feel guilty for not continuing to work with them.

You feel guilty for growing your business to a more successful place and leaving them behind. But being willing to outgrow some clients is required to go to the next level. Those clients are on the dock and you want to set sail. They’re not out in the middle of the ocean with you. They didn’t come along for the ride. They didn’t or maybe couldn’t raise their budget and that’s okay. That is how business works. You’re not being a diva. You’re not being mean. You are cheaper in the beginning of your business because you either can’t charge more yet or you don’t feel like you can or you’re afraid to.

So you attract a client that’s interested in paying less and along the way every single time you raise your rates or uplevel the way you work or the sophistication level of your work or the minimum amount you’re requiring people to invest to start working with you. Every time you do that, in other words every time you grow it’s going to be true that you’re going to outgrow lots of ‘existing clients’. And if you’re not willing to then all you’re doing is just like last week when we talked about being afraid of failure, you’re staying with both feet planted firmly on the dock.

Because the more money and the better clients and the more free time only come when you set sail. So in theory you want a better business. In theory you want better clients but you don’t like the discomfort that comes with that situation. And you don’t like feeling uncertain of stepping away from these people and risking them hoping that you’ll find the better client. But remember last week we talked about it’s always a risk that the thing you’re moving away from could actually be better than the thing that you’re trying to move towards. You don’t know until you do it but it’s a risk that you have to take.

And as long as you trust yourself that if you move away from these non-ideal clients and you don’t find the other ideal clients to replace them soon, that you’ll keep working or keep innovating until you do. But so many of you don’t like that discomfort and you don’t like it even because you’re telling yourself a story that it means you’re being arrogant or a diva or mean or pretentious or elitist or something by moving into a higher price point.

But let me ask you this question. Do you think it’s mean that Lexus cars or even Rolls-Royce doesn’t sell a $30,000 car? Do you think that’s mean of them? I mean you probably don’t think that. Do you think it’s mean that Chanel doesn’t sell a $200 bag? It’s not the price point they’ve chosen to position themselves in. So you have to start thinking of your business and where you want it to be positioned.

And if you want better clients then you have to be willing to position yourself in a place where you charge more and you have to be willing to outgrow and repel the people who won’t or can’t pay what you’re going to charge at the next level. And you have to be willing to not feel guilty for deciding that this is the area or the level of the market that you’re choosing to work in, that you’re choosing to position yourself. And let’s be honest, you also have to be worth the price that you position yourself at.

So if Lexus or Rolls-Royce or Chanel or any other luxury good, sold at the high price but weren’t worth it then they wouldn’t have repeat customers. The word would get around that they were overpriced for the product or the value that they provide. And they wouldn’t stay in business. So you need to be very honest with yourself about whether your work, not you personally, you’re absolutely valuable as an amazing human being, but whether your work, the work you’re putting out and that you’re going to position at this and next level and charge more for and attract a better client.

Is your work worthy of that level of price and that level of customer? Your work and your customer service that you provide to go along with it, is it worth their next level that you want to be in? I recently heard a coach, not a coach for designers, I think it was a marketing coach but it was so interesting. She said, “Be worth the hype.”

And I loved this because if you want to be in that next level or even several levels up and you want to get a lot of hype for being one of the best, one of the best designers, one of the best in the industry. You want people asking to do partnerships and branding and licensing and all the things with you. You want a lot of buzz around your brand. If you want people referring others to you like crazy then your work has to be worth the hype.

So are your designs really unique or are you just buying the same stuff that everybody else is doing and the same fabrics and lamps and putting them together in a similar way as all the other designers or even not that much different than the consumer could do on their own? And then wanting to charge a lot for it and wanting to get better clients and wanting to be worth the hype. You may not be. And this isn’t to slight on us or to beat us up. We’ve got to be realistic and honest.

If I want to be at this other level am I going to do what it takes for my work to command that kind of price point and for our customer service that goes with it to support that level of clientele? I was just on a celebrity entrepreneur Instagram page this weekend. And they’re again, not a designer. They’re in the whole coaching and courses and motivational speaking, that whole kind of world. And they have a brand new house. And to me their brand new house is super boring. Now that’s just my opinion.

