Welcome to our new website!
Dec. 24, 2022

Suzanne Culberg - Setting (and upholding) boundaries in business

Suzanne Culberg - Setting (and upholding) boundaries in business

Are you a female entrepreneur who feels your clients take advantage of you? Or are you constantly saying yes, when someone asks to “pick” your brain?
This weekend on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Suzanne Culberg addresses how overgiving directly results from your ability to create and implement boundaries. She’ll also share how boundary setting is the kindest form of self-care.
In this episode, Suzanne Culberg answers the following questions:
What does having boundaries mean?
Where does add value end and giving away too much for free begin?
How do one set boundaries around getting paid what they are worth on time?
What signs a female entrepreneur has issues setting boundaries?

Are you a female entrepreneur who feels your clients take advantage of you? Or are you constantly saying yes, when someone asks to “pick” your brain? 

This weekend on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Suzanne Culberg addresses how overgiving directly results from your ability to create and implement boundaries. She’ll also share how boundary setting is the kindest form of self-care. 

In this episode,  Suzanne Culberg answers the following questions:

  • What does having boundaries mean?
  • Where does adding value end and giving away too much for free begin? 
  • How does one set boundaries around getting paid what they are worth on time? 
  • What signs a female entrepreneur has issues setting boundaries?  

Guest Offer: Weekly Newsletter - before you think *yawn* my emails rock, unique content not shared anywhere else, and special offers!  I love my list - my favorite part of my business.

Guest Link:https://www.suzanneculberg.com/newsletter/

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:  


Suzanne Culberg

[00:00:00] Wendy Manganaro: Hi everyone. My name's Wendy Manganaro and I am the Host of the Wellness and Wealth podcast. I'm so happy to have you find us. And if you could take a moment and hit that subscribe button, I'd really appreciate it. This is the podcast where we believe when you show up better for yourself as a woman business owner, you show up better for your business. 

So sit back, relax. And learn from the practical to the woo-hoo, how to best take care of you. Have a great day. Stay blessed. And leave a review when you're done listening to the show, thanks so much. 

[00:00:38] Wendy: Hi everyone, welcome back and please excuse me, this episode, my voice seems to be going, so we're gonna do the best we can through this. Today our topic is setting and upholding boundaries in business with Suzanne Colberg. I'm gonna read her bio and then we'll get right into it. 

suzanne Colberg is an international mindset coach, speaker, and author who helps over givers and people pleasers learn to say no in a way that feels good through her signature online program, YW8. Suzanne helps women break the cycle of putting themselves last instead of build the confidence to set boundaries.

Suzanne is known by her clients as the velvet hammer, as she's equal parts loving and no bs. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two young children. So welcome, Suzanne. Thanks for being here today. 

[00:01:28] Suzanne Culberg: Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. 

[00:01:30] Wendy Manganaro: We chatted the other day and I was like, we've gotta book this show right away.

So I was so excited about this. I always love talking about boundaries. I think that every business owner should learn what they are, how they help your self care and your confidence. And, women in, in general a lot of times I think lack boundaries. I do have a starting question, what does boundaries mean to you?

[00:01:54] Suzanne Culberg: I love how you spoke about self-care and boundaries and what came to mind is in Brene Brown's early work when people were like, we wanna talk about perfectionism. And she's like, I talk about shame. And they're like, oh, no, no, no.

Perfectionism. And I think, boundaries are the utmost self care and Brene Brown says, clear is kind. So when our boundaries are clear, it's a kindness not only to ourselves, but to our clients because then they know what is I hesitate to use the word allowed, but what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable, like ways to contact us, times that we will respond, all these sort of things, because when people don't know, They're confused and we can sometimes think, oh, we've got a needy client, or, this person is not coachable, or whatever term we like to put on when we're having a hard moment, I know I've been there, but often it's, we haven't been clear in our boundaries, and so the definition of boundaries is.

Not a fence, it's not keeping people out. It's like what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable and what the consequences will be. But not as in you need to change or you need to do this, but when this happens, this is how I will respond. And I think it, it's the utmost self-care and safety and clarity for an individual 

[00:03:19] Wendy: I love that and one of the things I think that a lot of business owners, including myself, and we had discussed this when we chatted originally, was that especially new in business, I'd say customers don't have boundaries because we don't set them with our customers from the beginning. 

And I had talked about one if you get a proposal from me one of my first paragraphs is how you can contact me and when you can contact me. And I had to learn that through the years of calls on the weekends and there's no social media emergency folks.

