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Life should be like peanut butter on bread. Thick and abundant. But what happens when the peanut butter is spread too thin?

How do you set and define your own limits? Do cisgendered women fundamentally have different types of expectations for themselves? Where does that come from? Shouldn’t we want to have it all?

In reality, it’s about how we define having it all and recognizing the difference between internal and external pressure. 

JoyGenea and Michelle talk about their own limits and responding to internal and external pressures to ‘Have It All’ while learning to fail personally and professionally. What are your red flags and warning signs when you’re spread too thin? And how do you extend your limits?


J:  Hi I’m JoyGenea with Solutions by JoyGenea.

M:  And I’m Michelle with BadCat Digital.  And welcome to…

J:  If these Heels Could Talk!

M: Well, today on If These Heels Could Talk, it is Saturday May 30th and we are in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  That is the town we are in.  That is the state we are in.

J:  We’re about an hour and half north of the Minneapolis area.  So right now in the news you’re probably hearing things about Minneapolis, MN and we are an hour and plus north of that.

M:  And today’s podcast is going to be a little bit different. Today’s podcast is about knowing your limits and we originally recorded the podcast –

J:  A little while ago.

M:  A few months ago.

J:  Pre-pandemic.  Put it that way.

M:  Pre-pandemic, pre-Covid.  When we were thinking about what we wanted to talk about today, both JoyGenea and I had a lot of feelings.  Have a lot of conflicting feelings, a lot of feelings about what’s happening in Minneapolis.  What’s happening in Minnesota.  What’s happening across the country.  However, we both know our limits.  And as two white women running a podcast about business, neither one of us are comfortable talking about the horrific death of Mr. Floyd.  Neither of us are comfortable inserting ourselves in a conversation in that we both feel like we both have a roll to listen in and to learn in and not to insert ourselves in.  So that being said, our hearts and our thoughts, for JoyGenea I’m sure prayers,

J:  I was gonna say and my prayers for our state and our country.

M:  Our state, our country, but especially Mr. Floyd’s family.

J:  Ah yes.

M: Those who are impacted by violence, especially perpetrated at the hands of people that both JoyGenea and I look to to protect us.  We know that our limitations are that we’re better off not inserting ourselves in that conversation.  So we are going to move into this conversation about knowing our limits and well it was recorded before the pandemic started. We are going to add some things at the end that give it, you know, some current events, but they’re not going to be related to the current legal situations in Minneapolis, in cities around the country. We’re not going to talk about any of that because frankly neither of us are qualified.

J:  We’re not and we know our limits. 

M: Absolutely.  Well some of them.  We’re trying.

J: We’re trying.

M: We’re trying to learn our limits and so that’s a super awkward way of acknowledging that well our hearts and our support and our love are sent there, we want to listen in this conversation more than we want to talk. 

J:  I really appreciate you accentuated the listening because that’s really what I want to give. I have lots to learn and I’m just going to listen right now.

M:  There we go. So with that we will roll right in to a second introduction.

J:  Yes.

M:  And on knowing your limits.




M:  Hi I’m Michelle. the owner of BadCat Digital.

J:  And I’m JoyGenea and I own Solutions by JoyGenea and welcome to If These Heels Could Talk.

M: Today on the show we will be talking in detail about knowing your limits.

J:  As gender roles are changing, we both noticed that there are real issues for business owners on knowing their limits. Either being too afraid to push the limits or going way past their limits.

M:  How and when to test and push your limits. So, let’s connect the dots a little bit.  How is this really a gender thing?  Like I mean knowing your limit that won’t be the same for any small business or any entrepreneur?

J:  I think they’re different. When I think of gender I think of them as being a little bit different limits in the past.  I think that had been. So I go all the way back cuz I’m in my mid-forties.  I’m going all the way back to seeing men went to work and women stayed home and raised children.  I saw the tail end of that era and was part of that.  My mom stayed home and so I got home and mom was there every day and I had that world but I also had a really good friend who lived down the block and she got home and some days she came over to my place because her mom worked as a dental hygienist in town.  You know that was just a different thing. So I saw that era.

M:  I think we to just take a really pause out of the thing out of the main topic for a second and just really quickly say that we should probably be talking about sex and not assuming a binary gender role.

J: There we go.

M:  So we’ll talk about sex as sex roles as the limitation not gender roles because I am really working on that.  I’m really working on that.

J:  Good. Teach me.

