You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 193.
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. What is happening? How are you? Are you ready to have some fun today? I hope so or at least I hope this episode’s fun for you. It’s really fun for me. So in today’s episode I’m going to reveal some things about me that you may not know. I’m going to share with you some of the ways I’ve changed and evolved and how I really show up in the world. And I’m going to share with you some things about me that might be funny, or weird, or scary, or awesome, or even a turnoff. Sounds pretty interesting, right?
So why this topic for a Design You episode? Well, I was thinking about the fact that the doors are about to open to my Millionaire Mentorship year long program. And it’s the one where I help designers who are currently running six figure, multiple six figure probably businesses. And they want to create a structure for their business that can support seven figures and beyond in a sustainable and conscious way.
So as I’m thinking about this program and launch and even my Design You program which will be opening again in a few months or so. I think about myself in the role of mentor, or guide, or even teacher, however you think of me if you’re listening to this podcast or if you’re in one of my programs. And because I show up in that role in my day-to-day, in fact it’s one of my favorite roles I think that it’s important for people to really know more about me and the real me, and how I show up, and what I believe, and what I do for fun, and what I think is funny and all the things.
And so I’ve been showing up a lot more honestly in social media and publicly in the world the last couple of years. But there’s still some stuff you may not know about me that I want to share here. So let’s talk about what really makes me tick. Because if I’m investing in a program like you might want to in my programs, to the tune of multiple thousands of dollars. Because both of our programs are that, in fact the Millionaire Mentorship program is expensive. It’s more than a $1,000 a month to be part of this program.
And so if you’re going to invest at that level then I want you to know for sure that I am the right mentor for you. So in today’s episode we’re going to talk about the things that relate to business but also some things that don’t relate to business, some things that I’m excited to tell you and other things that might make me uncomfortable but we’re going there so let’s get started.
Okay, so first let me say I have changed and I am changing. I love growth and learning but I used to approach it more from a lens of what are all the things that are wrong with me that I need to fix. Not anymore, maybe that’s because I’m almost 50. But now I would say my growth is as much about unlearning as it is learning. So I spent the last two years learning and unlearning into being as honest and real publicly as I have been in my private life for a long time. So I stopped hiding parts of me essentially.
From the time I was in college or shortly after I stepped into the world on the, what I would call the cultural treadmill, the cultural expectations treadmill, that patriarchal path to ‘success’ that the world told me I should be on. And I spent the next 25 to 30 years literally killing myself to succeed on a path that wasn’t really of my own design. The world designed it for me and I just followed it and that’s true for most of us. I had no idea there was even another path. Well, actually that’s not true.
I thought there was another path but I thought it was the one that was not about success. So in my binary thinking I was like there’s a successful path and there is the non-successful path. We definitely want to be on the successful path, not the one that is about not fulfilling my potential. But boy was I wrong. Boy was I wrong, or girl was I wrong. Why do I even have to be gendered here? I was freaking wrong. There was a whole world of possibilities out there of how to define and achieve success and I didn’t really know it.
And it took me until really almost now, one month from turning 50 to land in the place where I’m fully leaning into what is really right for me. And wow, am I glad I did it? Now, I didn’t just flip a switch, it’s been an evolution for sure. But I feel like I am truly in that place of authentically showing up as me.
So one thing that I recently learned about myself that was really helpful was using the book called Spark by Jonathan Fields. And this book is a companion to a quiz he has that helps you find your zone of genius. In fact it helps you find your zone, your zone of genius which I think he calls your primary Spark type. And also your secondary zone which he calls your shadow type and your anti type or anti zone which is the thing that drains you the most in life. But it’s not necessarily meaning you’re not good at it, it’s just when you have to do it it’s more draining and fatiguing to you.
So now let me first preface this when I get into this by saying I suggest people take books, or quizzes, or personality type tests like this in the way that serve you most. And we’re going to talk about a few different of these tests today. And if they give you insight or guidance then fantastic. But I never recommend taking personality quizzes or other insightful things like this in too much of a rigid way or getting upset when they don’t align perfectly, or when they make you feel less than, or any of that stuff. So the purpose is not to weaponize these against us.
But if they help you then great. And a lot of them really do help me. So not to make this an episode about the Spark type, or the Enneagram, or the Myers-Briggs, or the human design test in particular, though I’m going to talk about all of those. This is just showing you insight into me because taking the Spark type test really helped me better articulate a few things about myself. So just to give you a little insight on the Spark test. There’s 10 Spark types including the advisor, the sage, the scientist, the nurturer, the performer, the maven, the maker, the warrior, the essentialist and the advocate.
And if you want to know more you can go to Sparktype.com. I’m not affiliated with any of these tests, I just really like them. But the reason I’m telling you this is because after learning my own type I really stopped trying to be a lot of things that I thought I was supposed to be. And I completely leaned into my zone of genius. And you’ve heard me talk about zone of genius. You’ve heard a lot of other people talk about it. And I love that there’s this test that might possibly, might not, depends on every person but for you it might give you some insight into your zone.