I'm just gonna tell you, there have been clients I've had in the past who think that's the case and there really is not. And I think that's what we teach others is what really is an emergency. And what is not. 

[00:04:06] Suzanne Culberg: Hundred percent and it's what you'll allow will continue. So I think often in the moment when we are stressed and we are looking for co-regulation, we can be reaching out to our coach or our social media manager or someone else saying this is an emergency.

Cuz in the moment to us it feels like it but as you said, it really isn't. And it's a matter of looking at what's happening underneath. And I'm currently redoing my website and the website person I'm working with, when I got the contract from them, I just felt this big sigh of relief because the very first paragraph, similar to what you said that you were sending out was like, this is how you can contact me and this is how you like, do not contact me this way.

 Which I loved. And also the hours and also because I'm in Australia and they're in. As I say, they were in Germany, but they've moved now Denmark maybe. But like obviously there's a massive time difference so it's negotiating and working that so that we can both get the most from the relationship.

Like for me personally, I don't like to be DMed. Like ever from friends, sending me a meme or something, a hundred percent, but I don't conduct my business via dm, so I like email, or fill my client's Voxer like voice message all the way. . But, I'm not a DM person. Personally, it's not my jam.

But people don't know that. And often if you DM a page and you don't hear back, because that person isn't actively monitoring that. So a lot of pages will have send me an email instead, or sending up on autoresponder, directing the people. And I think we have poor boundaries, especially in the beginning of business because we want clients, so

We're everywhere. And then we don't trust that if we have a message saying, actually I don't respond to this, please email instead that they will make the effort to do that. But if we are overly accommodating on the onboarding and then we aren't overly accommodating in the coaching container, that's, that is a mismatch on our end.

Because one of my pet peeves is people who do everything to get you in and then forget you once they've got your dollars. 

[00:06:20] Wendy Manganaro: Which can be really common. So how did you learn about boundaries? Because usually somebody with good boundaries has a process of getting there, I know for me it's been a progressive journey, for lack of a better word, to get there. So what was your journey? 

[00:06:39] Suzanne Culberg: I was the world's biggest doormat. I had the worst boundaries ever. People pleaser all the things, responding in all the ways and then getting resentful, , gonna o admit that, resentful of my clients sometimes for being needy.

And it was like, hang on, hold up. Where am I creating this or co-creating this? Where am I being overly responsible? And in the beginning of my business, as many of us do, we have more time because we have less clients. And then sometimes when we over-deliver, To the beginning people, we set a precedent or an expectation, and then as we get busy, it looks to them like we're doing less, but we're actually looking like we're doing what we promised.

So even now, where I have times, we all have times where we have lulls in our business. My temptation is to overdeliver or to overgive, and I have to reign myself back in and have a look at where am I not doing my own work that I'm wanting to go and do extra for others, because that is setting something up.

So in the very beginning of my business, I was active in all the Facebook groups, because we were taught that as a technique and I was giving value and commenting on posts and attending other people's webinars and being the, the biggest cheerleader. Often I was the DM person, like people would ask a question, I'd answer and I'd ask a question, and it actually went beyond a conversation about potential coaching into coaching in the dms.

And doing discovery calls, and then, some free sessions. And, basically in hindsight I'd be like, of course people didn't pay you, Suzanne, they didn't need to. You did it all for free. And I'm not saying don't be generous and don't be of service and don't give value, but be really clear in yourself.

Where does it end? And the coaching container begin. So like a little thing I say to myself, I create for free, I do lots of podcast interviews. I, send a weekly newsletter. I post heaps on socials, like I create for free, but I curate as in when people start asking questions or wanting to pick my brain or something, that's when it's sure, here's the link.

So I don't do a whole lot of back and forth discussions, because I find that there's a different kind of discussion about, hey, like I wanna work with you versus, I just wanna pick your brain and I think, sometimes early on too, when I had poor boundaries, I would miss buying signs.

Somebody would send me a message and go, I heard about your program. Instead of saying, awesome, let's schedule a call, or, something like that. I'd just send them some blogs or I'd send them some more information. So sometimes we think we're being clear. But we are really not. So I did all the things.

I was always attached to my phone, notifications all the time, and yeah, it got really exhausting. And it was actually my children who picked me up on it. And it was commenting like, oh, I think my son said to me one day, I want you to watch me do this, but you're always on your phone or something.

And I was like, oh yeah, no, this isn't good. . 

