About the Episode

Last week on the show we introduced our newest series, Mindset Myths, where we’re breaking down some of the biggest myths that we are constantly taught as online business owners.

We started with the idea that nothing can grow in our comfort zones, and today we’re going to talk about how boundaries have been weaponised in the online space, how people use them to shirk their responsibilities, and then how we can actually honor our boundaries in a healthy and mindfully productive way.

Please know that setting boundaries isn’t always easy to do and it’s important to believe that whatever journey you’re currently on is the right one.

Have a myth that you want discussed on the show? Head on over to Instagram and send me a message!

Topics discussed in episode #68

Topics Discussed:

  • How boundaries and alignment have been weaponised in the online space (free and paid)
  • The way these mindset myths are keeping us trapped in the current season of our businesses 
  • Knowing the difference between upholding your boundaries and shirking responsibilities
  • How to set healthy boundaries with your work, your clients, and your team 
  • Overcoming the fear of hard conversations and changing the way you work with clients 
  • An example of the boundaries that we can set with ourselves


Connect with Melanie here:


*This is a raw and unedited transcript.

Melanie Knights (00:00):

Hey Outlaws. Welcome to episode 68. This is gonna be another mini mindset myth episode. We are continuing on from last week. Last week, we talked all about comfort zones and I shared with you how I've started to reframe the idea that nothing grows within our comfort zone. So if you haven't listened to the episode, make sure you go to check out. I share with you how to reframe it, how I really visualize my comfort zone and some of the ways in which we can stay comfortable during these really uncertain times today, we're gonna talk all about boundaries. This again, came up when I reached out to the outlook community and said, guys, tell me, which of these mindset myths or cliches really you off? Where, when are you? Like I am rolling my eyes. What is just a major turnoff? And one of these, one of these wonderful people who listens to the show and is hanging out with me over on Instagram, she reached out and said, boundaries, boundaries, and alignment, especially when people use it in a way that kind of shirts them from responsibility.

Melanie Knights (01:05):

And I was like, yep. Yep, yep. I agree. 100%. So today we're gonna talk about boundaries. We're gonna talk about some of the ways in which it's been weaponized in the online space, how it does just that, how people have used it to kind of share themselves the responsibilities and experience and ways in which I've experienced the, this, especially in Facebook groups, group communities, and online spaces. And also then looking at ways in which we can honor our boundaries. And I want to caveat this episode by saying, look, I I'm telling you this from experience of how I have created boundaries. There are of course, people out there who have written books on boundaries. I know that some of you have probably read these books. I know I've seen you guys share them on Instagram, things like that. So please just please know that whatever journey you are on is the right journey and setting boundaries is not always easy to do.

Melanie Knights (01:58):

Especially with people who are, you know, maybe family members or loved ones, people who really benefit from you not having boundaries, but we're gonna talk about boundaries specifically around business today. So boundaries with clients, boundaries, with things like our tasks and our time and our inboxes and all those kinds of things. But of course, first, we're gonna talk about some of the ways in which they've been really weapon and how we can make sure we're avoiding that. And especially, you know, I wanna raise the awareness of this so that if you see it in the online space, you kind of have your little red flag down and you can be like, mm, this isn't something I wanna play with. So yeah, that's what we're gonna get into on today's episode. I feel I'd give you like a little Mindy life updates as well.

Melanie Knights (02:44):

I mean, I don't know if you really give a about what's going on in my life. I mean, it's midway through March. I have just been to my first country music concert in over two years. It's, it's surreal to think that these tickets I purchased in 2019 and was so excited to go in 2020, I had my root mapped out. I knew who I was gonna go see, I knew where I was gonna go. And it was literally the day before, maybe the day of America shut down and all the artists were told you better fly back home. Otherwise you're not gonna be allowed in the country. And that was that and the show got canceled and yeah, then, well the last two years of just being a whirlwind, but I held onto my tickets and yeah, I will, I will definitely share more about it on Instagram, but definitely surreal is the, is the way I would describe it and a very different experience to what it would've been a couple of years ago. Definitely parts of it. I appreciated more, definitely tried to make sure I was safe all times. But also nice that I could listen to live music again. Anyway, let's get into today's episode.

