Ep #39: Listener Q&A

This week on the podcast, I’m being a little spontaneous and doing my first ever listener Q&A episode! I’m also introducing a new segment to the podcast where I highlight a review from a listener, so if you want to be the next person featured on my listener spotlight, make sure to leave a review on iTunes!

I receive so many great questions about business, trusting yourself, and burnout; I think my answers today will be super helpful to anyone who is working on improving their life or business. I’m also sharing how my program, Design You, has been created to combine business and mindset tools so that anyone can achieve the success they dream of.

Join me this week for my first ever Q&A episode! I really enjoyed discussing these topics and I hope you can implement some of the tips and advice I share!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How I got my start in business.
  • What you need to start your own business.
  • How I help people through my Design You coaching program.
  • My practical advice for generating business in any market.
  • How to learn to trust yourself.
  • Why trusting your design has nothing to do with design skill.
  • How to decide what your dream goal to work towards is.
  • What burnout is actually caused by.
  • How to avoid burnout and stay motivated when you feel down.
  • What the most successful people do with their thinking.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 39.

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 is your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hello friends, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am this time of year. I mean, I’m so excited about the holidays, I’m hosting Christmas at my house really soon and getting ready for that, and I just love this season in general.

But you know what I love even more than Christmas? Believe it or not, I love the new year. And honestly, I can’t think of anything I like much more than the new year because I love a new fresh start, a clean slate, that thing – whole experience that we get at the beginning of each year.

And I’m working on so much fun stuff for the new year in the way of new podcasts and blog posts and I’m launching new features in my Design You coaching program and just really so much more and I am pumped about all of it. So be sure and follow along as you typically do I’m sure if you’re listening here today to the podcast. If you’re not a regular listener, become one because I’m going to tell you about all this cool stuff that’s happening and I’m even going to tell you about a couple of cool things today.

Okay, so here’s what’s going to happen today. So I am a very organized, structured, literal – yeah, I know I’m a creative but man, I’m really more type A. You know I have an accounting degree and a design degree, which I’m going to tell you about both of those things in a minute, but I am not typically a fly by the seat of your pants, spontaneous kind of girl.

But today, I feel like that’s kind of what we’re doing because this is my first ever listener Q&A episode. So I recently asked out in social media land for some questions for people that listen to the podcast and kind of what you wanted to know, and today I’m going to tell you those questions and I’m going to give you my answers. So it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a little spontaneous, and I don’t even really know what’s going to happen so I hope it turns out great but we’ll see, right?

So that’s what today looks like on the podcast. Now, here’s the other thing that’s fun about today. I mean, it’s a whole bunch of firsts here today on the podcast. The first Q&A episode, also my first listener spotlight. So I love hearing this when other podcasters do this and I wanted to do it too because there is so many of you who have left amazing reviews and comments and wonderful things about the podcast and how it’s changing your life and I wanted to share one of those today. And I’m going to do this regularly, so go leave me a review and let me know what you think because I might just highlight you in the future.

But today I am highlighting our listener, Gail Davis, and this was Gail’s comment about The Design You Podcast. She said, “I recently started listening to the Tobi podcast,” as she called it, “and it is amazing. Even though I know what she is saying, I need to add action to it and get out of my own way. It’s like having the sister I never had sit down with me and tell me to get it together.”

Well Gail, I’ve never had a sister either so I love that I’m like the sister that you never had and I love that you’re liking the podcast. And you know what, that’s my favorite thing to do is not only to tell you but to tell me too to get it together. So I’m glad it’s working for you. I hope you keep listening, and for the rest of you, please do go leave me a rating and a review because you know what, you might just hear your comment here on a future episode of the podcast.

Okay, now let’s get into some fun stuff. At least I think it’s going to be fun. But again, who knows? This is the spontaneous Tobi. I don’t really know her that well, but we’re going to start out with some questions from some listeners. So I have a few here but let’s start with this one because it’s sort of a good place to set the scene.

So somebody said, “Hey Tobi, I don’t really think I’ve ever heard how you got your start. So tell us what that looked like.” So I alluded to this a minute ago, but the interesting thing about me, if you don’t already know, is I have an accounting degree, an interior design degree, a Masters in business, a life coaching certification, a health coaching certification and who knows what else. I think one time when I was like, 15, I got certified in aerobics.

