Ep #113: Growing a Thriving Business with Amy Pottenger

Growing a Thriving Business with Amy Pottenger

What a treat I have for you this week, friends! I have an amazing guest joining me – designer and online design coach Amy Pottenger. Amy helps mompreneurs everywhere beat the overwhelm and start showing up for themselves by creating a home that empowers them to live their best life. A member of my Design You coaching program, Amy joins me today to talk about everything she’s learned from the program and how she’s applied it to her own thriving design business. Pretty cool, right?

Amy joined the Design You program because she wanted to take her business from being a hobby to the next level. She tells us why adapting her mindset played a huge role in growing her business and how she learned to stop making excuses and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. As we say over in the community, discomfort is the currency of your dreams, and Amy is a fantastic example of the magic that can happen when you show up for yourself!

Join us this week to hear a real-life account of how Amy grew her business while learning that success comes from within. She’ll show us how analyzing her thoughts and behaviors enabled her to expand her business, and how she sees the current circumstances as a gift rather than an inconvenience. Whatever stage of your business you’re at, I have no doubt you’ll be inspired by her story!

If you are inspired by Amy and want to come and work with us in Design You – reach out! You can email me for one on one coaching or head over to my website for the Design You program. We’d love to have you be our next success story!

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How to detach from a scarcity mindset and invest in your business.
  • Why you should be putting yourself out there and showing up, even if you don’t feel ready.
  • How feeling your emotions and working through them is the key to growth.
  • Why your mindset might be holding you back.
  • How to move past your own resistance.
  • How to use the current circumstances as a springboard for improvement.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 113.

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

Hey, hey, friends. Today on the podcast I have Amy Pottenger. Who the heck is Amy Pottenger, right? She’s an amazing designer. And what she does is she does residential interior design. And she’s an online design coach where she helps work at home mompreneurs, mom entrepreneurs, beat, overwhelm. And start showing up for themselves by creating a home that empowers them to live their best life, pretty cool, right? She loves exactly what she does and I love that she does.

And one of the ways she found that was by being an incredible member of my Design You coaching program. So I’ve never had a member come on, like Amy’s coming on today, and just talk about her experience of working with me. Being in the program, all the things she’s learned, her transformations. And it is just so, so exciting to hear her growth and her success and all the things she’s done.

So I hope you enjoy this episode, because I really enjoyed it. It just makes me beam with pride for all the stuff that she’s done for herself and for her business. And I think you will be inspired by it very much. So enjoy my interview with Amy Pottenger.

Tobi: Hey, Amy. Welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m so excited because I didn’t even let you say thank you. But I’ve never had a member of my Design You community like you on the podcast just talking about the work we do, so, welcome.

Amy: Thank you so much. I am beyond excited to be here, I can’t believe. I was like sitting in an airplane listening to your podcast two years ago, and now I’m on it, that’s incredible. So, thank you for having me.

Tobi: So that’s fun, you’re so welcome. So here’s what we’re going to talk about today. So the fun thing was you actually have been a member of Design You for a while, almost – probably like going on two years, right? And which speaks volumes about, I think, the membership, the peers, all the people in there. Because we do have people stay a long time. Like we have people that have been like you that aren’t planning on going anywhere and they’ve been in for years, it’s great.

But the fun thing is you actually won this as like a prize because you invested in a higher level of Design You, a program we have called Accelerator, which we can get into later. But I’m so glad you were the person that won. Of course everything happens the way it’s supposed to.

But you have transformed in so many ways, and I think this is going to be so helpful for people, whether they ever join our membership or not, to just hear the truth about this journey that you’ve been on with Design You. So I’m so excited to talk about that.

Amy: Well, me too. I hope we can help a lot of people today.

Tobi: Yeah, I know we can. Okay, so here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to talk about all the truth, the actual nitty gritty behind going from a business that’s decent, that’s doing fine. It’s not really, you know, it’s stuck in the feast or famine, it’s all the typical creative stuff. And moving to that other place of an online business, something that can be you know, create a full pipeline, and a lot more freedom, and a lot of things that we all want in our business. So that’s the journey we’re going to take people on.

So let’s get into that, because we’re going to talk seriously, how long does it take? What does it take? How much money does it take? What about your mindset? Like what your transformation has looked like, you told me, you know, what you thought you were coming to Design You for. It’s not at all what you were coming for. So let’s just starting getting in – so why don’t we start right there? So what did you think you were coming to work with me for? And what did you actually end up working on in the process?

Amy: For sure. Well, what hooked me first, well, first of all was the podcast, because I got so much value out of that, that I hung around the podcast for a few months. And then you were launching your digital marketing for creatives for the first time back then. And that was like what is this? This sounds amazing.

And then not to mention all of the business advice, I was really looking to take my business from what I would call myself, what was kind of a hobby business, to the next level. So I had little kids at home and I had done that purposefully and was ready to, okay, the kids were going to school, to launch my business to the next level. And was like, okay, Tobi’s the one that’s going to help me do that, I’m going to join the program.

So of course I go into that thinking like business tips, you know, things to streamline my processes which I mean are all things that I got. But the other piece to the puzzle that I had no idea that I needed was absolutely, for one, the digital piece. Because that is something that I thought other people could do, not me.

And then the other piece was the mindset work on just how much work I needed to do on myself. Like you said before, you know, “You don’t have a business mind and a personal mind, you have one brain.” And I was piecing that up, I think, a little bit. And just the fact, the personal development alone, which I am, I will admit, a personal development junkie. But the personal development alone in a way that I have never heard it before was life changing for me.

Tobi: Oh, that’s so good, okay. So I love all of what you said, because I totally do say that all the time, “You don’t have a business brain and a personal brain, you just have one brain.” And so that’s back to that whole idea of the way we do one thing is the way we do everything. And a lot of times we want to believe that we don’t need personal development for our businesses. We’re like, “Oh, that’s the woo woo stuff I’ll work on when I have time over in my life part of my life.”

But we don’t really notice or believe that we’re bringing every fear and limiting belief, and that habit, and procrastination tactic and all of those things, right over into our business every single day, right?

