You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 167.
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 is what I promised you last week. Today, this is so exciting to me and I think it will be for you too, interview with three of the members from my Millionaire Mentorship program. So they’ve been working with us in this program for six months now. They’re getting incredible results. And I wanted you to hear from them. So I had the time of my life because I love these women and I’m so honored to get to work with them on a regular basis many of whom I’ve worked with for a long time.
They’ve been in my Design You program and other things, it was a joy but it’s so insightful. And they’re so inspiring. And they’re doing huge things. And they’re knocking my socks off and everybody else’s off when they hear what’s happening. And I want you to hear straight from them. So if you’re scratching your head right now because you missed last week’s episode and you’re like, “What the heck is Millionaire Mentorship? I don’t know what Tobi’s talking about.
Be sure and listen to that episode but just the short answer is it’s a program that we have that’s a high level year long program for people, designers mainly but designers and creatives who have businesses that are probably somewhere in the 300, 350K, 350,000 up to 800 or a million dollars in business. But that want to create a more sustainable values based approach. So if you want to check out the program details head over to tobifairley.com/millionaire.
But if you just want to hear this awesome interview with these three incredible women who are getting big results with our program then stay tuned because here we go. This was so fun. Here’s my interview with Nicole Fulton of Nest Interior Design, Lori Fischer of Rethink Home Interiors and Melanie Coddington of Coddington Design. Okay, enjoy.
Tobi: Hey ladies, welcome to the Design You podcast. This is a real treat for me. I can’t believe you’re all here. It’s so fun.
Speaker 1: Hi.
Speaker 2: Hi Tobi.
Tobi: Hi everybody, okay. Hi, this will be fun because we have four people on the show. I have done this maybe one other time. I don’t know. We may not have ever even gone live with the one I tried this way. So it’s a little bit of jockeying of whose answering, whose talking but we’re going to get this right and it will be amazing.
Okay, so why don’t we start with having each of you kind of set the tone for who you are, where you were in your business before you started working with us in the Millionaire Mentorship program. And just kind of give people a little bit of insight. So, Nicole, do you want to go first?
Nicole: Sure, I’d love to. Thanks for having me today Tobi, I’m really excited to be here.
Tobi: I’m so glad you’re here. Yeah, so tell us who you are, what you do and a little bit of where you were when you were like, “I’m looking for some help.”
Nicole: Sure. I am Nicole Fulton and I own Nest Interior Design in Wisconsin. And we are a full service design and remodeling studio also with a retail space and an online presence. So I was at the point where I’d built the business, was so happy with it. We had momentum, all the good things. And I just felt like it wasn’t sustainable. It was all the things that got me to that point didn’t feel like those were the things that could take me forward that I could maintain and grow, and have something that we could continue to be proud of.
So our firm is four people. Currently we’re looking to add a couple more team members over the next quarter or so. But what we’ve done is with Millionaire Mentorship, it’s been such an eye-opening experience because learning how to be CEO and not so much of an implementer in my business is a whole new thought process. It’s a whole new adventure of how to stop thinking like the doer and start thinking like the CEO with the overall vision for our team and how to make sure that our business can keep doing all the good things that we love to do.
Tobi: That’s so amazing. And you’re so right. I think that’s part of the problem. We can figure out how to hustle and it gets us so far. And then you have to unlearn everything you learned to do all the stuff yourself, which I think unlearning is way harder than learning.
Nicole: It’s so much harder. It’s so much harder. It’s all the things that got you there are all those things that you can’t keep doing anymore.
Tobi: Right. It’s like the two sides of the same coin. Your strengths are also sort of your nemesis, your problem, your drawback, all of that stuff. Yeah, I so relate, yeah, so good. Okay, Lori, why don’t you tell us about your and your business?
Lori: Sure, yeah. Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so honored to be here with all of you today so this is great. Yeah, I am Lori Fischer with Rethink Home Interiors. And we are a full service real estate, staging company based in the Philadelphia suburbs. And I have been like a secret, Tobi, I had a girl crush on you for years.
Tobi: I have a crush on you too so that’s mutual.
Lori: I crack up. I look at all these social media posts. I’m like, “Look at this gorgeous work by Tobi Fairley.” And so when you actually opened Design You up I was like, “Oh my gosh, I have got to work with her.” And Millionaire Mentorship is a lot of like what Nicole was saying. I was finding myself at an income plateau or a revenue plateau for a couple of years. And I couldn’t figure out what it was.
