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[00:00:00.475] – Teresa Porter

Hey, you’re in the right place. This is the Your Big Small Business podcast where the conversation is A + and the language is PG-13. So if you’re anxious, awkward and an entrepreneur, we’ve got practical solutions to everyday small business struggles. Today’s episode, we’re talking about boundaries and how they prevent burnout, how they can exist, and we can still be big-hearted. Joining us is Kamini Wood. She’s an internationally best-selling author and a coach.  She is a fellow business badass. I, of course, am your friend, Teresa Porter. And today’s advice turns out you can’t schedule your next mental breakdown.

[00:00:43.735] – Teresa Porter

All right, let’s do this.

[00:00:54.235] – Teresa Porter

Hey, guys, this is Teresa with the Your Big Small Business podcast, I am so hyped because today we got my girl Kamini in here and I’m going to go ahead and start it off by telling you all write this name down because you are going to need it and you’re going to write this down. My friends who take notes K-A-M-I-N-I, Kamini. Kamini Wood she is the founder and CEO of Live Joy Your Way and the Authentic Me Rise Up program y’all.  She is an international best selling author and a certified life coach. She is here to help us.  And let me tell you, I love this nerd and I’m just going to call her out because she has the most impressive list here. I’m going to read it to you.

[00:01:34.315] – Teresa Porter

She is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She has specialty certifications in Conscious Uncoupling, New Money Story and teen life coaching. She’s also trained in Conscious Parenting, which, by the way, is very different from unconscious parenting, which is where I try to just play Best Fiends on my phone. She’s better than that.  What Kamini really does, though, is she supports and guides people from wherever they are to wherever they want to be, kind of personally and professionally. I like to say that life is a hike on that hike.  You’re either not challenged and completely bored or you’re walking in circles and don’t know why or like me, you just need someone to tell you to shut up you’re not going to die. Keep walking.

[00:02:17.845] – Teresa Porter

Kamini is that person to me. Although to be fair, I’m not sure she ever has told me to shut up per say.  So if you are walking in life right now, have no clue where you’re going, how to get there and it just feels like you need somebody along with you on the journey. She’s my girl. I’m excited. She’s here to talk with us. She’s going to have the best snacks on this life hike, y’all. She’s going to be all about the water breaks and she is not going to judge you if your voices are like ((breathy)) because you’re out of shape.

[00:02:46.465] – Teresa Porter

All right, y’all, with that introduction, here is Kamini.  Kamini, welcome.  Welcome to the podcast today,

[00:02:53.365] – Kamini Wood

Teresa. Oh, my word. I don’t think I’ve ever had an introduction like that. And no, I have never told you to shut up. I think the way that I approach it is, can we think about that differently?

[00:03:06.956] – Teresa Porter

This is true.  So y’all it’s perfect that Kamini is on today because you will hear me talk often about how I’ve been doing coaching this year. And it has made all the difference in my business. And I think of all of the continuing education things I’ve ever signed up for. And I am a nerd too like Kamini. We’re in good spirits. Of all the ways that I have done things for my business and education, you know, methodologies and platforms and things I’ve set out to learn I definitely think that doing coaching has has had one of the most important, biggest impacts. And so I’m just really excited. She’s going to talk with us today about this topic we covered last time, which is, you know, how do you have boundaries in business and how boundaries can help us prevent burnout? And we hear a lot about having a small business. You start a small business, you love your small business, and then at some point that love can feel very complicated.

[00:04:00.595] – Teresa Porter

Right? It starts to feel like I am burning out and I don’t know if I have what it takes to keep going with this. So one of the things coming in our blog post, we were talking about how CeCe was hitting me up for popsicles the other day. And we talk a lot about popsicles and karate because those are the two trouble spots in my household.

[00:04:22.015] – Teresa Porter

So we talking about, you know, setting boundaries with CeCe and, you know, sometimes I say she’s like not my most difficult client because it’s a lot easier to have boundaries with her. But then imagine, you know, when you try to have boundaries with clients, it’s so much more difficult. And one of the things that I like to think about is one day we’re not going to be fighting about popsicles, Right? So I better win the fights now about popsicles.

[00:04:46.405] – Teresa Porter

And then, you know, it kind of applies like that for business. You know, how do we set up boundaries around ourselves so that people aren’t constantly asking the same questions over and over again until we are completely exhausted? I don’t know. What about you, Kamini?  I know about your kids because I love your kids. Have you ever had the chance where you’ve had to set boundaries and say no to popsicles or or even in business?

[00:05:09.925] – Kamini Wood

Oh, never, Teresa.  Never with my five children? No. I mean, it is so funny because I was reading your blog post and then just this past weekend. So, you know that my my kids are a little bit older than CeCe. So my oldest son is seventeen and he has just been totally over. . . he’s over COVID, let’s just put it that way. And it was Super Bowl weekend. Right. And so he wanted to hang out with his friends. And so it was very interesting, since I was reading the whole thing about popsicles.

[00:05:38.335] – Kamini Wood

I actually thought to myself, Lord, I wish I had a boundary issue about popsicles right now because I had to create a boundary issue about super spreader.

[00:05:46.135] – Teresa Porter

It’s a little different. I’m really a big ones with it.

[00:05:50.455] – Kamini Wood

But it is it’s you’re constantly faced with setting boundaries with your loved ones and then in business as well, and you’re absolutely right, if we don’t set those boundaries, we do set ourselves up for just that feeling of burnout or just exhaustion, you know, and with him, yes, he asks the question, but he also knows my boundaries when it comes to certain health issues. And he asks the question, but because we have set up these boundaries in place.  Once I kind of gave him the look, it was like, OK, fine, whatever, you know, can I at least go to the store and get the snacks that I want to watch the game? Right. And that was that was the compromise. But it happens in business, too. I mean, just like you, I’m running my own small business and with clients, you know, if we don’t set those boundaries, especially with me in terms of sessions, for instance, people will just not show up.  And I have to be very clear up front. These are the parameters for how the sessions are held. These are the parameters for changing your appointment for reschedules or for cancellations, because if I didn’t, I’d be constantly chasing my own tail. And yeah, it is easier, I think, in our personal lives with our loved ones, because we know at the end of the day they’re still going to love us. And I think that’s the thing that we’re chasing in business is that we’re like, oh, my gosh, but they’re not going to like us.  And the truth of the matter is, do we like ourselves? Do we feel good about ourselves? Do we feel that we’re fulfilled? And that’s where it comes to your point. Boundaries are so important so we don’t end up with burnout.