Amy: Yes. And I’ll say too for me, like I didn’t realize that I could never get to the business steps because I knew a lot of it. I wasn’t implementing it. I could never get to the business steps I needed to implement without the mindset work. Like for me, I felt like I had this invisible wall pushing me, like some kind of barrier, and I didn’t know what it was, because I wasn’t doing the business work that is like you say, the math, you know, like the part that you know what you’re supposed to do.

And I had to remove, I guess, the personal development obstacles, like the fear of failure, the all like those kinds of things in order to be able to move towards the business development piece. So it’s just, it’s not like you can just set your – like you said, you can’t just set it aside and then get on to, okay, I’m going to go do these business things now and forget that I’m afraid of everything.

Tobi: Yeah. So we hit a ceiling, right? And that’s, I guess that’s what I call a glass ceiling, because we can’t see it. And so we hit that ceiling and we’re bumping up against it all the time. And it’s so frustrating, but we don’t know why we can’t get leverage. It feels like we’re doing everything we’re supposed to be doing, and feels like we’re doing it right. And we tell ourselves we’ve done everything possible.

Yet what you’re saying is the blocks that were in the way, and we kind of, it’s really almost like a, like you said, maybe more than the ceiling, it’s like a wall that we’re banging our head against. Because we build this wall with all these blocks, like a metaphor but they’re actually like mental blocks that keep us from going to the other side of it, right?

So let’s dig into some of those. So what would you say that you would have totally not wanted? And you, honestly, it’s so funny, I’ve done all this work myself, which is why I can see it. I’m not just like naturally gifted in all these areas and know it all, like I went through all the pain and suffering too.

But when you worked with me in the Accelerator program, which is a deeper dive, and you did that this past January, and so that was like more than a year into the program for you, a year and a half or so, and did that really deep dive. I remember you kind of being a little hesitant. Like you could start to see yourself in some of the things I was talking about. But you were kind of probably hopeful you didn’t have to do that work, right? Because it’s not real fun, so let’s talk about that. Like what were the main things that were holding you back?

Amy: Well, the getting comfortable with being uncomfortable was huge for me. I didn’t realize like just how much my value of comfort was getting in my way. Like here I am thinking, you know, oh, I’m a risk taker, I’m starting my business. But not realizing I have structured my whole business to not take as many risks as I thought I was taking. Like those kinds of things were eye opening.

Tobi: Yeah. What are some examples there? Yeah, I think that’s so good, because we talk a lot about that in the program, and I always remind people. And what we’re not saying is that at some point you actually get comfortable. No, you actually have to get okay with continuously being uncomfortable if you’re going to keep growing in your business, right?

It’s not this idea of get comfortable, be uncomfortable for a little while and then it’ll settle in and it’ll all be comfy again. It’s this constant pursuit of like growth and choosing discomfort, which you told me earlier. You’re like now you’re at a point where you actually seek out discomfort because you know that means that you need to go there and you’re growing. But like what are some of those things that you noticed early on that you were avoiding because they were uncomfortable?

Amy: For sure. Like I feel like in general, just putting myself out there, so like I’m all in now with the online business model. And I’ve got – it took me a while, you know, to kind of jump all the way in. But I’m realizing now like I was not putting myself out there at all. Like I was never doing live video, I wasn’t – I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t putting as much of myself out to the world as opposed to what I thought I should be putting out into the world as the, you know, the designer in a box kind of, you know, person. And that’s so boring, that’s so boring and no one wants to hear that.

And I think, you know, at least for me anyway, it was scary to start doing live videos or to start doing little things like creating a lead magnet which, you know, that’s not scary. But like the fact of I am creating something and putting it out there, and, oh, it’s going to be judged now. And just taking that like, you know, it’s not about me anymore, it’s about the people that I can help. And flipping that switch was just so huge.

And I think a lot of it just for me was just putting myself out there like, and social media was a lot of it. And I feel like that’s where a lot of my people are. And yeah, I guess it’s just that switch of being vulnerable and being okay with the whole attract and repel vibe. Like you want to attract your people, and it’s okay if not everyone resonates with that. And that doesn’t have to mean anything about me.

Tobi: Yeah, so fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being judged, all the fears that everybody has, you had too. I had them too at some point. And they still creep up, it’s not like they go away forever. You have to keep, you know, feeling them and doing it, moving forward, anyway, right? So what would you say really was the lesson or the thing that helped you shift and be willing to show up?

Because I think that’s so natural, most people come first from this place of looking at ourselves, where like, oh, my friends are going to think I’ve lost my mind. They’re going to think I’m so cheesy or I look stupid, or what the heck am I doing now? I have this like one random niche, and those are the only people I’m talking to. And we’re like we have all these stories in our head of how dumb we’re going to look, because we’re wiling more often to stay broke than we are to really connect with our actual audience.

So was there something in particular that you can recall that helped you really kind of have that moment of, oh my gosh, I’ve got to stop thinking about me? Because in that process I’m not thinking about all the people I could be helping, right, that need me?

Amy: Yeah, I’d say, I mean it was two things. I mean, one, I tend to; I’ve noticed that I tend to put either mentors or people I listen to on podcasts, or whatever. I put them on this pedestal that makes them completely different than I am which isn’t true. Like they’re not afraid, you know, they’re naturally gifted at this and blah, blah. You know, that’s not true. I’ve realized that’s just me lying to myself, so that’s not true, first of all.

And second of all, realizing those same people are also plowing through that discomfort in order to reach their audience, so. And like looking at it through my lens, like how much I have learned because they were willing to put themselves out there, and how much I have been able to change. Like that was super inspiring to me. And like my favorite quote now is, “The discomfort is the currency of your dreams.” And how – but it can be the currency for other people’s dreams too.

So like you’re not only, you know, by you putting yourself out there, being uncomfortable or whatever, that’s showing someone else, one, they can do it too. But also just what they can learn from that whole situation and change themselves.

Tobi: I love that, okay, so yeah, we say all the time in the program, “Discomfort is the currency of your dreams.” Meaning like it’s the cost, you have to be uncomfortable, that is the cost to get to the dream business, the dream money, the dream clients, all the things that you want.

And I love what you’re saying is take it even a step further, if you can be uncomfortable, like the cost you’re willing to pay to be uncomfortable actually helps other people too. It doesn’t just help you build your dreams, because if you’re not willing to be uncomfortable they can never hear your message. They can never get your product. Your product won’t ever even be created.