  1. Yeah, I know. Right. We’re both, you know, forty-something. It’s hard and I’m really working on it.  Ok so back to the main topic.  So I think that there is, I think that there is a definitely something to what you’re saying is that as a female entrepreneur who started my business 5 months after I got married. It’s really been an interesting shift and I have a very you know, feminist, woke, understanding husband who wants to–  We still maintain traditional sex roles in our marriage because it’s, you know it sounds dirty when you say it like that.  But we do maintain that.  He, you know, mows the lawn and takes out the trash and I do a lot of the interior cleaning but as my business is growing and I’m gone more and more, he got hungry so he started cooking again and he started having to do the dishes because he was cooking.  So it’s just been one of those shifts as I’m testing my boundaries and limits within my business because I am constantly pushing up against the limitations of what I can do. Getting myself to the breaking point.  Hurting myself along the way because I’m just depleted.  And finding where those limits are and then pushing them so I can continue to grow.  He’s really supportive of that but he’s part of the need because he wants me home.  He misses his wife.

J:  Right.  He didn’t get married to hang out with himself.

M:  No.

J:  He could have done that himself.  Having your own business and being a business owner puts in new layers of limit building.  Like there’s your personal life, limit building and pushing and pulling and wants and needs.  Volunteer opportunities and just people and friends and family and health.  You know like that but then you add in the layer of business owner and then you add in a layer of employees and now you have other people’s needs and wants.  Like when it comes to employees, when I think about knowing their limits… so often because we’re in a leadership role with them we might see their limits far before they do and at times you are able to express that and share that with them and so forth and at times you literally just you reach the limit and you get at the end of the road and then we have to make new decisions and restructure into best strengths.

M: Fire people.  We have to fire people. 

J:  Sometimes.  Or we’ve got a better spot that we need them to be focused on and you know and maybe we schmeered them too thin.  And we found out that our limit – you know the peanut butter only goes so thin, it’s still the peanut butter on the sandwich. 

M:  I really don’t like thin peanut butter.  I like thick abundant peanut butter.

J:  That’s the point. So when you spread people too thin you can’t taste it anymore. Having had powdered milk at one point in my childhood I will tell you my mom would add water to spread it out.  It didn’t get better.

M:  No, it doesn’t get better.

J:  And people are kind of like this powdered milk you add water and doesn’t get better.  Like you push them past their limit.

M: And it doesn’t get better.

J:  You know when I think of jobs even that I’ve had in the past…

M:  There was just a limit.

J:  There was. There was just a limit and I knew we were past it and I was like but the money is good and I can make this work.  You can’t.  You become you sabotage yourself.  That’s what I think a lot of people don’t realize. You sabotage yourself. You tell yourself.  You don’t even know it’s happening. When I was in my twenties I had no idea that’s what I was doing cuz I didn’t know I was past my limits and I didn’t know how to say I was past my limits.  You know, like my communication was really broken about knowing that.  That’s one of the beauties I’ve learned over the years.

M:  So what do you feel, how do you feel when somebody else tells you to know your limits?

J:  Typically defensive.

M:  Yeah.

J:  Like good and defensive, like, who the…?

M:  Hell are you to tell me?

J: But I’m getting old enough now to know if they have the courage to say that and it wasn’t in a fight I should maybe pause and reflect on that.

M:  It also depends on the context and who it is.

J:  Yeah.

M:  Cuz if it’s somebody who barely knows me..

J: Right.

M:  Especially and I will be really honest if it’s an older white man who comes up to me, yeah, you should really know your limits. I just really want to push back and be like I’ll show you limits.  You know.  Like I will fly higher.  I will do more.  I will be better.  I will I will I will.  Because you just want to prove to people that your limits are beyond some sort of super human power.

J:  Nice.

M:  I know.  Why not?

J:  I think I’m noticing it in my younger associates and nieces and nephews.  I’m noticing that they’re hitting that limit a lot.  You know we’ve just been having conversations like why are you hitting? Why is this happening.  And understanding that a little more and I just think we are asking a lot of people.

M:  I think so too.

J:  At times.  And they don’t know when to say oops that’s too far.  Or I know this was true for me I did things it didn’t work the one time I tried it back when I was twenty or something and so I made a limiting belief. We’re not trying that again because that just didn’t work and that’s one that’s come in the last like 7 years I would say.  Where I’ve learned to be like, oh wait where did make that choice? I can literally in my mind see this 20 year old person making that choice.  I’m like oh that girl didn’t know squat.  Like how do I do that?  I need to try that again.  Like I need to double check and make sure that that’s a fact.

