Ep #277: Create New Revenue Streams: Is This Really the End of Interior Design This Time? (Part 3)

The Design You Podcast Tobi Fairley | Create New Revenue Streams: Is This Really the End of Interior Design This Time? (Part 3)

Welcome back to part three of my series discussing whether this is really the end for interior design as we know it. When I ask designers what they think they need in their businesses, they generally say better clients with more money, a marketing strategy, systems, and new or better revenue streams. I agree, we want all of these, but the one that seems to confuse people most is the revenue streams piece.

I’m currently in the midst of my revenue streams training (more on that below), so this is the perfect time to discuss how to develop new ideas for successful expansion. So, if you’re stumped about how you can create new sources of revenue and want answers, this episode is for you.

Tune in this week for a discussion about how to launch new revenue streams in your design business. I’m discussing why the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who try new things with a willingness to fail, and why nobody can give you the exact methods you should launch, but there is a proven process for coming up with new streams in your design business.


Discover a new path to success in the Interior Design Industry with our live 3-part training: How To Create Additional Revenue Streams. Join us as we teach you the strategies to launch innovative income streams, freeing you from the limitations of traditional design services. Don’t miss this opportunity to revolutionize your business and thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Grab the Training Series now to prepare your business for today & beyond!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • What is stopping you from launching new revenue streams.
  • Why the great design leaders are willing to try new things, even if it means failing.
  • What sets those who launch things apart from those who don’t.
  • Some innovation blockers you need to look out for.
  • Why business is less about making the right decision and more about who you become in the process.
  • The innovator thinking you need to get used to practicing when coming up with successful revenue streams.
  • How to develop the mindset required to create successful revenue streams in your design business.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 277.

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. Welcome back to part three of our series on is this really the end of interior design this time? If you missed the first two parts, head back and listen to those. They are very thought provoking and will get you up to speed for today. They are episodes 274 and 275.

Okay, so this episode, we’re going to dive into revenue streams. Because when I asked most designers what they think they need in their businesses, here’s what I usually hear. First, they say I need better clients with more money. Don’t we all, right? Second, they say I need a marketing strategy and implementation. Third, they say I need systems and processes to be put in place. Then they also always say I need new and/or better revenue streams.

I probably would agree with all of these, but the one that they seem most confused about is number four, the revenue streams. I’m right in the middle of my three part workshop on creating additional revenue streams when I’m recording this. So this is very timely.

Oh, and by the way, you can still sign up and get the recording for part one. If you’re hearing this live, you’ve only missed part one. If you’re hearing it later, you can get all the recordings. You can also get part two and three either live or recorded depending on when you join us. But all you have to do to do that is go to and get signed up for that three part series.

Okay, so anyway, the idea of being able to come up with an idea for a revenue stream that would be successful seems to have most designers stumped, which is so interesting to me considering that the one thing that most designers are not at a loss for is an excessive amount of ideas. So at some level, you designers can dream up.

Of course, I should have said we designers because I’m one too. But at some level, you can dream up and envision yourself maybe later in your career or maybe in a few years from now having all sorts of things that you’ve created and that are thriving as revenue streams.

But on the front end of the process, something gets in the way. I think I know what it is. It’s actually two things that are getting in your way. So the first thing is fear of failure. It’s almost always what stops people from launching new revenue streams.

Remember in part two of this series when I was outlining that list that my team and I had come up with of the characteristics of great designers versus good designers, or great design business owners versus good design business owners, and the designers who lead great design firms are willing to try things and fail at them and keep going anyway because they trust themselves to figure it all out.

It’s this willingness to start things and be okay with them not working at all or at least not working at first, and knowing that they will tweak and adjust and keep going until the idea works. Or it leads them to something else that will work, right?

So that is what sets those who launch things apart from those who don’t. It’s that they are willing to try and fail knowing that they’ll keep at it. That they’ll be tenacious. That they’ll tweak and adjust and look at the data and keep going until they develop the thing that works.

Now the second thing that stops people from launching new revenue streams is what I call how greed. I learned this term from a coach that I trained under several years ago. I completely agree with the concept. This desire of wanting someone else to just tell us what to do. Just tell me all the steps to take, and I’ll take it. I hear this all the time from people that I coach. They just want me to figure it out for them. Tobi, just figure it out for me, and I’ll do it.

Y’all I have felt that way so many times over my 24 years in business. I get it. But what I’ve learned along the way, and even after hiring the best coaches and the best consultants and the best advisors over the years, what I’ve learned is that most of the time, most of the steps that I need to take, I still have to figure it all out on my own.