They won’t even get your free lead magnet, which is like a little guide, or document, or thing. If people don’t know what a lead magnet is, a thing that you give for free that’s not just some like kind of crappy little piece of info to get their email address. But something you actually poured your heart into to create a solution for them. I love that so much.

And then just to kind of recap what you’re saying, which I think so many people do. As long as we can come up with an excuse of why the people that we admire are different from us, we can stay nestled right in our comfort zone, right? So you’re saying like, “You look at me or you would look at somebody else and be like, “Well, they’re an extrovert, or they’re naturally a great speaker, or they have a gift for social media, or they…””

And like we want to believe that all the other people we see taking these giant leaps that we’re afraid to take, must have never been afraid, they must have been just naturally comfortable. Instead of choosing to believe and noticing, wow, they were just as scared as me but they did it anyway. They moved through their resistance towards it, right?

Amy: And really think that’s what, and this is, honestly, this is a new realization for me, like in the past couple of weeks I would even say, like this is new territory. But it’s given me this new excitement now to show up, that I didn’t have before. Because it’s realizing, like I don’t know, it just takes that whole, I don’t know, putting people on a pedestal out of the picture. And realizing I can do what they did, and there’s nothing more inspirational than realizing that. Like I can do that, I’m capable of doing that. And there’s the belief, and there is the mindset right there, but.

Tobi: Oh, love it, that’s so good. And I agree with you because I do this all the time too, because we all move, like we’ll move up a rung of kind of our ladder for our dreams or whatever. And then we get complacent again, or we get comfortable again. And I have to look and go, “Okay, well, when I was only, you know, a brand new business, I couldn’t imagine making a million dollars.”

But after, you know 10 or 15 years of making over a million dollars, like I have got to go next level and go, “What are those people doing that are making 10 million dollars? And how am I not showing up? And how am I believing they have some other level of content, or team, or money, or something that I don’t have?” And it’s never that, it’s never that. It’s always just that you weren’t willing, I wasn’t willing, you weren’t willing to do the things it takes, which is mainly just being uncomfortable and believing differently, right, changing your mindset to go next level.

And so what you’re saying that I love so much is that once you start to get a glimpse, even if it’s your first time doing this, of seeing that. Once you sort of put on the glasses, the goggles to be able to see through all your excuses, you start to feel at your core that even though you might not know how to do everything you want to do. Like there’s nothing that you can’t figure out anymore, right?

There’s nothing – it’s kind of this unstoppable place because you’re like, “If I can do that, and I can choose to believe something that I’ve never believed before. Or I can stop believing something that was holding me back, then I can use that same tool to go to the next level on anything I want to in my life,” right?

Amy: Absolutely. And that’s exactly what it is too, because I think I was doing it before as a destination and not a journey. So like, oh, I’m going to reach this point, where I have this online business, it’s amazing, I’m done and done. And like, no, you’re not, you’re not done at all. Like just what you’re saying like, you know, you’ve had this business success, and now you’re going on to the next thing.

And being willing to just embrace it all as a journey, and is something I had to come to terms with is what if that discomfort doesn’t end? And it shouldn’t end. And what if that’s how you should keep going? And that’s a wonderful thing. And I think I do tend to view things sometimes as a destination versus a journey. And the journey of, you know, one milestone to the next, is just that’s what life is all about. It’s that constant development and getting better and proceeding onto the next thing. That you’re not done with that.

Tobi: Yeah. That’s so good. I remember the moment; I remember coaching you on this particular thing. And it’s so fun because I think back on my own life when I had those aha moments. And I remember the moment we were talking about it. And I remember us saying, maybe even I said something like, “So are you believing that at some point you just get all this stuff done and then you can rest, or then you can retire, or then you can?” And you were like, “Kind of, I mean maybe.”

And then when you have that realization, and we do this so often in life, right? Which is to me one of the things that robs us of the joy of life, is we keep like doing this suffering, believing that we’re almost there and we’re going to arrive at this spot. That when we get there it will no longer be filling the blank, it will no longer be hard, it will no longer be – require work, it will no longer. Like we think we’re going to get there, and it’s going to be like the vacation when we get there or whatever.

And I think what you’re saying is so important because a lot of us actually kind of abuse ourselves and our bodies and our families. Like staying on the treadmill believing we’re almost to this place that’s going to change everything, like win x happens, then y. Instead of noticing this is the rest of my life, it is the journey. I’m always going to be working on this stuff. I’m always going to be growing. I’m always going to be choosing discomfort if I’m going to the next level of me.

And I’ve kind of got to figure out right now how that coexists with all the other things I want in my life, right? Like how to not be exhausted all the time. How to take breaks and how to build the life of balance and all the things that I’m thinking are somewhere in the future.

We have to create those now while also coming to that realization you’re talking about of but don’t think that there’s a point that you get to stop growing. Because we all know if we’re not growing, we’re dying, right? Like you don’t just like stop watering and feeding a plant and then because you’ve fed it for like, you know, 10 months, it’s going to just keep growing. The minute you stop growing the plant, it dies, it withers on the vine. And that’s what we forget.

Yet somehow in our brain it’s like, you’re right, it’s like we’re working towards this destination, that when we get there, like all our systems will be in place. And all the right clients will be there. And we’ll have this consistent cash flow, and we’ll have this beautiful marketing message. And it’ll all be amazingly complete then we can rest, right?

Amy: Right. And that’s the thing too, like realizing like I don’t even want that, because I think that’s why people have breakdowns. Like it was just like we do – I think it was – now, probably I might get this wrong. I think it was Andre Agassi that was going to Tony Robbins.

Tobi: Yes, I was telling you that, I think you may have heard me say that on…

Amy: On the podcast probably.

Tobi: I listened to that Tim Ferriss, on a live call or on a podcast. Yeah, I had listened to a Tim Ferriss interview with Tony Robbins, and Tony was talking about Andre. But go ahead and tell this, yeah, this podcast.

Amy: Yeah. Well, just that he had reached this pinnacle of his career and kind of hit a slump right after that. And that was the exact reason why, because he had worked so hard to get up to this one point. And it was this one point, this one focus, this one goal, and he achieved it and then was like then what?