M: Well and I was a very high achieving child and part of that was that the reason that I was high achieving was that things came very easily.  School came really easily to me.  Doesn’t come easily to everybody but when you look at people and I know people that school didn’t come easily for their work ethic the things that their willing to take risks on are very different than I mean I had to teach myself that it was ok to fail.  That it was ok that things were hard.  That if things were hard that didn’t mean that I was bad at them or I didn’t need to like it meant that I should keep trying not give up or walk away.

J: Did that come in early thirties?

M:  Thirties.

J:  And was that kind of within a relationship or more within business.

M:  I honestly think it was both.  I honestly think it was both and I, you know, having a couple of false starts in a career not being able to find work, like all of the struggles in the 20’s in terms of I had gone from being a very lauded, high-achieving kid and in high school winning awards and doing this and that and then in my 20’s – which is awesome – but in my 20’s there was no work.  The things that I was good at weren’t really valued.  The way that you are rewarded as an adult is so massively different then the way you are rewarded as a child.  And so the things that I was good at as a child and I’m still good at aren’t necessarily marketable in the same way so the things that you get patted on the back for or rewarded for in school and then all of a sudden you’re in the work force and really nobody cares because it doesn’t matter how much you got on your SAT’s if you are going to jockey a cash register.  And when you’re 23, you’re going to jockey a cash register at Target and frankly the more you think about it the worse it is.

J:  Oh yeah.

M:  And the worse you get at it. And you got a chip on your shoulder and an attitude because, you know, you’re used to being rewarded and lauded and all of these things but then the real world and academia don’t really go together very well.  Maybe that’s a whole new topic. We’re veering off but the limitations of what I put on myself were that I didn’t know how to try anything new.  I didn’t really know how to learn a skill.  I knew how to learn but I didn’t know the application process.  How to grow a skill.  How to learn a skill and that I got in my early 30’s.  At some point I had to make money.  I had to eat. 

J:  Yeah.

M:  Yeah.

J:  You get hungry.

M:  You get hungrier literally.

J:  Yeah.  You literally get hungry.  It’s time.

M:  You know what I don’t think this is the best basement apartment in the ghetto of St. Paul for me to be living in.  I need to move.  What do I need to do to move? Well, I need to do this and then I need to do this.  You work in circles.

J:  It gets down to setting goals.

M: And sometimes I think when people say know your limits, they’re saying stop trying.  Or don’t set goals. I really do think that there’s a healthier way to look at it. 

J: There is. 

M:  What is that?  What is that healthier way to think about knowing your limits?

J:  Knowing your limits to me means you need to understand that that line is there and that you’re crossing it and then be aware of decisions and so forth that are being made past it.

M:  Ok.

J:  Or knowing not to cross it.  Like coming up to it and being like oh you know like.

M:  So there are red flags and warning signs of getting to that line.

J:  Yep.

M:  What are yours?

J:  Or people.  I was trying to think of when I finally realized I had limits and I was ignoring them.  It was actually after I got out of the long-term relationship after 25 years and then got into a new relationship and I’m like well why are these same things happening?  What’s wrong with him?

M: What’s wrong with him?  Why do I keep picking that one guy who blah blah blah.

J: Right and I’m like what the… Luckily like it didn’t take me more than a brief amount of time and plus he was a very honest person he was like you know this has never happened to me in a relationship and you’re the new factor so.  Like it’s a good question but I don’t think it involves me.  Like he was really that honest. 

M:  Wow.

J:  It was nice because he had also gotten out of a long-term relationship and himself had to do some of that work and so it was really funny when I recognized that oh wow if I don’t eat properly I’m actually pretty hangry and it’s not pretty.

M:  Really.

J:  Yep.  And I’m like ouch that got all over all sorts of people and that really created havoc for clients at times in my early business days.

M:  Oh, I bet.

J:  Right.

M: Cuz if you wouldn’t know that and you were running on empty like you skipped lunch or something or you didn’t have breakfast…

J: No, honey, skipped everything.

M:  Yeahhhhhh.

J:  Like there’s a couple other people in my family who that do this where they just get up and they’re like I got so much to do.  I used to have a gerbil mind in my twenties so it went and went and went and it would stop about midnight and then it would fire back up at about 5 am and it would just you got to do this you got to do this.  Like I had to do lists at times available so I could just try and get as much of the to do out and then I would do and then I would do, do, do.  Well nowhere on the list did it say stop and eat.

M: Right.

J:  Nor on the list did it say you should go for a walk.  It would be good for your mental health.  Like those were not on the list.  I’m definitely really clear that those things were not mirrored.  I was not, I couldn’t mirror what I never saw.

M:  Right, right right.

