About the Episode

Welcome to episode 73, Outlaws! I’m really excited for you to listen to my conversation today with Ellie McBride.

Ellie is an OG listener of the show and an American expat who now lives in Ireland. She built her online business, Calibrated Concepts, to offer her more freedom to travel and to help her clients create an intentional home for their services.

You’ll hear more about her immigration story, her moving from a full time employee to a full fledged business owner, and her love of systems. Enjoy!

Topics discussed in episode #73

Topics Discussed:

  • Ellie’s experience with immigration, even with the massive amounts of privilege that she has 
  • Ellie’s transition from standard employee to entrepreneur and why she made the decision to start her own business after moving to Northern Ireland 
  • The positive impact that a community of small, like minded women can have on your entrepreneurial journey 
  • Transitioning from project based work instead of hourly based work and how this created better boundaries for Ellie 
  • How to reframe our own systems as entrepreneurs to make sure they are effective for us 
  • Using lists to figure out what you can automate, what you can delegate, and what you can do on your own 
  • What it means for Ellie to be an Entrepreneurial Outlaw – take no shit and constantly redefine what working means for her

About Ellie:

Ellie McBride is an American expat living in Northern Ireland since 2017. After moving across the world to be with her Northern Irish husband, she struggled to find the flexibility to spend much time back at her other home in Oregon to see my friends and family. In this quest for flexibility, she realized building an online business from the ground up is the way to have everything she has ever wanted in life. Her goal? To give you a beautiful home on the web for your message and your work all while helping make your work more efficient.


Connect with Melanie here:


*This is a raw and unedited transcript.

Melanie Knights (00:04):

Welcome to entrepreneurial Outlaws, Ellie. I'm so excited to have you here.

Ellie McBride (00:09):

I'm really excited to be here too. I have been listening since the beginning, so I'm very excited to get to chat with you here.

Melanie Knights (00:18):

<Laugh> that's really cool to hear. I, I, I know, know that you listen to the show and I'm so happy to hear that someone's been listening from the beginning. I'm like, I'm not just talking to myself. This is amazing. <Laugh>

Ellie McBride (00:29):

I get that. I get that podcasting. <Laugh>

Melanie Knights (00:32):

No, it's not. It does feel like you're sitting down with friends, but it also, sometimes you, you just, you don't, it's really difficult to measure that you don't always know who's listening or because we, I know for me, when I listen to podcasts, I don't always remember to take that screenshot or like do the reviews. I just kind of am immersed in the content and learning and you sometimes forget to actually do any of those other pieces. So, yeah.

Ellie McBride (00:57):

Yeah. I really, it would be hard to see how much impact a podcast is having

Melanie Knights (01:01):

That is a much easier way of explaining it. Yes, that is what I was getting at. It is really difficult. I think the metrics are really hard to measure as well.

Ellie McBride (01:08):


Melanie Knights (01:09):

<Affirmative> really difficult. So, anyway, <laugh> in the intro, I mentioned that you are an American expat living in Northern island, and I wanted to just kind of start by asking you what it's like, not just living in another country, but also building a business in another country.

Ellie McBride (01:32):

Yeah. well, I mean, that is the crux of why I started a business. So it's a really interesting con topic, but I knew that moving to another country and I did, I moved because I married a guy from here and I knew that it would be challenging. I had no idea how challenging you kind of expect that you're moving from like a predominantly white English speaking country to another predominantly white English speaking country. That should be easy. That was not the case, but I will say it's given me a whole lot of respect for immigrants doing this without as much privilege as I happen to have. And whew. Yeah, so that's a whole conversation in itself, but building, living here has been really challenging the first year. I just honestly cried a lot. The weather's different here. The food's different here, the bureaucracy.