Tobi: Yeah. There was no vision beyond that, like he never thought, he was like I’ll become the best in the world. And he never imagined life or business or anything beyond that point. And I think we do that all the time. And then the other part of it that’s the hardest part of that is we also believe that arriving at that point will give us some feeling that we’re looking for. And it’s so empty when you get there because the feeling was never coming from anything extrinsic or outside of you. It’s always something we’re creating.

So talk about that, talk about the mindset piece of the like learning to create the feelings you want with your thinking, not because you’ve reached some goal or some pinnacle or some milestone, right?

Amy: This has been a process for me, but I think breaking all that down to the fact that I can feel that way right now was just – it blew my mind. Like I can feel the way, you know, if I put the work in for – we were talking about future selves, like what you want to be in the future.

That you are – like I am my future self now by the choices that I’m making, and that means I can feel the same way I’m going to feel when I have an amazing online business full of people I’m helping, instead of at the beginning of it. I can feel like that right now and that that’s a choice by my thoughts. Like those, it almost seemed too easy, it was amazing, like.

Tobi: I love that, yeah. A lot of this stuff does seem too easy and then we dismiss it because of its simplicity, right? And I think what I was going to add is that not only can you feel right now what you will – you think you’ll have to arrive at some place, or some state, or some level of success to feel. Not only can you, you have to feel it now or you’ll never get to that place, right?

And so it’s this constant dance that I see make all the time, they’re like, “Well, when I have enough followers,” whatever that number is in their head, “Then I’ll start showing it. When I make x amount of, yeah, when I make x amount of dollars then I’ll spend money hiring people. When I,” you know, whatever. And it’s always the belief that the chicken has to come before the egg or vice versa.

And the truth is, you’ve got to create the feeling now, you’ve got to spend some of the money now. Like you have to start being now the person that you’re going to be – that you believe you’re going to be when you think you will have arrived, right? So like what are some of those things or feelings you had to start feeling now to get to be? You know, because like you were saying, “The only way to the future version of ourself is through our current self.”

And she has to become what we need her to be right now or we can’t ever become that dreamy future version that we want, that’s even, you know, we have all these future versions. We have the 25 years from now future version. We have the 25 days from now future version of ourselves, but it’s all relevant to this point, right?

Amy: Yeah, totally. I think for me for making these realizations a lot of it was just stopping and being still, and being intentional about whether – for me, like morning works best for me. But stopping and journaling my thoughts, doing that brain dump, writing it all out, analyzing like, oh, I’m thinking this. I didn’t think I was thinking I wasn’t worthy or that I couldn’t do this until I wrote it down. And like that thought is not serving me, and intentionally changing that thought.

And then almost like a meditation on the thoughts I want to have, like I think – I don’t know. Like perfectionism is a theme for me, for sure, which is funny because I didn’t think I was a perfectionist before going through this coaching, which makes me laugh. Or you know, or just, you know, the fear thing. Like unless, for me, like I’m a person of a constant like action and motion. I like to be busy. I like to be doing projects. And I was not taking the time to stop and look at what I was feeding myself through my brain, like with my thoughts.

Like I was telling myself a lot of toxic things like, I’m trying to think of some examples, I can pull my journal out, but. And I also wasn’t a journaler either, like I just, oh, there’s no point to that, that’s a waste of my time. And that’s not true at all, like it’s through that, that I think I’ve realized a lot of these things.

Tobi: Yes, because awareness doesn’t come when thoughts are just passing through our brain, right? We think that they do, but somehow when they’re just driving by through our brain, they seem so much more believable. And then you put them on paper and you’re like, oh, that’s hilarious. Oh, I was thinking that, no wonder I was not showing it, no wonder I wasn’t launching that thing. No wonder I wasn’t going next level in some way, because we didn’t even know that we were thinking some of these thoughts.

Amy: And they’re a choice in general, like you don’t have to think them. Like because I think when you’re telling yourself that all the time it just feels like truth. And until you analyze and you’re like, oh no, that’s not the truth and I can change that. Like that was just – I don’t know – so encouraging.

Tobi: On both sides, right, on both sides. Like we think it’s the truth that we’re taking big risk, and then we write down what we’re doing and we’re like, “Oh, that’s hilarious, I am taking action all the time. But I’m choosing actions that are right in the middle of my comfort zone.” Which really kind of turned into busy work and we don’t know why they don’t, you know, I did this for years. Because I had my worthiness all tied up in how active I was, how many tasks I scratched off like my to do list.

And we talk in Design You a lot about how the actions are irrelevant if they don’t create the results you’re actually wanting. And a lot of us are just acting all the time, like taking all this action. But it’s clearly not the actions that create the results we want, or we would already have those results. We’re creating different results. We’re creating other things and thinking that if we just keep doing more of it eventually the result we want will happen, and it’s not true. We have to pick a different action because we picked a different thought, right?

Amy: It’s almost like buffering through action because you’re like you’re not, you’re still, like for me, like my feeling my feeling was another big thing for me. So like you could buffer through action because I don’t have to feel whatever it is I don’t want to feel.

Tobi: I’ve done that for years. That’s what I call workaholism. Like I just keep working and then as long as I’m busy and working and creating, then I don’t have to feel nervous, or anxious, or scared, or any of the things that it’s going to feel.

Because let’s just be honest, like people think they’re going to be comfortable while building a big thing, a big business, a big brand, helping a lot of people. And like that’s the funniest one of all, to me, because I’m like, it is miserably uncomfortable at times to put yourself out there, to spend money. To make a choice to hire someone or spend money on something that you hope you have, that you hope. You know, you’re like, “I think I can afford this, I see it in my bank account.”

But it’s not like we just get to spend money, and at least you talk about money now. It’s now like you just get to spend money, once I see people kind of doing this like scarcity spending in their business. And they’re like, “Okay, well, I’ll buy Design You, but hopefully this is the last thing I have to pay for to get there. Or I’ll hire a copywriter or I’ll have somebody help me with my emails, you know, okay, that’s $1200 or $500 or $2,000, or whatever, $3,000. Hopefully that’s the last money I’m going to have to spend.”

