Episode #54: Setting Boundaries in Your Business

In today’s episode, we’re continuing our conversation about boundaries in your business. We’ll finish up the episode with a weekly actionable tip.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I truly think you cannot run a business with integrity and your own values and morals without disappointing some people. You have to be ok with disappointing people and know that they are not your people. And that’s ok.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re continuing our conversation about boundaries in your business.


  1. What’s on my plate [1:04]
  2. Shop Talk: Boundaries in your business [23:04]
  3. There is not a template [37:21]
  4. Tip of The Week: Rip off the Band-Aid [56:43]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:04]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, I see you are back in the soon to be podcasting studio at Fed and Fit headquarters in the Hill Country of San Antonio. Did I get all that right?

Cassy Joy: That’s it! You got it all right. Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: The whole rolling hills, and vast wide-open space views. I love it.

Cassy Joy: That’s it. It makes me want to go march right out and look out a window right now. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: And sing Sound of Music or something; it feels so airy and open and light and beautiful and I love it.

Cassy Joy: What you don’t see is that it’s 105 degrees today. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And that is why I don’t live in Texas. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: It is very beautiful this year, though. It’s very green. We’re here. And I think this is a chronic problem of mine, Diane, is that I constantly underestimate all that is involved in a project. Like; oh yeah. Yeah…

Diane Sanfilippo: We have to do that. That’s the self-protection of the forward thinker and the big ideas person. If we actually thought through everything that will have to happen that will execute our big ideas, the world would never move forward.

Cassy Joy: We’d talk ourselves out of it. Totally.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, 100%.

Cassy Joy: Totally. Oh yeah, we’re just going to build ourselves a kitchen studio and go work there.

Diane Sanfilippo: N-B-D.

Cassy Joy: It’s going to be great.

Diane Sanfilippo: But that’s part of being the Manifesting Generator, right? And a Manifestor. We have to have those big visions forward.

Cassy Joy: That’s true. And it will still all be great. I’m not discouraged, I’m just a little tired. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Rightfully so.

Cassy Joy: You know? Sitting in this. Still. I still have the same attitude, though. It is still very much it’s going to be great. I just finished getting all of our; you know, this is going to make me sound like a total brat. It’s like, when something becomes a job, it becomes a little bit less fun than when it’s just for fun. But getting all of our kitchen equipment. Like all of the pots and pans and hand mixers and utensils and spatulas. Shopping for all of that was essentially like putting together what felt like a wedding registry. And just replicating the tools that I have at home in order to create all of these dishes.

And it sounds like a really fun project, and it was in some sense. But also; I’m really tired {laughs} of making all these decisions. Because if you ever did go through that, or have stocked a kitchen, or maybe you did put together a wedding registry. Or some kind of activity like that. You just make 1000 micro decisions. “Do I need a 7-quart mixer or a 6-quart mixer?”

So, we got it all done. Checked that off the list. That’s really exciting, and it’s going to feel like Christmas morning for the next two weeks.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: As all these boxes are delivered. And then also, speaking of being set up. For the first time, Diane, in six years, I have more screens than just my laptop screen, which I’m very grateful for. This machine has been everything. It’s where I do all of my work. But I have two external monitors, and the last time I had that was when I had an office and I worked at a facility asset management company, and marketing, and development. And it was great. I was that kind of person where I liked being able to see everything at a glance. Here’s my message window, here’s my calendar, here’s my email.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m that way, too. Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Yes! Here’s all these other things that I’m noodling and thinking about. But on my laptop, I just have to constantly have to toggle back and forth between windows. And today was the first day that I plugged in and got all three monitors working together.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love!

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh! I feel like I got twice as much work done. So if you are working from home, and maybe you had an external monitor at the office. If you did have an office. Or if you’re just working from home and that’s your main plan; I wish I bought myself a monitor sooner at home. Monitors are not wildly expensive. You can probably find a really good deal. Especially if you look up refurbished. And the feeling of productivity just goes so, so much; it feels so much more.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think those of us who are visual people; it alleviates this thing that I know I constantly do, where it’s like a mental note. Don’t forget, don’t forget, don’t forget. And so instead of forgetting, you can’t. Because it’s right there on your visual desktop.

Cassy Joy: That’s exactly what it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love having all those monitors. I mean, I have just the one iMac right now, which is much bigger, of course, than a laptop. And then my laptop for other rooms, and I definitely feel that when I’m on the laptop. Which is why there are a million tabs always open. Right? It’s like, we could actually close some of those if that was just on this screen over here. Yeah, beautiful command central. I love it. It looks awesome. It looks very important.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} Exactly, it does feel very important.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have important decisions I’m making over here on all my screens.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I’m choosing between the 7-quart and the 8-quart mixing bowl right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} So funny.

Cassy Joy: Oh gosh. So there’s that. And my last what’s on my plate; this is such a great resource. We will link to it in show notes, but there is a newsletter called antiracist daily. And y’all, it is such a great way to continue your antiracism learnings as time goes on. If you feel very convicted and called to this work, and it’s such important work. Diane and I, in so many ways, are on the same page in that. This is such a great way to make sure that you are staying really fresh, and sharp, and conversational about all of these important topics. And like I said, we will put a link to this in show notes. But it’s this fabulous newsletter.