And going through Millionaire Mentorship with you I realized that it is exactly what Nicole said. It was a lot of the hustle and the doing got me to the place that I am. And it’s not going to take me to the next level which is I want to serve a lot more people. But I also want a lifestyle for myself and my team that is loving, and caring, and nurturing, and sustainable because we also even as a team can get burned out at times. So I think I was taking the idea of being the doer and I was putting it on everybody else to wear all kinds of hats.
And so we’ve actually been in a process of taking off hats and finding someone new to put that hat on as a result of our work which has been really fantastic.
Tobi: That’s so well said. I think we do that. We’re like, “Well, I hustled to here. So now if I can just get a whole bunch of other hustlers we can all hustle together.” And it seems like it’ll fix the problems but it just creates a whole culture of exhausted people who are doing amazing things. We see the results but we’re tired, we’re exhausted, it’s unsustainable and we just are at our capacity. And so I love that you said that that we just pass it down. And we don’t even know we’re doing that especially when we start to try to get stuff off of us.
We’re like, “Well, if I can stop hustling, we’ll just make other people hustle because surely it should work for them”, which doesn’t make any sense either does it? So good, okay, we’ll talk to both of you more in a minute. Melanie, why don’t you tell us about you and about your business?
Melanie: So I have two different interior design brands. One is called Coddington Design and we do residential work in California and virtually throughout the US. And then I also have a cannabis retail design brand called Sungrown Studio where we work on hemp, CBD and cannabis dispensaries also virtually and throughout the US and Canada.
Melanie: Yeah, it’s really fun. And I had added on business coaching as a third business. And that’s kind of where I was when I came to the Millionaire Mentorship. I had a lot of balls in the air, not a lot of time. And I wasn’t in love with anything that I was doing. So I think that’s called burnout but I’m never so sure. And I just felt like I’ve got, like I have three runaway trains going here. I need to pick a track and get it back on and get my head right. And now I’m in a position where I have stopped doing business coaching.
I have plans for both my businesses. They’re both doing really well. I’m hitting my revenue goals. And more importantly I am finding the joy in my work again which I have really lost, so that’s been really wonderful.
Tobi: And right off the bat you doubled your own salary I think, or highly increased it too, which makes the burnout sort of go away when we’re actually getting paid for running around like crazy women, right?
Lori: Well, sure, and I had, you know, I was on your podcast before talking about having a six figure salary. So doubling that really does take a lot of the pressure off of me to just hustle all the time. I love what you guys are saying about that. And I think it’s just been so wonderful to see what other people are going through and how they are managing their minds and their businesses at the same time as we all step up to this next level.
Tobi: Yeah, so good, okay. I’m trying to decide which question to ask you all next. You’ve touched on it a little bit but maybe let’s dig a little deeper into what wasn’t working for you. If you could pinpoint just a thing or two that really, now that you’ve all been working with us in this program for about six months or so. And you’re starting to see some real results. So what stands out as the things that you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea that that wasn’t working and I was doing that wrong.”
Lori: Well, I know for me there were a couple of things. One is I love to get into the tech of things. I really love to understand how they work and operate. And so I would often find myself digging into funnels and creating automations and nurture sequences for the business and all those things that somebody else should have been doing for me a long time ago. I think that was the first thing.
And the other thing was money mindset around hiring in as many people as I actually need to accomplish my goals. We added four new team members this year because I needed support in the business but also virtually. I’ve hired a virtual assistant to create graphics and do SEO and post blogs. And then added a support team for social media because I was paying someone a lot of money, i.e. myself and I was terrible at it. I was inconsistent. I wasn’t getting results. And I was like, “I can’t believe the money I’m paying this woman. She needs to be fired.” So I fired myself.
Tobi: That’s amazing. I love that. And Lori just to kind of set the tone, so there’s all kinds of different businesses that you three have and then even other members in our program have. And not everybody has scalable products but you do. And you’ve been doing that for a little while. So you have courses and other things. And so that’s where you were doing a lot of that tech. And I love that you bring up this topic because I think that hustle part of us that comes from scarcity mindset is also always afraid to spend money.