I’m not going to tell you their name but if I did you might go and be like, “Oh my God, it’s amazing.” But for me to look at it, it’s all neutrals and it looks like any builder or designer or decorator in the world, not even ones that are that good could have put it together. And I think she did have a little help from a designer. I don’t think she had a full service design. I think she made some choices herself. And then she also was kind of shouting out to where some of her products, maybe her entry table and some stuff was from. And she was like, “Oh my God, and it’s from McGee & Co and we love McGee & Co.”

And this is not anti-McGee & Co but they were very, very safe choices. And I was thinking at the time, as a designer I was not inspired by this house. It could look like any house from any builder in any American town, the beige cabinets, the quartz s countertops, all the things, the light fixtures, all the same. We’ve seen it a million times.

And so the interesting thing was another celeb entrepreneur in the same line of work as her. So they both are in that online marketing and course space kind of thing, came on and left a comment and said, “OMG, your house looks almost exactly the same as mine. My wife must have the exact same taste as you.” And they meant this as a compliment but it made me cringe. If I’m being perfectly honest I was like, “Of course, your houses look just alike.”

You all, I can assure you that no one has ever looked at my house and said, “Oh my God my house looks exactly like yours. I have those same pink dining room chairs and that same gigantic floral wallpaper and I have those same pink umbrellas out on my back patio. And I have that exact same bright green paint on my bathroom doors.” Nobody has ever said that. They might say, “I have that fabric or I have that wallpaper or I have a piece from that artist.” But they’ve never said that their home looks exactly like mine, thank God.

And I get that the average consumer is not that brave. I get that it probably makes sense to the consumer and even to a lot of designers or decorators who are out there working in the world to have these neutral spaces. And I’m not just beating up on neutral. I’m not saying you all need color but you know what I mean, have these neutral safe spaces, the beige couch, the beige chairs, the beige rug, the beige wallpaper, the beige kitchen cabinets, whatever. It used to be gray, now it’s moving towards beige, but same thing, different decade.

And they think it’s smart because they’re like, well, I won’t grow tired of them or it won’t be overstimulating to me at the end of a busy day. And I won’t get bored with them. But I have to tell you, this home was brand new. They just moved into it in the last month or two. And I thought this is the most boring interior I’ve ever seen. You all, if my house or my clients’ houses look like everyone else’s or like it came out of the restoration hardware catalog I’m literally bored with it before all the product has even arrived and been installed.

I’m really already bored with it before the builder hands the keys over. I’ve seen a million spaces and so have you that look almost exactly like that. It’s homogenized, it’s exactly what you can get from any of the big celeb designers who have lines at Target, you know what I mean. You know who those people are. And I’m not hating on them because the ones that have gotten their brands into Target did some stuff and a whole lot of stuff really right and we’ll talk about that in a second.

But if you don’t have a point of view as a designer, if your work is homogenized looking then how in the world are you going to elevate your clientele? How in the world are you going to stand out and charge more and be worth the hype? Now, there are a few ways you can do that and I’m going to talk about them in a second. But you won’t do it with your work and that’s one of the first ways.

So if your work already is not that different and it’s pretty much homogenized and we could say this looks like any designer across America, we could find 50 other people whose work looks exactly like yours and we couldn’t tell the difference. That’s one place you might want to take a look.

Because if you’re choosing to work in that space with that same product and those same lamps and those same tables and those same pillows that we can see at any big-box store. You’re situating, or online space or whatever, you’re situating yourself firmly in the middle of all the competitions of designers and decorators and retail stores that do a version of that exact same safe look. Now, a few of you will be good at carving out enough of your own clients with that particular look in your local area that keep you in business or have you making a pretty decent business and that’s fine.

I mean Chip and Joanna own the farmhouse look. McGee & Co owns her look. And in my opinion compared to the color I like to use, those feel very safe and very neutral. But they’ve done a beautiful job. They’ve built, there’s even other places, there’s an ecommerce brand called Pure Salt that has done a beautiful job with this neutral look. I’m not saying that no one can pull off neutral.

I’m just saying that if you weren’t one of those people who were early in a trend or who spent enough time and energy and money building it into a big brand then you’re not probably going to stand out for your look. So think really, really hard about this question. Am I worth the hype of the price I want to charge and the better clients I want with the particular look that I’m doing? And even go further and say, “How am I standing out amongst the competition so people want to work with me over another designer at this new price point?”

