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Aug 15, 2023 | Podcast, Your Business

Human-Centric Systems with Amy Mitchell

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About the episode:

I’m really excited to have Amy Mitchell on the podcast today! Amy is a Systems Expert who works with online business owners to create human-centric systems to leverage structure for more time, space and flow in their businesses. Beyond that, she’s also a nomad who has lived and worked all over the world. In our conversation, she shares how the systems she uses help support the growth of her business, the way she cares for clients, and even booking her next Airbnb. This episode really excites me as a type A sensitive business owner and I hope it does the same for you! 

Topics discussed:

  • How Amy found her way to being a Systems Expert and what really draws her to this type of work
  • The top systems that Amy uses in her own business that help her stay organized and do most of her heavy lifting
  • Deciding which systems your business needs because they are so nuanced
  • How Amy prioritizes her work and specific systems with clients based on their needs
  • How systems acts a step in your mindset work and your overall strategy as a business owner
  • The different ways in which systems can help ambitious empaths hold their boundaries while keeping a personal touch

About Amy:

Amy Mitchell is a Systems Expert who works with online business owners to create human-centric systems to leverage structure for more time, space and flow in their businesses.

Connect with Amy:

Episode Resources:

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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Catherine A. Wood  13:06

Amy, I’m so excited to have you on the podcast today. I know that you and I connected. visa vie, Liz roar. And she raves about you loves everything you have to say about systems. And she’s such a good gauge of character and expertise. So I’m really thrilled to have you on the podcast today. And I think something that I’ve been really enjoying and resonating about you and your lifestyle of late is how much of a digital nomad that you’ve been, whether intentionally or unintentionally, I have to look on your Insta feed and I’m like, Where in the world is Amy Mitchell rather than Carmen Sandiego. And it’s cool because we’re talking about systems today and your expertise in in systems and I feel like the digital the digital nomad lifestyle is requires such an orientation towards systematizing your life and systematizing kind of the orderly as to be able to function on an online business anywhere around the world. So, so true, by way of introduction, welcome. And I’d love to just invite you to share your pronouns to share where in the world, Amy Mitchell is today. And then I’d love to give you the floor to share some of your story with with us.

Amy Mitchell  15:23

Of course, thank you so much my pronouns are she her. I am currently in Saranda Albania. So the southern tip of Albanian just near the Greek border, I was in Spain for a few months, and then ran my clock out there, you can only be in Spain for 90 days as a Canadian. And so I’m currently in Albania waiting for my hopefully my Spanish visa approval to go back and stay a little longer. But I’m Canadian. And as far as my story, I’ve been working in the online space since about 2015. And my first foray into online business was actually copywriting. And then as I started working with copywriting clients, I had a background in writing, I did a degree in communications. And as I started working with copywriting clients, I started to see how they can have the best copy in the world. But if they didn’t have systems to capture the leads, and communicate and function behind their business, the copy was, was kind of like a system that needed to happen first for a lot of the clients I was working on. And so I started to work on systems for them. And then I went to this retreat in Bali, and did a personality profiling tool. And the person, the get the host of the time, said, you’re really good at systems. And then I realized something just clicked. And I was like, every job I’ve ever had, I’ve done systems, like every project I’ve initiated on my own in a job has been related to improving systems or communication or flow of information. And so I became a systems person and haven’t looked back that was 2016. I think. I’ve been working behind the scenes and mostly work with people, implementing tasks and project management software. I work with Asana, specifically with people and help them organize the backend of their business.

Catherine A. Wood  17:14

I love that. I love that reminder that like people could reflect things to us, as many times in as many ways for as many years as it takes until we’re kind of ready to hear the thing that people have likely shared with you for you know, most of your life.

Amy Mitchell  17:34

Yeah, it’s so funny. The last job I’ve had before I started my online business, I was met with an old colleague of mine, I was like, actually, I’m doing systems now. And she’s like, you don’t say, No surprise here? And like, why didn’t I see it? But yeah, it’s really funny how, like, we have these things that we take for granted. They’re just something that’s easy for us. And we think it’s easy for everyone. And it’s often not. And so when we have people that are able to reflect back and and you know, mirror, that it actually is a gift, it actually is something that is really valuable. People, it’s it’s so lovely, it’s such a gift,

Catherine A. Wood  18:10

what do you most enjoy, or delight in about systems?