You can also access their archive of content. And I encourage you go click back through that and read the things that you’re really curious about. She and her team break apart all of these topics in such wonderful, digestible pieces that challenge and also inform in the same time. And then, when; because I know you’re going to find it helpful. When you find it helpful, I really, really strongly encourage you consider contributing. They have several options; you can PayPal, you can do other things. I personally contributed via Patreon; set up like a monthly payment that I’m sending to them as a; it’s the least I can do besides talking about this wonderful resource. But if you’re looking for another way to continue your learnings, this is a great way to do it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. And you forwarded a handful of us one of their recent emails, and I immediately was like; yes, thank you. Such a great email. Really educational, and I did the same; I went right onto Patreon. And I always recommend that people do that kind of thing. If you’re busy, a businessperson, and you feel called to subscribe or donate or whatever it’s going to be, do it right then. Because there’s a reason why you feel compelled to do that. And don’t wait. Because people are creating resources, and unlike somebody who might have a book deal and have programs and all these other things, there are so many content creators today who are not putting ads on their site. Or not doing other things that would generate revenue.

And we can look at these kind of like magazine subscriptions in a way, but to a much more focused, very specific person. And you don’t have to do a huge fee per month, you can keep it lower. But I think it really matters to actually contribute financially to the people who are doing this creation work. So thank you for forwarding me that email. I thought that was so fantastic.

I want to give a hat tip also to an Instagram account called So You want to Talk about. And I share a lot of her posts regularly on Instagram. But kind of hand in hand with that. She talks a lot about, not specifically only antiracism topics, but just newsworthy social issues, etc. And she does these kind of, I’ll call them mini-deep dives, through Instagram slides. Usually up to the 10 slides. With concise information and just breaking it down. Citing the sources that it comes from, etc. So I think it’s a really great way to learn a little bit more about some of the social issues going on.

Ok, so inspired by you and inspired by my friend, Kendra Holly, who just kind of behind the scenes, she’s been percolating on what she wants to do with her business and looking at spaces and she’s talked about it a lot on her Instagram stories, looking at local spaces for her. I was sitting here thinking about how for a decade I’ve worked from home, and it’s been fine. And I don’t remember if I talked about this on the last episode. But I don’t know, I was just thinking; what if I had somewhere to go. I think we did talk about it, because I saw you in your crisp white shirt, in your space. And I was like; that looks not just more productive, but more; there’s an emotional, mental, physical divide between work and home. And it’s not about productivity, it’s about being focused and getting a thing done in less time.

And I mean, I guess that is productivity, but I think what happens for me, working from home; and I’m sure some of you are experiencing this too. Things just drag on. You know. There are a lot of distractions. And I can’t go to a coffee shop right now; that’s not an option. And no, of course, I’m not just saying that anyone who just can’t go to a coffee shop, go rent some office space. Because that’s not obviously the solution for everyone. But sometimes if I feel called to do something that’s been in the back of my mind, and it feels like it might be the right time. The real estate market here, the areas that I’m look; I mean, 50 or more percent empty.

Cassy Joy: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I kind of have my pick of the litter. I have the price I’m willing to pay, and if they don’t want to take that amount they don’t. And I’m like; ok, well it will sit open for two more years, at least. Like, I just know the situation.

So I’ve been looking at some spaces. And I’m going to be looking at retail store fronts that I can use as an office/store front when that starts to happen again, knowing that I’m not relying on foot traffic for my business. But when and if we’re able to actually do that again, and people can walk in and buy some things. Particularly spices and dry goods. I won’t be selling meals. But having that options sounds fun and exciting to me. And having a place to go that I can close off and not look at the pile of laundry that I haven’t done, and all of that.

So I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it on this show before, but brain can’t actually thing beyond a 2-5 year; I can’t think even in that range. I can think 1-2 years, max. It’s just; I’m not even going to complain about it anymore. It’s literally how my brain works. And it’s been going ok for me so far, so I’m going to just {laughs} go with it.

But in the next 1-2 years, I see that being a good idea for me. If I have somewhere to go that I can get my work done. Hopefully when things open up a little bit more, maybe I’ll be able to do a little bit of coworking. People who are local who might be working remotely for different companies, maybe I can rent them a desk for the day or the week or whatever it’s going to be. Maybe they pay a certain fee and schedule their desk. I don’t know.

But it seems like a good idea to me. And then maybe if I have somebody who is working locally. Which I used to have at least one person who lived in the city who worked with me, that that person might have a desk as well. And we’ll see. But I’m excited about it. I saw one space yesterday, and I’m going to see three more today. Fingers crossed. And I’ll continue that for the next week or so. And then we’ll go from there.

You totally got me; first I was just jealous of looking at all of the kitchen and all that stuff. And that’s not what we’re going to be doing. It’s a different; it’s office/retail versus more production and video and all of that great stuff. But it just gave me the bug; wait a minute, should I be doing that? And I was like, I think I would really feel good having a place to go. Get some stuff done.

Cassy Joy: That’s wonderful. My productivity is through the roof since being here, even just a few short hours.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what I’m hoping.

Cassy Joy: Between childcare and everything. I’m not here 40 hours a week. But I feel like I’m getting 10 times more done.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I know myself, too. I know that when I have done work. Specifically I’ve done work on books and bigger projects that I’ve broken down. I know you and I have always had that similar thing, where, like, I’m going to go to the coffee shop and I’m working on chapter 3. And I can’t leave until that. But I wish I could get up to pee and not worry about my laptop being stolen.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I live in an urban; in a city. Maybe in the San Antonio area that’s not as much of a concern, I don’t know. But I don’t want to leave my laptop there. I also don’t want to pack it up and bring it into the bathroom and lose my spot or any of that. There was always this balance of; I can work as long as it takes until I so badly have to pee that I have to leave.

