Ep #286: Are We in a Recession?

The Design You Podcast Tobi Fairley | Are We in a Recession?

We’ve spoken before about how the design industry is changing and evolving. But beyond that, the economy as a whole is presenting new challenges, and that’s causing all kinds of people to pivot in what they’re doing. So, I’m here to answer an important question: are we in a recession?

I’m hearing and seeing many interesting things going on in the design industry right now. Whether it’s in the work I do with my clients, conversations with friends in the industry, or just what I’ve observed out there in the world, people are crying out for help with navigating the current economy and they’re worried about the future. It feels like we’re in a recession, but nobody wants to name it or admit it.

Call it what you will, people are struggling right now. I’m discussing what we can do as entrepreneurs to be smart during this challenging time, why things might not improve over the next year, and I’m giving my advice on thinking differently to come out the other side of this economic turmoil strongly.


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What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • The economic problems clients are coming to me for help with.
  • Why, as a luxury industry, design is suffering more than other industries.
  • How to see the other ways you can help your clients when they can’t afford your full design services.
  • The opportunities all around you at this very moment.
  • A list of things about the future of the design industry that we need to stop worrying about.
  • What getting through this difficult economic time as a designer is going to require of you.
  • How to tap into the energy of curiosity and possibility that your business needs right now.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 286.

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, 286, we’re moving on towards 300 episodes. Wow. I think the last episode, I mean I think 300 falls right around the end of this year. So very exciting, but that’s not why we’re here today. I hope you’re well. I’m so glad you’re here.

And today I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately and that is the state of the economy and the state of the design industry as a whole and even individually, how a lot of us are doing in business right now, what we’re thinking about, how we’re faring. Because I feel like it has been the major topic of conversation with so many of the people that I work with.

So I am very privy, I guess, I have the privilege of having access to a lot of information about design businesses through the work that I do as a coach and a consultant. And I keep all of that obviously confidential. And this is not in any way to share things that are talking out of turn. It’s just sharing the things that I’m hearing over and over again, not just in private conversations, not just in our programs and groups, but in public conversations. In the conversations with friends who are designers over a glass of wine or on the phone.

And it is consistently the thing that I’m hearing over and over and that is that a lot of businesses are really struggling financially right now. So in the last month or so alone, I have coached four or five people on whether to and how to lay off team members, which is so, so difficult. I’m hearing from many designers who are worried about the future because for the first time in a long time or maybe even ever in their business, they don’t have a pipeline full of work coming in the next few months or early next year.

A lot of them are looking out into 2024 and they’re saying, “Usually I would have business in the pipeline for next year already, new constructions and other things in the queue for next year. And I don’t have that and I’m getting scared and worried and nervous.”

And I’m hearing from a lot of people that are saying that business just seems hard right now, harder than ever. And this is from everybody, including people who own retail stores, people who have small design businesses, people who have been in business 30 years, people who are just getting started, it feels hard and harder than it has seemed for a lot of us in a long time, and I get that. I feel it too. A lot of times it feels like we’re having to work twice as hard for half the money.

And so we’re having to work harder not just at convincing clients to start projects. Because many clients are also feeling the pressure to hold off at the moment because of their own finances or their own fear of what they’re hearing about a potential recession. And we have the obstacle that design can be a luxury for many people, a nice to have but not always feeling like a necessity. And so it’s definitely something that if someone is thinking, I don’t want to get myself in financial trouble or I don’t want to start something if the economy is going to get really bad. I think I’ll just hold off for a little while.

Is my sofa ugly in the living room? Yeah, but can I live with it for another year or two? Of course. And so that makes it really difficult because as designers, we’re thinking and people are asking me, “How do I get people to move forward on a project?” And we can’t. We can’t make people spend money. We can’t make people move forward. I’ve also heard a lot of designers, multiple of them say that they have had not just one, but numerous projects getting put on hold right now because of money, both construction projects but also just furnishing projects like decorating projects.

And I’ve heard more than one of these people say that they are used to having those smaller jobs, the kind of furniture or decorating only projects pay the bills in between when say a construction job does get put on hold or a phase is taking longer than normal.

