BoundariesJuly 9, 2019
This month we’re talking about boundaries. We’re diving in with defining what boundaries are, how to tell when you need better boundaries, and how to create healthy boundaries professionally and personally.
This month we’re talking about boundaries. We’re diving in with defining what boundaries are, how to tell when you need better boundaries, and how to create healthy boundaries professionally and personally.
In this episode, the Work-Life Balance worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!
Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Katherine Shannon.
Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is Being Boss.
Emily Thompson 0:13
In this episode of Being Boss, we're talking all about boundaries. We're diving in with defining what boundaries are how to tell when you need better boundaries, and how to create healthy boundaries professionally and personally. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club.
Kathleen Shannon 0:35
My word of the month is organization. And I'm guessing I'm not alone in that. I bet a lot of you want to get a little bit more organized and maybe a little more organized with your money. FreshBooks Cloud Accounting makes it so easy to do just that. The setup is easy. The system is intuitive, and it's designed for creatives who don't love spending their precious time on administrative tasks like bookkeeping. FreshBooks Cloud Accounting helps you keep your expenses, estimates, invoices and reports organized, which helps you make more money. Plus their customer service is top notch you all if you have a question, give them a call. And a real human will answer your questions and help you troubleshoot any problems you're having. Try FreshBooks Cloud Accounting for free by going to freshbooks.com/beingboss and enter Being Boss in the How did you hear about us section. Again, try FreshBooks Cloud Accounting for free by going to fresh books.com/beingboss and enter Being Boss in the How did you hear about us section.
Emily Thompson 1:39
All right, Kathleen, today's about boundaries. I know you're excited to talk about this. This was, you were like no need to talk about boundaries. What's going on for you? Let's get started.
Kathleen Shannon 1:50
Yeah, I think it's because it's summer time. So I'm butting up against a lot of personal life boundaries between vacation and travel and moming. But also, I've been going whole hog into client work. So I'm coming up against some client boundaries, some work boundaries, some scheduling roles and expectations. So really, you know, if you think about your boundaries as where you draw your line, or even as a container, I'm kind of like butting up against all the edges.
Emily Thompson 2:23
Kathleen, really nice to talk about boundaries these days. I think that's great. I have found so as I was reflecting on this topic on, you know, what we would be talking about today, I found that I am in a season of work in life where my boundaries are being very inconsistent, where I don't have a boundary that I'm putting in place for, you know, the next six months, I'm like, what do I need this week, or this month, or whatever it may be, and really just sort of defining boundaries as I go as I'm in this period of flux and transition. So I think this is gonna be a really fun way we can talk about what it looks like to put in some hard like, long standing boundaries and what it's like to just go day to day with like, how am I protecting myself and my energy and my time and my money so that I can, you know, cultivate what I want to cultivate. And that requires a whole lot of mindfulness and practice and communication, all those things. So let's dive in.
Kathleen Shannon 3:18
Yeah, I'm actually really glad that you talk about boundaries as you go, because your boundaries are going to evolve and change as you as a business owner evolves and change as your personal life evolves and changes. And what I found is that the more consistent your boundaries can be, the more you know what to expect, and the more people around you know what to expect. So as your boundaries are in flux, or as they're changing, it can be kind of a bumpy road, not only for yourself, like where are my boundaries? Where do I draw the line? Do I want to do this yes or no? Like really just trying to decide what your boundary is? And then also the people around you really knowing what your boundary is as well?
Emily Thompson 4:03
Yes, that is one of the most important things about boundaries is not only communicating to yourself what it is that you want, or what it is that you're going to say yes or say no to but it also gives other people an idea of what to expect whenever they're interacting with you, which is super important. And I will say I love this thing. I love what you just said about all of that because especially it being a bumpy road because I do find with my boundaries currently being in flux that it's like almost a hardening backup some walls that you know, began to crumble. If you go back to any past episodes. I know these days, we're getting lots of new listeners. So I just want to say hello to anyone that's new. And we have been, you know, around talking about this, all of this stuff for a long time. Boundaries is one of the things that we talk about in our book, Being Boss, Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms. It's whole chapter. It's very important. We find to be one of the foundations of Being Boss and If you go back to any of the episodes over the past year or so you may hear Kathleen and I talk about a period of burnout that we both experienced, especially post writing and launching the book.
Emily Thompson 5:12
You know, we each have our own individual businesses, we each are here doing Being Boss. For four years, we podcasted every single week, over this year, we've cut it down to every month. And part of that is to create some boundaries around our time and our energy because we had hit this phase of burnout from going so hard for so long. And we really wanted to protect ourselves and our energy and our relationships. And so we had to sort of build these boundaries for ourselves, like cutting down to podcasting only once a month, and some other things as well. But I will say to that, going through all of that sort of made some of my own, like boundary walls crumble a little bit. And please excuse that helicopter, if you can hear that. So I had these boundary walls crumble, and I found myself saying yes to things I didn't want to do. And just like lots of fraudy feelings and lots of taking meetings or like saying no to things that I probably would have said, like, falling out of line with my own values and intentions. And it definitely had negative impacts on how it was I was showing up for my own boundaries. So what I've found is that in this period of flux for myself, where, you know, maybe some weeks, I'm not taking any meetings on actually Friday is pretty consistent to me, we can talk about that little like work boundary for myself, I do not take meetings on Fridays, it just doesn't happen.
Emily Thompson 6:39
Fridays are a day either where I'm going to grocery shop, or I'm going to go hiking, or I'm just going to like finally hit my inbox and get all of those things done, whatever it may be. So I don't take meetings on Fridays. But maybe there are some weeks where I'm not taking meetings on Mondays either on Thursdays either or maybe I have four days that I'm open for meetings, I'm just sort of adjusting and playing. And I find myself as things get bumpy, I'm having to hold true to myself. In a more consistent way. That's a good practice after almost losing myself through burnout. So I will say, I'm open to the bumpiness that current flux and inconsistent boundaries are creating for myself, I find it to be a really good practice for sort of learning how to show up again, and that and like a really boss capacity.
Kathleen Shannon 7:33
Yeah, I think that whenever you first start practicing setting boundaries, you're going to hit a little bit of bumpiness. Because you don't know what your line is, you don't know what your boundaries are, unless you feel like you've crossed the line a little bit. That's kind of how you figure it out. So if you're in a place of transition, or in a brand new place, like let's say, you have a day job, and then you've got this side hustle that you're trying to get off the ground, and you've never done that before. Or maybe you've just quit your day job, and you're freelancing for the first time ever, or starting your own business, anything that's new, or in transition, you're going to have this place where you're figuring it out, and you're not going to get it perfect every time. And that's how you discover what your boundaries are is sometimes by failing, sometimes by crossing the line.
Kathleen Shannon 8:19
Sometimes by feeling taken advantage of or scattered or spread, then that's how you figure it out. As you go, I think the important part is that you're aware as you go, you have this awareness and reflection that happens so that you can start to draw your line. So I want to get a little bit into defining and establishing boundaries. So a lot of what you were talking about Emily is this idea of burnout. That's a great example of knowing when you need to establish some boundaries. So whenever you're feeling drained of energy, time or money, it's probably time to set up some boundaries. So what are some examples of how you've known when you need to establish boundaries, even aside from burnout, for example.
