You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 174.
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, hey friends. I am so glad you’re here with me today. And I’m super excited to be doing a solo episode. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love our guests on the Design You podcast. And I would say the guests we’ve had in the last year have been the best ever. They have been cool, powerful, diverse, interesting human beings and it has been so much fun getting to know a lot of them, interviewing them and sharing it with you. But I have been missing doing more solo shows.
So, I’m going to start working more of those shows that are just me and my thoughts and ideas back into the rotation. Maybe even every other week. I’m not going to promise it quite yet, but way more often than you’ve been hearing me starting today. So, I have a ton of ideas, a ton of concepts that I’m learning, and studying, and creating and I just think that the podcast is the best place to share those ideas with you. In fact, the solo shows, which is what I did for the whole first year is what got so many of you listening in the first place. So, let’s do one of those today.
So, here’s what I want to talk about. Accountability. Accountability. Accountability, it sounds like an amazing thing. But what I’m going to tell you may just blow your mind. It may blow it a little bit, or it might blow your mind a lot. Here’s the thing, recently, I was listening to a training, a course I think, I listened and learn to so many things. I’m not sure exactly which part of a course, or a program, or a free webinar, or something, but I do know that it was with Mariah Coz.
So, Mariah is what my great grandmother would have called a whippersnapper. She’s a young, powerful businesswoman, a business coach and she was talking about the concept of accountability. And a lot of what she says is really, really smart, and fresh, and cutting edge, including this concept. So, what she was saying is that when you offer online programs like I do, coaching programs, or online communities, or courses, what you don’t want to promise ever is accountability.
And I was thinking, wait, what? Did she say what I think she said? Because isn’t accountability what people are coming to us for in the first place when we create digital programs or self-help content, or practically any other service in the world? Coaches, life coaches, all the things, trainers, the people that we work out with, health coaches, there’s so many people, and services, and programs in the world that really what we’re looking for a lot of times as humans, is some level of accountability.
So, this perked my interest when I heard Mariah say this. And she went on to say something, and I’m paraphrasing here because I’m not reading it, but it was pretty close to this. She said something very similar to when people say quote, “I need accountability”, when a prospective member to join one of her programs or whatever, says, “I need accountability”, she said this is what they’re really saying. They’re really saying to you as the creator, the coach, I don’t do what I say I’m going to do. I’m not really committed.
I don’t have my own back and really make time for this and I don’t really want to do the work, because if I did I would have done it already. But because I, at some level, believe I should then what I want is for you to mother me and let’s call that accountability. And maybe if you do that then I’ll show up and do the work but probably at the end of the day I still won’t because I really don’t do what I say I’m going to do. Sounds strikingly familiar to even myself in some instances.
So those weren’t her exact words but they were very similar to her words. And I would say those are my interpretation of her words but the concept in theory is the same. And I believe she is so freaking right. So just imagine it, I have my hand up right now, pledge of allegiance style and I’m holding my hand up and thinking yes, I need accountability. And there definitely areas of my life that I have this belief.
And I want you to check in right now and see if you have this belief, too. Whether it’s with your business, or your health, working out, or the way you eat, or getting up in the morning, or some level of something that you want to accomplish in your life. Is there anything that you’re like I just need accountability? I think the answer is probably yes. So right after hearing this, it was probably just a few days that I made the decision to go back to the gym regularly. Now it wasn’t because I heard this. I was already planning on it. I had been thinking about it.
I had been talking to my trainer, Kim, that I adore and I really miss being at the gym. I miss my friends. I miss my trainers, Kim and Caleb. And I had stopped back in December when the coronavirus was really rampant and vaccines weren’t out yet. And so, I had gone back for a minute when she opened up and I was just a little uncomfortable and didn’t want to get my parents or anybody sick so I stopped before the holidays and then I didn’t start back in January, or February, or when I got vaccinated in March or when I got my second vaccine in April.
And so here we were, I was in May or June and I was like, “I’m too sedentary, I need to move my body, I want to go back to the gym.” So, I decided I would start back in July after I got back from my two week vacation and it was time to go back. Well, I just happened to hear this concept from Mariah about accountability. And I’m so glad that I did before going back to the gym.