And without those smaller kind of decorating and design and furnishing jobs coming in right now, if those are the things that people are thinking, I can wait a little longer to redo the living room, it’s not the end of the world. That is really causing a problem for designers and design firms because without those smaller projects coming in, they don’t have anything to do in between construction phases or while a construction project gets put on hold.

And when we hear a lot of those get on hold or get behind, sometimes it’s for six months or eight months. And so what do you do in the meantime? I’ve talked with more than one designer about how they weren’t taking those smaller jobs because they had really kind of come to the belief that the big new construction projects seem so much more lucrative. And now they’re regretting that. They’re regretting not having some of those smaller jobs to balance their cash flow and it’s been a struggle.

And all of these things together, because I’m hearing multiple things from multiple people in kind of all different directions are indicating to me that either we are in a recession that nobody wants to fully admit. Or that we’re seeing a major shift in our industry or both. And even if other industries aren’t feeling it the way we are, which, trust me, I think they are. There’s a lot of them that are. I know that the coaching industry and the online course industry and a lot of the other areas that I play and work in are feeling it too.

But at the very least it is true that there is something happening in the design industry and it feels really hard and it’s especially impacting our bottom line. So last Friday in my weekly email because I always send out an email, my team or I do every week I wrote about this kind of what I would call the secret recession because I feel like nobody wants to name it or admit it, but that we are basically in one and maybe have been for quite some time.

And one of my followers emailed a reply to that email that we sent out and said, “Hey, Tobi, why do you say there’s a recession? Here’s two articles that I found that say we’re not in a recession and my own financial advisor said we’re not in a recession.” And yeah, you can definitely find those too, you can find those. But you can find a lot that say we are or you can find a lot that say, call it what you will but people are struggling right now. And that’s what I would say feels true for us in the design industry in a lot of ways.

So I read an article just the last couple of days from the head of the largest bank in the US and he said, “We might not have checked every single box that makes analysts believe we’re in a recession, but for all intents and purposes, we are in one.” And he said, “I don’t even really anticipate the economy feeling strong for a while.” Because we have been spending, spending, spending as a nation. We’ve spent money on COVID relief. We’ve spent money on the war in Ukraine and all other things. And it’s been kind of relief efforts in all sorts of ways in our country.

We also had inflation way out of control. So to combat that we’ve seen interest rates go up. So when you combine all of these things, a whole lot of spending, inflation being high, interest rates going up to try to bring the inflation down, these are all factors that together have created some really difficult times and he predicts are going to be here for a little while. And that feels scary. We all want the good news.

We all want to hear that maybe we’re going to be in a recession, but it should be over by early next year. And maybe that will be true and I really hope that it is. But I think in the long run or to be smart and to be conservative, we have to imagine that in a little bit longer of a time period, potentially all of 2024, we might have to be doing things differently. And I just really think that we have to be thinking that way in general about the design industry. We are in a pivotal moment in this industry and we’re going to have to be willing to do things differently, to think differently.

So whether or not those who are in the know say officially we’re in a recession. When I look at and talk to and coach so many creative business owners, mostly interior designers, they are all saying the same thing about their current state of affairs. And I can’t help but take that at face value and admit that times are really hard and no, not for every firm. There are definitely pockets and people who are thriving and have more business than they can handle.

But I hear more people than not that are having a difficult time. And it’s not just the mid-range designers. We’ve hit a point where the people that I’m coaching are at the higher end and that is always an interesting indicator to me. When we’ve hit a moment where the people who usually work with who we like to think the consumers that are kind of insulated at least a little bit from some of these challenges like inflation. When they stop spending, when they pull back, a lot of us start paying attention.

So here’s what I know. In addition to things feeling hard financially and things just feeling hard in general, it’s harder to do work. Things are coming at us from all places. We’re worried about technology changes and supply chain and all the things. It can also feel really confusing to know what to do next in our business because we think, well, I’d like more sales and business seems slow and I don’t know how to get people to move forward.

But also the marketing that was working a few months ago or a year ago, the selling that was working a few months ago or a year ago doesn’t seem to be working right now. And that would make sense. If you think about it, if the consumer isn’t interested in spending on design right now or maybe they’re interested but they can’t afford it because they feel that we either are in a recession or at least the economy is soft and they don’t have the cash flow.