Because if our work looks the same as a lot of other people then what is going to be that deciding factor that they will hire me for? Because if they can’t tell the difference and you’re like, “Well, this work looks the same as this work”, guess what they’re going to use to decide every single time? The price and typically the better price, the lower price. And so yeah, you may say, “Well Chip and Joanna and McGee & Co and Pure Salt are all neutral but they’re still standing out.” Yes, t
hey are. So let’s look at what they did.
I’m not saying you have to have colorful interiors or maximalist interiors or use a whole bunch of pattern or layer pattern or do something in particular. I am saying that you have to either stand out with your look or your style or with your customer service which is pretty dang hard to stand out with. It’s hard to show on Instagram now that we get business in the online space. Or you have to put a ton of money and energy behind building your brand like Chip and Joanna and McGee & Co and Pure Salt have done and even I have done to build the empires that those people have built.

I have put a ton of money into building my business and to building my brand and I happen to have a style that does stand out from the typical. Now, it’s really interesting. There’s this really interesting little tipping point there because if you are a big brand like Chip and Joanna or McGee & Co and you do neutral you can get a million times more business than me because so many people are not going to be afraid of your look.

But to get there, to be one of the standouts in that category is going to take a lot of time and money and energy because there’s so much more competition for that particular look. So it either takes a lot of time or a lot of money or if I’m being honest it probably takes a lot of both no matter what. But some people get a certain advantage like Chip and Joanna early on were some of the only ones doing all of their shiplap and barn doors and all the stuff that people want crazy for. Now everybody does it. Now we’re all so tired of it.

And the beautiful thing, I just was looking at something that Joanna had posted on her Instagram earlier and I see her shifting. I saw her do this rich gorgeous green room with all the millwork painted out green. She’s even shifting from her own look to evolve and to change and to be worth the hype and to stand out. So it’s a constant thing we have to be looking at. How are we going to be worth the hype for the position that we want to live in, in the market? And so it’s important that you understand. You’re going to need time.

You’re going to need money and you’re also going to have to be willing to repel all the non-ideal clients at that level. You have to be willing to outgrow clients every few years because you’re raising your rates and you’re raising your minimums and you’re raising what you’ll do a room for. And you’re elevating you’re working intentionally to position yourself in the next level of projects if that is what you desire.

And sure, you could base your business on less expensive work and projects, you absolutely can. But if you make less money for a project and you still want to make a lot of money you need a much higher volume. In other words you need a lot more work. So you either sell a whole bunch of an inexpensive thing or fewer of an expensive thing. That’s just the math. And if you need a whole bunch of an inexpensive thing you’re going to have to have a lot of support.

You’re going to need a team. One of you can’t do 100 projects at a low price, you will for sure burn out. It will break the system. So if you’re going to keep your business small and you want to make a lot of money and it’s just you or you and a handful of team members or part-time team members or a virtual assistant or a part-time design assistant, you’re going to need fewer better jobs. You’re going to need fewer jobs that pay you more money. It’s all a math problem, that’s all it is.

So if you want those three things we started this podcast with that I hear everybody wants, I want more money, I want better clients, I want more free time. You have to intentionally engineer those results with the choices you’re making about how you charge and who you work with and who you don’t work with, who you’re willing to turn away, not who as in a human being but what price points, what type of projects you’re willing to turn away. How you stand out from the competition and how much money you put into creating the hype and then being worth the hype. It’s a very intentional process.

So at the end of the day I usually find that most designers that are waiting for clients or waiting for their business to make more money and have better clients and then have more free time. Are really kind of not noticing that they’re expecting the clients to elevate their companies as in if I keep working hard those better clients will eventually find me and pay me the fees I want to be paid. But the truth is you have to be brave enough to command those fees. You have to be brave to only say yes to the clients that are elevating your business.

You have to be brave enough to outgrow those other clients. You have to intentionally uplevel year after year after year and it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard work. It feels awful. I remember the first time I really felt like I was outgrowing somebody that I had done a lot of work with. They were a pair of doctors, I still know them, they’re in my town. And they just didn’t value spending more than we had spent so they didn’t want to come with me to the next level.

And they didn’t want to pay me what I was then going to be charging and it felt terrible. Like we were breaking up, like we were getting a divorce. But I was not willing to stay at the level I was, you all. That was years ago in my business. That’s five levels ago or more, maybe 10. And so I had to be willing to depart from that price point and in the process leave them behind. It’s the way I got to the next level of my business. And the thing is, you don’t just have to do it once. I had to outgrow them and then I got some better clients. But at some point I outgrew them because I wanted to go to the next level and have higher fees and higher margins and higher minimums.

