EPISODE 136: HOW TO SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IN YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS WITH DAIRE PADDY
Daire Paddy is a business coach who helps overwhelmed, under-satisfied business owners achieve their goals in ways that feel fun and easy. She combines practical workflows and strategies with game-changing inner work so that you are left feeling UNSHAKEABLE in your business.
We chat about:
1. How not to market your online business so you don't end up being seen as sleazy
2. The importance of setting boundaries in your online business
3. How to create healthy boundaries with your clients and customers
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"So for example, if you decide to work with a client who you think, this is one of those ones that's going to be pestering me all night, every night, and is going to want things at ungodly hours and want things instantly. You can be like, "Okay. I recognize that, I'm aware of that. That's not what I want. So I'm going to make sure that I have these very clear boundaries in place".
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- How leaving a misogynistic corporate career let Daire to being an entrepreneur
- Why she pivoted her business from helping her clients with visibility and content to business coaching
- Her early business struggles and how having to say yes to work that wasn't a right fit taught her about boundaries
- The type of sleazy marketing you should avoid
- How to be visible online without being a marketing sleaze or sacrificing your time
- How to set intentional boundaries in your online business
- Some of the biggest boundaries that most online entrepreneurs lack
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
Today’s guest is someone I got to know about in my mastermind group. She is a business coach. In a nutshell, she helps overwhelmed, under-satisfied business owners achieve their goals in ways that feel fun and easy. Her "thing" is combining practical workflows and strategies with game-changing inner work so that you are left feeling UNSHAKEABLE in your business. Here’s my guest, Daire Paddy. Daire, thank you so much for jumping on this episode with me today.
Thank you for having me. I'm excited.
Let's talk about your entrepreneurial story. So walk us through your journey. How did you get to where you are today?
Wow. That is a great question. Like many I'm sure who are in our world, I started out in the corporate bubble as well. I'm going to say I'm a recovering workaholic because I don't want to call myself a workaholic anymore.
I really gave it my all. That's sort of what plays that sort of dynamic just was never the right fit for me because I have always been a creative thinker. I've always had my own voice and being pretty competent in expressing my own thoughts, eventually not in all contexts, but I'm sure we'll get to that later.
And so I was working in this corporate environment. I'd been working so hard and I felt like I was working my way up. I was surrounded by these men who were super dominant, super, just misogynistic. That really just not open to anything that was out of that this one little box of a person.
And it all came to a head one day when my boss just like lost his mind and was screaming and shouting at me in his tiny office. So everyone was walking around this office. I could see what was happening. And he was like shouting at me for about half an hour. And I just walked out of that room and burst into tears and decided that that was it. So I had to my notice then the next day, without a plan, without a real clue, what I was going to do.
And I just decided to go alone, which was ridiculous and terrifying because I'm such a cautious person as well. It felt really out of character, but I went out and I thought, okay, what skills do I have that I can just do something with my previous role was in marketing.
So I did a lot of social media. I did event planning. I did content creation for a big corporate business. And so I thought, right, I'm going to sell that to people. That's fine. That's a job.
And so I went and found clients that I could do that for. That's where I really got into this online business. It's kind of like a joke. You just get sucked in and it becomes all consuming.
And the more time that I spent in this world, the more personal development I started doing and the more I started really learning and soaking in. And that's when I discovered the coaching world.
I started really learning as much as I possibly could about different like techniques to make our lives and our businesses better. How to just feel better every day, because I think it's really easy to go from one race to another rat race of are we making, I'm sort of rambling now, but that's how I got to where we are today.
It's so funny because I kind of feel like I am on the same trajectory as you. I started off in marketing and then I eventually left the agency to do my own freelance stuff because it's all I knew. Kind of funny how I went into marketing and now I am slowly moving into coaching as well. And it's just so funny how we have just such parallel lives in the sense where we just took this like journey. And how did you end up being a business coach? Before we went on show, I asked, are you a visibility strategy coach? And you were like, no. How did you maneuver visibility and content into coaching?