Because I will absolutely admit that in the18 months or so that I had been going to the gym, this particular gym with Kim and Caleb, before the pandemic and during the pandemic. I definitely had the mindset that I needed accountability. And on all the days that I didn’t show up I definitely was believing well I just need more accountability. And I’m sure you’ve been there. But after hearing this concept and even telling it to Kim. I love to chat about motivational stuff and big ideas and things with Kim and she and I both love that kind of thing.
And so, I was chatting about it with her when I was talking about being ready to come back and getting signed back up and I told her about it. And she then a couple of hours later texted me and was like, “Could you tell me that whole thing again about accountability?” Because I knew where she was headed. I was like she is going to want to go tell this to some of the other people that also aren’t showing up. But it really made a shift in me before I called her and got all signed up and committed to working out once again that it’s my job. It’s my job to show up. It’s not her job. It’s mine.
Her job is to know what for me to do when I get there. But it’s my job to show up. And so, it really helped me remind myself that being consistent at the gym or anything else that I say I want is pretty much only about my commitment to myself. And my dedication to being healthy and to feeling good, all of that plays into it, but that’s an inside job. So, I have to want it more for myself than I want to stay in bed or that I want to work instead of working out. And I definitely have to want it more for myself than my trainer does. She can be all in with me but she can’t want it more than me.
If she wants it more than me it will never work. I will not show up. When things get hard, when I’m tired, when I have a night that I can’t sleep that well, when I have a lot going on and decide that work is more important. Every single time I’m going to stop showing up. So, it’s interesting because it’s still new. I’m just getting back and I would say definitely you get all hyped up and kind of honeymoon phase when something’s new again and the hype hasn’t worn off yet. But this is definitely a different way of approaching working out.
And so, I started thinking about this in the other areas of my life and any place that I’m not getting the results that I want. So maybe where I’m also even working with a coach because yes, I have lots of coaches, life coaches, business coaches. I have my trainer, a trainer as a coach. But I have all these people and they’re absolutely freaking amazing. They’re so good at what they do at coaching, and training, and even motivating. But I started to really break down the details around the places in my life and business that I get results and the places that I don’t.
And really what the difference is, the things I say I want to do in my life but I don’t do. What is happening there with accountability? And yeah my coaches play a huge role in giving me advice and reflecting back my thoughts to me. So, I can see where my thinking maybe is causing a problem, causing a block for me. And I absolutely love and adore working with coaches. The good ones are worth their weight in gold. But the accountability I now see doesn’t come from the coach, it comes from me.
And the places that I really show up in my life, I realized that I do so for one of two reasons or maybe both of these reasons. Either (a) I’m really clear on the next steps and know exactly what to do so I can just do it. Or (b) even if I don’t know what to do, I have my mindset clear and really dialed in on why I’m doing it. So, I don’t have a lot of mindset baggage getting in the way of me doing the thing.
So that’s what I want to talk about today. I want to break this down for you, for us. Because I want you to see that a few or even a lot of areas in your life that you’re not getting the results that you want, likely depend on one of these two reasons. Either one, you’re not clear on the steps which is the how, or two, your mindset is getting in the way. And it’s really that simple, that’s it. Those are really the two reasons that you aren’t doing something, which does sound pretty simple.
It doesn’t feel that simple in the moment when we’re procrastinating, when we’re wishing somebody else would hold our hand and make us do it. But it is that simple. So, when I go back to my gym example and I definitely think about that and I know the steps or at least I know the person with the steps, Kim and Caleb. And I can hire them as my trainers which I do and did. And literally they can stand there and say, “Do this first. Okay, now do this. Okay, now do this again. Do it this many times.” It’s so clear.
The steps are clear. So even if I don’t know the steps, they know the steps. They know the how, they have it down pat and it’s easy-peasy to show up and do what they tell you to do. But when I look at the times that I have not been consistent at the gym, it was always number two of my two things. It was the mindset stuff for me that was getting in the way. And it’s always been some version of a story that I’ve woven, a narrative of it’s hard, or I really need to do work instead, or I just don’t have time, blah, blah, blah.