Emily Thompson 9:07
I think an easy one for me is looking at my calendar. And if I'm, if I have so many meetings on my schedule over the next week or two weeks that like I just don't even want to do it. Then I know that I need to tighten up some boundaries or shift some things or place some different boundaries in place around how I'm showing up in the context of meeting with other people. So that was a really big one for me and is is an easy one where I can look at my calendar and if I feel overwhelmed by just looking at it, then I know that I need to that I need to scale back in some way. So because for me, I am an introvert. So meeting with people being with people does drain me and I know that about myself again that like that self awareness is key. So my calendar or also my to do list is a way if I can just look at my to do list and I like, oh, I can't even deal, then I know I need to adjust or make some boundaries.
Kathleen Shannon 10:07
Yeah, I think one of mine is whenever I feel like my inbox is quicksand, in fact, my email inbox is one of probably the first places that I set up boundaries for myself, and really feeling completely overwhelmed by my inbox. And part of it was because I felt like I needed to respond to every single message. Part of it was that I was subscribed to way too many newsletters, and it helped me realize, okay, what is the function of my inbox? What is my role within my inbox? How can I turn this into a place that's energizing or productive versus draining, and exhausting?
Emily Thompson 10:44
Yes, and I will say too so this is one of the first places that I ever put some boundaries around as well. And I did this by tracking my time around how much time I was spending in my inbox. And I saw that I was spending so much time in my inbox, it was ridiculous, like 15 hours a week or something in my inbox, just like answering emails, filtering things through. So it was one of the first places that I got really hardcore with how it was I was setting boundaries around the time that I was spending in it. And I'll tell you, these days, I have no problem going a week without replying to a single email in my inbox, like, it doesn't bring me any stress, I don't mind seeing that I have 50, 100 emails in my inbox that need to be answered. And I will allot time every couple of days or at least every week, every other week to go in for an hour or two and just answer it all at once. Because that's all you have to do is allot a little bit of time, every week or two weeks to answer it all. And it is different. If you're working on current client projects, and all of those things, I understand that everyone has their own situation. But I will say that if your inbox brings you stress, start practicing some boundaries. And pretty soon the stress will disappear.
Kathleen Shannon 11:55
Yeah, and I think one of the early boundaries I put in place for my email inbox was not checking it in the evenings or weekends, I'm not even tempted to check it on the evenings or weekends. It's just not a priority, I suppose. And so that's another thing with boundaries is it's not only looking at what drains your energy and where you need to set up boundaries, sometimes it's about protecting what it is that you want to create and nurture.
Emily Thompson 12:21
Right, it is! It isn't sometimes. It is. It is about what it is that you want to protect and cultivate. It's what your priorities are what is most important to you, that's what you're setting, it's not, you're not setting, you're not necessarily setting boundaries to keep things out. You're setting boundaries to protect the things within those boundaries. And I think whenever you can go at it from that place. It's a much truer, kinder place to set up boundaries.
Kathleen Shannon 12:50
Yeah, and it's just not so negative. I think that a lot of us think about boundaries as keeping toxic people out of our lives or, you know, cutting off certain relationships or habits, when in fact, boundaries can be a very positive thing. They can be containers in which you can really thrive. So in fact, in our Being Boss book, we have whenever we were writing this book, we were like, wait, how do you define boundaries, and we are big fans of metaphors. So we thought of it, we started visualizing it as this garden, and you have so much square footage, you can only have so many containers within your garden. So thinking of it as square foot gardening, container gardening, what plots do you want, like, what is it that you want to grow, and knowing that you only have so much space to grow the things that you want to grow. Maybe you have a high remember, we put in one container, that's just the white space is a space for nothing. It's your space where you can spontaneously grow whatever it is that you want to grow that season. Or it's a place where you can just sit and chill with nothing else happening in it. So we really thought of this garden as far as you're wanting to nurture and grow and water and give some sunshine, to your vegetables, to your flowers, to all the things but then what do you want to keep out of your garden? What kind of pests and nuisances do you want to keep out of that space? So it really is twofold. But I love thinking about it that way because it really does help me define what my priorities are, what my containers are, what I want to nurture and grow within those spaces.
Emily Thompson 14:27
Okay, so then I have a question for you. If you are thinking more about boundaries these days, and we've talked a bit about what and I we will talk more about what those boundaries are, what is it that you're most wanting to like, protect and cultivate these days? And how is that shifted from, let's say six months to a year ago.
Kathleen Shannon 14:46
I suppose the thing. Well, I have two things. One is personal and one is professional. The personal thing that I'm really protecting and cultivating right now is sleep.
Emily Thompson 14:58
Kathleen Shannon 15:00
If you've been listening to the show from the beginning, I started or we started Being Boss, whenever Fox was probably one, and still waking up 8 to 10 times a night.
Emily Thompson 15:11
And Fox is her son, not her pet.
Kathleen Shannon 15:13
Fox is my son, he's five and a half, he still has not slept through the night. So it's one of those things that I used to talk about a lot, because it was really traumatic and awful being so sleep deprived, and I've come full circle around to this place where I'm really protecting my sleep, I struggle with insomnia. So even just the other day, I had a social invitation to hang out. And I said, okay, but I've got to leave by 7pm. So I can be home by 8, so I can unwind so that I can sleep, you know, I just can't stay out until midnight anymore. And it also means that I'm not drinking very much, if at all anymore, because wine, keep like, even one glass of wine will disturb my sleep. So I'm really protecting my sleep. And I'm really cultivating it. I used to think of sleep as this thing that helped my other boundaries, or my other priorities flourish. But now sleep has got its own container. It has its own space that I'm protecting, and cultivating and really nurturing. And the cool thing about boundaries, too, is just like we were talking about email, I don't even have to think about setting up boundaries around my email anymore, or expectations, because it's been done. And this is what I love about habits and routines and how they interact with your boundaries is that I'm creating all of these healthy habits and routines around my sleep hygiene. So that hopefully one day I don't even have to think about it. It's just kind of on autopilot. And I don't have to put so much attention on it so that I can start to cultivate and grow something else.
Emily Thompson 16:50
Love it, what's the professional one?
Kathleen Shannon 16:52
Oh, I suppose the professional one is I'm really digging, getting my hands back into design lately. It's really made me realize that I am a designer and really protecting my role as a designer. And so actually, this is a place where we can kind of hash this out together. Sometimes it takes talking it through with your business bestie to figure out your boundaries. So remember how I said that I wanted to start a blog.
Emily Thompson 17:19
Kathleen Shannon 17:19
And I was really excited because I'm buying this new house. And..
Emily Thompson 17:22
Kathleen Shannon 17:23
I really want to capture and shape and share the experience and design decisions that go into creating this home. And the kind of life and intentionality that I can bring to it all through blogging, it's kind of a full circle of where I started. Well, looking at my boundaries, looking at my garden, looking at the plots that I have between sleep, my kid, my work, being a graphic designer at Braid, podcasting here at Being Boss, I do not have room in my garden for a blog. Like if I'm just looking at my priorities, and it's as I want it, I want to do it. But I couldn't find the space for it. And so it's kind of this boundary that I had to set up that like, Okay, I'm not, I'm not going to have a blog, this is actually now a no decision. And I feel like we're actually really good at doing this, we're really good at saying, I love this idea. And now it's not happening.
Emily Thompson 18:22
We're really good at talking ourselves out of doing things for sure. But for the purpose of protecting what we find to be truly important.