[00:09:47] Wendy Manganaro: And to that point, and I talk about this a lot is most of us build a business so that we can have the life we want. And somehow in the course of building a new business, especially. , it becomes that we have this new chain , we're still not paying attention to what we said we wanted when we started this, and not that we're not gonna have busier times than our business that happens, if you launch something and, but there shouldn't be this 24 7 

[00:10:17] Suzanne Culberg: There's that quote says, entrepreneurs are the only ones who give up the 40 hour work week, like the nine to five to work 80 hours.

[00:10:23] Wendy Manganaro: Exactly. And I don't know many entrepreneurs who don't go through that a little bit. And that goes to that hustle mindset that I often talk about that will burn you out faster than anything else.

Because you cannot, you can't keep up a continued sprint. I have a question, Denise Duffield has a new book out that she just wrote, but one of the things she says is this whole idea of picking your brain.

And how that actually diminishes your ability to get clients because they're so busy picking your brain for women who out there, because I've had this happen to me where I've actually unlinked to those people cuz they were picking my brain that much and I was like, I'm done with this.

I've had some interesting phone calls before where they were picking my brain to see if the person they hired was telling them the right thing. And I was like, yeah, I don't think that's the way this kind of goes, but saying that though, for those women who feel like this need to be able to say yes, because they're going to show their expertise cuz they're new in business what is that line ?

What do you see that line where it goes over picking your brain? Because they're always gonna want something free or that creation because you, you just said you do a lot of creation and Yes. And I dunno if all women understand what the difference is between that. 

[00:11:45] Suzanne Culberg: That's a great question.

So I guess it comes down to business model, how your business model works. So say for example, I run a lot of masterclass in my business, that are free and they go usually about an hour. I deliberately don't give a time because, I go for as long as there's questions and stuff, but in that time, if people come along and they ask stuff, I'll answer whatever.

But then when that time is finished, then it's a let's book a paid call or something like that. Or if you when you sit down and look at your work week, you're like, this week I have two hours to give and you might wanna do another thing I do in my business is I call them Zoom cuppers. So if you're on my newsletter list, once a month I open up three slots and I send it out.

I'm like, here's the slots book in. Please, if you've booked in the last six months, don't take them and you can just ask me whatever. And we jump on Zoom and we talk. That's like a way that I give back. And then invariably, there's always the people who are like, I missed out, or can you tell me?

Or whatever. And that's when it's paid. So your giving and your boundaries for giving is up to you and you get to choose, but you need to protect that. And there's always gonna be people who are like, oh, I missed out, or, the times don't suit me, or whatever. If you wanna work with me in the times that suit me, said with absolute.

that's when you pay. Other than that, just keep looking each month and you know your time will come . 

[00:13:13] Wendy Manganaro: And I am curious because I have a belief system that there is always people and I wish them no ill will. That will always look for the free. They are also people who usually struggle in their business.

This is my experience and there are those who will always step up. So in the idea, I like the idea of your creation because you can't over give there because there's people who are never, no matter what you write or don't write, They are gonna try to utilize it. That's when I get the funny ones where they're like, so I read that article six weeks ago and I can't find it.

And I'm trying, and there's those type of people and that's okay. There on your newsletter. They're not in the same mindset frame as you. But then there's those who appreciate your free stuff, but they are gonna want to book because that's where their mindset is too.

And so I like that you're talking about this idea of boundaries, cuz the more that you set, the more you attract those people who are like, yes, I'm ready to buy. Because you've already preset the boundaries of what you will and will, won't do. So I have another question around this because the other thing is boundaries.

When it comes to payment, I'd love to hear what you accept as I've had some funny stories with the past business partner about the fact that She would mark up contracts because she knew that the person that she was giving it to was always gonna ask her to bring it down.

It is not the business model I followed today at all, but at that time I was young and I didn't know any better and, it's so much work to do that, by the way, to guess what the high point is so that you can get what you really want. It's not a great way for me to be do business. It's, but I'd love to hear what your experience is and setting boundaries on pricing.

 Because that's a big thing for self-care.

[00:14:57] Suzanne Culberg: I have been around ringer with pricing. So with my program, previously it was a membership and then I remodeled it as a program and it was a monthly. Price. So people would pay each month as you do in a membership model. And then there was often defaults, like that's just part of business.

Things would default. And then I would message the people and kindly ask that they fix it up. And then the way my system works, the payment system I have, it doesn't try the three times and then it just defaults. As soon as they have a default, they're out. So sometimes people would take a week or two to pay, then it would start the month again.