Cassy Joy: It’s its own sense of urgency. And just; if you’re listening and you’re like; wow, I would love to be able to work outside the house but it’s not a possibility right now. Don’t underestimate the power of going and sitting in your car.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: Because I have done that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Truth.

Cassy Joy: You’re close enough for the Wi-Fi from your house. And I will back it out of the garage so I can see some sunlight. And my children don’t; you know, one of them actually, can run up to me. The other one just kind of looks at me and is like, I know you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: The little one. But yeah. There’s something about just physically removing yourself from being able to see the pile of laundry, and the dishes, and the dinner you’re going to cook later, and if you have children or furry four-legged friends at home that are constantly going to ask you for things.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I’m also thinking; this will help me feel calmer and less anxious, because I know that when I do work somewhere else and then it’s punctuated and I force myself to get something crossed off before I come back. I just know that it will help me show up better for my team as well. A lot of our listeners, I’m sure, are moms or parents. And there’s that whole idea of taking care of yourself first so that you can really show up well for your family. And that’s actually really important as a boss and a leader of a team. Like, if I am not putting myself first in terms of my workspace, and how I feel while I’m working, and if I feel clear headed and focused. If I’m not doing that, then I know that I’m faltering for delivering for my team. So if I can feel calmer, more focused, more organized, and more productive, then it’s just going to help everyone. It’s just going to kind of cascade down.

So I’m really excited about it. I mean, there’s the potential for this to start as soon as September 1 or even sooner. I don’t know. And then, of course, there’s going to be a little bit of time putting things into the space. And I’m immediately realizing how my current office dressings {laughs} I don’t know what you call them. Furnishings. Will be dwarfed in a space like any of these. Because I’m currently in just a really small back sunroom office room in my house. And in any of these spaces, I’ll go put in all my stuff, and feel like it’s a lot of stuff and suddenly I’ll be like; I didn’t even fill a small portion of this. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: So I’m like; I will need taller plants. And I’m already dreading moving out of a space, which is so bizarre to me. I’m already thinking about that side of things. Anyway. I think it will be fun, and I have no idea what I’m doing. And that’s par for the course for me. I never have any idea what I’m doing. I just go with my gut and land wherever it is.

Speaking of which; speaking of not knowing what I’m doing, but just going with my gut. I’m just always trying to do what sounds fun. I know you’re kind of the same way. Like, yeah, it’s work. But does that sound like fun? It sounds like work, but it kind of sounds like fun. I’m going to make some noise.

I have the first packages of this granola collaboration that we have been working on for, it’s been several months now, with Nana Joe’s Granola. Made here in San Francisco. Woman-owned company. The company is just 10 years old now, and they’re just awesome. Michelle, the owner, is so lovely to work with. She is just a fantastic business owner. Connected, originally, through Simone of Zenbelly. And I’m just so excited.

So a little; I don’t know, I’ll give you all as listeners a sneak peek of info. It’s a riff on my peanut butter granola that’s on the blog. But it’s not peanut butter, because that’s a little more allergen friendly. They actually don’t use peanuts in their kitchen at all. They don’t use collagen in their kitchen; it’s a totally vegan kitchen. So we used a really special protein that’s kind of; I don’t know, it’s becoming popular now and I feel like we’re on trend.

Cassy Joy: Oooh.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s watermelon seed protein.

Cassy Joy: What?! Have not heard of it!

Diane Sanfilippo: Right! And I talked about this with my friend, Mary Shenouda, who owns Phat Fudge. And she was like; yep, totally new. Everyone is using it. On trend. Blah, blah, blah. It’s just a new; it’s a vegan protein, obviously because it’s from watermelon seed. But a lower potential for allergies. And the taste and flavor profile is good. So it balances out the cashew butter. You almost wouldn’t know that this isn’t peanut butter unless I told you.

Cassy Joy: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: It doesn’t taste; peanut butter has a very distinct taste, but if you’ve been making it with peanut butter, and you eat this you’re going to be like; ok, yeah. I feel like I’m there. So it’s amazing. It uses my cacao butter, which I’ve never seen another granola use cacao butter as the fat. Oh, I just dropped the bag. {laughs} As the fat, and that just gives it this beautiful texture and this kind of chocolatey flavor without the bitterness of actual chocolate. So I’m really proud of it.

And I don’t know how long it will be available as a collaboration. Of course, I’m already thinking; what other food products will I create in the future? And for those of you, from the business side of things how this works; this is a product that it’s likely what I’ll do is actually continue forward with it, with this kitchen producing it as the copacker, and we will brand it under our own brand. That’s my intention.

And for a lot of products out there, you’re not going to know who the copacker is. That’s typical. Even some of the big brands that we know about, they don’t own a facility. It’s not typical to actually own a facility. It’s a lot of equipment, a lot of money, and it’s not very financially stable to do that. Because you’re not going to be producing all of the hours the day. And that’s really the way that you make the most of investing in all that equipment.