Kathleen Shannon 18:31
Right? Oh, socoming back to graphic design, in my role as a graphic designer, I'm really enjoying doing client work. And I really want to protect my role as a designer. And I found this with any sort of talent, whenever it comes to being the CEO or the boss of your business, you start wearing a lot of different hats, and you start being pulled in a lot of different directions. And I've really had to create some boundaries around what my role is and what it is that I do professionally. And so professionally, the thing that I want to focus on the most my core genius is in graphic design, it's in making things look really good and really polished and really cohesive. Then my other role is being there for my team, especially as a creative director for my junior designer. And for my art directors, so really being available to them. In fact, the other day, my junior designer, she was like, hey, I don't want to bother you. But can you take a look at this thing. And I had to tell her listen, you are never bothering me by having me take a look at something, this is my job and this is what I love doing. I love helping you look at things and make them better. And so really establishing that boundary even with her saying interrupt me, quote unquote interrupt me because it's not an interruption anytime, because that's I've made space for that. And so professionally, those are kind of some boundaries that I've got going on, and it means that I might not have time for stuff like blogging.
Emily Thompson 19:57
Sure. Well, I have a proposal for the blogging that I will have at you off air, just so you know.
Kathleen Shannon 20:05
Oh, Let's just bring it on, what is it?
Emily Thompson 20:09
Do you want to do a quarterly post for Almanac?
Kathleen Shannon 20:13
Emily Thompson 20:14
Then you're not managing your own site, you're not managing your own blog at all, is just take a couple photos, write a little ditty.
Kathleen Shannon 20:22
Write a little ditty.
Emily Thompson 20:25
Think about it.
Kathleen Shannon 20:26
I know, I'll have to think about it. Whenever it's telling people, you know, I'm thinking about not blogging, they were like, well, you could just do it as much or as little as you want to. And there's something for me about that consistency and that regimen, and even a couple of episodes back whenever we were talking about blogging and podcasting and creating content. For me, it is this kind of thing where I have to get into the routine of it in order to really get on a roll. And to get momentum with it. I don't know.
Emily Thompson 20:56
Just think on it.
Kathleen Shannon 20:58
Thanks for the invitation.
Emily Thompson 21:00
Just think on it.
Kathleen Shannon 21:01
So what what do you have some? What kind of things are you trying to cultivate? And what are you doing to create boundaries around it? Like on the positive side, so not just the stuff that you want to say no to but the stuff that you want to say yes to?
Emily Thompson 21:15
What I am trying to cultivate right now is work that brings me joy. Right. And so this has been professionally, let's start professionally, work that brings me joy. So we have stopped podcasting as much so that we can bring joy back to this. We were doing it so much that it like almost wasn't fun anymore. But doing it once a month, like we think about it and talk about it all month. And then we show up, we do this and we probably are including an episode where the first 10 minutes of us trying to record this was just laughter. Basically. I hope that doesn't make it in because that's not a good way to start a podcast, guys.
Kathleen Shannon 21:56
It's so interesting that you say this about creating work that brings you joy. Joy was one of your first words of the year that I can really remember you focusing on.
Emily Thompson 22:07
I've been thinking about it a lot lately.
Kathleen Shannon 22:09
And really filtering your boundaries through what you value is huge.
Emily Thompson 22:14
Yes, yes. Right. So that has been a very purposeful, like linear thought process. There is a couple years ago, I set a intention of the year that was joy. And because whenever you do that, whenever you have that sort of intention practice, which is also something that we talk about in our book, those words don't just last for that year, or that month or that week, or whatever they last forever, like especially once you practice a word like that for an entire year, like it flavors the rest of your life in one way or the other. And so for me, it has been tapping back into that idea of what brings me joy. And this is also pre Marie Kondo. Just so you know, I was there first. No, I'm just kidding. But but it has made me think about that a whole lot. And a lot of the burnout, which I'm feeling much better, and we're going to be talking about that a lot. Because boundaries is one of those things that has come up for me a lot.
Emily Thompson 23:06
I'm not feeling burnout anymore, I still have occasional days where I'm like, I just want to take a nap today, which is fine. But I'm feeling good and feeling like getting back to work and doing things. But as I'm very intentionally like, going back into this upswing of getting back to work and thinking about what I'm building next what I'm doing next, because you know, Almanac is growing. It's doing fun things. And it's in a place where it can go to fun places if I'm ready to show up and do it. And I want to make sure that I'm doing those things in a way that I feel amazing about them every step of the way. So it really is finding these very, like, these very like hard to see paths through all the opportunities to like just the right little nugget that I'm going to feel great about because something like Almanac Supply Co. or even what we're doing here at Being Boss. There's so many people involved in there's so many things and there's communities involved. So many opportunities that I'm just, I'm trying to be very mindful to cultivate a work life that simply brings me immense joy because I know that whenever I feel joy about the work that I'm doing, it's going to be amazingly better than I'm just, if I'm just feeling kind of iffy about it.
Kathleen Shannon 24:26
And even enjoying the process along the way.
Emily Thompson 24:29
Kathleen Shannon 24:29
Like if you are enjoying the process usually it will take you to the results that you desire or results that you didn't even expect that are even better than what you could have imagined.
Emily Thompson 24:40
Right and that's been a whole mindset thing for me lately and this is not the mindset chat. This is the boundary chat but a mindset thing for me lately has been so much of what we've done over the past couple of years has been great fun doing it, but the result of it has been so amazing. Like Being Boss has been so amazing in so many ways. I've found myself reconditioned into only thinking about the result.
Kathleen Shannon 25:04
Emily Thompson 25:04
And caring a lot less about the process. And now I see, or I'm just have been shown many times over the past year or two, that you should pretty much just fuck the end result, don't care about it or think about it or anything, and just enjoy the process. So I'm definitely back in that place of it's not just looking ahead at what's going to happen from putting in all of this work. But really making sure that the work that I'm doing brings me joy.
Kathleen Shannon 25:33
However, sometimes I think that establishing boundaries to cultivate what it is that you want to create, does take some discipline that doesn't always feel good along the way. So for example, you don't do well with gluten, but you love a biscuit.
Emily Thompson 25:50
Girl, I love a biscuit.
Kathleen Shannon 25:52
So you love the process of eating a biscuit, you don't love the result.
Emily Thompson 25:57
That's nice little metaphor there, Kathleen, you know, like that, for sure, for sure. And I also have gained and I think this is just like another one that is mindset, like awareness pieces, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. This idea of like, what you do doesn't matter. That's a whole larger conversation.
Kathleen Shannon 26:18
Becausewe're all gonna die.
Emily Thompson 26:19
Because we're all gonna die anyway. And so what the places that this has put me into, is this idea of really thinking about what I'm going to do right now, that makes me happy. But my perspective is broad enough to know that, you know, if what's going to make me happy is, you know, I don't know something that's detrimental to someone else, that doesn't actually make me happy. You know, like, there's this broader sense of joy and happiness that I'm aware of. And so I'm less into that, like direct call calls and effect of like, I'm going to do this, it's gonna make me happy. Like, I can think a little further than just like that initial action, I think that's important and is a perspective more people need to have, and is one that I definitely own. And so by me saying, I'm going to do things that make me happy, or that bring me joy it's not, I'm not just looking at doing that thing. Now, I'm also looking at the things that are connected to it, because sometimes what would bring me the most joy. It's just staying in bed all day. But if that makes, you know, my partner, David angry, or it shows my kid how to be a lazy human being, then that's not going to bring me joy. And I recognize that so there is like this, this chain of reactions that you also have to be aware of, so that you're not being a completely selfish human being.
