About the Episode

Hey Outlaws, welcome to episode 67 of the podcast! Recently on Instagram, I asked the Outlaw community what they believed some of the biggest clichés of growing an online business were and I got a lot of really great responses.

So, from that feedback we are embarking on a new series where we break down these clichés, where they come from, and how to move away from them.

First up, we’re covering the whole idea of comfort zones and the push to step outside of them. In this episode we’re going to talk about how to reframe how you think about your comfort zone and learning to believe that you actually can grow within it.

Grab your journal, your favorite warm cup of coffee or tea, and dig in with me!

Topics discussed in episode #67

Topics Discussed:

  • The reminder that productivity can be mindful and more about Melanie’s upcoming masterclass
  • Believing that it’s okay to learn, to be a beginner and to grow at our own pace
  • How your comfort zone can ebb or flow with you instead of feeling like you need to step outside of it 
  • How to use your comfort zone to protect your energy and your emotional wellbeing as your grow your business 
  • Why we have to learn to trust our intuition and remember that we are in control of every choice we make


Connect with Melanie here:


*This is a raw and unedited transcript.

Melanie Knights (00:02):

Hey outlaws. I think we can all agree that online business looks really different for most of us than it did a couple of years ago. One of the things that I used to talk about and teach in my business was really how to get done. This literally had a membership could get on society. I was so focused on producing being productive the output and things that I could create all the time. I used to batch so much content and that was really how I measured my success and my worthiness. And in the last couple of years both intentionally and it's been forced upon me. I've slowed down I wanted to change the way in which I plan my content the way I create content and the way I really run my business. My business doesn't look like anybody else's on the inside. It works really well for me and I'm constantly looking at ways I can improve whilst being productive.

Melanie Knights (01:00):

I want to honor my energy and I want to still create content and build communities and yeah make money so that I can put that back in to our mini economies that we have created here and there are a number of people I've met over the last few years who I really look to to help me increase my productivity in a way that doesn't doesn't feed into hustle culture and my friend Sarah Steckler who has been a guest on this show. She is one of those people that I continue to look to and she's hosting an event in the coming week. She's invited me and an incredible group of humans to share their knowledge with you during this event. You're going to hear from 29 entrepreneurs who will be teaching on topics to help you learn how to stay productive and optimize your time and energy in your life and business with mindful productivity strategies.

Melanie Knights (01:52):

And I'm going to be speaking and sharing all about how to use journaling and your intuition to plan your business something that I am very excited to talk to you is off about now. This is gonna be a really fun event. And I know that you're gonna leave it with actionable and tangible skills that you can use in your life and business without all of the hustle and burnout plus all of these trainings are under 30 minutes which is a huge bonus. They're available on demand starting on the first day of the event which happens to be Monday the 14th of March and they'll be available for a full week. And this is gonna make it much easier because you can pick and choose from these different trainings you can choose which ones you want to really dig into and you can learn on your own schedule which as far as I'm concerned is amazing. Which means you don't have to rush to watch anything live you can watch these at your own pace. All the video trainings will include closed captions and transcripts which is just amazing. This means that you can watch listen and or read in the way that works best for you and your learning style.

Speaker 2 (03:02):

And if you've heard me talk about this before that is really important to me as a creator and really important to me as someone who likes to learn because depending on the subject I like to learn in different ways. Now you can register for productivity and planning week by going to productivity week dot com. I will make sure that the links are all over in the show notes and I also want to let you know that you can upgrade to a Productivity pass that's 90 days which means you'll have access to all of these trainings for 90 days extended boss that week plus you have access to extended bonuses. I am offering my full planning by the moon workshop so this is a seasonal workshop that I talked about last year. It was really really amazing to teach was really popular and it will help you to plan out your business with the seasons and cycles we get into great detail about the lunar cycle.

Speaker 2 (04:00):

I take you through journaling prompts I walk you essentially through what has become climbing by the moon in detail going through all of the steps. It's about a two hour training but you're going to get access to that for a lifetime and that's all part of the extended 90 day pass which is gonna be forty seven dollars so you can sign up for the event for free or you can choose to upgrade this 90 day extended pass for forty seven dollars so I'll make sure that everything is linked over in the show so that you can choose the option that works best for you right now.