[00:07:12.685] – Teresa Porter

It’s so true. And I think one of the things, you know, when you have a business that’s a very feeling based business, you know, coaching and photography are different worlds completely.  And at the same time, I often feel like I’m doing a little coaching as we’re doing, you know, as we’re doing a photography session. And it’s a very feeling based thing.  And I imagine in your profession, it’s equally as difficult when you when you see a need to not just always jump in and fill the need to think as a business person, but still have a heart.

[00:07:45.355] – Teresa Porter

How do you how do you handle, like, you know, still being charitable but having boundaries and you’re in a helping profession, a caring profession is do you think that that makes it more difficult?

[00:07:57.445] – Kamini Wood

I, I do think when I was first starting out, it was the thing that kind of was a big challenge for me. But recognizing that as long as I’m staying in integrity with who I am and what I value, then it’s OK to have those boundaries. So for me personally, it is really important to me to keep my word to people. It’s very important to me to care for people. I do value that. But what I realized was by setting those boundaries, I’m actually living into that care.

[00:08:24.355] – Kamini Wood

Right, because I’m actually living into you know, these are this session is for your own self. This is for your own self growth and for you to prosper. And if you are not committed to that, then you’re not going to get what you want out of it. And so by holding that boundary, actually living in integrity with what I’m offering people, which is I’m holding space for you to see your own self worth. Right? That’s the premise of my business.

[00:08:50.365] – Kamini Wood

And so that boundary of holding people accountable, for instance, with the cancellation policy, it’s about holding that space to say this is important for your own self worth. And so by holding them accountable to that special time, they then can start seeing, oh, wow, that really was my time. That was for me. Right.

[00:09:09.745] – Teresa Porter

When I think about that, you know, that that has overlap with photography. So it’s you know, you have to say, here’s here’s my boundaries.  And if you do a bunch of things for free and you’re constantly just giving, giving, giving, giving, you know what happens so often and it’s so easy to slip into it because you just give in to the point that there is no amount the other person could put back that it would ever be enough.

[00:09:32.365] – Teresa Porter

And I see that one of the things I was talking about is in our live on Facebook was about how I had friendships in this pattern of friendships that would fall apart after a year. And it was because I didn’t feel like I could say, hey, I have this boundary and you’re trespassing all over it and I want to still be in a friendship with you. And I had that pattern over and over and over again. And then I started to see it show up in photography.  This this pattern of I’m not going to tell you when you’ve overstepped my boundary and I’m going to try to continue to anticipate your every need and then get pissed off at you when when you don’t give me back what I need or I don’t feel appreciated or I lose control because you do what you want to do and you’re thinking person. And I think that that boundary thing has been hard. One of the things that I suggested I’d love your feedback on this.

[00:10:21.265] – Teresa Porter

Do you feel like some of the things that we deal with in our personal lives, like friendships that fall apart or, you know, boundaries that we let people walk all over?  Do you feel like that carries over into our business world or our people? Do you find able to keep those two things kind of separate?

[00:10:37.915] – Kamini Wood

I honestly think that people think that they can keep them separate. But when I really learned about people is that we’re whole beings. Right? And so that’s why a lot of my work is based on the relationship with self and then the people that I work with see these great strides in their business world because they’re taking care of the base, the foundation I look at as the foundation of a house. We’re taking care of that and from there then able to apply it to the other levels of the house.

[00:11:03.355] – Teresa Porter

Yes, very true. Some of us are subterranean in our in our process. Some of us are in ground pool level. Some of us are just trying to get to mezzanine.

[00:11:15.315] – Kamini Wood

Right. So OK, but what do you do like so what what would I say? Boundaries were basically the values of my business and me as a person and the rules.

[00:11:25.575] – Teresa Porter

So the way I differentiated those values, I thought of as as ways of doing things like a philosophy and rules were like, hey, I don’t post on social media before you’ve seen your images in person. So those are two totally different kinds of things. I think a lot of businesses know how to set the rules, but not the values. So how do you even start to conceive of what your values are in business?

[00:11:49.995] – Kamini Wood

I think it starts with your value system as you as a person. Right? Because, again, especially if you’re a small business owner, your business is you. And I think it’s OK to recognize that you can have your own personal value system. And from there you can ask yourself, and what values does my business stand for? You know, so again, going back to me personally, like integrity, huge value of mine personally. And I do the same thing with my business.

[00:12:14.205] – Kamini Wood

And so it’s really, really recognizing that we can take our personal value system and translate it into our business. And when we do that, it’s heartfelt and when it’s heartfelt, that’s when they’re authentic and we can live into them. And it doesn’t feel like a push and pull when when when. I mean, I think especially us giving people, you know, when we come from that heart-centered place, it’s difficult sometimes at moments to put up those boundaries we can anchor back into.

[00:12:42.255] – Kamini Wood

Well, this is my this is my belief system outside of the rules. This is what I truly believe in my core. And I understand these are my core gifts. For instance, I’m living within in respect of that self respect. And from that place, we’re able to then put those boundaries out there.

[00:12:59.445] – Teresa Porter

So what do you do to figure it out?  Do you just like Google a list of values and definitions like? I don’t know.

[00:13:06.525] – Teresa Porter

Of course I want to turn it into a scholastic exercise with highlighters and pens. Do we get to make a spreadsheet? How do you like figure it out? I feel like those are I mean, I like integrity to. How do I know that’s one of my values, especially if I can’t pick like a lot if I have to pick just a few. 

[00:13:23.175] – Kamini Wood

Well, it’s really funny because I actually do this exercise my clients, and it’s one of the first things that we generally do. And they have this list of all these words. And then, of course, I always say and go find other ones and then they’re like, but Kamini, I can’t narrow it down. And it’s and that’s the challenge is let’s narrow it down to the five ones that sing to your heart, the five that are like, oh, my gosh, that’s the thing I can’t live without. 