So there are many people out there that don’t want to hear that. That may be you. There are many people out there that just want someone to tell them what to do. So you think well, if you’re not going to tell me what to do why am I going to hire a coach?

Coaches and consultants have a lot of great things to share with us. They can share examples. They can share ideas. They can share what’s worked for them. They can help us see what we’re thinking and where we’re stuck and what’s in the way.

But the difference here is if someone says, “I will tell you exactly every step to take, and it will for sure work.” That’s who you need to not trust because there is no way that anybody else, even the most experienced people, know exactly 100% what’s going to work for you and for your audience, right?

So I have students all the time in my programs that say, “I know, Tobi, that you like us to come up with our own ideas or our own conclusions, but I just want you to tell me in this instance what to do.” I get it y’all. I’ve had really bad tantrums myself. Pity parties and tantrums wanting someone tell me what to do. It’s hard. This is hard stuff that we’re doing.

Trust me. The number of times that I have thought that is a lot. But after years of creating things and launching things, a lot of it with a lot of success, I understand now why I had to be the one to figure it out. Also why that was the best thing that could have happened to me and my company was for my coaches to say let me be your guide. Let me hold your hand along the way. Let me help you flesh things out. But you still have to make the decisions of what you’re going to do, right?

The main reason for that is if someone else tells you what to do, and this is very true for me in Enneagram eight. I’m the don’t tell me what to do kind of person, even though I say I want you to tell me what to do. If you tell me what to do, a few things can happen.

Number one, I can create a habit of trusting you, my coach or my consultant, more than I trust myself. Or believing that you know more than I do, and that I need you to help me figure things out all the time. That’s what a lot of you do to me accidentally. You’re like, well Tobi knows more. Tobi knows better. Tobi is the expert. I do have a ton of experience, and I have a lot of things to share with you.

But what we don’t want you to do is we don’t want you to trust me in your business more than you trust yourself. Because we don’t want you believing that you need me every time something needs to be figured out. We want you to be empowered and to have belief in yourself.

That even though it’s hard, and even though you might have a pity party or two and even though you want to whine and complain and wish somebody would just tell you what to do. At the end of the day, you know that you will get down and dirty and figure it out, right? Because being successful in business is less about making the right decisions all the time and more about who you become in the process of relying on yourself to make big decisions, even though some of them won’t work out.

That is what’s really important. That is what makes great entrepreneurs. That is what makes great leaders of great design firms. Also, there are so many different factors and facets about you and your businesses and your preferences. Your clients and customers that other people, including expert coaches and consultants can’t necessarily know.

For example, my audience that I’m collecting my data on, that I’m collecting my information and having my experience with isn’t your exact audience. They have a lot in common, I’m sure, but they’re not the same. What people that follow me may want or may not want, may or may not be the same thing that your followers, fans, or clients want from you.

So yeah, you can look at what’s working for me. It will leave a lot of clues. It will give you insight, but then you want to marry that information with what you know about your audience and your business and your own preferences.

So if I just tell you to go do this, this thing that worked for me, and then it doesn’t work, then you will not only lose trust in me, which is the least of my concerns, frankly. I don’t need you to trust me, right? I mean, of course, I hope that you do if you’re hiring me, but at the end of the day, you don’t need to trust me. You need to trust you.

So more importantly, if I tell you to do something, it doesn’t work, you yeah may not trust me anymore, but here’s the big risk. You may quit. You may quit on the idea. You may quit altogether. You may think see, I knew that thing wouldn’t work. I knew that that thing Tobi told me to do wouldn’t work.

I am always happy to tell you, everybody that I work with, all my clients everything that I learn along the way. The data, the fails, the wins, all of it. I bring them here on the podcast. I teach them in my coaching programs. But at the end of the day, you, only you, yes, you. You need to take all of that information. You need to decide where you want to start with your idea. Then go test your idea and get actual feedback and actual data from your specific audience. Not feedback from my audience that may be totally different than what you experience when you test and try things.

See? So it’s very important. Yes, you can learn from coaches and consultants and get so much support and hand holding, but then you have to say okay, I’ve heard everything you have to say. I’m gonna go make a decision, and I’m gonna test the thing. I’m going to see what happens. I’m going to see what my audience does. I’m going to see how it performs. I’m going to see what feedback I hear. I’m gonna see if I have no sales or a lot of sales. Then with that data you can take the next step.

