Episode 94: Breaking Through the Internal Barriers Blocking Your Leadership with Tonya Comer
Tonya Comer has been named one of the Top 20 African American Interior Designers in the United States. She is the Principal of the boutique interior design firm, Tonya Comer Interiors, and an award-winning product designer with products that have sold around the globe.
In this episode, Tonya shares her story of hitting rock bottom and how it helped her learn the ultimate lessons for living an empowered life. In her upcoming self-help narrative book, she provides a model called the “Power Tools”, which will help women on their healing journey. Her mission is to help women find wholeness through the discovery of their shame and self-doubt and encourage women to know they are not alone in feeling like a fraud or an imposter.
Visit www.tonyacomer.com and connect with Tonya on social media
Facebook Personal Page: @tonyacomermba
Facebook Business Page: @tonyacomerinteriors
Mentioned in this episode:
Tonya’s book launching May 2023 - In High Heels on a Ladder: The 7 Power Tools for Designing Your Life
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
Get more info about our year-long mentorship and coaching program: https://www.designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery
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Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.
Michelle Lynne: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Michelle Lynne and I want to introduce my guest to you today. Her name is Tonya Comer, and she has been named one of the Top 20 African American interior designers in the United States. She is principal of the boutique interior design firm, Tonya Comer Interiors. She is an award-winning product designer with products that have sold around the globe. She is also a global transformation leader and a community and business thought leader. As an author, she is on a mission to help women find wholeness through discovery of their shame and self-doubt. And Tonya takes great pride in being a thrill-seeking, roller coaster-loving, jump out of a plane first spirit who lives life out loud. Tonya, welcome. I'm so glad you're here.
Tonya Comer: Oh my gosh, Michelle, it's so great to see you. It's so great to see you.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh. And I think I was, I'm just laughing because we were just talking about for the last couple years that I've known you, because you went through the Interior Design Business Bakery, your last name has been Comer, but I have just always been Comair. It's like, in my head, it's Tonya Comair. So I really think that this can manifest you a life in Paris soon.
Tonya Comer: I think so. When I was in high school, Michelle, I was convinced that I was going to go into fashion design, marry a Frenchman, live in a chateau and speak French, and oh, oui, oui. So, you know, yeah.
Michelle Lynne: I'm here to help you there. I'm here to help you. If nothing else, I'm just calling you by your last name with a French twist to it. But it's so good to see you and to have you here. And I know that with all the things that you have going on, our audience is just gonna love hearing your story and what you have going on as well.
Tonya Comer: Thank you so much. Thank you for the invitation to be with you today. I appreciate it.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I am super excited. So Tonya, when we were speaking previously, you had mentioned that your life journey started with your mother holding you and crying on a park bench as she realized that she was homeless. Can you like, how has that impacted your life? Like, where does that bring you?
Tonya Comer: Yeah. You know, first I want to say that my life journey is one of those things that I am most proud of today. But it wasn't always like that. There was a time in my life when I was just consumed by that particular data. I was my mom has her own history of a troubled childhood and teenage years. And she was 20 when she gave birth to me. And she didn't have a place to take me to. And she cried on a park bench. And an angel showed up and answered my mom's cry and her prayers, and led us, and got us to a government housing project. And that's where I grew up.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, wow.