And I did it over and over again for years. Now, later on when I had enough money coming in then I could go back and say, “Do I want to create a new service that serves a lower price point?” And that’s when I tried my Inbox Interiors, e-design. We’re about to try some other new stuff now in design that hits a different market. But I couldn’t have gotten here by just offering that lower price point because there wasn’t enough time in the day, there wasn’t enough of me to go around. I couldn’t afford enough support to create volume at that price point.

So you have to keep being willing to outgrow people time and again and again along the way of building you up to that dream level of business that you want to be working in. And then once you get there you have to keep making difficult decisions to keep your business at that level and keep it relevant. I know friends, successful businesses aren’t for the faint of heart. We don’t arrive at some point and then get to relax. And though some parts of your business might get easier with time, being a business owner never gets easy. You never stop needing lots and lots of money.

You never stop needing to put time in your business to be successful. And if you aren’t the one putting the time in, you’ve got to be paying someone else to put the time in because the time still has to be spent on the business. You don’t arrive and then it’s all good from there. The nature of being in business itself is being willing to keep doing the hard things year after year after year. And it may be different hard things than you had to do year before, the decade before but it’s still hard.

When we go back to the analogy I brought you last week about keeping one foot on the dock where it feels safe versus setting sail. This is really what business is like. You take your feet off of that first dock and you go out into the middle of the ocean where it feels horrifying. And then you kind of hit your stride at that next level. So you sort of feel like you’ve docked at that level. And then you have to be willing to take both feet off of that dock to go farther out into the middle of the ocean for the next level. And then when that sort of starts feeling sustainable and you’re hitting your stride there.

If you want to grow again you’ve got to be willing to take both feet off of that dock and every single time you’re taking the risk that the next level may not work or the next level might not get here as fast as you need it to. And you’ve got to trust yourself that you will figure it out along the way. That is what business feels like forever friends, especially small business. It’s just a series of getting comfortable and then choosing to get really uncomfortable again and then getting comfortable at that level and then choosing to get really uncomfortable again.

That’s it friend’s, that is the lesson I have for you today. I do want to tell you one more thing but I just want you to realize that this willingness to continually take your foot off the current dock to go out in search of the next one is what it takes to get those three things in your business, more money, better clients and more time for yourself or for your family. That’s what it takes.

Okay, so speaking of staying relevant. I teased last week and a little bit earlier that I’m making some big changes. And speaking of being worth the hype and standing out from the competition and all the things. We are making a really, really big change in our offers. And this is going to blow some of your minds a little bit because it’s blowing my mind as I’m saying this, as I’ve been deciding this. But here’s what we’re going to do that feels so uncomfortable that you need to know. We are retiring our Design You program. I want to gasp right now or vomit. I know, and here’s why.

It’s not because it’s not working. It’s not because it’s failing. It’s not because it sucks. It’s not even really because it’s run its course, although I do like a new thing. But I’m ready for the next iteration of us and our company. I’m ready for the next iteration of our coaching and our services. And it’s going to be so good and it’s going to be so different and it’s coming later this year, probably in the fall. It’s looking like it’s coming in the fall. And it’s going to be different, I mean really different.

It’s still in the realm of design and designers and I’ll still be for you if you’re a designer and I think you’ll be so excited. But here’s what it’s not. It’s not going to be Design You anymore. So we’ll launch the totally new thing and the whole new way of working and it’s going to be the bomb and it’s going to be worth the hype because that’s the only way I roll. But for all of you that have considered Design You over the last five years because this summer it’ll be five years old.

If you’ve been a member and left and were planning to come back at some point or if you just have never joined and you were going to get around to it and you thought it would always be there, this is your last and final chance to join us in the Design You program, the absolute last chance to spend a year working with us in this particular program which by the way is so, and I mean I want to emphasize, so freaking good. Design You has transformed so many businesses and lives it is remarkable.

And we’ll be bringing you some of those success stories in social media in the next few days and the next couple of weeks because Design You was an absolute game changer for these people. So if it was that good why am I changing it? Because I want to set sail again, you all. Design You is amazing and it’s certain and I love it and we love the results. And we’ve changed the lives of so many consumers but guess what, or designers, you all are the consumers for Design You.