So the point being I’m a lifelong learner. So I went to school for a long time, I love the whole experience of college and learning and I finally got out and I interviewed for some jobs in interior design and guess what? That was about 20 years ago. The pay was not very good at all and it’s not changed in a lot of ways in our business at the beginning. Low starting salaries in a lot of places.

But I decided that instead of going to work for someone else and making not very much money, I just got to work for myself and if I was going to starve, if my parents were going to have to let me come over for dinner so that I could eat, then I thought I would just do it on my own and build my own business.

Now, good or bad, there was a lot of both actually, that’s what I did. So at age 27 I started my interior design business and like I said, it’s been almost 20 years. In April it’ll be 20 years and about 10 years ago I started my consulting business around the time that we hit the recession in 2008, 2009, and that is when things really started to get fun because I was wearing all the hats for both of the businesses, and over time I built both of these to be million-dollar businesses, but it was not without a ton of bumps and a lot of lessons learned along the way.

So that’s the very reason that I can come to you on the podcast and give you such amazing ideas and advice and stories, not only because I got a ton of education but especially because I got a lot of experience. So that’s how I got my start in business, and in a lot of ways, I feel like I’m almost starting again because just this year, six months ago, I started the Design You coaching program and so that was my first – I’ve had a consulting business, as I said, for about 10 years, but this is really the first piece that brings in the life coaching with business and design, and it also is my first giant leap into the online world in a big way and that has been so much fun and the rules are so very different in the online world than they are in the regular business world.

So I’m just learning and growing there. It keeps things exciting so that has been that progression and you’ll hear a whole lot more about the Design You program as it grows and some other really cool stuff that I’m launching in the online space for the design consumer. So for all of you who want to follow me because you want decorating ideas and advice, I’ll have something amazing coming for you later in 2019. So stay tuned for that.

So I’m always an idea girl, visionary, and I’m never going to stop coming up with ideas, so that’s where we are in the how did you get your start. I was reading the book with my book club group inside of my Design You coaching program this month called High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard and he was talking about how high performers, which I’m pretty high performer. I rate fairly well on his scale, how they don’t ever feel like they’ve arrived. In fact, they often feel like they’re still just getting started.

So I definitely feel like I’m just getting started because maybe they’re like me. It’s all the new ideas and the things that we start periodically, like my new coaching program and leaping into the online world. And so when you do that regularly, yeah, I can see how you never feel like you’ve actually arrived because we’re always starting something new, right? So that’s really fun.

Okay, so thanks for that question and I loved to get to tell you a little bit about how I started. Young, inexperienced, didn’t know better at 27, and did it the hard way, but hey, some of it worked out.

Okay, so on a related note, one of the other questions was, “How much experience is needed before opening your own design firm? Can you open with just a few years’ experience?” Well, the interesting thing for me is I opened mine right out of college in a sense. Now, I wasn’t 24 or 23 or 22 or whatever age you’re supposed to be when you actually graduate from college the first time because I went consecutively to school.

My parents laugh so often about it because they’re like, you could have been a doctor Tobi, you went to school for nine years. I’m so glad I’m not a doctor. I’m so glad I’m a creative and an entrepreneur, but the interesting thing is because I did that, I did work for other people and I even worked in a friend’s design firm while I was getting my design degree and my MBA and some of those things.

So I did have some experience. That’s really not the case that I had none. I worked for a friend for about a year and a half who had her design business while I was finishing mine. I did an internship in Las Vegas for a summer. I did another internship with a designer who had a firm in Arkansas and also in New York City. So that was fun. I really worked in the Arkansas office but I felt like I got a taste of the New York scene now and again on some of his projects.

So I had some experience, but I was very green when I was starting my business. Now, would I suggest someone else do that? Would I advise my daughter to do that? I’m not so sure that I would. You know, there were definitely some wonderful things about it. I come from a family that are used to being in business for themselves.

My dad runs a business that’s a telecom business that’s over 100 years old. So my great great grandfather started it and it was just landline telephones back then, and it’s evolved into an amazing company so I have that in my blood of my parents being business owners. We’ve had several businesses throughout my childhood and my mom worked in them.