It’s like hit repeat, same excuses, different day. And it’s a lot of thoughts or what I call T’s that are getting in the way of me just showing up. It’s not the circumstance that I don’t know how. I either know how and know what to do or I have someone that I’m paying to tell me what to do. But I got a lot of thoughts and beliefs in the way of me showing up.
So, when I think about the accountability idea and really where it’s applied in this situation. It really has to come from me. It has to come from me. I am not being accountable to myself when I’m thinking all those T’s that are getting in the way. And my trainer definitely wants me to be more consistent. But if I don’t want that for myself, or I want something else more, like to get work done or to lay in the bed and get some more sleep., then I’m not going to show up. So, in those moments, clearly I wanted all the excuses really more than I wanted the results.
And I’m really good at some of those excuses and I know you are too. In some areas of your life, you’ve got some excuses really dialed in and on autopilot. So, this time when I’m starting back at the gym I decided to only fully commit and sign up if I was going to be the one that wanted it more for myself than she did. And that I was willing to use all my resources including my own life coaches to help me break through all those thoughts, those T’s, those excuses that are getting in the way every single time I don’t show up, so that I do show up.
Anyway, in spite of those thoughts and although again, it’s still new and I’ve just started back again and the hype hasn’t worn off yet. I am really feeling a difference in my own mindset and how I’m having my own back. And how it’s not even full of drama this time to hold myself accountable. All the stories start and you don’t have time, and you don’t this, and you don’t that, and it kind of sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher, the wah wahs. And I’m just like so, either I want it more than the trainer wants for me or I don’t.
And if I don’t, the thing is the trainer doesn’t really lose in the grand scheme of things. Maybe she loses a little money from me. But I mean one client isn’t make or break for her. But she herself doesn’t lose out in this situation. She’s in great health. She wants to be fit. She’s showing up every day and working out. I’m the one who loses. I’m just hurting myself by trying to delegate the accountability to her or to somebody else in other instances and it just doesn’t work. You can’t delegate the accountability just like Mariah said.
If you say you need accountability, you’re really just saying I’m not going to show up. I’m not going to do it. And if you’re not in the headspace and you haven’t accessed the how either by paying someone or figuring it out yourself, reading a book, something. If you don’t know the how and you don’t have your head right about something then you’re not going to show up. So, I started thinking about that, even in the programs that I offer, Design You and Millionaire Mentorship. And I realized for all of my customers and clients, Mariah is still so right.
It’s not helpful at all for us to promise accountability to our members. And I can see this because I have people in my programs that have been in for a very short time and did not ask me for accountability and they have had huge results. Some of our members that historically have had the biggest results. I think of one that comes to mind that now I think has done probably a half a million or a million dollars in her courses that she started while she was in our programs. And she did it in a really short time, less than a year, she had hit several hundred thousand dollars.
She didn’t come in asking me for accountability. She came in asking for clarity on the how. But she had her own back. And then I have other people who have been in for years or have even worked with me prior to this program in other programs. And I see them doing some things but I also see them ultimately still not showing up for themselves and not doing what they say they want week after week, month after month, year after year. They’re still trying to get themselves to take action.
And again, it’s not easy and I’m not pointing fingers because there’s plenty of areas of my own life where that is also true. But I just find it fascinating that it really proves this concept, this point that I can want it a whole lot for them, but I can’t want it more than them. So, me or my programs, offering accountability just isn’t making a difference for the people that don’t want it enough, that aren’t really committed.
So, we’re even shifting, now we’re shifting a ton of stuff in Design You. I’ve kind of given you a sneak peek, a hint. And I’ll tell you some more in a little bit, at the end of the episode, about what we’re introducing, it’s a lot of the how, which is exciting. But we are doing away with the accountability approach in our programs because as I learned in the training I was listening to, it’s really not helpful. In fact, Mariah calls accountability a four letter word. She’s like, “I steer clear of it at all costs. I do not promise it.” And I think this is so fascinating and so eye-opening.
So, when really thinking about it and deciding I agree with her. And really noticing that my own personal results that I’ve gotten in big ways and the results of the people in my programs that have really gotten major results, they prove this theory. And I can’t wait for them to decide to show up and do the work. And I can’t beg people to do it. And I can’t just nudge you with an email or a personal little message and believe you’re going to show up. And I can’t want it more then they want it for themselves.