And we don’t know how to project revenues or where our business is going. So we just live on the bare minimum of staffing don’t we? And then we wonder why we’re exhausted all the time. Or we pay the least amount for a team member and they’re not the right team member. And so that’s kind of what you’re talking about there is really up-leveling who you’re surrounding yourself with. And also like you mentioned earlier, doing it on purpose in a way that you don’t expect all of those people to be exhausted all the time either, right?
Lori: Absolutely, 100%, yeah.
Tobi: Yeah. Okay, so yeah, and when you started realizing you needed multiple people, I mean you said you just hired four people. What did that whole money piece look like with the support? How was mentorship different in helping you think about that instead of just like oh my gosh, I’ve got to do all this on a shoestring? It started to expand how you thought about your team and how to pay for them, right?
Lori: Well, the life coaching part of Millionaire Mentorship is amazing. And it’s a benefit I wasn’t expecting. But where I think what happened for me was, one, I had to analyze, well, what am I not doing as a CEO? Firstly, I had to understand what were my CEO responsibilities which we’ve gone into tons of depth on, so that I needed to understand where my focus really should be. And then you and I had a coaching session where we talked about me writing down all of the things I was currently doing which I did.
And when I documented that list to see how much of them were not in my CEO space and could have been done by somebody else. That was really eye-opening. And then so it occurred to me that I was spending a lot of money again on a person who was costing the business way too much money and not really a right fit for all of those tasks. And so I think once I thought about it that way.
And then I also had to think about those people not as a cost of doing business but as a revenue source so that they will eventually maybe not in the next month or even the first couple of months, maybe not generate revenue, although one of them already is significantly, that they will be a revenue source for me. And as long as I stay in that space of acknowledging that by hiring professionals to generate revenue for me, it makes all the difference.
Tobi: It’s so good. I’m going to talk a little bit, the episode before this, so if you’re hearing this episode and you didn’t hear last week’s episode, definitely go listen to it. But what kind of you’re alluding to also is that you get a lot of different things in mentorship. We get our group calls. We have other people in there that are incredible experts and mentors besides me. We have a money mindset CFO who also is a life coach. We’ve got people that are experts in ops. We have all these cool people in there that are bringing in their expertise.
But then there’s also one-on-one time with me and my team and each one of you where we can really dig in and see where your bottlenecks are. And so I love that. You’re kind of alluding to both. You’ve learned a ton from our virtual retreats but also even from the one-on-one, so good. So, Nicole or Melanie are either of you thinking? Yes, okay, jump in. Who wants to go first? Yeah, Melanie, tell us about what those ahas have been for you so far.
Melanie: I’ve had so many ahas. One of the biggest problems I had coming in at the beginning of this mentorship was not being able to get consistent clients in the door on a regular basis that were ready to purchase from us and understood what we were selling. And we actually got better at standard operating procedures, or SOPs. So now we treat all of our clients who express interest in our services the same way. We do the same thing. They get the same. This sounds really simple.
But as creatives we don’t always think of that. And so they get a consistent sort of brand experience from the beginning to the end of their project now. And we were able to implement digital marketing that actually we started last year. But we’ve really added advertising, added things to it. So now we’re actually getting really quality leads coming in on a consistent basis for both the residential and the cannabis business.
Tobi: It’s so good, yeah. And tell us about, you had a big win recently. And just for those people who are out there going, “None of that stuff works.” Or, “I’ve tried advertising”, which there is a whole process and you’ve put in the whole infrastructure to make it work. But tell us about the big win that you had which is so exciting.
Melanie: Well, it is because, so you have talked a lot Tobi, about how as specifically in the high end residential interior design world there’s a lot of – you haven’t said it this way. These are my words. There’s a lot of snobbery. There’s a lot of this is the way things have always been done. And so once I took that sort of courageous step of like now I have sales style website and now I’m sort of breaking with tradition. I was able to get a lot more creative with how I got more leads in.
And we started running Google Ads less than three months ago and we just got an amazing 10 million dollar home, 15,000 square foot home leads coming in. And we actually closed a client that has over a million dollar budget for their furniture. I have never met this person. I’ve never spoken to this person. I will not be working on the project in any way because that’s not what a CEO does, right?
Tobi: Yeah. And for people to hear, they can go back and listen to the other episode we did with you back in January if they’re like, “Tell me more about this lady.” But that’s one of the things that we’ve really helped you all see. And of course you don’t have to evacuate the fun part of your business if you love designing. But you were really ready to be that leader and not be the doer.