So it’s really kind of who I was and it wasn’t as scary as it probably should have been, and it definitely helped that I had the financial background. The accounting degree, the MBA, but let’s just be honest. I’ve never done my own accounting nor do I intend to. So I know enough about accounting, I have a degree in it to understand it and it’s been really, really helpful in so many ways, but I also surrounded myself with great advisors and accountants and bankers and lawyers and all the people that you need when you’re getting into business.

So I don’t think it’s so much about how many years you need of experience. I mean, it depends on the person in a lot of ways, but it depends on a lot of other things. So what I highly recommend that if you’re going to start your own business, whether it’s a design firm or anything else, one of the things you need the most is money. And that’s one of the biggest problems in industries, especially creative industries.

But in so many industries, even the life coaching industry that I’m now certified in. I’ve heard my mentor Brooke from The Life Coach School talk about how there are so many life coaches because there’s no barrier to entry. Anybody can just say I’m a life coach. And you know, that’s the same thing really with interior design and decorating. You can just say I’m a decorator or a designer.

And so really low barrier to entry other than getting a business license and a website maybe. You don’t even really have to have that. So the problem with that is because it’s so easy to get started, so many people do that on a shoestring budget. They just really are like, okay I’m open, and start taking business and there’s a problem with that for a number of reasons, and that’s the very reason that I coach so many other creatives is because of all of the things that come along with starting a business and really not being prepared for it.

So sure, you can write a business plan and you can get really organized like I did. I wrote a whole business plan for my business while that was my final project or paper when I was getting my Masters in business and that’s what I did, which was great and very helpful. But at the end of the day, I needed a lot of smart advisors surrounding me and I really needed money. And we just don’t put enough capital into our small businesses so many times.

So experience is great. If you don’t have all the experience yourself or even if you do, when you get in that situation, in a real-world situation of owning a business, there’s so much that comes up. So you definitely need money. You know what else? You need a coach. You need a coach or a mentor or a consultant. You got to have somebody to really help you take your business to the next level.

And years ago, I thankfully found – I didn’t even know that there was such a thing. I started my business in 1999 so in about 2003 or so, about four years into the business, I had the great fortune of finding a book, Mary Knackstedt’s book on the business of interior design, and I thought this is genius. Who knew there was such a thing?

And Mary was and I think still is a coach in the industry, and so she was my very first business coach and really taught me so much and taught me how to charge what I’m worth and do so many things, and I just wouldn’t be where I am today without her and a lot of other business coaches. I am a business coach and I still have a business coach.

So it’s not as much experience that you need as you need money, you need coaches, you need systems, and a lot of that stuff you’re not going to know how to do either. I mean, let’s just be clear. I work with so many interior designers who have worked for years in big firms, even some that have run big firms and they cannot run their own business. Their month to month, if even that, with their cash flow and they struggle managing people and just because you are great at a craft, a skill, does not mean that you’re going to be great at being a business owner.

So again, really having the structure, the systems, the mentors and coaches, the money, all of it. And you need the money to get the systems and to get the mentors and coaches, right? So yeah, it’s not so much about experience. You can definitely open a business with just a few years. I did that for sure. But there’s a whole lot of other stuff you need.

Okay, might be way more than you were hoping for but that’s my answer on that. Okay, so the next one is, “How do you or what is some practical advice and steps to generate new business in a slow market?” Well, here is one of the main reasons, in addition to the last question. I love it when this happens. Like, y’all set me up perfectly to tell you why I’m so passionate about coaching other designers and about my Design You coaching program.

It was not by design. You just help me out. But the interesting thing is you need something called a digital marketing system. And one of the things, one of the key pillars of my coaching program because I really help people, creatives and other female entrepreneurs, interior designers, that kind of thing, I help them with three things. I help you, if you join the program, to transform your schedule, transform your mindset, and transform your business model.

And here is the problem with this question of generating new business in a slow market. So it’s probably not the slow market that is the problem. The problem is probably your marketing and possibly even the value that you’re delivering to the customer. So it’s really interesting, it’s such a fascinating time in interior design and other industries too. So many other industries.

But things are changing so much right now and so for example, in the interior design industry, so much availability of product and design and design services are available online and just readily available and at very inexpensive prices. Now, are they apples to apples to a custom high-end interior designer? Of course not.