And like even if that’s not conscious, like they’re just – they’re making these scarcity decisions of okay, I guess I’ll try this one, but surely this is like the last ditch effort to get there. Instead of just going, “No, you have to consistently be willing to spend time, money, energy on anything to keep it growing and moving ahead,” right?

Amy: No, totally, I think I was one of those people.

Tobi: So let’s talk about that, yeah, talk about that money thing. Like how did you make that shift to being willing to spend? So because so many people that have more of a hobby business, and they’re doing this on a shoestring. And they’re not really making any money. Also by the actions, like it’s their choices that are making them not make money, like which is fascinating, because we don’t know that either.

But like how do you move from that sort of scarcity, or how did you move from that scarcity place of being afraid to spend money to going all in, of going, “Well, I mean if we’re going to do this let’s do it right. Let’s both make money and spend money in a responsible way, so that we can keep moving ahead?”

Amy: I think it’s changing it from being, I guess the scarcity mindset of oh, I’m spending all this money. To I am investing in something that I value and believe in, viewing it as an investment, either in yourself, investment in your business. Investment in you doing the things that are your zone of genius, this is something I work on all the time still is me spending my time where it’s the most valuable.

And for me to design a website is not the best use of my time, I would not do that well. Like it would take me probably years to design like the website I have now, that I hired someone to design, so. Or having a copywriter, or even just like a business coach, someone that can help do things that are not my zone of genius, I guess, but. And I think it was, for me it was being willing to view that as an investment.

Because I was running my business before with hardly any overhead, and this is something we talk about in Design You all the time too. Is that in order to get out – the output that you want, in order to create, you know, a bigger business or more impactful business, you have to be willing to invest that money in there, otherwise it’s not going to come out.

Like it just – that was something that was a realization to me, that I was thinking I could do the shoestring thing, and get the same results as someone who pours money, and time, and resources into it. And I think it just – it’s the investment piece that you’re investing in something worthwhile.

Tobi: That is so huge, that is so, like let’s just stop there for a minute. Because I think you’re exactly right, and I love how you said that. So like in a sense we’re comparing ourselves to other businesses, and believing they’re apples to apples. Instead of going, “Oh, interesting, the way those people built their business is they hired coaches and they spent money. And they hired other team members. And they paid for stuff to be done, while they were also being willing to put theirselves out in the world and create money, and create value.”

But we don’t see the difference and we’re like, “Oh, I can stay over here, small and comfortable and not spend any money and try to do it myself.” And somehow believe that we can create those results. And I even draw this as a picture for you guys, sometimes. I’m like, “All of your thoughts are on this highway over here, which is the one that’s leading to the no money. But all of their thoughts and feelings and actions are leading to their results.” And we don’t know, we’re not on the same road as they are, right?

Amy: Yes. And then we just – like for me, then I just look at them and be like, “Oh, well, they have that factor, they have this.” And it looks like that’s not what it is at all. It’s like that you can have what they have, but it’s just that that’s the mindset.

Tobi: Yeah, you just make a choice, make the same choice as they made, to choose those kind of thoughts, to choose that kind of investing in other people. And I think part of this too is the believing that we don’t, but the whole time, it’s not just money, because it does take money, and we’re afraid to spend money.

But it’s also the time, talk about that a little bit. Because I know you said that you were like so many people that believed that you didn’t have the time to work on your business. So you just kept doing these other things, which what we now know is that’s also essentially buffering too. Because as long as I can just keep believing that, “I have to take care of my clients or have to do this other work,” then we don’t ever do the stuff that actually makes the difference, makes the money, makes the growth happen, right?

Amy: Yeah, I think for me it was a combination probably of buffering and an excuse. Like, well, I have to take care of this in my business. Well, when I don’t, like I just hired an assistant, it was amazing. So like finally like she can take care of a lot of that stuff. I don’t have to do all those things. And I do have the time, I can create that time. Again, it’s time scarcity just as much as money scarcity.

And I think for me also it was excusing the fact that it was the perfectionism, like it was keeping me from doing that. So, you know, perfectionist is me, like it’s procrastination, it’s putting it off. You know, because then I don’t have to put it off, because I’m so busy with this client work. And this client work is bringing in the money to pay for this other thing.

And, you know, and it’s, I feel like with the latest, you know, the world situation for me, has just been, it’s brought things to a standstill for me right now. Because we’re not allowed to do construction projects in Michigan right now. And so like I’m working on the back end on some things, but it’s freed up my time considerably to realize. And it’s made me realize, like I can continue this.

Like I don’t have to do all those things that were keeping me so busy, that I think I have to do. And that’s huge, and that’s something I want to carry into, you know, beyond this time as well, and use this as my jumping off point. You know, we’re talking about making yourself better right now, instead of just sitting around and hoping this will go away. And like using it as a jumping off point, oh yeah, I remember in the spring of 2020, I did all these things and look what happened, and that’s what I want.

Tobi: Yes, came out better than you went into this situation in very many ways. And one of the things I love about what you said too. And I just want to kind of point it out is I think it’s so interesting, when we’re telling ourselves that – a story, what I would actually call a lie, that we don’t have time to work on our business. Because we know we’re just trying to keep ourselves, you know, cozy, and not feel uncomfortable.

But I think one of the common stories is, well, I’ve got to do this stuff because it’s paying for the business. But the fascinating thing is it’s always just barely keeping our head above the water. It’s not like it’s paying for extra – it could be one thing if we’re like, well, if I go do this stuff, it’s making all this extra money that I can also then hire the copywriter and hire all these people.

The fascinating thing is as we’re working like so small, like I’m thinking so small that we’re on that treadmill believing we have to keep that going. Yet it’s not creating any extra money, it’s a lot of if we’ve not been making money.

Amy: No, and it’s actually stopping you.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s stopping you, yeah.

Amy: I view it now as it was holding me back from making the money I could make, which is just crazy for me to come to there, but.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s an opportunity cost, yeah. Because we’re like, well, if I spend all of this time on this all, and decorating or design project or thing that takes hours and hours and hours, and makes very little money, has a low profit margin. I’m lucky if I break even. Then I’ve completely eaten up all the time and don’t have the excess money to go build the business.

