Emily Thompson: [00:00:00] You've asked for it. We're delivering. Finally, the doors are open for group coaching offering for creative business owners like you. It's called boss owned business, and it's a six week program, including a real physical work book and six 90 minute calls to help you redefine what a healthy relationship with your business looks like to keep you from burnout and moving towards your version of success.
Learn more and sign up to join me at beingboss.club/coaching. But hurry, registration closes on August 26th. That's being boss.club/coaching. Welcome to being boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own. I'm your host, Emily Thompson.
And in this episode, I'm chatting with my friend, Autumn Witt Boyd, who you've heard here on the show several times over the years, as a lawyer for online entrepreneurs today, I'm having a different kind of chat with autumn, focusing [00:01:00] on her philosophies and tactics for building and nurturing relationships as a busy business owner, as an important aspect of.
Self care and business growth. You can find all the tools, books, and links. We reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
I bet I know what one of your biggest struggles is boss, because almost everyone I know shares it, marketing your business. If this includes you, I have a podcast for you to check out the duct tape marketing podcast, hosted by John Jantsch brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network, duct tape marketing shares, marketing tips, tactics, and resources for small and medium sized business owners and market.
Recent topics covered on the show includes the rising importance of images in Google search out of the box ways to generate referrals and content planning made easy. Give [00:02:00] it a search, queue it up and listen to duct tape marketing, wherever you get your podcasts.
Autumn Witt Boyd is an experienced copyright and trademark lawyer who helps online businesses protect their brands and content. She is the founder of the AWB Firm, the go-to law firm for successful online business owners, particularly those who create online courses, digital downloads and online tools for business.
When it comes to intellectual property and business strategies, Autumn is known as a thought leader in the online business community, working with big name influencers and small brands alike to help them avoid costly legal mistakes while scaling their businesses. She's also passionate about making sure solopreneurs and side hustlers who may just be getting started, have access to the type of protection.
They need to build their business on a solid legal foundation with customizable contract templates. [00:03:00] Autumn welcome back to being boss. It's so good to see your face.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Hi, Emily. Same.
Emily Thompson: I'm so excited about this chat. If anyone has ever listened to any of the past episodes with between autumn and I, you know, we're real world.
We're wow. We are real world friends. And, but we haven't seen each other in a hot minute.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Whew. It's been a summer.
Emily Thompson: Hasn't it though? Hasn't it been a summer?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yes, we, we did manage to reschedule the Christmas drinks that I had to cancel because of COVID.
Emily Thompson: Yes.
Autumn Witt Boyd: But I don't think we've seen each other since then.
Emily Thompson: I don't think we have. Right. Well, it's super good to see you. We're just talking about how we're gonna schedule something in person really soon. Our kids are about to go back to school. Thank goodness. So this is kind of really like a fun little catch up, and I'm excited to, dive into the topic of the day, which is nurturing relationship, which is funny.
Autumn Witt Boyd: We're doing great.
Emily Thompson: We're doing a great job. Great job at that. But maybe just start us up with little catch up and literally kind of me up with a little catch up. Yeah. What have you been up to, [00:04:00] especially since our last episode that went live in January.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yes. I had to go look at my calendar to see when we actually recorded it. cause I was like, what were we talking about?
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: It's been a bit of a whirlwind, so just very short kind of work world. We had our first employee go out on maternity leave.
Emily Thompson: Nice.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Which was fantastic. I was really excited to be able to do a paid leave. And that felt really boss.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Talking about what feels boss. So she was out like March and April and then came back in. So we were kind of one attorney down for a little bit, and we had been a little bit slow as far as client work went. So I was like, oh, we'll be fine. We can just absorb the extra work. Of course, the moment she went out, we got busy. So it, that was a little bit wild, but you know, it was like, It was kind of too late to bring anyone in as backup.
So we just did it, we rolled with it and I was like, it's fine. Katie comes back. It'll be fine. And then about a week or two, after she came back, another one of our attorneys decided to leave the firm and [00:05:00] take another position, which that's life. Like it happens. People don't stay forever. I'm not mad at her.
It was a very friendly parting. But then we were another attorney down. So it has just been It's been a lot, but all good.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: None of it's bad. But yeah, it's been a lot and we've hired another attorney who started last week named grace. Who's fantastic. And so I, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But you know, I think capacity planning, we don't talk about that as a service business. We, you know, we operate almost like an agency or firm. We are literally firm which I think's different than if you're in like digital products or online courses, but like we do client work, so we have to have enough capacity to meet the demand and planning.
That is just always a little bit tricky. But yeah, being down a person has been a challenge.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: But all good. All good.
Emily Thompson: Right. Uh, we've published several episodes over the past couple of weeks and months about. Hiring and onboarding. [00:06:00] And so what you're talking about is like very real world of some of the things we've talked about of sometimes, and especially, well, so many thoughts running through my head right now.
I think you're right on there with this like capacity planning and how, when you are a service based business that just sort of like ebbs and flows, it's really hard to plan people.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, you're always a little over or a little under like there's no, you're never like an equilibrium, which is fine, but being significantly over or significantly under.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. And you're also bringing to light something that I brought up around, you know, once you reach this level of business ownership. And you have this team, you have an ongoing job for team building. Like you are always in some capacity or another like scouting or looking or preparing or waiting, or, or actually actively bringing on new people.
And, and that just becomes a part of the [00:07:00] role of being a CEO of a business, especially when you have a team, is that. Having that team managing the size of that team is an ongoing task.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. Yeah. And letting people go and adjusting, like when you are down a little bit is really hard. That feels worse, I think, than being than needing to find someone because you have more work than.
Emily Thompson: Agreed over prepared is better than underprepared.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yes. Yes. Hundred percent.
Emily Thompson: Love it. Well, good. It sounds like you're on the other side of it.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Almost.