Again, your coaches and your consultants can help you with the next steps. But you have to decide what you’re going to do. You’ve got to take the leap and then you’ve got to get the feedback and see what you’re going to do next.

We don’t like that y’all. We don’t like that feeling as human beings. We don’t like to experiment a lot of times when it feels like one of the possibilities is failure, which it always is. One of the possibilities is always failure. It’s always possible that you build something or put something out in the world, and no one wants it or no one buys it. So that feels scary, and it feels vulnerable.

It feels like we could be wasting time or money. We might be. But the only way to be a successful entrepreneur with successful revenue streams is to try things and be willing for them to fail. We’ve heard all the sayings, right, about Thomas Edison. I can’t figure out if they’re exact quotes. Like you can look it up and be like he said this and other people say maybe he didn’t.

But at the end of the day, we’ve all heard that potential quote that would make sense for Thomas Edison who said something to the effect, supposedly, of I didn’t fail. I just figured out 10,000 ways not to build a light bulb, right?

So I didn’t fail, Tobi as my design entrepreneur that I am, when I launched something that doesn’t exactly work. I just figured out all the ways that it didn’t work. So I could keep adjusting until it succeeded, which is the whole reason we have a light bulb in the world. Like the 10,000 ways it didn’t work. But eventually something did.

That is the exact process of creating revenue streams and honestly of being an entrepreneur in general, for that matter. It’s all about trial and error. It’s all about failing our way to success. It’s all about being a laboratory and experimenting to see what works. Those of you who are trying to avoid failure will not like this at all.

In fact, maybe you don’t like being an entrepreneur for that very reason. You think it shouldn’t be that hard. It should be easy. Someone should just be able to tell you what to do. That’s not how it works. So let’s be real. That if you are trying to avoid failure, you probably will not try more than once or twice to get a revenue stream off the ground before you quit. This is really important to know about yourself.

Now it’s something that you can train yourself. This is what a coach could really help you do. Work through the discomfort of trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing and continuing to adjust until it works. But you’ve really got to know this about yourself.

You will be very frustrated with any coach or any consultant who tries to get you to fail your way to success if you don’t know that’s part of what you’re signing up for. So that’s why I’m telling you today. This is part of what you’re signing up for, especially if you want to launch new revenue streams. You’re going to want that coach to just tell you for goodness sakes what to do.

The number of times I personally have had a tantrum just wanting someone to tell me, anybody but especially my coach, to freaking tell me what to do, and they wouldn’t. So then after I had my pity parties and my cursing parties and my throwing things around the room parties, my meltdowns, as I often call them, then I always would just pull myself up and go and figure it out.

That’s what I know so many of you do too. Now we wish we didn’t have to, and we wish, and that’s why we keep searching, right? A lot of us keep coming to classes and courses and coaches. We’re not even actually coming to them for the right reasons. We think we’re coming for them to tell us what to do.

What we should be coming for is not just to get some information from them. Tell me what you’ve learned. Tell me your data. Tell me your experience. But also coming to them to help hold our hands, guide us, and sometimes just be there with us as we are frustrated and having meltdowns because it is a hard process to be willing, to be vulnerable, and to try things, and to potentially fail.

So if you are good at doing that, then usually yes, you’ll still feel all the feelings. Yes, you’ll have the pity party. Yes, you’ll be frustrated. Yes, you’ll still wish someone that would tell you what to do. But usually, then you channel all of that frustration and anger, like I do, and fear and energy and all the things into major motivation that almost always gets you to the next step, if not all the way to a successful revenue stream.

Each time I work up this frustration, and I want somebody to tell me, and I want to cry and have a meltdown. Then I’m like screw it, let’s just do it. Let’s just pick something. Let’s make a decision. It always moves me closer to the thing that at some point is going to work, right?

So know that is part of the process. You’re going to feel resistance. You’re going to feel frustration. You’re going to feel uncomfortable because there’s not a certain answer. Because the only way to know what’s going to work is to try things until it works. You’re not going to know ahead of time. How greed is that. It’s wanting someone to tell you how. You’re greedy wishing someone would just tell you how. So you can skip all the trial and the error and the failure and discomfort. But that’s really not possible. There’s not a shortcut. You have to go through it, not around it.

So I want you to think about how often it really never works for you when someone just says do this because it really doesn’t. If you can’t think of an example in business, I bet you can think of something else in your life, a diet. But I can also think of marketing plans. I can think of all sorts of things that people say well, this worked for me. I try it, and I’m like ah well, part of that worked for me and part of it didn’t. Or that didn’t work at all, or that was awful. I hated that. I still had to go figure it out, right.