So we have to punch stop on that treadmill, and like step off of it and choose to – which is really scary, right? Because we’re like so used to being on that loop, and we have to choose to believe and go, “Okay, wait, I’m now seeing that as long as I stay in that cycle, I have no time and no money. What if I stepped over here, I got off the treadmill and I figured out a way to make more money in less time. So that it afforded me the hours to spend building the business or doing the thing that’s actually going to grow me to the next level,” right?

Amy: Absolutely. And that has been the gift of this time to me is that I wasn’t doing that to the best of my ability. So I was like jumping off the treadmill. Like I feel like I was doing it sort of, like I take a foot off the treadmill and I do this. And I’m like, “Oh no, okay, this is more comfortable, I’m going to go back here.” But like the fact of like I was like legit, like picked up off of it right now, because of what has happened.

So that, like, and I guess that’s an encouragement to everyone else of the – as crazy and awful as things going on in the world right now are, that it can be a gift to you. Like it has been a gift to me, the time, the time has been a gift to me to step back. And I think it was a David Hollis quote, something about, “Looking at your life and seeing what you want to put back in after this time.” Like what have you been doing? Like you’ve had so much taken out, what do you want to put back in?

And that’s exactly where I’m at to where, okay, what am I putting back in after this time? Because I have had that and, I guess, that ability just to step back and see like here’s what I was doing that wasn’t working, and here’s what I can change.

Tobi: Yeah. And even kind of the next level of understanding that the rug may have been yanked out from under us, and it wasn’t our choice. But now that we see the benefits of the rug being, you know, gone, kind of like the excuses are gone, the stories are gone. Like we didn’t do it on purpose but it happened to us, but there was a beautiful silver lining in it.

I think it’s the next step is saying, “Okay, how do I consciously pull the rug as in all the excuses out from under myself going forwards? So I don’t find myself just right back cozied up in an old story once things go back to normal,” right, like we can actually learn to do this for ourselves.

Amy: Yes. And that’s the – that’s why I go back, again, for myself like to the journey. It is the journey. It is sitting down for me and journaling every day and looking at my thoughts and seeing, you know what I’m putting into my mind. And what I’m choosing to focus on because that, I have to do that. That is a journey, and that’s the work of, yes, this makes me feel uncomfortable. Yes, this is what I want, I’m choosing that. And the intentionality of it, like for me, that’s the thing that you just have to do every single day, and it doesn’t go away, that you just have to keep doing.

Tobi: I love that. So when people – so when we’re thinking about how long does it take, how long does it take to do this stuff? Which I always think is the wrong question. When people come to Design You and they’re like, “Well, how much time do I need to do Design You, you know, like how many hours a week or how many hours a day or whatever?” I’m like that’s the wrong question.

Like I’ve never gone into a program or a coach with that that I recall, with that scarcity mindset of well, what’s the kind of the minimum amount that I can dip my toe in the water and get results that I want? And so I think it definitely is the wrong question. Because when you start to shift to what you’re saying, which it is the journey, it takes the rest of your life. It takes the rest of your business as long – if you really want to keep growing and doing the dreamy things.

So like what’s the answer to how long does it take? Like is that the same for you, it takes as long as you’re going to be willing to give it? And your success is completely tied to what you’re willing to invest in it?

Amy: Absolutely. It’s, again, it goes for me, it’s just it’s intentionality and then follow through on that intention. Like I – you get – it’s one of those things, like everything else, you get in it what you – or you get out of it what you put into it. You know, if you’re there ready to make changes, make changes that might be hard, but absolutely worthwhile and show up. I mean I could have been in Design You and never done anything. Like never gone to any coaching call or never, like right.

And like to me like I’m very like I like my ROI, I like my Return On Investments. I want to show up, get in there and do that. But I have no idea how long it takes because it’s what you put into it. Like it’s, do you want to journal daily every day? I mean if you don’t, okay, fine. But maybe you won’t get that result that you’re after, because you’re not willing to put the effort into it. And I think it’s, you have to come into it with a growth mindset, I think from the beginning, that you…

And again, it’s not even just what you get, because I mean the relationships and people I’ve met, you know, there’s – you give too. So I guess it’s just, it’s what you put into it, you have to come into it with being ready and willing to work and change, and want something different. Because obviously what you’ve been doing, at least for me, wasn’t getting me where I wanted to go. And so definition of insanity, you’re doing the same thing over and over again, and like that’s not what I wanted. So I think showing up differently was, that was a given to me and like given this program.

Tobi: And I think then coming to the realization that when you start to understand the results you currently have are because of the choices you’ve been making and the thoughts you’ve been thinking. Not just something that was happening to you, I think then that really spurs you to that place that you’ve come to, where you’re starting to believe that you can create any results you want.

Because we’re like, “Well, when I did this stuff, and I didn’t show up and I wasn’t all in, and I stayed small. And I didn’t spend money and I didn’t stay in my zone of genius, and I didn’t believe all these thoughts. I created these results, which were the ones I did not want.” And when I try these other things, like you’ve seen every time, right, almost instant results when you choose to really move forward.

Like it’s not like it – I mean, yes, it’s a long game in that we’re always going to be working on this if you’re in that growth mindset and you want to keep growing your business. But the truth is you can get some pretty instant shifts the moment you really choose to believe and go all in on some of this stuff, right?

Amy: Yeah, totally. And I’ve even found, you know, some of those uncomfortable things actually do get easier. I mean there’s still the uncomfortableness but like it’s just, yeah, it’s always – for me, I’m just, I’m getting there right now. Like it’s worth showing up, it’s worth being all in. I’ve been like the dip your toe in person for a while here and there, and it’s gotten results that are here and there. And I am sick of that, so I’m ready to move on to something better.

Tobi: And I think that’s so true about anything, right? Like it can be – I always use like food or diet, or exercise, or relationships or other things in our life. Like when we dip our toe in – I love how you said that, we dip our toe in results. And when we go all in we get all in result. But I do think that there are moments in the process that people feel like it’s taking way too – like taking – creating a lead magnet, or creating an online presence, or building a following.

