Watch on YouTube In this episode of The One-Person Business podcast, we sit down with Renee La Tour, the Business Strategist behind the Ticket To...
On this episode of The One-Person Business Podcast, we discuss aligning values, setting boundaries, and achieving true balance in both personal and professional realms. Our guest, Lisa Couturier, brings over 25 years of invaluable experience, guiding high-performing individuals towards a more fulfilling and harmonious life.
- Signs that indicate an imbalance caused by a lack of boundaries
- How someone can develop better self-awareness to establish appropriate boundaries
- Strategies for effectively communicating and negotiating boundaries with others
- How someone can strike a balance between maintaining boundaries and being flexible
- How boundaries relate to setting and achieving personal goals
- Potential negative consequences of setting overly rigid boundaries
- Cultural or societal influences that affect how individuals perceive and set boundaries
- How technology and social media impact the establishment of boundaries in modern life
- How a person can identify when they need to reassess or readjust their existing boundaries
Plus so much more! Be sure to tune in.
Connect with Lisa Couturier
"It doesn't matter if your glass is half full or half empty. What matters is that you're the one pouring the water." - Mark Cuban
"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about it." -Winston Churchill
"Be the type of person you would want to meet." - Lisa Couturier
"Just laugh." - Lisa Couturier
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About Lisa Couturier
With 25+ years of experience, Lisa is one of the top experts who works with high-performing individuals to get in alignment with their values, to question the status quo with integrity, increase revenue, integrate freedom and flexibility in both personal and professional lives without overwhelm and burnout.
She is passionate about guiding and supporting people on building relationships bringing back the human element vs “simply closing the deal” in business.
Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on Apple Podcasts Thanks!
Full Episode Transcript
Lisa Couturier (00:00):
We're not at each other's disposal, just whenever somebody wants us or needs us. Because we need and want to have time for ourselves.
Welcome to the One-Person Business podcast, the show for solopreneurs, consultants and contractors who are ready to take charge of their business and reclaim their freedom. Join us as we bring you inspiring stories, invaluable insights and practical strategies from successful solopreneurs and industry experts, empowering you to create a thriving business that aligns with your unique goals and allows you to live life on your own terms. Here are your hosts, Joe Rando Carly Ries.
Carly Ries (00:44):
Welcome to the One-Person Business Podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Carly Reeses.
Joe Rando (00:48):
And I'm Joe Rando,
Carly Ries (00:49):
We are so excited to have Lisa Couturier, I have been practicing that last name to make sure I got it right on the podcast today. I'm really excited about it because as solopreneurs, we have issues with boundaries. We work around the clock. We kind of mix our personal life and our professional life. I think that's just human nature. Today, Lisa is going to talk about the topic of without boundaries, there is no balance. We do need that in order to have a sustainable business and to avoid burnout. I'll let you know why Lisa is qualified for the job, because she's extremely qualified to talk about this topic. She has over 25 years of experience and is one of the top experts who work with high performing individuals to get in alignment with their values, to question the status quo with integrity, increase revenue, integrate freedom and flexibility in both personal and professional lives like I was just talking about without the overwhelm and without burnout. Again, just want to reiterate, that is the topic of this podcast. So you need to be tuning in. She's passionate about guiding and supporting people on building relationships, bringing the human element versus simply closing the deal, following the ABC's, yada, yada, yada. So Lisa, welcome to the show.
Lisa Couturier (02:05):
Thank you both for having me. I'm excited to be here and I've loved being a part of the community.
Carly Ries (02:12):
We're so excited and we love having you. The first question I have is actually a me thing because I think I establish pretty good boundaries, but sometimes I'm told that I don't and that I work at the weirdest hours and all of that. It's getting better now, but in my earlier career it was all over the place. So if you're not aware of it, what are the signs that indicate an imbalance caused by a lack of boundaries?