So again, information can be helpful. But at the end of the day, as we keep saying, you still have to make things your own. You have to go do the damn thing. You have to feel all the icky feelings. You’ve got to try and fail and adjust, measure, adjust and move forward to get you closer to the dream revenue stream that you really want.

Okay, so one of the main reasons I avoid telling people exactly what to do or what to decide in their businesses is that if I tell them something and they try and it doesn’t work, then they have made a blame. Again, I don’t care if they blame me personally. I’m not concerned about you placing your blame on me for my sake.

But what I do care about is if you blame me then you let yourself off the hook, and you are more likely to quit. So blame me all day long as far as I’m concerned, but don’t do it for your sake. Because once we start blaming another person, we shift responsibility onto them and off of us.

So if I’m like well, I knew that would never work. Coach so and so gave me this idea. It was dumb. It was horrible. Forget it. I’m not doing this anymore. Like that was a terrible idea. It makes it so easy to quit. Y’all I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but quitting is already pretty damn easy. Because this stuff is hard, and it feels uncomfortable.

So when we also, on top of that, have somebody to blame and we’re like screw it. I knew that wasn’t gonna work. They had a terrible idea. Just forget the whole thing. We’re not anywhere closer to a revenue stream. When things get hard, it’s so easy to give up.

But if we are taking responsibility ourselves, and we’re the only person we’re blaming then all we have to do is look to ourselves and say are we going to keep going or not? Yeah it feels hard, but are we going to quit? Is this really our dream? Are we going to quit? I want you having that conversation with yourself. Not putting the blame on me or another coach or a book you read. I don’t want you to have a scapegoat because I want you to stay engaged in the hard, the difficult, the uncomfortable process of creating revenue streams so that you can have success.

So let’s go back for a second to that list of good to great design firm leaders. Because the ones that are great don’t spend any time blaming other people. They are always taking responsibility and figuring out next steps. They’re asking questions like what could we do? Or what could we have done differently? Or what data can we get to base our next decision on? What questions can we ask our audience or our clients? What questions can we ask ourselves? What did we not think of?

It’s like being in that laboratory again and thinking sort of like what happens if I pull this lever? What happens if I turn this knob? What happens if I push this button? That’s the brain space. That’s that innovative brain space that we want you staying in if you’re going to be successful at revenue streams. The minute that you start blaming someone else, it’s going to take you right out of that curiosity and that experimental mindset.

So I mentioned the word innovator. I want you to think about this for a second because the kind of innovator thinking we’re looking for, and the kind that you’re going to want and that you’re going to need, and that you’re going to want to get used to practicing so that you can be successful at your revenue streams is all about that curiosity, and that willingness to fail.

This is going to be true, not just for revenue streams, but for your business as a whole. Now, I know that sounds weird to say, a willingness to fail because I don’t mean ultimate business failure, but I guess I do. Because if we really are going to take the risk that we have to take to make something great, there’s always a chance that the whole thing could go belly up. It absolutely could, right?

This is not easy. It’s why everybody doesn’t do it. It’s why everybody isn’t successful. It’s why everybody isn’t making millions of dollars all the time because most people aren’t willing to try and fail. They aren’t willing to take those risks, but there is something called the innovator mindset. One of the places that I’ve read about this is on a website called

Ya’ll I can’t really vouch for the person who developed that site. Apparently, it’s a guy named Dennis Stauffer. I just happened to find it one day when I was looking around for some content on this or even confirmation on this idea of innovation. But there was a lot of really good content on this site.

I’m gonna share a couple things with you that really validated my own lived experience, and a lot of what I’ve experienced when I’ve been coaching other people through innovation and creation and revenue stream. So the innovator mindset, as they say, on this website, and the people who possess it have a few traits. Here’s the list that they give.

They have the courage to face uncertainty, which we’ve been talking about. They have a willingness to take risks, which we’ve been talking about. They know that failure is always a possible outcome. They take action anyway. This one is so important. We have been talking about this, but we haven’t said this succinctly. So I’m going to repeat it again.

They know that failure is always a possible outcome, but they take action anyway. That’s the most important part, right? A lot of us know failure is an option, and we quit, or we procrastinate, or we try to stay safe. But the people with innovator mindset know it’s possible, and they take action anyway.