And it’s just expensive in general to live as a human being right now and you’ve even heard me say that lots of us live at the edge of our means, which I think is very true. But whether or not any of that is true, it is just expensive to exist in the world right now. And interior design and home furnishings and sofas and things are all expensive. And all the marketing in the world won’t convert a client, especially a higher end, higher ticket client for higher priced services if they can’t afford it or aren’t interested in spending money. So interior design is not cheap. We have to be real about that.

And we do have to sometimes get scrappy and savvy and find new things to do when we find ourselves up against the economy in an industry that often feels like a luxury for a lot of people. So I’m not here to be a fear monger. This is not to terrify you. You’ve already heard this. Now, it does sometimes scare you when someone that you trust, confirm some things for you. But I’m less of a fear monger, more of a truth teller because I believe when we know the truth and when we face the truth, we’re more in a position to do something about our future.

So we look at what’s happening, if marketing isn’t working and that’s not to say you should stop marketing or give up just because something’s not working but we should take a look at it. And at the very least, we should still be showing up because if we quit, if we hide, if we’re afraid of the economy and we shut down, there’s no chance that people are going to think about us, to hire us. But if at least we’re still showing up, the odds of getting a client are better than if you’re not showing up and being seen, if they’ve forgotten you, if you’re not top of mind, because you’re not on social media or sending an email.

So yeah, what about marketing? We don’t know. We’ve got to try things. We’ve got to experiment. We’ve got to shake it up. We’ve got to do things differently. Also what if our higher priced offers and packages aren’t selling right now, what else can we do? You’ve got to ask yourself, how can I get creative? How can I meet people where they are? What does the consumer want or need from me right now?

Because if their funds are tight, which a lot of people’s are, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped thinking about their home. That doesn’t mean they’ve stopped wishing that their living room were updated or that things were functioning better. That doesn’t mean they’ve stopped dreaming about what is possible in their space and what they’d like to do. They’re still scouring Instagram and Pinterest looking for inspiration and ideas. They just may not have a big chunk of money that we would typically need to do a big design project, but what else could we do for them?

And how else can we show up through our marketing and social media and help these people do something when their finances are tight? Now, the hard part about us showing up as designers and business owners, when it feels like nothing’s working. And feels like you’re worrying about money is that it can be almost impossible for us to park those feelings of fear and dread and then go put on a happy face and pitch ourselves via social media or come up with a new revenue stream idea or think about how can I meet those clients where they are? What could I do for them?

What would I be willing to do? How would I charge for that? Those things seem to stay at arm’s length from us because we’re worrying and we’re in fear. We’re not in innovation or inspiration or motivation. So fear and worry are innovation blockers. They keep you from coming up with the ideas and pivoting, fight or flight, which comes from those same sources of fear. It has a way of shutting down our creativity. It has a way of shutting down our confidence. It definitely shuts down our ideas, our innovation.

And you really do need to be selling right now, you know you do. But these kinds of thoughts and feelings that you’re having, don’t let you show up. You’ll talk yourself out of showing up time and again because you don’t feel like it. And I get it, but we want to use our own tools, our own personal power to overcome or at least temporarily park our fears and our worries and concerns. So at the very least, we can have moments, we can have glimmers of inspiration and ideas that are going to move us forward. So we don’t have to stay feeling so stuck.

So in those moments of I don’t feel like it, those moments that are the very moments we need to be showing up the most. What are we going to do to shift out of fear, to shift out of worry, to shift out of the telling ourselves all the things that aren’t working and start focusing on something new that might? Last week I talked a little bit about this in the podcast. I talked about finding inspiration and getting a reason to get excited again when things feel hard or when you’re in a transition.

And really this topic is no different. You might have things feeling hard simply because of things completely out of your control like the economy. But you can use those same tools, those same ideas to move towards inspiration, which is going to help you innovate in ways that you can’t imagine. So we have to use the tools to park our worries and fears at least temporarily and tap into our genius, tap into our strengths, tap into our joy, tap into our imagination and all the possibilities that are truly right in front of us.

My favorite tool for that is my journal. Get all the scaries, as I call them, out on paper. You know how you feel like the Sunday scaries? Well, these are the business scaries or the recession scaries. And they’re in your head all the time and you have to get them out of your brain and onto paper to make some space for the possibilities. It’s like cleaning out a closet, clean out all those old scary thoughts, put them on paper. Even if they come back later, it’s fine, make yourself a little room to move towards the possibilities.