Emily Thompson: Almost.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Almost. Grace, grace is starting. She's still kind of onboarding. I saw you just did an episode on onboarding.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Kinda a plan. So now that we we've got, got some systems and processes around that, so she had a whole list of things she's been working through, like getting to know some of our, like checking out our client websites, listening to some of our old legal roadmap podcast episodes, like.
Just kind of getting her feet under her before we throw her into the client work. Perfect. But also I've been throwing her some client work.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. While throwing her [00:08:00] in. Yep.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. She's like, can you give me a minute? and I'm like, well, the systems will make more sense. Like Asana will make more sense if you're actually doing projects.
Emily Thompson: Right. And that's, that's even like a whole other thing we talked about is people are onboarded differently. Like you, you have to sort of wade through, like, what kind of person is this person? Is this person gonna be the kind of person who learns by like, you know, trial by, by doing right? Like put them in there and just like, they'll figure it out.
Or is this the kind of person who's going to need some slower onboarding. So even while you're doing it, everyone onboards differently as well.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Everyone's different. That's a good point. Even you could have the most beautiful onboarding process and everyone's a little learns differently.
Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Okay. Perfect. Well, good. Congratulations on new team situation and continued growth and all of those things. I'm super excited today to be bringing you on to talk about something. I think kind of different from the things that we've talked about before. Oftentimes whenever I'm bringing friends on to have chats
there's like, there's one of two paths that we take one [00:09:00] path is we talk about your expertise. You can come in and talk about the thing that you do and the other side, or the other option is where I just wanna talk about something just generally boss related, right. Nothing to do necessarily with your expertise.
Though I'm interested to hear how, how the field that you play in. Plays into this. Um, but today we're here to do the second one, which is not talk about lawyering but instead talk about how you build and nurture relationships, because I think you're really great at it.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Oh, thank you.
Emily Thompson: So let's just dive into the thing I wanna talk about.
Or maybe you can even begin us with telling us what your social calendar looks like. because I always feel like your calendar is insane, but like the good kind of insane where it's like cocktail hours and parties and like, um, I don't know, not like chamber meetings, [00:10:00] uh, committee meetings. And those sort things.
Autumn Witt Boyd: You're not, you're not wrong.
Emily Thompson: So tell us a little bit about your calendar so we can get a good picture of what's happening here.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. So if you'd asked me this in 2019, it looked very different than it does today. Cause I feel like things are still kind of slowly coming back, but full disclosure, I am a super extrovert, so it fills my cup to be in person.
I love zoom too. Like, this is great, but there's just nothing better than being in person. With someone, you know, over a cup of coffee or a meal or whatever. On the sidelines of a soccer game. It does not matter where we are. I love nothing more than what my daughter calls chit-chatting and having a mommy drink which is I had, I had friends over for book club again, pre pandemic.
She's like, you didn't even read, you were just chit chatting and having mommy drinks.
Emily Thompson: not wrong.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yes. Like my favorite thing in the world is probably chit, chit chat with a friend. So. [00:11:00] I prioritized that. And one of the hardest things about the pandemic when we were all not allowed to be in person at all I mean, I literally fell into a depression.
My husband was like, you're not okay, what can I do? And I was like, I don't know. I just can't people. So coming out of that I have prioritized. I literally have a sticky note on my calendar that says, schedule a girlfriend date. And like once a week, I look at my calendar and see like, do I have one?
Do I not? Like, cause some of those things, you gotta plan a little bit out, like we'll plan our date, but it's probably not gonna be for a couple weeks. So it is something I, I like, I know I need it to feel like myself and fill my own cup. So I prioritize it and I'm grateful to have a husband who gets that and like does not moan about me being gone.
One thing that has. Been a little bit of a sticky point lately. And it's funny, I went through this leadership training path with, I don't know if you know her Shelley Prevost who's local. She does like [00:12:00] enneagram and leadership coaching. She's a former startup CEO. She's a I think psychologist by training anyway.
But it was all these leadership things and she made us like draw a pie chart and it was all the different parts of your lives. And like, you know, family home work. Spiritual life, like hobbies, all these things and friends and family was one little pie graph. And it was like, how, you know, do you feel like you are meeting your own needs there?
And mine was actually very low and I was like, oh, this is something I need to pay attention to. So all that said, you mentioned committee meetings. So I do a lot of volunteer work and in the past, that was a way for me to kind of both feel like I was doing something good. Fill my need to chit chat cause the meetings are often very social.
So like I was in the junior league here. I've been in other organizations and right now I'm chair of the board of a women's leadership organization called Chattanooga women's leadership Institute. And that has been a, I don't wanna call it a time [00:13:00] suck, cuz that makes it sound negative and it is not negative.
It is wonderful, but it has been a huge time commitment. So I think that I, because I have so much of that stuff, I have that's part of why I think I've had to prioritize, like making sure I schedule a girlfriend date because otherwise, like my calendar is real full with meetings. And they, they, they do fill me up, but it is a little different than just having, you know, a coffee date.
Emily Thompson: Perfect. I love how you talk about. How you realized that you needed this and I wonder, and you kind of brought up this, you know, the training that you went through when you kind of realized that maybe this was something you needed to focus on more, but was it a surprise for you? Did you always know that you needed this much people in, what was that process like?
Like how, when did you put your finger on it that like, oh, what I need in my life is more people, more girlfriend dates, whatever it may be. What was that process of like. Sort of gaining that self awareness around this piece of your.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, I think it was actually pretty [00:14:00] recent. Like I think it was kind of during the pandemic when it wasn't happening.
Cause I think nor I just had done it kind of by default and by the activities I was doing and all of that, like I had not put my finger on it. And then when it was gone, I really noticed that it was gone. And so as we're, as we've been coming out, I've been trying to be more intentional about it. I think.