And so you’ve set your team up and you have key lead designers that are taking these incredible projects and making money and scaling your business with humans, with real life humans, not just scalable digital products. And you’re doing that while you’re sitting in that leader CEO chair, right?
Melanie: Right. And I have more time to think than I did when I first started this program because I’ve created more time just by getting more things, like Lori was saying, off of my plate and delegating more which is tricky to not just completely overwhelm your entire team. So that is something that the mentors have helped us sort of figure out how to parse all that out and how to think about that.
Tobi: Yeah. And that’s the exciting thing about being in a program like this and why I wanted to create it because I knew that there’s resources out there that can get us to a six figure or even multiple six figure business. But there’s not anything great. And I was out putting it together and part and parceling it together for myself and was like, “We need a source for this.” And I think you’re right. You have to take a step that’s scary and then you also with mentorship have this group of people.
And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I did this thing, now what? Now that I’m scared or terrified, I want to go backwards, I don’t know if it’s getting results”, or whatever. And you have this, not only this amazing group of peers but amazing group of mentors that we walk that process with you. And we’re doing it the same time a lot of times, or maybe somebody’s just a few steps ahead or a few steps behind, right?
Melanie: Yeah. And I think that even just getting the support for me of I have a little bit of fear of success sometimes. And even just getting support I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s all working.” And it’s nice to be around…
Tobi: Yeah. Wait, there’s not a bunch of problems in my business that I have to fix, what the hell am I supposed to do with myself all day, make money with ease?
Melanie: Yeah. It’s like wait, it can be fun and it can be easy. And that’s a hard road to travel alone. It’s so much better to share those wins with other people and especially other people who are having similar wins or if you’re kind of the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with. And if you don’t have a lot of people who are trying to become millionaires or are trying to up-level their businesses, or work smarter, not harder, it can be kind of tough. But if you’re in a group like this then it’s just baked right into the program, which I think is absolutely wonderful.
Tobi: Absolutely yes, because there’s only so much we can talk about this stuff with our spouses, or our moms, or someone else. And they’re like, “Oh my God, please, please do not talk about that again.” Plus their advice is never what we want to hear. It’s just so helpful to have this pod almost of people that are in such a similar place. I agree with you. Okay, Nicole, what about you, what are your biggest ahas that have happened so far?
Nicole: Well, I think especially what Melanie was saying. It’s so great to have other members in the mentorship because it is so refreshing that someone is struggling with the same things that you are in a design creative based field. And sort of all those hurdles that we’re all kind of facing are the same.
So it’s been great to have that kind of network. My biggest aha was that I was kind of coming at things two ways. I was amazing at being this really vague visionary. I would just come in and kind of just paint everything with sort of an idea and picture and things. And not enough sort of impetus and momentum behind it to see that through to where it could be an actionable thing for our team and for me. And also too is just a scarcity of time.
I think when you and I were having a conversation in one of our sessions you’re like, “Everything you just said, pick two of those things and everything is the next calendar year.” So I think thinking that you can tackle more things in the time that you have and sort of being excited about so many things but almost to the point of distraction, sort of making sure that you’re taking that CEO role really seriously. So it can be something that your team can be clear on, that I can be clear on. That we can give ourselves enough runway to fully implement it.
I think I was not aware of how much I was doing that. It sort of, it was a real eye-opener. And I think it’s going to be a huge game changer for the business going forward.
Tobi: Yeah, I absolutely agree with both of those things. I think that it’s so normal because most of us as the leaders of our firms and especially as creatives are visionaries and not super high on the integrator or implementer role. Some of us are better than others. I’m definitely 100% visionary. And so you’re right, we can think of it at the 40,000 foot view which we’re supposed to. But that can be really vague and fuzzy. We see it in our head how it’s going to end up, just like we might see a room but we’re not there literally writing down every single step.
And I think that to your point, that’s probably why we don’t have enough runway and we’re like, “Sure, I can start all these new four things at one time that I’m excited about.” I’m multi passionate. I like to do a lot of things at once, all true. But I think that you’re so right that really seeing what they take to implement is one of the things we do together is really kind of understanding. And having each other’s back of going, “I hear you and that’s all amazing but you’re going to still be exhausted.”