Amy Mitchell  18:16

I mean, so I think there’s, but I think there’s a couple of different kinds of systems people. And I think there’s the system’s people that are like, they just love the organization, and they love a beautiful spreadsheet and organization for the sake of orderly Ness, which I love those kinds of systems people. That’s not me. I do love orderliness. But for me, it’s very much a means to an end. So my entire life I’ve loved to travel. My very first trip, I went to Japan when I was 19, never left the country and then went to Japan. And I’ve always loved to travel. And I did a working holiday visa in Japan did a working holiday visa in Austria, I turned 31 I realized, oh, it’s not that easy for me to just go work and live in other countries. Now I need to find a way to build a location independent business. And so as I started copywriting and then switch to systems, I realized that systems were that way like to me systems equal freedom, like it equals the space that is the Yes, space is the best word I can think of. Because when you have a system that can take care of things that allows this spaciousness and this freedom for you to do other things. And so, for me, systems are a means to an end. I can’t look at anything in anywhere without thinking, how can I make that faster, more efficient or easier for me or someone else? It’s just like, naturally how I see things. And so I think, you know, I think the thing I love about systems is just how they are able to take on some human. Some of the heavy lifting for us, you know, we have so much to think about and Everything we’re trying to do be and have all the time and like the the system’s ability to create these for us and allow us to go be more in our lives rather than working all the time.

Catherine A. Wood  20:15

I really appreciate that differentiation between kind of the type of systems people because I am I’m so that former, I’m the person who loves orderliness, and I love a good spreadsheet. And my background is in economics. So I’m like a total spreadsheet gal. And I it’s actually been a limiting factor for me over the years because I’ve often realized that my kind of default commitment to orderliness gets in the way from the autumn, the automation of systems, or the efficiency of my systems. And I’ve had to kind of give up some of those default commitments to orderliness to create more. Yeah, more more automation, more systematized systemization of how my business works in the back end, and, and give up some of those kinds of gab, like those just default commitments to orderly neatness like clean, like, I don’t know, it’s like, you know, there’s kind of like a, like, just a natural, a natural progression of how you do things. And I always love doing those things. And I guess, you what you do is you help people remove the person out of the middle,

Amy Mitchell  21:36

as much as possible. Yeah. And it’s also like, of course, the dream is to have everything perfect, and neat and tidy and orderly. And as automated as possible. Of course, I would love to have both of those things. But it is often like, you know, to have it 100% Perfect, but you need to do 20% manual, or have it 80% Perfect without having to do that manual piece. And so it just it’s a decision that the business owner gets to make, because sometimes that 20%, for it to be that extra amount of neat, tidy, is, is worth it for some people. And I think like, I get caught in my own back end, just spending too much time, perfecting things. And I know it when I’m doing it when I’m in my back end. And I’m thinking this is not at all contributing to my top. But I love it.

Catherine A. Wood  22:29

I totally relate with that. Well, wait, can we just can we just geek out about that for a moment? Like, if we were to take a walk in the back end of your business? Like what are the maybe your top three to five systems that you just so deeply adore? How they how streamlined and functional they are?

Amy Mitchell  22:50

Yeah, I mean, so mostly. So we using Asana is, I’ve been using Asana since 2015. It was initially introduced to me by Mike Bharti, who was a friend of mine, and he introduced it to me. And so Asana itself houses, so many systems that I just think are so pretty. And so. So for example, my client onboarding process, so I have an application process to work with me and people submit an application, that application is an Asana form, that Asana form goes into my applications database, I have a place where I review it, if I reached out to the person, I can change the status, I have a snippet, email template that gets sent out to them. So it is partially manual. But because of the way I want to manage my leads that piece, the people that I work one on one with that piece is manual, but it’s all the information is captured. Everyone’s like, every every lead that comes in and and if they turned to a client, they could move to the client board. And so just like the whole way that one works, I just really love it. It just is something that works really well for me, my system just around task management. I’ve been teaching it for seven years, six years now. It’s just like, the most it’s given me the most time and space, in my in my business for sure, just the way that I’m able to prioritize goals. I mean, I think everything starts from like the planning process. So the way you plan, the way you put things on your plate, and then the way that things on your plate then trickle down into tasks on your to do list. And so that whole system I love very much. So most of the systems that I’m most proud of live inside of Asana, but I also love my email marketing systems and the automations. I have set up that nurture people and mini sales funnels and that sort of thing. Even my course onboarding, you know, if someone buys my course they get a welcome email. They also get that to my Asana board. So I have all my students in one place so I can track and progress that I want to track and then also, they get an onboarding sequence for six weeks making sure that they’re they’ve got it You know, the information that they need? And so it’s like, like common systems, but I just, they’re, they’re done? Well, in my opinion, the automations work well, I like the writing and the way that it carries people through the system. So, yeah, can I think of any other awesome nerdy systems? I have? I have one like, tiny one that actually you might love. This is a really simple one. There is this in the Zoom marketplace, there’s a tool called splain. And, you know, when you like, record a zoom, and then you the Zooms done, and then either it records to your desktop, or it goes to the Zoom cloud place who to in leads for you. No, no, you’re good. Okay. So I haven’t set up because zoom also has like a limit of how many you can have their and you know, storing the recordings on Zoom is paid in the button, and you send that link and all that stuff. So I have it so that when it records splain, takes the recording from zoom, moves it to Google Drive, and then have that set up so that I get a notification in Asana, when that recording is in Google Drive. And then I have a copy paste email that I send out saying, Here’s the link to the recording, like a probably smooth it out even more, but that one is so nice, because when I finish a recording, I don’t have to think about anything. I just get an Asana task later being like, here’s the link to send to your client. So I love that one. It’s like, it’s like $5 a month or something just played but it saves me a lot of time.