Tonya Comer: I was raised by a single parent, raised in a government housing project. And you know, the way it impacted my life, Michelle was, I began to feel at some point in my life like I was less than. And so I carried around shame attached to being someone who's less than in the world. And it was a traumatic experience to see how I have been embodying less than and I had had lots of accomplishments in my life. I graduated high school top of my class. I went to a very expensive liberal arts college, graduated top of class. I worked multiple jobs. I was climbing the corporate ladder. I found my passion for interior design. I built an interior design firm. But still there was this little girl inside me that felt less than. And so on the outside, I'm walking around the world with my designer label clothes and my high heels. But on the inside, I was a mismatch with what you could see on the outside. I was in a cage. You know?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, and I think that's so interesting because, like you said, from the outside, it just wasn't congruent with what you were feeling. And so that had to be really difficult to navigate as you were growing up.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely. Yeah. And as I became an adult and started to launch a business, and you know, we call that imposter syndrome, I felt like a fraud. And I had to wear this mask so that I could fit in. I had to feel like I belonged in this world, because in my mind, I felt like someone who was less than. And it was part of the, the biggest part of it, Michelle, was when I hit rock bottom. So one of the things I did was I sabotaged everything, because I didn't believe I was deserving or worthy of it. So the success I was having as an interior designer, being named one of the top 20, the A-List clients that I was working with, the life that I imagined for myself, I never felt that I was deserving of any of that. So I sabotaged it. I was dang near bankrupt. I was at the time, I had hit rock bottom, I was separated from my husband. I maxed out my credit cards to stay afloat. And I had been so, I caused myself so much internal stress that it caused me to physically be ill and I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, my gosh, that is rock bottom.
Tonya Comer: Yeah. That's rock bottom.
Michelle Lynne: Ouch.
Tonya Comer: And hitting rock bottom was the best thing that happened because it allowed me to begin to look inside of myself. Break up all that stuff that was all false and begin to own my truth.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, the stories you were telling yourself.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely. Begin to own my truth. That's why I can say to you today that I am most proud of my journey because it has been not my journey that has inspired me to do the work I want to do to support women with the book that we will be talking about and the mission that I'm on.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that. And what a great mindset that you have Tonya, to recognize that even though life was not picture perfect, or what you would have imagined, that was the exact journey that you needed to get you where you are today. And you're launching into this next chapter, pun intended. With that, as you know, your foundation and your grounding, and that you have aligned your internal and your external personas, for lack of a better term, and are moving forward. So that's, I think that is fantastic. Because not everybody maybe takes the time to examine it or gets thrown to rock bottom where they have to. So you're on a mission now to help what, a million women I believe?
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. So that they can find their wholeness. And you say it's through discovering their own shame and their self-doubt, which I know we all have that. I mean, yeah, myself is like way up there as well. How did you go from being an interior designer, because that's how we met, to wanting to help women in this way?
Tonya Comer: Yeah. Thanks for that question, Michelle. It's interesting. So I have to tell this because it's kind of funny. I've never been one to really pay attention to zodiacs. But for one, on this particular day recently, I was inspired to go. Someone was talking about zodiacs and compatibilities and all these things. And I was like, oh, what are they talking about? So I Googled my zodiac. I'm a Taurus.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, me too. When's your birthday?
Tonya Comer: You are too? I'm May fourth.
Michelle Lynne: I'm the sixth.
Tonya Comer: Oh, Michelle, I love you already. I knew yet.
Michelle Lynne: There we go.
Tonya Comer: And so this is so fascinating to me. That the Taurus has three things that are really, that are characteristic to us. We're humanitarians. We are ruled by the god Venus, the god of love and beauty. And we celebrate and enjoy all things beautiful. So Tonya is a humanitarian. Tonya, her whole mission now is about love. And I've created this life as to celebrate beauty as an interior designer. So I thought well, hokey smokes, I'm going about just living my life doing what I do, loving what I love, and maybe there's this physics out here that's supporting me in this way. You know, and that's talking about who I am as a person, but why did I do this? What was my internal drive? It was, I recognized that when I was seven years old, you know, when people were always asking the seven-year-old, so what do you want to be when you get older?
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Tonya Comer: There were the doctors and the lawyers and the basketball players and the professional rappers in my neighborhood, all of that. But there's little Tonya, that's like, I want to spread love around the globe.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, wow.
Tonya Comer: And I didn't know what that meant. I knew that I had this desire, this drive to bring happiness and bring joy and bring connection to people. And so when I hit rock bottom, I asked the question, why. Why is this happening to me? Why this? Why me? Why now? Why? And the answer that I got back was that my pain, my suffering, is not for me. It's so that I can teach what I learn in this journey of rebuilding my life, to help other women elude their pain, their shame, their self-doubt. So every tear that I've cried, every pain that I felt, all the illness that I suffered, all of it is for the purpose of helping other women find their way to wholeness.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that. And you could have hidden under a rock, but you didn't, you've chosen not to.