There is an old adage or a quote really, and I think it’s actually by the speaker Jim Rohn who’s a motivational speaker. I know my dad listened to him for years. And he said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. And if you really don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” And I would say that sums up this concept perfectly of accountability. So, this really got me thinking, completely differently than I have ever thought before about how we work with people in our programs.
And that brings me back to the two parts of the solution that I still believe are only two parts. One, the clarity of how to do something and two, the mindset work around it. And so, this reminded me of another concept I learned sometime in the somewhat recent past, past few years that sort of combines these two things, the how to do something and the mindset work around it. And it’s a concept called how greed. How greed.
And you may have heard me talk about this before but I wanted to tie it in here because how greed is the expectation or even entitlement that we seem to have that other people should tell us the how. And this is true in all parts of our lives. I hear myself thinking this, I hear my child, teenager, thinking this. I hear my husband thinking this, I hear my clients thinking this. So, it’s really that concept. And how many times have you heard someone say this or maybe you’ve said it yourself, you, your client, your children, your employee, a team member?
How many times have you heard the phrase, “If you would just show me how then I could do it?” I hear this all the time. In fact, I think even more than people joining my program wanting accountability, is people joining my program saying, “I just need someone to show me how.”
So, what is that? What is this how greed and where is it coming from? Well, I want to break it down for you a little bit. How greed is really just code, kind of like the code word for fear of failure. It is a way of saying I don’t want to try and fail. I just want you to tell me how to do it. So that either (a) it works and it’s a lot easier on me because I didn’t have to figure it out. Or (b) if it doesn’t work, then I can just blame you for the bad advice or the bad system. But either way it absolves me of the responsibility of figuring it out and failing my way to success.
The problem with this is it robs us of the joy and the learning that comes with figuring out the hard stuff. And I often say that success is not about arriving at the place you dreamed of arriving. I learned a long time ago that it’s not the arriving, whether it’s arriving at a money goal, or having a certain level of dreamy clients or jobs or having a lot of free time. It’s not getting those things. All those things are great. But just like with achieving any goal, the joy of getting the thing itself is often really fleeting.
But the true joy, the real fulfillment comes from becoming the person that you have to become in the process of figuring things out like doing hard stuff and being proud of yourself. So, it’s the person you become when you’re willing to try, and fail, and survive that, and get back up and try again until you figure it out.
It’s the person you become when you realize you can do the hard things and that you have your own back. And that you don’t need other people to hold you accountable because you commit to things and you make them happen. That is what you rob from yourself that omits joy, and confidence, and resilience that comes from kicking how greed to the curb and figuring things out yourself. That’s what happens and what you rob yourself of when you don’t do the work yourself. When you think someone else should tell you how. When you blame other people for their system not working.
So, I was thinking about this and then I got really curious and wondered what is the sweet spot between that thinking we need accountability and the how greed versus having your own back and doing hard things on your own? Because so many people give up in both instances. One side you give up because you’re like, “Well, no one will tell me how and no one will hold me accountable so I’ll just quit.” Or the other side is, “Okay, I’m going to do this on my own. But now I’ve hit a road block, it’s too hard, I feel overwhelmed, I feel confused, so I’ll also quit.”
But there’s a sweet spot in the middle, I believe, I think. I think it exists. It definitely exists for me and I wanted to articulate what that is. So, I started looking at how I have accomplished many big things in my life. And those are everything from growing more than one revenue stream to a million dollars. So, I’ve done that multiple times. Starting this podcast which wasn’t easy. Getting my accounting degree which was really hard. Taking tax class was the worst. Getting my MBA was hard. Getting certified as a master life coach was really hard.
Running my own business and all the iterations of it for the last 22 years has been really hard. Heck, being a parent now to a 16 year old, it’s definitely hard, balancing it all, really hard. And so, when I think about how I’ve accomplished all those things, every one of those things, I would say was really, really hard. And I wanted to quit at some point if not multiple points in every one of those things but I didn’t. And I think I’ve been very successful at a lot of things in my life ultimately, all those things for sure.
And so, I really wanted to understand why, what was my secret and guess what? It’s the combination of those two parts of the solution that I’ve already mentioned in every single case. One, getting clarity on the how and two, managing my mindset, my thoughts when they weren’t serving me, when they were about to derail me, when they told me I needed to quit, managing those, shifting those.