And one of our biggest goals with this mentorship is to create like I think Lori said, a lifestyle where we’re not all exhausted all the time. We’re not hustling all the time. We’re not too burned out to even enjoy what money we do create. So I think those are huge wins, both of those.
Nicole: Absolutely, just that balance is so amazing. And it’s so hard. That’s my biggest struggle is making sure that I’m keeping that in mind going forward. And it’s so valuable.
Tobi: Yes, I agree. I’m the same as you. And I often, regularly have to even push back things that I thought were a really long runway. And I’m like, “I thought I was being so generous with our time and push that back three more months please.” Because it’s just incredible how much we think we can do in a short period of time, so interesting. So what has surprised you all? I know one of you mentioned something. But what has been your biggest surprise?
Because I’ve seen a lot of you shift, that very first virtual retreat, there is such shifts in each of you of kind of maybe not fully understanding what a CEO looked like or would look like if it felt more expansive like we’re talking about. But something in that realm a bigger surprised for you, is it something else? Tell us sort of what that looked like, that process of before and after, Melanie, yes.
Melanie: Well, I was watching you coach actually Nicole. And Nicole you were saying something about as soon as you get enough time to see the whole picture you’re going to understand where your business should go. And Tobi, you were like, “You may never seen the whole picture no matter how much time you have because there’s only, you know, we’re all flawed humans, there’s only so much we can really see. We can’t really predict every single thing that’s going to happen in our business and we just have to start kind of getting in there and making mistakes.”
And that was kind of upsetting but also really freeing in a way. You’re like, “Wait, there’s no crystal ball that if I just spend enough time I’m going to be able to see the whole future”, and then also just knowing that if you can reframe your mistake, that’s been so great. Instead of thinking, I have been guilty of saying, “I wasted all that money running Facebook Ads or this was a mistake.” And if you think of it as an investment in learning, I think those were your words, Tobi, it’s just a complete reframe. And it’s so true. I mean, yeah, I know so much more now than I did, yeah, so both of those.
Tobi: Yeah, that one’s so huge. And I hear people say that a lot. And that’s what people’s fear is, I don’t want to spend this money because it’s going to be a failure and then I wasted it. And the funny thing is what you’re saying is kind of what are we basing success on? Some arbitrary thing we think before we try it that we hope will land in this spot. And usually that is the answer and then we don’t get to that spot we had in our head which was sort of a blind guess anyway. And then we’re frustrated and we wasted all this money so we just shrink down.
And yeah, that’s such a huge thing that’s been fun to watch all of you grow because you’re like, “Wait, I didn’t waste it.” And so funny now, you were like, “I wasted all this money on Facebook Ads but here you sit six months later and you’re like, “I just got a million dollar client on Google Ads. Had I not done Facebook Ads, how would I have known to get a million dollar client on Google Ads?” So it’s such a perfect example, so good. Okay, Lori, do you want to share with us what your shifts were there?
Lori: Yeah. I think the life coaching on top of the business coaching is, because as you say all the time, it’s our beliefs and our thoughts that create our results. And like Melanie said, it’s the shifting of the languaging and the verbiage, the things we tell ourselves has been amazing. And really kind of back to my hiring on of the extra people that we actually needed. I had always been afraid of spending that money. And what if it’s a mistake? What if it’s a waste?
But really reframing it to say, to understand that those are revenue generating positions and that they will get me to my goals a lot faster. I’ll fail a lot faster, so I’ll have a lot more information faster. All of it has been such a huge shift for me.
And I can see it happening as I’m going into a launch for my scalable product, again, the hours, and hours, and hours I used to spend in front of the computer doing all this stuff while not marketing. And I was so tired by the time I finished creating all of the backend. And just seeing that it’s running and it’s a machine. Every day I’m like, “Look at those, sent out another email today.”
Tobi: Isn’t that amazing? That is the best feeling when you have other people doing things better than you. And it’s like talk about adding more joy to your business. Sitting back and watching things that seem like they’re magically happening. And then you’re like, “But wait, I set that up. I hired those people.” I think the smartest CEOs get the best people and get the hell out of the way is what we do. And we just aren’t prone to get out of the way. We’re prone to stay right in the middle and muck it all up, and slow it down, and bottleneck it and all of those things.