[00:13:44.025] – Kamini Wood

That’s the thing that makes me me. And from that place, those five are what we call the core values. And then we even ask those questions of, OK, if I lived into this value even more than I already am, what would be possible? Hmm. And that’s how, you know, those are the five that are really the core when we can answer that question and we’re really we’re really able to identify if I lived it like so, for instance, if I lived in integrity even more than I am, what could be possible for my business, OK, that type of thing.

[00:14:12.375] – Teresa Porter

And it’s interesting because values and gifts are even very different. I think, as I understand it, gifts are kind of these things you have innately I don’t know how many you know, what are your gifts assessments I’ve taken in my life.  But values, you don’t have to be good at it yet to know that it’s a value that’s important to you.

[00:14:31.755] – Teresa Porter

For example, one of mine that I identified as being something I was really important to me is resilience. And what I’ve been working with you about is, you know, there’s there’s a part of resilience where you celebrate accomplishments because you have reached a thing. So you’re celebrating it. That’s that’s that’s my part where I’m not so good at it. But it’s still a core value of mine.

[00:14:51.345] – Teresa Porter

So do you have to be good at all of your core values? Should you be good at them? Like, how do you know what the right answer is?

[00:15:00.675] – Kamini Wood

So I actually love that you ask that question, because the truth is the core values are what we’re growing into sometimes. You know, it’s like it’s the thing that makes us tickets, our operating system in our computer. Right. And from that place, we can still get better at it and get stronger at it and faster the processor can get faster. So they say it’s about recognizing that that’s just the thing in our spirit that makes us tick. Look, I know for a fact that resilience is one of your things.

[00:15:26.085] – Kamini Wood

And from there, as a matter of fact, I could probably venture as to my kids have worked with you and I’ve worked with you. Resilience is a value of your business because it’s about consistently I’m going to try something new. And when it doesn’t work, I it’s it’s the resilience factor. It’s OK. That didn’t work. But this these are the five things I learned from that. And so from there, I’m going to try it this way next time.

[00:15:50.265] – Teresa Porter

That’s great.  I mean, I think with resilience, it’s that it’s it’s resilience for me. And it’s letting loose of things that I were, mentalities that I had about being a perfectionist, you know. So resilience and perfectionism don’t always operate in the same sphere.

[00:16:06.045] – Teresa Porter

And so it’s been great to work with you specifically to identify that. And then once you have that value in mind, you have the thing that you’re you’re looking towards. And then the business perspective, you know, if if something that’s really important to you is integrity is your integrity, but you’re operating your business in a way that you’re letting people trespass all over your integrity, that’s going to lead to the feeling of being burnt out and over it and tired and just done with it.

[00:16:33.825] – Teresa Porter

So what do you do Kamini when you are feeling all those feelings and, you know, a value of yours is integrity and you know, you’re not quite doing it yet with your business and you’re feeling overwhelmed and tired, like what do you do first? Like if you were giving somebody a first step, if they were feeling that way, what would it be besides the obvious, which I’m going to say, which is call you besides the super obvious one.  OK, so we’ll take that one off the table. But besides that first step, what would you say?

[00:17:02.775] – Kamini Wood

I would ask the person to just slow down and say, what would it look like to add more, for instance, integrity? What would it look like if I were living with more integrity in my business? What would the boundary look like?

[00:17:14.535] – Teresa Porter

Yeah, so what would that how would that show up? You know, if if I feel like my values, integrity and it’s something that I’m struggling with in my business, what would it look like if I got to that place of being interesting? Because then it takes you to the conclusion and then you kind of backfill the process.

[00:17:32.755] – Kamini Wood

Yeah, exactly. The rules. Oh, that’s what it would look like. OK, so what’s one actionable step I can take now to live into that?

[00:17:40.365] – Teresa Porter

So what do you do to figure this out? Do you just like go, you know, sit in nature and talk to the trees for an hour and figure out your values?  Like what do you do? Do you do this over a martini, do you do this with a friend?  Do you just like lay in bed and cry or something? Like how do you how do you do this? Does it take a week, a day like quantify for me?

[00:18:01.995] – Kamini Wood

I think it’s different for different people in terms of the time it takes. I think really what I often say to people is it is time with yourself. I think so often we do want to say, hey, what do you think my values are? Friend, spouse, mother, father. And that’s the key that says, oh, wait, hold on. That’s their opinion. And the whole point of this exercise is to really, truly understand yourself.

[00:18:25.155] – Kamini Wood

So maybe it is sitting in nature. If that’s where you feel grounded, maybe it’s sitting in a Starbucks coffee store because, you know, you love your coffee and it’s just really where do you feel grounded when you feel like you can actually hear yourself and from that place starting to go through that process of, OK, what what is important to me when I read these words, which ones? You know, and it’s not to get it right the first time, it’s circle like twenty words and then go through those twenty words and whittle your way down to what are the five like it.

[00:18:55.065] – Teresa Porter

Like an eye test, which is more me A or B.  Which one do I see more clearly. I like that. I like that.

[00:19:02.295] – Teresa Porter

OK, so here’s the question though.  How do you, how do you handle it when people don’t like your boundaries or you’ve had a relationship, let’s say in a client relationship, you’ve had an ongoing relationship. Let’s take take the the common thing of cancellations.

[00:19:18.015] – Teresa Porter

Let’s say maybe you got in this pattern, you know, kind of happened slowly over time, but they became the person that kind of always cancels on you and then maybe you felt more OK canceling on them. And now it seems like every time you put an appointment for this person on your calendar, no one seems sure if they’re going to do it or not.

[00:19:33.855] – Teresa Porter

And now you have to assert your boundaries for the first time. So I guess it’s two part question. How do you do it for the first time when you haven’t done it before? And what do you do if they don’t like it?

[00:19:44.865] – Kamini Wood

 Two part answer. The first one is I often talk about using Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, which is presencing,  how you feel and you need what you feel, what you need, and then making a request to the other person. So with this particular client, for instance, if there’s been this pattern and practice of not keeping that boundary for cancellations, it’s really presenting them with statement. It’s you know, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and drawn out with my business as it is right now.