Lisa Couturier (02:40):
Well, just the first thing you said, people usually start to say, "you're not present. Why aren't you here? You're here, but you're really not here internally." You can start to feel that anxiety building up. The overwhelm, the exhaustion, the burnout. Sometimes worse, depression will actually set in or your body starts to break down and there's illness that becomes involved as well.
Carly Ries (03:08):
It's so funny you say that with the illness thing. When I was in my early twenties when I was working around the clock, my right arm would go numb. I am 25, I hope I'm not having a heart attack. My neighbor across the street is a doctor. He was like, run around the block and if you don't make it, I'll come get you. I'll call 9 1 1, but if you do make it, it's probably stress related. It turns out, anytime I would get really stressed, my right arm would go numb. And I don't know, a heart attack is left arm, right arm, but it was a physical manifestation of burnout and that I needed to make a change.
Lisa Couturier (03:42):
People will tell me sometimes that I go woowoo, but I love the woowoo world because there's so much fact in the woowoo, but if you look at your right arm, that is your masculine. So you were overdoing and as a female, it was going numb because it was overdone and you weren't in your feminine energy. So that's the woowoo. That's as much woowoo as I'll give you today.
Carly Ries (04:09):
I'm good with the woowoo. Yeah, my now husband, he would know something's going on. I'd just keep typing. And he's like, "Carly, you are subconsciously moving your arm to try to get the blood flow. what are you doing?" But yeah, I'm good with the woo. I did not know that. So thanks for that. I didn't have the best self awareness. How can people develop that self-awareness to establish better boundaries if they're not so great at it from the beginning?
Lisa Couturier (04:36):
So step back, have some quiet time to become self-aware. Where are you feeling that angst or the numbness or where are you feeling tightness? Become totally self-aware of what's going on around you? Listen to what people are saying as well. Like I said, feel. So we're looking at all three, like the visual, the kinesthetic, and the auditory. Look at yourself. Do you look stressed? Look in the mirror, look yourself in the eye and ask, is this really who you want to be seeing? Is this who you would want to meet if you were walking down the street? Then you look at, okay, somewhere there's an imbalance, an out of alignment. What am I tolerating? Then really looking at what do I want my boundaries to be? I talk about value-based, do you know your core values? Are you in alignment with them?
Do you know the actual needs that you need as a human, not just your survival needs, but the needs being recognized? Some people just need to be recognized. They need to be heard. Are those needs being met on a daily basis? Even your wants. Growing up in the south, I was told that good girls should be happy with the basic needs and that's it. Yes, I was grateful for them, but I wanted so much more. At times I was made to feel guilty for wanting more. But we as individuals, we have needs, we have wants, and then we have values and are all of them in alignment.
Carly Ries (06:22):
So my question about that, once you have that self awareness and you realize it, and I think this is a bigger thing for women than it is for men, and I'm not trying to say it's not a problem for some men, but I feel like when women, I feel like when people try to communicate their boundaries, they can come off as being tough or being rude. How can you do that without that connotation?
Lisa Couturier (06:48):
There are so many different ways to do it. Again, when you're out of that alignment and you don't have those boundaries, we do start to react, opposed to respond. So if you're feeling like you're going to snap at someone to set those boundaries, you've already gotten out of alignment. Really just communicating in a nice way, Hey, you know what? This doesn't feel right or this doesn't seem right for me, and I feel that maybe I haven't set my boundaries, or maybe I set them and I just didn't communicate them well enough. So this is what I meeting, this is what I'm wanting. That way it's not going, Hey, these are my boundaries and you cross them over. But just having that moment before you snap, to talk it out. When I go into some smaller corporations and I start to work, I go, "Listen, I know that I'm your client for the most part, you've hired me to do this, but these are my core values, and flexibility and freedom are very important to me.
So while I'm here to work for you and I'm going to give you my all, I need to have that freedom of flexibility and I'm not working on Fridays, I'm not working on Monday mornings, not in your group, and I stop working at four. Please don't call me unless it's a 911." And for most part, it's respected. There's always one that's not going to do it, but I let them know right off the bat that this is how I work, and if you don't want to work like that, let's put it on the table right now so that we can step away.