And then the next month, the same thing would happen. And there was one client in particular that when I sat down and did the maths, had six months of the membership for free because of this one to two week every month. And when you think about it and you step back, like this was before, I had strong boundaries and I was doing weight loss coaching at the time.

Now I've rebrandedbut when you look at that from an admin time to send the email to follow up the stuff that goes on in your head, like, am I being unfair? And like all that, it wasn't, it was costing me really to have this client. So in the end, and it was actually, this was the real beginning of the shift of my business.

I did a video in the group to everybody, so I wasn't pointing to a person in particular saying it's you. Because there was, several and I was saying that, you guys come to me for help with your overgiving and I've realized that this has become overgiving for me. I will own my place in this up until now, but from here on going forward.

If you default, you have 24 hours to fix it up. Cause also too, my system sends them an email. So me going in to send another email like they're ignoring in that, if you default, you will be removed from the group, in 24 hours and you will be, you're welcome to rejoin at any time at the current rate.

Cuz the other thing I used to do, speaking of pricing is grandfather pricing. And I don't do that anymore because For me, from what I think sustainable because cost of living and the cost of all our expenses increase. And then, so I do have an alumni rate, for people who continue to come back.

But it's alumni rate. It's not a grandfathered set price. So this person had been with me from the beginning. The price was very cheap. And anyway, I did the video. I tagged everyone. I was like shaking , and they were like, yep, okay, cool. And then, This person defaulted. And, I sent them a message as well as the system message, and they said, yes, yes, I'll pay tonight.

And then the next morning they hadn't paid, so I popped them out of the group and then the DM started coming in. And then one of the ones who writes a line hits enter, writes a line hits. So, you have all these things and I'd also said in that video that I would not be responding to DM anymore.

Everything had to come via email and I would respond in, however many business days because I was just really honest and, I said to the person in the dm, this is not acceptable. I don't do DMS anymore, as clearly stated, please send this via email. And then, I sent them an email, a kindly worded email and, it was hard, Wendy, it was really hard.

It was like you say you have a safe space and this doesn't feel safe. And like all the judgment things that came in the end ended up blocking the person because the messages, the barr of messages and everything. But there will be people who have things going on in their life.

 I can have so much compassion for that, but also, what we allow will continue. And I'm not a virtual punching bag. And since then there's very rarely times like this used to happen with a majority of people, majority of the time because I didn't, and now I very rarely get payment things.

[00:18:41] Wendy Manganaro: And you'll realize that when you stop accepting like, oh, it's okay, it's okay. And you put things like backup plans of what to do if somebody doesn't pay on time, you stop getting people who don't pay on time because they appreciate you and value your time because you've made it very clear.

So as far as female entrepreneurs go, I don't know if we're only so self-aware, as the situation we're in sometimes. 

But what are those signs that you see for women business owners who don't necessarily know, they're not setting good boundaries because there's things that it's very clear it's not a good boundary. But what are those subtle things that sometimes entrepreneurs do that, that you see?

[00:19:27] Suzanne Culberg: Client sessions going over time because often we think, oh, we are giving value or whatever. For me personally, I can't stand things going over time cause I've got other things planned, so it's not actually giving value to me. Like value to me is you delivering in the time that you said you would . So, there's that, there's also really clear communication is great on boundaries, especially if something is going to be late. I know often we can freak out and, tend to wanna ostrich or ghost, but to be really clear that, this is taking longer than I thought, or, being clear on the timeline of delivery.

As I said, I'm in the process of rebranding. The person I hired to do my copywriting, what I loved about working with them is, each week or a couple of times, they'd send me an update with where they're going. Just a sentence or two. So I know. Another thing too, they gave me an overall timeline projection.

This is until first draft. This is the time for this. So there was a suggested timeline, which we ended up blowing out for a couple of reasons, but it was communicated all along the way. Whereas sometimes people have stuff going on and they disappear and we can be really understanding.

If people are clear, but also clear and honest, not clear. And like for me as a participant in groups, one of my pet peeves is when the person goes, let's have an integration week because they haven't got their stuff together. Like, be honest, like last year in my program, I ended up having unexpected surgery.

I went to a doctor surgery on Thursday. I had the surgery on Monday. I had to change, but I was just really upfront. With, this is where we're going and, this is what we're gonna do. The same as the last round of my program. I actually really realized I didn't nail this, like I could have delivered this better.

So I was like, I'm going to, put this extra in for anybody who wants it. There's no pressure. But just being, clear with our communication is a way of having really good boundaries. And also when we are doing things like, posting in groups or things like that having that boundary is in how long am I gonna spend in here?