And so, getting the clarity on the how sometimes meant me trying things that I’m completely clueless about and just figuring them out myself. Sometimes it meant buying a book or a course. A lot of times it meant just trial and error. Sometimes it meant the combination of learning something from someone or at least part of something from someone and then giving it a try. It also meant hiring people a lot of times who know the how or parts of the how or pieces of the puzzle.
Rarely did I find people who knew the whole thing and could just hand it all over to me on a platter for entire goals that I wanted. But there were definitely people that I have found along the way and continue to find that knew a part of it. Their course, or their program, or their book, or their idea, or their coaching, would get me part of the way to the how.
And then even when I did find those people that hand me over a lot of the how, even a big part of it, of a goal or a task. I still had to be willing to get uncomfortable and trust them first of all, believe what they said. And then try the thing they told me to try. And then know that I had to go through the process of being bad at if for a while and getting it wrong a lot of the times, even with the instructions, even following their system exactly. Still, I had to get it wrong at first because I was new to it and I was going to be bad at it until I wasn’t any more. And that is how I figured out the how.
I kind of think about it like riding a bike. Somebody probably told you exactly how to ride a bike when you were a kid or whenever you learned even if you learned as an adult, we knew the how. Put your feet on the pedal, put your hands on the pedal bar. Move your knees up and down, your feet, pedal around, brakes on the handlebar hopefully, whatever those details were. And a lot of people knew how.
But I think of all the scrapes, and the bruises, and sometimes the blood, the skinned knees, the stitches here and there. And I can think of a ton of injuries including my pride when trying and failing at riding a bike which is not unlike the injuries especially to my pride when trying and failing at running a business but it was the same thing. I still had to be willing to try.
So yeah the clarity of the how only really comes from doing the things and getting it wrong for a while. And seeing what combination of steps is really right for you or for your business if it’s a business thing. Because just because somebody tells you how they did something, doesn’t even mean that it’s exactly the perfect prescription for how you need to do it to get the results that you want.
And then there’s the mindset work and that comes alongside of the how. And that comes from practicing, from practicing awareness and getting it wrong also, the awareness wrong. Not catching and being aware at times and losing control of your emotions at times with either anger, or sadness, or fear. And still being willing to hold space for those emotions. And looking at them, and learning from them, and getting curious about them without some really hard self-judgement, or perfectionism, or mean girl kind of attacks on yourself.
But being willing to say wow, interesting, hook how afraid I am, look how angry I am. Why? Why am I feeling that? What’s going on? Same kind of thing. It’s still practice, practicing your mindset. So, if you’re not achieving a goal or results in your life right now. What you really don’t need is someone else to hold you accountable. And it won’t even work if they try, it never does.
But what you do need is a strong desire to create the result and the willingness to go through the discomfort of figuring out the how through information, and trial and error, and potentially coaching. And the discomfort of feeling negative emotions, that will definitely come up with trying new things, or taking existing things to the next level, because it’s really uncomfortable. We haven’t done it before. And that’s all you need, the desire, the willingness to figure out the how and the willingness to figure out the emotions, the mindset pieces, and that’s it, that’s what it takes.
And if you’re not willing to feel the feelings, the uncertainty, the discomfort on the way to the how then you’re not going to get there. And if you aren’t willing to fail on your way to success, even if you have a roadmap, even if you have the how. If you’re not willing to be bad at it at first, be a beginner at first, get it wrong at first on your way to success, then you can’t ever create the results you say you really want.
But I want you to remember here’s the good news. The good news is that success leaves clues. So, take a look at what you’re thinking, and how you’re managing those thoughts, and how you’re figuring out the how in all the areas of your life where you are creating the success you want, where you are getting the results you want.
And compare those areas where you say you want something and you go get it to the areas you say you want something but you seem to keep making excuses. And you seem to want ease and comfort instead more and then lovingly without harsh judgement of yourself or without beating yourself up look with curiosity at the difference between the two situations. And figure out do you just need more of the clarity on the how, is that the problem? Is it that you just don’t know how so, you keep putting it off?