Melanie Knights (04:15):

Okay. Outlaws. So today we are talking about boundaries. So let's talk about some of these ways in which boundaries have been kind of weaponized how this, how these boundaries and alignment are allowing people to share their responsibilities. So what do we mean by responsibilities? Well, for my experience, this really looks like online communities, groups, and spaces like that. And some of them are even paid spaces, spaces that aren't, you know, they're not cheap, they're real big investments. Even for coaching programs, I'm talking hundreds or thousands of dollars. And what can tend to happen is in the name of creating boundaries, the person that you, the consumer are kind of investing into doesn't really have any presence within the community. They don't really have any presence than the group or the program. And I've had so many people tell me this kind of firsthand. And, and ironically, it's in a lot of mindset groups, which I find really, I mean, maybe it's not so ironic, but it's definitely in these manifestation groups, these mindset groups, these places where they can use the idea of us setting boundaries as a way of them basically avoiding being in the group.

Melanie Knights (05:31):

And instead they hire people to support them. Now, look, there's nothing wrong with having support in groups. There's nothing wrong with people. Having community members and community teams. Absolutely. There is a difference between having support big communities and having people who are kind of cheerleaders and really, you know, reach out and answer questions and kind of front and center in the community. But when it comes to the actual content being provided that someone is paid for personally, I feel like that should be delivered by the person you're investing in, especially when so much of this online business stuff, we invest in the person we invest in what they have experienced. We're investing in their story, their strategy, their frameworks. And so if they have created these things, it feels really

Melanie Knights (06:39):

Disingenuine to then not have that person be front and center in the community and within the work. So this is just one of the ways I have seen the idea of creating boundaries, really weaponized and used as a way of not actually being present inside a program that people have invested a lot of money into. Now, unfortunately, the same thing that tends to happen. We've talked about this before on the show as well in these communities, is that when you maybe challenge it or ask you a refund or say, Hey, this isn't what I wanted. I thought that this person would be more present, more available. This is not what I expected. You often get shut down. Now you could be Nord. You could be told that you can't have a refund that you haven't done the work. I remember, I remember a few years ago being coached by people who used these tactics, you know, so you would have these like money back guarantees, but it was actually a load of.

Melanie Knights (07:36):

There was actually no guarantee anyone was gonna get their money back. And the entire premise was that you were only gonna get your money back. If you could prove that you've done the work because they believed if you did the work, you were gonna get results. Let me tell you that is not always true. There is, there is not this definitive line that says, if you do this work, you're gonna get results because I spent years doing mindset work in the same areas. And I struggled so much. And I was constantly told that it was me, that it was my fault that I just had all these limiting beliefs that I was doing it wrong, that I was doing it the wrong way that I was trying too hard that I was forcing it. I'm like, I'm forcing it, cuz you are telling me, this is the thing that's holding me back.

Melanie Knights (08:20):

And if this is the thing that's holding me back, this is the only thing that's stopping me from growing my business, spoiler layer wasn't. But if it had been surely, this would be the place to give all my attention to. And every time I tried that and every time I didn't work, I got kind of a baiting switch and told that it was something else, right? So it was really manipulative. It was really, really ugly and messy. And so glad I escaped that, but it still continues to happen this to this day in online business, there are still many, many businesses who are using these types of mindset, myths to keep us trapped. And when we challenge the person who is kind of the, at the center of it, the person who's kind of been put on this pedestal, oftentimes boundaries and their time are used as reasons why they're not as present.

Melanie Knights (09:10):

And look, I am not saying that we shouldn't have boundaries. We're gonna get to that in a minute because I have a lot of boundaries in my business and in my personal life, I really believe that having boundaries with clients, with customers, with your time, with your loved ones, with, even with your kids, like these things are really important. Even having boundaries with myself. But at the same time, we need to make sure that we are, you know, setting boundaries that are in line with our values. That don't mean that we are not doing the work that we promised we were going to do or the work that we set out or that it stops us from being able to really honor any of those commitments that we've made, especially to paying clients or customers. Can you change our mind? Absolutely. There is. There are nuance is right. There is. There are times when we are allowed to turn around and say, you know what, guys, I'm really struggling this week that cool. I said, we were gonna do, I'm gonna have to push it back, but there's nothing wrong with that. But when it happens every time or when you've paid thousands of dollars to be in a coaching program and that coach doesn't show up, then we have problems, right? We have problems when the coach is ignoring your calls or

Melanie Knights (10:28):

I'm just recording a podcast. I'm gonna close the door.