So I always say, if you do these tests like the Enneagram or whatever and they really resonate with you, then amazing, if not, okay, no big deal. So I personally have never felt so seen as when hearing about and agreeing to where my genius lies. And it was liberating for me like so many things have been over the past few years. So why am I telling you all this? Well, because if I didn’t really even know how to articulate my genius myself then I doubt you probably know where my greatest strengths or gifts lie either.
And while all of this have some of all the Spark types in us because I resonated with every type at some level. I bet you would have guessed that I was maybe either the maker, hello interior designer, or creative entrepreneur, those who make things or create ideas. So you might have thought I was the maker. Or maybe you would have thought I was the advisor, which is the perfect zone for a life coach or any of those who want to mentor people.
Or maybe you would have even thought I was the warrior, that great big leader that gathers people together and makes things happen. And I might have thought I was all of those too. But guess what? None of those are my type. Instead my primary Spark type is the scientist. That’s right, I’m the scientist. And the scientist is the person who spends their time and energy solving the world’s, or your industry, or your personal life’s biggest problems. The scientist loves the big, gigantic problems. And after learning and reading about this type it rings so crazy true for me.
So the scientist gets excited when presented with a difficult burning problem to figure out. Even if it takes a lot of time to puzzle through, scientists don’t mind putting in the effort to get answers. So that comes from the Spark type website. And that is 100% me, you all. I live to think deeply and solve problems, and write about them, and get it on paper. And my shadow type or secondary type is called the maven. And what’s the maven? Well, the maven lives to learn, learning everything.
So here’s what the website says, the maven gets super excited by acquiring more knowledge. Mavens don’t even have to apply what they learn to be happy. The experience of learning itself energizes them. So maybe this is why I literally read 40 to 50 books a year, it’s for sure why. I listen to podcasts, and webinars, and seminars, and certifications, and anything else that I can get my little love of learning hands on. So why should my zone of genius matter to you?
Well, first, by the way, let me interrupt myself. By the way, my team took the test too and we cover all the bases except one. So we have more than one advisor. We have a warrior. We have multiple nurturers. We have a maker. We have an essentialist. We have a sage. We have multiple performers, I think. I think the only type we don’t cover yet on our team is the advocate. And we’re still growing our team and so we’ll probably have an advocate soon.
So why should you care about my zone of genius? Well, specifically how and why my Spark type combination of scientist and maven helps those I mentor is one of the reasons you might want to care. So primarily the reason that it matters is because I will spend literally every waking and some that I should be sleeping moments finding solutions to the big problems. So those big problems in my business that maybe you can learn from how I solve them, those big problems in your business that I tackle with you. And the big problems in our industry and in our world.
I am your girl who is sitting around thinking about those all the time. And my maven subtype which is that ridiculous love of learning means that all the time that I’m not problem solving I am learning. And even when I am problem solving, I’m learning. But I’m learning, and studying, and reading. My friends literally say that I will skip girls night out to watch a webinar. And that’s not a lie because it’s actually happened, once in New York some of my friends went out to dinner and I was like, “I’m just going to get room service and watch this webinar”, no lie.
I have read 41 books I think this year. And I’ve listened to countless podcasts. I’ve read articles. I’m enrolled in two certifications, one for equity centered leadership in coaching right now and one that I’m starting soon for feminist coaching but I’m always learning. So if you don’t want to, or don’t like to, or don’t have time to, or don’t know how to solve your biggest problems, or learn and read you definitely want me in your corner. And I love making sure that people get this about me.
I already knew it about myself at some level obviously, we all do and I’m pretty self-aware. But the Spark type assessment helped me give it a name which was so fun. And I’ve said for years, if I could just get paid to sit around and think, and read, and come up with answers to big hard questions 24/7 and get paid for it that would be my dream job. And you notice I didn’t say, get paid to pick out pretty fabrics every day which is actually fun and I do love. But this truly articulates me perfectly and the test helped me do that.
So what else does this mean for me and people really understanding me? Well, I think it reframes a bit how and why I’m an interior designer and why I do a lot less design than I did earlier in my career. So one thing about the scientist type is that once they solve a big problem, they’re kind of bored with it and ready to tackle a different big problem.
So doing the same thing over and over again isn’t really in our wheelhouse. And I would say that helps me understand why in many ways I’ve gotten really bored with doing residential design in the same way over and over. Not that I pick the same thing but the same process or concept. So I’m really good at figuring out the process, I figured it out, we wrote it, we made it work, it’s in my program, you can learn it too. But for me now that that’s done, I’m not so energized by it all the time.
Now, if something unusual comes up, if an unusual project or something with a really big challenge, yes, I still get really excited. But just doing another luxury amazing, beautiful home which are amazing, and I’m glad people want to do them but it just doesn’t really light me up anymore. And that kind of feels scary and liberating to say out loud. When my new website launches in a few weeks I can’t wait for you to see how we talk about what kind of creative projects I take on. Because it does not just say, hire me for your design project.