Ellie McBride (02:28):

So things like trying to get a bank account or a actual insurance number or getting on the NHS was like hitting a brick wall over and over and over again as an expat. You know, I, people in Northern Ireland, it's a really, I mean, if you're not from here or you're from listening from elsewhere, you might not know that Northern Ireland is a country that is only not recently out of a civil war as early, as like, as recently as the nineties mm-hmm <affirmative> so it's a really insulated country. And so, and, and people are very, very friendly, but only trust people to so, so beep yeah. And so making friends in this country was really, really hard and still is really hard because the way I happened to make friends, mostly making friends with other expats and on occasions they leave me. <Laugh> <laugh> so yes, it's, it's been challenging. And I think that because it was so challenging, I went holy, can I swear on your podcast?

Melanie Knights (03:32):


Ellie McBride (03:33):

Yes. I think, okay. I went, absolutely. I gotta go home more. That was pretty much my response. I've got to get out of here more often and I need to go to the place that I feel safe and that I feel understood and that my, my people are and my people being my family and my two best friends. And yeah, so long story short, I started my business so that I could work anywhere and go back to America more often.

Melanie Knights (04:01):

Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> having a lot of family from Northern Ireland. I very much understand via <laugh> the isolation and the, the lack of trust. And just the way of living is very different. I've never lived there, but I've definitely visited family and it's it, there are a, my kind of aunts and uncles, their life experience, and growing up amongst that civil war is very, very different to mm-hmm <affirmative> anything even I've experienced, as you said, like, you know, for me, it was like this isn't normal, this is scary. And those, those things are part of their daily life and part, you know, so much of their culture as well. The same with anywhere. So, yeah. Yeah.

Ellie McBride (04:46):

And I would say, I don't feel scared here at all. I want tell that to people who are, who don't live here, it's not scary. It's a beautiful place to visit. The north coast of Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places the Titanic was built here and there's a gorgeous museum for it. And there's a lot of really fun culture or like it's not a bad place. I've really settled in over time. But, and, and on the flip side, it's a weird dichotomy where people here can, are really untrusting in some ways. And so, so trusting in others, like I remember when I first moved here, we were having our wedding reception and I went to a little stand in the St George's market and went, can I get six dozen cupcakes for a wedding reception weeks from now? And he went, yep. See you then no deposit, didn't take my name, not even a handshake. <Laugh> just assumed that I would come get them so that it it's a really lovely country in lots of ways too.

Melanie Knights (05:31):

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And you mentioned something you kind of touched on the fact that coming to another country with the privilege that you, you have versus going to a country without the privilege, and you said that's another conversation. Can we have that conversation interested,

Ellie McBride (05:51):

Your thought something I

Melanie Knights (05:52):

Think, be interested to hear. Yeah.

Ellie McBride (05:55):

So for example, cause there's, there's so many facets of this, but for example, you know, it took me ages to get on the NHS and I eventually had to get my mother-in-law to do it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like I had to go to my mother-in-law's doctor, I, which is an hour from me because I could not get past the barriers. And because the doctors don't really know how to deal with, with the immigrant registration mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so the way it works is they go to register you and they go, oh, this says, I need this form from you, come back with this form. And then you go back with that form and everything else. And they go, oh, it says, I also need this. And it just takes this like the, the, the computer says no, essentially until eventually it says yes. And that was one really hard thing.

Ellie McBride (06:38):

I couldn't get a bank account because I had no official proof that I lived here other than my national insurance number letter. And they don't accept that as proof of official post. Nope. I had to have my American bank change my address to Northern Ireland and then wait the like month and or something that it took to get my bank statement over here. And those are like little things you can talk about, the bigger conversation of the cost of immigration. I, when I first applied, we did my marriage visa and that was fairly simple. And then we tried to do my settlement visa for, by ourselves and we did pretty well with it, but they refused my visa on some really tiny technicalities. And the UK government has this tendency to do that because it's a money making machine for them.

Ellie McBride (07:35):

So when you pay for a visa in the United Kingdom, you pay 100% upfront. You pay everything, whether or not you are approved. And if you are denied, they keep all the money. The only money I was refunded when they refused by visa was you also, I had to pay a surcharge, be for the NHS. So to be able to use the NA the centralized healthcare in the United, I had to pay a pretty substantial amount of money. I can't remember exactly what it was to be able to use it because the ideas that everybody else has been paying in the system for their entire working life. Right. and so when they refused my visa, I could have, because it was on such a technicality, it was essentially refused my visa for two reasons. They said one out on the application, we said, we'd be living with my father-in-law because we didn't know where we'd be just yet.