Tonya Comer: Here's that little seven-year-old getting her wish to be able to spread love around the globe. To a million women, no less.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's so fantastic. So it's been a natural progression. And interestingly enough, your life and like you said, the physics around it, you know, have supported it the whole time.
Tonya Comer: The whole time.
Michelle Lynne: So do you remember Nicole Laino, our master coach that was doing mindset, or she still is in The Bakery? She has a podcast, and it's called The Limitless Entrepreneur, so y'all should be listening to that too. But she talks a lot about human design, and how, like a lot of the facets of the universe, and you know that I love Jesus, I believe that God created all of these tools that we use, or that we have been born into, and maybe don't use, but she talks a lot about it. And it's so interesting to see how these things that are destined, for lack of a better term, when we step into ourselves and become who we are supposed to be and just be ourselves. That it shows up there. And it's not a surprise. It's like, oh, my gosh, I recognize that. So it's amazing. If you get the chance to listen to her podcast, I think some of this might even just give some ahas from your standpoint. It's really cool.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely, it's so true. We manifest that which we desire most.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And stepping into that wholeness that you have, I don't want to say found, but created for yourself.
Tonya Comer: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all, as my interior design business grew, there were some struggles that quickly surfaced. It was balancing, management, just all of the things that come together, and especially when it came to consolidating my marketing efforts, my client relationship management, social media planning, website building, all the things. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein, just trying to tie all of these things together and it didn't really come out very pretty. I thought it would be great if I could find something that would bring everything together into one place. And I believe I have found it. The support of Sidemark, growing your interior design business has never been easier. It will be available this spring. Sidemark is an all-new, all-in-one software that organizes sales, marketing, and business services all in one convenient location. By signing up for Sidemark, you too can get access to all of the essential tools needed to help your business succeed. With features such as a built-in website builder, a custom sales pipeline, email marketing, client relationship management, scheduling on a calendar, and more. This is going to expand your interior design business and make it a breeze. Go online now to join the waitlist at mysidemark.com. You will receive 10% off your first year and get notified of all of the new and exciting updates yet to come. Visit mysidemark.com to start your journey towards successful business growth without the stress and join mysidemark.com today. You won't be sorry.
Michelle Lynne: So let's talk about your book.
Tonya Comer: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: You are, we were talking about power tools. And you're using that as a model.
Tonya Comer: Yep.
Michelle Lynne: And the name of your book is In High Heels on a Ladder. And it's the seven power tools for designing your life, which ties back to your interior design background. And it just, again, is just a little bow on your entire being. So tell us about the book. Tell me. I'm super curious.
Tonya Comer: Yeah. Let me start with the title. So I've found, I don't know if you've had this experience, Michelle, but I certainly have, that I had to figure out a way to survive these construction trade guys. Right?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Tonya Comer: So, you know, so there's ageism, their sexism. And they certainly don't necessarily value interior designers very much. So I had to figure out how to play their game. So I developed a way to do that. I'd show up in my high heels on a construction site. I would have the shiniest, biggest tape measure that I could possibly have. I had one called the Johnson and I love the double entendre of the Johnson.
Michelle Lynne: Yes. Did you bedazzle it?
Tonya Comer: I totally did. And I enjoyed, I welcomed the opportunity to figure out a way to like, have the men let their wall just go down. And I figured out how to do that. So at some point, you know, we're walking a job site, and there'll be all this conversation, all the technical stuff, and I'm doing this, well we're going to have this here and that there and da da da. And at some point, inevitably, I would pull out the tape measure, and one of the guys would attempt to pretend like they're going to help me. Like, of course, this poor little lady doesn't know how to handle a tape measure. So I would perform my magic tricks. And then eventually look for that perfect opportunity to say these words, I can do anything you can do while holding a power tool, standing on a ladder, in high heels. And of course, it would tear the walls down, the guys would laugh, there would be side chatter, and I won favor with the boys.
Michelle Lynne: That's awesome.