Catherine A. Wood  26:32

Oh my gosh, that is like automation. Like magic. Wait, splain is that SP LA? ai n blean?

Amy Mitchell  26:44

Yeah, like that? No. Yeah. Okay. It’s just gonna zoom marketplace. I found it one day. I just go like, looking around automation.

Catherine A. Wood  26:52

Okay.

Amy Mitchell  26:54

Okay. Details of that one. All right.

Catherine A. Wood  26:57

I mean, I’m not gonna lie to you. I used up, I record all my mastermind calls, and have been for years. So you know, people can access them who weren’t attending and live. And I’ve used all my, all my space on the cloud. So I live me literally, I get an email from zoom every day that you’ve used all your zoom cloud space, and you can upgrade your cloud storage right? Now, I’m gonna think of this conversation every time I get that email, because I can’t unsubscribe from that email from zoom. So thank you.

Amy Mitchell  27:38

Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. No, yeah, you can set up so that it gets to automatically sending to whatever storage I think Google Drive is the only one that they do. But yeah, and then I don’t know, then. But then storage runs out on Google Drive, too. So it just depends on where you want to pay for storage, or how long you need to keep things. So for me, I update calls to Kajabi, upload the picture Albion Kajabi, doesn’t charge for extra storage, so then I can delete them from anywhere else. But it’s Kajabi would ever go down and then I would lose them. So that’s a thing to consider.

Catherine A. Wood  28:08

Well, I mean, I, it’s so fun geeking out about systems. And I think a couple years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to as deeply appreciate this conversation with you, because I think I would have just been so incredibly envious, that it would have gotten in my way, but I think it was just last year, like we moved everything over to click up for unbounded potential. And so many of those things that so many of your favorite systems are things that we implemented this past year and have been just like such game changers in order to keep organized and streamlined and, and also to not allow people to fall through the cracks that I’m interested in maintaining relationships with. And one thing I’ll add is that my Podcast Producer is amazing. And she’s also really wonderful at making her employees. I’m so glad she’s gonna hear this I should Voice Memo specifically acknowledging her for this, but she’s so good at making her clients feel special. Like I feel she makes me feel really special. Like, I get a little Starbucks gift card on my birthday. I think I got one over the holidays when we launched the podcast. And for my birthday, which was just earlier this month, I got this like, handwritten card which I have in my own to do list because I think that I don’t think she hand wrote it. I think that it was like something that she pre ordered. So I’m like, Oh my gosh, what is the system that allows you to order birthday cards for all your clients because it makes such a difference, like the way in which you can extend care to the people in your world through the through systems. Seems really, really It just sets you apart.