It is so cool and such an authentic way to talk about my approach to my zone of genius. And I cannot wait for you to see it. So I know, I don’t like to do the teaser thing because I hate surprises. But you will see it really soon and it’s so cool. And it ensures that I’m only working on things that really truly light me up. I’ve said so many times, yes, I love designing homes but what I really love is designing businesses because solving the hard business challenges are so life changing, not only for the CEOs but their families, their team members, their team members’ families, their clients.
And I feel like I can have so much more impact on the world using my gifts in this way. So yeah, I’m not the maker, or the advisor, but I’m the scientist. And I’ve always fancied myself a nerd and now I have the moniker to prove it. Okay, so what else about me?
Well, in case you’re interested in other personality tests and descriptions of me maybe you know more about them because you don’t know the Spark type test yet. For what it’s worth, I am an eight on the Enneagram and we’re going to get onto that in a second. And I’m an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs which is called the commander. The eight is called the challenger and the ENTJ is called the commander. So both my Enneagram and my Myers-Briggs show that I’m pretty much a powerhouse.
And in times of stress or in lack of self-awareness, which I try to avoid both but both come in sometimes. My types tend to fall into ego, anger or aggressiveness hence the constant desire that I have for personal development, to lean into the best qualities of my personalities and avoid as much as possible what happens when stress, or disintegration, or lack of self-awareness appear. So I have matured a lot over the years. I have become way less aggressive, thankfully, way less angry. But it all makes sense to me now knowing these are my types.
So of course this is true for all of us. We all have our healthy side and version of us, our unhealthy side. And it’s not like we ever grow the unhealthy, it could pop up at any moment if these circumstances that support it, kind of that perfect storm comes up. And some of us move in and out. Well, most of us really move in and out of healthy and unhealthy, maybe you call it your shadow side, kind of at any given moment. But the goal for me is to stay more in that healthy self-aware place. And I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress which I really love.
So let’s break down first my Myers-Briggs and then we’ll come back to the Enneagram. So according to 16personalities.com which is one of my favorite websites for Myers-Briggs, this is how they define the commander which is me. So commanders are natural-born leaders. People who embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. However, this is the however part, this is interesting though.
Commanders are also characterized by a ruthless level of rationality. It’s interesting to use the description ruthless with rationality. So commanders are characterized by a ruthless rationality using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they set for themselves. So that basically just means I’m crazy, hella persistent to get things done, super driven, very true.
Then it says, perhaps it’s best that the commanders make up only 3% of the population, because it says, lest they overwhelm the more timid and sensitive personality types that make up much of the rest of the world. But we have commanders to thank for many of the business and institutions we take for granted today. So powerhouse with the shadow side.
So it says, if there’s anything commanders love, it’s a good challenge, big or small. Kind of resonates with my scientist. And they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the commander personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders.
That’s why I said you want me in your corner because I am tenacious and I believe we can solve the gigantic problems and I will not rest until we do. So this determination it says is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, because commanders push their goals through with sheer willpower where others might give up or move on, and their extraverted nature means they are likely to push everyone else right along with them, achieving spectacular results in the process. So I do love that. I do love to push the people I work with.
Now, if you don’t want to be pushed, I’m not your girl. But if you are like, “Yes, I want to be pushed. I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to think in ways I’ve never thought before. I want to go to the scary place and all in the, whatever, the means to the end of growth and progress.” If that’s you, you definitely would work well with a commander. So the site goes on to say commanders personalities have a particular skill in recognizing the talents of other people. I love this.
I think my Enneagram also says this too. I absolutely love this because I do love seeing the talents in other people. And so it talks about how it helps me build a great team. But I also think this really helps me when working with other entrepreneurs because I see your talents and your strengths often when you don’t see them, or you’re not willing yet to admit them, or it feels uncomfortable and kind of, I don’t know, overconfident to believe in yourself. And I often say, “I believe in you until you can believe in yourself.” So that’s one of my favorite things to do.
The site goes on to say too, a few more things, not to just read this to you. You can go read it yourself but commanders are true powerhouses, they cultivate an image of larger than life because they often are. I love this, it’s my favorite part, especially with the team I’ve built recently, they need to remember though, that their stature comes not just from their own actions, but from the actions of the team that props them up, and that it’s important to recognize the contributions, talents and needs, especially from an emotional perspective, of their support network.
So this is one of the things, if you’ve heard my recent episodes on culture and team, I would say this is one of my biggest areas of growth. When I was in my 20s or 30s, no. Was more about me, more individualistic. I didn’t acknowledge my team as much as I should, was harder on my team. So thankfully maturity has come with my almost 50 years. And this is one of my favorite things now is to lean into and love on the people that support the work that I do.
So if commanders are able to combine an emotionally healthy focus alongside their strengths, they will be rewarded with deep, satisfying relationships and all the challenging victories they can handle. And I will say this is true for me now but it was not always true. Okay, so that’s my Myers-Briggs. Now let’s talk about my Enneagram because it crosses over with this quite a bit and you can already see where the Spark type does.