Tonya Comer: So the title of this book is, In High Heels on a Ladder, the Seven Power Tools for Designing your Life. Now the book itself is not a shtick, although that was my shtick. This is not. But it's about, you know, it's alluding to the ways that we carry a facade throughout our lives. And what's behind the facade is this fear we have of being found out that we feel like we're a fraud. Inside that feeling like we're fraud is shame that we have defined, we've defined this for ourselves. And so the book is a journey in which I share my stories of my life. And I coach women through the book on how to do their own journey of self-discovery, and ultimately finding their path to wholeness. The power tools are the mechanisms I use to help the women do the work. And I have seven power tools that I use for supporting the women in the journey.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, very interesting. And I know that, you know, our audience and your audience when the book releases, and we'll talk about that in a minute, can so totally relate to that. Because while, you know, I wasn't born into homelessness, per se, I've got my own issues. And we all have, every single person has that feeling of ineptitude and that impostor syndrome and so forth. So you're really hitting the nail on the head, and especially when it comes to women, and you're gearing a lot of this towards women in leadership.
Tonya Comer: Right.
Michelle Lynne: So why did you kind of target that direction instead of just like all women? Like, I mean, it's applicable to all women, for sure, but.
Tonya Comer: Yeah, well, we have seen professionally, even on television, we're beginning to see that women are breaking some barriers of their rightful place. And I believe that when women find their path to wholeness, the amount of women who are going to rise up into leadership is going to be profound. Because the thing that's holding us back, there is this glass ceiling.
Michelle Lynne: Patriarchy.
Tonya Comer: But more than anything, there is the internal shame and self-doubt that holds us back from owning our own authentic true power and self-expression. And here's, I recognized recently, how sick this world is. It's sick. We have police brutality, hate crimes, war, a global pandemic. All of these things are just a demonstration to me of how sick the globe is. And I know that women, when we find our true authentic selves and our divine femininity.
Michelle Lynne: Yes.
Tonya Comer: We will have the vision and the love necessary to heal this world. And it's going to take women who are really willing to stand up inside a construct of leadership to make that kind, take that time.
Michelle Lynne: I absolutely love that. Because I really, and I think probably our audience, really believes that women are the ones, we run the world, like, we're the ones who get shit done. And we're the ones standing behind the men whose faces might be out there. But really, and we do, we come from a place of our heart, that you're giving them the tools and the empowerment to really live that out.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely. Absolutely. This book is what I call a call to being a love revolution.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, a global love revolution.
Tonya Comer: Global love revolution, it's a call for women to first find their self-love. And then transfer that love, it naturally will happen. Love naturally desires to expand, it naturally desires to expand. So when you yourself recognize just as a being you are love period.
Michelle Lynne: Mm-hmm.
Tonya Comer: Then you begin to express that emotion, that feeling, that choice around the globe. So if we did it consciously, imagine the change we could cause in that way.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, just by loving each other and loving ourselves, especially.
Tonya Comer: And leading our lives, finding our passions. I'm sorry, finding our purpose, and leading our purpose in the divine feminine energy of love. We will change the globe.
Michelle Lynne: Wow. Yes, that's powerful.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: Tonya, so when does your book come out?
Tonya Comer: We're scheduled to launch May 1st.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. That's exciting.
Tonya Comer: I'm so excited.
Michelle Lynne: That is right around the corner. Yes, I'm just taking all of this in. Okay. So it'll be May 1st. And I think this podcast is going to come out sometime in March. And we'll talk about this at the end also, and make sure that all of this gets put into our notes. But where can we get the book?
Tonya Comer: Yes. So the book will be distributed on multiple places, Amazon, I can't even remember.
Michelle Lynne: Probably Barnes and Noble, your website.
Tonya Comer: Barnes and Noble. My website. So for now, until we have the distribution plan completed, the best way to find out more about the book is going to be at my website. It's tonyacomer.com. And this will be in the show notes. So you can look there.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. So C-O-M-E-R, also pronounces Comair. Sorry, I'm still just laughing at the last couple of years in my head every time I see your name on the screen. Oh my gosh, this is so amazing. And just, I love the fact that it is just breaking through, you know, your internal barriers and in working your way through love.