Carly Ries (08:40):
My question with that, you said, I don't work on Mondays and Fridays, I don't work after four, but you have to be a little bit flexible too, or do you? For me, I always say, okay, I have my calendar blocked off. These are not the times that I can work, whether I'm taking the kids to school, whatever. But then something will come up and it's like, well, I guess my husband could do that. Or how do you navigate the line of setting strict boundaries but also being able to be flexible too, and where do you stand with all of that?
Lisa Couturier (09:10):
Again, because flexibility is one of mine, I have the flexibility to change it if I need to. It's just like when we set a goal. You can either change the goal or change the timeline of that goal. We all have that power within us to do that. Just because you set the boundary, you will know by being very self-aware as to, okay, this is something I really want to do. I'm getting a need met by having this meeting with someone. Therefore, it's okay to break the boundary of working on Friday or working on Monday morning. Otherwise we're not at each other's disposal just whenever somebody wants us or needs us because we need and want to have time for ourselves. And so to honor that, does that answer the question for you?
Carly Ries (10:12):
Yeah, it definitely does. I want to touch on something. You started talking about personal goals and goal setting in general. Do you think boundaries play a huge part in that? Where do those go hand in hand?
Lisa Couturier (10:24):
I do, and it goes back to the core values. Setting those goals, having those goals aligned with the values that you have in life and in your business. Again, the timeline can change or the goal can change because as we grow and elevate, even in a project based. Let's say you have a project in a corporate setting or even in your own business, you have a project that needs to get done by this time. You may grow and elevate and start to realize this project, the goal that we set is not the goal that we need. It might be a sub goal, but the goal could be actually larger than what we set it out to be because we've grown and we've done the research and we start to really get into the project. So it needs to change. So yes, there are boundaries there, but you can expand the boundary as well. I think as long as you honor and respect your core values and have your needs and wants met, there's that flex there for you to change and move about.
Joe Rando (11:31):
One of the things that I like to do in this, and I don't know if this is a good idea or not, but what I do sometimes with these tough decisions is I make the decision in my mind and then I see how I feel. If I feel more relaxed, less stressed about it, then I think it's the right decision. If my anxiety level goes up, then it's the wrong decision
Lisa Couturier (11:52):
That is so good because I tell my clients to put their hand on their heart and their heart is their compass. That's your feeling. So you don't get in your head that it's not so much a thought process, but a heart-based decision. Put your hand on your heart. Use that as your compass and like you said, is my compass pretty much right here? Is it leaning too much to the left? Is it leaning too much to the right? But if it's right in that little sweet spot, then it's okay, then that's what you could be doing and need to be doing. Work doesn't need to be difficult? Boundaries don't need to be difficult. Most of us went into business for ourselves to have that independence, to make an impact, to have the freedom and the flexibility, also to be inspired. And if we're not feeling any of that, then somewhere we're not in alignment and our boundaries are not strong enough to withstand what it is that we're truly wanting at the end of the day.
Carly Ries (12:55):
You were saying that boundaries don't have to be difficult. Have you seen any consequences of overly rigid boundaries with any of your clients or in your personal experience?
Lisa Couturier (13:05):
Well, just putting rigid as an adjective in front of boundary is almost like a judgment and people go, oh, you've got boundaries. It's like having standards. They're not good or bad. It's having the flexibility around the boundary and honoring what feels right to you, what's right for your family or what's right with your team, and communicating that on a continual basis.