Melanie Knights (10:44):

When the coach doesn't honor their side of the commitment or when the coach starts to not offer refunds in places where they really should be. Now, of course, I think that there is a lot dishonesty in some of the, these places. And I think these, again, a lot of experiences, whether it's free or paid, we don't want to be using our boundaries as a way to ignore responsibility and not take responsibility for something that we have committed to at the same time. Yes, there are gonna be in instances of situations where we need to step back or slow down or change things. But I think it comes from being honest and transparent with the people who are invested, whether it's free or paid and really allowing them to then make a decision when we start to hold back information or when we stop and we ignore people or don't respond, that's when it becomes a real issue.

Melanie Knights (11:35):

So when it comes to saying boundaries within our bit businesses, there are so many different ways in which we can set those boundaries. As I said, at the beginning, we're gonna focus really on professional boundaries, but those boundaries can look like boundaries with clients or customers, boundaries with your team or your time, your inbox tasks and all those kinds of things. We've all experienced those times where we probably let our boundaries completely go down and we end up finding that we are really allowing people too much of our time. I know that I've done that with clients and I've done that with my team. I've even done it with my personal life. You know, you have those times where really you are in the midst of conversations with people and it just ends up getting out hand that you realize that you've maybe missed an entire day or you haven't really been doing any work cuz you spent the entire time on Voxer or in WhatsApp or even in your inbox.

Melanie Knights (12:26):

And I've had clients who have really pushed those boundaries. I've had clients who have really challenged me and expect a everything done and everything dropped immediately. Even friends of mine who still run agency based businesses, where you have clients who are expecting you to do their work every single day. Now that could be their expectation, but we need to manage that expectation. And we also need to make sure that we put those boundaries in place and there's nothing wrong with tiny those boundaries. And as the saying goes, the only people that are gonna be upset by you, Ukraine boundaries are the people who didn't like the people who didn't want you to have them in the first place. That is not the saying, but you get by drift. So really when we create these boundaries, we wanna be coming at this from a place of value, really coming at place from our own values and making sure that we are setting boundaries are in an alignment with what we are looking to achieve.

Melanie Knights (13:17):

So for example, in 2021, at the beginning of that year, I had set out to start a mastermind, a community, a mentoring program. And one of the reason, one of the ways in which I kind of looked at this was by setting tighter boundaries with my clients. So I had a couple of that. I was still working with. I knew that I wanted to publish my outlaw channel and I also wanted to create this program. And so I had to tighten some boundaries. And so as we headed into the new year, I reached out to my client and explained to her exactly how we were gonna be shifting the way we work. Now, these, this was to give me more time, but I could see how I was allowing things to really just become very, very vague. I was allowing boundaries to drop. At certain times I was far too available and I wanted to change that.

Melanie Knights (14:07):

So I laid out a plan. I explained how we were gonna slowly go through the shift, how I was gonna be which days I was gonna be worth keen, the kind of turnaround she could expect to hear from me or my team. And this was really the way I started to create better boundaries within my business. Let me be clear. It's really scary. It's really scary telling someone who is paying you money. Hey, I'm changing the way I work. Of course we can position it in a way that's going to benefit them. And at the end of the day, it is going to benefit them. Because especially when you're having this relationship with a client in a done for you service kind of environment, the, the boundaries that we create are going to allow us to feel more rested. They're going to allow us to actually switch off and take the time to do the work that we are supposed to be doing.

Melanie Knights (14:54):

Not constantly checking slack or Voxer or click up or whatever it is. And I know that for myself as a, as a leader, I sometimes forget people are on different time zones and I'll have this thought on a Saturday morning and I'm like, Hey, we need to do that. And I'll send the message. And I forget that it's not a working day or that it's a Saturday morning. And so I have communicated with my team. If you ever get a message from me and it's like, your morning, your evening, or your weekend, please just ignore me until the next working day, because I will forget. And I will make sure that I don't respond in, you know, the early hours of the more late in the evening or on weekends. And the reason I won't respond is because I wanna set that as an example and say, Hey, you know what?