So companies that make frozen food, for example; I want to say, I mean, I think a company like Amy’s might own their actual production. But every other brand that you see in the freezer, there are a couple of producers out there. Because you just don’t need to be cooking and packing that much food for all those hours. Does that make sense? To make it worth owning all that equipment, millions of dollars of equipment, you need to be using it all the time.

Anyway, long story short. I already am seeing that this is something that we will probably have in the future actually branded as Balanced Bites. Because one of the reasons why I wanted to keep the brand as Balanced Bites many years ago; when I was really on a toss up between branding the spices Practical Paleo, because I released them with the second edition, or Balanced Bites. And I just; my gut told me; do the thing that has a broader appeal, that’s not totally niched down. And I love it, because obviously now I can do things that have gluten-free grains, and that’s what I eat. I do eat oatmeal.

So anyway. I’m super excited. It will be out within the coming weeks. I’m looking at the bag now. It’s a bag that’s been printed that Nana Joe’s uses for collaborations, and we just kind of a sticker on the front, a sticker on the back. They’ve done these chef-blend collaborations before. I just found out today that in the past they did one with Melissa King, who has been on Top Chef many times. I was like; oh, ok. {laughs} I didn’t even know that they had done some of these other amazing collabs.

I’m excited! I don’t know. That’s my granola! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I can’t wait! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Diane Sanfilippo: We will send you some. I’m so pumped to get it out there. So yeah, coming soon. Look for it. And my heart; it was like opening a box of your new book or something. You know, when your heart does that little flutter of just so much excitement. I was like; oooh! Opening up that first case.

Cassy Joy: Aww!

Diane Sanfilippo: So excited.

Cassy Joy: I’m so proud. I can’t wait.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you. I can’t wait for you to try it. It’s like the perfect base granola, too. If you want to add any kind of fruit or dried fruit or any nuts or whatever else. Because it doesn’t have any of those other things in it. It’s just the perfect, goes with everything, granola. I’m just obsessed with it.

Cassy Joy: Love it.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, anyway. {laughs}

2.  Shop Talk: Boundaries in your business [23:04]

Cassy Joy: Shop Talk. In this segment, we discuss topics that are related to business and entrepreneurship that are on both our minds and yours. And this week, we are going to continue our conversation around boundaries in your business.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. Ok, so last week we talked about; how do you know if you need to set a boundary, if you haven’t done it before. We’ve talked a little bit about, in the past, the line between what you share and what you don’t share. What I want to get into today is this idea of not being for everyone in your business on social media in your life. And that being ok.

Because I know that we have largely female listeners; maybe some guys as well. Or anyone who identifies any which way. And it’s common that you’re starting a business, and you’re at the same time, discovering some personal development holes. Some work that you need to do. We all discover this. Work that we need to do on ourselves that the business basically exposes for us. This happens in relationships, right? When we’re in relationships with other people, we very quickly see; oh, when I’m alone personal development is almost irrelevant. But as soon as you start interacting in relationships, that’s when you discover the work that needs to be done.

And I think the same thing happens and begins to get exposed in business. Partially because you’re now interacting with a lot more people. Informing relationships, however close or loose, that there may be. And if you aren’t self-assured, knowing who you are, feeling confident and calm and convicted in what you’re doing, that will become increasingly challenging as a business owner.

And you and I were talking about this a little bit before we hit record, but this idea that; listen. Running a business and being the person in charge, and the last night of what is the answer here, how do I handle this; that is not for everyone. And it is not a knock. Because keeping the books is also not for everyone. It’s not for me; I know it is not for you. Right? There are different parts of running a business that; of course when you’re new and you’re like; I have to do all these things. But eventually, you discover; maybe I don’t want to be the face of a business. Because this type of particular pressure is not what I want or am really well equipped to handle. But this other type of pressure I can handle, and I can handle this.

So I want to just make that delineation; I do think a lot of things end up getting exposed when we go into business. And then when we start having people who work for us. You and I; this is one of the reasons we started this show. Talking about working with people on our teams. Talking about leading a team, being a boss, delegating work. All of that stuff is really, really challenging. And that’s actually when I started doing a lot of my personal development work. Was as soon as I had one relationship; one working relationship on my team that I was in charge of, not really end well. And I was like; hmm, what can I own in that? I’m not going to own 100% of it, of course. Because I was not alone. But I could really see what part did I own in how that all went.

And I think that’s just a very honest conversation we all need to have with ourselves. So how this feeds into today’s conversation is; you’re not for everyone. That’s ok, both in life and in business. And that’s really challenging for a lot of people. Because we fear saying something that will alienate some potential customer. But I think the reality is, your business is never for everyone anyway. So if you have something that you want to talk about as a person; this is something also in the last decade that I have really come around on. It’s like; business is business, and it’s not personal. Well, actually business is the most personal thing, because the people who make the decisions about how things are run are the business. {laughs} Right?

It’s like saying; it’s like the idea of someone’s metabolism being some nebulous thing in your armpit; that’s like a random, what is that? What is metabolism? It’s your muscle mass. Well what is business? It is the people who made decisions about what is happening every single day. About what the product will be, how we treat people, etc.

So what’s your take on this? It’s ok to not be for everyone? Because I know you’ve probably come up against it in the last few years, even, more so than ever before, right? This idea that; oh, I might say some things that not everyone is cheering about. Right?

Cassy Joy: Yes. Absolutely. I definitely have been through a huge; and I’m still learning and growing through this process. I think it’s going to be a forever lifetime work. A lot like antiracists work, right, is a forever lifetime work. Learning where I’m going to draw boundaries. Where I’m going to draw lines. What I stand for. It’s something that’s going to constantly be in evolution.