Amy Mitchell  30:02

Yeah, I think too, it’s like, I mean, as like a thoughtful person, it’s like, and I imagine many of your listeners are as well, it’s like you want to be doing things for your clients, you want to be acknowledged, and you want to make them feel special. And it’s like, when it’s kind of off the side of your desk, it’s more difficult for to make it systematize. And so just taking the time to put a system in place. And often putting these these systems in place doesn’t take very long. It’s just prioritizing it and thinking, Okay, what’s the easiest way to do this? And I think that’s another thing I really love about systems is being able to be creative with it, because it’s like, okay, what is the outcome that I’m looking for, I want my clients to feel special, I want them to be acknowledged, I think acknowledging them on their birthday would be really special. So that means the system has to include grabbing their birthday on an intake form, adding it to some sort of database, having a system where either that gets automatically sent to outsource somewhere or someone on the team is pulling a list every year and going through the thing, but it’s like, it’s, it’s a small, like, small system, ultimately, and not that difficult. But when there’s all these little systems that you want to prioritize in the business, it’s like, like, you’re busy just trying to manage clients and do the marketing and especially for those, you know, small business owners with little to no team, there’s so so much to do. So I understand, you know, it’s, it’s a dream, that’s one of the things is that when I say Oh, I build systems, everyone’s like, I want everybody wants systems. But they’re so nuanced. And there’s so many different types for so many different kinds of people and different businesses need different things. And I think one of the, one of the best things that someone can do is just prioritize which systems in which order, right? It’s like, what are what are the systems that are going to make the biggest difference in your business, that will be the easiest for you to implement kind of like low hanging fruit in terms of systems? And what are the ones that are actually going to contribute to your top line goals, like making sure that you’re getting your marketing out regularly, making sure that your clients are being taken care of in a systematic way, but without losing the intimacy and the touch piece?

Catherine A. Wood  32:10

Please. I mean, I love I love the reminder that you have to establish systems based on the human. And I think we talked about this idea on our last when we were chatting last about just human centered systems really like human focus systems. And it makes me think of something you mentioned previously, which is that for a lot of your clients, like be the task, task management, automation, or systems that you create is super helpful. I think you said, and, and I’m thinking about people like me, you know, like I am type A, although my husband and I were debating this morning, who’s more type a

Amy Mitchell  32:57

very type a conversation.

Catherine A. Wood  32:59

We decided that he wins. So delighted by I said, I think in the past, it would have been more me, but I think over the time have become less typing. But But people like me, right, like, ambitious, driven, and have high integrity. And what I mean by high integrity are like, we do what do what we say, and we say what we’ll do, and I am of the type where I, I get all my tasks done, you know, like everything I say, I’m going to do I do? And so I’m wondering like, how do you? Yeah, how do you prioritize your work with clients based on the type of human they are? And as a systems person, how do you? How do you identify who the type of human is that’s in front of you?

Amy Mitchell  33:59

That’s such an interesting question. I think that, I think, just my experience over the years and working with people, I am able to kind of pick up on symptoms of what a core problem is. And when I say core problem, it’s like in terms of systems or in terms of them, quote, unquote, productivity. So different people come with different problems. So for example, you get all of your tasks done. So if you came to me my questions would be okay, is that ever at your expense? Or have you just gotten so clear about what your priorities are, you know, what needs to be done, you’re good at allocating your time. And you Don’t overextend yourself to get stuff done. Because I imagine that’s kind of where you’re at based on all the work that you’ve done, and the work that you do. But many type a people will get their tasks done at any cost, and then they’ll take care of their family and then they’ll take care of all of the other things. He’s in their house. And then they have nothing left themselves at the end of the day. And so the conversation there is more about their expectations about what needs to get done and actually allocating their time and resources in their life instead of pretending that time is not finite. So, so like, I would have a different conversation with you versus that someone that’s like overextending themselves all the time. Yeah, do you want to say anything about my assumptions of you and the way you manage?

Catherine A. Wood  35:30

I love that. I mean, I think that’s, I think that’s so astute. And I was also just appreciating, you know, your gifts being an empath and a highly sensitive and an introvert, like, how much value add that is, that you have such a deep understanding and ability to discern who your clients are, that would allow you to help them really prioritize the systems that are best in service of them. And you’re, you’re you’re absolutely spot on, I think in my first handful of years in business, getting things done at my own expense was second, absolutely second nature. And I would say that is not the case anymore at all, you know, I think there are always tasks that are top priority. And they do always get done, they may not always get done in the very type a deadline I set for myself, but I’m, I’m always clear, like what’s on deck, you know, and at this point, like, I’m super reliable to close my laptop on Friday, really clear about what my priority is for Monday, and not look at it over the weekend, and not look at it after business hours. And also, I’m super reliable to plan social activities or site preregister for yoga classes in the evenings. So that I really have those accountability structures, whether they’re based on wellbeing, or pleasure, or connection with friends and family, that I have those types of commitments to look forward to. So that I don’t default, to my nature to get things done at my expense.