Emily Thompson: Nice. It's funny. You were doing it very intentionally before. I feel like the whole time I've known you. I see you out all the, we did did mention we haven't like, we haven't hung out together, but I see out all the time.
Autumn Witt Boyd: did run into eachother. Yes..
Emily Thompson: So it actually feels like, you know, we're together quite often.
Autumn Witt Boyd: And I was on a girlfriend date. The last time I saw you, I was on a girlfriend date.
Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. And it was like a breakfast meeting or something even before that, so.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Oh, oh. Yeah, that was a client meeting, but yes, also, and we'll talk about this. A lot of my clients are friends.
Emily Thompson: Right? So I feel like you were very naturally doing this, but it's, and I feel like you're not the only person who, during the pandemic realized that the things that were taken away from you were more important than you had.
Really realize, yeah. Whenever they were just [00:15:00] innately a part of your life and how you're also given the opportunity now to very intentionally build them back into your life because now you even realize how important they are. So that's super fascinating to me. What has it been like? I getting back into it.
What parts do you find yourself prioritizing as you're able to sort of piece it back together?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, it's definitely more the in person piece. Like I think before, and I still do some of this, but I did a lot of, you know, zoom coffee chats with online business connections or potential clients or whatever.
And now, I mean, we were on zoom a lot before the pandemic. I run a virtual law firm, but. When everything went on zoom, then I was kind of like, I can't do one more zoom. Like I will not do a zoom happy hour. I'm just kind of over it. . Yeah. Like even with the, some of the volunteer stuff, a lot of that is moved into zoom and that's convenient and it's fine, but I feel like I'm kind of missing half the reason why it was fun, which was getting to be in person with people.
So I just feel like [00:16:00] there is some kind of magic of being in the room with someone and chemistry and body language and all those things. So I'm definitely prioritizing more of Physically meeting someone for coffee yeah, for sure. Or dinner or
Emily Thompson: whatever. Yeah. Well, I mean, even this introvert over here is like, if I have to zoom one more time, one more time.
Yeah, so I totally get it. Okay. I love that. You're putting it back together. I feel like you just hit on, you hit on a lot of the personal reasons why you prioritize this like social calendar in the way that you do. Are there any other personal reasons that you've pinpointed that. Really drive you to prioritize these things in this.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, I think something, I did realize this was pre pandemic. So my last law firm job before I started this law firm was a, also a virtual law firm. So I went from working in a regular office to sitting in my house. as many of us do by myself all day. And I did, so I will say I did [00:17:00] realize that, and this was like 2008, 2009.
I did start to become intentional about scheduling lunch dates during that time, because I was like, if I sit in this house by myself and I don't think I realized exactly that I needed the, the social interaction, but I was like, I need to get out of this house and start seeing some people. So I think that's another piece of it.
A lot of us do work, not in traditional work environment, so we are not having a lot of that. Just like, Hey Susie, how was your weekend? You know? Yeah. It's just like you sit down and you get to work or you're in a meeting or whatever. So, yeah, I think that piece of it is interesting too.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I agree with that.
And even as you're saying those things, I'm like reflecting on, I, we just opened the shop as you know. Yeah. And like spent a, spent a lot of time, like really sort of head in the sand, doing the thing. And I recently similarly had like a moment of like, I feel awful. Like why do I feel so awful all the time?
Like things are going great right now. And I realized that I hadn't. Friend date in like three months. Mm-hmm like every [00:18:00] conversation that I had had was some sort of business related mm-hmm um, every meeting, every in person situation, I was like, okay, y'all I need to priorit. So like, even this introvert, right.
Was working with people in the same space. There was something about prioritizing. Just outside relationships. And I think it's really easy when your business starts consuming everything. You're sitting in the house all day, not going anywhere, zooming all day, whatever it may be. Even an introvert, I think can find some energy.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Well, and I have, I have kinda different friend groups.
I think a lot of us do this naturally. But as I, you know, I've owned my own business now for seven years. Like a lot of my Facebook friends are now also entrepreneurs. A lot of my real friends are entrepreneurs. So yeah. Kind of, I, I have had to find myself being a little more intentional with nurturing those, like non-business friendship, you know, just like mom, friends, or lawyer friends, people in different circles so that I'm not always talking about the business.
Emily Thompson: Yep. I know what you mean, David and I have many [00:19:00] conversations. Where I'm like, if you don't stop talking about business right now, I'm gonna walk away. I'm just gonna walk away.
Pies taking candy from babies, both things that are theoretically easy, but anyone who's made a pie from scratch or attempted to pry a lollipop from a screaming toddler knows how these things are. In fact quite difficult, you know, it is easy. Integrating automating and scaling your business with HubSpot HubSpot CRM platform seamlessly transforms customer data into usable insights.
Like what's the average time. It takes us to respond to a customer service request. And how can we get better at it? The HubSpot service hub brings all your data and support channels into one. So your team can spend less time hunting for information and more time delighting customers plus seamless connectivity with marketing and sales hubs means every person on your team has a crystal clear [00:20:00] picture of your customer.
Easy as HubSpot learn how HubSpot can make it easier for your business to grow better at hubspot.com.
Perfect. So lots of really good personal reasons why you prioritize cultivating relationships in this way. What about professional reasons?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. So one of the absolute shocks and delights when I started my own firm, cause I had never done sales before I had never done marketing. Like I was just a lawyer.
I was like a little worker bee and I thought, I, I never thought I would start my own business. My husband definitely like pushed me off a cliff a little bit. But. I learned that sales is just coffee and chit chat. Yeah. Like it literally is forming relationships. And I was like, oh, I, this is something I naturally just really enjoy.