Melanie Knights (15:38):

I'm not available during this time. If you've ever emailed me or if I've ever emailed you, you know that in my email signature, I actually have a little blurb at the bottom of my signature that says, I only check my once a day and I will respond to you in a timely manner. I do not give you a timeframe. I don't tell you how long I'm gonna respond. Cuz it will differ. It will differ from day to day. If my inbox is empty and you send me an email, I'll respond. But if my inbox is really crazy or I have other stuff going on and an email is not a priority for me, I gonna be spending time working on my creativity, working with my paid clients, depends on what the email is, right? So I just wanna show you that there are different ways that we can set these boundaries and it doesn't have to be really big.

Melanie Knights (16:24):

It doesn't have to be scary. It might feel uncomfortable, right? Especially if you're like me and you're a people please that it is gonna feel uncomfortable telling somebody, Hey, I'm putting these boundaries in play is, and this is when you know, this is how you can contact me. This is when you can expect a response. These things are not always comfortable to do, but they really do help us to understand the ways in which we work. They help us to not necessarily even call back time, but it does help us to stay focused because if we constantly have alerts and alarms notifications pinging throughout the day, they disrupt our focus. And this is why it's so great to have these boundaries in place and know that if somebody does send you a box message, but it's during a time where you don't respond, okay, you'll respond later in the day.

Melanie Knights (17:10):

And everyone does this in a different way. I've worked with people who do all their messages. First thing in the morning, I've worked with people who do them once a day, maybe once a week. It really depends on your business and the commitments that you have made with your customers and your clients. Now let's talk a little bit about the kind of boundaries that we can set with ourselves, because I know that this can be a really big one and I have to do this in terms of like my creativity, because you guys know I've talked about this before. I love being creative. If you follow on me, Instagram, you see me sharing more and more of this work, you know, between pen paling and journaling and planning and junk books and scrap books and just playing around with like sticker designs and all those kinds of things.

Melanie Knights (17:52):

I love being creative and I have spent many, many days journaling writing about how this is what I wanna do in my business. You know, at the end of the day, I wanna get to the point where all I'm doing is being creative in my business. I don't know if it looks like full time I artistry, but it looks like full time running products product based business and stickers, sticker sheets that go with my planners and my journals. And that's what I wanna be doing now. That's not where I'm at right now in my business, right. That's not going to pay my bills. So right now in my business, I am doing freelance work. I have clients. And because of that, I can't spend all my time being creative. And so I've had to create boundaries with my creativity and with myself, because if I spend too much time, if I have the time and the space and I spend a lot of time being creative, I can get really tired, really fatigued.

Melanie Knights (18:44):

And what happens is I then don't wanna do anything else. So I try to set boundaries. I kind of use the, my creativity as something I do every day in little pieces, but I try to make sure it's almost like, Hey, do climb work fast because I know that's when I'm gonna be more, more alert, more productive, get that done. And then I can kind of reward myself with those creative projects. And so that's just an example of how I kind of create boundaries with myself because it's really easy for me to be like, no, no, it's fine. I'm just gonna be creative. I'm just gonna journal. And like four hours go by and I've not done any work. So I need to make sure that I create those boundaries with myself. And I do that by, you know, it's like a conscious thing now I've kind of realized, I noticed it through journaling, funnily enough, that this was happening.

Melanie Knights (19:29):

I couldn't work out why I was feeling so too hired. And so after realizing that I started to put these boundaries in place and I kind of, I used my copy planning by the moon. Of course. I used that to lay out in the week. Okay. When am I gonna be productive? And if you ever used a copy of planning by the moon, or if you haven't every day, there is a little spread and it's called the have need one list. So literally asks you, what is it? What is something that you have to do today? What is something you need to do today? And what is something that you want to do today? And then you can fill that in every day. And I recommend most people just write in one thing and usually my creativity or creative projects, usually in the need and want, right?

Melanie Knights (20:08):

So usually the have to is gonna be client work. That's something I, I have to do most days, but my needs and wants, tend to shift and evolve and E and flow. But most days my creative projects are gonna fall into that category. So when it comes to setting boundaries, let's just kind of take a recap. There's nothing wrong with setting boundaries. Boundaries are beautiful. Boundaries are the new consider. I love boundaries. I think boundaries look good on all of us, but as business owners, as content creators, as community facilitators, it's so important that we use our boundaries for really positive things that we use our boundaries to help us manage our time and our energy. We can create boundaries and set really great examples as leaders for other people, but really be cautious of using your boundaries to avoid any responsibility. And I don't think anyone listening is even remotely falling into that category, but you've probably experienced this.