Yeah, it’s been so fun to watch you. On that call we had recently, your one-on-one call was so fun because you had been working enough to get that team in place and for us to do that exercise that you mentioned earlier where we were like, “Okay, here’s what I’m doing. And now I can go through and literally circle all the things that I shouldn’t be doing. And I know where for them to go.” There’s nothing like that feeling that you feel tired, and a little bottlenecked, and a little burned out.
But there’s a solution and a clear solution like, I’ll just take, starting with these six things and put them in these people that are way better than me anyway, right?
Lori: Right. There were even things that were not Earth shattering. I’ll give you a perfect example. I would receive all of the invoices for virtual assistant or whatever; they were sending me their invoices. I was just going into my bank account and paying it. I was like, “Wait, what am I doing? That is not my job.” And I sent them all a note, actually I told you, I forwarded the email to the bookkeeper and you said, “Better yet, email them and say, “From moving forward this is the email address these all go to.” So I don’t even see them now.
Whereas I was, you know, and I probably was buffering and wasting time because I didn’t go, “Who’s writing the blog post or doing whatever”, yeah.
Tobi: Yeah, it’s great when all these things that aren’t your job come into your inbox so you can do those instead of something that’s scary and pushes yourself out there, right?
Lori: Yeah, exactly.
Tobi: So we have to outsmart ourselves and remove all those things so we can get down to doing the real business that we should be doing, so good. Nicole, what kind of shifts have you seen that you weren’t expecting?
Nicole: A lot of so many eye-opening things. And it’s going to be hard to pick just a couple. But I think the biggest thing was defining my role versus other people’s roles just like Lori was just saying. And also to having other team members within mentorship, Lori saying, “Hey, have you called them yet?” I’m like, “Yes, I need to do that.” It’s always good to have somebody also reinforcing to you like, “It’s still not your job. It’s still not your job, Nicole.”
Because we’re so good at slipping back and just realizing what we’ve done is we have outsourced all of our ordering, all of our order tracking, all of our damaged claims, so many things that were bogging down our whole team. And so, so many things that have been released that let them do the things that they’re so brilliant at. We have so many wonderful people on our team.
And one of the biggest ahas for me was also when I realized that if coaching was as beneficial for me it would be beneficial for our team. And so when I absorbed that, I thought it’s so simple, of course that would be wonderful. So setting up coaching for our wonderful team as well, I can see how that’s empowering them and getting them excited about the things that they’re super brilliant at already. So I think all of that nice momentum, I think it’s kind of you see it pop up in all these different places and that’s really exciting. So that’s been a really big kind of aha moment for me.
Tobi: I love that. It’s been really fun to watch you shift with your existing team and people you’re hiring because it’s something I feel like I’ve done in the last just couple of years. But what you’re talking about, we spend a lot of time on in mentorship because I think a lot of programs just try to tell you as the CEO what you should get off of your plate. But it’s not really thinking collectively about your company culture and the other people on your team.
And if we want to get results, like the conversation you’re talking about is how can we do that with a lot of exhausted people who are underpaid and don’t have any support. And so we talk about things like even getting your people an assistant, or getting them coaching, which you’re providing now for your team, I provide for my team, I pay for it for them. And if I need coaching, they need coaching like you said.
And so that’s one of my favorite things, not only to work on with each of you, but to work on with my own team because there’s some other level of fulfillment, don’t you think? When you’re providing that kind of a kindness, and support, and love for other people. It’s one thing to get it for yourself because we need it. But there’s still that little bit of us that kind of maybe sometimes feels like it’s selfish or whatever. And we work through that for sure.
But there’s a whole other level I think of investing in your people and watching them grow and shine. And feel so proud of yourself for putting the money there for them to create that kind of culture. Do you all agree?
Nicole: Absolutely, for them to feel valued and important to our team I think is so amazing because they are. And being able to show that in that way and make them more confident. And make them feel like they have grace and room to grow. And within our structure, I think for me is really exciting.
Tobi: Yeah. I think so too. I think by accident when we come out of that hustle mindset or we’re in it and we pass it along to our team. It’s almost like we’re all always in stress, or in trauma, or in turmoil. And we’re sort of passing it around, passing around the chaos and mirroring the chaos. And I think when you start to create this kind of company it’s the opposite. You’re mirroring the abundance and you’re mirroring the support. And it’s a game changer in my opinion.