And you know, it didn't feel like a heavy lift. One of the first things I did when I started my [00:21:00] business was I just like went down my whole list of contacts, like my whole LinkedIn and sent postcards and sent emails. I tried to have one, a lunch or coffee day every day for like the first couple months.
Cause I was like, I just need to tell people what I'm doing and then they will hopefully send me work eventually. So it was very natural initially. And when I found out that, like, it wasn't that hard and it worked, I was like, oh, I can just keep doing this. And so that has been still the driver of most of our clients.
It's either referrals or it's a personal connection.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. One of the one of the things that I found myself talking about a lot. Both in the community and on the podcast and in some personal conversations over the past couple of months, especially I think this is definitely like a, I mean, I'm gonna say post pandemic, but we all know it's not post it's like post caring about it.
Autumn Witt Boyd: I know.
Emily Thompson: Now that we're in this space, I think it is like, sort of a culmination of, you know, we've all gotten into this habit of like staying at home and just zooming and like thinking that the only way we can market our [00:22:00] businesses on social media and like those sorts of things.
I find myself having conversations often about how important literally what you're talking about is of just like go have coffee with someone literally like do business, even if it's an online business. In this place where you are, because it is through coffee chats and just being out in the world and those sort of, and you can do that still in a very sort of like safe outdoorsy kind of way.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Mm-hmm .
Emily Thompson: If, if that is still very important to you, because I remember back in the day, whenever I was doing websites, Like I kind of designed websites and branding for everyone in town. Right. As an online business, like I was working with people all over the country, but I also had a ton of local clients because these are people I knew.
And I had had a coffee date with them or through a friend or whatever. Like I remember building so much of, of my client portfolio from literally what you're talking about. And I think, you [00:23:00] know, Years later and years through a pandemic, we've forgotten how powerful, like you could literally spend an hour creating social media content where you might get somebody or like go have a coffee chat in a public place.
And you might also get somebody. Yes. And you'll have coffee while you're at it. .
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yes, exactly. The other thing that I've really missed during the pandemic is events like network. Just even small local ones, but also conferences. And that kind of thing have always been a really great way. You know, we're online businesses.
We're all like my clients are all across the country. So being able to go to like a social media marketing world or another conference where a lot of them are clustered is really valuable. And so TW it's funny, 2020 was gonna be my year, like when we did annual planning, I was gonna do like six events and I was gonna work on getting on stages.
I had all these plans as to do I know. Yeah. and , and like I, earlier this year I started kind of looking around and trying to see, cause I'm [00:24:00] ready to get back out there and there hasn't been that much available. I think next year it'll be better. Yeah. But like, I am ready to hit the road again and.
Meeting. I mean that there are people I met in 2019 at social media marketing world in San Diego. Almost all of them have now either hired me or referred me like it just, those are, and that's like, we were having Mexican food and margaritas. Like it was not like business business, you know? Yeah. Just you get to know them.
And as a real person and people like to send business to real people. Who they actually know. Yes.
Emily Thompson: That exactly.
Autumn Witt Boyd: And like that fact is, I think Kendrick chop taught me that. Our mutual friend. Yes.
Emily Thompson: And, and I would say too that like, literally again, the act of like, I find the act of sitting down and having tacos and margaritas.
Significantly more fun and fulfilling than sitting down and creating another email marketing campaign or whatever it may be. So whenever you are thinking about, you know, the best use of your time definitely throw this in as an option because [00:25:00] margaritas y'all .
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. And I love host. I mean, we've talked about this. I love hosting events too. Yes. And, you know, bringing together as kind of a marketing strategy Having a couple of my clients join, maybe invite their friends, or if we've got some prospects that are kind of in that circle, kind of inviting them. And again, it's not businessy, it's usually we just eat a meal and then maybe I'll like throw out some questions and we'll all kind of talk.
So it gets a little businessy, but not really. Yeah. People love it.
Emily Thompson: Yes.
Autumn Witt Boyd: And it is not that expensive or difficult to do.
Emily Thompson: No, no. And I, like, I find the time spent doing that significantly more fulfilling than a lot of the options that people are opting for these days. Perfect. You've sort of alluded to this already, but one of the things that I love most about how it is that you do this, this like building relationships for work and for life is that you are not afraid to mix business with pleasure. Which I love.
Autumn Witt Boyd: It's hasn't come back to bite me yet, [00:26:00] but I'm like.
Emily Thompson: Well, I mean, it's not like too much pleasure, you know, like there's a line, there's a line there for sure.
Autumn Witt Boyd: We haven't gotten to Vegas together yet.
Emily Thompson: I mean I feel like maybe our line is a little further than most at this point. we could do some stuff and it would be fun.
But I do think you're really good about mixing business with pleasure in a way where I think a lot of people think, okay, like I'm gonna put on my business hat, I'm gonna go out. I'm gonna be like, you know, very professional, which there's nothing wrong with that. But. You've pushed the line a little bit and I think you've made it work for you really well.
So what is, do you have like a personal philosophy around this? Are you just like flying by the seat of your pants and just having fun and what is that like for you?
Autumn Witt Boyd: I think it's definitely the latter I do not have like a big game plan around this. But I think it comes back to like, I want to work with people that I like and know and would wanna have a margarita with, or would wanna, you know, [00:27:00] go to the pool and relax for an hour with And so I think.
You know, that attracts that kind of people. But also I have really firm boundaries around, like, when am I giving you legal advice? Or like doing legal work? Yes. And when are we hanging out as friends? And that has kind of evolved over the years. And I think, you know, sometimes we'll talk about stuff, you and I, if we're.
Getting a drink or whatever, and we'll be like, yeah, yeah, we should schedule a call about that. Cause like I'm not taking notes. like at school like, I am not, you do not really want my lawyer had on then. Like I am not in the best place or scenario. Yeah. Not that I couldn't, but like that is a boundary, like I wanna make it clear, like, okay, now you're hiring us or whatever, like we're doing an official project.