But here’s the thing; so many consumers, including some of you listening realize that you don’t even want or need that full service offering of a high-end interior designer, right? So that’s one of the problems that interior designers and other creatives have is we have one thing, we sell this one thing. A lot of times it’s pretty expensive, and we’re not really marketing it well, we’re not meeting you where you are, which is out on the internet.

We’re not teaching you what we do and how we can change your lives by meeting you out on the internet. We, yeah, maybe have a website and hope that you happen to find it and then hope you have the reason to call us, but that’s a lot of hoping. And so the answer to steps to generate new business in a slow market is really not waiting until the market is slow.

It’s developing a consistent strategy, a consistent approach to digital marketing and there’s a whole lot of other steps to it, trust me, because you got – before you can market yourself you got to know who you are, who your customer is, why you are the solution to their problem, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

But when you do that work and when you know that, then you can market consistently to the right people and your business doesn’t get slow. You have things in the pipeline regularly because it’s called a business development system, not just waiting until there’s crickets chirping and you don’t see very many dollar signs in your bank account and you’re like, oh heck, I better get some business really super-fast. That’s not the way to do it.

And it’s going to be really, really difficult, if not impossible to find clients when you need them and that’s why you feel like it’s a slow market. So I developed an entire course called Designer MBA 2.0 because I had the great course Designer MBA, which is my foundational business course that I’ve taught for years, which I recently updated too, by the way.

And so I just created this new course because it’s really Designer MBA but 2.0, like, going to the next level because it’s bringing everything about your business online. And here’s the thing, if you don’t want to create products and services online, that’s not what I’m talking about. You can and I highly recommend you do, but you at the very least have to be marketing to your customer, reaching your customer, speaking to your customer in the online space because y’all, guess where everybody is? They’re online.

Just like you are when you’re listening to my podcast on your phone, right? People are on Facebook and Instagram and Google and searching the web all the time and if you are not having the right tactics, the right information, the right content, the right lead magnets, and if you don’t even know what a lead magnet is then you need to know. And I put this whole course together for that very reason because I see and believe that it’s something that we are inherently bad at as creative industries.

In fact, most of the people that I work with initially when I start working with them to consult on their business don’t even have an email list at all. So even if you wanted to drum up some business, you wouldn’t have anybody to contact. You just have to put something out into the world, either an advertisement or hopefully word of mouth, or maybe some kind of social media post and hope that your customer can find you through all the noise out on the internet, the interwebs as I lovingly like to call them, and connect with you and hire you, and that’s just kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.

So again, no wonder your business is slow. So practical advice, build an email list. Practice advice, create some amazing content. Not fluff content. Not something that nobody really wants, not just your five best paint colors. They can find that anywhere. But something really, really meaty that’s going to change somebody’s life and give it away for free so you can get access to those people so you can start marketing to them.

That is my practical advice for generating new business in a slow market, a fast market, any kind of market. But the most important part is that you’re just generating it all the time. So want to know more about that, definitely check it out in my Design You coaching program because Designer MBA 2.0 is where it’s at.

The next question is, “How do you trust your design?” So this is really interesting. So much of what we teach in Design You – I could have said this was an episode about Design You and I didn’t even kind of know it because here I am being spontaneous, reading these questions, but you know, it’s great because the whole reason that I create so much of what I do to help others like you is because I know the needs because I had the need myself.

So how do you trust your design? I get that. It’s scary. Whether you’re a consumer or a professional, it’s like, I’m going to put these things together and I have an eye for color or for pattern or for spatial relationships and I’m good at that, but at the same time, gosh, I hope this actually turns out looking the way it looks in my head.

I mean, even now, even 20 years in, there’s always that feeling when we go to an installation at a job that you’re kind of holding your breath until all the furniture and the rugs and the artwork and the drapery and everything, the paint colors have already gone up, all of that stuff, every time something goes in you kind of hold your breath and think, gosh, I hope this actually looks the way that I thought it was going to.

I hope the sofa’s big enough, I hope the rug is big enough, I hope the proportion of everything is right, and I get it. It’s scary. But here’s the thing; trusting your design is the same thing as any kind of trust with yourself. Trusting yourself to follow through, to show up for yourself, to actually follow your calendar and schedule, to do anything.