They’re willing to be confident in their ability, but humble in what will work. This one’s really interesting because I see a lot of the opposite. I see people get so certain that an idea is going to work. They’re attached to the idea. When it doesn’t, they’re devastated. What innovators do is they’re confident in themselves. They’re like I don’t know if this idea will work, but I’m competent in me that if it doesn’t work then I’ll do something different, or I’ll tweak it, or I’ll change it.

So humble in what will work. I don’t know if it’s gonna work. It may or may not work. I call that holding something loosely. I’ve described this so many times to people of like come up with an idea, but hold it like you’ve got a baby bird in your hand. Put your hands in a little cup kind of right now as you’re thinking about this if you’re not driving, and then like fold them around closed. So like if you had a little baby bird in there you were trying not to let go.

If you squeeze it, if you grip it, if you’re so attached to it, you’re gonna squeeze the life out of it, right. But if you hold it really, really loosely in there, and give it room inside your hands. That’s what it feels like with an idea that we’re marinating, that’s in the incubator, right? That we are testing and trying. We have no idea if it’s gonna work or not, but we’re willing to hold it loosely like that little baby bird.

But we’re not holding loosely our commitment. We’re committed to figuring it out. We’re confident in ourselves that whatever happens when we launch the thing or try the thing or test the thing that we trust ourselves to be able to figure out what to do next. Right? So that one’s really important.

Then also the last trait is they have a goal not just to succeed at the thing, but also to learn in the process. This one is really, really important. You may have heard the idea we either win or we learn. That’s how I think about success. I either win or I learn. There’s no failure really when you think that way.

Okay, so those are the traits of people with an innovator mindset. I completely agree with all of them, courage to face uncertainty, willingness to take risk, failure is always possible and you take action anyway. Willing to be confident in your ability, but holding the idea loosely about what will work, being humble about what will work, and then having a goal not just to succeed, but to learn.

Also, the people with those mindsets have a few key traits in common. They are these traits. They’re proactive. So take action without, they’re self-motivated. They’re proactive. They’re resourceful. So they can get scrappy. They can take information and data and play with it, test things, try things, come up with other things, come up with money, very resourceful.

They’re strategic. So they think about and look at and strategize around what’s happening. They’re adventurous. This one’s really important because a lot of us have lost this adventurous spirit, right? If we aren’t naturally spontaneous, and I’m not necessarily spontaneous. But adventurous is really right hand in hand with the idea of taking risk, right?

So adventurous is important. Willing to explore and experiment, very important. Then this one, I think, may be the most important. They have a bias towards action. So a bias towards action to test possibilities. I personally, just as a human being, have a bias towards action. Like a lot of people will sit and think and overthink and rethink and quit and start again never having taken any action. All of that’s happening in their head.

But people who have a bias towards action, which I definitely do. I think part of it is innate, part of it comes with my personality type and my strengths, but a lot of it is also just learned and practiced. But I’m more likely to say I have this cool idea. Let me test it and see what happens than I am to sit and overthink and try not to fail. So these are really important. They’re proactive, resourceful, strategic, adventurous, willing to explore and experiment, and have a bias towards action to test possibilities.

Now, I’m going to also share with you the flip side, the other side of the coin, which would be innovation blockers. Y’all these are very important too. I want you to think about whether you see yourself in this list. Okay.

So number one, innovation blockers are thinking conventionally, which means thinking and being very practical. Maybe you call it being very responsible. Thinking conventionally is a major innovation blocker. So basically, you can substitute a major revenue stream blocker.

Also, innovation blockers are being afraid of wasting time. The number of people that tell me I don’t want to waste time or money is a lot. All of the people who regularly think I don’t want to waste time or money are not ever going to be really good at creating revenue streams.
They’re not going to really be good at being an entrepreneur because you’ve got to be willing to waste both time and money a lot of times, right? It’s you either win or you learn. The wasting time and wasting money is where all the learning comes in.

So innovation blockers so far are thinking conventionally, which is like that being practical and responsible, afraid of wasting time, afraid of wasting money. Then the next one is afraid of failing. If you’re like check, that’s me. Check, that’s me. Check, that’s me. Check, that’s me. Like, if those are all you, if you’re like I’m super responsible and practical all the time, I hate wasting time and money, and I don’t like to fail, you’re gonna struggle to be innovative with your revenue streams.