In a recession or a soft economy, there are still so many possibilities. Many, many, many businesses were built in the last recession, including Uber and Netflix, two of the things that we find amazing and innovative right now. My consulting business, the reason I’m here giving you business advice right now, was born out of the 08/09 recession because I was asking myself, what can I do for people? What are people always asking from me? But I had to at least temporarily park the scaries onto paper to make room for the ideas.

And when I really did that, I could come to the answer, the answer of what it was people were always asking me to do. They were always asking, “How did you get published in that national magazine? How do you charge for your services? How do you deal with difficult clients? How do you get clients to work with your team and not just want to work with you all the time? How do you find bigger and better clients with bigger and better budgets? How do you do your design work and your design process? And how can I even be a better decorator? Can I come watch you and shadow you and be a fly on the wall and learn to use color like you?”

And literally they were asking me so many questions. They were saying things like, “I don’t have a degree in design. Can I learn that from you? I don’t have an accounting degree or an MBA. Can I learn business from you? Can you teach me what you know?” And the answer was that yes, absolutely yes. There it was right in front of me, a huge opportunity to help other designers. And I started with design camps on decorating and design camps on decorating that instantly turned into people asking me about business and PR and getting published and all the things.

And now 15 years later, with 15 years of coaching designers under my belt, I can look back and be grateful that I didn’t ignore those ideas. That I parked my fears and made space for me to get excited about an opportunity. And then I took action on it. And that’s what you can do also right now. You all, there is opportunity all around you at this very moment.

I was just talking to a private client through this exercise earlier this week, the exercise of design thinking, of white boxing ideas to see what she hadn’t thought of yet. And the first rule of design thinking is that you have to park your biases. You have to suspend your biases and fears and worries and attachments at least temporarily in order to tap into possibility. You have to be willing to even as what I call and what people in the coaching industry call, burn it all down, burn down everything you’ve built to build the next thing.

You have to be willing to walk away from the current situation to step into the new one. And I can really see why a lot of people don’t do this because it can be the hardest part. We often are so attached to the things we’ve built, the business we have built as our baby. We feel an attachment and an obligation to it even when it’s not working anymore or at least when it’s starting to work in a different way. We feel an attachment to the whole thing, to the clients, to the customers, to the team members, and I get that and I love it and it’s sentimental.

But to innovate, you have to at least temporarily detach from those things. And I was saying this to the client and I’ve said it to many other people before. You can’t set sail and keep one foot on the dock, meaning you can’t be so attached to your current services, your current team, your current ideas, your current clients that they keep you from imagining the next version of you or the next version of your business, the one that would have you setting sail.

Companies that truly innovate like Apple weren’t so attached to the previous technology that they couldn’t see the possibilities of the iPhone or the just the laptop to begin with. Back in the day, we know there had to have been a time where the people who were the best in the horse and buggy business, if they were still attached to the horse and buggy then they probably withered on the vine while other people leapt into the automobile industry. Because you had to take your foot off the dock to step into the future, to sail into the future.

So I want you to look right now, where are you holding on to old ideas? Where are you being attached to old ways of doing things? Where are you being attached to your business and your team and afraid that you can’t make changes because it might cause you to make a change in a team member? I’ve told every single one of the people that I’ve coached about laying off team members in the last six weeks, which is really hard by the way, you all. I mean coaching them is hard. Being the person laying someone off is terrible, it feels awful.

But I’ve told them that this could be, it may be the first step in the new version of their business or of them. It may be their entryway into having a smaller team or filling gaps with technology or more outsourcing. It may be a period where they operate small and nimble and get scrappy, that turns into a genius move, that keeps them ahead of the curve while the design industry is continuing to change.

And in a few years it’ll look like that they were so smart to have done that when they did this because now they can be nimble and in a few years they might be running mostly on tech or AI or things we can’t even imagine at this moment. But they will be doing things differently. So we have to keep perspective. I ask people in these moments to imagine the opposite of what they have known, at least temporarily, at least on paper, at least for the purposes of design thinking and white boxing.

You don’t even have to make changes yet, you don’t even have to lay anybody off yet. But you have to at least be willing to imagine that sort of, as I would say, ‘burning it all down’. So that you can build it again or build it differently or build something else entirely differently but build something new. And that feels scary as hell, you all.