So this is new. This has all happened in the past month or so that I've just finally made this decision. So for four years now, I've been very much in like the content whilst the visibility while helping people stand out online using social media, using different types of content and all that fun stuff.
But ever since I started before I started the thing I actually like talking about all the time is not content. I could create a content strategy in my sleep, but it's not what inspires me. It's not what has ever inspired me if I'm being completely honest.
I love the broader sense of business, like the mechanics of making a business work and like the creativity that goes into that and the messiness of the entrepreneur's brain, because that's more fascinating than anything else. And that is all the stuff that I've loved talking about.
And I just woke up one day and I just thought, why am I trying to push myself to do something? But number one, it doesn't come as easily as the other thing. And number two, doesn't really interest me so much, especially when I have all of the training and certifications and I have the experience to just say, I'm a business coach. So I just thought, what, like, what am I doing? And I thought yourself out, just go for it. Yeah. That is why I am shedding the skin of the content marketer and the visibility strategist. And just saying, hi, I'm a coach.
That's awesome. Do you still use content marketing and use or talk about visibility in your business coaching or have you just kind of moved on and focused on something else?
Yeah, I still talk about it because it's such an important part of running a business. But it's just one piece. And I think sometimes yes, that is the thing that people are shuffling with and that's something that can help it.
I think it will kind of stupid to just abandon that completely because I do know it and I do know it so well and I have all of these tools and these systems and these strategies that can really help people do that stuff in a much, much easier way. So yeah, I will absolutely still bring that in if that's what people need from me, but it's not the whole picture.
Talk about your journey. So your journey being an entrepreneur, can you kind of share what did you struggle with and the early stages of your business? I think I kind of know that one of it was you didn't like content marketing. You weren't crazy about it. I think that was one struggle what already.
So one thing that happened within, I would say about two weeks of me leaving my corporate job, is my boyfriend at the time who I was living with, lost his job. And when I first left my corporate career, we had this understanding that he was going to take care of the bills and everything for the first couple of months until I got myself sorted.
But then very, very quickly I was like, shit, I'm going to need to hustle. And I did manage to make that work. But as a consequence, I said yes to a lot of work that I knew wasn't the right fit. And I think that became a little bit of a pattern. So I got into this head space. I need to make this happen because I need to bring in the money.
So I said, yes, indiscriminately, and on projects that I knew weren't quite right for me or with me. And that obviously has a ripple effect because the mind's monkey start creeping in self doubt, starts creeping in.
Should you work with a client or should you work with clients that do not match what you want to have? Because if you are struggling, if you are broke, if you don't have money to pay the rent, then if a client comes along the way and it's just not your right client. With that client, I kind of feel like there's no right or wrong answer. I kind of feel like it really depends on the individual person, right? If you have a rent pay, sometimes you just have to take on clients. What do you think?
So I think that as long as you know, like knowing is the most important thing and having that self awareness, like if you know that someone is the wrong fit and you know exactly why they're the wrong fit, you can sort of put measures in place to protect yourself.
So for example, if you decide to work with a client who you think this is one of those ones, that's going to be pestering me all night every night and is going to want things out and godly hours a month, you can be like, okay, I recognize that I'm aware of that. That's not what I want. So I'm going to make sure that I have these very clear boundaries in place. And then you can communicate those and you like you are protected.
What I used to do when I would jump on a call with a potential customer and I couldn't feel like that customer was going to be difficult for me. I would charge on an extra tax for them. Like that would be the asshole client tax whereby I would touch them more just because they were going to take up way much more of my time. So I'll be like, instead of this amount in my head, I'll be thinking you're going to pay two times that amount, because now I have to spend two times the amount of time that I have to spend with other clients. So that's kind of been my strategy for some time. And then now I'm just like, ah, I don't really want to work with you.
Yeah, that's it, that's an amazing thing to do. I have also done that myself in the past. Again, it's about, self-awareness like, if you, if you just know that they are not the right fit for you, you can think, okay, how much money would I need to bring in to make this feel worth?