Melanie Knights (21:04):

You've either invested in programs or, or groups where this happens, or perhaps you've been taught to, like, I have you, I had been taught to use this kind of manipulation. And so, you know, just red flag out whenever we see that and remember that you can create boundaries in these different ways within your business, by, you know, recognizing what it is that you want to achieve of how it is that you are maybe being distracted. And I know that for me, I have had those times, as I said earlier, where my weeks just seem to be disappearing. And I, I, what I do is I sit down with my journal. I'm like, what is going on? Where is my time going? And that's why it's really important for me to kind of do that self inquiry work on a daily basis and be in that self audit mode, because it allows me to recognize what's happened this week.

Melanie Knights (21:52):

Is this something that always happens or is this something that's just like a fluke? You know, maybe I just had a week where I clearly needed to chat with friends, but that also meant that I didn't get as much done. Is that something that I can kind of manage so that I have time to chat with friends because you know, I'm a talker. And so sometimes those conversations can be like 7, 10, 15 minutes back and forth. Well, that's like half an hour, so that's beautiful and it's wonderful, but you need to think about it and create those boundaries around your time. And it's okay to say, you know, it's okay to not respond straight away. The first thing, especially when it's like a personal relationship. And I think that that's really important to have those kinds of relationships where even if I don't think it's okay for somebody to get annoyed with you for not responding immediately, right.

Melanie Knights (22:43):

For not responding to a message straight away. I think that I know that people have different is this for me personally, I am somebody who has had to work really hard to allow messages, to be left unread and allow messages to go for a few days before being replied to. And I think, again, we all have different expectations of that, but personally, that's something I've had to work really hard on. And I have to also then remember to respond. So it goes both ways, but I hope this episode has been really helpful. I know it's a shorter episode than we've been doing next week's episode. We are gonna be talking about hustle culture specifically. I've got a few, like I'm gonna use them, I'm using air quotes, but I'm gonna call them girlbos quotes. I literally went on Pinterest, which I do frequently when I'm like, what do I wanna talk about in the podcast?

Melanie Knights (23:33):

And I'll go on Pinterest and I'll just search things. And I'm like that me off. We need to talk about that. So next week on this mindset myths episode, we're gonna be talking about this hustle culture, these kind of girl, boss quotes and really focusing on our time, specifically our energy and some of these quotes that we see flowing around. And they really are used in the kind of the girl boss circles how these are actually detrimental. And I think a lot of us see them when we first enter into the online space and we are like, yes, I agree. And I, and I totally understand why we, you know, especially if you come from a corporate world, like I did, where you did not enjoy working 37 40, how many hours a week. And the idea of working for yourself is, is amazing, which is by the way, there are so many positives for working for yourself, which you already know.

Melanie Knights (24:24):

I, but also realizing and recognizing that very quickly, we start to notice that there are also things that are not great about working for yourself. And there are things that are really scary and things that are really uncomfortable. And I think so much of this kind of glosses over that, and this is why we're all here to have these very transparent conversations. So next week, we'll go gonna be talking about that mindset myths. I'd rather be broke. I'd rather be tired than broke. That is what we're gonna be chatting about. So I have a few of these really disgustingly, icky hustle, culture quotes that I'll be sharing next week. But in the meantime if you have any other mindset, myths or business cliche, or any topics that you would love me to chat love for me to chat about here on the show. If you have a guest that you would love me to interview, or if you would like to be considered as a guest here on entrepreneurial alls, please just reach out.

Melanie Knights (25:19):

We have a guest booking form, and there is a way to complete this form over on the entrepreneurial alls in Instagram. If you had to Instagram and go to entrepreneurial underscore Outlaws in the link in the bio, you can fill it in the form and we will be taking guests over the next few months. We usually try to do one guest episode a month. So if you have a suggestion or would like to be a guest, please go ahead and fill that form in. And if you have any ideas of topics, episodes that you would like me to cover, please either just send me an message on Instagram or send me an email. And we will do our best if I can't, if I can't cover the topic, cuz it's not something that I know enough about. I will endeavor to find a guest who can, or maybe you are the guest that we need to bring on the show anyways. So I hope that you have enjoyed it. Today's episode. I hope you have a great rest of your week. I hope you are enjoying March so far and I will speak to you next time. Outlaws.