Tonya Comer: Yeah, absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: It's powerful. It is absolutely powerful. And it also transitions, you know, just circling it back to what we do as, so are you still doing interior design?
Tonya Comer: I am. Yes, I still own my business.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I figured as much. But still think about that. Because when we're serving our clients, we're serving them through love because we're transforming their home and transforming their life, so you've got this in all facets.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: That is so cool. Y'all need to go over to her website and start taking a look for that book. And we will be, when it comes out Tonya, make sure you let me know because I can help promote it on the platforms that we have. Because I just think that so many women need this. Because sometimes you don't even recognize the shame although I think that in this business, we find that the imposter syndrome is there. So diving down further is where the work happens. Not just recognizing that we all feel like imposters so get over it.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: Very cool.
Michelle Lynne: Imagine trying to bake a cake without a recipe. You kind of know what the ingredients are, but you don't know how to put it all together. After lots of hard work and trying different combinations, all you are left with is a sticky situation and a stomachache. Babe, running an interior design business can feel exactly that same way. That is why I created The Interior Design Business Bakery. This is a program that teaches you how to bake your interior design business cake and eat it too. If you don't want to figure out the hard way, and you want guidance to follow, a recipe that has already been vetted, someone that has already been there and done it and will help you do it too, then check out the year-long mentorship and coaching program, The Interior Design Business Bakery. If your interior design business revenue is below $300,000, or if you're struggling to make a profit and keep your sanity, this is the only program for you. You can find that information at designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery. Check it out. You won't regret it.
Michelle Lynne: Well, girl, you know I could have this conversation for the next hour. I'm so fascinated and I can't wait to get on the waitlist for your book. So excited.
Tonya Comer: Me too.
Michelle Lynne: But let's change the trajectory of this conversation. And let's get to know you a little bit better in a unique manner.
Tonya Comer: Okay.
Michelle Lynne: We've got a rapid-fire question and answer session.
Tonya Comer: Alright.
Michelle Lynne: Are you ready? Dun dun duuun. Okay, so let's start with Tonya, do you have any tattoos?
Tonya Comer: No tattoos.
Michelle Lynne: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Tonya Comer: I don't like when people do not accept responsibility for their mistakes.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah. That's a good one. Yeah, for sure. Just want to punch them in the throat.
Tonya Comer: Or that.
Michelle Lynne: I know that was a little vicious, but I just came across that yesterday, so I'm still feeling a little raw to that.
Tonya Comer: Yes, exactly. It's like grrr come on. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: All right. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Tonya Comer: Okay. I have two. Now I generally avoid dairy, but ice cream is like the thing that I love and it's my go to everything. As a kid I loved butter pecan from Baskin Robbins, and I still do. And then more recently in life, I discovered pineapple coconut by Haagen-Dazs.
Michelle Lynne: What?
Tonya Comer: Oh, it's like tropics in the spoon.
Michelle Lynne: That sounds delicious. Oh, that sounds so good.
Tonya Comer: Haagen-Dazs It's delicious.
Michelle Lynne: And it's pineapple coconut?
Tonya Comer: Pineapple coconut. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: That sounds great.
Tonya Comer: It's like having the tropics on a spoon. It's delicious.
Michelle Lynne: Did you ever go to I think it was Dairy Queen and they had their Blizzards?
Tonya Comer: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: They used to have a tropical and that sounds like it was probably similar to it.
Tonya Comer: Oh, really?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. I don't think they still have, well I can't tell you. I haven't been to Dairy Queen since 1902 but. I don't know if they still have it.
Tonya Comer: That long ago?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, it's been a while. But Haagen-Dazs, here I come. That sounds so good.
Tonya Comer: Oh, it's so good.
Michelle Lynne: Sounds so good. All right. Where do you find inspiration?
Tonya Comer: I find it everywhere. Every single place. When it comes to design, though, I am really mostly inspired by my clients. People are so interesting and fascinating when you really take the time, you know, to get to know them.
Michelle Lynne: And listen.
Tonya Comer: And listen.