The thing that holds most businesses back that I see, especially businesses who have been in business for 10 years or 20 years or longer, is that we lose that part of us that was scrappy and excited when we were new to business and willing to do anything. And that’s the kind of energy we have to have when we’re in the burn it down kind of approach. If I burn this all to the ground, not figurative, I mean, yes, figuratively, not literally. We’re not striking a match. We could get in trouble for that. It’s called insurance fraud, probably.

But if in theory we were burning it all to the ground and starting fresh right now with what we know today, with the wisdom we have today, with the experience we have today, with the way the economy is today, with the way technology is today, what would we do differently? That is the part of us that back then in the early days of our business felt like we had nothing to lose and we were willing to do anything and try anything and imagine anything. And we’d lose all of those skills along the way when we get entrenched and attached to the thing we’ve built and we want things to stay how they are and we love certainty.

And that is not the skill we need when it’s time to innovate. So just imagine all these young designers who are coming into the industry now or will even in a few years from now, maybe they’re not even in it yet. They won’t be terrified like a lot of us are of AI replacing them. They’ll only know a design world where AI is part of their day-to-day. They won’t be afraid to consider things like not procuring product from people because they have only known a business that is design only from day one.

They won’t be afraid to show up like an influencer in their businesses because that’s all they’ve known their entire childhood is an internet and a world where people show up in that way. That’s how things will have been done from day one for them. That is what they will have been taught when they entered the design world. They will have that nothing to lose, open to everything mentality that a lot of us have lost over the years.

In other words, they won’t be dinosaurs. The dinosaurs that a lot of us tend to be or become overtime as we get attached to our ways of doing things and attached to what was working. And attached to what we’ve built and attached to a vision that we had that maybe needs to be rewritten now because it might not even be working anymore, but we’re still attached to it.

You all, I spent the last four years about, building the most amazing team and a fantastic company culture. And I can literally write a textbook on how to do that now. And I’m so glad that I am able to and that I did that and I learned what I learned and we had grown our team to seven amazing people. And have done so much work in diversity and equity and justice and inclusion and all of the things. And now, in the last three to four months, we are down to three people, three people. Four people are no longer on our team.

One left to go back to sales in the spring. She wasn’t a designer and she came from the sales industry and she had gotten certified as a coach and I had her coaching in one of my programs and she’s like, “You know what? I think I’m going back to sales. I think there’s more money there. I’m going back there.” I completely understand that. So she left.

Another team member left to have more flexibility recently because she has grandkids now and she wants to work on her own terms again. She used to have her own business. And then she came and worked for me and loved it. And then she was like, “You know what? Since I came to work with you, my kids have started having babies, and I want to be able to keep them in the middle of the day if I feel like it or not, work at all.” Makes sense. I get it.

Another one was like, “You know what? I love you. I’ve been here for a while. It’s been amazing. Thanks for the ride. I don’t like working from home anymore. I’m not feeling it.” The pandemic made so many of us love the idea of working from home at first because we’d been trekking to the office for years and commuting and it felt hard and we missed our kids and our pets and all the things. But now after a few years of working from home, working from home feels hard.

And there’s a whole group of people starting to say, “I need to go back to work. I need an office. This is not good for my mental health to work alone all day. Even if I have Zoom, I need to be connected to people in person. I need a reason to get up every day and get dressed and real interactions.” And so one person left for that and that makes so much sense to me. I think we’re going to see that trending a lot more.

I tried to hire a few people to replace some of these people and I heard that more than once, “Hey, I’d love to work with you, Tobi, but I don’t think I’m cut out for work from home after all. It’s not good for my mental health.” So you all, just because I built something and took four years to build it and it has been amazing and I learned so much about team and culture and diversity and hiring and managing and growth. Does not mean that now that things have changed again that I have to be sad or close my mind to the possibilities or just rehire those people and keep going, which I could do.

I could replace the people that left and just keep rolling or I could also use this as an opportunity to say, “What does this make possible? Do I want to do anything differently again? Do I want to consider being smaller? Did I like being the size that we were? What were the pros of that? What were the cons of that? What are the pros of being a smaller firm again? Do I want to consider offering any different services or letting go of anything we currently offer? Is there anything I’m excited to do or create that letting go of something else that we currently do might make room for?