J:  I never saw those types of things so I couldn’t mirror it.  I was mirroring what I saw which was go, go, go.  It was luckily through starting my own business, right around the time that relationship ends that I’m like oh, ohhhhh, this doesn’t work.

M:  Yeah.

J:  At all.  So I need to start eating food and drinking water and taking 5 minute breaks and then what was great about it cuz I do coaching and stuff is I then taught like I would meet with a client and I’m like when’s the last time you ate.  They would be like are you serious.  I started handing out candy.

M:  Yes, I was with you when you did that.  I was so impressed.  I was like I’m really hungry.  What a great idea to have a snack break.  Why did she just have random snacks in her bag for everybody in this room? But that’s awesome.  It’s like oh well, thank, you, yes, I am actually really, really hungry in the middle of this 3-hour meeting.

J:  And I learned my limit and I’ve learned if I want to pull everybody else past the limit line I best be feeding them nuts and berries or something.  You know I better granola them somewhere along the way and water them or we’re not going there.  You know when I did professional organizing full-time I could watch each hour like if we we’re in a 4 hour marathon and sometimes we would do 8 hours and 10 hour marathons.

M:  Oh my gosh.

J:  I could just watch them though the first hours like woooooo and then second hour is no, we plateaued nicely.  And if I didn’t give them a break right about there.  Like I had to watch them right in there it was a little different. I had to be like, you know, I need you to walk away.  I need you to go get a drink.  I need you to actually walk around block if you need to.  I need you to eat some food and they would. Ugh.  I’m like no.  And I had clients go and throw up when they ignored me.  Their body flat out was like you are walking away now because when you are power organizing like that and sorting and purging and so forth the amount of decisions is just enormous.  And you are literally drained. 

M:  Right.

J: Because it’s their decisions.  I’m just moving stuff.  I’m physically keeping them on task and such.  So that’s.  I could watch other people’s limits then.  And I learned from that too.  Watching other business owners.  Luckily there have been times where I’ve seen it and been honest with people and been like you know what? I just want you to know like I get you’re burning this candle at both ends. I don’t know how long you can do that.  Is there anything I can do to help?

M:  Right.

J:  Is there any way I can take some of that off of there.

M:  So it’s not that judgey – well you need to know your limits.

J:  No.

M:  It’s not that. It’s just, what can I do?

J:  Yeah.

M:  What can I take off your plate? What can I?  Can I make you laugh? Can I do something that just pulls you out of this headspace?

J: And when does this, from a coaching perspective, when does this end?

M:  Yeah what’s your ending on this?

J:  If people cannot see an ending on this and they’re like this is gonna be forever, we’re past our limit and like your body will take care of your timeout. 

M:  Yeah.  That’s true.

J:  It will provide it.  You will become very ill.  It will just shut down.  I unfortunately had very good friend who did not get out of a job when he should have.  He wound up with a mental time out.  Like about 3 years worth.

M: Wow.

J:  Yeah. Gobs of counseling and medication.  Like a serious timeout.  And we can see it but he just, god, he didn’t want to give up.  High achiever.  He’s like I got this. I can make it.  You know your mind can only take so much and I really saw that.

M:  Well and your body only take so much.  It’s one of those things I always hated as a person who never…  I am gonna start a sentence and end the same sentence.  As a person who is never really that physically fit or really that interested in being physical.  It was never something – I was the kid whose mother would beg them to go outside and play all summer long and then I would take a book outside and read on the concrete steps cuz I didn’t want to get dirty. 

J:  You were that person.

M:  I was that person.  I took attendance when the teacher was gone too.  Like I was that person.  So anyway.  Now that I shared my deep dark dorky secret.  But it was just never my thing.  So I as I get older and as I get wider because that’s what happens when you get older and you don’t change.

J:  And you have a sedentary job.  Let’s discuss this sedentary job.

M:  And I have a sedentary job.  And I just you know and people are saying things oh you need to take care of yourself.  You need to practice self care and I’m sitting here going look I have a free minute and a half that I’m not asleep every day…

J: Right.

M:  If I’m gonna use that minute and a half for something that would be a caring thing for myself, it would be quilting.  It would be reading.  It would be watching a murder show on tv.  It would be doing something that I love to do.  It would not be moving around and sweating to some bro’d out guy named Josh or Luke or Zach or whatever screaming at me and telling me you’re doing great, you’re doing great, one more, one more.  I’m not – that’s not how I would choose to do it.  But I will tell you that those people are right. 

J:  See.