Because sometimes I know when I was new in business, I'd be like, I'm spending all this time. And you are not actually doing productive content producing things that are increasing your business. You're cheerleading on others posts, it's nice but there's busy work like surface work.

And then there's the deep work. And often I know as entrepreneurs, the deep work, like, writing our own blogs or doing our own podcast. Can be subverted by cheerleading on others, and it's not the same level. 

[00:21:53] Wendy: It's so funny because one of the things I teach when it comes to social media, because this is.

By far, one of the thing, biggest things I hear is that I hate social media. Get on there. It's a time suck, blah, blah, blah. And I actually have my clients set timers, and have an intention before they go on. And then I say, if you've done your intention and the timer hasn't gone off and you wanna scroll or then you wanna comment or then you want, that's fine.

But when that timer goes off, then you're done. And I've actually taught classes on like how to not hate social media and actually the whole class, is about how to set your own acceptable boundaries, You don't have to show everybody everything you write, you can make friends lists.

There's so many things about boundaries within the world of social media. That could be a whole show on itself. But to your point, because what happens, is we get on there and it's all about everybody else, and we forget that it's supposed to be a balance between the two so that we're not blowing up our time.

[00:22:54] Suzanne Culberg: And the other thing with social media, if you are a coach and you are curating your time in groups, don't go and hang out in groups of other coaches. Like go to the kind of groups where your client may be. Not in a gross kind of salesy way, but sometimes we think that we are adding to our business, but we are just hanging out with people just like us.

And like I love your point about social media cuz I love social media and a lot of people say you must be on there all the time because I don't batch, I post live and I'm like, but I'm very intentional when I go in and if people in my group, cause my group is run, I have a closed Facebook group on there, you'll see you.

All the notifications from Suzanne, cuz there's my 20 minutes where I'm sitting down focus time in this group and then I'm out. I'm not responding. Every time a notification comes up, I've got them all turned off. Cause I find the dings really distracting and probably a sign of poor boundaries because an email or a notification is someone else's agenda, not yours.

So if I've sat down to plan to do this thing today when I'm like, oh, let's go check my email, I know that's me not upholding my own boundary because I don't wanna do whatever it is I've set to do . 

[00:24:02] Wendy Manganaro: Let's go back to that because, and I've heard this for years, but it's so true, an email, even sometimes a text message is somebody else's agenda.

I so believe that, because what happens is you get wrapped up in answering that email real quick and then four tabs later, they're like, I don't even know what I just did, but I certainly wasn't working on. What I was supposed to be working. And it is a boundary issue and everybody will always think whatever they're working on is the most important thing for you.

[00:24:35] Suzanne Culberg: Yes. And even if you've got a question or thing, I think that's the thing. When we are responding to a question, I have a prioritization, so I have some, not many, but some one-to-one clients, they have the front ticket, so if one of them reaches, but even with that, I only promise.

One business day. So like on the weekend, just gone I didn't respond. And it was funny. I came back into quite a few messages, but nobody was panicking. And the other thing too, when you have clear boundaries, I don't respond on the weekend. As a general rule, sometimes I might like if I am doing stuff, but, it's the exception, not the rule.

If your boundaries are clear, the people aren't panicking and sending you another email or another message because they know, oh yeah, she doesn't respond on the weekend. So, if you've got an agreed upon thing. So like the other thing with a different website person I've worked with, not the current one, but what I loved about their contract was it actually had the number of emails you're allowed to send them for the contract.

And after that there was a renegotiation. And when I asked them about it, cause I was really curious, they were like, some people will send. 50 emails with one sentence and then this changes, this one, this. And she goes, so what I want them to do is to sit down and go, okay, this is what I wanna convey. And send one email clear rather than, changing their mind all the time.

And so it's what is and isn't acceptable. And also if you're doing a design business, how many revisions? Like I love looking at that. The first time I worked, I didn't understand the whole process. And now like often people have an option, like one revision, this price, how many revisions this price, I tend to just go the top one cuz I know I'm the nitpicky kind of person, but then I don't feel guilty or like I'm encroaching a boundary because I have paid for that level of service.

[00:26:19] Wendy Manganaro: I ran an agency for years and one of the boundaries I set as part of the agency cuz I wrote content for my clients, plus did graphics, I don't do them, but had a graphic artist. And one of the boundaries I had to learn was, this is how many revisions you get on your posts. After that and I had to write in and for anybody listening that works with marketing company, these are good boundaries.