When I started Fed and Fit; it’s interesting. And I feel like listeners, especially if you’re early on in your businesses, maybe you feel very similarly. When I started Fed and Fit, I had an idea of who I was talking to. I had my niche. I started off with my niche. It was healthy, paleo recipes and people who were tired of dieting. And that was pretty much it. And then I gave them these recipes.

And I remember my hands sweating and being so nervous about; I’m going to start with a very trivial example of this, of you’re not for everybody and upsetting some people. I remember the first time I posted about; I think dairy. It was goat cheese, for Pete’s sake, in a recipe. And I thought; oh my goodness! They’re going to hate this. They’re going to hate me. They’re all going to leave. And I went for it, because in some way, in such a silly example. We’re talking about goat cheese. But in such a silly way, I was like; I’m going to stand up for myself and what I feel is distinct about my perspective in food and wellness. And part of that is including things you can tolerate.

And then a few years go by, and then all of a sudden, because of the majority of the content on Fed and Fit is recipe related. It’s just such an easy example base to pull from. But then we started publishing recipes that had gluten free grains. And I thought; once again, oh my goodness, they’re all going to leave me. They are going to hate this; and then I did it anyways. Because I have a little bit of a challenger in me. And it terrified me and it excited me at the same time. And then we started publishing these gluten free recipes. And you know what; yes. Some people said, “That’s not paleo!” {laughing} Oat flour is not paleo. Rice is not paleo. The conversation; I was like, I never said it was. You’re going to get into a conversation with these people who, they have put you in some sort of a box in their own mind.

But I realized it was not my responsibility, the box that other people are putting me and my brand in. It’s my job, however, to reframe it if and when I feel it’s appropriate to reframe it.

So when it comes to content, the way I’ve reframed it and evolved it over the years is by talking about; we’re going to publish healthy recipes, period. And I’m not claiming that our chocolate chip cookie recipe is a vitamin. It’s not something that you eat, you know, you just have endless amounts of them and they’re always going to be good for you. But we’re going to publish things mindfully. And we broadened that box.

And then in other ways, to your point, Diane; the things that we stand for as a brand have, and by we I mean me, being the person that worked here alone, have really started to bubble to the surface over time. Because what I’ve realized is how I do business is a part of my business. And talking about that is important.

So one way; and I know we’re going to get into some really rich conversation a little bit about what this looks like in terms of what we stand for as brands. But in another example that’s not just related to content; how I work with my team, and the respect that I give them is really important to me. And it’s important to my brand. And it’s important that our readers recognize that the www.FedandFit.com is not the Cassy Joy Garcia show anymore.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Right.

Cassy Joy: Right? And that’s something I stand for. I don’t want to be a one-woman show. And I want them to recognize; and again, having a collaborative presentation of this group of people who are producing content on Fed and Fit is not for everybody. There are people who have shaken their fist in one way or another, upset that it’s not just me and my dogs and my children and me cooking in my kitchen. But it’s not anymore. It’s not. And I’m ok with them leaving. I’m ok with them going.

What I’ve found, though, in this whole evolution is that; while there are some people who have left and are very vocal on their way out; a lot of them will be. There’s also the grand majority who love the content just how I thought they might. And it’s deepened a relationship, because now the audience that’s here understands even more what we stand for and what we’re trying to do, and they love it. I knew that they would. I knew there was at least a person, or a group of persons, who would love that.

So it is. It’s an evolution, and it’s something that’s constantly evolving over time. And I’ll probably change my mind on other things that are less meaningful than where we stand on human rights.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Right.

Cassy Joy: And our role as a company when it comes to sustainability, and the economy, and the environment overall. There are these really, really big topics that it’s our job. If you’ve got the chops to be an owner, then it’s your job also to self-reflect on; where do you stand? What’s your role in all of these things?

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. I love what you said about people wanting to put you in a box. Sometimes it’s a pedestal. Sometimes it’s a box on a pedestal, right? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think that by and large that is a product of a type of mindset in a reader or a follower that; look. Whatever you came here for, that is yours to own. And I think that we do have; we have a responsibility in some ways to provide context when we change things. So to your point; it’s not your job to fit in the box. But I do believe we have a responsibility to give context. It’s not about justifying and explaining in a super defensive way. But it is context. Because, we get it. And you’ve done that beautifully. We get it, that someone came her for one thing and now things have changed.

And I think that as humans, we have to understand that the people who get really uncomfortable with those changes; I think as a business owner, we all need to understand that that person. There is so much going on with them, if they are going to come tell a stranger how to show up in the world. So what I really want everyone listening to understand is; as a business owner, if people are complaining to you that you have decided; you know what? I’m going to narrow my focus. I’m going to stand up for this thing that I really believe in. I’m going to share this part of me that I didn’t share before, but its’ really important to me. I can’t not say it, because it’s the honest way to be. Right? It’s the honest way to be in business, and I do think that honesty is extremely important.

We can’t have this front about our business that doesn’t feel connected, because it will ultimately crumble. We will be building a house of cards. You know what I mean? We have to building on this reality of who we are and how we want to run our business. So I think acknowledging; yes, I’m changing things around here. And I get it, that some of you may like it, some of you may not. But also understanding that, if that person wants to march into your inbox and explain why they’re angry; it has nothing to do with you.