M: Because when I do it I have more energy and I can get through more. So my limit actually extends when I spend some time doing that.  And the last couple of weeks my time has been really, really, really crazy and I haven’t been doing it and I’ve been noticing that I haven’t been doing it and I’ve been missing it.  So for the first time in my life I actually miss moving and exercising which was always a four letter word to me.  I realized that its two together but like if you separate them then it becomes two four letter words. You can still say it like you’re swearing.  With that really angry aggressive tone of voice.  But that extends my limits.

J:  Yeah

M:  And eating well extends my limits.  Eating fruits. Eating vegetables extends my limits. 

J:  Drinking water.

M:  Drinking water.  All of those things so what else can people do because I thought my limitation line was in one place and now I’m realizing that its actually somewhere different because my habits have changed.  So what do you think people can do to extend their limits?

J:  Ok so here’s a word most people cringe at and it’s called meditation.

M:  Ugh blahhhhhh.  I don’t have to be guided like a yogi or something.

J:  I swear I’ve tried about 10 types of meditation and I have finally found 2 or 3 that work for me.

M:  Ok.

J:  And that’s what I’ve learned.  There are ones that you can literally do physically.

M:  The touching with your fingers.

J: Right.

M: That’s a meditation?

J:  Yeah.

M:  Maybe we need to just call this something different because I do that too.

J: Right.

M:  I do that touching the fingers.

J: And there’s a set group of quick phrases you can say and you do this for about 10 minutes.  I’m telling you your blood pressure goes down.

M:  It focuses you.

J:  They’ve done so much research on it at this point.  Like the value of 10-20 minutes of meditation each day.  Like what it buys you in time and productivity and mental stability.  It’s an investment. You just can’t continue…

M:  Not make.

J:  Yeah.  Like that’s where I gonna go with it now and so I’m like ok.  And just like exercise was for me as I started it was like oh hell. Fine I will do this.  But as time went on I’m like, oh good, this is how I clear the path.  That gerbil brain that’s been part of the process like to get him.  He doesn’t exist anymore.  I get 8 hours of sleep.

M:  You know, I think if I expanded my understanding of the word meditation I would approach it a little bit differently.  That’s what I’m saying can we just call it something different because the time that I spend singing along to really loud music in the car on the way between meetings that to me is that.  It’s restorative.  Like and I listen to things that are not pleasant and not – they’re maybe a little too aggressive.  It’s like watching a murder show.  It’s like grrrrrr murder.  Because it is something that kind of calms you.  It just reduces everything and pulls everything down.  And in the 10 minutes in between a meeting when I’m driving from one place to another I can do that. 

J: Right.

M:  I can have that. So if you’re ever driving next to me in St. Cloud, Minnesota and I’m singing along really loud in the car, just leave me alone.

J:  Leave her alone.

M:  Leave me alone.

J:  Wave.

M:  No probably not.

J:  Meditation goes high on my list.  Like I said, start the day out with a big glass of water.  Honestly they’ve proven that for your brain.  It’s just such an amazing positive factor.

M:  You’re making me thirsty.

J:  Good.  We should be.  Good. See. Limits.  Know your boundaries.  Know what your body is saying to you.  Also know, this is one I’ve struggled with, but it’s the saying no.

M:  Yeah saying no is really hard.

J:  And saying no upfront and I’m learning from me my best answer when anybody asks something new that I’m not sure what the answer should be give me a day to think about that.  Thank you.  It sounds like a good opportunity.  I need 24 hours to think about that.  Cuz I’m learning my process style, me I need to sleep on it and the next morning I bounce right up and I’m like bam.  That’s a yes or a no. Like I’ve got it.  In that moment I want to make you happy.

M:  Right.

J:  I want you to be my friend.  I’m gonna say yes. 

M:  Yeah.

J:  And then I’m gonna get up the next morning and be like you don’t have time for that. Like how are you going to make this happen.  So now there’s layer of guilt and you know and so I definitely…

M: Well, now I know how to ask for something that I really want.

J:  Yes.  Although I’m learning how to call people back and be like I said yes yesterday but actually I had a chance to think about it and it would be best if I said no today. 

M: So I was looking at something because one of the things that I find is that we define the work that we do in our homes and in our personal lives vary narrowly. So I used to define the work that I do at my home and my personal life is you know activity right.  Weeding the garden, doing the dishes, you know mowing the lawn.  Like taking the car to get the oil change.  Like whatever.  Whatever it is.  Chores.  We define it as chores but I read this article.  I think it was last year about a chore called kin-keeping. And this is something that I think is a really interesting thing. 

J: Kin-keeping.   Tell me more.  