If you do not respond, these will not get posted. So it's okay if you don't respond, but I'm not doing any work, nor am I giving you back any money. Yeah, because your inability to read over because you knew in the contract that was the monthly agreement. And what that did for me, and I'm sure for you too, is that when you're on the other receiving side for that, as far as the self-care is, it makes you prioritize what's important for you as far as your business, as far as how much time you need to review things like, I think that, especially for an agency type, because a lot of people want them to just write it and go with it, and then if it doesn't work, they're mad at that person and it takes you out of the victim mode because you still have to, you have to steer the ship at your company.

You can't expect others to steer the ship of what you're gonna want for your company. 

[00:27:41] Suzanne Culberg: A hundred percent. And the other thing that came to mind when you were just speaking then, you were saying in the coaching world, a sign of poor boundaries is a six month contract that becomes nine or 12 or 18 months.

So my one-to-one clients, they get sessions and they also get Voxer voice message access. Sometimes they'll postpone their one-to-one session, but they're still getting that voice message access. And I realized that six months was becoming 9 12 18. Which hamstrings your ability to bring on new clients because you're still servicing previous ones and I'm not saying people do it intentionally, but now it's six months, I think I give one month Grace, to fulfill the sessions.

But at the end of that time, any sessions remaining are forfeit. It's not on me. Because the thing is, what happens is we go into resistance. The very reason we are looking for help comes up and obviously there are exceptions, there are things that go wrong, but often the time it's our own, like, oh, now I'll do it tomorrow.

Oh, I'll do it next week. And then we push it off. But you know that stops the person being able to run their business. So it's being really clear on when the contract ends and holding that. And sometimes, people will be disappointed and you can have difficult conversations, but, maybe that's the lesson that they need to learn.

[00:29:01] Wendy: I've done marketing coaching too, and I've had to do that because I had a person who wanted to come back a year later and I realized it wasn't in my contract, it was in my contract after that. The other thing that you're talking about, which I've learned too, is, in the beginning of my business, I'd give gift certificates for marketing coaching sessions, on one topic and I'll never forget, it was like at my son's school's silent auction, something like that.

So I gave one of them there and the person contacted me, I think it was three sessions, did a session, and then waited literally two years to call for another session. So the other thing I've learned is to always, even on my gift certificates, to put a time limit on it.

[00:29:38] Suzanne Culberg: I do that too. So in my program I have prizes and for anyone listening too with your contracts and this and that, sometimes you hear all this and you're like, oh, it can stop you from starting. This is how you learn. Somebody will say something and you'll be like, oh, and then you can go and revise your contract and revise.

 So it's always. Your best, and then your best gets to get better. So in my program, I give away prizes. Now I clearly state it's not transferable because sometimes somebody will want to give it to somebody else, and , that's not how it works. This is my thing to give away.

 I'm in control of this. And also as you said, it's got an expiry date because sometimes people will hold onto it like they will hoard coaching sessions like a dragon with gold. And even if they buy them, like I used to sell individual sessions and you could buy one or five or 10, I don't anymore.

And back when I did that, this is 2018. I didn't have expiries on them. So I have some people who still have them, I will honor those because they had no expiry. But I've since learned to say, three months or six months, however long, but they will expire. Because the thing is, people, they like to have something up their sleeve and it's no, you've bought this to use it like a tool in the tool shed does nothing

So, clear expiries is another really good boundary to. 

[00:30:53] Wendy Manganaro: Yes, absolutely. So I am curious, about this honoring when you start and stop during the day. Could you talk about that? Because I was reading something the other day that like when you start on a project and you'll say, oh, I'll give myself 10 more minutes, even though you said you were gonna stop, and I don't know about you, but anytime I've done that, the project ends up blowing up because I should have stopped in the first place when I said I was gonna stop.

[00:31:20] Suzanne Culberg: So there's two things to that. So because I'm in Australia and a lot of my clients are in the US or the uk, which are , different time zones, I will often work early morning, like I'm talking to you right now, early morning for me, and then that will be US and Canada and then the UK will be evening. And what I didn't really realize in the beginning, especially with the pandemic, my husband now works from home.

That's been the permanent thing and he works a nine to five, and then I work, sometimes six, five or 6:00 AM I'm an early riser till 10 or 11, and then I'll work again from 8:00 PM seven or 8:00 PM till 10. So like a split day. But then during the day I was blogging or doing other stuff and I was.

I don't actually get any downtime. I was like really sitting back. Cause when my husband finishes, then he plays Xbox or watched Netflix or whatever, and I'm like I don't actually get downtime, this is my responsibility. So today, the day that we are recording this, I have been up quite early and then I have two things after this.