Amy Mitchell  37:21

I love that. Yeah, and I think it is, you know, I, we so many entrepreneurs, because of the amount of things that are possible to do. Try to do all the things and also resourcing themselves is not part of the conversation. And so, you know, anyone who’s in business for several years starts to get the message because whatever, like I definitely for years was in working patterns that just weren’t sustainable, it was either gonna be me or my business. It was like, I remember writing an email to my list at one point being like, I want this business so badly, but not like this. You know, it’s just like this, this way of operating, isn’t true, isn’t really serving anyone. And so when I see there’s the kind of like a few different things that that people face, I think they face asking themselves to do way too much. And then in this loop of disappointment, daily, and so they, they ultimately are not keeping their word to themselves, because it’s impossible to keep the bridge to themselves. So they feel bad about themselves, but then not doing the things is not the actual problem, the problem was how much they expected of themselves, and that they’re just setting these impossible goals every day of what to get done. And often that’s actually like, you know, like you said, you’re clear on what’s most important, like, too much to do is is often not a, an actual volume problem. It’s usually a priorities problem. So one of the things that I teach is just ruthless prioritization. Because, especially for solopreneurs, or, or people with, you know, one or two people on their team, it’s, we can’t do, you know, like, Corporation has departments for the things that we do, you know, and, and the way that especially content creation is going the quality that’s required, like all of these pieces, it’s, it’s impossible to, to do all the things. So there’s people that have, you know, high expectations of how much to get done in a day and then end up in this loop of feeling like somehow they’re not good enough, because they’re not getting the impossible task lists that they have. And then there’s also people that have that kind of, I guess, procrastination is like the best term for it. It’s where they have all this stuff, but they kind of like are paralyzed and are not sure how to act or what to do. And people that are in that place. I usually also it can come down to priorities, so they haven’t actually they’re trying to prioritize everything, which is actually prioritizing. Ultimately, so Have, they’re either trying to practice everything or the thing they’ve chosen is scary for them, and they haven’t done the mindset work to, to get behind it. And it from a systems perspective, or from a task and project management perspective, usually, that just requires breaking that thing down, like into smaller steps, because someone will have on our task list, you know, rewrite website. Like, that’s another task of the project. You know, when people try to sneak a task on your task list, that’s actually something, it’s a project, we need to do over a couple of months, not something that they can get done in a day. And so just kind of like recalibrating, and reorganizing people’s expectations around tasks and projects and the time they’re meant to take and, and yeah, that’s kind of like a big thing that I do with everyone I work with, I think, is just reorganizing the way they look at the things on their plate, and helping them prioritize a little bit better. And then having the system support, whatever vision and dream plan they come up with, for them.

Catherine A. Wood  41:00

I’m really appreciating. And I don’t know if I necessarily had discerned this for myself before, but I’m appreciating from this conversation, how much of the ability, the willingness to systematize your business is a reflection of the mindset work you’ve done, to get out of your own way from perfectionism, to procrastination, to prioritization to, to that mindset shift from wanting to get everything done to getting enough done. Like, there’s just so many, so many mindset shifts required in that journey.

Amy Mitchell  41:41

And it’s, it’s strategic as well, right? It’s like, you know, if, if we’re not setting strategic, enough goals, then everything that falls from the goal to the projects, the tasks, like, you’ve got your task list filled with things that aren’t even actually getting you to where you want to go. So it’s just like this. I’m using lots of hand gestures. I’m loving it. It’s not great for the listeners. But you know, it’s like the top like, the top line goal being the right goal means that the strategic projects that you choose, are actually aligned. And if the projects you choose, they’re strategic and aligned with the goal, then the tasks that fall from there will be aligned. But if you have the wrong goal, and you choose the wrong projects, then you have all the wrong tasks. And then it’s all this. It’s like, that’s where I’ve seen people that six months go by, and they’ve worked their butt off and nothing’s changed. You know, it’s like, the goal was slightly off. And when I say off it, it could be you know, it wasn’t totally values aligned, it was like a goal they think they should have had, or, or the project they chose was like, well, I should be on Instagram. So I need to focus on Instagram, it’s like, they’re really they’re like, starting a podcast to be the like, highest service to the world, you know. And so it’s kind of like picking picking projects based on what they think they should do, or, and then also, I find so much procrastination comes from misalignment, if people think they they should be doing something, and then they keep progressing on things they’d actually don’t want to do. And it’s not because they’re scared, it’s because it’s not the right thing for them. And this is again, where that human centric piece comes in. Because when we’re trying to build those over the human behind the business, the thing that is most aligned for them most exciting for them. I think you just get into trouble when it comes to trying to execute. And that’s, I guess, wrapped up in the task and product management systems. Those are some of the, the cakes that I see when people are trying to get stuff done it like I’m just not getting stuff done. And I’m like, Well, I happen to need to be over like really bright and proactive and amazingly action orientated person. So it’s not you maybe it’s the task, that’s the problem. Maybe it’s like the, it’s not it’s like not about trying to force yourself to do this thing. Maybe just delete it, try something else.