Ellie McBride (08:27):

And they, even though he has a giant country house they essentially said you've provided no proof that he will allow you to live with him. And we provided bank statements, but they weren't stamped by the bank. And those two things, they refused my application and we could have appealed, but the courts are only open a couple days a week. And it would've been 18 months, a year and a half without my brand new husband. And we have the money and it's honestly, it's, it's a system that they can use to screen the people that can get into the country in a lot of ways we have the money. So we just reapplied instead of, and we reapplied and I was in the country just, or 12 weeks later.

Melanie Knights (09:17):

Yeah. Having worked in a financial organization in this country, I, I, yeah, the stamping and the proof and the, and well, I worked for building society and back, I don't know for still the same, but they were even worse for loopholes and the hoops you had to jump through and the ways in which you could not have a bank account and things like that. So, yeah.

Ellie McBride (09:42):


Melanie Knights (09:42):

That used to be very, that was one of the parts of jobs I really hated.

Ellie McBride (09:47):

Yeah. And I think that it's given me a lot of respect because I cannot imagine trying to, to move into, if I didn't speak the language or have family here that could help me through some of the really tricky beds or like there's still stuff that I haven't done. I need to move my doctor. I haven't, I, I just, there's some things that I just feel, I haven't gotten my driver's license here <laugh> because it just seems like too much. I, I, to be fair, I live in the city center. I can walk and cycle most places. But there's just still some things that I've just been like, I don't have the energy to like fight the system to make this happen for me.

Melanie Knights (10:26):

Yeah. And I think it's, I think, as you said, like you speak the language mm-hmm <affirmative>,

Melanie Knights (10:34):

It's it. So it's so overwhelming to think that you wouldn't think that coming from the us to somewhere within the UK could be that different could be that much. Yes. It's a different country. And of course there's gonna be paperwork, all those kinds of things. I think we, we kind of know and expect that, but I think we don't always think about the culture shock or the real, the changes or the ways in which people do things or the ways in which governments do things differently and how that could impact us. And as you say, yeah, you know, you, you do speak the language. You do, you have people here you able to speak to. And I think that's, you know, I think the fact that you think about that is an important part of the conversation as well, because it's something that it's so easy to forget about. It's so easy to not think about that. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and I have a friend who's also an expat who is living in the UK from America. And yeah, I know that that has been really tough for her. And it's like, when you, and she's got kids and it's trying to decide like those kinds of conversations of citizenship and, and what, where you're gonna pay taxes and all those different things that, oh my gosh, I know don't <laugh> that you don't always think about or aren't aware of, I should say,

Ellie McBride (11:56):

Yeah, it is, it is so much, there's so much involved to it. Like I'm in the process, I've just applied for my Irish citizenship and will be playing for my British citizenship this summer. And the things like, not that it's, you know, it's, the us is a very challenging country to immigrate to as well. So I'm not saying it's but like, I'm going to have to take, you know, the life in the UK test and I'm going to have to know, and I've been practicing for it. And the questions are absurd, like completely absurd, like who invaded the United Kingdom in the 15th century. And you're like, I don't know, like, or like the items one, five gold medals in this sport. And you're like,

Melanie Knights (12:36):

I, my gosh

Ellie McBride (12:39):

Any of those,

Melanie Knights (12:40):

They should say, who brought people take this?

Ellie McBride (12:42):

Oh my gosh. I know. Well, they made me in school in a, in a, in my civics class, which you take in your last year of high school, they had us take the us citizenship test. And I was in a class of nearly 30 people. I think three of us passed this us citizenship test.

Melanie Knights (12:57):


Ellie McBride (12:58):

And this isn't a government class. Like this is a class where we learned how the government works in advance of going out into the real world.