Carly Ries (13:33):
Yeah, that's a fair point. This is going to zone out a little bit, but in thinking about boundaries, and even aside from work, I am a millennial, so I'm supposed to be on Instagram and TikTok, maybe not. I'm an older millennial, but still, and I have set boundaries with when my kids are around, I'm not on my phone and I've taken those apps off my phone, I still have them. I can still log in on my desktop, but that was the boundary that I set. But I'm perceived as being the odd one out amongst like, oh, well, Carly doesn't know that this is going on because she doesn't get on Instagram very much, and things like that. What kind of cultural or societal influences or what impact does that have on individuals as they perceive boundaries and how can you kind of go against the norm when you're setting your boundaries?
Lisa Couturier (14:23):
It goes to technology. It's good and bad. It helps us. We are doing this right now because of technology. We're in Colorado, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Boom, we would've never met otherwise unless, again, I was traveling 80 hours a week and traversing the country. We might've met at an airport. But again, learning the boundaries just with social, you've a healthy boundary for you that works for you. Maybe you're not in the know of everything that's going on, but do you really want to be in that know? Probably not. It's not important to you. My business, I do a lot of business on social media. I get clients that way. That's how we met on LinkedIn, social media. Again, I don't enjoy all of that social media thing, so my boundary was I know I have to do it. I'm going to hire a marketing team to be there for me. We meet once a month. We batch it all for the whole month or the quarter. I don't even like batching it every month. And then, God bless her, my virtual assistant, she says, Hey, this is something that is truly what you're wanting. I think you need to respond right away. I have somebody monitor to let me know when I need to be on because I don't enjoy it at all.
Carly Ries (15:57):
When you're with your clients, do you see technology being a big boundary issue as one of the main ones? What are some other boundaries that you face a lot? What do people struggle with a lot when it comes to boundaries, I guess in your sessions?
Lisa Couturier (16:12):
The work-life balance and boundaries there. Learning when to shut 'em off, especially again with technology or smartphones, they're great, but they've made us accessible 24 7. What's the boundary of shutting that off? I decided in 1995, you may not have even born Carly yet. Literally it wasn't going to work. I'm not going back into that office. It's ridiculous. It's a time suck with a commute and everything. I'm not ever going back into an office. That was a boundary that I set up, and I don't care how rigid it is not going because it's important to me to have just what I need, instead of going into an office. But if I had left the office, no one would contact me. Just a few years ago, even before Covid, they're like, no, she's gone home. That's her boundary. It's her safe place. We're not contacting her.
But now people like, oh yeah, it's 11 o'clock. I had an idea. Let me send it to you. We have to shut it down because again, our brains are hardwired. It's like a hard drive. That I'm even talking technology like this is funny, but it's a hard drive and hard drives can be downloaded. They can be backed up and all that. Our brains can't. It only can take so much. If we get overloaded, we start to again react opposed to respond. We get sick, there's too much information, so we have to shut down, step back, sit into that quiet, become self-aware, and restore ourselves so that we can be efficient, we can be effective on the next day when we go back in.
Carly Ries (18:04):
My assumption is that when people set these boundaries, that the boundaries would change over time. I know my boundaries when I didn't have a family would be different now and all that. Again, like you said, going into an office versus not having to now, it just changes. How do you know when to reassess your boundaries, and then how do you go about doing that? I'm assuming effective communication with others, but even with yourself, how are you "oh, I've been so strict about this for so long. Maybe it's time I release some of this"
Lisa Couturier (18:37):
As we grow and we evolve, the boundary is going to change. Some of it may stay with us, but a lot of it is going to change. It's just like when we go back to social media, a lot of people go, oh, okay, I've got my own business now. I've got to go into social media. But they don't have the boundary of keeping their personal life and their professional life separate. Therefore, some things that are personal, it's fine. An individual can go and look it up now and it's right there. We all need to learn how to keep it separate, but yet let people connect with us. So we build a rapport online, but there has to be boundaries. My daughter, she just gave me permission to post a picture of my grandchild on social media. She goes, "that's my place, not yours, with my boyfriend. He's very private." So I said, listen, I'm out here on social media. My life needs to be out there to show freedom of flexibility. And he goes, would you just ask me before you post anything? Because he's in a very professional environment as well in the security space, so that could affect him. Because if it's out there, you can find it. It never goes away. Just setting up those professional boundaries, the personal boundaries, knowing that when we grow and we evolve, that the boundaries need to grow and evolve with us.