Melanie Knights (04:32):

But I wanted to share that with you because guys I have like completely changed the way I plan my business the way I stay productive the way I optimize my time because my energy is so so important to me now more than ever and this is something we've talked about extensively on the show not just myself but with the guests as well. And you may remember that Sarah and I had a great conversation last year all about energy and content creation and we really talked about producing. So I will link to her episode as well but I would love to see you there. I'd love to hear more about what you think about the training. Adam Yeah I would just love to hang out with you during productivity and planning week now. In today's episode we are going to be covering a few different things this month so you may have noticed I've been kind of running and leading with these themes and I really wanted to talk about business cliches. I want to talk about these things that we get told as business owners especially my first start now in my business. These narratives these these quotes these things that you might see on like an office wall designed to motivate us designed to increase our productivity and unfortunately a lot of these things are not black or white they have nuances they are not they're not applicable to all people.

Melanie Knights (06:00):

They are things that yeah to some extent might work but there are so many ways that we can look at these these statements these quotes these phrases and I actually asked on social media for you to share with me some of the things that you kind of roll your eyes out online business and you did not disappoint me. Now one of the ones I actually got twice which I thought was really interesting was fake it till you make it.

Melanie Knights (06:25):

And yeah I at both times I got a rolled eye emoji and I was like yes I am I rolled my eyes at this to fake it till you make it.

Melanie Knights (06:34):

I think we hear all the time and I'm certainly at some point in my life been like Yeah look we just have to fake it but that's how you build confidence you just go out there and do it. Even if you're not qualified I understand why we use this statement but as one Oh I don't know what their name is. Their Instagram handle is in delicate dog companies. Thank you for your response. But they said give yourself permission to be a beginner all. Yeah. I couldn't say about myself. Give yourself permission to be in the early stages. I think this is an extension of some of the toxicity within online business is that we're not allowed to not know we're not allowed to be a beginner. We're not allowed to take our time and learn as we grow.

Melanie Knights (07:20):

Instead we're expected to cut the learning curves blast through this growth and suddenly reach six figures in like six minutes six seven figures eight figures.

Melanie Knights (07:31):

It just keeps on growing right. And I think there's so much to this is so much the fact that it is okay to be learning. It's okay to be a beginner. I mean that's what I teach my child when he starts something new. I'm. I know that he's not gonna be great. He probably won't be great at it or amazing at it straight out the gate. And if he is. That's amazing. But most of the time we have to learn. We understand this. And yet somehow in online business this has kind of been washed away.

Melanie Knights (08:01):

Some of the other things that you said to me was when people talk about boundaries and alignment in a way that shuts them of responsibility and commitment. That came from copper pot creative. Thank you so much for sharing that one. Where are you going gonna do a whole episode on boundaries in a couple of weeks.

Melanie Knights (08:17):

And I just really wanted to dig in and dive into these cliches and today we're going to focus on comfort zones something I've spoken about before both on social media and probably in many different ways because we hear about nothing growing in our comfort zone. All right we've all heard that comment. We've all had that quote and it's designed to motivate us.

Melanie Knights (08:38):

It's designed for us to take messy action and dive in and do it scared and all these really peppy motivational quotes and again I understand why people say this but this is not 20 19. We have lived through well they say unprecedented times as if it's supposed to be something amazing. I'm like this. I would like to have precedent at times this would be nice. We've lived through the last couple of years continually being ripped open collectively grieving and it's like this grief that we can't heal from. And when one thing ends something else starts.

Melanie Knights (09:21):

And so when it comes to challenging ourselves whether it's in business or anything else when it comes to putting ourselves out there showing up speaking up or stepping outside of our comfort zone I wonder how many of you resonate with the fact that that seems really scary right now and not because we want to hold ourselves back. We want to still grow. We want to develop businesses we want to maybe be more visible or put ourselves out there. But the idea of pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone during a time when we have been living outside of our comfort zones for two years there is a lot of a gray area.

Melanie Knights (10:11):

Do we want to push ourselves out of our comfort zone when we have been continually challenged from external external factors that we cannot control. And so I started to think about this back in 2021 and it started with a conversation a friend of mine said that anyone who uses that same energy feels like they've never suffered from anxiety because as someone who suffers from anxiety you know our comfort zone is somewhere that feels really well safe and comfortable but it's not designed in this case to hold us back. It's designed to help us feel safe which is something we all want to do. We all want to feel safe. We all want to feel protected. So whilst I can understand the well intended meaning behind challenging us and pushing us out of our comfort zones I wonder if we can reframe what our comfort zones look like and how we use them live in them and let ourselves thrive there. So I always think about my comfort zone as being this kind of fluid I guess is like fluid bubble around me. If you are a visual person this might help but I see it being fluid it's it it moves as I move through my life through my business as I make changes as I grow as I experience things my comfort zone ebbs and flows with those those situations. And that makes absolute sense because there are going to be times when I'm confronted with something that makes me uncomfortable and perhaps my comfort zone shrinks.