So you can kind of start to know and understand and this would be true for you I hope too. That when you know all of this stuff, if it feels resonant with you, it feels right it starts to sort of weave together more self-awareness about you. So in case you don’t know, the Enneagram categorizes personality types based on how people perceive and respond to the world and information they gather as well as their own emotions. So it’s the external and the internal. It grew out of a religious source but you don’t have to be religious to benefit from the Enneagram in my opinion.
Okay, so in brief, in short, a type eight, this is what they say about type eights. Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, I would say that’s true, decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. That’s the shadow side we have to watch out for. So eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. And I would say the younger me was much more that but it can come out. Let’s just be honest.
I can be intimidating so that’s something to know about me. I think I’m nice though. And you’ll learn more about me later. I really do like to have fun and I’m sillier than you think. So eights typically have problems with their tempers, which I have had in the past for sure, control it most of the time now. And here’s the biggest thing that rings more true to me than my temper. Eights have trouble allowing themselves to be vulnerable. So thank God for the work of Brené Brown. I’m just about to start her latest book that came out this week or last week by the time you’re hearing this.
And my willingness and my work on learning to be vulnerable, or unlearning, protecting myself and putting up walls has been some of my greatest and most important work. So at their best, Enneagram eights are self-mastering and they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring. I don’t know if I’m heroic but I definitely like to use my strengths to help improve others’ lives. The Enneagram eight with a seven wing is what I have.
If you get into Enneagram you’ll learn about wings, it’s called the maverick. And you could probably see a little maverick in me, even just right now pushing the envelope on things. And you’ll hear what challenges me and what lights me up in a minute. So other examples of Enneagram eights, just to give you some examples in the world, both men and women. Although the women are way more rare and the Enneagram eight woman is called the most misunderstood person on the Enneagram. But here’s some examples of Enneagram eights.
Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King, although I’ve also heard he was a two on some test. But eights in their healthy version move towards an Enneagram two and become much more loving and nurturing. So maybe that’s why he’s listed on the eight. Also Lyndon Johnson, Mikhail Gorbachev, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Senator John McCain, Donald Trump, to my chagrin. Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Serena Williams, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, Pink, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Roseanne Barr and Barbara Walters.
So lots of big personality types there, some you may love, some you may hate depending on your politics or the celebrities you like but really interesting. Okay, so this is something I found interesting and I liked it honestly, because don’t we love when we hear more positive than negative? I like this a little more when I learned this about the term, the challenger. Because the term, the challenger can feel a little negative to me.
And I always thought it just meant because you were aggressive but this was fun to learn about the Enneagram. That type eight is nicknamed the challenger because of all the types. Eights enjoy taking on challenges themselves as well as giving others opportunities that challenge them to exceed themselves in some way. That I have never heard before. I need to find the source because I found it online and I don’t have it right here to quote but I’ll make sure it’s in the show notes. But that helped me understand the nickname, the challenger a little more.
And it says eights are charismatic and they have all the physical and psychological capabilities to persuade others to follow them into all kinds of endeavors, from starting a company, to rebuilding a city, to running a household, to waging war, to making peace. So really interesting. Eights have enormous willpower and vitality, and they feel most alive when they are exercising these capabilities or capacities in the world. Again, sounds a lot like the scientist.
And they use their abundant energy to effect changes in their environment, to leave a mark on it but also to keep the environment, and especially other people, from hurting them or hurting those they care about. At an early age, eights understand that this requires strength, will, persistence, and endurance, qualities that they develop in themselves and which they look for in others. I would say all of this feels so true to me.
And it says although that eights usually are aware of what other people think of them, they do not let the opinions of others sway them. They go about their business with a steely determination that can be awe inspiring, even intimidating to others. So I can see how that could be intimidating. I love how it’s inspiring as well though because I talk a lot about quotes and sayings, which are not my quotes, other people’s quotes that I love, things like what other people think of you is none of your business. But I know this is something that a lot of people really truly struggle with.
So I like knowing that one of my strengths is to not let what other people think about me stop me. And I think that that’s something that I can help sort of break down and help you understand how that might really come into play for you. This site that I’m reading from which I will get you the source for goes on to say.
When eights are emotionally healthy, they have a resourceful, can-do attitude as well as a steady inner drive. They take the initiative and make things happen with great passion for life. They are honorable and authoritative, natural leaders who have a solid, commanding presence. Their groundedness gives them abundant common sense as well as the ability to be decisive.
Eights are willing to take the heat, knowing that any decision cannot please everyone. But as much as possible, they want to look after the interests of the people in their charge without playing favorites. They use their talents and fortitude to construct a better world for everyone in their lives. So this feels like when I’m really driven. A lot of times when you read about Enneagram eights it talks about justice and fairness. And that’s where that comes in.
And I think this is what plays out in our communities and our online programs that I love so much is not playing favorites to particular people, or particular people’s challenges. But really working to solve all the challenges that we have in our programs and really using my personal strength and drive to create a better world for everybody. So that sounds amazing. Don’t forget there is also the aggressiveness, the bossiness. I’m not trying to pretend as if there’s not the other side. There definitely is.