[00:20:11.505] – Kamini Wood

I’m really needing to start setting some parameters around appointments. Would it be possible for us to would it be possible for you give me 24 hours notice if you’re not going be able to make this appointment or whatever your parameter is? Right. So its presencing your feeling, your need in “I” statements and then making a request of the other person. So that’s my that’s my answer to the how.

[00:20:32.685] – Teresa Porter

Hold on, give my note taking nerds. . . I know you’re out there, fellow nerds give us that formula again. So what was the kind of the formula for stating your boundaries?

[00:20:39.225] – Kamini Wood

It’s presencing what you feel and what you need in “I”  statements. So I’m feeling X, I’m needing Y and then making a request of the other person. So it’s not a demand.

[00:20:52.665] – Kamini Wood

Well, especially with boundaries, right. If we haven’t been setting them, what we’re really recognizing is and that’s when it’s too important to have that conversation with self, it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m feeling burned out, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m feeling like I have no say in my own day. I’m feeling like the people are on my calendar and they’re not showing up and then stopping in that moment, not even with that person with yourself and saying, what do I need?I really need people to show up to their stinking appointment. I need, and you’ve presensed it for yourself, so you then say to the person, hey, so I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed with my business right now, I’m really needing to set some parameters. Right. So now you’re you’re positioning it with them? Yeah. I’m going to need to request a twenty four hour notice if if you’re not going to make this appointment.

[00:21:34.575] – Teresa Porter

That’s good, that’s good Word.  That’s a good word. OK, so what do you do when someone doesn’t like that? Because people don’t really like boundaries.  Right.  Right. And they don’t especially when we haven’t been setting them right in. It’s it’s presenting for yourself, you know. Whose responsibility is that? Is it my responsibility to take on their feelings? You know, we’re all allowed to have our own feelings. We’re all responsible for our own feelings. And so the big question to ask ourselves is, gee, what meaning am I making it of myself that they don’t like my boundaries and I’m making it mean that I’m bad or I’m wrong or I’m not good at my job and then we can challenge it. Well, what do I know to be true about myself?

[00:22:11.985] – Teresa Porter

I think that to me is the hard part, because when someone doesn’t like a boundary and they push back, my first reaction is, oh, they’re having big feelings. So I must be wrong. And that’s when it starts to fall apart. Because then you were like, well, I worked really hard to have this boundary and I’m stating it for the first time. And now I’m not getting a happy response. I’m getting a blowback from it. And now they don’t like me.  And oh my gosh, this is all falling apart. And May Day I’m jumping out of my boundaries.

[00:22:40.845] – Teresa Porter

How do you how do you even have the presence of mind to to say, OK, well, that’s a you issue. I mean, obviously, I know the answer from coaching, but how do you how do you handle that? 

[00:22:54.725] – Kamini Wood

Well, first of all, it’s a muscle that we have to build. Right? It’s like we don’t know how to do all the things like, you know, we don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon. It’s OK. I’ve got to start small and keep going. In the first day we start to run and we’re like, OK, that really hurts. I’m going to stop. And it’s just telling ourselves, OK, that that boundary didn’t feel so good, giving yourself a little bit of grace and actually saying, well.

[00:23:16.815] – Kamini Wood

I’m going to get better at setting these boundaries, I’m going to get better at communicating these boundaries. It’s also really slowing it down and saying and it really goes back to that question of is this me or is this? Then, you know, like you said, they’re having big feelings. Their big feelings. Don’t make you less of the photographer, less of whatever business you’re running. They’re their big feelings.

[00:23:38.015] – Teresa Porter

So we’re not really responsible. I think that was one of the pieces that that I picked up once I started working with you, and it’s something that’s so easy with kids.

[00:23:46.835] – Teresa Porter

Like, I don’t care. I don’t care if you want a popsicle, the answer is no.  And no is no is no. And I don’t care if you tell your little runny nose friends and you go tell your teacher and you go tell your Mimi, I do not care. I don’t care. But when it comes to clients. Oh, I care. I very much care. What if this fellow adult doesn’t like me? What if this person posts a negative review? What if they tell all their friends that I’m awful and then it cannibalizes my whole business and I lose everything because I set boundaries?

[00:24:14.675] – Teresa Porter

What do you say to somebody that has a fear like that? Because that is a very common fear.

[00:24:18.785] – Kamini Wood

It is a huge fear, especially that those of us running a business are totally petrified that we’re going to get that that negative review. And it’s asking ourselves, well, in that moment, you know, we don’t get to control if somebody decides to go off on their own and post a negative review. But we do get to to choose how we react to that situation. So especially when it comes to negative reviews, it’s, you know, recognizing I can stand up and say, well, actually what really happened was X, Y and Z, and then it’s up to others to actually read the whole story.

[00:24:46.235] – Kamini Wood

Again, we don’t get to control that. But does it does it serve us and our business in the long run by not setting those boundaries and just allowing people to run all over us? I mean, when you use the analogy of the children, it’s the same concept, right? If we just gave in to the Popsicle every single time and we had no boundaries before we know it, our kids are like never eating their vegetables and they’re only just ever eating popsicles.

[00:25:08.465] – Kamini Wood

And the reason why we don’t care about it’s like we care that their feelings are hurt. Obviously, by the same token, we don’t have we don’t internalize, for instance, with the children that we’re bad moms because we set a boundary and it’s really just presencing that in the terms of business. And I really a bad X, Y, Z, right? Am I really bad photographer, am I really a bad coach. I mean, really bad, you know, whatever small business owner because I set a boundary with somebody?  And if somebody were to set a negative, say, a negative review, it’s about recognizing, well, I have a choice on how I’m going to respond to that and I can respond to it.

[00:25:42.845] – Kamini Wood

I don’t have to just hide from it and internalize, oh, my gosh, I messed up. I was wrong.

[00:25:47.525] – Teresa Porter

What’s interesting, you say that about the bad mom thing because you actually kind of feel like a good mom when you’re like no to the popsicles, right? So you feel like a good mom and you’re like, no to the popsicles. And I am killing it at the mom game.