Carly Ries (20:19):
I'm so happy you came on today because I think a lot of times when solopreneurs think about their business, they think about the business and they think about the accounting and the marketing, and I know I'm in marketing, but they think about marketing and sales and the operations of all one. They don't often think to take a step back to think about themselves and to think how they can best contribute to their business. This is such a big part of it, and I don't have any doubt that the people are struggling with that are going to learn so much from this episode and that you're really going to help them find success in taking that step back. I have to ask, what is your favorite quote about success?
Lisa Couturier (20:57):
I have so many, but I love one by Mark Cuban. He says that "it doesn't matter if your glasses have full or half empty. What matters is that you're the one pouring the water."
Carly Ries (21:10):
Ooh, I love that. And Mark Cuban's been relatively successful, I guess you would say.,
Lisa Couturier (21:16):
For my glass to be half full of champagne, again, as long as I'm pouring it. And then another one, Winston Churchhill says, "never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about it."
And then my own is "be the type of person that you would want to meet." I said it in the beginning and just laugh. Life is people take life so seriously. Just be able to laugh at yourself, even if you just sit by yourself. We're all solopreneurs and just schedule some time just to laugh out loud. No one's watching. Just laugh crazy. You're goofy laugh, you're snorting laugh, whatever the laugh is, just laugh out loud. It also resets your brain to let it know that it's time to get back to work.
Carly Ries (22:08):
That's one of the reasons I love our community. If you've messed up or if something's happened that you could just laugh about, there's a really good chance that it has happened to somebody else too.
Joe Rando (22:19):
Definitely, you share so much, even though people are in so many different industries. But being solo, it's just your reason for doing it, as you pointed out,. It's not about making tons of money or whatever. It's about having the life that you want. It's very different from being an entrepreneur and starting a startup and getting venture capital. This is why this conversation is so important. I was thinking about it actually yesterday. We just moved after 29 years in the same house, and we still have this going on and everything, and I said, "I just want to be caught up." And it's what you said, maybe I need to change my definition of caught up right now. Rethink that goal and put it into different terms because it ain't happening.
Lisa Couturier (23:07):
I call it a power hour and give yourself grace. Honest to God, moving is so stress. I love moving because it resets everything and it creates a new environment, but really give yourself that grace. But a power hour, if you focus on one thing that works and you just set the clock. You do that one thing for an hour, and when the timer stops whether you're finished or not, okay, I'm going to do something else now. Be it play, be it sit and relax, veg, just look up at the clouds. If you want to keep going you can, but if you call it a power hour and do as much focused work as you can, whether it's business or life unpacking, you just do that one hour, then move on later or come back to it.
Joe Rando (23:58):
Exactly what I was thinking about, I'm just going to spend a little time this afternoon unpacking boxes because they're all rearranged behind me, so you strategically can't see them.
Lisa Couturier (24:14):
Remember, do what you can do. Drop what you don't need to do and delegate the rest.
Carly Ries (24:20):
Love it. Lisa, this has been so great. If people want to chat with you about all this and need help setting boundaries and everything else you do, which we'll put your full bio in the show notes. I didn't even scratch the surface of everything you do. Where can people find you to learn more?
Lisa Couturier (24:36):
On LinkedIn, I'm under Lisa K Couturier, then Lisa Couturier _ on Instagram. Or you can call me like we used to do old school. My number is public. It's 5 0 8 -5 1 7- 8 2 1 4.
Carly Ries (25:04):
Well, thank you so much for coming on the show. We appreciate it. And listeners, if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe both wherever you're listening to your podcast, from the audio side or on YouTube, and we will see you next time.
Lisa Couturier (25:18):
Thank you for having me. It was great.
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