Yeah. Okay. Versus I'm just, I can kind of, you know, spout off what I know off the top of my head, but
Emily Thompson: I would love to dive into this a little bit deeper because I find I actually, your questions around this a whole lot of people like think their schedule and that's maybe even number one is they think they're [00:28:00] scheduling a friend chat, the friend quote, unquote friend comes.
and starts talking to them as if they are working with them, but like for free. right. So what does it look like for you to draw those boundaries? To make things clear or even like in the middle of a conversation? Go. Okay. But like, this is over the line. What does that actually look like for you?
Autumn Witt Boyd: You know, I think it has happened a couple times.
And it's been usually at the beginning of a relationship. Yeah. Where, like, I can think of a couple off the top of my head where like I thought I was meeting someone for coffee and then they thought it was like a consult. Oh, yep. And so like, you know, I'm like scrambling my bag to find a notebook or like something like.
That's a little awkward, but usually you can kind of make that transition. And like, I wouldn't bill someone, you know, we, we don't charge for getting to know you call, you know, that that's a little easier to navigate. I think what's harder is you've already got a relationship and they kind of pop up, like you said, like we, I thought this was a friend chat and now, and I don't know, [00:29:00] maybe some of it is.
We use different scheduling links for coffee chats and client calls. Like, I don't know. I mean, some of it, I think you can kind of bake into your process a little bit. And some of it is like I have friends. I typically do not give out my cell phone number to clients. Like I can probably count on one hand the number of clients who have my cell phone number, who are, who I also consider friends.
And I do have a couple who will text me occasionally about work stuff. And I'll be, I either won't respond if it's like at night or on the weekend, I just won't respond. Or I will say like, can you shoot me an email about that? Because like, I'm not gonna be able to. Like get into this over text or they'll send me a Facebook message or the worst of voice memo.
Like if y'all could see my face. Yep. Voice memo is, I love you. I have a couple friends who send me voice memos. It's fine. But like for business, it's just, I, then I have to transcribe it and then it's like, so yeah, I don't know. I mean, I, I always try to be gentle and kind about it. But yeah. To, to hold that and be [00:30:00] like, well, if we're doing work, then I need to be able to document it.
Like I've got ethics require, like, I can't just be doing this over text at 9:00 PM on a Sunday. Yeah.
Emily Thompson: Right. I think you, I think you had a couple of really great tips there and I do think it starts out with like, With almost just like a tone and like how it is that you generally do business. Like you, your processes are in place.
Your boundaries are clear. I mean, and because that, that is already set up, it's easier for you to hold them later than if you were just like always super wishy washy. Right. So I think there's like just a state of being that you accomplish when you have boundaries and processes, processes, and all of those things that makes.
This these interactions easier, but I think too like clear communication while you're doing it. You mentioned different links and this was, or the last time I had this conversation, this was my tip was if I'm scheduling zoom calls with someone, I have like discovery call links. [00:31:00] If I'm gonna like be doing some coaching, like a free get to know you situation before we talk about working together I have.
I think I just have like a 30 minute business call or something like that. Mm-hmm and then I have, literally, my acuity link says 60 minute friend chat.
Autumn Witt Boyd: yeah. I think mine says like Chatanooga coffee or lunch and that's if you're like in person. Yeah. Cause that's a little different rules and then like, Virtual coffee chat.
Yeah. Is what the other one is called. Like it's pretty clear. Yeah. Hopefully super
Emily Thompson: clear. So you're not using the same, like, you know, 30 minute call for everything that you do. And also gives you
Autumn Witt Boyd: a heads up on your calendar. Yeah. Like what, what am I going in? Well, and I like I limit the number of coffee chats that I do cause I just can't, you know, I've got limited work time.
I've got three kids. Like we gotta make sure that the work is happening also. So I can kind of set some limits on that.
Emily Thompson: Love it. So you can absolutely automate friends. this is what we're [00:32:00] saying here. A hundred percent. I also like what you're talking about here, in terms of like boundaries as to how you communicate with people.
I feel like a lot of bosses still struggle with that and that you're even saying, like you're doing all of these things, but still very few people actually have your cell phone number, which I think is important and a mistake a lot of people do, especially early.
Autumn Witt Boyd: It's not in my email signature. It's not like if you, we still, we have a land.
I know it's cuz we're lawyers, but like I have a landline at the office. Like if you call us and PS, if you leave me a voicemail, it says, please send us an email. like, I do not answer the phone. yeah, no one answers the phone. No, it goes to voicemail.
Emily Thompson: I mean, that's great, like a boundary, right. You know how you need to communicate with people and how you need people to communicate with you and you don't break your own rules in regards to those things.
So I think that's really powerful. Mm-hmm um, oh, and then like in the middle of a conversation too, I think, I think you can draw hard lines of go, okay, we're gonna go professional. Now, let me like, get out my notebook or whatever it may be. I also like what you [00:33:00] said of brown, like there being a little bit of like free.
Right. If I feel like a lot of people can make a conversation really weird when they're like, okay, it's time to bill you. I do think there are times when that is a thing. And when even like, that's part of ideal client scenario, if someone's gonna tow those lines, something for you to rethink. Um, but I feel like a lot of people can get real just like banana shape at the idea that someone's asking them questions or what are the things that I always go into even like, you know, friend meetings for the first time or whatever it may be is like, I'm probably going to go, like, we're probably gonna go there at some point and I'm okay with that.
Mm-hmm anything after that call. I'm not like I will bill you. Right. and I'll make that very clear.
Autumn Witt Boyd: You're gonna hire me.