Melanie, have you seen that? Do you want to add anything to that? Because I know you’ve really stepped out of the way and you’ve really invested in your team. Are you seeing that same experience?
Melanie: Yeah. I see my role now as just okay, I have one-on-ones with my team and I’m just asking them, “How can I help you? How can I support you? What kind of problems are you running into?” It’s not like, “Do this. Did you check on this sofa or this fabric?” It’s none of that. It’s much more big picture so it gives them a little bit of space to think of what is my role here? How am I doing? Am I happy? Do we have all the resources we need?
So we’ve had to unlearn the kind of scrappy startup culture as well because I have a lot of long term employees. And it’s like okay I know we used to think about how much FedEx cost. We’re not doing that anymore.
Tobi: I love that. Yeah, talk to that a little bit more. Early on not only you were hustling, were also pinching every penny. And so that’s kind of like what Lori was saying too. But speak to that a little bit more, that money shift.
Melanie: Well, I didn’t realize it was even a conversation I need to have until I had my – we have a Los Angeles office. And my senior designer there was like, “Can we get a new phone?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And I guess she had been using a flip phone or something for two years.
Tobi: For the last 18 years.
Melanie: It wasn’t even a smartphone. And I was like, “Oh my God, yes, please just do that.” And then we had at a staff meeting, I was like, “Okay, so guys we need to think about just what’s going to make a luxury experience for our clients. What’s going to help you be more productive?” But I never had that conversation because we had had our company for so long. I’d been making all these shifts. And that was a blind spot for me, that that didn’t get translated down to everyone else.
Tobi: Yeah, that’s so interesting. And a lot of people think everybody’s just dying to spend my money. And I’m the boss, what are they doing? But it’s really kind of the opposite a lot of times. You’re like you know this could be easier if we spend an additional 300 or even 700 but we’re talking thousands of dollars in return. But that mindset shift has to trickle all the way down, yeah.
Melanie: You can also choose to empower your employees with like, “Look, if you need to make a decision to make a client happy, feel free to spend up to $500 and not ask me, or spend up to a $1,000, not ask me, whatever your comfort level is.” I think that helps them feel more autonomous and then they also I think have a little more ownership and enjoy their jobs a little more.
Tobi: So good, okay. Well, is there anything else that any of you would like to share? Just I think the thing that we just keep kind of hitting on which is such a core component of this program is what it looks like to CEO, which is so different than what we thought. And I think all of us at some point though CEOing was just being the chief employee plus making boss type decisions. But this program takes that and completely blows up that entire concept, so anything around that or anything else that you’d like to share?
Because I think those are really important things to clarify to people. This isn’t just another, like we want to add some more stuff to your plate so you’ll be more tired. We literally blow up the whole equation and sort of build a new foundation for how you’re doing your role, Nicole?
Nicole: Yeah. I think that, and it’s such a process. It’s one of those things where it took us so long to get these habits and sort of get this mindset and doing those things over and over for years. And so it’s just this nice place to have this constant conversation and have this, and allow ourselves to go a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps back, then five steps forward.
So it’s one of those things where giving, you know, having a place where you can continually learn that and sort of take those lessons forward in a way that is supportive and so helpful. I think it’s been really rewarding for me from that standpoint.
Tobi: So good. And I think just to be totally transparent, it’s not all fun and amazing all, it’s hard work. I tell you all, if you all haven’t gotten mad at me at some point and wanted to quit or curse me behind back or one of the other mentors. Then you’re not really doing this work because it is truly becoming a different person. It’s unlearning core belief systems in some ways, not all of them. We want to keep a lot of our stuff. But there’s some problematic things in the way, right?
Nicole: Absolutely, 100%, it is definitely hard work but it’s so valuable and you can see the tangible results almost right away. And it’s sort of it’s those slow steady gains all add up to really big ones. So that’s really exciting.
Tobi: Yeah. I think I remember Nicole and I one time I was like, “Okay, I could be your best friend here and be really nice to you but that’s not what you need from me. You need the really hard stuff.” And I only knew that because I’ve been there because I’ve had coaches that I was so mad at. And I would get off the phone to my mom or my husband and be like, “I hate them. Why don’t they fix anything for me? What the hell am I paying for?” But then you stay with it and then all of a sudden you’re like, “Oh my God, I had no idea.”