Like I’m doing Instagram Lives every day for like three months and I still only have 10 people watching. And it feels like it’s taking way too long. What do you do about that now? Like how has that shifted? Because in the past, probably you would have quit way sooner, so when things – when your brain starts to say this shouldn’t take this long, which we know is a lie because it takes as long as it takes obviously. And we don’t know what that number is for any given person other than how much they’re willing to invest in it, time and money.

But what do you do when it feels like things are going really slow and taking a long time now, that’s different than what you did before?

Amy: Well, for one, I don’t quit. And I think it’s going back to the massive action. And the massive action is continuing to take that action until you get the results that you want. And not being afraid to just put something out there. Because I think for me before – I’m a classic victim of analysis paralysis where, you know, I’d have the lead magnet written. But, oh, I need to tweak this one thing. Oh, it’s almost ready, like you’ve talked about them before.

Or it’s almost like where it’s okay to put the thing out there; it has value, like you can change it. Like realizing like you can put the thing out there, and then you can change it and tweak it if it needs that. But put the thing out there, do the thing, like do the thing. And I think when I’m feeling that way about, you know, oh, these results aren’t coming as fast as I want. Well, I’m still going to put it out there and realizing, okay, maybe I need to tweak this one little part of it.

But something I have learned is that if you never put it out there, you don’t have anything to tweak. You don’t know, like if I put out…

Tobi: If they were results, right? You’re like it may be slow results if I put it out there. But if the alternative is quitting then you get guaranteed zero results when you quit.

Amy: Yes. And so if I have a lead magnet out there that’s not getting me the results I want, well, okay, what results did I get? And if I change this one thing, then you have measurable data to look at. But if you are too afraid to ever put anything out there, I think that’s the thing that I’ve learned is that put the thing out there before you think it’s ready, do it before you think you’re ready, it’s okay. You can tweak it, you’re still giving value. It’s still valuable.

The same thing even with Instagram Lives, like I like to, you know, I spend all this time, you know, scripting this. Now like I bullet point it, I talk and I offer value and I just show up. And just showing up then I know, oh, this is what people might want to hear, this value that they can get that I’m not offering right now, I can change that. And just being willing to put the thing out there was huge for me.

Tobi: Yeah, imperfectly.

Amy: And keep doing it.

Tobi: Because it’s not sustainable, if you have to spend five hours every time you’re going to go live on Instagram for 30 minutes, you’re going to quit after like day two, right, or three.

And I think the other thing I was thinking about when you were talking is also not only can you tweak stuff. But being willing to leave it untweaked for a while and see if you’re really getting results. Because a lot of times we’re like, well, I want to measure my results on day two or day 20, or month three. And we’re like, but you don’t measure the results on this maybe till month six or month 12. Or you measure them as you go, but you don’t change anything until you’ve given it some time to get traction, right, because we’re so instant gratification.

And it’s so fun to watch you and other people in our community like come to that awareness. And they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I just caught myself believing that the day I put out my new thing, lead magnet thing, God, that all these people would flock to it.” Which I now see as hilarious and I’m going to have to build the people that want the thing, right? I’m going to have to grow into that, right?

Amy: Yes. And it’s the same thing like, you know, we talk about with health or diet. Like you start a diet and the first, you know, three days, “Well, I’ve eaten healthy for three days and I’ve lost zero weight. Oh well, I’m done.” It’s the same thing, like it’s just, it’s, yeah, it’s not going to help you in the long run.

Tobi: It’s the consistent action day, after day, after day, without quitting, without changing, without talking yourself out of it, just continuing to do it that creates the results ultimately, right?

Amy: Yes, and keeping your mind to the fact that this is a goal worthy to achieve. And this is something, you know, this is what I’m – reminding yourself, you know, this is what I’m going for. You know, maybe I’m not getting the result today, but quitting isn’t going to get me the result today either. So I guess, for me, that’s again going back to the journaling and the mindset for me, is keeping my head into that future I want to create that I’m creating now.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think also what we ultimately learn is it really didn’t matter. The content itself is really almost irrelevant to some degree. Like it has to be good enough to be helping people, and of course we want it to be. But the funny thing is, is we want to choose to believe that if we have the perfect content, it will change lives. And the truth is, if we have decent content that we show up with every day then we change people’s lives, and if you can have both, great.

But I think in lieu of one or the other, I’d rather have kind of mediocre or better than average content, and consistently show up every day. Than have like the world’s perfect thing that I never end up putting out, or I only put it out occasionally and then I quit. Because that’s never going to get you results, yeah, awesome.

The one other thing I do want you to speak about is the only thing we haven’t talked about, and I think it’s so fun. You told me that you realized after I started explaining my marketing to you. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, like it was no accident that she attracted me perfectly. Now I see it was actually the plan, the tool, the formula, and I can do this too.” So talk about that a little bit, because I think that’s a fun story.

Amy: Yes, that was amazing. So once I got into Design You and started learning, you know, the back end of what we learn there, I was looking at Tobi’s, you know, ideal client. And I basically was her in bullet points, like as she went through it, I’m like, “Oh, I do that, I’m that and this.” This is why I was thinking like why is this woman in my head, and why is? And I’ve seen the results from it too because I am who, you know, you were targeting to reach with your content that can help.

And not only that, but then realizing I can take that piece of the puzzle, and I can reach my people too, and I can reach the people that I have a message for that I want to help, and then those people can. And it’s just, it’s like it’s continuous giving, it’s not just, oh, how cool that Tobi showed up for me. It’s that I can show up for someone else. And that was, that is another, like I say, it blew my mind all the time because it always does, but it did. And then just realizing, wow, I can do that too.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that. And I think that the piece of that goes back to everything you’ve said. Because I have to have the courage to feel cheesy, to feel weird, to feel hokey, to feel uncomfortable to put out the words that I know I was thinking when I was, you know, two or three years before. So that I could attract somebody just like you who’s in the exact same place I was, who I can take on this journey that I went on so I can help them.

But if I’m not willing to be uncomfortable and to put things out that my friends are going to think I’m a flake. And then like people are going to judge me or whatever. You wouldn’t be on this podcast right now. You wouldn’t be getting these results. We would have no story to tell because I would have made a choice that didn’t allow me to show up and share with you my gifts, my talents, my experience.