I can come across as intimidating. I can come across as overbearing. I can be scary, all the things that come with eight. But there’s a lot of amazing things that are helpful for the right people if I’m your mentor. So there is a cool site called Crystal Knows that I do know that that’s the source for this. And it has a lot of good information that breaks down Enneagrams in a more simple way. So just to kind of sum up this Enneagram piece of this podcast.
She says in summary, Enneagram eights with a seven wing, which is me, have personalities that tend to advocate for the rights of others, think practically and creatively, be afraid of losing their autonomy, dream big and be idealistic. And struggle to be emotionally honest or vulnerable which I have definitely leaned a lot into that struggle. And I think you see it here. I mean even just sharing this is not something I would have shared 10 or 15 years ago because I would have been afraid to tell you the shadow sides of me honestly.
So strengths of the Enneagram eight with a seven wing include making logical and fair decisions, forming connections with others, creating optimistic and innovative plans, leading others inspirationally and effectively, ability to share their thoughts and opinions openly. And all of those feel true for me as well. Now, let’s talk about the weaknesses. Again, let’s give equal airtime because I’m here telling you all this so you can make honest decisions about whether I’m the person that you might want to work with in the future or continue to listen to here on the podcast for free.
So weaknesses include struggling to remain patient, tendency to overindulge themselves. This means instead of just reading a book I have to read 700 books or instead of – the Enneagram eight is said to have the belief of if it’s worth doing it’s worth overdoing. So that’s definitely true for me and can be a weakness. Another weakness, difficulty listening to authority figures. I don’t really like people telling me what to do. I do like to challenge. And lacking sensitivity to the feelings of others. And that can very much be true for me.
I have to really work on empathy and also the way I deliver information. My daughter has been a great teacher in this. She’s an Enneagram two, the nurturer, just like my mom. And they keep me in check when I deliver feedback, it’s too direct, not tempered, feels harsh. And I can tend to go there, all business and just tell you, tell it like it is. So that’s something to know about me. If you prefer someone that’s a little more sensitive, a little more – I don’t even want to just use the term, sugarcoat, because it’s not about lying, but a little softer and I definitely work on this.
But I’m not typically super soft in my delivery. I’m always pretty direct but it’s definitely something I work on. Now, as I told you before, Enneagram eights are some of the most misunderstood. And you can imagine why that’s true. Because especially in our culture we don’t know what to do with women who are bossy, and straightforward, and take charge. We like them at some level but we don’t really know what to do with them. And so the type eight woman is often viewed as driven and aggressive.
They’re not afraid of taking charge and can find themselves in workplaces which are predominantly filled with men. And this is because they develop that sense of self-control and drive from a young age. And it draws them to be more business minded or in more business minded careers which I will say is true for me. It’s interesting that I have the interior design career which is – it tends to be, I don’t want to ginger it too much but it’s about beauty. It’s about things that would most of the time be aligned with more feminine characteristics.
But the part I love most about the design industry is the business side, and the entrepreneur side, and the solving the big problems which makes a lot of sense. So at their best, the type eight woman knows what they want and will do whatever it takes to acquire it. And they work hard and they push themselves to accomplish their goals with a sense of focus and personal willpower, which we hear that a lot coming up. They don’t give up no matter how challenging something is. And instead take on challenges proudly. And I would say that’s true for me.
I pride myself when I work really, really hard, which is something that I’ve had to work on too because you now know from other podcast episodes that the hustle nearly killed me. I’m definitely still in the process of unlearning the hustle. I’ve moved to a very much pro rest, pro balanced state of being.
And so this Enneagram eight, part of me that’s an eight was a big barrier to that for a long time. And this willingness to overcome any struggle that arises would drive me to overwork. Again, if it’s worth doing it’s worth overdoing. So it’s worth working, it’s worth overworking. So definitely something I had to unlearn. So I think that gives you some insight, a lot of insight because we’ve talked about my Spark type, my Enneagram and my Myers-Briggs. So let’s lighten things up a bit.
I’m going to tell you about another little personality test, a little teeny bit of it later. But let’s talk about some and even unknown facts about me so you can get to know me a little bit more, not just the business side of me. So here’s one thing that I have found to be tugging at me to be more open about. And it’s a silly thing kind of in some ways but here it is. I have a lot of beautiful clothes but I don’t ever want to wear them. I’m happiest in leggings, and sweatshirts, sweatshirts with all my favorite activism sayings, anti-patriarchy, Black Lives Matter, feminist.
If I can have one of those on with a pair of Lulu leggings, or an oversized comfy sweater over my leggings. Now, trust me, my UGGs are sequin so there’s a little girly fanciness in there. But my sequin UGGs or my fuzzy UGG slippers, if I can wear that every day I absolutely will. In fact I’m choosing to wear those almost all the time. And it’s definitely directing the work I want to do because when I stay as a consultant and stay home and do Zoom more, those clothes are my go to and I love it so much.