So now looking back over those first few years that you're starting a business and you were kind of figuring things out, working with clients that you didn't really like, would you have changed any part of your business or any business decision that you've made?
That's a great question. I don't think I would, because even though I've had some really difficult moments in my business, like really upsetting things happen, I'm going to be one of those people that seems everything happens for me. Sorry.
I feel like I've learned something really important from everything that's been difficult. And while yes, I did have some situations where clients weren't the right fit. I also met some amazing clients, clients that I worked with for years and years and years, and helped support me in my goals. And I taught me so much while I was working in that business. And so I feel like, yeah, everything does happen for a reason.
For a long time, you taught people how to stand out online, get visible online without being sleazy. And I kind of feel like that's so important without being a marketing sleaze. So can you just kind of share some of the most sleazy marketing that you've seen online that it's like a total no for you and for your clients?
Yeah. Okay. One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody pops up in a Facebook Group and has their... I don't even know how to describe it.... who does like the fake share. Like "I had this amazing like aha moment", and really it's not so subtle picture of "look how amazing". And it's usually accompanied with them standing on the top of the mountain and a photo, like just casually.
And it's like, Oh my God, who is teaching this tactic because everybody is doing it. I went through this phase, I was just like, I have to leave all of these Facebook groups because I'm going to lose my mind. So I literally went through and just remove myself from dozens of Facebook.
You're so right. Because I just saw that today in one of the groups that I was in. It's always a photo. Nice shot photo, and it'd just kind of go through this long paragraph of their entire life story and how they got to where they are.
Right. Yeah. And then it's just pitching themselves in whatever.
Maybe there's a course out there that teaches people how to do it. Can you actually give us some tips on getting visible online without being that person being that marketing sleaze or sacrificing our time? Because I think a lot people associate big visible online with just doing a lot of work.
Yeah. So there were two big things that I would say. Number one, like my first piece of advice, which is a bit of an oxymoron is - don't follow so much advice, because I think that is a thing.
That number one makes people feel overwhelmed, and number two encourages them to do all of this. So if, instead you do what you enjoy and what feels good and what actually encourages your audience to engage with you. Like that's enough. Just keep doing that again and again and again.
And I think the most important thing you can do is just be yourself. You don't have to put this facade on. It's like if you've ever worked in an office and the secretaries have telephone voices. So like behind the scenes in the office, there'll be like effing and jetting and all that stuff. And then as soon as they pick up the phone and say, hello, how can I help you today?
It's that sort of same thing online. And that's why I think things like Instagram stories are so great because they give you an opportunity to really show your personality. And that's what people buy into - people.
Are you often on Instagram stories?
Oh, all the time.
Where can people find you on Instagram? What's your handle?
All right, guys, gotta go follow her so they can just go and see how Daire does it. Now, Daire, let's talk about the boundaries. The business boundaries that support your business. I feel that when you run a business, you need to have boundaries in place. And we talk about a boundary earlier, right? The type of clients that you want to work with. I feel that boundaries can actually help you to grow your online business. So do you, Daire, intentionally set boundaries and your business?
Yes. And I have to be like an active participant in the boundary setting because I'm so innate in that I'm the kind of person who really wants to be indispensable. When I worked for the client, like I want to be there, everything. I want to fix everything for them. I want to be that angel, but that is not good for my business. It stems from that need to be there. Everything.
Do you feel like it stems from the fear that you might lose them? That they might leave?
I think I've always been like that from being a child. I was always the teacher's pet. I was always going above and beyond and volunteering for everything. And that has just been a repeated pattern throughout my entire life is just being magnified by running a business.
I felt like one of my boundaries is just not working past 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM, which sounds easy because everyone's like, oh, you work from home. You literally don't have to work. But I'm like, no, it's, it takes a lot of effort to not work past a certain time because you could be working till like midnight. And no one's going to stop you.