M: Kin-keeping is the work of remembering somebody’s birthday and buying the birthday card and mailing it out and putting the present together and you know making sure that somebody calls your mother and making sure that you know so and so’s got the meds and making sure that this happens and this happens and this happens.  And in my household I am a 100% responsible for kin-keeping.  Reminding my husband to call his mother.  Saying how’s this person doing?  What’s that situation like?  Whose anniversary is it?  Whose birthday is it?  Did we send anything for the kids for Christmas?  Like all of those things, that’s all my plate.  But it’s because I’m the one who values it.  He doesn’t really value it.  And so I think he’s at peace that it’s all my plate because it’s important to me.  And I have reduced the circle of kin.

J:  Yeah.

M:  Because otherwise there was no way I could keep up.

J:  Priorities.

M:  Yeah.  It’s not about cousins.  It’s about parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews. 

J:  Well and that’s part of the limit being knowing your limits is saying what is really a priority here. 

M: Right.

J:  And reassessing that kind of ongoing. Like as soon as something feels out of place and you dread something. You get that like ugh….

M:  And not putting mental energy into resenting my husband for not picking up his part.  His family is bigger than mine so it’s more technically work than mine but it’s important to me and it’s not important to him. 

J:  Yeah.  Different priorities.  Like that is a beautiful segue right into men in business and women in business.

M:  Oh my gosh.

J:  And that has not – I don’t see that totally changing.  Like I look amongst the women I hang out with and the men business owners that I hang out with even now and it’s just very clear to me that the women in my circles younger and older we want to carry on.  We want to hold all the torches.

M:  Right.

J: And we were like yeah but I don’t want my family to think less of me because I’m not getting those birthday cards out.  You know and I don’t want to not be volunteering and helping the neighbor.  You know that kind of stuff.  But I have this business over here and I have all these clients I’m also tending to.

M:  Right.  And employees and staff

J:  And all those kinds of things and somewhere in there we do have to say you know what I can’t do it all and I don’t need to.

M:  Yeah and that just I mean it really like having grown up thinking I mean my immediate reaction to that – again I am gonna finish a sentence.  My immediate reaction to that is well yes, I can.  Yes, I can!

J: But you can’t.

M:  But you can.  You just can’t do it all well.

J: Right.

M:  And that’s the kicker.  You can do it all but you can’t do it all well and you can’t do it all equally well. 

J:  Yeah.

M:  So If I’m willing to you know ask the people in this area of my life for this amount of time to make this area of my life better and then ask the people in that area of my life for the same thing.  If I’m willing to ask for help and I’m willing to be honest about it and part of that help is forgiveness and grace.  Part of that help is the you know what I’m not sending cards this year.  This is not happening.  Nobody’s getting birthday presents.

J:  Nope.

M:  It’s just not going to happen this year. And if anybody says anything to me about it I’ll be like it didn’t happen.  I called.  I gave you me.  That’s the best I got right now.

J:  Yup.

M:  And it sounds arrogant or it sounds this or it sounds that but I’m not going to worry about it because you can have it all but you can’t have it all at once.

J:  And you said something really, really important in the middle of all that.  It was I asked for help.  And that is the factor that I noticed working in coaching men in business and working and coaching women in business is men they are happy to delegate.  They are happy.  Most men are very happy to pass that on and be like oh you know my wheel house is this.  I do this.

M:  I don’t need to do that.

J:  Yeah, oh, and they look around and they’re just like…

M:  I had a conversation with another business owner and he said well I would never.  I was complaining about something some paperwork for an insurance company and he said oh I would never do that.  That’s not revenue generating. Somebody else in my office would take care of that for me.

J: Right. 

M:  It’s a really clear line.

J: Yeah.  They’re aware of it and that’s how it goes and stuff that falls over that, if it gets done it gets done and if doesn’t it doesn’t. Like this doesn’t belong on my plate.  And what I noticed with women is they put it all on their plate.

M: Right.

J: And then they don’t ask for help.  Helping them to come to terms with the fact that no you need to hire staff.

M:  Yeah.

J:  N0, you need to stop doing certain things.  Like that’s – I see that as being a serious challenge that limits, generally, that limits us.  And for me it was.  It took a lot of people to yank me across that line.

M:  Well and part of it.  Part of asking for help is also advocating control.

J:  Absolutely.

M: So part of saying to myself I don’t have this time to give to the house the things that I would normally do means that I don’t get to decide what we have for dinner anymore.

J:  Yeah.

M: And I don’t get to decide how often or how well the dishes get done.   And I don’t get to decide when they get put away and I don’t decide that it’s important that they not sit there for 3 days because they are getting all crusty.  Like that is not.  That is no longer in my head.