Emily Thompson: Right. Cause you're not gonna get, you know, a whole hour worth of coaching. If we're gonna have a 30 minute coffee chat or whatever it may be, in which case I'm always okay. Giving a little bit away for free that way.
I don't feel angry about it. If it happens.
Autumn Witt Boyd: [00:34:00] One thing. I will mention also a boundary that I have drawn. I have a really good friend. She was one of my best friends in law school. Who now is a client and she left, we both left law around the same, or I leave law. We both left our last jobs around the same time.
she's now like I know. But, she as a coach and I hired her, I think before she hired me. And she was like, well, do you wanna do a trade or do you wanna barter? And I was like, no, absolutely not. Like I would like to pay your rack rate. And I would like you to pay me my rack rate. Like that is how this should work.
Cause when I've tried to do trades, it always ends up being uneven and uneven. It's always awkward. So I like to trade dollars for dollars.
Emily Thompson: yeah.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Like I will pay you for your stuff. You pay me for my stuff. We all feel like we're getting what we want.
Emily Thompson: For sure. Okay. I love all of that. And hopefully that helps anyone who finds themselves in that situation.
Cause I find that it's a common one for bosses to find themselves. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And it, I I've, I will also say the other side of this never be that [00:35:00] person never be that person who just assumes. You know, you're gonna be coached or like, or given expertise it's I would, I would never text you any of those things on, if I text you, it's like, Hey, do you have a contractor? Like, where should I go get milk? I don't know.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Tell me the name of that painter you recommended.
Emily Thompson: Yeah, yeah. Right.
Autumn Witt Boyd: He was great by the way.
Emily Thompson: Yes. Right. Like just don't be that person. Um, and I think you create some good. Interaction karma
Autumn Witt Boyd: I mean, be a human, like be a friend. Like, I mean, I think that's it like, and I have clients that I'm not friends with and that's okay.
It doesn't have to be forever like that. I would never just text or call, like that would feel like stepping over a boundary for them, like yep. That they have hired me to be a service writer. Not like we don't really have a, a deep relationship and that's fine. So just let it be natural, like you would with any friend
Emily Thompson: Indeed. And I also think that you can ask too, I wanna throw that in there. Like if you're unsure, if you should be texting or calling or emailing, just be like, [00:36:00] Hey, I would like to ask you a question about this thing. Or if you're scheduling like a little meet and greet with someone like, Hey, you know, You do you wanna spend some time talking about this thing?
And if you're like, eh, I don't know, or whatever, like you can, you can ask questions, everybody you can ask questions.
Autumn Witt Boyd: It makes it less awkward, honestly. Yeah. But I know it feels like, eh, I don't wanna
Emily Thompson: mm-hmm yeah. Ask the question. I think it's fine.
You know what I love about doing business in the modern age, automations, online payments and subscriptions, it's all made doing business and the hardest part collecting money so much easier. And you know, who does all of that and more FreshBooks cloud accounting with literally two clicks, fresh books allows you to set up online payments directly through invoices.
You can create subscription based billing and put it on a. And letting clients pay directly on invoices with fresh books, payments gets you paid two times faster. It's living the business dream. Try FreshBooks free for 30 days. No credit card required. Go to [00:37:00] freshbooks.com/beingboss to get started today.
So clients at the pool cocktails, getting clients with marks at a conference, whatever it may be. Do you draw any lines or what does that look like for, I don't know, crossing that line and it's a fake line. I, I have air quotes here. Yeah. Crossing that line and, and really even like the clients to friend situation, do you have any like personal philosophies around that stuff?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah. I don't know that I've ever thought about it before this conversation, but I think just naturally, yeah, it kind of depends on how well I know the person or maybe how long we've been friends. Like probably the first time I met you. I think we met at like a juice bar. Yeah. We weren't like throwing back cocktails.
like, it was because I didn't know you yet. Yeah. Like we were just kind of getting to know each other. Um, But I have other clients that like, I've been friends with for a long time. So that just feels a little different and you know, maybe I am more buttoned up [00:38:00] in the beginning. And I definitely have had people tell me that, that like they thought I was one way and then like, as we got to know each other, you know, you loosen up a little bit, which so yeah, I have been, I, as I said, we haven't been to Vegas yet.
I was like, oh, I did go to Vegas with one client but it was like way before she was a client, you know, it was back when we were really just friends and so. Yeah, I think you, you definitely, it's kind of person by person. Like yeah. How, I mean, not that I'm ever not being authentic, I guess I would say. Yeah.
Like I feel like I'm always being my real self, but you might like not tell that really crazy story about this thing that happened in college or like, whatever, like there's, there's some judgment there as well.
Emily Thompson: I think judge, and I wanna call it strategy because like that does feel a little odd, but I think you're doing well whatever it is. Thank you. Cause, and especially what you're doing, you're lawyering very professional. Right? You don't wanna show up taking shots the first time telling all those crazy stories [00:39:00] and y'all yeah. I have definitely been with people who start out that way and I'm like, I can't do this. I like, yeah. Like I would like to start slowly. I'm definitely that person.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Well, I do not even, I was remembering the, the gathering of your mastermind that you were kind enough to invite me to join. Yeah. Like I'm not gonna have six drinks and be like sloppy and you know, just like that's just is not appropriate.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. No.
Autumn Witt Boyd: With any kind of new friend, I feel like though that's a line
Emily Thompson: Right. And honestly, maybe even most professional settings. Mm-hmm like, if, if the, like we're all friends right. But this is a profess, like this is a business retreat. Exactly. We're not going there. Um, so I do think having some, some personal lines, whatever that looks like and that it is a build up situation and not everyone makes it to friend level
Um, because I do think a lot of people, I think a lot of people, well, Regardless of a lot of people, you can draw your own boundaries, right? If you don't wanna be friends with any of your clients, love that for you. Keep it professional, keep it very, to the [00:40:00] point, be very clear about, you know, your boundaries around communications and those sorts of things.