Melanie Knights (13:04):

Yeah. I think the thing is like, I mean, I certainly dunno the answers to those two questions that you just mentioned. And I think sometimes we take for granted our own, unless we're specifically taught that in school because, you know, we do only learn in, in, in your own life, you tend to only learn the history that you're taught in school or from parents, grandparents, unless you go out and look to learn other things, unless you dig into history of where you are from, or the country you're from or anything at else. And it's when you're younger. It's so it's so difficult to know that, oh, I might need this. Or this might be really important in my, in when I'm older. And, and mm-hmm <affirmative> to suddenly be asked to answer these questions, which I don't know. I just, I struggle to understand how that relates to life in the UK. Cause I'm like, I don't, I don't know I get why they, I do it, but it's, it's very weird. <Laugh>

Ellie McBride (13:57):

I know. And, and I, you also have to take I won't have to, because I'm coming from an English speaking country, but you do have to take an English test to get citizenship United Kingdom.

Melanie Knights (14:11):


Melanie Knights (14:14):

Wow. The, that I think for anyone listening, I think gives you a bit of insight cuz you know, I am in the UK. I know sometimes that doesn't always seem obvious <laugh>, but I am in the UK and you know, having worked in some of these places where we have had to take idea, take proof and it can be exhausting when you have someone in front of you who needs a bank account for a reason. And it's a really important reason and no one can help and you're trying to find a loophole. And I think the reality of my experience of that is how many people will just say, it's not my problem. It's not my job. You need to go find this, this or this. These are the three things you can bring in. You need to get this. And I always, I disliked that part of the job because it felt like as, as you put it, it felt like it was just like constantly coming up against some kind of tape. But it was also the thing that I valued about I was able to do because I was like, no, we're gonna find a way there has to be some kind of some kind of way in, because it just feels like it's a system otherwise. And it's like, it's a game that can't ever be one or by anybody. It was really, really tough.

Melanie Knights (15:31):

So one of the things that you mentioned, I, and I wanna kind of circle back to that as well. You talked about the fact that coming over here or coming over to Ireland and being able to go home essentially or go back to America and visit friends and family. And that was one of the reasons why you started your business <affirmative> so can you give us a little bit of an idea of kind of when you started your business and then also I'm really intrigued? Cause I know that I'm pretty sure you had, you were employed before this, right? I, I saw the, yes. So I'm really curious to know the transition from employee to entrepreneur because I know that I struggled so hard with that. And I'm just curious to know how that impacted you as well.

Ellie McBride (16:16):

Yeah. Okay. So yeah. Interestingly enough, I just to summarize, I have an degree in biology and community health that I've never used. My plan originally was to be a physio and then I wanted to be a then I thought I'd go back and get my master's in public health. And then that my husband and then I moved to the other side of the world and then I decided that needed to work from anywhere. And healthcare is a harder one to do that with. Right? Yeah. So that, so I started my business. Actually the very, very, I was tell telling somebody this, the very, very first iteration of my business, which flopped, by the way I started on my honeymoon. I built my first website for my, for, for calibrated concepts on my honeymoon, my deleted honeymoon. And that was summer of 20 16, 20 17 that would've been summer of 2017.

Ellie McBride (17:09):

And I started my act, my business in its Morris successful iteration started six months later. And I started out as a virtual assistant and at the time I was working fully employed for a really cool small tech law firm here in Belfast. And I really loved it. It was, I got, it was a kind of where I was wearing a lot of hats, which is the type type of job I've always loved. And where a lot of responsibility is put on me and the people were fantastic, but I knew that end game is that I wanted flexible remote work. And I wanted to call the shots cuz I'm, I mean, I'm all the things that were starting to reclaim, right? I'm bossy, I'm a control freak. Like I really type a and I'm learning some of the more negative parts of that, but I really am, am learning to embrace parts of it as well.

Ellie McBride (18:15):

And so anyway, yeah, so the transition was interesting. I got to the point where I was, I started out as a virtual assistant, which quickly evolved into a tech virtual assistant, my software and integrations and automation and email marketing and connecting everybody's tools. So they'd free up more time, which was, is, and is hugely important to me helping to do helping women and non-binary people to do business with more ease is my why outside of my, my were flexible and, and location independent work. Right. so got the point where I had too much work at both jobs and it was like something gotta give. And that happened kind of the start of the summer of 2019. And so I pretty much put in my notice and I gave them quite a long time to replace me, but I was on holiday for three weeks of that back in America and okay.