Kathleen Shannon 27:40
And that brings me into wanting to talk about boundaries and relationships. But first, let's take a break.
Emily Thompson 27:50
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Kathleen Shannon 28:39
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Emily Thompson 29:17
Alright, let's talk about work boundaries. So we just sort of intro with all kinds of work and life stuff. But I want to talk specifically about work because this is where in a business podcast, this is what you guys are here for. And these are probably, I think this may be the place where I'm best at putting in boundaries.
Kathleen Shannon 29:41
I know so whenever I think about boundaries and work, I think about protecting your resources and really being efficient with your resources. And we define resources here a Being Boss as time, money, and energy. So these are the things that we're wanting to protect, nurture and be super intentional with. So let's start with work time.
Emily Thompson 30:04
Okay, I will also say I think that I can, I'm usually best at this because I see how putting boundaries in work can equate to profitability. Right? Like there could there can be like some real quantitative results from putting in boundaries in work. So, preceding this with that.
Kathleen Shannon 30:26
You know, it's funny that you say that too, though, because sometimes I think with my work boundaries, it's more about where I have energy. So that's always been one of my mantras is follow the energy and trust that the money will come. So I think that maybe even you and I have butted heads before, around feeling energy around something, but then plugging it into a spreadsheet, and it doesn't make financial sense, but just trusting.
Emily Thompson 30:50
Or vice versa.
Kathleen Shannon 30:51
Or vice versa, having no energy.
Emily Thompson 30:53
Having something equate to lots of money, but us being like there's no energy there, guys.
Kathleen Shannon 30:57
Right? Yes. So sometimes it really is about balancing time, money or profitability, and energy.
Emily Thompson 31:05
And that happens when you know what you value, which is also something we talked about in our book, you can also go to beingboss.club/values, where we really talk about some values. But I think values is an important piece there whenever weighing which one, and when it happens, which one gets the most weight, whether it's time, money, or energy. And it's all about what it is that you value, what it is that you're prioritizing, and even what your non negotiables are, which is not something we've talked about, we define non negotiables as those things that are non negotiable. So for me, and maybe you these days sleep, for sure, like nothing's gonna get in the way of my sleep guys, not allowed, not allowed. Or for me those Friday, no meetings, non negotiable, nothing is popping up on my Friday, unless it's a haircut, or something like that. But no business meetings for sure. So it is knowing what your values are. And that will lead you to know how to make decisions around what resource is most important and when.
Kathleen Shannon 32:16
So let's talk about time, because this is one that you can't get back. So how do you spend your work time?
Emily Thompson 32:22
How do I spend my work time? Maybe not the best ways these days. And that's, that's probably the piece where I am working to build back up better boundaries. I was even talking to David just last week in terms of Almanac Supply Co I was like, do you realize like, who I am and what I am capable of, basically. But I'm spending four hours a week writing Instagram posts. Right? So like, not, maybe not the best place for me to spend my time and my energy, but it is where it's currently needed. But you can start setting boundaries in place, which is one of the things that we're doing where we're going to hire someone, we're going to delegate that shit. And I'm going to create a boundary around myself that does not let Instagram writing in.
Kathleen Shannon 33:15
There you go.
Emily Thompson 33:17
So I'm spending a lot of time doing lots of Instagram these days. But that has also been my role. It's been one of my duties at Almanac as we have begun growing, whenever you start a business, you do all the things. It's just what you do.
Kathleen Shannon 33:33
I also feel like you set up your Instagram account as an experiment as well. You've been experimenting a lot with your Instagram. And sometimes I think that's a good way to see what works and what isn't working, which is part of setting up a boundary.
Emily Thompson 33:46
Yes. For sure.
Kathleen Shannon 33:46
And it allows you to be flexible and to change your mind.
Emily Thompson 33:50
For sure. But all that time has been put in, I know what's working and what's not working and I'm ready to hand that shit off. And so for me, that's a boundary that that I'm creating where okay, now it's time to make steps where that is no longer one of my roles is you know, Instagram manager. But that can go to someone else. So then I can reallocate my time to something else. And one of the things that we do at Almanac is at least once a month I have this like special little Asana project, or project in Asana. It's the platform we use for project management. And it's called business development. And it's just all of the opportunities we have. And we have a little section for what's currently in progress. And this can be products that we're developing. This can be you know, opportunities that have arisen. This can be you know, some workshop ideas that we have, whatever it may be is the things that we're working on.
Emily Thompson 34:46
And then we have all of the opportunities and we sort of keep them ranked every month, we sit down and we re-rank them in terms of like what is most important what we most want to go after and what's least important, We'll come to later. So we've actually even use this Asana board as a way for us to create some boundaries around what we're working on and what we're going to save until later. And so we can really be on the same page about what we're currently putting our time and our energy and even our money into. And so we're not wasting it on things that aren't quite ready yet. I think it can be really great for you to work either with yourself or with your team to prioritize opportunities in that way. Because one of the things that I find often whenever I'm coaching my clients or doing you know, my masterminding with my clients is that people are just putting all of their time and energy in all the places there's no boundaries in terms of time and energy and money, when it comes to how it is that they're working on their business. But whenever you can get really clear about what all the opportunities are, and get really clear around what you're working on now and what you're going to save until later, you can get a lot more stuff done.
Kathleen Shannon 35:57
Totally, that's one of my favorite places to set up boundaries in work. And this was, I mean, it was a definitive moment for me early in my career, I was working at an advertising agency with my sister who I own Braid Creative with now. And she's very much a copywriter, and I am very much a designer, but she could do both she could design and she could write. These days, she's only writing. These days, I'm mostly only designing. I'm, I'm really good at writing for myself. So I'm good at writing the Being Boss book, I'm good at writing blog posts. I'm not great at writing for clients. And I remember she really was pushing me to be able to write for clients to be able to do ad copy. And once I was able to say no to that it was life changing, because then I could just focus on being the best graphic designer I could be.
Kathleen Shannon 36:48
And that was such an important boundary. And it taught me so much about really setting up boundaries around your expertise, and really doing what it is that you want to be known for. And the more successful you become in your business, the more opportunities come your way, the more things you can say yes to and we'll want to say yes to. So having a system like you were just describing Emily, where you can really organize how and when to say yes to these opportunities that you want to say yes to, and making sure that you're saying no to stuff that might get in the way of saying yes, down the road to other things that you really want to do is incredibly important. And so one of my favorite exercises that we actually have in our CEO Day Kit at Being Boss is really defining what your roles and duties are in your job and writing a job description for it so that if things aren't fitting in your job description, you can start to either outsource it, delegate it or automate it to protect what it is that you really want to be doing. Another example of this is at Braid Creative, we get asked a lot to do websites. And the thing with being a creative entrepreneur and being a talented creative entrepreneur is that you can do a lot of things. But just because you can do them doesn't mean you should do them.
Emily Thompson 38:06
Kathleen Shannon 38:07
And focusing on what we're best at means that we cannot be spending our time developing out websites, because after working closely with you while you were still doing websites, a website isn't just about developing and designing. It's about content. It's about strategy. It's about user experience, it's about business model. And it takes a lot of time and expertise. And I would rather share what we're best at which is developing out a brand platform and positioning and brand identity with someone who is best at websites, you know? Like so I just don't want to spread us thin there. So for me, it means, I feel bad about it all the time. That's probably why I'm even talking about it now. Because a lot of people will be like, can you do my website, I'm like, oh, I wish I could. But it's just not the best use of anybody's time for me to be doing your website, it means that I would be taking away from me doing another brand platform or two in the time it would take me to do a website.