A lot of times online business owners are like, the more we work, the more revenue we get, which is not the truth, by the way, it's never correlated. The amount of time you work and the amount of money you make. I feel like that's one of my boundaries that I have got to set. What would you say are some of the biggest boundaries that most online entrepreneurs lack today?
I agree with you there and setting working hours is one the biggest, most impactful boundaries that you can set for yourself. I know that in the past I got into this habit of working late every single night and working every single weekend just because I could. And because there's always more to do, but when you actually get strict with yourself and have a call point, number one, you, you're more productive because you have a finite amount of time to get things done.
And number two, you actually get to enjoy this life that you're supposed to be creating. We all say when businesses, because they want the freedom and yet we say change.
So true. As you're working with your clients as a business coach, what are some boundaries that you have had to teach your clients to set with their own clients or their own customer?
So we've talked about work hours. Another one is avenues of communication. So I think it's very important to make clear how you're willing to be communicated with, from your client.
Do you want them to be in Slack? Do you want them to only like hit you up by Voxer or via email? Are you okay with them blowing up your Facebook messenger or WhatsApp at all hours of the night?
Hopefully not, but I think it's really important to spell that out and make it clear because it's very easy to cross that line when we work together. And that's quite, that's one of the wonderful things about what we do, but you also have to have a clear boundary because otherwise you can start building a little bit of resentment towards that person.
You feel like they're encroaching on your life outside of your business. And that's not their fault if you're allowing that. Because I think the biggest mistake that I see people make is that they right here where my boundaries I'm very clear on what my boundaries are. They might put it in a contract that someone has to sign, but then they don't actually behave themselves in line with these boundaries.
So if you say somebody, I am not answering emails, and then you consistently answer emails at five, six, 7:00 PM. They're going to think is okay to keep emailing you.
You mentioned client friend boundary, right? So when as a business coach, you obviously have to straddle this line between "You're my client". And at the same time,
there's some kind of friendship going on for you as a business coach. What's your stand on that? Should coaches, should there be some sort of friendship where like, how far does it go? Invite the person over for tea? Like what's the deal?
I mean, I personally don't invite anyone ever. I enjoy the life of a hermit. I'm happy to be here with my dogs and no other humans. So no, I don't invite them to tea, but I care about my clients. I care about the happiness I care about.
And so I am invested in them and I want to hear about all of the amazing things that they do. And I also want to hear about their struggles so I can stop them. But I always have a bit of a disclaimer, what I say, "While I care about you, and I am I excited to see what we can create together, I am your coach, which means I am here to...." and then I'll explain what I am there for and what I am not, because I am not there to just agree with them.
I'm not there to make them feel better when they're behaving like an asshole. I am that in a very particular role. It has happened in the past where somebody who is a friend first, has hired me as a coach. And then I've had to be really quiet and say it. "I get that. We are friends, but inside of Zoom, I'm your coach. And so when we're here, we're going to behave in this way. When we WhatsApp, we can talk as if we're friends."
And I think it's just being ready. Some stupid Instagram quote that goes about every now and again, that clarity is kindness. And it's true. If you can be clear with people and you can be honest with people upfront, then you're not going to have any issues.
Do you allow your clients to send you messages on Whatsapp outside of their sessions with you. Do you have a conversations with them?
So I offer Voxer support for all of my clients and I do have working hours set. And so my notifications don't go up all night, but if somebody needs to speak to me in between sessions, then yeah, I just say, send me a voicemail and we can talk it out.
Because I think when you're a coach, sometimes things come up when it's not like your two hours a month of coaching session. It's important for them to have access to you the rest of that time to you, because you are there to provide the service, you all there to support them with whatever they're struggling. In my opinion, yes.
Now, before we end up this episode, I'd like you to share your final tip. What is the biggest lesson that you've learned as an entrepreneur?
You have to be extremely disciplined in working on yourself. You have to look at your own stuff and be willing to confront it face on because it's so easy to fall into this trap of thinking that other people are wrong or the people who've done something to you or somebody is out to get you, or like some ambiguous Facebook post is all about you.
Thanks For Listening, My Friend!
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