Ellie McBride (19:23):

We pretty much came back, worked for like two weeks and then left at the start of September. So I went full-time self-employed six months before the pandemic. <Laugh> yeah, but I got what I, it was one of those times I was working with a business coach at the time and really felt like the right time to leave my job. And it was one of those things and I made the space for it. The clients flooded in, it was just one of those really magical moments in business. But my favorite people to work for typically are solo entrepreneurs. And I had a lot of small contracts, a lot of small recurring clients. And I got really quickly overwhelmed with not knowing what was gonna hit my desk, that who was gonna have an emergency, what I, it was just too, it felt really overwhelming. There was too much happening all the time. Waking up to too many emails, spending too much time, just even just sifting through the inbox before being able to get to my work. And yeah. Yeah. and so that lasted not a whole I was lucky enough that I had gotten into, I was a six month accelerator with my business coach. It actually started right at the start of February of 2020.

Ellie McBride (20:46):

And honestly, having that small band of women who are all entrepreneurs like navigating the pandemic and what that meant for our businesses together was a godsend. But yes. So essentially what long, what eventually happened is with all that support, I decided I needed to take on project based work, which is what brought me to doing websites. Yeah. And

Melanie Knights (21:11):

I think a lot of service, if, if a lot of service based business owners listening are gonna resonate with that, I know I'm sitting here nodding thinking. Yep. I experienced all those things. <Laugh>

Melanie Knights (21:25):

Yeah. And I think it is this learning curve because you, you know, for me, especially when I, I, cuz I took my business into a service based version of itself at the end of 2019. And similarly I didn't even really promote it. I was kind of talking about it and kind of around, onto the outside of it. And I started to gather clients and interestingly I found in 2020, because I think we had no idea how long everything was gonna last. It didn't necessarily drop in terms of client work and things like that. But I very quickly just remember sitting at my desk thinking, how am I ever to go on holiday ever again? Like, how am I ever gonna get back to quote normal? Like I can't even like take a lunch break properly. Like just the, for me it was the lack of boundaries, the, the throwing my partly throwing myself into work because then I didn't have to deal with what was going on outside. But yeah, it was, it was definitely overwhelming. And I started to very quickly think, okay, I need to change how I'm working here. <Laugh> this needs to be simplified.

Ellie McBride (22:39):

Yeah, I can, I can relate to that.

Melanie Knights (22:42):

Yeah. It's, it's, it's hard as well. It's hard to recognize those things and then know even once are to put together, okay. There are other options deciding which one is the best one for you. So obviously now you do project based work. And how has that been in transitioning from kind of either hourly or kind of ongoing contracts?

Ellie McBride (23:03):

Yeah, it's actually been pretty good. It feels really relieving. I get to call the shots more as to what each of my days look like. I don't take calls on Mondays. I only take my client calls from three to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Friday. Well actually only until four 30 on Fridays. Last week on Tuesday, we, I saw how good the weather was going to be, which just never happens here. And I just decided I was taking Friday off and just blocked out my calendar and didn't let anyone book any calls. It's a lot more lax and between my boundaries upping my prices, loads of these things that you learn the hard way sometimes in, in business between and I have, and I did, I pulled a, a, I did, I did the same thing as you, the first two weeks of lockdown. I completely rebuilt my website as in avoiding the real world. I started a second business, which I think will eventually, which I closed near the end of last year, but I think we'll eventually have tie in and with my exist, my, my business, but I just, I filled the time with things because I am not. Yeah. But 

Melanie Knights (24:13):

I get it

Ellie McBride (24:15):

<Laugh> yeah, but essentially I did it's been really good for me. I work a lot less than most people I know, and I'm starting to learn how to be okay with that. <Laugh> I'm really on learning a lot of toxic productivity. But it's, which is another, another conversation, which is something my husband makes fun of me if for saying is another another, but yeah.