Those of you listening, if you have a business, can you even imagine writing an email like that? Who cares? This is why I wrote the post; newsflash, no one cares if you unfollow. It doesn’t mean that we don’t want people’s attention, or want people to stay. It means, if you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. And that is ok with me.

And I think the problem is the person on the other side is so offended that you wouldn’t want my attention, point blank. And it’s like; I actually don’t. I actually want to be showing up for the people that understand that I am not going to be taking the one-on-one nutrition advice DMs. I am here for the people who can respect what I’m all about, and the amount of generosity that they understand is being exchanged on a social media platform that is free content.

So, there doesn’t need to be a further exchange of finances for someone to be showing up on social media. And I think that’s kind of where this stuff becomes this real pressure cooker for boundaries. It’s like; this whole social media thing creates a lot of access that nobody fully understands. And I’ve talked about this in a couple of the past episodes, so if you didn’t listen to those yet, definitely go back. But it’s this concept of; if we don’t have boundaries in our real life, good luck when you step onto social media. because now, you’re on all the world’s stage.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

3. There is not a template [37:21]

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyone can see what you’re talking about and all of that. So anyway. Let’s talk a little bit about this idea of how to be talking about boundaries. How to be sharing a little bit about what you stand for. I know you have a note here about; there’s not an actual template. There’s no, “Here’s how you do it” to declare where you stand on things. What are your thoughts on this? How do we begin to communicate that stuff?

Cassy Joy: I think; and I want to iterate that point. Because I hope that it feels freeing to some of you. Is that you really can draft what’s right for you and your business. So let’s say you follow several accounts. And you see them publicly declaring their stances on really big, important topics. Just because they’re declaring topics A through Z does not mean that you also have to do the same in order to engage in a meaningful way in this conversation and to really elevate your brand and what you stand for.

You can declare your stance; you can customize what you’re declaring your stance on I guess is what I’m trying to get at. There are things that you will see me talk about from a Fed and Fit perspective, and there are things that you’ll see that I don’t touch on. And part of that is a brand decision, part of that is I wait until I feel really, really solid about something before I put it out there. Again, that’s a personal boundary and a role that I’ve set with myself.

So yeah, there’s no template for you to follow. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start with something. Start with something. If you feel really strongly, really passionately about something in the world, it’s ok to declare your stance on it. And then go from there. Does that make sense?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it does. And I think that this also is true for; if you feel strongly about needing to create a boundary or a delineation on what you’re here to do and what you’re not here to do.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And look. This can be as simple; here’s a good example if you’re a health coach. This can be as simple as reminding people that you are not giving medical advice, and you are not open to medical questions, whether in comments or direct messages. Because for the two of us saying we don’t take direct messages, that’s one thing. You might very well want and need to be willing to take direct messages. If you’re building a business, closing off that line of communication may not be the right decision for you at this time. It might not be something super overwhelming, it might not be hundreds of people a day asking a million things.

But I think that type of declaration where; it does need to be a boundary, but it’s pretty; I would say that’s a safe thing to remind people and communicate. Hey; I just wanted to remind everyone, I am not here giving medical advice. I can’t give you one on one coaching via whatever means. If you would like to sign up for coaching; Dr. Jolene Brighton does this a lot on her social media. She’s like; I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. I cannot give you medical advice. Very serious, of course, as a doctor to constantly restate that. But I think it does go for other businesses, as well.

So on the flip side of that, what I love to do, and this is because those of us who do run our businesses on social media; it’s a generous thing, right? We’re constantly giving, creating content, sharing information. I think it’s nice to give people the; how do I, if I have a question, where can I ask it? And reminding people where that can take place. Even if, at the end of the day, you’re still not going to give them medical advice. Right? But if you have a question about this recipe, or a food that could be supportive of hormonal health in general. Something that’s a much more general question, etc. Where do I go for that information?

Perhaps where they go is to a paid resource of yours, that is ok. Hey; you have that copy of Practical Paleo; crack it open and read it. I know you just flipped to that flourless brownie recipe. But I’m going to tell you to go back and read the front of the book that took me a lot of late nights to write.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: You know, you can tell someone; this is a paid service. You can get this information in this resource. You can point them to a blog post. You can say; you know what, every week I do a Q&A in my Instagram stories, so stay tuned for that. And when it comes up, I do my best to get to as many of them as possible, and I will remember that you asked that. Go ahead and ask it this way; I can share that education for everyone. You know?

So I think that’s ok, too, to have this softness balanced to putting up that wall and creating the boundary. Because you’re then saying; here’s a way that I am more than happy to answer and help you out. Right? And I think that’s something that we all always want to do. It’s not that we don’t want to answer questions; it’s that we don’t want our time taken advantage of. So I think as the person setting the boundary, and deciding what you want to talk about, what you don’t want to talk about. It’s ok to then not only state or explain a little bit of; here’s what I don’t want to discuss. But you can also remind people; here’s what I do talk about. And just give them that, as well.

And yes, no public way. I mean, I know even surrounding racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, all of those topics, a lot of people wanted to rush to say; here’s what I’m doing. I know you took a long time writing what you were going to write for your brand, thinking about it, etc. I think I didn’t even finish reflecting; we had talked about it and then I just had this; you know what? I don’t need to rush. I don’t need to feel pressured by anyone doing things. It’s really important that it’s just very honest. And that it’s what you want to say. And maybe you can do that the same day as someone else, and maybe not. And it’s ok. That doesn’t matter.