Melanie Knights (12:00):

There may be times when I'm feeling really confident and I really like yes bring more into my comfort zone and therefore my comfort zone expands.

Melanie Knights (12:11):

This is not me stepping outside of my comfort zone. Instead this is me looking kind of at the peripheral looking at what's outside looking at the things I want to do. Looking at where I want to grow maybe things that right now feel out of reach or a little bit uncomfortable and making a decision an informed decision about whether or not I am in a position financially emotionally energetically to expand my comfort zone and welcome that thing in right whether I'm ready to reach out and try that project. Am I ready to try working in that new way. Am I ready to try that strategy whatever it may be. So instead of me pushing myself and forcing myself to go out and do something which let me be clear if that works for you absolutely go and do it. But for those of you who feel like that feels really uncomfortable I don't enjoy that and I don't know that's really the right stepping stone for me right now.

Melanie Knights (13:17):

Perhaps we can reframe this and look at it as deciding making that well-informed decision using your journal using your Self inquiry being curious about whether this is the right decision for you right now. It doesn't mean it will never be but maybe right now you don't have the energy to do it or you don't have the time or the finances or the resources to do that thing. It could stay there it's not going anywhere but you get to be the person that decides if it's the right step to take. If you're going to expand your comfort zone and welcome that thing in and then work towards making it a part of your comfort zone you know making it part of the furniture and then allowing it to be part of your business or your personal life whatever it might be that you're working towards right now.

Melanie Knights (14:06):

And I think this is a really nice way of protecting our energy protecting our time and also protecting our emotional well-being our mental well-being whilst still growing grow. Personal growth and self growth but also growing our businesses. This is a way that we can reframe this so we don't have to feel like the only option is to throw ourselves in at the deep end. But we can actually welcome things in when they are the right time. And one of the really beautiful ways that we can do this is by making sure that we are you know when we have these ideas when we have these thoughts about projects or about our businesses that maybe give us a little bit of anxiety or although we feel a little bit scared to admit that we really want to do this thing write it down grab a journal have a business journal or notebook where you just capture these ideas or somewhere online where you just capture these business ideas and capture them and then maybe you go back a few days later or a week or a month or however long and you decide OK am I ready for this now you know.

Melanie Knights (15:16):

Then it felt really uncomfortable It felt really scary. Sometimes our intuition knows that this is not the right time. Again this is another cliché that you'll never be ready. There's never a right time. I don't agree with that. I actually think there are times when we know intuitively that we should wait. I've talked about this before about recording this podcast. I wanted to stop her cost back in 2017 and every time I thought about it not only did it feel really overwhelming but I just felt like oh I don't know I don't know. It wasn't that I didn't know what I would say. It just didn't feel right. But the narrative and especially in my business is that well you should do it anyway it doesn't matter if it's right or not just do it. Figure out now and there are times when that works for me.

Melanie Knights (16:07):

This felt like such an important conversation it felt like such an important way of connecting with other people that I didn't want to just go out there and start something and hope for the best. And when it came to 2020 when I started entrepreneur outlaws when I looked back I knew that this was the podcast. I was always meant to host. I knew that this was what I was meant to do. And the reason I knew that was not because happened to be the right time. In fact it couldn't have been a worse time for me in terms of my energy and my time. But I knew that this was something I had to stop and I didn't even waver. Was I nervous. Absolutely. But it wasn't there wasn't any question any doubt in my mind that this was what I was going to do.

Melanie Knights (16:56):

The moment I came up with the name the moment I realized that was what I was going to do. I looked for ways in which I could make sure it happened and I didn't stop and I knew that even if something happened at that time that stopped me from physically being able to deliver the podcast. It wasn't gonna go anywhere. This idea was gonna sit there until I could deliver it. And so two years. Well I guess 18 months later we're still recording and the reason is although it has evolved and we have conversations that maybe I wouldn't have dreamt we'd have to 18 months ago two years ago. The very essence of this show still stands the very essence of where I started is still there. And I'm just as passionate about this as I was back then. But it was out of my comfort zone and there was a lot of unknown but at the same time I welcomed in and made it work with what I had at the time and it's continue to allow me to chat with you to have these conversations and go from strength to strength.