Catherine A. Wood  43:55

I mean, I’m i The, everything you mentioned around procrastination really speaks to me because I think that in working with a lot of highly ambitious empaths, who are often givers, and pleasers and really want to do right by their clients and by their families, right. There’s often that huge fear around disappointing others or not belonging, which can oftentimes just create so many barriers to complete tasks. So from a systems perspective, I’m curious where else you you may look with with folks like that

Amy Mitchell  44:43

yeah, I think it’s quite individualized but like I am that person. Was that person you Oh, super people, please. There’s always wanting to belong and always kind of shifting and changing to fit based on I mean, what I thought was going to help me belong the most. And so, for a long time in my business, that meant having no boundaries, allowing clients to putting my clients first before my business, all of these things. And so what I came to learn was that my two best friends, we’re boundaries and policies. And so one of my favorite quotes ash Abertay says this, isn’t she, she says, Turn your policies into attorney preferences into policies. And it’s the idea that it’s like for me, I used to have meetings at all hours of the day I was a digital nomad. Back in the day I was living in Bali in Spain in Portugal and I, because I was in a different timezone, I felt like I had to bend over backwards for my clients. So I was having calls at two in the morning, when there was other times, that would have been slightly better. But I just felt like I couldn’t ask anything. And so so then it just slowly started to turn the things that worked better for me into policy. So I wrote about this last week, but I don’t do urgency in my business, there’s, you know, a client can’t ask me for something today, that has to happen today. It’s just like, not a thing. Nobody asked me anymore. They used to, then so I have a 48 hour policy in my contracts. Like, that’s how long it might take me to get back to you. That doesn’t include Friday, Saturdays or Sundays. So if you message me on Thursday, you might not hear back from me till Tuesday. And so, like just having, having the kinds of things that really are good for me and my nervous system in my life, in into my policies, and it took some time, but I think, I think for people that that do want to people please and and be there for other people, it can be done in, in baby steps. So I have recently had a client like that. And she, the first thing she did was just, she used to have meetings with clients anytime of the week, no matter what. And she just changed that to just two days a week that she would take meetings, it could be at any time, but she went from like being open and available her entire schedule all week. That just sounds just so difficult to me. I couldn’t imagine. So now two days a week, and she was over the moon because no one cared. They just feel like, okay, yeah, I’m free at this time on Tuesday and Thursday, whatever. So kind of a long rambley way to say that I think it is about first identifying what your preferences are, like, if it was up to you? What would this look like if you could make all the rules about how your day goes about how your work goes about what your week gets to look like? What would that look like? And then what are some things you can put in place as policies as boundaries, and just step by step, start implementing those things. And, you know, for me, I only do meetings on Tuesdays. I never do meetings before 10am. You know, I know you have some of these similar boundaries, and policies, you know, but then what does like the thing that I think this is the way that I was able to get behind it, because I always it like, initially, it felt selfish. But it’s like, when I have meetings once a week, weak, I’m there. I’m like, I don’t ask myself to get anything else done today. My only job is just to be here with you be there with my client later, you know, it’s like, that’s the only. So with that I like took a walk this morning, and I had a nap this afternoon. I just didn’t like taking care. And so with that, I do a much better job for my clients. I enjoy my day. That’s good for everyone, you know, us enjoying our days, it’s actually a service. And so I think that’s how it was able to get behind putting some radical boundaries, embrace radical, also putting air quotes up on that.

Catherine A. Wood  48:59

And I love all that. I think I’m like smiling over here, because I’ve done the exact same thing. All my preferences, everything I’ve learned with each client that I want to integrate into how I do business and put them into my client agreements, and there. And it’s not like someone told me to do this, you know, like, I think as ambitious empaths like, we’re so deeply intuitive. We don’t need necessarily someone to tell us what to do. We just, you know, we may need someone to reflect what serves us or what our preferences are. And then we just need to integrate that into how we operate.