I think a lot of people maybe make the mistake of trying to make all of their clients, their friends, and that's not necessarily going to be everyone's jive. I think you can, you can find a blend that works for you and I'm in the camp work that you are in or. And I think a lot of bosses are because of the work that we do.
It is so personal to us. Yeah. That there is a lot of overlap between, you know, we are like work friends or colleagues or we work together or whatever it may be. But like also we're gonna go maybe have four drinks together at some point.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Over a period of time.
Emily Thompson: Yes, Over several hours. It's gonna be a really great time.
So, um, all of that to say, I fall in about a similar line as you, in terms of like how it is that you mix business and pleasure. And I personally find a lot of joy in yeah. That I can build relationships in that way and pick and choose.
Autumn Witt Boyd: I think you and I both too, [00:41:00] Emily are in the kind of like advice giving or like confidant, like a part of our job is really being that person that maybe somebody turns to, if they're having a tricky issue or they want advice. And so I think that does that is an additional challenge. Maybe. Over and above. If you're providing a service that's less personal or less like high time, like I've definitely had clients call me crying and that is you know.
That is an honor and a privilege to be able to help walk through them during those times. But then also I kind of. I mean in those times, I'm really putting on my professional hat. Like, and I have said to friends who are also clients, like I'm taking off my friend hat and like, I'm putting out my lawyer hat.
Emily Thompson: Yep. And you may not wanna hear
Autumn Witt Boyd: this, but the, this is my recommendation on next steps. You know, some of that,
Emily Thompson: I do love that you. You've said that to me before. And it wasn't in that kind of situation, but like, we've definitely like had moments where I was like, okay, it's time to switch gears. We're not talking about the crazy kid things our kids have done, or like, whatever.
It's really time to switch gears. And I [00:42:00] love that you, that you say that you literally say that, cuz I've heard you say it and it works like, you know, that you're going from sort of playing around and having fun to like really getting down to business.
Autumn Witt Boyd: I need you to really listen to me. yes.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. This isn't a joke.
this is no longer for fun. Really? Yes, you're right. I think the, the industries that we're in and the sort of roles that we have in our job, we do fall into that, which makes that dance maybe a little more open. But also sometimes a little harder to navigate. Um, and I think for both of us, we know where our boundaries are and like what we're willing to do and when we stop and when we save time to put on the boss hat or whatever it may be, uh, to move forward.
And I do like that about how it is that we get to do our job. Yeah. But not everyone may find themselves in that position. It was definitely different when I was doing websites. Back in the day, for sure. For sure. Okay. [00:43:00] So I wanna talk about how you actually make this all do because autumn, you do do a lot and you have three kids at home.
You are literally running a law firm and you are on, you know, committees and you're volunteering and you are, you know, out painting the town red as often as you can, how like practic. In your schedule, how are you making time for these things? Cause I just told you how I went three months without hanging out with a friend without even thinking about it.
How are you making this due on the regular?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Well, the first thing I'll say, and I went to normalize, this is that I have a lot of childcare, so I do not do all the pickups and drop offs. I do a lot of them. I don't make dinner every night. You. I don't do all that all the, all the time. So some of that is my husband.
Some of that is nannies or babysitters. Some of that is grandparents, you know, it kind of that moves around. My goal is to [00:44:00] have slightly less of that is we're getting the law firm kind of rolling. Cause my kids are getting bigger. I wanna be around for some of the, oh my gosh. when we have our friend date, I will tell you about.
This thing that Tyson just did, but.
Emily Thompson: Can't wait.
Autumn Witt Boyd: I'm just like, Ooh, I need to be there for some conversations. So, you know, it's an ebb and a flow,, for that, but yeah. I mean, I'm not doing all these things and also like doing all of that kind of childcare and home management labor. I don't like we don't entertain.
There's a lot of stuff I don't do like. We don't, we don't really have people over, like, I don't know, we kind of pick and choose like the things we want to do. Like we don't, we're not real active at church. Like there's just some things that we have not prioritized right now. Our kids are in no activities right now.
Just cause they have kind of haven't wanted to, but also it's been kind of fine cause it's like one more thing. I mean I have friends. Yeah. I have friends whose kids are running around all these things and like that's [00:45:00] like all their free time. So fully transparent about that. And then, I mean, frankly, I've been doing a lot less of this lately.
Yeah. Because I've been working, I've been doing so much client work that there just hasn't been a lot of room for it. So I, you know, I think it's like a brutal prioritization of like, these are the non-negotiables like I don't work Monday and Friday mornings. I like go on a walk or I do go to do a workout class and kind of have a slower start to those days.
Like even as busy as we've been, I've really prioritized keeping those, like that is a boundary. I really don't want to to bend. So, yeah, I think it's, and I've got, I, I, I do like block, I mean the, the boring stuff. I do like block calendar during like I block off time. So in the afternoon, so I can actually do client work or otherwise I just have calls all the time.
Emily Thompson: Love it. Yeah. Very, very. Boring.
Autumn Witt Boyd: but like, I, you just kind of decide in way. Yeah. I think is the boring, like
Emily Thompson: yeah, you do. And you [00:46:00] prioritize and you time block, like those are all likely anytime ever. Like, how do you make this due? Literally, that is always the answer, because that is the answer to all the things.
Autumn Witt Boyd: I don't work weekends, like weekends is family time.
Yeah. We really like, those are really. But yeah, during the week I work a lot, so right now, yeah, it's
Emily Thompson: not forever. I also remember you telling me once upon a time and I can't remember what the context of this conversation was. It might not have even been used, so feel free to correct if you wasn't but I think, I even remember you telling me once that you're, you're a quote, unquote not allowed to be on more than one committee at a time.