Or do you need to manage your mindset and clear away some unhelpful thoughts, some unhelpful beliefs that are getting in your way or is it both? Is it the how and the mindset? That’s it. That’s how you do it. That’s how you create the results in your life and business. Period.
And guess what? If you aren’t looking for accountability now because you now know it won’t work. But you are looking for some of the pieces of the puzzle of the how. Or you are looking for the tools to manage your mindset and get coached, and you happen to be an interior designer. Then you’re definitely going to want to get on the wait list for my Design You coaching program because we’re opening up the doors again in just a few weeks, really soon.
And this time for the first time ever we’re giving you so much more of the how than I’ve ever given you. Because this fall, in just, what, a few weeks, maybe a month or so after the doors close, and you get inside, and you go through orientation, then we’re opening up for the first time ever, our design system. And it’s our full design process, the whole thing, how we run every project, every template, every standard operating procedure, the exact steps that we use, all our worksheets, everything. Our budgeting tools, all of it for how we run our Million Dollar Plus design business.
And it’s in the program for the first time ever. But here’s the thing, now you know that even when I hand over those steps to you, you still have to show up and use them. You have to hold yourself accountable and show up. And you still have to practice them and likely fail at them a lot at the beginning, and be confused, and not know what they are, and give them a try and see if they work and all of the stuff. You’ve still got to be willing to be a beginner.
And even if you’re not a beginner in design and you’ve been in it for years, you still have to be a beginner at this system, at this process if you’ve never done it before and it’s new to you. And you have to get uncomfortable to take on something new, a new system and process. But it’s still a heck of a lot easier if you’re willing to do that than starting the whole thing from scratch. You will have saved so much time, and frustration, and fear of starting from scratch on your systems by using mine, which is so exciting to me.
And it will all be broken down for you and we’ll teach you how to use it. And you can start putting it to work in your business especially for those of you who think you don’t know what the problems are in your business or you don’t have time to figure them out. This system will help you figure out where the problems, the bottlenecks and the issues are and you can start using it as your own.
And if the mindset part of the puzzle is one of the pieces you struggle with the most. Then I would say that’s our secret sauce in Design you. We are the only program that I know of that has master coach level life and business coaching because I’m a certified master coach and we have other certified coaches in our program with 20 plus years of interior design business married to that master level coaching.
So, it’s the puzzle right there. It’s the how and the mindset. And you can use those things to hold yourself accountable as you work with us alongside in our program. So, get on the wait list, friends. At tobifairley.com/designyou. So, when the doors open this time in just a few short weeks you can get in there and start doing the how work this fall and the mindset work. You can start that on day one before our new system even opens yet. You can start the mindset work and start creating the business and the life that you’ve been dreaming of.
Okay, super exciting stuff, friends, that’s what I have for you today. I’m serious. I’ve told you this already, some of you. But people have been asking me to sell and share my systems for probably 15 years. And it took getting the right team on my team and in place, the right people. The right people to help organize, and document, and create a templated version of what we do every day in our business and we did it, and they’re amazing. Adrian, and April, and Nicole, and Haley and all the exciting people on our team. They’ve done all this hard work alongside me and now you get to benefit from it.
So go do your homework in the meantime. Get on the Design You wait list and spend some time, this is your homework, spend some time noticing where in your life you thought you needed accountability. And now you can look at it differently and see if what you really need is the how, or maybe the mindset work, or maybe both and I can’t wait to see what ahas this brings up for you.
So why don’t you tell me? DM me over on Instagram and tell me after you’ve listened to this and when you’ve done a little digging into where you’re stuck in your life and your business, let me know. Is it the how? Is it the mindset? Is it both? Because I want to know. I can’t wait to hear those ahas.
And I’ll see you back here next week. And next week I’m going to add on to this concept. I’m going to teach you something else and it’s a way to start to notice some other things, let’s call them lies that you’re telling yourself. The lie of I need accountability. That’s not what you needed. You didn’t know it was a lie. These other things you didn’t know are lies either. And I’m going to help you see them and help you figure out how they’re holding you back, too. And it’s also going to blow you mind.
So, meet me back here a week from today and we’ll do that work. Okay, bye for now, friends, see you really soon.
Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you’re 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 TobiFairley.com.