J:  Nope.

M:  Obviously it is but no longer should be in my head.

J:  Well even if it is you, you tell it. You’re like yeah but I don’t care.

M:  Yeah but I can’t care.  I just can’t care if this can’t be my thing

J:  Just like that guy who is like well that’s not revenue generating. 

M:  This can’t be my thing.  And I’m not all the way there yet.  I’m just not.  It’s really hard.

J: It is.  I was just gonna say it’s really hard.  And that was one of the reasons I couldn’t work from home all by myself is because I would look around be like why I can just throw a load of laundry in.  I can just do this.  I can make that run.  I can do all this stuff.  Whereas when I come in to the office, it’s like no, I’m in the office.  This is what I’m doing.

M: This is my work time.  And it’s one of the reasons why, when I work late, I work late at the office and I don’t go home and my husband would prefer me to work at home but it’s really difficult.

J:  It’s really difficult. 

M:  Every 45 minutes he’s there and he wants attention or he wants time or he is, are you done yet?  I’m home so this is his time for me to be home.  And so it’s really, really difficult.  I will get more done in an hour in the office, than I will 4 hours at home.

J:  Yeah. Again limits. We’re learning the boundaries and limits and respecting other people’s boundaries and limits along the way.  And apologizing when you maybe miss it.  That would be another factor I would put on my plate.

M:   Yeah.

J:  You’re gonna blow it.  You’re gonna miss it.  You’re gonna take on commitments you shouldn’t have.

M: You’re going to be overwhelmed.

J: Right.

M:  You’re going to blow past your limit and be mean or be angry.

J:   Yup.

M:  Or be bad.  Just depleted.

J:  Yes.  And owning as soon as you have the capacity to own that.  Own it.  Apologize for it.  Everybody appreciates and apology.

M:  Yeah.

J:  It’s never too late.  So what have we covered today?

M: OH my gosh it feels like we rambled all through some things but I think we stayed pretty on task.

J: I think so.

M:  We know our limits and we’re at our time limit.

J:  We are.

M:  Oh!

J: Aren’t you so glad you tuned in today?  We are.

M: Oh, dear lord.

J:  We’re really glad that you’re here. 

M:  That’s all we’ve got today for this episode of If These Heels Could  Talk.  We hope we brought you some new ideas.  Encouraged you in a new direction and inspired you to test and know your own limits. 

J:  Thank you and have a great day.



M:  So, JoyGenea …

J:  Yes.

M:  How does this conversation around knowing your limits – how has it changed in the last 3 months of Covid and pandemic and?

J:  I rode into February on a slight vacation and I wrapped up all my coaching classes so I was ready and part of wrapping up all of my coaching and getting all of my certifications and took the big test while I was actually on vacation.  So, like…

M: That’s what we would do on vacation right?  Is take tests.

J:  I had to.  So, I was like ok I got all this wrapped up and when I came home the intention and plan and goal was that I was launching my coaching business.  All of that marketing. Transitioning the website, like getting that so that it was represented in all places that it’s a combination of my coaching and my digital marketing.

M:  Got it.

J: That’s what was happening. 

M:  How much of that has happened JoyGenea?

J:  Yeah, almost none. 

M: Why.

J:  And it’s been on my list.  Because I’m getting this, thanks to our little bit of conversation, I know my limits.  And my limits are the fact that the pandemic hit and my clients needed a 100% of my creativity.  They are calling me with situation and circumstances that need to be adjusted and fixed and so I have been adapting and using all of my creativity and all of my thoughts and processes.

M:  Problem-solving.

J:  All of that is aimed at my clients and implementing that and I love that I’ve been able to do that.  That’s been really helpful for my caregiving nature.

M:  Yeah.

J:  Cuz I can’t fix a lot of other things, so that’s been. But it’s meant that my coaching stuff actually just got put on hold.  Like its set over there and every week I put it on the list and I schedule time and I sit down and I can’t tap into that creativity.  And knowing my limits is knowing that is my limit right now. 

M:  Ok.

J:  For myself.  And not making myself wrong.  So, I’m not going to make myself wrong. I would still choose to give it to my clients and continue to have my business operating in those manners instead of launching a new arm of my business. It will come.  It’s not going anywhere.

M: Well, and I mean, you breathe business coach.  Like…

J:  I do.

M:  It’s not oxygen and carbon dioxide from you.  It’s business coaching.  So you pull in information and then breathe it back out.  So it’s definitely will come in terms of people paying you to do something that you frankly already do.  And have done for me for years so thank you for that.  I really appreciate the freebie.