Amy Mitchell  49:34

Yeah, and I think just sometimes, like seeing other people do it just is like, oh, yeah, it is. Like, why not? Why can’t I do that? You know, it kind of felt and I do think yeah, I do think you’re right. It’s like we do know what we want and it’s like for me it felt like the extra scary leaps that ask for it. And it’s like I really would love If things were like this, and then to give myself permission to just put it in place was like another growing pain where I had to be okay, maybe disappointing a couple people for my own good, but then I just feel like, I just have so many people, like thanking me for being the way that I am in my business. Like if someone follows up in an email, and it’s like, you didn’t get back to me fast enough, I don’t apologize. I don’t, you know, it’s like, I just, I don’t know, I don’t know how to say it. But I just feel like it took some time to be unapologetic about these things. But they all are in kindness and of service. I truly believe that, that the more I’m able to live in alignment and have things be the way that I want them to be, the better job I can do, the more people I can impact, the better I could show up. Like, I just believe that to my very core, and I didn’t always believe that I had to get I had to make that new belief combined.

Catherine A. Wood  51:05

I mean, I couldn’t agree more. I think for the conscious entrepreneur, like you and me, like we see, our our peers are business owners that we want to work with honoring their boundaries. And we’re like, yes, that is the type of business owner I want to work with, because they have done their own work. Sign me up.

Amy Mitchell  51:26

Yeah, or even, you know, hiring contractors, you know, if you if you hire a contractor that doesn’t have good boundaries, you almost feel like, oh, it’s gonna be harder, because I don’t know if they’re telling me for sure that they, you know, because I want to be able to hire someone that if I ask them thing, they’ll say no, if they can’t do it, oh, just say no, if doesn’t work for you, I don’t want you to, you know, extend yourself for me. And so yeah, it’s just fascinating how, the more I see people having boundaries and expressing boundaries, I’m just like, ah, the world’s getting better.

Catherine A. Wood  51:57

We had, we had CD prestage on the podcast a couple weeks ago, and she has an executive VA agency, and she was talking about how, with her vas, like, she trains all of them that, like, she does not want her VAs to be responding to her clients at all times, because they’ll burn out. And I think, you know, for so many of us, and particularly for Empath entrepreneurs like we’re, we’re relationship forward, we prioritize relationship, and we’re committed to long lasting relationships. So if we’re working with colleagues and VAs and peers, who aren’t honoring their own boundaries around work schedule, then we’re setting the relationship up for a failure or disappointment or burnout. And we’re not setting ourselves up for long standing relationships, which I think it has been a huge factor in my success. So many of my partners and clients I’ve worked with for years and years. So I think it’s it really expands on why it’s so important in particular, for us to work with well, boundaried colleagues and clients and peers.

Amy Mitchell  53:09

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. On the email, front of like, small thing that I do is, I like to work whenever I feel like working sometimes that’s on the weekend, you know, I don’t have a hard line. I just if I need time, during the day, on a Tuesday, I take time during the day, well not usually takes seven meetings, but on a Wednesday, you know, I just like work when it works for me. And that works for me, because I’m in a country by myself. And it’s just me, like, I want to work but but if I’m responding to an email on the weekend, I’ll schedule it to send on Monday morning. So I absolutely yeah, like, like I because I think it’s just like, I don’t want people to expect that if they email me on the weekends, they’re gonna hear back from me. And it’s like, these are work hours. And so I would train my team in in the same way, but I think it’s, it’s like the, that’s a teeny little system that I have that just is like, oh, yeah, you’re gonna hear from me between these hours. And even, you know, I have a flat group. And I say, you know, I’m gonna be checking in at this time. And this time, I’ll respond within, you know, 48 hours, I think I say, but it’s usually less. And then I say I reserve the right to not be here on Friday at all, even though sometimes I feel like working, I’ll be in there. But I always like give myself lots of space. And everyone’s you know, as long as people know, the parameters, they’re happy to abide and just have it built into my onboarding email in Slack, you know, like, just over communicate all of these pieces. And it’s always from a place of, of, you know, I’m not, I’m not, I don’t have a business to win. I’m here to keep playing. I want to just keep doing this for as long as I can. So because of that, it has to be as fun, as expansive as spacious as like, supportive for me and as possible, until I have a business where all my systems replace me but I’m not there yet. If I mean, back on next year,