Emily Thompson 39:09
Right? And that sort of awareness about what it is that your job role is and creating that hard boundary is what keeps you great at what you do. It's what keeps you from watering down your expertise and keeps you in a place where you are most sought after for your graphic design and not going into all the other little things that you could easily move into with the experience that you have. It's an important lesson for any creative entrepreneur to learn.
Emily Thompson 39:40
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Kathleen Shannon 40:46
I have a confession to make though.
Emily Thompson 40:48
Kathleen Shannon 40:49
I used to be really good about my work hours, boundaries around that. I have been working more evenings and weekends than ever before.
Emily Thompson 40:58
Sometimes they can go fluid. Sometimes they can go fluid, right?
Kathleen Shannon 41:03
And this is the point that I want to make to you is I don't feel bad about it. I'm having a very flexible and fun summer. So for example, my kiddo was home with me on Friday, it meant that I had to make up some work on Sunday, it meant that I was even emailing a client on a Sunday. And she emailed me back, because we have a brand platform that's due tomorrow. You know, deadlines sometimes mean that you're gonna have to work whenever you don't want to. But it's that perspective that you were talking about earlier, Emily, where I know that if I can just get this done now that I'm going to be able to take a vacation basically all of August.
Emily Thompson 41:41
Yeah. Well, and I think one of the important things about setting up boundaries is knowing when to break them. Because a boundary should not be in place forever. I think whenever you do that, it's when you stunt your own growth, it's when you you know remove yourself from even having the possibility of opportunities or vacations to arise. So I'm down for that I, I stay pretty good. At my nine to five-ish hours, I like to sometimes come in early in the morning. So like if I wake up at like 6am. And I don't feel like just reading or whatever, like I want to get a head start because maybe I want to go hiking in the afternoon and not fall behind on all of my work. I'll go outside of those. That's actually I think work hours is one of those boundaries that I just have sort of let go of too. Where even last week, one of the writers that we have at Almanac sent me a post that she had, and I was so excited. It was like 5pm, when she sent to me, I was spending like three and a half hours that evening, just sort of getting it loaded on the website, getting all the marketing done around it. And I didn't feel bad about it either. I had a blast doing it. And I think that whenever you can, I think whenever you can recognize that there are places in your business where you don't need strict boundaries, you maintain the freedom to work in the way that you want to because if I were only setting up myself to work only during nine to five, then guys, I just created myself a nine to five. And isn't that what we're all trying to get away from? Right?
Kathleen Shannon 43:12
So we have a listener question that says how do you set digital boundaries with clients? What do you actually say?
Emily Thompson 43:21
You say what you mean.
Kathleen Shannon 43:23
Well, I've found that it's what you don't say sometimes.
Emily Thompson 43:28
What do you mean?
Kathleen Shannon 43:28
So for me, yeah. So here's how I set up boundaries, digital boundaries of my clients. One is I have a contract and an agreement and in that agreement and outlines when we will be working together what the timelines and deadlines are. So I think that the more clear you can be about the scope of the project, that alone is boundaries That sets up what everyone can expect. The next thing is, you know, digital boundaries. I wonder if this listener is talking about emails, sometimes. It's not saying hey, I only email between these hours. Have you ever seen that in someone's footer? Or like and auto response.
Emily Thompson 44:05
Yes. And I love that. And I can tell it bugs you from your face. no one can see Kathleen's like judgy look on her face right now.
Kathleen Shannon 44:13
I don't love it. I don't love it. Because okay, so I get a lot of autoresponders that say I'm only answering emails on Fridays, or I'm only answering emails between 12 and two on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I get it, that's fine. I'd rather just get the email whenever I get it. Like I don't necessarily and I think that sometimes people say that more for themselves than they do for the recipient.
Emily Thompson 44:35
That is a fact. For sure. Right? I enjoy seeing it because I enjoy seeing people put boundaries, you're on their email, because I know how much anxiety and stress that inboxes bring to especially online business owners. So I don't mind seeing it for that purpose. I've had it in mine too. In the past whenever especially I was doing a lot of client work because you need to say things like that in multiple places for people to finally maybe read it once. But I will say now that I literally am only answering my email maybe once a week, I don't say it. Like I'm just out to get to you when I get to you. And literally no one has ever been annoyed. Ever. No one has ever responded back and said, well, that took you a long time. No, no one cares. No one has ever cared.
Emily Thompson 45:24
However, I'm not working directly with design clients anymore, though my mastermind clients like we're in a slack, I'm chatting with them all the time. That's perfectly fine. And I think that's an important role to or important boundary that you can create, what are you allowing in your inbox and what belongs in another place? I think if you're working with digital boundaries with clients, having a project management system where you are communicating with clients can be a really great boundary to have. It keeps the conversation much more in line with a project and they're you know, not stopping by your inbox at midnight or whatever it may be. Another boundary, I've always had hardcores my clients is they're not getting my cell phone number. Literally ever.
Kathleen Shannon 46:06
Emily Thompson 46:08
Except my mastermind clients get it whenever they're traveling to Chattanooga, like you can text me, It's fine. But then it stops as soon, as soon as their retreats are over. I don't. I don't. I don't do that whenever.
Kathleen Shannon 46:21
Okay, well, what would you do if one of your mastermind clients texted you today?
Emily Thompson 46:24
I'd probably ignore it and follow up on Slack.
Kathleen Shannon 46:28
Okay, so this is exactly a great point, I have had some slippery slopes of boundaries whenever I become friends with my clients, which doesn't happen as much now as it did in the early days. But I have some friends that became really close friends through the process of working together, they've come on some Being Boss vacations. Just after eight years of being in this world, sometimes you become friends with your clients, and they do have my phone number. So I have had a previous client text me with work questions or even Marco Polo me with work questions. And for their sake, not even just to create a boundary but so that their question gets answered, because I want to answer it, I will say, Hey, can you send this to me in my email, so that doesn't fall through the cracks? So that is literally what I will say, whenever a boundary has been crossed, I will say, hey, for both of us, can you do blank? The thing that is that I want them to do? Or it might be, hey, I will respond to this on Monday morning. Give me the weekend to think about it or you know, give me the weekend to live my life.
Emily Thompson 47:35
Right? Right. And here's the thing here, it's communicating, the most important thing about boundaries is that you are communicating clearly what they are. And I also think unapologetically, whenever I'm getting email after email from people are like, I'm so sorry, I didn't answer your email within 20 minutes of you sending it or like I'm sorry, like, I'm sorry, I was on vacation. What? Like, no, don't be sorry, just state what the boundary is or where you would like to be, you know, communicated with or what, just No, not even I'm sorry, no, but just No, thank you. Okay,
Kathleen Shannon 48:11
you are so good about clearly communicating your boundaries without apology. So we've been through seasons with Being Boss, with recording episodes, with launching things with taking meetings where you say, I'm not taking any interviews for the month of August, and I feel much more like ah, so, I don't know, like I'm a little bit more hesitant and scared of, honestly, this happens a lot in my business partnerships. So with my team or with my business partners, where I'm afraid of disappointing them or letting them down by setting boundaries.