Trusting yourself, it’s all about mindset. It’s about confidence and confidence is a mindset. And so really learning how to control your thoughts, how to see what thoughts are coming up when you’re feeling insecure. Because here’s what I know and if you don’t know this already you should go back and listen to episode number four called How to Solve Any Problem where I teach you the mindset model that I learned at The Life Coach School.

But it’s really helping yourself understand that if you’re feeling insecure, that any feeling that you feel, insecure, scared, afraid, like, the fear, the whole thing, it’s coming from a thought. And so you want to know what thought you’re thinking. So if you’re doing your design work and you’re looking at it and you’re like, well, I think this looks good but I don’t know and I’m afraid and I just don’t know if I should pull the trigger – and what a lot of designers do because I see you do this all the time, and if you’re my client or my student, guess what I do?

I tell you to stop doing this because what do you do? You create two or three options for the customer because you’re afraid. You’re like, well I don’t know if they’re going to like that so let me make scheme number two and scheme number three. And here’s what I want you to know, and I tell people this all the time. Creating three design schemes for your client is the wrong thing to do and a bad idea because of a couple things, maybe three things.

For one, either you’re doing it for free and not getting paid if you’re working by a flat fee, or two, you’re charging them hours for it so you’re charging them triple when they really just wanted to know your best idea, right? That’s why they’re hiring you. If they needed choices, they already had a whole bunch of choices. That’s why they came to you in the first place because they’re like, I have too many choices, I need somebody to weed through this and tell me what to do, right?

Or number three, which is exactly that. They don’t want to be confused. Because what happens when you show them two or three options? What do they immediately say? They usually are like, well, which one would you pick? So which one would you pick would have been your first choice anyway and you would have just designed it and gone with it. And you would have been secure about it if you weren’t thinking thoughts that make you feel insecure.

So the way that you trust your design is not anything to do with design skill. It’s mindset skill. I call those my Jedi mind tricks. All the stuff I learned at The Life Coach School, including using the thought model. So go back and listen to episode number four and learn to really manage your thoughts around everything you do, including your work and you will be able to sell it way better to all of those people you work with.

And the reason I laughed and said this has to do with Design You also is because I created Design You because I wanted a coaching program where mindset meets business tools. Because I’ve worked with people for 10 years that had great business tools and it was so fascinating because one person would be able to implement it all and have huge success just like me, and then the next person would be like, “That didn’t work.”

And I’m like, how could it not work? It worked for her, it worked for me, why can it not work for you? And I figured out that the why it wouldn’t work for some people was their mindset. Their thoughts, their insecurity. So interesting. So this is the very reason I love to pair business and mindset together.

Okay, next question. “How do you decide what your one big dream to work towards is?” So it’s very fascinating to me how people struggle with clarity, and in the book I mentioned, High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, he talks about these six habits that the highest performers in the world have, the top athletes, the top celebrities, the top entrepreneurs and business people.

And the very first one he mentions is clarity. In fact, I highly recommend that book and I’m using his planner right now, this morning – it’s actually morning and evening. His daily planner, so you do exercises in the morning and the evening that really help you with all of the six habits. But it’s interesting that clarity is one of the ones that I score really high on.

So it’s always fascinating to me when somebody says you know, I don’t know what I want to do or I don’t know how to pick a goal or I don’t know how to pick a dream because for me, I’m like, oh my gosh, not only do I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams, I know exactly which one that I want to work on first. I know exactly which one I’m most passionate about.

But if you don’t, it’s really all about digging into really what I call kind of that true self. Like, we know what’s deep in our heart and I say a lot of times to people when people don’t want to admit it, they’re kind of like, “Well, I have no idea,” the truth is not I have no idea. The truth is I really know but I’m super afraid to say it out loud because it feels scary and you might judge me or I might feel stupid or what if it is stupid and all of that stuff.

Well guess what? That’s the mindset stuff again. So what you have to do is you have to tune in to really what your heart’s telling you you want to do. What are those things that light you on fire, that light you up, that get you so excited? And then I want you to look at what thoughts come up around them.

Because you’re really not having so much trouble with the dream probably. Most of you, you’re likely having a lot more trouble with the confidence around the dream. You’re having issues with obstacle thoughts, which I recently did a podcast just on obstacle thoughts for this very reason because any time we choose something new that’s going to make us grow in a big way, go in a new direction like a goal or a dream, the minute we say I’m going to do this, that’s when all these crazy obstacle thoughts come into our brain.