And so I mean it is pushing you up against those ceilings but staying there with you until you break through them. And I think that’s a whole other thing than what people might imagine in doing this work. Lori, you had your hand up too, you wanted to say something.
Lori: Yeah. So a lot of my circle of entrepreneur friends know that you’re my coach. And they’re like, “She sounds so nice on her podcast.” I was like, “Do not let that sweet voice fool you.”
Tobi: She is not nice. She is mean as hell.
Lori: She is not at all. Yeah, and I love that. I think that’s part of it because a lot of it is our own created habits as Nicole has said, our own created habits, our patterns, our thoughts that just kind of keep coming back in a new iteration. And without the awareness and without frankly the ball busting, I don’t know if we have to edit that out, but anyway it’s a family show, ear muffs everybody.
Tobi: No, you can totally say that. And to be frank I’m not mean but we don’t let people off the hook around here. We stay at it, and stay at it, and stay at it until you’re like, “But do you see? Now do you see? Do you see where?” And so we really stay in there because we want real results. I don’t want you to just come back later and be having the same problem because we’ll be like, “You’re doing amazing.” We’re like, “No, I see some stuff that’s really standing out.”
Or other mentors will say that, “How you’re thinking about this is going to be problematic around your money, or your ops”, or whatever. And that’s, like we’re doing serious work in here. We’re not just a bunch of cute little ladies with our creative businesses. We’re rewriting the rules on how to have women own businesses that feel good but that get results. And so I love that you’re sharing that, yeah, and you can say ball busting.
Lori: when I was thinking about whether or not to join the Millionaire Mentorship I was like, “Well, I don’t know if I have time.” And I was also like, “Well, it’s not an insignificant investment.”
Tobi: It’s expensive, yeah.
Lori: Yeah. But there is something about when you invest in yourself at that level you’re like, “Well, I better listen to Tobi and I’d better listen to her mentors. And I better make time for this.” And I think for me that has been so great to just have this set time that I now I’m going to be working on my business instead of in my business. And that like I mean I started seeing results immediately. I mean that first session I was like, “Well, you paid for yourself. Thank you.”
Tobi: Well, and I agree with you, I’ve had that same experience. And also how it’s related to what I charge too because if we are not willing to invest in other coaches, consultants, programs, or ourselves. And again we’re not saying for anybody to go do this that doesn’t have the money, or can’t afford it, or to get yourself in a bind, or if you’re not ready. But if you’re at that place and you’re ready for this but it feels like a stretch to invest a little bit, that I think has always been a good thing for me because it not only stretches me like you said, to have that skin in the game and to show up.
But it also reminds me on the flipside of how it’s okay to charge a lot of money for the other things that we’re doing for customers that are worth a lot of money. And so I love that, I love what you said. Well, this has been so fun. Did we get all your ahas in? Did everybody share? I mean it’s been so good, thank you. I can’t thank you enough. And I’m so excited I get to keep working with you. We’re not done but we’re just inviting a few more people in, a handful of people in.
And I just wanted, you know, I can tell people my opinion of my own programs all day long. And I think they’re amazing. And we work really hard to make them that way. But there’s nothing like hearing from real life people who are going through this process and the shifts and the changes. So I just, I’m so grateful for all of you and thank you so much for being here.
Melanie: Thank you.
Lori: Thank you.
Nicole: Thank you.
Okay. So if you’re inspired and you think you want to be one of the handful of people that join us in Millionaire Mentorship because we only have a few spots this time that we’re opening up. We try to keep it small because we want people getting mega results and lots of attention. But if you want to grab one of those 10 or so spots or what’s left of them then head over to tobifairley.com/millionaire and click the button to apply.
And even if you apply and we’re totally full go ahead and apply because we want to know you’re interested. We’ll put you on the wait list and in that process if you want to talk to someone there is a place there I think too for you to sign up to have a sales call with one of our mentors, Carrie who’s a master certified life coach like me. And she’ll be happy to hop on a call with you and talk you through everything you need to know about the Millionaire Mentorship.
Okay, so thanks for being here today. I hope you loved this as much as I did, these inspiring women getting mega real life results in a sustainable and aligned way, so cool. And I’ll see you back next week with another episode. And I know it’ll be amazing, they always are, so, another amazing episode of 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.