And then my day is finished . So like my workday is done by 10:00 AM because I've done my time. And then if I suddenly got inspired or something, I might use notes on my phone or whatever. But I won't just continue to work because the premise of my work is about overgiving and people pleasing, and I believe giving and receiving are paired states like inhaling and exhaling, you can't have one without the other.

And in business, when we are giving blogging, podcasting, creating value, if we don't stop to look after ourselves to take this rest time, we're not actually open to receive. Because we're always in the giving mode. So like with time boundaries with yourself, it's looking at your week and this has taken years for me to get to, but these are the days that I do client sessions.

These are the days I do podcast recording. These are the days I do admin or times, and like I have that slot because changing between activities, like I used to just have my diary open all the time because as soon as a client come in, I would be there. and then I was like, actually this isn't in best service to either of us, cuz I'm not actually the best coach.

 At the latter end of the week or at latter end of the day. Or if I've coached all morning, like working out for you. How many sessions can you do before you start to lag or before you start? And then what other signs? Like very recently as in only in the last couple weeks, I ran a masterclass.

I had a coach session directly afterward. I had a headache at the end of the masterclass and so I got on with the person cuz it was immediately like I had 10 minutes break and I said, look, I've got a really bad headache. We'll have to reschedule. In my mind I was like, oh, she's gonna think I'm the world's fakest coach and how dare I run the free thing and not her pay thing.

She's gonna ask for a reefer, you know where our brain goes? And I went and had an nap and when I woke up I had the most beautiful email from her saying thank you so much for modeling self-care to me. And I was like, yeah, I could have done that session, but it wouldn't have been great. So I think, checking in with ourselves.

What are the signs, like you were saying, a 10 minute task. Another example is I write a weekly newsletter. I normally do it. Yesterday I sat down. I wasn't in the zone, and I was like, I could force myself to write something, to sit at a standard that I send something weekly or I can just leave it anyway.

This morning before jumping on with you, I woke up a little bit early and I was like, oh, newsletter, bang that thing out in 10 minutes. Sent it off. I thought it was really good I don't know, there's the times like, when is this really due or when are we pushing through to some unrealistic standard we've set for ourself.

[00:34:56] Wendy Manganaro: And it is unrealistic. And then leave said room and ready to kill family. And they're like, are you okay? And you're like, no, no, I'm not, because I've overdone it and now you have to deal with me. So that's never a good thing. And I think a lot of business owners do that. they think, if I just do this one last thing and really many times it doesn't make a difference. , it'll still get done. It's just whatever, like you said, our own standard that we put on ourself. 

[00:35:22] Suzanne Culberg: The perfectionistic thing sometimes to edit or whatever. So I set myself a goal last month to post every day. It didn't have to be long, it didn't have to be whatever, but I post every day and there was one day and I was like, I've got no idea what to post today.

And I'd just been on a Zoom meeting, one of these ones, let's go around the room and introduce each other, and I was like, I wanna die inside. I'm an introvert . So I literally wrote that as my post. As soon as you start with, let's go around the room and introduce ourselves. Part of me wants to die inside.

That post went off, I ended up with so many comments and open discussions. What would you prefer instead? So I think sometimes we sit around planning, whatever, and we get crickets and other times we're just like, this is what's current for me. and that gets the most response. And I think that's energetically aligned with what's going on, rather than us sitting around trying to work out what people are gonna respond to.

[00:36:12] Wendy Manganaro: Yes. And as somebody who does this and talks about being authentic and finding out what works for you and not listening to the Gurus, I cannot agree more. I said to somebody the other day, I said, I am the a anti-marketing Guru because and when I used to get called to guru it, I thought I had imposter syndrome, but my insides would get sick and I don't take it personally.

I, I know my stuff. It's not because I don't, but I'm like, that doesn't mean that's gonna work for every business. Cuz if it doesn't work for you, it does not make sense. It will never make sense how somebody else got the six figures if it doesn't work for you and who you are. 

[00:36:44] Suzanne Culberg: There's no blueprint to success because 

what works for one person, personality, time and thing. Previous audience, so often these blueprints to success, six figures in 60 days or whatever. I did it and it's like, yeah, because you came from corporate, you've got this giant network and whatever. And compared to somebody who, like me, is socially awkward, introverted, and doesn't have a network, it's gonna take time,

[00:37:08] Wendy: Well, I'm a big believer in that, right audience will find you. They just will the more authentic you are, the right audience will find you. And you don't have to worry about everybody else. 