Also, innovation blockers, this list includes when you’re faced with uncertainty, you become risk averse and cautious, and you delay taking action. Now, again, y’all these are all very normal human characteristics. A whole lot of people when faced with uncertainty become risk averse, cautious, and delay taking action, but it still is an innovation blocker. It’s gonna block you from testing and trying new revenue streams and from getting to success with the revenue streams.

Also on the list of innovation blockers, you miss opportunities because you’re afraid. You leave promising ideas unexplored. So you have a great idea, but you don’t test it. You don’t try it. You don’t price it. You don’t talk to other people about it. You kind of get excited about it, leave it on paper, or in your brain and never move forward. So that’s an innovation blocker.

Also struggling to face new challenges and adapting over time is an innovation blocker. It’s really kind of what starts to happen as a consequence of all these other things. So if you get worried about wasting time and money and worried about failing and then things feel uncertain, you don’t like risk. You kind of are afraid so you miss some opportunities because you’re afraid to take action. You leave these promising ideas unexplored.

That’s when you start to struggle to face new challenges over time. Of course you would, right? Because if you’ve worked yourself into that fear of wasting time, money, or failing, then as your business keeps changing, as it’s going to do, as the design industry, for example, keeps changing, each time, it’s going to feel harder and more challenging and a bigger struggle to go what am I going to do now?

The opposite happens if you live in innovator mindset. It gets easier. You’re like I faced challenges before. I overcame the ‘08/’09 recession. I overcame the pandemic. I overcame these other things. You become more resilient in innovator mindset. But if you’re innovation blocker mindset, you become less resilient. You become more fragile. You struggle more to face challenges and adapt over time.

Eventually what happens is you become the target of other people’s innovation. I see this all the time. So a lot of people who join my programs, which are innovations that I’ve created, are there because they are afraid to waste time and money, and they’re afraid of failing. They’re coming to me hoping I can give them, they’re having that how greed. They’re like I’ll come to Tobi. Maybe she’ll tell me what to do to fix it all. So they have become the target of the services that I’m creating.

So when you think of these lists, do you naturally or have you become through practice a person that lives more an innovator mindset? That you’re proactive and resourceful and willing to take risk. You’re confident in yourself, but you hold those ideals loosely. You’re as willing to learn as you are succeed. You know that you might fail, but you take action anyway. Is that you?

Or do you fall on the side of I’m afraid to waste time. I’m afraid to waste money. I’m afraid to fail. I don’t like uncertainty. I don’t end up taking action because I’m afraid. Which one of those lists do you most see yourself?

Now, I think all of these are true. I think the list for innovation traits is very true. I think that list for innovation blockers is very true. I’ve noticed over the years that when I ask so many people what’s stopping them from creating the business of their dream or making as much money as they want, most of the time? It is I don’t want to waste time, and I don’t want to waste money, or both. That’s really just code for I don’t want to fail.

So as we saw from that list, the first two innovation blockers we read were I don’t want to waste time, and I don’t want to waste money. So really check yourself on those. I know I’m saying that over and over again, but they’re really, really prevalent in a lot of people and a lot of brains. They sound practical, right? They sound responsible, as we were told. Like that isn’t an innovation blocker. It sounds like smart business. Well, I don’t want to waste time or money. That’s smart business.

But is it? Is it really smart business? Because isn’t even really wasting time or money if we’re learning, if we’re collecting data, if we’re moving ourselves closer to the next thing that’s going to actually help our business, right? So there’s so much to think about here.

I don’t say any of this to be arrogant or to be like preachy or to point fingers. Even when I say I tend to have a bias towards action. Like I’m not saying I do all this stuff right, and you do it wrong. Trust me. I have plenty of mindsets that hold me back. There are times when I do fall into probably some of these things on the list, like fear of failing. Although I don’t usually have the thoughts I don’t want to waste time or I don’t want to waste money. I’m really willing to invest all my time and all my money in the things that I’m creating.

Now trust me, my husband would probably love for me to worry a little bit more about wasting money. He’s probably like come on girl. Please be a little more worried about wasting money. But it’s not something that I think very often at all. I take a lot of money risk. I spend a lot of money. If you have been watching what I’m doing with ecommerce, which I’m going to talk to you about in next week’s episode, I’m definitely spending time and money there, a lot of both, to build something that I hope will be very successful, right?

I’m almost always, if not always, willing to spend both time and money even in the experimental phases of launching something new. I just believe that that’s what it takes to make something work. So instead of believing I’m wasting time or money, I typically just think I’m investing in learning. I’ll either succeed, or I’ll learn and then I’ll tweak. So notice if you tend to be that way or if you tend to hold back because of the time and the money.