Is there anything that we’re currently selling or trying to sell that the consumer or the public doesn’t really seem to want right now? Are there things the consumer does want and is asking for that we’re not currently making? Could we start making those or doing those?” And the answer to every one of these questions is yes. Yes, there is an opportunity and change to do all of these if I want to. There are definitely things people are asking for that we haven’t made or done yet.

There are things we’ve sold that kind of seem to have run their course that people loved and now kind of don’t want so much. There are things that are still wildly popular that we’re selling that I’m sort of tired of personally and they’re not going to want it to go away, but maybe I do. And so there are things to be explored that I haven’t even thought of yet. There are things to build that I don’t even have the idea for yet.

Are we in a recession? Who knows? A lot of days and to a lot of firms it feels like it. But the world is also ripe with possibility and opportunity as many as ever, really, maybe more. And so here is a time that I think we are being called, I feel like I am, I think you probably are too, called to show up and step up and step out of your comfort zone and innovate and imagine and get curious and create.

It’s the time that you could park those worries that are shutting you down even for an hour or an afternoon and white box some new ideas and some new possibilities and some new things to get excited about like we talked about last week. And if you want to be really brave, really, really brave, be willing to consider even if it’s just on the pages of your journal, what it would look like to walk away from what you’ve built or turn it on its head or burn it down figuratively, not literally. Don’t strike a match. Don’t get in trouble.

But burn it down in theory, the way it exists today and build something different in its place. If you have the courage to even look at all the possibilities from all the angles, it will change you, I believe, for the better. It will get you unattached. It will get you out of a rut. It will move you forward. Whether it moves you all the way to the goal you were hoping or the money that you’re looking for in the short run, we don’t know. But I can promise you, it’s going to move you closer to it than staying in worry and fear and attachment.

At the very least, it will spark something that you can dream about instead of spending all your energy and worry and fear. And that, my friends, is priceless. Being in business is hard. Being an entrepreneur is hard. Being a designer is hard. It’s all hard, it always will be but finding moments in and around the hard for excitement and inspiration is the reason we started this in the first place, that feeling of being inspired, of seeing a vision and wanting to create it. You all, that’s what I want you to tap into. It is gold. It feels so good.

So what would it take for you to tap back into that part of you that was there early in your business, the curiosity, the excitement that I have nothing to lose courage from those early days? Because I believe that’s the exact energy we need right now. It’s the one that is so built on possibility and curiosity, whether we’re in a recession or not right now. Who cares? You need to tap into that. Get curious. Be willing to imagine anything and everything.

Be willing to walk away from anything and everything just to see what you might find on the other side. And you don’t even have to physically, again walk away from it all yet, just do it on paper at first. Are you with me? Are you willing to do this? Will you have the courage to do that, you all? Because if you do, it is going to be amazing. You’re going to love it. It’s going to spark something in you. So go make that happen.

And if you want my help, let me know. DM me, tell me all the things. And if you want my help just showing up in a bigger way, I’ve got something for you for that for sure. If you want to take all these white box sessions that you dream up while you’re parking your fears and then you want to turn them into something and show up and tell the world about it. You’re going to like my latest workshop series.

So you just actually recently might have missed or maybe you were one of the people who we loved being a part of our three part revenue stream series because the people that were in it absolutely loved it and I loved it too. Let’s just be honest. It was great. If you didn’t take it, you still can. All the recordings are available at, so you can still get them.

But at the end of that series and I could really see that not only was it effective, not only was it exciting, not only were people so engaged and loving it and feeling like it was gold. I could tell that there was something about this format, this short three part workshop series where we spend about 90 minutes at a time together. And then come back a week or two or three later and do it again. I found that you’re loving that format and so am I. They’re short. They’re to the point. We’re covering a specific thing.

It’s so different than a whole year of coaching or a whole year of being in one of my programs. And not that it’s necessarily better, but in this moment in our industry and life in the economy, it feels really helpful. It feels actionable, it feels doable. And so I could tell that was the case. I could feel it in the energy in the room, in the Zoom room each week when we came together. But I also learned a lot of other things that you want a workshop on. So let’s go.