[00:25:59.045] – Teresa Porter

And then it can actually be the same thing in business because there are definitely been times when I stuck to a boundary or rule or something. And later I was like, man, good on me for sticking with it because that would have been awful.  Or you don’t even know what the fallout was going to be, but you’re just proud of yourself for holding on to that boundary. And I think, you know, we can extrapolate that feeling and parenthood of like, yeah, I’m a good mom because I said no to popsicles.

[00:26:26.015] – Teresa Porter

You can also be like, yeah, I’m a good business owner because I said no to, you know, someone who was undervaluing my work or or, you know, just wanting more from me than I was willing to give. That’s that’s really interesting.

[00:26:38.105] – Teresa Porter

So how do you how do you get back on your game if somebody kind of rocks you off of the your feel good, you know, how do you if you’ve set up a boundary for yourself or you’re feeling really burnt out and you have a client interaction that just knocks you on your ass for whatever reason, like how do you bounce back from that?  What do you say to people that are dealing with that?

[00:27:04.295] – Kamini Wood

Yeah, I really think this is somewhat tied into what you were even talking about with resilience, but it’s about really challenging the negative thoughts that are popping into your head about, you know what? When you think you’ve done something wrong or you were not in there, you were not good enough at whatever business you’re running. It’s challenging that thought and saying, is it really true that what I did was incorrect for my business, or is it more true that I showed up in in spades, really for myself in my business by setting that boundary?

[00:27:36.335] – Kamini Wood

This actually happened to me personally recently where, you know, somebody wanted to challenge the boundary I have about, you know, just not people who don’t show up for sessions. And they wanted to say, oh, but you should offer reschedule. And I was very clear and just, you know, I said to them, you know, we have these agreements at the very beginning and this was not an emergency. You’ve been showing up late and I’ve been letting it slide, so I had somewhat let my boundary slide a little bit in this time, I said, you know, I’m sorry, this this is the agreement that we had.

[00:28:09.905] – Kamini Wood

This is not a rescheduleable appointment. This one was was forfeited and they weren’t happy and they were frustrated with me. And I just very calmly, you know, took a step back, first of all, and asked myself in this situation, would you what what would I do? What would I expect? Like what would I be surprised if my doctor did the same thing? Absolutely not. This is just common place business. And so I was able to give myself that grace and then simply just continue to remain very calm with them.

[00:28:35.705] – Kamini Wood

It wasn’t about justifying or defending myself. It was simply saying this is the layout of the facts. This is what occurred. And by the end of it, they were like, OK, yeah, you’re right, sorry we missed our appointment. And that’s the key is not falling into justifying, arguing, defending or explaining ourselves, but simply standing in what we know to be true about ourselves and the decision that we made.

[00:28:57.395] – Teresa Porter

And just like you said, it can’t be arbitrary or if it is arbitrary, you just have to do a really good job of explaining it up front.  When we have rules with our kids, we can’t make them arbitrary or they say no, they call us on that one, can’t be arbitrary.  And, you know, it has to be reasoned out. And I think as business owners, make sure you understand why the rules and the guidelines and the boundaries that you have are the ones that you have. Make sure you know exactly why that is, because someone is going to question you on it.

[00:29:29.855] – Teresa Porter

And and photography, a lot of people will say, well, why won’t you just give me all the files? I don’t I don’t understand. Why can’t I just have all the digital files? I paid all this money. You know, I don’t want to pay for the the prints or the whatever, or I can get these prints cheaper from somewhere else. And I have to be comfortable enough to say, as you may remember, we have discussed this a few times and the sales side of me says, well, good news, the paper and ink is always free.  It is my photograph that costs money. And I can have that amazing boundary and those phrases around it because I’ve practiced it a lot. What do you do when you’re brand new and you have no idea what to even say to assert your boundary?

[00:30:16.205] – Teresa Porter

How do you like what are some key phrases we could use for us newbies?

[00:30:22.655] – Kamini Wood

Well, I think but I honestly think for newbies, one of the greatest tools that I’ve often suggested is to just write down, write down what the agreements are that you want to make with your client. And then it’s about at the very beginning of the relationship, setting time to go over those agreements and get their their buy in, because then you can do what you just said, which is, as you recall, we’ve had this conversation and I think newbies are still afraid to do that.

[00:30:49.805] – Kamini Wood

And it’s that’s that muscle that we’re building. If we just write them down from the get go for ourselves, we we we feel into them and say, yes, this is what this what is what feels good to me. And then we start from the very beginning, getting into that practice of stating those things with our our clients up front. It sets us up for success rather than having to run backwards. It feels like and say, wait, wait, wait, wait, no, no, no, I don’t want to do it that way.  I want to do it this way.

[00:31:14.525] – Teresa Porter

And you make you make you affirm in your statements, you know, having the background of knowing you back yourself up. That’s great.

[00:31:22.025] – Teresa Porter

OK, we’re going to we’re going to take a break right here. We’re going to be right back in a second to talk about how do you know you’re burnt out? How do I know I’m burnt out? What do I do when I’m feeling burnt out?  How do we get through it as business owners? Give me just a second and we will be right back.


All right, we’re back with Kamini Wood  we were just talking about having boundaries and business, the question I was getting ready to kick over to Kamini is how do you know you’re burnt out?

[00:31:53.915] – Teresa Porter

I feel like we think we know, but how do you really know your burnt out?

[00:31:59.495] – Kamini Wood

So I could go through a list of symptoms of burnout, if you really want me to, but the truth of the matter is, is it’s when we show up to our business or we show up to our work and we are spiraling in that place of negativity or we don’t really see what is possible or we feel that it’s a drag. You know, the things that we’re doing are dragging us down. Those are the really, honestly, those key performance indicators for business.  Those are the personal KPIs, like when we really are struggling to get into what it is that we know we’re passionate about. And then suddenly we’re just we’re lacking that focus. We’re lacking that intrinsic motivation. Those are some key indicators that something’s not going well, that we might be we might be on that edge of burnout. You know, when we start, we’ll start to feel it physically and then we start to feel it emotionally. And it’s really staying in tune with with what our body is telling us and what our mind is telling us.