Now, I don’t know that what a lot of you call failing really for me I call fail. I just think I call it learning. For me, it’s just iterating. It’s part of the process. All of the process of creation, including creating revenue streams, is iterative. Meaning like you have various iterations. You start with a version. Then you go to the next version once you learn some things, and then you tweak it again and go to the next version.

A lot of people don’t even live in that kind of iterative mindset. You think let me do it once. Let me get it perfectly right. Let me then set it and forget about it and not have to think about it again. I hate to burst your bubble, but that is not also at all how revenue streams or entrepreneurship, for that matter, work. You have to be willing to iterate.

The first idea is just that, the first idea. The second one is just the second version. The third one is just the third version. So many of the things I’ve created have had many, many versions, or even morph into something that is so different than where they started.

So friends, in my workshop series, I’m going to get into a lot of the specifics on what I have tried, and what I’ve helped other people try in their businesses. We’ll get into specifics. So you make it a little bit of your how greed itched in there, but way before you get to those specifics, the most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success with dreaming up and creating and launching new revenue streams is practicing staying in innovator mindset.

Some of you need to just get there first, right? You’re like I could stay Tobi. I’m not even there. I do worry about failing and money and time all the time, right. So throw out the how greed, throw it out the window, and be willing to get in the weeds where it will feel hard. It will feel uncertain, and move forward anyway, even though you may fail and see what data you collect. See what you will learn. See who you become.

You become so much more resilient when you’re like that sucked. That was hard. I came through it. I’m on the other side. I’m kind of freaking proud of myself. Look what I’ve learned. We can always feel that way in hindsight, right? After we’ve built something and we look back, we’re like at the beginning, I thought it was the worst thing ever. I wanted to quit so many times. In hindsight, I look back, and I’m like it wasn’t that bad.

But we forget that when we’re on the front end. So we have to practice staying in the uncertainty, being willing to feel awful about it, being willing to feel frustrated and scared and move forward anyway. So if you struggle with those things, if you’re prone to try to be practical and avoid wasting the time and the money, I highly, highly recommend that maybe you work with me or work with another coach or life coach and really dig into the thoughts and feelings and do the heavy lifting on the mindset work that’s going to help you get out of your own way.

Because I can tell you all the things in the world. I could literally give you a whole formula on paper, even though I’m not prone to do that for all the reasons we talked about today. But if you are afraid of wasting time or money, if you spend a lot of time in innovator blockers, I can give those to you all day, and you’re still not going to move forward. Right?

So hear me on this. I’m not one of those coaches who will say when something you try and fails goes wrong that oh it was your mindset problem, and blame it on you for the failure, right? I’m not going to do that. That is icky. It can feel creepy when people are like well, you would have been a success if you could have changed your mindset.

But here’s what I do want you to know. I’m the coach who’s gonna say almost everything is going to fail at first at least partially. We’re going to expect it to not work at first and maybe even not work exactly the way we want to for a while. It’s not your fault. It’s part of the iterative process, the data collecting process.

But your mindset is going to be instrumental, not in whether you fail or not. That’s going to happen all by itself until you tweak and get things right. But it’s going to be instrumental in whether you keep going when you hit fails and road bumps. When it feels so freaking hard you’re questioning everything because it will feel absolutely that hard every single time with new revenue streams, with a new business, with all the things we want to do to stretch ourselves and grow. It’s always going to feel awful.

But it’s going to matter. Your mindset is going to be instrumental in whether you quit, right? Or whether you stay the course and go through those feelings, go through the fire, and end up on the other side. So I want you to know not to blame yourself, not to be like well, you should have changed your mindset. But to be able to recognize when your thoughts and feelings are getting in the way, and they’re leading you towards quitting.

Now some things quit. Sometimes we want to quit. Sometimes our heart’s not in it. But a lot of times you quit because it feels hard. Then later on, guess what? You pick it back up. You’re like I still want a revenue stream. I still want an idea. I still don’t want to give up on this business as a whole. Then you start all over again. Then when it gets hard, you quit.

So what we want to do is learn how to feel that icky feelings and keep going anyway. That’s what a life coach is great for. That’s what mindset work is all about. Right? So the mindset work doesn’t make your thing fail with the client. It makes you quit and not keep iterating. It makes you quit when it feels hard. That’s what we want to avoid. Okay.