Is that a thing? Oh yes. A board. Yes. A board. Yes. Yes. So it's even like boundaries like that. I feel like once you start like dipping your toe into those sorts of things, it can be easy to be on four boards and then there's all
Autumn Witt Boyd: your tone. Oh, I get invited to do all kinds of stuff. I say no to a lot of that stuff.
Yeah. I actually, one of my friends invited me to some leadership training and I was like, I, I responded so fast. She's like, I, I couldn't believe how FA I like the no was so fast. absolutely not. Thank you. I was like, appreciate you for thinking of me. This is [00:47:00] not the time I, I literally, I have a post. I don't know if you can see it on my computer that says, what can I remove from my calendar?
Like that is kind of, I'm being absolutely ruthless right now with protecting my time. And so, yeah, so that I can have time for girlfriend dates or yeah. You know, right. Those things and client work. I mean, those are kind of like, those are the priorities. Like we have a new marketing director who would really love for me to be doing some reals and I'm like, I just can't do it right now.
Like when we get the new lawyer onboarded and I've got a little more freedom. Yeah, you just can't do it
Emily Thompson: So simple, but so clear. And just like, if you want to spend more time doing this for personal or for business or some blend of the two, it is just making time for it. I know back pre 2020 for me, I always reserved Friday lunch as.
You know, a hang time with someone mm-hmm and, and you even mentioned earlier that you have a post-it note in your calendar, this is schedule a girlfriend date, right? Like these little things that you can do for yourself that just remind you to [00:48:00] prioritize these scenes. So leaving room in your calendar for these things, um, Putting a PostIt to remind you a post-it on your screen to take something off your calendar.
So you can make more time for the things that you most want to do. It is, I mean, we have talked for years about like a boss lives by their calendar, and you also put the things on your calendar that you most want to do. And so I feel like you're just living that in a way that not only. Brings your extroverted heart joy, but you've also literally built your business by prioritizing building relationships in this way.
High five. Yeah. Thank you. All right. With all that said, what is coming up on your calendar that you're most excited about?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Ooh, well, we were talking about schools about till we get back in for the kids. Next week, one week from today. Yep. Um, I enjoy the slower pace of the summer. Yeah. I come to the office a little later.
Like it's more time with the kids. Um, but I do love a routine. So I'm [00:49:00] excited about that. Um, I, I have a fall break crews coming up that we have rescheduled like three times yep. Supposed to be in 2020. So I'm very excited about that. Um, yeah, and I don't have any, like, I want to find an event or a conference to attend.
If listeners, if you, if you have any that you think would be good, let me know. Um, so I'm really ready to, to start doing a little more travel and some of that. Yeah. So I don't have one yet, but I'm, I'm look, I'm actively looking.
Emily Thompson: I love it. Perfect. Well, autumn, this has been a tree. I do like high five. For real.
You have always been an inspiration for me in terms of prioritizing. These like social interactions, because as every I'm an introvert, number one, it's easy for me to put my head in the sand and literally not see another person for months, but seeing you out and about with all of your pals or how we've always been able to schedule fun things together has always just reminded me that.[00:50:00]
This is the reason why so many of us, this is a hidden reason. I think why so many of us decide to start our own businesses, right? Freedom over our time and the ability to build relationships that are just meaningful to us. Um, yeah. And not like necessarily sort of strategic for, you know, What is it not running up the ladder, climbing the ladder, that's climbing what you do, you climb the ladder or whatever it may be.
But I feel like this is probably one of the first things that drops off the list of priorities. Whenever we get busy doing all of the things. Yeah. And so watching you. Not only prioritize this and find so much personal joy and fulfillment from it, but literally watching it grow your business has consistently reminded me that this is an important part of how we should be showing up to do the work that we do.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Thank you. You're a good friend, Emily. So I appreciate your friendship in addition to our work together.
Emily Thompson: Oh, [00:51:00] thanks. Let's go to the pool. You wanna go to the pool next? Um, perfect. Well, for anyone who may want help with lawyering where can people find more about what you do?
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, so we use my initials. We call the AWB firm.
So we're AWBfirm.com. We're AWB firm on Instagram, all the places I'm just starting to be more on LinkedIn. So if you are a LinkedIn person, this is our new strategy. Come find me. Yeah. Send a friend request. I'm happy. Or I think it's called a connection request on LinkedIn. It's different.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I totally did get an email from you or from LinkedIn the other day you, uh, connected.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Oh, I went through, yes. I went through my client list and I like sent connection requests everywhere.
Emily Thompson: Yeah, you connected with me. And I was like, Autumn, I've known you for years. And two, I don't use LinkedIn. I got a reminder literally this morning. It was like, Autumn is still in connect limbo.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Waiting. Basically.
Emily Thompson: Love it. So find you on LinkedIn. Perfect. And my very favorite last question for everybody is what's [00:52:00] making you feel most boss?
Autumn Witt Boyd: I think it's though. I've really been savoring my Monday and Friday mornings. Yeah. I've been working in my garden tending to my roses and just enjoying this end of summertime.
Emily Thompson: Love it, right. Freedom over your own time. Congratulations.
Autumn Witt Boyd: Yeah, flexibility is huge.
Emily Thompson: Indeed. All right. Thanks Autumn. Thanks.
All right boss, because you're here. I know you want to be a better creative business owner, which means I've got something for you each week. The team at Being Boss is scouring the news, the best entrepreneurial publications and updates and releases of the apps and tools that run our businesses and is curating it all into a weekly email that delivers the must know tips and tactics in the realms of mindset, money, and product.
This email is called brewed. We brew it up for you each week. To give you the insight you need to make decisions and move forward in your creative business. Check it out now and sign up for yourself at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/brewed. [00:53:00] Now until next time, do the work be boss. .