Michelle Lynne: I love that.
Tonya Comer: They're fascinating.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. What is your favorite book?
Tonya Comer: Ooh, it's a little book. It's called As a Man Thinketh. It's a teeny tiny book. And it changed my life. It was sort of one of the books that I read after hitting rock bottom that really helped me to get the power of the mind, the power of my mind to change my life.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, and how you can harness it. You are not your thoughts.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah. I love that. Yes, and I haven't read that book, but I've come across it multiple times. I will have to grab it. All right.
Tonya Comer: It's by James Allen. As a Man Thinketh.
Michelle Lynne: James Allen, I'm writing that down. I'll grab that. Yes. I love that. Okay, if you could have one superpower, Tonya, what would it be?
Tonya Comer: Oh, oh, well, it's only fitting. I would have a magic wand or some magic something and I can erase hate. I could just poof
Michelle Lynne: Poof
Tonya Comer: Poof away the hate.
Michelle Lynne: There would be a few people that would disappear off of the earth.
Tonya Comer: One or two.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, just erase the hate and circling back with love. Yeah, what is your morning routine look like?
Tonya Comer: So most mornings, I listen to an audio. I've recorded my voice with my visions or my gratitude or my inspirations. I have several different audios. I have different ones I pick one every day. And that reminds me of my dream, my desire, my goals and inspires me in the morning. And then I might write some new thoughts to contribute to what I've listened to. And then I usually, four days a week or five I work out, and then I have my very healthy version of some kind of smoothie.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yum, that sounds like a good morning.
Tonya Comer: And then after that I always want a cookie, but I don't get it.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that would kind of put a kibosh on the rest of the healthy part.
Tonya Comer: It would, but I think about it. I often think about the cookie in the morning,
Michelle Lynne: What kind of cookie, like what do you crave? What kind of cookie do you crave?
Tonya Comer: I love caramel. And so I've discovered I love caramel cookies.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that sounds delicious.
Tonya Comer: Yes. Little caramel chips. It's kind of like a sugar cookie with caramel, it's delicious.
Michelle Lynne: That sounds really good. You know what you could do is you could have an oatmeal cookie. And then kind of call it breakfast.
Tonya Comer: I could, I could say it's, yeah with raisins. Yes, and getting some fiber.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, just leave out all the butter and the sugar. That is too funny. Okay, so with that, since we're talking about food, what would it be, what would you pick for your last meal?
Tonya Comer: Oh, my gosh, it is the ultimate indulgence for me by my standards. First of all, I couldn't have this meal alone. I would hire a chef who specializes in small plates. And I would have maybe 5, 6, 7 courses and there would be just the beautifully presented foods on these beautiful plates. You know how you go to like a tapas restaurant and it's all about the presentation. And it's as delicious on the plate as it is in your mouth. And I just want all the food to look beautiful and be lovingly presented to me by the Frenchman who wears his beret, and he prepares this lovely food and he's like, oh madame, please enjoy.
Michelle Lynne: So it doesn't matter what he's serving. It could be sardines on one and an oatmeal cookie on the other. But it has to be beautiful.
Tonya Comer: No, it has to be beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. I have pictures of food on my phone that I just say one day, I want to just have that thing in my front of me that looks exactly like that.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, and that's interesting. Yeah.
Tonya Comer: Has to be beautifully presented. And I want to share it with my besties.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. I absolutely love that. So it's very interesting, because that goes back to your beauty and surrounding yourself and creating it.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely.
Michelle Lynne: All right, um, let's see, what else do we want? What is your favorite productivity hack?
Stand up, turn on music, dance, and then sit back down.
Michelle Lynne: Yes. Yes. Oh my gosh.
Tonya Comer: Works every time.
Michelle Lynne: It totally gets your energy up. That's so funny.
Tonya Comer: Always just the energy.
Michelle Lynne: My team used to think, they probably still do, but they used to think I was crazy. Because like before I would get on a call, or before we would give a design presentation to a client that I was nervous about, I would literally stand up and either jump around or dance or do something because it totally gets your physiology going.
Tonya Comer: Totally.