And I love saying this out loud because I feel like I work in the industry of design, or even the business world that can be pretentious, can be superficial, can really lean into concepts like professionalism which I now know is rooted in white supremacy, believe it or not. But just really being judged by our parents has really been the norm in both the business world and the design world. And I absolutely love that thanks to COVID I have embraced the casual comfy part of me more than ever.
And if I can help it, I don’t wear anything but leggings and sweatshirts, or big sweaters and my UGGs. And I don’t really intend to change that moving forward. And I’m going to show up and show you more of that online because it’s the real me. And I think high heels are gorgeous and I have a ton of them and I really don’t ever want to wear them again. And I may just leave them as a museum to look at because they’re pretty colors and they’re expensive.
But my fuzzy UGG house shoes with platforms and a strap on the back, my toes out so I can see my pedicure are my favorite fancy version of comfort.
So how do I spend my time? I spend my time reading, reading and more reading, more on what I’m reading in a minute. And listening to podcasts and all the things that go with my love of learning that you now know about. I spend hours, and I mean hours in my bed, you all, literally, not sleeping, I should sleep more. And I know everybody that tells you about getting good night sleeps says don’t do this. But my bedroom is basically like the living room for my daughter and me. So I work in there. I eat in there. I watch TV in there. I snuggle with my daughter and my dogs in there.
I watch webinars in there. I wrote this podcast from the bed. It is the place that I love the most and rarely get out of. And I spend a lot of time making sure it’s comfy, my pillows, my mattress, my sheets, all the things because that’s where I like to hang out.
So what else do I do with my time besides reading and hanging out in the bed? Well, I love caring for my plants. I have about 20 or so plants, some of them are 20 years old, older actually. But during COVID I really started collecting more plants and I love them. But it’s funny how, it’s like taking care of my pets. I feel like such a nurturer. And I forgot to tell you earlier, my anti Spark type is nurture which also makes sense when you heard about the Enneagram eight who struggles to care and be compassionate for other people’s feelings kind of at first pass or first blows.
I have to work to make sure I’m not being too aggressive. It’s funny, I also am an anti-nurturer in the Spark type which doesn’t mean I’m not good at it. But it really means in Spark type is if it’s your anti zone of genius, when you do it, you might be good at it. But you’re a little frustrated or fatigued because every moment you have to spend, for example, with me nurturing, you aren’t getting to spend in science mode or in learning mode.
But I do love it and I love nurturing my plants. And I also have a hydroponic garden called the lettuce grow where I grow all kinds of lettuces and herbs. I talk to my plants. I name them all. I love them absolutely.
I do watch a good bit of streaming TV, also COVID increased that habit probably like it did for all of you. Maybe one day I’ll talk about what I watch. And then something you may not know about me is I love to fish. So flyfishing yes, but only with a guide because I’m not skilled at all the flies yet. But also just fishing with lures trout fishing. My parents have a house on the Little Red River in Arkansas. I don’t make it up there near as much as I would like to.
Another friend of ours has a house on the White Buffalo River. And we go with this awesome guide, Danny, and he takes us in his boat and we fish trout with lures. So probably the most relaxing, most beautiful activity that I’ve ever done in my life. And it continues to be one of my favorite things and I need to make more time for it.
Okay, what else? I love puzzles and games. My daughters – my daughter, I have one, and I have gotten really into having fun and creating really happy traditions for all our holidays around games. So this thanksgiving we had a giant bingo tournament and we bought all these prizes, gift cards, Squishmallows, if you don’t know what that is. It’s this hilarious stuffed animal, that by the way, my very serious husband won, which is hilarious. And I walked away as the winner of a baby Yoda Chia pet, amazing, I know, one more thing to grow.
And then last Christmas she and I started a new tradition for Christmas because I host Christmas with my brother, and my parents, and my brother’s kids. And we had a game tournament and we ordered sweatshirts for all the teams and wrapped them. No one knew what was coming, had them all unwrap them per team. And we had team posty because my nephew loves Post Malone. He had a sweatshirt that looked like Home Alone but it was called a Home Malone. And then we had Team Ralphie from the Christmas Story.
And we had Team Shitty from Christmas Vacation because where uncle, what’s his name, says the shitter’s full. Well, yeah, that was one, that was my husband and my team by the way, yes, I was Team Shitty. We had Team Sassy because my brother’s always been obsessed with Sasquatch. And so they had Believe sweatshirts with Sasquatch on them with holiday stuff. We had Team Slothy. So fun, put so much energy into this, had prizes, all so fun. And it was great. So I am also a real person that likes to do silly things.
I love my pets. I have Izzy my nine year old Shih Tzu, she just had cataract surgery so I’ve been her nurse for a couple of months. She got new lenses put in, she’s doing great. She’s also a diabetic so I have to nurse her and give her insulin shots twice a day. You would not know I was the anti-nurturer, to hear this story which again doesn’t mean I’m bad at it. But I would rather be reading than nurturing.