J:  Absolutely smarty pants.  That’s what I would say about knowing my limits right now in this Covid. Knowing how much I can take on from clients.  Setting better boundaries about that.  And accepting what I can and can’t do for myself sometimes.  I was gonna say, how about you?

M: Well for me I think my limit is the limit that I’m feeling right now is that I’m not continuing to move forward in structuring, some business processes that we had been structuring.  Frankly there are some staff who want me to keep moving on that and there are some that don’t and I think my limit right now is that I just can’t.  I can’t take it on.  It’s really hard to build a structure around an unknown.  I had a conversation with a fellow business owner this week and she’s like well I don’t know if this gonna happen or this is gonna happen so it’s really hard to make a decision until I have this answer and I said I’m right there with you because we are used to as entrepreneurs as visionaries we are used to seeing a path. A path.  Whether it’s you know straight or curvy or clear or bumpy or whatever it’s still a path and right now I’m starring down three mudholes going well how deep are each one of you? 

J: Right.

M:  Like there’s no path.  There’s no direction.  There’s no I can make decisions when I know where I’m going but I’m looking at the choices right now and I don’t have enough information to know what I’m even stepping into.  Literally.  Like literally it’s like looking at mud puddle and there is a big muddle puddle in front of you and you have no idea how deep it is.

J: Yeah.

M:  And so it’s paralyzing.  That’s the word I want to use.  I am moving I’m moving cautiously and so that’s my limit.  Is I have to be very cautious right now and I am not trying to take these big leaps and bounds these giant steps

J:  Which is how you had been running your business.  You’ve been really leaping forward.

M:  You know moving forward really fast.  Full steam ahead.  Leaps and bounds and I’ve been almost tip toeing and I feel like that’s what it needs to be right now because there are nine people relying on me to make those decisions and pick the right mud hole to wallow in.  And the pressure of that is really high.  And so where my limits are right now what I’m being challenged with is the idea of leading a group of people into a huge unknown.  And so I am moving more cautiously than I want to, than my nature tells me to, than I personally believe right because and I’m sure that there’s some element of fear there.  I’m sure that there’s some element of anxiety there.  There absolutely is.  I’m siding with the people on staff who want to move slowly but there are some who still want to go the leaps and bounds and so I’m trying to kind of negotiate that into and asking them actually asking them for the patience and saying we will do that and I’m moving forward this way and my plan is.  This week during a team meeting I said to everybody alright, we’re gonna have – I want you to start thinking about this because next week we’re gonna have one on one conversations about what you need to feel safe coming back to work full-time.  What do you need?  How does it look to you? 

J:  Good question.

M:  What can I provide?  And then we’re gonna have that conversation and then on the other side of this as this starts happening and people start coming back to the office I need everybody to focus on what they personally need and not focus on what somebody else might need because I just don’t want to and I didn’t say it like this but I just don’t want to get into a situation where it’s like well so and so and that’s not fair blah blah blah blah.   Because everybody’s situation is different and you guys have to understand that although I strive to offer everybody the same opportunities to do things different people take them at different times and in different ways.

J: Wow.  I gotta say that’s really impressive.

M:  I was really proud of that.

J:  Yeah.  I was gonna say that is pretty dang good.

  1. I thought about it. I wrote it down like I thought about that for a long time beforehand because I know that we need to transition into being back in the space. I’ve thought about it a lot and I’m like do I really need to do this. Do we have to be in the same space?

J:  Well it’s knowing your limit.

M: Well can the business move forward with us all working from home and it can for a short time but it’s not sustainable. It’s just not.  The teams within our wider team are starting to dismantle.  The work is still good.  The enthusiasm for the work is starting to dismantle so that I need to do some things that push people that give people a reason to move because their sitting there looking at those mud holes too. 

J: That’s real.

M: So I think that’s kind of where my limit is.  Everything is going very slowly.  Everything is going very cautiously and although it is frustrating in some ways.

J:  It is.

M:  It also feels like the mature thing to do which is not at all something I needed to say because you know I mean there’s nothing like a business you know running a business with fart jokes.  Like you can do that.

J: You can.

M:  This kind of like silly energy.

J:  Oh yeah.

M:  It breeds happiness and creativity but that’s so not what they need right now.

J:  No nope.

M: So that’s where we are.  That’s where our limits are.  That’s where my limit is.  Our conversation today about knowing your limits is really in this kind of vein of how are we responding based on what we ourselves believe in and we wanted to offer you that juxtaposition in our podcast today.  What was the conversation before.  What’s the conversation now and how has it changed?