Michelle Lynne: You're the first person I've ever connected with that said the same thing. Yes. Y'all, if you're sitting around and you just need a boost of energy, get your ass up and dance.
Tonya Comer: And dance. Turn on music. It really helps. I mean, you can do jumping jacks and all of that, but music, it's just so much more fun.
Michelle Lynne: So much more fun. Do you have a theme song?
Tonya Comer: Ooh. I'm Every Woman.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that. That's a good one. Who sings I'm Every Woman, who is that? I can hear it. Is that, was that Whitney?
Tonya Comer: No. Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Whitney Houston.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, yeah. Oh, that's a good one. Yeah. So I've got two. Mine is from Prince, so I think I'm dating myself. Baby I'm a star.
Tonya Comer: I, okay, go ahead. I am a Prince like fanatic. I was. What's your second?
Michelle Lynne: My other one is Nina Simone. Baby I feel good.
Tonya Comer: Oh, I love that song.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I don't think it's baby I'm feeling good. It's just I'm Feeling Good. And I heard that one going through a trial in my life, and it has just resonated. Because you crank that up and you sing with it. You can't really dance to that one like Baby I'm a Star, but it is so good.
Tonya Comer: I love it.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, so Tonya, I know our audience has just loved everything you've had to say. And I know that it's very likely that there is a heart that has been pulled a couple different directions, just listening because it's something that we can all relate to. And it resonates. So how else can we connect with you? Tonyacomer.com is your website, that's going to be in our show notes. But where else are you?
Tonya Comer: Yes, I'm on the social media, but I'm not terribly active. I have a Facebook page. What else do I have, a LinkedIn page, and an Instagram page.
Michelle Lynne: What's your gram handle?
Tonya Comer: Tonya Comer
Michelle Lynne: There you go. Yep. All right.
Tonya Comer: If you could put that in the show notes that'd be helpful, Michelle.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely.
Tonya Comer: But the best way probably would be to go to my website and get on my mailing list.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. Good, good, good, good. That's so important. Well, I will definitely make sure that all of those details are listed in the show notes. And then when your book comes out, I'll be sure that we notify our audience like through our emails, and Facebook groups, and so forth. So speaking of Facebook groups, y'all, if you can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, and meeting other beautiful souls like Tonya and interacting and recognizing that we have this community, join us in my private Facebook group. It's called the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. And then of course, we had mentioned it earlier, I have a paid program that is a mentorship coaching program for a year. That's called the Interior Design Business Bakery. And that's actually how I met Tonya. So it's amazing how the relationships just flow and grow.
Tonya Comer: Absolutely. And the Interior Design Business Bakery is, the wealth of information that Michelle shares with us to ensure that we are equipped to manage our businesses is phenomenal. And I don't care what stage of business you're in. If you're just starting out or if you're a senior business owner like I was when I participated in the program. I was 20 years a business owner, you'll see the benefit of the tools that, Michelle, you are giving to all of us. So thank you so much.
Michelle Lynne: Well, thank you, honey, I appreciate that. I appreciate that. All right.
Tonya Comer: And thank you for taking this time, Michelle, and inviting me to join you here today. I am very pleased with the, I just respect what you're doing.
Michelle Lynne: Thank you.
Tonya Comer: And the gift that you are, you are definitely a Taurus. The gift that you are, not the gift that you give, but the gift that you are, you are spreading love in such a profound way to this industry and to this community. I just love you so much. And I appreciate you very much. Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Well, thanks, babe. Yeah, if you guys could see me, I'm blushing.
Tonya Comer: Me too.
Michelle Lynne: Thank you, that's so wonderful.
Tonya Comer: We're girl crushing over here.
Michelle Lynne: I know. Well, I can't wait to meet you soon.
Tonya Comer: I know, it's been Zoom for two years.
Michelle Lynne: I know. Alright, well, with that. I'm gonna sign off with the audience. And don't you go anywhere, Tonya, we're gonna catch up.
Tonya Comer: Okay.
Michelle Lynne: So until next time, y'all. Thanks for being here.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with the name and get even more business advice, than join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition, so let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.