But I have her and then I have a five year old Shichon which is Shih Tzu Bichon mix, named Beckett who still pees everywhere, everywhere in my beautiful house even though he’s neutered. So he wears a bellyband diaper constantly so he doesn’t pee on my drapes but he’s got the cutest little white fluffy face you’ve ever seen. So again real life, dogs pee in my house, my pretty, pretty house. Hope that makes you feel more normal.
I also have a Betta Fish named Nigel who’s red and beautiful. Yes, my daughter waited till she was 16 and got a Betta Fish, not the typical age kid with a Betta. And we’re so attached to Nigel. He lives in my bedroom, you all, and his tank is there, has a light in it that turns all these different colors like a disco ball, like a club.
Good thing, any time that I’m in my bed studying and we want club atmosphere we just turn Nigel’s light to pink or red. But we decorate his aquarium with tacky accessories and stick on Christmas, those gel stickers and it looks hilarious and crazy. It’s tiny, it’s a five gallon tank and it’s weird, and it’s tacky, and it’s awesome. And we love it. And I’m cracking up because I have gotten attached to Nigel and I speak to him every day. And I care for him, and I clean his tank. So you all, this is stuff you didn’t know about me that I would never probably have admitted to a few years ago.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t have a fish a few years ago. And just this week we got a snail to go in Nigel’s tank because Bettas will kill other fish or even algae eaters. But we got a snail to eat the algae, his name is Archie, Archibald. We call him Archie for short and he is absolutely adorable too. So I hope you’re getting the fact with this episode that I am not nearly as perfect or sophisticated as we sometimes make me look on my Instagram. And Instagram is good for that.
And in fact, in my 20s and 30s I think I tried to beef that part, I tried to look the part. And now at a month from 50 I embrace all of me, the silly parts, the parts with the tacky fish aquarium in my bedroom that I like more than my daughter, I think. And I didn’t say the part about how often my daughter sleeps in my bedroom still as a 16 year old. We kick my husband out all the time. We’re like, “Go away, go upstairs.” We’re watching TV till one in the morning when we should be going to sleep. So lots of me is normal, and silly, and weird, and awesome, I think awesome.
But I want you to see it because I have a lot less desire to look the perfect, sophisticated interior designer businesswoman part than ever. So on that note, what annoys me? What annoys me in life? Well, pretentiousness annoys me. Even though I’m sure I show up in that way sometimes. It annoys me. Diet culture annoys me. The patriarchy and white supremacy annoy me, in fact, anger me. And having so much hunger in the world when we have such an abundance of resources, annoys me. Climate injustice annoys me.
Injustices really against any, people, the planet, women’s rights, people of color, those who identify as LGTBTQIA, especially youth who identify that way. That justice driven part of me is so annoyed. I used to be annoyed by other people’s indecisiveness. And I probably am still occasionally. But I’ve really worked hard to understand people more and have compassion for people showing up as their true selves because not everybody is a super decisive Enneagram eight like me. So not so annoyed by that anymore.
But what I am annoyed by is blame and shame. We blame and shame ourselves. We blame and shame other people, definitely annoys me. I would say another thing I’m annoyed by is the lack of diversity and inclusion in the interior design and architecture fields, and in the life coaching industry, it really annoys me.
And it feels to me like the nature of the design industry that really is based on a lot of pretention feels way more like it’s about exclusion, exclusion based on taste, and style, and appearances, and identity, and education, and your pedigree, and what group you’re in. All of that stuff really annoys me because I am about fairness, and justice, and inclusion. And it’s so funny that for years I worked to feel like I was included in that group. I wouldn’t say I got to the top of the design field but I went a long way.
And the more and more tables I got a seat at the more and more I was annoyed and bored to see that it was just a bunch of people creating rules to keep other people out. So I’m going to do a whole podcast on that soon by the way, because we could go into that for a long time but that annoys me.
What lights me up? My team, my family, my pets, my plants, the spa, fishing, being in nature, helping women become millionaires in a sustainable and conscious way. Believing in people and their strengths and possibilities lights me up. Being optimistic lights me up. It’s my true nature to be optimistic and believe in possibility. And of course, learning and solving problems lights me up.
Okay, what about my routines? Well, I used to think I needed a lot of routines because the world and culture tells us we do. The most successful people get up at 5:30am and have a morning routine. And I even made a downloadable one time about morning routines when I was trying to be that person which was really kind of BS because it never fit. So I finally admitted that I don’t like routines and I like to take the day as it comes.
And so earlier I mentioned that I was going to talk a little bit about another sort of test that’s called human design. I’m just learning about it and getting into it. And I’m a manifesting generator in human design. But the interesting thing is there’s this little part of your chart if you know about human design, at the top a little arrow. And if it points to the right apparently and supposedly it means you’re a person who thrives when you have the freedom to do things in a different order every day. And that you have likely struggled to adhere to consistent routines.
You all, this information was so liberating to me. And if you’ve heard me talk on podcasts or seen my webinars, I’m constantly talking about freedom, financial freedom, time freedom. Freedom is my biggest driver. This is so liberating. So I finally, when I found this out, and that I had that little right facing arrow about inconsistency in my human design chart then I was like, hell, yes, I don’t like routines. I do like my scheduling now.