Okay, so I have one last question. What's a mindful solution versus a practical solution for a female entrepreneur to start to create boundaries? 

[00:37:26] Suzanne Culberg: For anyone listening, if you've got a piece of paper in front of you, doesn't need to be big.

Any size. Pick up your piece of paper and I've got one here that I'm gonna show Wendy cuz we're on camera. But on one side you write yes and you flip it over on the other side you write no. And when you hear the email ding or when someone says, could you just, or when's like someone can pick your brain if you hold up the yes side facing them.

What is facing you? What are you saying to the thing that you'd plan to do? No. So having really good boundaries, , and I have this yes no sign. Literally outside my office. I have young children, they're seven and nine. They're old enough to read mostly. And if it's on a no, it means mummy's on a call, a client call or podcast call. 

Unless there is blood. Do not interrupt me. As I said, they're old enough now to look after themselves, but say I'm doing. blog writing or I'm doing email responding or admin type stuff. It'll be on. Yes. So they can come in. And then you're having that clear boundary with people and with yourself.

So There's exceptions to it. As I said yesterday was my email writing day. So technically I should have written the email. But there's a difference between when we are falling into resistance and procrastination and when like we're at capacity. So another really practical thing for you would be writing down what are the signs that you've reached

capacity, the one that you said getting off the call and snapping at your kids. Hello? or family? Whoever's here. For me, when I start buying food for the kids, that I know that I'm gonna eat. What are the signs that you are reaching your capacity? Because the thing is, if you don't resource and look after yourself first, then you can't be anything for others.

 A client said to me the other day, I loved this so much, it was like, self first is not selfish. So it's having a little yes no sign and realizing that when you say yes to an email or something that comes in, you're saying no to what you'd plan to do. So you're flipping that around.

And then what are the signs that you are reaching your capacity, and what can you do to re refill that. For me bath, I could live in the water, I swear. I often nap during the day because I do work early mornings and evenings. What are the ways that you can give back to yourself to fill your cup, so that you have more available, not just to give to others, but so you feel good.

Cause we, as you said, we start this business cuz we want more time with our family and then we end up snapping at our family. If that is happening, we all go through that. I think it's a regular thing, but to realize that we're in charge of flipping that we can't wait until there's no amount of money or no amount of clients, it's gonna suddenly, magically have you go.

Oh, okay. Now I can look after myself. 

[00:40:04] Wendy Manganaro: Absolutely. Ah, this has been so wonderful. I know that you have an offer for our folks, so I'd love for you to share with them what that is and how they can get in touch with you. 

[00:40:15] Suzanne Culberg: Thank you, Wendy. So yeah, I send a weekly newsletter and I buck the trend by calling it a newsletter.

I know people call it a brochure or broadcast or something, but people, it's a newsletter. It is fun, it is unique. It's not what I put on socials. It's not just a link to, Hey, here's my blog or whatever, because yeah, you could just do that yourself. And, I do have the Zoom cuppers once a month where you can jump on and have a chat to me and things like that.

And that's only through my newsletter. So SuzanneCulberg.com/newsletter and I'm sure you'll put it in the show notes cuz Kulberg's an interesting name for spell. And I do ask people to respond, if there's something that stands out to you and I will write back via email.

But I love the newsletter because when I was a kid, I loved having pen pals, and it's that connection way that, , I'm really interested in, what are people taking away or what do they wanna know about boundaries? And often that's how I create my masterclass. When I get enough interest in the, in a topic, I'm like, let's go make something from it.

[00:41:07] Wendy Manganaro: This has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you for being with us very early in the morning, but it has been awesome to get to know you better. 

[00:41:18] Suzanne Culberg: Thank you. Thank you for having me 

[00:41:21] Wendy: as always, please don't forget to subscribe because if you show up better for yourself, you will show up better for your business.

And each one of our episodes talks a little bit about a different way you can do that. In the meantime, have a peaceful, abundant week.


Suzanne CulbergProfile Photo

Suzanne Culberg

Coach/ Speaker /Author

Suzanne Culberg is an international mindset coach, speaker and author, who helps over-givers and people pleasers learn to say 'No' in a way that feels good.

Through her signature online program, Why W8? Suzanne helps women break the cycle of putting themselves last and instead build the confidence to set boundaries.

Suzanne is known by her clients as ‘the velvet hammer’ as she is equal parts loving AND No BS! She lives in Sydney with her husband and two young children.