All the things that tell us okay, you thought this was the best idea ever five minutes ago and it was going to make you like, super rich, but five minutes later it’s the dumbest idea you ever had and what were you thinking, right? So that’s what you want to do is you want to dig in and maybe there’s two or three things you’re really thinking about.

Put them on paper. I always just like to look at them at face value. What are the pros? What are the cons? What can I do now? What could I start with? Is something going to take a lot of extra learning or time or anything else, money, that I don’t have at the moment? And if so, maybe it’s still the big dream to go for but what would that look like?

Map it out without any drama, any emotion, keep all the mindset stuff out and just look at the facts first. Get it on paper and then look at all the obstacles. Because if you can, think about the obstacles and those obstacle thoughts ahead of time and make a strategy, then you’re going to be able to know if you can really move forward and honestly, if you really want to.

Once you dig into something that much and what, you know, a lot of business people call due diligence or I think of that in legal terms too. I think my husband talks about doing your due diligence, but basically just doing the work to make sure this is a good plan, putting it on paper, doing the math, doing the finances and all the stuff around it.

If it’s not really the dream that lights you up, you’re going to know it. You’re going to be like, I thought I was interested in this but maybe not so much. But what I don’t want you to do is quitting because it’s still burning in there in your heart, in your dreams, but you’re just afraid of it. That’s the obstacle thought work and go check out the episode, and we’ll put them in the show notes, all the episodes I’m mentioning that dig deep into one area and how they’ll help you figure out how to get clarity and how to do the mindset work around it. And like I said, be sure and go check out the High Performance Habits book because it’s really, really good.

And then here’s – actually last two questions, but I’m going to combine them. One of them says, “How do you avoid burnout?” This is a designer, like, design work burnout she says, and like, what are the ways to stay inspired when you’re exhausted, and then the other question said, “How do you keep motivated during tough times or when you feel down?”

So I think those are pretty related and as you can probably imagine, they both go back to mindset work. So one of the things that I would do immediately, any time that I start feeling down that I know that if I’m having a feeling that I don’t really like, it’s coming from a thought. So I got to get in there, figure out what the thought is that’s causing the problem, right?

So staying motivated during “tough times,” it’s fascinating. Like, tough times is also just a thought. If you’re thinking something’s hard, it’s going to be hard. And yeah, of course we do have hard things happen in our lives. We have things with money or we have illnesses or death or that kind of thing and I get it.

It’s not that I’m glossing those over, but definitely most of the time when we’re feeling like things are not going our way and they’re really tough and we’re adding all of this stress and overwhelm and confusion, a lot of times we’re really not having huge problems, per say, we’re just creating a lot of problems. We’re creating a lot of drama, a lot of fear.

So the way I stay motivated is by managing my thoughts and I do this every day. Not just during tough times. I use the thought model every day. I’m looking at how I’m feeling. In fact, I’m planning ahead how I want to feel, and that’s even another thing that I found really interesting and amazing about High Performance Habits, the book that I mentioned, and I’m sure that Brooke Castillo, really my mentor in The Life Coach School and that I follow pretty much everything she does and Brendon Burchard have a lot in common.

A lot of people that run in those kind of self-help circles have a lot in common anyway, but there’s so much crossover with their thinking, and so Brendon talked in the same way that Brooke talks about, which is the same way I believe and what I talk about is that the people that have the most success don’t just wait and see how they feel or what comes up. They actually strategically create both the thoughts and the feelings that they want to have so they can be most successful by working on it consciously all the time.

Now, back to a little bit of the first question, how did you avoid design work burnout and how do you stay inspired when you’re exhausted, that’s a little bit different. Design work burnout or just work burnout in general is never, when you really look at it, coming from the amount of work that you have because you see people who are super passionate and in a really excited place about their business and they’re doing every bit as much work as the people who are burning out.

The problem is, once again, with their thoughts. So if you’re hitting burnout, it’s what you’re thinking. You’re thinking things are hard, you’re thinking things are a problem, you’re thinking you don’t want to be doing things, you’re thinking you have too much to do and too little time, you’re thinking you’re spread too thin. It’s all these negative thoughts that lead us to burnout.