[00:32:55.265] – Teresa Porter

And, you know, what really sucks about burnout is when you’re burnt out, you don’t have the energy to deal with being burnt out.  Like like I always love about the idea that sometimes I feel like I’m just going to schedule my mental breakdown. I’m going to be like, I have no time to have the mental breakdown I need to have so I can do it next Sunday.

[00:33:14.315] – Teresa Porter

I have a whole day. I can just let my mental health go to shit and then I’ll bounce back from it and we laugh. But I think that’s actually something a lot of people do, which is I can’t deal with this right now.  I just can’t deal with this right now because I’m so burnt out. What do you say to the person that is just they just can’t even they just can’t even cope. They’re done. They’re cooked.

[00:33:37.495] – Kamini Wood

Well, they’re done and they’re burnt out because they’ve been lacking control. You know, they’ve been feeling unseen in their own life. They’ve been feeling maybe what not part of a community. You know, they’ve been feeling just on work overload. Those are all contributing factors to burnout. So when those people are at that point where, like, I just I actually need to schedule this time, those are those moments to say, OK, where am I supporting structures?

[00:33:59.255] – Kamini Wood

First of all, where my supporting people, where are the people that I know that I can trust to be vulnerable with? You know, what about. So that’s your community. That’s your tribe. It’s about setting aside time to say what needs to get done versus what are the things that I’m just literally putting on my list that I could probably outsource to somebody else. You know, I might even taking time to see my own accomplishments. You know, really, it’s about, you know, part of what adds to burnout is the fact that we don’t feel sufficiently rewarded.

[00:34:28.955] – Kamini Wood

But the key question is, am I even rewarding myself? So when do I stop and say, holy crap, look at all that I’ve accomplished? You know, let’s let’s take a few minutes to just look back and say, wow, that’s a lot that I’ve accomplished. That’s a lot that I’ve gotten done. Yes, I have a laundry list of things I want to get done. But look at let me look back and see what I’ve what I’ve built for myself.

[00:34:48.155] – Kamini Wood

I think a lot of small business owners forget to do that and they just keep going and keep going and keep going. And then they they face that they face that burnout, which is that lack of boundary. Right. It’s that lack of boundary of I need I need time to turn off. At the end of the day, I need to know that at whatever time I set for myself, for the end of my day, I’m not going to get on my phone and respond to a client client emails because they’re still going to be there in the morning.

[00:35:10.685] – Kamini Wood

And the truth of the matter is, and this has happened to me where I’ve kicked myself. So I’m like, oh, my gosh, I didn’t respond to somebody. And they went in, they found another coach. Well, then you have to recognize that they weren’t the person for you anyway. And there’s plenty other people who need support photographers. There’s plenty other people who are going to need beautiful pictures and beautiful photographs taken. It’s just recognizing that you don’t have to be everything to everyone and you can’t be if you don’t take care of yourself.

[00:35:36.305] – Kamini Wood

It’s really important to take that time for yourself. I call it being self full, not selfish, and filling yourself up so that you can show up and you can do the things for the the clients that you have. You can serve them in the best way possible.

[00:35:49.535] – Teresa Porter

You know what’s interesting is I, I hear all these things and then I try to put them through the lens of, you know, not ten years into it where I’m financially stable in my business.  I have a good identity over what we do.  I could sit here and explain what makes me different. And, you know, I’ve navigated many of the problem situations. I feel pretty good about, you know, setting up my boundaries.

[00:36:15.335] – Teresa Porter

But if I think back to year one or year or two early in business boundary, having boundaries almost seems laughable. Like having boundaries almost seems like the way to screw up your business, because I think we’re so many times we’re told as entrepreneurs, you have to stay hungry.  You have to chase every lead.  You have to constantly be listening to books on tape about business and going to networking events. And, you know, we sometimes lead ourselves into our own burnout.  But what do you think? That there are differences and boundaries in year one versus year 10 and business?

[00:36:49.415] – Teresa Porter

This is a trick question, I think. I don’t know if this is a trick question.

[00:36:52.475] – Kamini Wood

You know, it kind of sounds like a trick question.

[00:36:55.805] – Kamini Wood

But I think these the boundaries may shift. But they’re basically the basis of them, the foundation of them is really kind of the same, you know, because at the end of the day, our boundaries are set for our own, our own, our own well-being and the well-being of our business. So ultimately, the boundary is the same, the foundation is the same. The boundary may look ever so slightly different, which I think is how we evolved even as people rights like in the 90s.  We like certain music, but not now. Right.

[00:37:30.415] – Teresa Porter

I wouldn’t know.  I’m kidding.  I’d totally know.


It’s the same concept where, you know, yes, as in business for a decade, you might have slightly different boundaries around things like what your email response time is as basic as that may be versus so when you’re first starting out, maybe your email response time is I do have a boundary around email response time. If you send me an email after five pm, I’ll get back to it by eight a.m. the next day. Versus if you’ve been in business for a decade, totally different place.

[00:37:56.855] – Kamini Wood

Maybe it’s if you send me an email, you know, I will respond within 24 to 48 hours. Same concept, though. It’s just you’re in a different place in introspecting where you are in that current moment.

[00:38:08.255] – Teresa Porter

I talk a lot about to myself, I guess, about like my spare tire strategy, which I use as a way of explaining how sometimes you make exceptions, but your exceptions can’t be all the time and you have to know they’re not going to get you to your goal.  So, you know, I think of year one in business as a throw on the spare tire.

[00:38:28.025] – Teresa Porter

Listen, if you can’t eat like screw your boundaries, get a job, right.

[00:38:33.515] – Teresa Porter

Like seal the deal, you know, now is not the time to say, oh, I can’t meet your expectation because I have a boundary about not working on Saturdays if you need to eat work on that Saturday girl. But I think of that as a spare tire. You know, throw it on the car, make sure you get to your next destination. Just know you’re not getting there fast and you can’t keep driving around with a spare tire on your car.  And so I think I think that’s kind of what you’re saying, too.  It’s it’s not necessarily that your end goals change or your fundamental structure of how you run your business changes. It’s just sometimes you have to be strategic.

[00:39:10.055] – Kamini Wood

Right? Right.