Then one more thing, y’all. If you’re going to take my revenue streams workshop, and you’re thinking that it’s me teaching you an easy way to make more money, that is not what you will find in that workshop. You’re like it feels so hard all the time when I try to build things. So let me just have Tobi tell me the easy way, and it won’t feel hard anymore. Absolute thought fallacy. Not true.

Because as I’ve said this entire episode, it’s going to feel hard. It’s going to feel ick. It’s going to feel like failure. You’re going to move forward anyway. It’s going to feel uncertain. It’s going to feel like risk. You’re going to hate it and cavort and have meltdowns and tantrums, just like I do at times and be frustrated, but it’s all part of the process to get to the other side with a successful revenue stream.

So this isn’t about the easy way out. It’s not me making it easy for you, it’s me telling you the truth, because that’s what you can always count on me my Enneagram eight self to tell you the truth. To tell you what I learned, and what I tried, and how much money I spent, and what I’ve seen other people do, and what’s worked for them and what hasn’t worked for them, people I’ve coached with, so that you can have a lot of information and data.

But you can’t shortcut the feelings. You can’t shortcut the feelings of uncertainty, the hard work, the pity parties, the tantrums, the fear. You can’t shortcut any of that you have to go through it. So even when we keep our concepts as simple and easy as possible, you’ve still got to fail your way to success in any new venture or any new offer in your business. It’s always going to be a lot harder than you think.

So if you expect it to be hard right off the bat, that’s going to take a lot of pressure off of you. It’s when you think it shouldn’t be hard, it should be easy. You must be doing something wrong. Surely Tobi has a shortcut or an idea, or she’s just going to tell me what to do. That’s what’s getting in the way. So throw out those thoughts. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to feel hard. It’s going to feel uncomfortable. It’s going to feel uncertain. It’s going to feel all the things, and you can still do it.

You can still do it alongside other creatives like me and work on things in our workshop, and you will be less likely to quit if you just acknowledge the hard. I love to tell my brain when I’m like why is this so hard? I’m like well, of course it’s hard. I’m creating something new. Of course, it’s hard. I’m trying to make lots of money. Of course, it’s hard. I’m trying to come up with a million dollar idea. If it were easy, everybody would do it, right. So of course it’s hard.

Sometimes just acknowledging the hard can take so much pressure off. Then we can get in the weeds and say what if I pull this lever? What if I turn this knob? What if I push this button, right? What if we can get curious, we can play, we can experiment, we can adapt, we can get data from people, and we can measure and adjust until we create something that we love that’s selling well, that’s making us money, right?

That’s what we’re going to do in my workshop. That’s what we’re going to start to think of. We’re going to think of those ideas. We’re going to get into curiosity mode. We’re going to do a lot of learning. We’re going to set ourselves up for success to stay the course with the revenue streams that we’re starting until they’re successful, or until they morph into a different idea completely but that becomes successful. Because again, that is what this iterative laboratory-esque experimental process of creating revenue streams looks and feels like.

Okay, so if that is something you want, then absolutely go sign up for the workshop series. Go to I’m sure right now you’re like boy, Tobi, you really sold me on that. You told me it’s going to be miserable and hard just like it’s already been. But here’s what I want you to know.

Like, you can be miserable and hard by yourself and quit, or you can come do the miserable hard stuff with a group of likeminded people learning with us alongside all of us in the workshops and then go try things. You’re going to be less likely to quit because your brain is gonna be like oh yeah, Tobi told me about that time she did this, and it didn’t work. Here’s where she went next. Right? That’s what we’re preparing you for. Okay.

So go to because y’all this is going to serve you in so many ways. Not just in creating new revenue streams in general, but in every part of your life that you want to quit on. So I’ll see you there. I’ll see in the workshops. I’ll see you back here next week when I’m going to talk all about ecommerce. It’s a fun episode.

It’s really the story that you probably haven’t heard yet because I’m not sure I’ve shared it about how my ecommerce shop came about and how it turned into not just decor but apparel and with my daughter and my mom’s involved and it’s like so fun, but it’s also hard. It’s also about has whipped me a couple of times, and I’m sure it will again in the future. But it is fun, and it is creative, and I’m loving it. I’m going to tell you every bit about that next week.

Okay, so I’ll see you next week friends. We’re gonna talk all about Fairley Fancy. If you haven’t already, go follow us @ShopFairleyFancy on Instagram. See what we’re doing, see what we’re up to. It’s going to put a little context to what I’m building when you hear next week’s episode. Okay, friends, I’ll see you then. Bye for now.

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

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

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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