Melanie Knights (24:43):

Yeah. And I think that, that, I mean, first of all, I totally resonate with the for me, I talked about the fact that I was like, you know what, I'm just gonna try and out hustle. COVID like, it's, it didn't work <laugh> at all. Surprisingly I got COVID and was like, oh, I can't do this anymore. I'm gonna have to lose some clients and, and scale down. It's so interesting when, you know, I think when you can look at the, the ways in which the last couple of years have unfolded, I was talking to somebody yesterday about this and she's like, we, we can't ignore all the things that we've learned, like the, this pockets of silver linings of things that we've learned about ourselves and the ways in which we work as entrepreneurs and, you know, the boundaries that we have maybe been sometimes forced to put in place and honor.

Melanie Knights (25:30):

And I think that's a really important part of what's come out of the last couple of years and being able to acknowledge as, as you said, like unlearning that toxic productivity, because my business used to be built on teaching and talking about productivity. It was in 2020 when I realized that, oh, I'm not really being productive. I just feel like I'm kind of going day to day and not really not really deciding how my days are looking. And there was such a feeling of a lack of control anyway, that it was very, very quickly, very overwhelming. And yeah, one of the things that I had tried very hard to do was to kind of peel back a lot of the layers within my business. And I know that you love systems and you talked about part of your reason, why for having your business and helping us be more efficient entrepreneurs and systems that can support us.

Melanie Knights (26:27):

And it really, so sounds like that. So, you know, was a passion part of your passionate part of your job when you were working for the law firm, but also is part of your reason why, and I'm curious to know what some of the ways we can kind of start to reframe our own, reframe our own systems as entrepreneurs, because we can get, it could be really easy to kind of get stuck in the weeds and also get stuck in systems that maybe we are not always aware aren't working or aren't the most effective for us.

Ellie McBride (26:57):

Yeah. So that's a big, big question that I could probably talk for da literally. <Laugh> but because I get like really excited about these things, but I guess to start reframing is it is really about boundaries. I think the number one system I tell people to put in place, if they do not have any systems is a scheduling tool. And because it's the easiest way to put in boundaries in your business. Like I said, I only take calls Tuesday through Friday. I can say I only take calls during specific hours, which means I know that I can honor taking business slow in the mornings, which is what I do. Like, you know, I, I get around, I go for a walk, I have my cup of coffee and, and I kind of build on up to it. It means that, and I have my scheduling tool. I use for podcast recordings. I use it for client calls. I use it for consultations. I use it for when somebody reaches out to be like, you wanna have like a virtual coffee and I'm like, yep. Book. And then like, I don't do that back and forth. When are you free game? Because it's so wasteful of everybody's time. And it also makes it way easier to push those boundaries of when you're able and willing to invest that type of communication or that kind of time. 

Melanie Knights (28:18):

I also find that when we do that back and forth, which I have definitely done in the past, but that back and and forth can also lead to mistakes or miscommunication. It's so much easier when there's a tool in place that's going to take kind of control of the situation.

Ellie McBride (28:34):

Yeah. I also think taking some, I, if you feel really overwhelmed with systems, usually I tell people to start by writing, making a list and actually it's three lists, but kind of, you can make it all on one page and it's things you need to do in your business and maybe list those as things you, that you like doing. And don't like doing things that sh maybe should be done in your business. And again, and then really it's a matter of making these lists so that you can figure out what you can automate, what you can get rid of what you can delegate. And if you feel uncomfortable with putting actual the, the technical side of putting systems in place, I have loads of resources on my blog, but I also recommend maybe finding an operations manager or an online business manager or a tech virtual assistant that can help you get all of them set up so that you just have to learn a little bit how to use them.

Ellie McBride (29:33):

Which is a huge part. I still do quite a lot of this in my website work. I believe that your website should be working for you in the back end. So I integrate easy ways for people to book in things, people, for people to take payments for people, to get people on their email list and then get them that automated. We welcome sequence these things that just need to happen in our business, but everybody does. And this is, I think the, the tricky bit is I do not believe in one size fits all systems. I do not believe in one size fits all tools. So it's really finding someone and feel free to hit me up on Instagram, but to finding somebody that can ask the right questions and recommend the right tool without you having to go down like a full YouTube or Google rabbit hole.