[00:39:12.905] – Kamini Wood

And I actually I really love that analogy because what that’s really living into is being mindful and present. Right. Like in this moment right now, I’m I need to put food on the table. So today I’m going to give myself permission that that boundary is going to shift ever so slightly. And I will work on Saturday. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up that boundary forever and always. It means for today I’m moving it for right now.

[00:39:34.895] – Teresa Porter

What do you think about going on? You know, Facebook, business groups or I imagine coaches have their own coaching crew.  I don’t know photographers do. We have our own little Facebook pages where we we get on there and we rant about clients or we say, oh, this thing is happening or this thing is happening.

[00:39:52.475] – Teresa Porter

Do you take any advice from places like that or do you seek that advice in other places?

[00:39:59.345] – Kamini Wood

I do. I think that that’s part of community, right? It’s about building a tribe that you feel where you can be held safe and feel that trust. But then it’s always at your own discretion and discernment, meaning those groups can also be fodder for comparison. And oh my gosh, I’m doing this wrong and it’s catching yourself in this moment. Does this work for me? Just because somebody suggests something doesn’t mean it’s the right advice for you. That’s when the self check in has to happen, just like boundaries.

[00:40:29.465] – Kamini Wood

Is this boundary something that would work for me? Just because Teresa has it doesn’t mean that it’s the right one for me. And so it’s it’s really recognizing people are going to offer suggestions and then you have the autonomy to decide what will work for you.

[00:40:42.095] – Teresa Porter

And your business is great. All right. My last question for you is what? Give us the disaster scenario here, OK?  We’re going to we’re going to crash the plane and then we’re going to rescue everybody. All right?  We’re going to we’re going to crash them and then we’re going to rescue them. All right.

[00:40:58.715] – Kamini Wood

So what what is the fallout, in your opinion, when we don’t have boundaries, both in business and in personal?

[00:41:08.255] – Kamini Wood

We overfunctioning over give is the biggest fallout that happens.

[00:41:12.155] – Teresa Porter

And I’m going to pause you there.

[00:41:14.195] – Teresa Porter

Did you guys hear that? We we overfunctioning we over give when when we don’t have good boundaries. OK, keep going. That’s so good.

[00:41:23.435] – Kamini Wood

And when we do that we lose our sense of self and when we lose ourselves we don’t have our business and we don’t have ourselves. We’re living to somebody else’s standard. We’re living in somebody else’s expectation. And it’s about being really self sourced, really being our own self leader. And so that’s the biggest fallout that happens when we don’t set our boundaries.

[00:41:42.905] – Teresa Porter

Yeah, it’s like your business isn’t your business. If you’re constantly trading in your values, your values and your boundaries, it’s not yours anymore.

[00:41:50.105] – Teresa Porter

And that’s why you get pissed off and tired. Well, wasn’t that exciting. All right, guys, give me just a second. We’re going to be right back. With Kamini, we’re going to talk a little bit about what she does with coaching. Hang tight. We’ll be right back.

[00:42:10.575] – Teresa Porter

And we’re back with Kamini we just finished talking about, OK, we crashed the plane a little bit, y’all, we were talking about what happens when you don’t have good boundaries.

[00:42:19.815] – Teresa Porter

And I think what we landed on is your business is not your business. Your life is not your own. If you’re constantly giving yourself over to what other people want and expect of you and not having boundaries for yourself. Whoo! All right, coming, this is the part where you tell the truth, am I your favorite coaching client?

[00:42:38.005] – Kamini Wood

Of course

[00:42:39.825] – Teresa Porter

a little louder this time Kamini

[00:42:42.015] – Kamini Wood

of course!

[00:42:45.255] – Teresa Porter

So we joke and we have this fantastic relationship. I’ve known Kamini for a while. And you know what’s crazy? I, I talked a little bit about this before. I don’t think that I knew.

[00:42:56.705] – Teresa Porter

I needed a coach, I think I just called you and was like, hey, so here’s some things I don’t know, let’s figure it out. And it wasn’t even that I knew where I was going or knew what I was missing or didn’t have. It was I just had this vague sense of like, well, this isn’t it.

[00:43:14.795] – Teresa Porter

Like, this isn’t this isn’t enough. What do people reach out to you for, for the first time? Like, is everybody super awkward when they call you for the first time? Like, I don’t know. I mean, the problem might be I don’t know, like, are people awkward when they first call you?

[00:43:29.345] – Kamini Wood

A lot of people are just feeling either stuck they’re, feeling like they are just on autopilot and not truly engaged in their life. And others are recognizing that they are in this process of overfunctioning, like they totally lost who they are. They they recognize that they’re people pleasers and they recognize that they’re trying to consistently live up to the next achievement and never truly engaged in their their current life. And what we really work on is recognizing that that’s all those false identities that we acquired when we were younger.

[00:44:02.825] – Kamini Wood

And a lot of people will say, oh, I don’t know, Kamini, I might need therapy, I might need coaching. And the real difference that I’ve often talked about is I think both. First of all, I am a believer in both therapy and coaching. I don’t think one is better than the other. I think they each have their place. My approach to coaching is it’s all about how do we get you to be generative?

[00:44:22.235] – Kamini Wood

We are no longer going to sit in reactivity. Yes, we understand the messages of the past. What false center, what false belief might we be carrying? So for me personally, because I mean, honestly, like we all have them. And so mine was I’m not good enough. I need to prove my worth to others. I need to please them when we can recognize that it’s not my coaching is not centrered on talking about that and reacting to it.

[00:44:44.105] – Kamini Wood

It’s about, oh, that’s what that is now with this newfound awareness and this newfound acceptance, not that it’s bad or judging it, it’s just acceptance that it is. What’s the aligned action I want to take? How do I now become generative in my own life? How do I self source my self worth? How do I truly become my own self leader? How do I recognize that, you know, in order to move forward in my business, for instance, I need to truly understand and myself, see myself understand my worth, recognize my voice matters.

[00:45:15.845] – Kamini Wood

All of those things are the foundation. And so that’s the work that I do with my clients. A lot of times they don’t they don’t come to me knowing that that’s what they need. It’s an evolutionary process. It’s like, oh, you’re feeling stuck here. Wonderful. Now we get to be archaeologists and we can dig around a little bit and pick and prod. Oh, that’s where that came from. Now let’s figure out what we want to live into.