And I know this firsthand because I’ve been there twice. Now, it’ll be interesting to see if I can avoid burnout long term moving forward, but I really feel like I’ll be able to because of the way I now have been trained and I use the thought model and thought work every single day because I do know and firmly believe that burnout comes directly from our thoughts. It’s something we create. It’s not something that happens to us.

So that’s a really interesting concept and I am going to do some more podcasts about burnout in the future because I think it’s so fascinating that we do this to ourselves and looking back, it is so clear to me how I definitely did this to myself. And so now a lot of times, I’m doing as much work or more work than I was doing when I was burned out. I just am not thinking the thoughts that I was.

The last little piece of that though, the how do you stay inspired when you’re exhausted, that’s a different problem. Now, exhaustion and feeling “exhausted” is actually coming from a thought a lot of times, but there is such a thing as physical exhaustion. So if you are absolutely physically exhausted, depleted, there is no more of you, you have completely burned yourself out, even if it was with your thinking, the way you stay inspired is you get some rest.

You have to. You have to take care of you. It’s the whole idea of putting the oxygen mask on first and so you have to go back and go okay, I can’t just keep going. And honestly, I learned this the hard way too, and I even have scared myself a couple of times and some of you probably have too that I look back and I think, gosh, it’s a miracle that I didn’t really hurt myself, hurt somebody else, not paying attention when I was – who knows? Driving or thinking or operating machinery.

I mean, honestly, we can get so out of the present moment when we’re too tired, when our brains are just running rampant, and I often think gosh, I’m going to cause myself an accident or disease or something else because I was pushing so far beyond my limits. But I now know that both thought work and self-care are the two things that keep me from being physically exhausted.

And you can’t just wait until you’re exhausted and then start doing this. Just like with the digital marketing program, if you want business all the time, you do it consistently every single day and that’s the same with taking care of you and taking care of your thoughts. You have to do it consistently, both of them, every single day.

And guess what? They kind of are super related. So when you’re taking care of yourself, like exercising, guess what exercising does? It takes a lot of those stressful thoughts away. And when you’re resting it takes a lot of those stressful thoughts away. So they go hand in hand. So taking care of you is really important because if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we pour out into our customers, our families, and other people?

And back to Brendon’s book one more time because it’s so fascinating and I believe it’s so true, the top performers in the world, guess what friends, they’re also the ones that are most consistently healthy, most consistently exercising, most consistently taking breaks, believe it or not. We would think that those people that were the top performing entrepreneurs work 24/7.

Guess what? They don’t. Guess what? Bill Gates takes sabbaticals all the time. I think he does like, a week a month even where he just goes and reads and decompresses. And so you have to have that whole component of health and self-care to really be able to work and be your best.

So that’s the end of my Q&A. I hope you loved it. I loved it. I can’t wait to do another one in the future and just to follow back on what we started with today, I had a couple of fun things and announcements. One of them was that fun listener spotlight. So if you want to leave me a rating or a review, I sure would love that.

So you just go to iTunes and you search for The Design You Podcast and when you find it, you subscribe and then you click on ratings and reviews, and if you leave me a review there, guess what, I read every single one of them and I’m so excited about them. I wish there was a way to respond like there is on social media. But since I can’t do that, I can sure highlight some of you and your awesome things that you have to say about the podcast right here, so let me know what you think.

And then the other fun thing is I just created a place where we can really communicate and that is a Facebook community for The Design You Podcast. So if you want to find this, you go on Facebook, you go to facebook.com/groups/designyoupodcastcommunity. And when you see that, you can request to join.

It’s a closed group but we let everybody in so you just click request to join and guess what, you can get in there and interact with me and other listeners and people that are just so much like you because people that hang out on podcasts, especially self-help podcasts like this one is – I think it is like, business and self-help, we’re of the same mind, friends.

So I’m in there periodically posting and communicating. My team’s in there, we’re reminding you of cool stuff we have going on, we’re posting blog posts and podcasts and we’re also posting just fun weekly prompts where we can all share what we’re doing in our lives and what we’re struggling with. We can help set goals around these ideas in the podcast and really elevate all of us together.

So if you want to be part of The Design You Podcast community, check us out on Facebook. We would love to have you. Okay, so that’s all I’ve got for episode 39, friends. Thank you so much for listening and I can’t wait to see you on another episode really, really soon. Bye.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You 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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