One thing I wanted to bring up, because I think it’s relevant in this conversation. I think a lot of business owners assume that avoiding certain confrontations in boundary setting is going to be easier. Just easier to not deal with that. And I disagree. I think I creates more inner turmoil. It creates more resentment and a build up of an unspoken expectation you have of your customers, readers, etc. And I don’t think that’s a fair way to show up. I think ultimately it will come crashing down. Your thoughts?

Cassy Joy: I agree.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} She’s nodding.

Cassy Joy: I’m just nodding my head the whole time Diane is talking. I totally agree.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I had this post that I wrote on social media, sometime in 2019. And I’m probably going to repost it soon. And I said; unpopular opinion – avoiding confrontation does not create more peace in your life. It actually builds resentment, cultivates unhappiness, and disturbs your peace.

The reason I’m bringing that into this conversation is; boundaries are a confrontation. Right? When you set a boundary, you are either directly or indirectly confronting something. Right? And I went on to say; Some people mistake an Enneagram 8 as people who enjoy arguing. I do not enjoy arguing or confrontation for the sake of it.

But what I do love about confrontation is the honesty playing out in real life. And confrontation, or you can insert setting boundaries, is a chance to explain boundaries, clarify how they’ve been broken, describe how maybe you’ve made a mistake in not being clear enough in identifying and communicating them. It is also a way to resolve and heal the behavior patterns that you have developed.

Right? Because we need to take ownership in how we show up in our business, and know that; you know what? I didn’t realize that by doing this, this is what I was cultivating and now I need to restate it. And that’s ok. Some people will get mad. Some people will get really upset when you set that boundary.

So, I’m going to see if there’s anything else I wanted to address here; I just think the avoidance seems really comfortable and easy at the time. And ultimately, it’s not. It’s just not going to be the answer. I mean, we’ve seen this happen in bigger businesses, too. Where we know there’s an internal problem, and it was not being addressed, and it was swept under the rug. And then in Hollywood, the Me-Too movement. Then in other corporate America, Black Lives Matter is really shaking a lot of corporations in different ways. It’s like; y’all knew there was a problem, and you swept it under the rug. So if you had just had a little bit of honesty and bravery to confront it, and stand up for something, create the right boundaries. I don’t know; maybe I’m like, swaying into parallel conversations.

Cassy Joy: No, I think it’s definitely a relevant conversation to this topic. Because I think what holds people back from creating these boundaries is the fear around the few who are going to be extremely upset and agitated; depending on what you’re talking about, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: So when we send out our email around; it was essentially Fed and Fit’s; I really took my time. I felt like I moved at a glacial pace. But it was actually; I felt like the perception was a glacial pace, when actuality I was sprinting to understand as quickly as possible to the point where I felt really comfortable putting out what Fed and Fit was going to do moving forward with regards to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in a sustainable way.

So when we finally published that article, and then emailed it also to our entire newsletter base; which at that time was around 55-60,000 people. A huge chunk of those left. Which, I was in all actuality; I had no feeling of lack. No remorse in seeing those folks go. I think the fear is seeing that number drop for some folks. And also the responses that you’re going to get from the very few; I got maybe 12 emails, out of that many folks who opened it. I don’t know how many opened the email. But 12 people took the time to leave and announce their departure in a pretty ugly way.

And I think what holds folks back is that. It’s that fear of dealing with those words and those people, when in all actuality, to your point; ripping the Band-Aid off and allowing those people to leave in whatever way they want to leave; goodbye. I really, it says nothing about; I feel no differently, I guess, at the end of the day, by what I said, based on your words.

Diane Sanfilippo: Except, perhaps a little bit of relief.

Cassy Joy: A little relief.

Diane Sanfilippo: That you know who is still here is with you.

Cassy Joy: Yes, exactly. I felt relief, and to your point, if I had not pulled the Band-Aid off quite as directly as I had, and made things as clear as I had, then it would have been this kind of wishy-washy, unspoken distinction that we were, as a brand. And then it would have implemented this certain level of unknown and fear when writing anything and everything and any interview that I ever conduct moving forward and any video; any reference that I make. I’m going to wonder; do they get it now? And it’s going to bleed into this long-term internal low-grade turmoil, to your point. Which is way worse than letting 12 people throw a tantrum on their way out the door on a single day. Goodbye.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. I mean, I’m in the place now with social media where I’m trying to make a regular announcement; you’re probably not going to like me over the next 90 days if this is where your politics lie. And that’s ok. And I actually don’t want you here. Because I don’t want the messages. I’m not interested in hearing it. You know what I mean? We are not having a debate. This is my social media. I’ll talk about what I want to talk about. Be here or don’t. My favorite Steve Jobs line; that’s the price. Buy it or don’t.

I have a note here, and it’s a quote, and I think this is extremely important when it comes to boundaries and what we do in our business. I think we can translate this directly into business. It’s Brene Brown; I mean. {laughs} All hail {laughing}.

Cassy Joy: I was about to say all hail the queen! {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I mean, few people I stan, that’s the word. Am I millennial? Few people who I really, you know, would consider myself a fan of. Really a fan of. And I don’t consider fandom, like, 100% love and agree with everything a person does. I just have a huge amount of respect and they have impacted my life in very positive ways that are new and different and challenged my thinking in new and positive ways. I can think of three women off the top of my head. Maybe four.