Melanie Knights (17:53):

And I think this is a really good example of not only my comfort zone and allowing this to be part of it but rather than it sitting on the sidelines. But also it's a really good example of the fact that sometimes we know intuitively that that isn't the right time. It isn't the time to start something and I want to always give you permission to make a decision as I said give yourself the opportunity to trust your intuition and know that it is guiding you in the right direction. If you trust your intuition there aren't regrets. We can't have regrets about something that intuitively we know is the right decision for us right now and I think that's a really important part of the conversation just because it's not the right decision right now doesn't mean that's a permanent decision.

Melanie Knights (18:40):

You get to choose. You are actually more in control than anybody will give you credit for. This is your business. You get to run it how you choose. The same with your comfort zone. It is your comfort zone. You get to decide what comes in what stays. We are allowed to evolve the same way when we break up with someone or in the end of a relationship whether it's a busy personal or professional relationship. When those relationships end we make that choice or something happens that that relationship ends well we make that choice when we set those boundaries and we move our comfort zone or our you know our choices away from them. That is something we're choosing to do and again intuitively we know it's the right decision. We are not going to regret that.

Melanie Knights (19:29):

We might still still hot still and heavy and difficult and really you know can feel really good and crunchy but it's still an intuitive decision that we've made and we know that we weren't regret that because we're being guided by ourselves by our soul. So this is gonna be a really short episode but I really wanted to just touch on this topic. Talk about the fact that comfort zones don't have to be rigid you don't have to dive headfirst into something if this year you want to take it slow. If this week this month this season you want to take things slow and just decide if it's the right time. Absolutely okay. You don't have to dive into something you don't have to do it messy. You don't have to do it scared. You don't have to follow any of these so-called successful entrepreneur quotes. You don't have to do it that way. You get to do on your times and you get to make the decision you get to decide what comes in and out of your comfort zone and when that happens thank you so much for joining me for this brand new episode of here on entrepreneur outlaws.

Melanie Knights (20:41):

I am so grateful to every single one of you for commenting on social media and telling me these business clichés. You roll your eyes are we. As we said we're going to have more episodes in the coming weeks we're going to focus on some of these business clichés we're going to talk about boundaries. We're going to I'm going to go through some of the ones that I came up with you came up with. I'm going to share those with you next week. And I also wanted to just remind you to go back and listen to our previous week's episode if you haven't already done so. Last week we had Jenna and Bree on the show and it was such a powerful episode. I really wanted them to kind of take the floor and really talk to you guys about leadership and being an ally with the LGBTQ AA plus community because this is not a community that I can't sit here and talk about what it's like to be within that community.

Melanie Knights (21:34):

I can tell you how I try to lead and how I tried to be an ally but I really wanted them to lead that conversation. And I'm so grateful for them taking the time to be on the show and to really share that with you because when I listened back it was just an incredible conversation and so many ways in which we can think differently about our leadership and about the work that we do as business owners entrepreneurs and even employees. So again I want to remind you to go take a look at the show notes for this episode. If you are interested in coming and joining me for productivity and Planning Week which starts next Monday March 14th make sure you go and check out all the links will be over in the show notes will link to last week's episode. And thank you so much again for participating in my business cliches over on Instagram and if you have any others please come over there head over to our entrepreneurial Instagram which is entrepreneurial underscore outlaws COME OVER THERE AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR MOST I rolled business cliches are.

Melanie Knights (22:39):

We're going to have some content going up this week talking about this so you can either comment on that or just send me a GM and let me know which things really basically chafe your butt because there are so many and I really loved reading everybody's because I was like just hand was raised nodding along. I like Same same. These really me off too. So not only will we be talking about the things we roll our eyes out but I'm also going to be sharing with you ways in which we can shift and reframe as well because we can't just be off about it. We do have to think about the ways in which we can reframe and really work towards improving improving what happens here in this online business space because there is so much and there are so many narratives that have been weaponized and ways in doing business that are not safe for all people. And so we want to change that. Together we can do that.

Melanie Knights (23:31):

So please let me know if you have any in particular you would love me to talk about and I've also mentioned on my email if you hang out with me in your inbox you know that I've been mentioning this but if you have a guess that you would love for me to interview maybe you have someone that you would you always think Oh it'd be great to hear these two people chat or if you would like to be a guest on this show.

Melanie Knights (23:52):

Please reach out please let me know what you would love to come on and talk about we do have a booking form which we will link to in the show nights you can play that form and then I will go through and read what it is that you would like to talk about who you would like to nominate and we can get in touch. I think that's everything. I'm probably over my very very speedy word count here. So it like I just talked a mile a minute. But thank you so much for being here. Thank you for listening in. And until next time outlaws.