Melanie Knights (30:24):

And I think that's how the problem is that once you hear about a tool, it's, it's that fear of not fear, but for me, it's sadly the thought of, okay, I found something that could do the job, but now I'm gonna have to learn how to use it. <Laugh> yeah. And that is, has quickly over the last few is I've realized that is not my favorite part of doing things. I like to, I like to feel like I know what I'm doing with something, but I don't necessarily want to spend that time learning how to use a new piece of tech in my business when I actually only really need to know maybe the front end, I don't need to know the back end of how it works and that can, yeah, that can definitely overwhelm me at times.

Ellie McBride (31:06):

Yeah. And that's part of the thing that I'm quite passionate about. I'm actually in the process of reintroducing some systems work in my business, so mostly consulting again, because it's project based <laugh> and I like it and maybe setups so where we set up and integrate everything and then leave you to the, to, to the rest. But I firmly believe if you can get things like your onboarding process systematized and there's loads of ways to do that that might suit you, but things like getting that first invoice out, getting the contract, signed, getting the education tools, getting anything they need to send to you, getting the boundary set and all these things. I think if you can get your onboarding system sorted your, the way your communication system sorted, and that's both with your clients and maybe your team, if you have one, those two things will save you, huge, huge headaches. And then as a bonus, if you can get your offboarding system set to make sure your clients tho tho that that's a huge thing for making sure that your clients or customers feel nurtured, they feel looked after they feel like they're special. And for pulling in those pieces of social proof that are really good for showing that, you know, what you're doing and the people love working with you.

Melanie Knights (32:24):

Yeah, yeah. That is definitely the part when I was running my service based business, I know that I would not have been able to do that without that tech support, because just looking at, I mean, at the time I was using Dubar and I was like, I do not know what I'm doing right now. And having someone be able to come in, set it up and then automate all those pieces, it was a life saver. It really, it, I wouldn't have been able to run my business without those pieces in place.

Ellie McBride (32:51):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative>

Melanie Knights (32:52):

It was made a massive difference. Well, we are almost to the end of this episode. But I do have another question for you and is always the most important question <laugh> of these guest episodes. And that is what does it mean for you or to you to be an entrepreneurial outlaw in your business?

Ellie McBride (33:14):

Yeah, I should known this was coming it for me it's and it's, it's it's I feel like I've hit several stages of business where I've relearned to take no and do things my way. And then the world evolves or my life evolves or something. And I sort of not forget, but have to redefine what that means for me. Yeah. And I I've talked about before, but I was really raised on this whole like take no and do your thing kind of mentality <laugh> so it should come sort of naturally to me, but society does its best to be this out of you. Right. Everything, we see everything we read everyth. So it's constantly redefining that for myself as, and, and I think that's the other side of being an entrepreneur, is this, like, I'm learning the toxic productivity and saying I'm gonna do things my own way. And like, I haven't worked much in like almost a full week and everything's still okay. Everything's stands and I don't really feel guilty about it in a year ago. I would not be feeling okay about this.

Melanie Knights (34:27):

Yeah. Yeah. I get that. That's I think the idea of rest and slowing down as business owners, as women, as, as folks who identify as women in a while, where there is so much of an expectation, and I think where we are expected to do more and be more and take on, and the, the there's a glorification in being that person who will do anything for anyone. And I think when we challenge that it is gonna be scary, but I think it also, you do it once and you're like, oh, things are okay. <Laugh> yeah, it didn't, you know, my worst thought my worst nightmare didn't come true. And we're able to really use that as part of that process, that evolution of like, you know, as you said, as you kind of step into a new chapter in your business or a new chapter in your life reframing and redefining what those things mean, it's really important. And I think that comes with that in itself is being an entrepreneur outlaw because changing your mind and acknowledging that you're in seasons and it's okay. That not everything lasts forever and you can make those decisions. That is, that is powerful. Yeah. And it's not always what people expect.