Catherine A. Wood  55:03

a term that keeps screaming out at me is like clear expectations, right? And like we’re clear communicators, and we set clear expectations, and those are oftentimes a recipe for keeping people happy and maintaining relationship. Okay, so I want to shift gears, we only have a couple minutes left. Oh, yeah, of course. And I really want to, I really want to end on this piece about travel, which isn’t, I know where we began the conversation, because I think so many of the people in my world like, like you and me, like we either have in the past or presently are living these nomadic lifestyles, we’re super committed to building businesses that support our ideal lifestyles, that often includes a lot more time freedom in our schedules, and our day to day the ability to travel. And so I’m curious for our listeners who may be interested in becoming digital nomads and systematizing more of their businesses to support a nomadic lifestyle, where would you encourage they start,

Amy Mitchell  56:12

I do really believe if you already have a product or service that’s validated. And that works, I really think spending time on task and project management system that works for you is probably the best place just because then everything centralized and it’s so much easier to prioritize and plan and manage from one key place. And then from there, I think, you know, the the marketing and delivery sub task and project management operations, essentially, marketing systems delivery systems in that order. I think, you know, those systems are the ones that can free up the most time, automating marketing, of course, or systematizing marketing. But I think that the operations piece allows you to set those strategic goals to be able to see everything in one place, if you know, you’re able to set it up in a way where things are organized, and, and the task list works for you. I think that’s that’s where I started and that, like changed my life six years ago, just being able to get everything out of my head and into one place and let it tell me what my priorities are. You know, I do the planning once instead of me, trying to juggle everything all the time. And then I even like I keep everything in Asana including like, I have this copy paste thing about my preferences for Airbnb. So before I stayed in Airbnb, I copy paste it and like, is it ever been smoked? Because I can’t I really can’t handle cigarettes. It’s like, it doesn’t have this. Does it have that I have this like, because then I know, I’ve got you know, in anything, anytime I find something new. I’m like this place for some reason. You have to like hold the showerhead. And like, I don’t want that. So it’s now going on my list of things that I want to know. Like I’m getting better and better at Airbnb.

Catherine A. Wood  57:53

Oh, my gosh, I mean, I hear getting better at better at organizing your preferences, your travel preferences.

Amy Mitchell  57:59

Yes. I could talk for hours about that. But

Catherine A. Wood  58:03

next time for sure. Well, this has been such a lovely conversation as you were speaking a couple clients in particular came to mind that I’m like, cannot wait to share today’s episode with you. As we wrap up, I’d love to invite you to share what’s made the biggest difference for you and becoming a prosperous empath?

Amy Mitchell  58:25

Oh, such a good question. I definitely think that for me, it’s it’s just been like the allowing, just allowing myself to have needs and feelings and thoughts. And, you know, it’s been such a big a big practice to keep allowing myself to be this like very quirky, needy person, and design my systems and my business to support that for a long time, I was creating a business that I thought I had to, and when I shift to really allowing me to have idiosyncrasies and preferences and things that just make me weird me. That’s when things really started to change for me. So yeah, many resources that helped with that along the way, but that’s the over arching takeaway.

Catherine A. Wood  59:17

Love it. Embrace your essential self. Yeah, absolutely. Amy, thank you so much for today. This was delightful, inspiring, and so worth rescheduling multiple. No. We were meant to record today.

Amy Mitchell  59:36

Thank you so much. It’s such such a nice time talking to you. I really appreciate it.

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If you want your website to rank high on Google but have always been intimidated by the concept of SEO, this episode of the Prosperous Empath® is for you! I’m sitting down with Kelsey Flannery, a Google Certified Expert and CEO of KaeRae Marketing, and UNBOUNDED Mastermind member, to talk about the basics of search engine optimization and how to approach it in a way that aligns with your values as an empath. Kelsey quit her job at a big marketing agency to develop an innovative Google marketing framework that allows you to authentically share who you are while strategically using SEO to your advantage. We’re digging deep into how Google really works, breaking down common SEO terms that may have overwhelmed you in the past, and sharing easy steps you can take right after listening to this episode to improve your rankings and visibility. While Google may appear like the cool kid that’ll never talk to you, it actually wants to be your best friend. In this conversation, Kelsey and I will equip you with the understanding and tools you need to start making Google your best friend as an empath.. 

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