Emily Thompson 48:48
Kathleen Shannon 48:48
Of when I'll be available or not.
Emily Thompson 48:50
apologizing, is it going to keep them from like, that doesn't like, sorry, no, and no, thank you. There's no difference there between whether they're going to like you for saying no or not. Does that make sense? So just like say it and own it.
Kathleen Shannon 49:06
Right? And I've never not liked you less for establishing a boundary. And I've even learned exact language to say.
Emily Thompson 49:13
Kathleen Shannon 49:13
From watching you model it, which is sometimes just saying, I don't have the bandwidth for that, or I'm not taking any meetings this month, or no thanks.
Emily Thompson 49:25
Right. I think just own it. I think just own it. And I don't know where I got that. I know one of the things or one of the places I got that is I find it so obnoxious when people are so heavily apologizing for it. Like I see it enough that I don't want to add to that. And I want to show that there is another way to be like graceful and in it and not apologetic but like just understanding without being apologetic.
Kathleen Shannon 49:55
Do you ever have behind the scenes anxiety about it though?
Emily Thompson 49:57
I will often have to rewrite an email. After like, I'll write it, I'll read it and go, Okay, I need to remove that sorry, because I'm not sorry. Or so it definitely is often my first reaction to do like everyone else does and apologize, or give excuses or whatever. And I usually have to go back and clean up my response and just be like, No, thank you, that doesn't work for me.
Kathleen Shannon 50:21
And I found that the more secure you are in your own boundaries and awareness around what it is that you want, and what it is that you don't want, and the more secure you feel around your roles and duties, the easier it is to say,
Emily Thompson 50:33
Absolutely, absolutely. And we talked earlier about our calendar, like, it's easy for me to say, No, thank you, this is not a good time, whenever I look at my calendar, and I see that I have far too many meetings for the coming weeks anyway. Or whenever I'm looking at my workload. So I'm looking at my project management system. And I'm saying I can't take on another project, because I am booked up for the next six weeks, or whatever it may be, by having some good habits and routines around how it is that you manage your time and energy and money. So like even budget things. So if an opportunity comes up for you to invest in this thing, or make a product or hire someone like checking those, those places where you keep records of either your projects or your money or where your time is going. That's how you're able to unapologetically look at what is real, what is factual for what you were working on, and seeing if an opportunity is a good fit for you or not. And whether that's it can be any number of things, any number of things. But it's easy to tell when you're looking at those things.
Kathleen Shannon 51:37
So we also had a listener question asking how to manage client expectations when they don't align with your approach or standard of work. So I mentioned an example of this, where clients will ask you to do things that you don't do. In that point, it's really nice to have a script of, hey, this isn't what I do best, like, here is what I do. If the scope of what you're needing fits within those parameters, great, you know, it's a great fit. If not, I think it's just not being afraid to say no, you know, not being afraid to say, hey, this isn't how I work. If you want to work with me, this is what it looks like. But in order to do that, you have to have clear expectations. And you have to have a clear process that you are able to articulate.
Emily Thompson 52:19
Yes. And once you have that process, it's telling someone that you have to follow this process in order to get the results. Like their results are a result of a process. And they have to align with the process to get the result that they purchased.
Kathleen Shannon 52:35
I recently had a tricky situation where a client who had been on boarded hadn't yet signed their contract. And they were about to have their first meeting in the next three days. And I had to, they were emailing back and forth and asking a lot of questions. And I was answering all their questions. And I think it's great to do your due diligence, but I was sensing some hesitation. And one of my boundaries and when it comes to work is I will never convince someone to work with me. Either you are enthusiastic and ready to go through the process, of course with some questions, and I'll explain it. But if I've already explained myself, and I feel this kind of combative will tell me why we should be working together? Or why don't you do websites? Or, you know, what, what do I do after this part? I don't know. Like, whenever I sense a certain amount of aggression or hostility, that's where I draw a line. And it means that we're probably not a good fit. And so I had this client that hadn't signed her contract. And she was asking a lot of almost aggressive questions that I in fact, had already answered. So is becoming problematic. And I emailed her back and I said, Hey, you haven't signed your contract yet. We have a lot of people in queue waiting to go through this process with us who were really excited about going through this process with us. For now, I don't think it's a good fit, I think you need to find someone who can do X, Y, and Z.
Kathleen Shannon 54:00
So I tried to be really nice. And she got upset, and she requested a phone call. And I knew that I was in trouble. Because if once I get on the phone with someone, they can talk me into just about anything. So but but it was actually a very good learning moment for myself, which is I actually should have said, Hey, can we get on the phone? Or can we, and that that has always been solid advice. Whenever things start getting sticky, get on the phone or get on a Skype call because it just really humanizes everybody, and it becomes a conversation. And you can start to negotiate your boundaries versus this hard line. And I think that I think that whenever it comes to clients, it is worth the conversation and trying to remain on the same side like hey, I want you to get the results that you want to get. Let's have a conversation about it. So I ended up getting on the phone with her. And I realized that she was just freaking out. Like she was scared about some wild growth that she was already having. And this is where some of my coaching training came in process where I was able to say like, hey, I think what you're really freaking out about is this and not my process. If you want to move forward in my process, I'm happy to do that. I'm sorry, I apologize. I'm so sorry, for freaking you out by saying I didn't think it was a good fit. I do think it is if you can accommodate these expectations, which includes signing your contract within five hours, or we're not doing it.
Emily Thompson 55:32
Kathleen Shannon 55:33
So that's like an example of like, literal boundaries I have had to set up and like a literal conversation and where it gets kind of gray and awkward. And, and boundaries and things mean having hard conversations, not only with your business partners and your team, but also with your clients.
Emily Thompson 55:47
Kathleen Shannon 55:51
Okay, Emily, so you busted out this beautiful color coded spreadsheet. And you had listed even in this spreadsheet, some of our roles and duties and our marketing plans and our numbers. And it kind of looked a lot like our CEO Day Kit.
Emily Thompson 56:06
Well, you better bet. That's exactly where it came from. And it stemmed from me doing some of the exercises in CEO Day Kit, it really spurred me to think about what it is that we wanted to do in our business for the new year, except a little differently. This year, I use those to create some spreadsheets. But it definitely started with the exercises, the worksheets that we include in CEO Day Kit, a tool that we use every year to plan our year ahead. So it really gives us a chance to sit down get really clear on all of our goals on all of our intentions, it helped me think about my word of the year and some of my words of the month coming up. So if you guys want to get aligned and in the know with the nuts and bolts of your business, check out our CEO Day Kit at courses.beingboss.club.
Emily Thompson 56:57
Alright, so we talked lots about work boundaries, we could talk a million more years about work boundaries. Let's talk about some life boundaries, though really quickly, because these boundaries, I think are what allow us to really show up to our work in the our best creative capacity. But they also are in place to help us enjoy the life that we are working to create as much as possible.
Kathleen Shannon 57:28
Yes, so between being a mom, and having a couple of businesses. I don't have life, I don't have life, I don't have space in my life, for a whole lot more extra things. So this means that I'm having to say no, to being on a committee, it means I'm having to say no to being in clubs, it means that my social life is a little bit sacrifice, like just being honest about what I can and cannot do. So for me, I would say that my personal life aside from being a mom has, has a lot of boundaries, because it's just not there.