[00:45:37.175] – Kamini Wood

What’s the vision? What’s the decision that we’re going to make together and the commitment in order to live into this vision?

[00:45:42.875] – Teresa Porter

And having been through it, I can say what’s blows my mind is how many times we come back to these same things. And these are these things in my life that I kept saying, oh, that’s just who I am. Like, that’s just who I that’s just who I am. I’ve always been that way. That’s just me.

[00:45:57.605] – Teresa Porter

And what was difficult for me as somebody who felt successful, I felt accomplished. I felt like things were going pretty good. I was almost worried to mess with it, because what if my anxiety is what makes me awesome? What if being a people pleaser is why I’m great at what I do?

[00:46:18.325] – Teresa Porter

Like, I maybe I shouldn’t fix those things, or maybe that’s what makes me great, you know, these these weird things in my personality.

[00:46:26.365] – Kamini Wood

And I think what surprised me the most is I had so much more I could do once I got over that hump, you know, once I got just got into a different headspace about things. And it is a beautiful thing to be able to sit there and go, OK, well, that’s on you.

[00:46:42.715] – Teresa Porter

That’s on you, boo. Because that is a totally new thought process in my life. I always wanted to predict and anticipate everybody’s problem or what I could do to fix it. And I felt like that made me a successful person in business. But what I found was that actually was kind of the Achilles heel. I could still be somebody who cared a lot and I could still be all those things that made me successful. In fact, I can probably be them better because I am more connected to what I myself need instead of always thinking about what other people need.

[00:47:15.345] – Teresa Porter

How long do you have to get coaching, is it like therapy, I’m going to be in it like the rest of my life. I might be, actually, because I’m enjoying it. So you’re stuck.

[00:47:26.085] – Kamini Wood

Well, it’s really interesting.

[00:47:27.705] – Kamini Wood

Most of my clients will end up working with me between three to six months just because it’s not like therapy. Again, we’re being generative. We’re really setting goals and visions and are living into them. Now, having said that, there are some people who are like, oh, we’re human, right? We’re like onions. We’ve got different layers. It’s like, oh, we’ve peeled that layer. This feels really good. I’m really seeing a lot of movement here.

[00:47:47.235] – Kamini Wood

Oh, Kamini can we work on this now, too? So, for instance, I’ve had people where you’re working on things like self-confidence and how do I really see myself and and understand myself? They move forward in their their business world and then they realize, oh, wow, I’m having some of the same issues in relationships. So we start going through the relationship stuff. So I’ve had some clients who stick with me for a little while.

[00:48:09.345] – Kamini Wood

There’s no judgment, but most of them are about the three to six month process that that container of time.

[00:48:17.595] – Teresa Porter

That’s awesome.

[00:48:18.285] – Teresa Porter

And I’m going to do the plug because Kamini is not in sales, so I’m going to do it for her and just tell you guys she is absolutely amazing.

[00:48:25.725] – Teresa Porter

If you need coaching, if you’re feeling that feeling of just being struck or honest to goodness, if you’re listening to this right now and you’re like, huh, I don’t know, I might need a coach.

[00:48:34.515] – Teresa Porter

Yeah, girl, you do. You do. That’s why you’re thinking that right now. That’s why you’re thinking like, oh, I might need a coach. It’s because you do. It’s like when your body’s like, oh, you might need to eat a salad for dinner. Right. It’s because you need some vegetables. Your body needs something other than French fries. I don’t know if that’s really the plug that I should have given you there Kamini, but it’s amazing.

[00:48:55.485] – Teresa Porter

And you don’t have to be local to our area here in Raleigh, North Carolina.

[00:48:59.475] – Teresa Porter

She does coaching over the phone. You can do it over Zoom. She is available and she is phenomenal. So if you’re somebody that’s thinking about these things, listen, I’ve gotten her acclimated to all my crazy. So whatever you bring in, she can handle it. That’s what I’m going to say.

[00:49:14.475] – Teresa Porter

So let’s round out Kamini.  Any final thoughts like Jerry Springer? Any any closing thoughts on Jerry Springer?

[00:49:24.735] – Kamini Wood

Jerry Springer? Well, it’s sort of my closing thought that I just I love to leave people with, which is that relationship with self is the most important relationship you have. And so when we tie that into boundaries, it’s the equivalent of that right to the relationship we have with ourself. And the boundaries we set are what set us up for, you know, that success and happiness as we want it.

[00:49:48.315] – Teresa Porter

Yeah, absolutely. So how do they reach out to you? How can they track you down and stalk you on the Internet?

[00:49:54.315] – Kamini Wood

Yes,  in an appropriate way. People can stalk me at KaminiWood.com.  I’m also on Facebook. So feel free to send me a direct message there and then I’m on Instagram. The handle there is It’sAuthenticMe

[00:50:09.045] – Teresa Porter


[00:50:09.495] – Teresa Porter

And Kamini is spelled K-A-M-I-N-I and that is Kamini.

[00:50:15.225] – Teresa Porter

I, of course, am Teresa Porter of teresaporter.com, your friend, your sassy, wacky neighbor, your compassionate journeysmen on the trip with you.

[00:50:28.695] – Teresa Porter

Listen, if you are a small business owner and you need a squad, you need some people to talk these things out with.

[00:50:34.275] – Teresa Porter

If you are anxious and overwhelmed, we are your people for sure. And we’re over on our Facebook group at Business Mastery with Teresa Porter. That’s where we are on Facebook. Of course, you can always find my brilliant thoughts on TeresaPorter.com. That’s T-E-R-E-S-A-  Porter. If you can’t spell that. Bless you.

[00:50:54.525] – Teresa Porter

I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your day. Hey, and listen, next week’s topic. We’re going to be talking Kamini. I didn’t tell you this one. Next week’s topic. I have finished a blog post about why telling people to be themselves is trash advice.


So I don’t know if I’m going to get her seal of approval on that one, but I do make a very compelling argument. So next week, we’re talking about the advice to be yourself and what we really need to do instead of focusing on that. So you guys hang with us. Thanks so much for joining us. For your big small business. Have a good rest of your day.