But I think the world is changing again and I think it’s time to do this other amazing new idea and I can’t wait to build it and it’s going to be different but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be better. It’s just going to be different. It’s going to be great, I think it will be as good as, but it’s going to be different. So if it’s not better than Design You, it’s just different here is what it will not be. It will not include a full year of working with me and my team of coaches and designers and creatives to transform your business, your design business or your creative business.

It will not be 12 months of working with us. That’s not what’s coming. It also will not include all of our courses built into the price. So right now when you buy Design You, you get Designer MBA, you get what used to be Digital Marketing for Creatives. But it’s about to launch as a whole brand new updated course called Designer Sales and Marketing. It’s coming out next month. You don’t get that. You don’t get Financials for Creatives. You don’t get the Design System.

My gosh, the Design System, our step by step system of exactly how to run your whole design business with all the videos and all the templates and all the worksheets and all the downloadables and all the videos of me and Adrienne, my lead designer training you how we use that system. You don’t get that included. You won’t get the cohorts of working along with us to implement the new Designer Sales and Marketing course, all of the stuff. So you get all of that in Design You plus 12 months of working with us plus a success coach that you meet with every quarter plus weekly calls with me every single week.

You won’t get all of that stuff rolled into the next program. The program’s going to be amazing in the fall but it’s going to be different. So if you have wanted all of that juicy stuff then you need to get in now. If you wanted to work with us for 12 months to transform your business you need to hop in now. Because all of our courses and our programs that are in there and the coaches that are in there and the incredible community of peers that are in there won’t all be part of the new things that we’re going to become.

Now, some of those things will be available here and there. I’m not killing our courses, they’re awesome. But if you have to go buy them all individually in the future they will not be at this price and they won’t include the handholding and they won’t include the coaching and they won’t include all of the things. So you’ve got about two weeks, maybe a little less than by the time you hear this to get in this last group of people who are going to go through this program with us, in this all-inclusive combination with all our best stuff in there and all our courses and all of that for 12 months.

You all, I’m not kidding, it is so freaking good. So if you want to do that and work with me and my coaches for the next year you will not regret it. And if you have been in Design You before but it’s been a few years, it is so different. We made huge changes in the last two years when we’ve upleveled all the courses or we’ve upleveled Designer MBA, upleveled the marketing course, launched the Design System. We have all kinds of ways to get things about your business critiqued and just there’s so much.

So come back, be part of our last group to go through together. It’s going to be so much fun and we can’t wait to work with you in this way. Now, if you have any questions you can email us at info@tobifairley or you can DM us and me on Instagram which is @tobifairley. Or if you’re just like, “I’m in, I’ve been waiting and if this is the last time I can join, I’m joining.” You can go to and sign up for this last group of people that are going to go through Design You together.

And if you’re currently in Design You and you’re freaking out right now because Design You is going away, you’re like, “What? I was going to keep staying in next year and come back again, don’t you worry because we have the juiciest alumni program ever that’s going to start really soon. But you could only access the alumni program if you were ever a member of Design You. So if it’s only for people who have been in Design You and you haven’t been in you’d better get in there right now.

And the alumni program is not going to include all the courses and the stuff. So if you’re like, “Well, I was in Design You a few years ago but I’ll just wait and join the alumni program only because I used to be in Design You, you won’t get all the stuff. So here’s your last chance to get all the stuff and all the courses and all the juicy everything and work with us for a year. Let us know what questions you have about it. As they used to say, be there or be square. It’s going to be a transformational year.

You know me, I will pull out all the stops for the last time we’re working in this way. You will not regret it. You will have a transformed business 12 months from now. And those three things we talked about on this episode that you want more of, more money, better clients and more time, we will engineer those with you this year. But doors close for the final time on Design You at midnight on March 29th. So don’t miss it because once those doors are closed we’re not going to let you in, in April. We’re not going to squeak you in.

This is the last group of people joining this particular program ever and you might want to be in it. And when you’re terrified right now going, “How does she do this? How does she sunset or retire amazing things that she loves?” It’s exactly the same things we’ve been talking about the last two weeks. It’s because as scary as it may be I’m ready to set sail for the next new thing and the next idea and the next fun adventure. As much as I have butterflies in my stomach about it, it is going to be so much fun.

But it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be one of the last people who also joined us in Design You because this 12 months is going to be epic and you want to be there. Okay friends I will see a lot of you in Design You because you’re going over there right now and hopping in while you have a chance. And I’m going to see all of you, I hope, back here next week with another great episode of the Design You Podcast. Okay, bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to The Design You Podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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