Ellie McBride (35:57):

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there's two words that I have, like a big problem with and around these types of things, and one would be busy, which, you know, we, for a long time, that for me, would've been a badge of honor, like saying I was busy especially in like my uni days where I would leave my apartment at seven, not come back until like nine or 10 o'clock at night. Cause I was so involved and then, and so like finding a problem with that. And then the other thing is that I've really, really bothers me is when like the ESP and I think it happens quite a lot here where I live, but the, when the highest honor a woman can be is selfless and you're like, mm-hmm <affirmative>, that is so. That the best thing she could be is to care as little as possible about herself. That is cool. So yeah, that is something that angers me. <Laugh>

Melanie Knights (36:49):

It's interesting. You brought that up because, so at the time of this airing, our previous episode guest episode, we actually touched on that. And I mentioned in that episode that when I back in the day, when I was unfortunately obsessed with diet culture and everything that goes with, I mean, I didn't know it was diet culture, then I just thought it was my life. I was obsessed with the biggest loser and I used to always remember these women who in their fifties and sixties would come onto the show and the kind of the story when they were introduced as like a contestant would be how they have put everybody first throughout their whole life. They're a great mother. They're a great wife, they've done everything for everyone. And I just always remember sitting there, looking at these women think, thinking, wow, like, I don't want anybody to ever say that about me.

Melanie Knights (37:43):

I don't want anybody ever to say, she'll do anything for anyone, because it's said in this way, that's supposed, as you said, it's supposed to be this badge of honor. But to me it makes me really uncomfortable. Like I don't want anybody, I don't want just anyone to think that I would do anything for, of them in, in that way that I would just go out of my way to work over time without getting paid or, you know, I would run through my lunch break and not ha actually stop and take a break so that, you know, somebody else didn't have to do their job properly. And those are the things I experienced in my corporate job. And I kind of always have that really close because it really bothered me. And I was like, I, I didn't know why it bothered me so much back then, but I did. And I really held onto that. And now it's like, I'm okay. Being selfish. Like I, I, I take that as a positive thing that I'm being selfish by putting myself first or allowing myself to prioritize what I need. And also still being able to take care of other people that I care about and being able to put other people on that list and know that they are taking care of without feeling like I'm leaving myself in the dirt as it works.

Ellie McBride (38:59):


Melanie Knights (39:01):

Like we hear all the time that self-care isn't selfish. But I think at the same time, we also, sometimes we're gonna feel that because society tells us that it is. And I think there's no way of escaping that those little PS of, of guilt are gonna appear, but knowing how to move past it is, is powerful. And, and continuing to move past it.

Ellie McBride (39:23):

Yeah. I think that the thing is, is they always say self-care, isn't selfish, but like it is, and it probably should be, and we should be okay with it being selfish. Yeah. Like,

Melanie Knights (39:34):

Like I think it's reframing, what's selfish means reframing.

Ellie McBride (39:38):

It's not such a bad thing.

Melanie Knights (39:40):

No, no, exactly. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today and to sit down and have this conversation. I think it's been really, really amazing. We've been able to talk about so many D which I love before you leave, where is everyone gonna be able to find you online?

Ellie McBride (40:04):

Yes. So my website is www dot, right? Calibrated concepts.com. If you can't spell that, you can put in Ellie mcbride.com. It goes to the same place

Melanie Knights (40:15):

We will link it.

Ellie McBride (40:19):

And cuz there's a lot of C's in that I understand. And and then on Instagram, which is where I hang out the most socially is Ellie may McBride and that is me.

Melanie Knights (40:34):

Perfect. Yes. So we will make sure that Ellie is linked all over in the show notes. So make sure you go check out her Instagram find out more about what she's doing and how she's helping you be more efficient over on her website. We will make sure that is linked as well. Well, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I really, really appreciate it.

Ellie McBride (40:56):

Yeah. I really appreciate you having me on it's really cool to, you know, now be on your podcast, having you been on my podcast, it's just, it's very, very.