And I do like my 24 to freedom calendar. But I use it in a way and I use to draw calendars so I can drag and drop blocks as I need to in case my day changes or I want to open things up. So I literally, once learning this was part of my design, my human design, I’ve now given myself the freedom to approach each day intuitively and choose how and when I want to do things. Now, I get a lot of stuff done because you heard I’m the commander, and the challenger, and all the things. I do a lot of stuff but I do them in the way that feels most intuitive and most instinctive to me.
And the beautiful thing about this if you’re thinking about mentoring with me is because I get this, and I work with a lot of creatives who probably have that right facing arrow in their chart, and I know you don’t want consistency. I help you learn a way to get stuff done that is most intuitive to you. So we don’t teach in our programs that there’s one right way to do things and that if you don’t do it, you’re wrong and you won’t be a success. We actually teach you to do things the way that’s right for you.
So this is an important part about my personality. So routines, no, getting stuff done, yes.
Okay, so before we wrap up, I wanted to tell you about what I’m reading or what I read, not specifically the titles. I’m also going to do a podcast episode on that because I know you love to know. But just tapping into that maven part of me and the fact that I’ve read over 40 books this year and counting. I want to tell you a little bit about the topics that I read about because I think this is really insightful. They’re not 40 fiction books or 41 fiction books, nothing against fiction.
In fact I was trying to get myself to read more fiction this year and I ended up reading three and a half. I’ll probably finish the fourth one before the end of the year because I thought I ‘should’ be reading more fiction or having more fun or pleasure. But it’s just fun for me to read non-fiction because of my love of learning as my maven Spark type told us. So here are the topics that I’ve read so far this year.
Three fiction, 3.5, six religion or progressive Christianity, four about body image, fat phobia and anti-diet culture, two about health and wellness, one about climate justice, three about the economy, or money, or capitalism. Five about anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. Four books about feminism or the patriarchy, two about spirituality, three about politics, three about mindset, or emotions, or trauma, three about leadership and company culture. One book about anti-hustle and rest, I think I need to up that category for next year.
One book about cults or cult language called Cultish, which I highly recommend. And three fiction books, 3.5 as I said. So doesn’t a person’s reading list speak volumes about them or if they don’t read at all? Nothing against you that you don’t read, it just tells me more. My daughter and my husband hate to read and it tells me so much about them because what they do instead.
But I bet you can see all the big world and industry problems that I’m always trying to solve as the scientist, hidden or not even hidden. Listed in those books about religion, and body image, and climate injustice, and diversity, and anti-racism, and the economy, and capitalism, and politics, and trauma, and leadership, and culture, and rest, all of it, all there together.
So I hope you loved this episode. I hope that whether you’re hoping, or planning, or thinking about working with me and my team, or again you’re just loving know about me a little bit more because you listen to me here. Or maybe it gives you confidence to show up more as your real crazy, weird, awkward, cool, incredible self. If any of that happens, it feels like this episode was a win to me. So thank you for letting me indulge and telling you more about myself, and my family, and the silly things we love and enjoy.
Which reminds me, we did also just get matching Christmas pajamas for the first time. I’ve been laughing to my daughter because I’m like, “You waited till you’re 16 for us to get matching Christmas pajamas, and a fish, and a snail.” But we got them and here’s why we got them. So we’ve thought about them for years and I wasn’t really that interested in them. But this year, Target made matching dog PJs to people, you all. And I’m sure other places do this too. So I’m wearing my PJs as we speak.
And every time my husband walks in the kitchen because we make him wear his, I crack up, but they have dinosaurs of all kinds on them in scarves and Christmas hats. And the dogs have them, and the dogs match. Last night, Ellison and I had to run an errand up to the vet to get more eyedrop medicine for my dog. And she and I and both dogs were in matching PJs in the car. And it was so much fun. We’ve been sporting them around the house.
This is the stuff that part of me is like, oh my God, should we really tell this? But I know it makes me more human to you and I hope you enjoy it because I know I am a real human. I know you’re a real human. And it’s just fun to completely show up in this way. So I can’t way to learn more about you. I hope and I invite you to DM me on Instagram and tell me what resonated with you about this episode. If you’re thinking about working with us or you want to know more about mentorship, or Design You, depending on where you are in your business.
Or if you just want to be like, “You are weird.” Please don’t send ugly messages, I’ll delete those. But “You’re weird in an awesome way, Tobi.” As Brené Brown says, “Stay awkward, weird and kind. And I love it.” Or “I’m like you.” Or “I have those same PJs or we have the same Enneagram, or we have the opposite Enneagram.” Or anything else that’s about getting to know each other better, I definitely want to hear from you unless it’s mean or nasty, don’t send me those.
But I don’t think anybody listening to this podcast is probably really that mean or nasty. So I can’t wait to hear from you and get to know the real you. And I’ll see you back here next week with another fun and informative, you can count on that, episode of The Millionaire Mentorship. 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 TobiFairley.com.