Let’s go do some more workshops. I’m ready. I’m here for it. It’s fun. And we’re starting with the very next one that I’m hosting and it’s about social media. A three part series that’s going to help you get social. And I want to teach you all the things you want to know because what you said, those of you that were in the revenue stream workshop series, at the end you said, “We want to know about social, Tobi, teach us how to show up especially when we don’t want to. Teach us how to not judge ourselves so critically so that we won’t let ourselves be seen by the world.

Teach us the how-to’s and the tech pieces of making a reel or editing a video on CapCut or posting a TikTok. Teach us how to think about our content and our captions. Help us know what we should be posting to be best connected with the people out there and move them to buy from us or to follow us. Help us know where we should spend our time and how often we should be there and what we should say and all the things that you need to, as we’re calling it, hashtag get social.”

Because you know enough to know that social media isn’t really optional for a business anymore in 2023. And when you’re looking around and thinking my pipeline is not full or I haven’t gotten a new client lately or those small design jobs are kind of not coming anymore. I wonder what would happen if I showed up differently on social media? And the answer is, you won’t know until you show up. There’s a good chance it would change something but you’ve got to be willing to show up.

And so many of you have so many thoughts keeping you from showing up like I don’t have any new to show. And I haven’t photographed anything since COVID. And I don’t have a big audience so no one is listening. And I don’t even know what to say. And I don’t know how to relate to or convince someone to buy from me. And I don’t want to feel dumb or look dumb or waste time. And why would anybody want to hear from me? Because there’s so many other big people with bigger followings already saying some of these things, and it’s probably already been said or done.

And I’m not tech savvy and I’m not dancing on a reel, Tobi”, as if that’s the only thing that a reel is, is dancing or lip syncing. I’m not good on video. The list goes on and on and on and I hear it all the time. I don’t have time for it, all the things. And there’s so many more thoughts just like that that are keeping you from showing up. So we’re going to do this together. We’re going to get social.

We’re going to teach you how to show up, when and where to show up, the tech piece, whether you should be on IG or TikTok or if you should blog again. Or if you never did, if you should start blogging or be on a podcast. If you need to have an Instagram bot strategy, if you even know what that is and how to make it happen. We’re going to teach you all that stuff. And when I say we, it’s my team and me because they help me create these amazing things and sometimes they even show up and teach on them too.

But collectively, I’m going to guide you with some help from team Tobi to get social. So if you’re ready to sign up for this next three part workshop series, that we’re keeping the price super affordable just like the last one. Then go to for all the details on this three part series. I can’t wait to see you in there. We’re going to have so many things for you to learn.

We’re going to have some exciting bonuses for this three part series, one of which is we’re going to include a lot of tools and templates this time, social media templates, mindset templates, all the things that we use to help ourselves show up. We’re going to have those polished up and looking pretty and we’re going to give them to you as part of the package when you buy the three part series this time.

And that’s because we’re also currently working on the option for you to buy a lot of our business templates because you’ve been asking for those too for a long time and I haven’t slowed down and made them. So now we’re making them. We’re finally delivering on that promise to you that I’ve had for three years now. We’re going to have all sorts of templates and assets and things that you can use in your business to buy straight from us. But we’re also going to bundle some of those and some of the workshops that we have coming up, so amazing, so good.

So if you’re ready to get social with us in our three part series, go to and sign up. It’s a workshop series you do not want to miss, just like the last time you didn’t want to miss revenue streams, if you didn’t take it, go take it. It’s going to spark some ideas for you right now. And you can follow it up with get social coming in October but you’ve got to sign up now. October is almost here, you all, hard to believe. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a game changer and I can’t wait to get social with you.

Okay, that’s what I have for you for now. I hope this episode was helpful, was effective, was maybe even validating, including if it validated some of your fears. At least maybe it will move you off of being stuck and move you forward and that’s what I’m here for. Alright, friends, let me know, send me a DM, sign up for get social. Let’s do this. See you next week, bye for now.

Thank you for listening to The Design You Podcast. And if you want to discover a new path to success in the interior design industry, then join me for my three part training called How to Create Additional Revenue Streams. In this training I’ll teach you the strategies to launch innovative income streams and free you from the limitations of traditional design services.

Don’t miss this opportunity to revolutionize your business and thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Grab the training series now to prepare you and your business for today and beyond. Go to

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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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