Emily Thompson 58:04
Kathleen Shannon 58:04
Like the priority right now is work. And I feel also that I'm in this season in my life where I'm in my 30s. And this is fine. Like it's fine that I'm in this big season where working and moming are just my two biggest priorities. And that's pretty much all I've got.
Emily Thompson 58:19
There you go. That's what you're protecting right there. And you have to I think, and especially the age that your kid is like my daughter is 11 now so she has a quite a bit more autonomy than yours does. So it's easier for me to start fitting in other things. I will say for me over the past or especially, I feel like we need to come up with some like stupid ass name for like our, The Great Burnout or whatever.
Kathleen Shannon 58:47
The Great, the great Boss Burnout.
Emily Thompson 58:50
The Great Boss Burnout of 1819. Right. All of my boundaries, were simply around sleeping in the forms have a good night's sleep, but also occasional napping, lots of self care, lots of like hikes in the woods like it was about like just re aligning myself and resting up and restoring and all of the things. I do feel like now, I'm able to move out of that space a little bit. Still very much a priority for me to hike, for me to spend time in nature, for me to garden for me to do the things that give me energy versus drain my energy so that I have energy to be drained. So those are still very important. But I do find myself having more space in my life for social engagements, for showing up at some local meetups that I've been sort of pushing off of my calendar for the past year or so. So I'm loading up my calendar, not like loading it up but adding some of those things to my calendar which is really nice. Or throwing in like extra day trips to either go exploring somewhere, to go hang out with people who were in different cities nearby. I find myself much more willing and excited to do some of those things. So mom, yes, but she's easier now. For the most part, which is nice. You know, I work with David, my partner. So and our relationship is still great. So we're still making time for those things. But I can finally move away from such heavy prioritization of self care, and move into some other things. So I think I might join a committee. Wont that be crazy?
Kathleen Shannon 1:00:33
I like it. Let me know how it goes.
Emily Thompson 1:00:35
Rght? Will do. I guess I'm taking on some other, some other just sort of fun projects. So one of the things is kind of a work thing, but I'm not getting paid for it is kind of a live thing. Because it feels more lifey than work, though I think it is more work being doing a TEDx talk that for me feels very, like I'm reading lots of books, and I am doing lots of research. And I'm putting together a TEDx talk. Kind of in like my free time, because my work time is still filled with all the work stuff. So I don't know, I'm finding space in my life to do more things which is nice.
Kathleen Shannon 1:01:11
What about your social media boundaries?
Emily Thompson 1:01:14
Oh, girl, we can talk about this, I forgot about that. I took my personal Instagram off my phone about a month and a half ago, guys, and I don't miss it. I don't miss it. I do still, I'm still running social media or Instagram for Almanac. So I'm still on it. Like I'm still pushing posts, and I'll catch myself occasionally scrolling. But because it's not my personal account, because we're following things as a business. And it's not things that I would necessarily follow personally. I catch myself a couple of scrolls in and I'm like, I don't want to see this. Like, this is not what I feel like consuming. So I am spending significantly less time. I also am not a Facebook user. I haven't been on Facebook in years, which is amazing. So I'm basically kind of not on social media anymore.
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:03
You know, it's funny, because my biggest values right now are inspiration and authenticity. And those two things, butt heads for me whenever it comes to social media, because I love using Instagram to become inspired whenever it comes to recipes, or interior design. But nothing about it feels entirely authentic. I mean, I think that what's being posted is authentic, but it's authentically highlights, right?
Emily Thompson 1:02:35
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:35
And I embrace that for what it is. The thing that's really bothering me that doesn't feel inspired or authentic, whenever it comes to social media is how everyone's become the product. And I think that this is for me, what has swayed me away from blogging is the I don't want to be the product. I feel like I'm in the matrix.
Emily Thompson 1:02:54
Isn't that like the basis of personal branding though?
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:58
Well yeah, it is the basis of personal branding. I think for me, though, the line has always been I'm always selling something that I own or that I've created.
Emily Thompson 1:03:10
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:11
Right. So I have a personal brand within Being Boss, and you can buy the book that I wrote with you. You can listen to the podcast that I host with you. You can hire me a breed creative to do your graphic design. And part of what makes me different is that you might like my personality, right? Whenever you become the product for a bunch of other brands. So I guess what I'm really talking about is influencer marketing, which I was starting to dip my toe in, like part of the reason why I wanted to blog is that I wanted some free couches and rugs.
Emily Thompson 1:03:41
Right? To use the platform that you've built to sort of get some value in another way. Yeah.
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:47
Yeah. And then really looking at my values and seeing, ah, I don't think I want to play that game.
Emily Thompson 1:03:53
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:53
And I'm not judging anyone who is playing that game, if you are in it, and you're doing well, good on you. If you're feeling like you're a hamster running in a wheel, you can hop off the wheel. And that's kind of how I was feeling. So I'm like you I deleted my personal Instagram off my phone for just one week. And then I added it back on because I needed to do some stuff for Braid that was easier to do through my phone versus through the app that we use.
Emily Thompson 1:04:20
Kathleen Shannon 1:04:22
And I am I genuinely like it. But I do like taking these breaks from Instagram and completely deleting it off of my phone so that I can reassess my relationship with it. And so I can really catch myself in a room mindlessly scrolling, increasing better boundaries around it.
Emily Thompson 1:04:39
I know that I'm better using my time without having Instagram just like a click or two because even if you hide, who, raise your hand if you have hidden Instagram on your phone. So if you've taken the app and you've put it in a folder and maybe put it two or three pages into that folder to keep you from clicking on it so easily, and yet you still do it.
Kathleen Shannon 1:05:03
And then whenever you delete it off your phone, you go to that same folder that says do not touch. Like your thumb just has a mind of its own and just goes to it.
Emily Thompson 1:05:13
Right? So I don't know, I removed it, I feel so much better. I think occasionally I should put it back on because there is something that I want to share, or say, or do, or look at, or whatever it is. But I haven't done it yet. And maybe I will one day, maybe six months into it, I'll be like, okay, I'm ready to come back. Or, or maybe I will just use it as a personal brand to sell my stuff. And my Social Media Manager will manage it for me, which currently feels about what I would like to do. So I think that you, like all things that we've talked about today, it's all about self awareness. It's all about knowing what is draining your energy, and what is giving you energy, social media drains the fuck out of my energy. Because just thinking about sharing and what I want to share, and is people gonna like what I share or not, and then watching what everyone else is sharing, especially when weird things are going on in the world. And everyone starts getting catty or whiny or whatever. Like I can't take it talk about draining some energy guys. So for me drawing that boundary, removing my personal Instagram from my phone, and therefore not spending an hour or more a day scrolling has definitely given me space in my garden to grow different things.
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:30
So I've got one personal boundary that I feel I'm pretty freakin good at.
Emily Thompson 1:06:36
And what is that?
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:37
My workout time.
Emily Thompson 1:06:39
Oh, right, Kathleen, and her workout hobby.
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:41
Mm hmm. So working out is like my primary hobby. And recently it was sacrificed a little bit and I realized that just like sleep, I was getting real pissy without my daily workout. So I almost see my workout not as a hobby even at this point, but as a non negotiable. So even as I was gearing up with all this client work, I was still working out. And there are some sacrifices around that like that means that there's some other things that aren't getting done, I've been wearing a whole lot less makeup than I usually do. Or it might mean that you know, I have asked for a little bit more help whenever it comes to picking up the kiddo from school or whatever it might be. But that is a time of day that I'm really prioritizing and protecting. And now more than ever, because I'm starting to see how it directly affects my attitude and my mood and that it helps me work more efficiently and faster whenever I get it in.