Or if I was trying to do it but I was still being the best kept secret because I was afraid to put it out in any way. Then I would have just – I would have been in my silo and you would have been in yours. And you would have needed me, but I wouldn’t have been able to help you. And I think that’s such an important lesson that we have to really see, is that this personal development work, this mindset work, this work on money mindset.

Like all the parts we’ve talked about today are the steps to allowing yourself to show up in the world in a way so that the people that need you can find you, can hire you, can benefit from you. And that’s like the perfect – that’s what we’re all looking for, right?

That’s the perfect like math of I do this thing, I’m willing to share it with you so you can buy it. So you can use it, so then you can go and change your life. And that’s kind of what you’re saying. It’s almost like I’m paying it forward because then when you can do that for other people, you help them, and then they get to show up in the way they want to in the world.

Amy: Absolutely. And let me just encourage everyone listening that the world absolutely needs what you have to give because for a while I didn’t think that. Like we all have gifts that for keeping them to ourselves, we’re hiding something from the world. We’re hiding something from someone that could use it. Like the same thing, like if I was never in this program I wouldn’t have gotten this benefit. Or if – I don’t know, I think of it the same way with I don’t hold back I guess. You have something worth offering.

I think that a lot of times when you are like me, or for me, I’ve kept myself small for so long, thinking that, like oh no, and, you know, what could I have to give? Or this isn’t valuable, or someone’s already done it. And none of that is true. No one’s offered it the way that you do.

Tobi: I love that. So like let’s end on that, like what was the thing you did to shift that? Because I agree with you, I think there are so many people sitting right now listening to this podcast, already doing the thing you said you stopped doing as well, “Amy, must also have an ‘it’ factor. Amy has something I don’t have or whatever. Or she got out there first and now it’s too late for me.”

Like we want to tell all these stories to ourselves, like why me? Why would anybody want to hear from me? That’s already been done. And we want to choose to believe that our spin on it or our version of it, or the way we would put it together is not valuable to a certain group of people. Yet, what you’re saying and I know to be true, is there is a reason we’re here on the planet. We all have a gift to give. We all have something to share, if we’re willing to give voice to it, if we’re willing to give language to it and attention to it.

So what was the shift for you that made you finally choose to believe you absolutely had something that other people needed?

Amy: I think it’s looking outside myself to the people that have given to me, thinking that, well, what if they wouldn’t have done that? Like what if that person didn’t write that book? Or what if, you know, that person never made a podcast? Or what if I never, you know, all those kinds of things. Or what if they were the best kept secret and I never found them? And how I would feel, or where I would be now if those people hadn’t put themselves out there and given in that way?

I had to take myself out of the equation. And now that I see, okay, well, they did that, that benefitted me. I’m a firm believer that we all have gifts, like I think we all have God given gifts to share with the world. And those people did and they had the courage to go out and bring them out to the world when it was hard. And why can’t I do that? Why can’t you do that? You can do that.

Tobi: Yes. And all of the magic we’re looking for, every feeling we want to feel, all the worthiness, all of this stuff comes when we are willing. Not because we gave it to somebody, not because we proved ourselves, but because when we proved it to ourselves I think, that we show up. And we see what we can do in the world and the difference we make in the world. I think that’s the only path to all of the dreamy kind of feelings that we’re all wishing we had.

And even the money too, like I think the feelings, the money, the fulfillment is all on the other side of that journey through the discomfort and being courageous, don’t you think?

Amy: Totally. And realizing that, you know, no one’s going to present the same thing through your lens. That was something that like no one else is me, so I’m going to present my content the way I’m going to present it. Tobi’s going to present her content the way she’s going to present it. And there’s something special in that.

Tobi: Yes. And I love that we learned, especially when you’re willing to do things online and digitally, it’s unlike a one-to-one service. You can listen to more than one person’s podcast at a time. You can buy more than one program or course at a time. And it’s not necessarily and either/or, and I think that’s a beautiful shift too, because so, no, we’re not all going to hire three interior designers at once, or three dinners at once, or three hairdressers at once.

But when you’re willing to go into the online space you absolutely make what it is that you’re selling an option for people not to be an either, or anymore. And I think that’s such an amazing thing too, it can be a both, and, right? Which then kind of gets us a little bit more over those fears of there’s not enough people in the world that are going to buy or hear or benefit from my thing.

Amy: Yeah, those are your people, your people are out there.

Tobi: Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you so much. I am not at all surprised how amazing this conversation was. I think it will help, so, so, so many people in so many ways. And it’s just I’m so excited for you. I’m so excited about the growth that you have. I want to say proud of you, which would be true too. But it’s more like excitement for you because I’ve been on the path too, the growth path, the, I’m, you know, a seeker of knowledge and information and going next level.

And I know how fulfilling it is, and so I just feel like I know exactly the feelings you’re experiencing. And I’m so happy that you get to feel all those things.

Amy: Yeah. Well, thank you so much, I’m so excited for what’s to come.

Tobi: Yeah. And congratulations for doing the hard work, because like let’s just be clear, like you can come into my program or anybody else’s program, or read a book. People do it all the time that never have the courage to do the work, like you’re saying. And the only person that gets credit for that is you. Like you made the choices to keep showing up, to keep digging deeper, to keep feeling uncomfortable, to keep going next level. And that’s all you, and it’s just, it’s amazing, and so bravo for choosing that for yourself.

Amy: Well, thank you so much, it’s been great.

Okay. Pretty cool, right, she’s come so far. And I love the big takeaways from the people working in my program with me, or always the mindset stuff. Because I’ve said a million times, you can learn all the business tools in the world. But if you don’t get out of your own way, there is no way you’re going to really have success. And it’s all the stuff in the mind, between the ears, all the thinking, and the limiting thoughts, the fear of failure. All the stuff we talked about today that is always the culprit when we don’t really create and design, essentially, the life and the business that we really want.

So if you are inspired by Amy’s podcast and you want to come work with us in Design You, please reach out to us, you can send us an email at tf@tobi2.local if you want some one-on-one handholding about your questions. Or head over to tobifairly.com and check out the Design You coaching program tab there. We would love to have you be our next success story just like Amy has been and so many others. So thanks for listening everybody, and I’ll see you again next week on the Design You podcast, 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.

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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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