But she said to Oprah; and in this interview Oprah was like, I know this but it sounds better when you… Oh no, wait. Oprah said it to Brene, and it was Brene’s quote, and Brene was like, I know I said that, but I can believe it more when you say it.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: So this is the quote. “You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people.”

Cassy Joy: Mmm. Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I truly think you cannot run a business with integrity and your own values and morals without disappointing some people. You have to be ok with disappointing people. And know that they are not your people. And that’s ok.

Cassy Joy: Yep. That’s ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s ok.

Cassy Joy: It is ok. Think about all; on social media when people don’t have face, when they are essentially faceless online. I think we give too generous an assumption of who we’re talking to. Right? I think when you’re out, let’s say back in the day when we went to malls. Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Remember doing things in real life?

Cassy Joy: {laughing} When you would roam the malls, you might overhear some horrible situation in the food court of somebody yelling at their spouse, and being really ugly. Who knows what their situation is. It’s not somebody you would run up to and be like; let’s be best friends right now and agree on all of the things. When you see somebody in person, you realize. Or when you get more interaction with them as a whole, that; you know what? We don’t agree on everything. And the way we approach life isn’t the same. And that’s ok. Right? It’s ok that we don’t agree on all of these things.

There’s something weird that happens. It’s like this veil that exists in social media land where we want to think that all the people there see eye to eye with us. And when someone says something in disagreement with you, or you say something that doesn’t agree with them, it comes across as this; “I thought I knew you!” You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Like; you’ve just betrayed me! When in all actuality, if you were in the same room with them, you would probably have more peace around the fact that you’re different and that is ok. And it’s ok if you part ways. Does that make sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: It 100% makes sense. I had someone who; this was the example years ago, one of the first times I talked about setting boundaries, I think, was when I started talking; hey, I’m going to recommend that you go Google that. Or when someone asks what I think, and I’m like; well what do you think? And I’m like, not like, well what do you think? No, I actually want to know what you think. But, because there’s this anonymity and lack of tone and all of that, we can put ourselves out there and be as much true to who are as possible, and someone needs to draw conclusions from that. And I don’t know you, but if you’re following along, you’ve made a generous assumption of who I am. You decided to follow.

And then you took the next step of deciding to enter into my private space by direct messaging a question. So if I don’t respond how you expected, you went from making a generous assumption of me to an ungenerous assumption. That now my response is somehow rude. First of all; I didn’t even need to respond. Second of all, your presence here is free. And if it feels rude and intrusive, or if I just want to ask you a question back.

I got a real generational look at this person; this person is a little bit older, I think. And it just really took her aback. She even showed the message to someone else sitting there. And I’m like; you can’t do that. That person hasn’t been following. They don’t know me. You have to know who you’re dealing with. But I think this is why setting those boundaries and communicating who you are and what you stand for consistently.

Even if; because I used to get all the time, if I said something the next week or two weeks later or a month later, all my kind of regular readers who knew me and were with me were like; oh, you shouldn’t have to defend yourself. I’m like; I am not defending myself. Let me be very clear. I am recognizing the new people in the room and telling them where they are. I’m just giving them a map of the amusement park. You know what I mean? I am not announcement for them to put their seat belt on again. This is not what’s happening. I know you all know this, this is not for you. This is for the new people in the room.

So I do think that is also really important, that we consistently restate, repoint people to where they can learn about things. You’re going to have people who come in who start following this week who didn’t see your email about racial equity. Right? So we’re going to need to recirculate the information. I think we all need to get really comfortable with that. And for me I do find it so liberating and so freeing to just say; whoo. I’m going to let those people follow because they saw this fun tuna recipe, and then very quickly turn around an unfollow because they realized they are not in a place they want to be. That is ok.

I just want to encourage everyone and empower and embolden you to be ok with that. Because I promise you, you would rather have 100 people in the room who really want to be there than 1000 people who really don’t. Because at the end of the day, your business is not built on the people who don’t want to be there.

Cassy Joy: That’s true. You only have 1000…

Diane Sanfilippo: Even if they bought one thing.

Cassy Joy: Totally. You have 1000 good customers, anyways, even if you have hundreds of thousands of people who follow you. And what’s it’s going to do for your mindset when it comes to creating content. You’re going to feel so much more in sync with your audience.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, clarity.

Cassy Joy: Your mission, and your work. Yes. You’re going to be able to move faster and produce more meaningful work that you are more proud of than ever before.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here.

4. Tip of The Week: Rip off the Band-Aid [56:43]

Diane Sanfilippo: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy, why don’t you give us a tip?

Cassy Joy: Alrighty. So the tip this week is to rip the Band-Aid off. If you have yet to set a boundary in your business in a public forum; I’m looking at you specifically on social media, but maybe it’s in a newsletter. Maybe it’s with your client base. However you communicate with them. One way that you can set, let’s call it a baby boundary. I’m sure it’s going to feel bigger than that. But one way you can set a boundary is to tell them what you are about, what you offer, and what you do not offer. The services you do provide and the services that you do not provide. That is a really great way, a really healthy way; a healthy boundary to set. And just see what happens. See what happens with your audience and see the feelings you get from that moving forward.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @CassyJoyGarcia as well as @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo as well as @BalancedBites.

Tune in next week for another brand new episode. We’ll talk to you then.