Emily Thompson 1:07:44
I love it. I think whether it is something physical in the health care related, like working out, or if it is a hobby, which is mental health, basically you doing something because it's fun, just because it's fun. Those two things are really important things to create boundaries around in your life, those are things you should be cultivating. And those two things are usually the two things that entrepreneurs throw out the window first. It's going to be their hobbies, the things that they just do for fun, because they don't see how it adds to a bottom line. And it's working out because we would rather use our brains and our bodies. Right? So keeping some boundaries around those can be hugely important.
Kathleen Shannon 1:08:26
Okay, Emily, we've been reading a lot. It's the summertime, I'm averaging about a book a week at this point.
Emily Thompson 1:08:33
Well shit, good job!
Kathleen Shannon 1:08:34
And I have so many good ones. I've got some good ones I wanted to talk about.
Emily Thompson 1:08:37
Let's do it.
Kathleen Shannon 1:08:38
So first, we've been talking about boundaries. And what we're protecting sleep is a huge one for both of us. And usually books around sleep are super triggering for me, like Arianna Huffington's book on sleep, was assuming that people were just choosing not to sleep. And for me, it was more of like an insomnia, anxiety and having a little child that was awake all night. But I got this book recently called Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. And it is so good. It's super sciency. It goes into a lot of studies around why we sleep, why we dream. With the different parts of sleep from REM sleep, to in REM sleep, to light sleep, to deep sleep, and when these happen throughout the night. And it's really just armed me with a lot of knowledge around why sleep is important, which I think is helping me get better sleep. And added bonus, I read this book right before I go to bed. And that makes me tired.
Emily Thompson 1:09:39
It puts you to sleep too.
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:42
So that's been a recent favorite. That's kind of sciency but super intriguing and interesting.
Emily Thompson 1:09:49
I love it. I recently read a book that I thought about recommending to you but then you told me that you always read my books. I never read yours. So then I felt self conscious about asking to read another book. But I think you'd like this one.
Kathleen Shannon 1:10:05
Okay, you can always recommend a book to me. You always have really good recommendations.
Emily Thompson 1:10:10
Okay. Well, this one is one of my favorites. It's called the Nature Effects Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by a woman named Florence Williams and I thought it was such a good book. I like dove right in, it's very, I thought it was very well researched. And it covers tons of things, including like, just using your five senses in nature and what nature does to it. Lots of like brain science in terms of what nature does to your brain. And it had me even more prioritizing things like weekly hikes. So one of the things that one of the boundaries that I've been working on creating and being pretty successful as far is taking my no meeting Fridays, and spending at least half of that day taking a hike. So I live in Chattanooga, nature is literally everywhere, and really beautiful, amazing nature.
Emily Thompson 1:11:03
So we've been taking advantage of that as much as possible lately. And I have proof all over my legs in the forms of bruises from hopping and fallin on rocks and fun things like that, which is one of my favorite things. It would not be summer if I didn't have ridiculously bruised leg showing from under my shorts. But such a good book and it falls in line with my TEDx talk, which is coming in August, if anyone wants to go not follow me on Instagram, where can you? Almanac! You'd want to go to almanacsupplyco.com, sign up for our email list or for follow Almanac on Instagram. Because I'll be talking about sort of the meeting place between nature and business. And this book gave me a couple of good little nuggets that I can throw in along with some other things. But I think you would super love this, especially with all the nature walking that you do. It can help you really align with what you're already doing and nature is doing for you, and how you can do more to get even better results. Because nature is insane for your brain, guys. It's amazing.
Kathleen Shannon 1:12:12
Brain Science. That's a lot of what I've been reading about. So I've also found that I'm fascinated by books about therapy. So there are two of them that I also read that were so good. One is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Laurie Gottlieb. She's a therapist, who then hires her own therapist to help her get over a breakup. And I think it might even be being turned into a show. But she shares some of her client stories. I think she modifies it so that she's not breaking any laws by sharing these stories. And then the second one is Life Will Be the Death ofMme and You Too by Chelsea Handler, who I've always adored and watching Chelsea Handler go through this enlightenment, and having some awareness to her own flaws has been enlightening. And so both of these books were highly entertaining through story. But also, they gave me a lot of insight. I almost felt like I had been to a therapy session or two just reading them. I had so many moments where I was highlighting different chapters or different passages that really started to resonate. So these are highly entertaining. And I found that I'm always that person who if I know someone's going to therapy, I'm like, well, what did your therapist say? Like I always want to know what advice people's therapists are giving them. And so this is kind of almost like a voyeuristic insight into therapy.
Emily Thompson 1:13:38
I love it. Kathleen's guilty pleasure right there. Books on therapy.
Kathleen Shannon 1:13:42
Emily Thompson 1:13:44
The book I am currently reading is totally unrelated to everything. And this is kind of also a boundary that I had to draw for myself recently was, I could not only read, I would say boring books. But this book may be boring to some people. So I had to read a book not with like other purpose in mind. So oftentimes, I'll read business books, or even you know, this nature book that I read, and I've read several around that topic for the purpose of my TED Talk, or TEDx talk, I suppose. I've had to promise myself that I would read books without some ulterior motive. And so the book that I'm currently reading is a book called it's called The Gulf The Making of an American Sea, which is like a mammoth of a book or I guess it's a behemoth? Dammit, this is where we're gonna start messing up words. It's a big book, guys. It's a big book about it's like the history of the Gulf of Mexico, basically from like, indigenous peoples, to DeSoto coming and infecting the entire, you know, North America with his plagues, basically.
Kathleen Shannon 1:14:54
Do they get into the BP oil spill, do you think?
Emily Thompson 1:14:58
Kathleen Shannon 1:14:58
Emily Thompson 1:14:59
Yeah. So I'm following the history of the Gulf of Mexico. I love the Gulf a ton.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:05
You are big old nerd.
Emily Thompson 1:15:07
Right? And it's just for fun. But I'm learning so much. I'm learning so much about a geography and a area of the world that I love a ton. And I go to the Gulf of Mexico, I've been there, you know, couple dozen times in my lifetime. I would love to own a house there one day. So it's really fun for me.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:30
Wait, but aren't you afraid of the Gulf swallowing up the house that you might own?
Emily Thompson 1:15:34
Absolutely. I so a little known fact about me. I weathered Hurricane Katrina, in Mobile, back in the day, scared to death of hurricanes, like a little bit of post traumatic stress, I think around hurricanes. So that is totally terrifying to me. It would be a second home I would not be there during hurricane season at all. At all.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:58
That's a good boundary to have.
Emily Thompson 1:15:59
Yes, that is a hardcore boundary that I have. It will be house number two, and I will not be there then.
Kathleen Shannon 1:16:06
Alright, it's good chatting.
Emily Thompson 1:16:08
Yeah, good times. Good books, Kathleen.
Kathleen Shannon 1:16:12
Alright, I'll go read the Nature Fix. But you don't have to read any of mine.
Emily Thompson 1:16:15
Please do. Good. Thanks.
Emily Thompson 1:16:23
Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more. Go to our website at www.beingboss.club.
Kathleen Shannon 1:16:36
Do the work. Be boss.
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