Join business coach Tina Tower as she explore's how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.

Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mumma and traveller. She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.

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In this week's episode, Tina is sharing the one thing that has been her biggest game changer when it comes to setting and respecting boundaries that has allowed her to live a life of her own design.

When life gets in the way of our best laid plans, it's easy to slip into a state of perpetual disappointed that we can't live up to our own expectations. After 17 years in business, Tina has learned where her skill set lies, and how to get business to work best for her for sustainability, and longevity.

In this episode, Tina dives into how she has created those boundaries, how much she really works, how much work it takes to be successful, and that one thing that totally changed the game for her in the last 12 months. 

Tina Tower Her Empire Builder


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Show Transcription: 

Episode 176 - One Little Thing That Changed The Game On Boundaries For Me


Hello, and welcome to episode 176 of Her Empire Builder podcast. I am so happy to be here with you today. Today I am talking about, well, I'm going to share with you the one thing that has been the biggest game changer for me in terms of respecting my own boundaries in terms of being able to actually live the life that I want to be able to live. Because you know, we make all these plans all the time. It's usually when I'm at a health retreat, and I'm sitting at a health retreat, and I've got that helicopter view of life. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I'm going to get up in the morning and I'm going to meditate. And I'm going to do yoga, and I'm going to read the peloton and I'm going to journal. You know, it's like your best self from that. And then life happens. And we're feeling perpetually disappointed that we can't live up to our own expectations that we've set. And for me, I've been in business for 17 years. So a really long time. And so I have had to learn what I am naturally skilled at, what I am not, and how I can get business to work best for me for sustainability, and longevity. And so that is what I'm talking about today is how I've created those boundaries and how much I actually work and how much work it takes to be successful. And that one thing that totally changed the game for me last year. Let's get to it.

Hi, friend. I'm Tina tower, business strategist and digital online Empire Builder. I've been in business since I was 20 years old, and I've since built and sold for businesses. I started in the world of online courses in 2017 and grew to a seven figure annual turnover in just under two years. To say I love the game of business is an understatement. I'm a world traveler, a mama, a wife, a best selling author, and I love the freedom that we have to create the business and life that we want to live. It takes courage to break the rules and shake things up and do it your way. Through her Empire Builder. I share my experience and bring you lessons from some of the world's best to help you dream big and take massive action. It is absolutely possible to run a thriving, growing business that positively impacts the world and have a beautiful personal life without hustling and working yourself into exhaustion. I want that for you. Let's enjoy the journey my friend.

Now I am going to start by telling you the behind the scenes on the podcast. This is the first podcast episode that I have recorded since I had COVID. So it's three weeks, nearly three weeks tomorrow, since I had it and my voice is still weird. So I have held off recording episodes for as long as possible. But you'll hear my voice is weird. So apologies. Everyone I know that's had it recently has been like taken out for two weeks. Anyway, that was me. I was very frustrated. But I am back to about 70% Now that terrible exhaustion and fatigue is gone. But now it's just like a weird throat and is strangely going on.

Anyway, enough about me. I want to talk about you and boundaries. Actually in saying that I'm talking about me so that I can pass on my experience to you with that. But what I want to share with you today is the one little thing that totally changed the game for me in terms of boundaries. So like a lot of people. I have a love-hate relationship with time.

I never have enough of it. I mean, can you relate? There's always every time we live a day, there are 10 different options with which to do that day. I know that you know if I have a day and I look at my calendar and there's no appointments. I get very excited because I can do whatever I feel like doing but do I take this day to rest? Do I take the day to go to the beach and read a novel? Do I take the day to go and exercise have lunch with my husband and daytime sex? Do I take the day to organize the shelves and pack everything away that's been accumulating? Do I take the day to clean the house - like there are so many different demands on our time.

Both scheduled and when we have that little bit of whitespace. And so I know that it seems very counterintuitive, to create as much white space in your calendar as possible when you are so incredibly busy. Because if you're like most people, we are very busy. And I don't like to wear the badge of busyness as a badge of honor. But the sheer fact is, a lot of people, especially if you're listening to this, it's likely, you know, you're a middle aged woman, and you have a lot of responsibilities.

I know a lot of the women that I work with, they're caring, a lot of them are breadwinners of their family. So you're carrying the financial load, as well as a lot of the domestic household duties as well as looking after kids and whatever else it's going to be anyway, that's not the point.

The point is, we're all busy, everyone can feel like oh my gosh, but I have so much and she's got it easy, trust me. Everyone's gonna love what they're doing. And so for me, there's this whole and I, you know, if you listen to the podcast last week, you heard me ranting a bit about time and how not all 24 hours are created equal. And I truly, truly believe that. I also believe that at the start, it's really hard. So if you're in the beginning stages of building business, it is really, really difficult. Because it does take a lot of time to create that success. But no matter where you are in your journey, whether you are in your first year, your 17th year, or your 30th year, this thing that I'm going to share with you is so incredibly valuable, because what I find is that even when there is white space, even when you are not working, you're still working.

Even when you are making dinner at night, you can be looking at your phone replying to Instagram messages, when you're watching TV, are you scrolling at the same time? When you're at the gym? Are you looking at your phone, like we have so much compulsion and addiction to both our work and our devices. And so what I was finding was I set up this schedule for myself last year because last year, I was like you know what, I don't have the problem of self discipline where I have to make myself work. I'm the opposite. I have to make myself not work. Because of my natural tendency, I love my work and I want to do it all the time.

However, I know that I don't get the best out of me and my clients don't get the best out of me when I'm focused on working all of the time. And so the beginning of last year 2021 I set my schedule in a way of when our membership of going appointments are all Monday, Tuesday, heavy, Wednesday, if urgent but Monday, Tuesday, I like cold days. That's when my calendars open for coaching calls masterclasses other people's programmes, podcast, interviews, all of that sort of stuff, anything that I have to perform in, then Wednesday, I kind of use as that hump day, get everything done, like all of the back end admin, all of the development of things, all of the pipelines, Lead Magnet creation, admin Profit and Loss marketing plans, all of that all done on a Wednesday, and then Thursday, I like to leave completely free, so that I can do what I feel like doing so that I can have that whitespace that I spoke about at the beginning and go Alright, have I had like a massive few days like have I spent 20 hours on Zoom and I need to just play in my garden for a bit? Or what do I need to do here so that I can recover from that.

And for me, it often comes as a surprise to a lot of people but I'm very introverted. So I love my business and love the work I do and love my clients, which means I love to deliver. But what I find is if I go over my threshold in that, or if I do a lot of it, I love to then just be completely alone. So if my phone is pinging the whole time with you know, we've got so many different mechanisms of contact now. So if I see emails, text messages, Instagram messages, Facebook messages, Voxer messages, LinkedIn messages, like they're all just hitting you bom bom, bom bom.

And that's the thing right at the beginning of business where we long to be at the point where our phone is pinging all the time. But then it's getting there and going, okay, how can I have this in a sustainable manner for years and years and years without being on the tap? And because we're global businesses as well, like 24 hours a day. And so I do that on a Thursday and then don't work Friday, Saturday, Sunday. So that's the normal week and then I've got my her Empire Builder membership, which is the bulk of my work and clients set up.

So it's masterclass first week of the month, guest experts second week of the month. Third week is a mindset session, and either our Facebook Ads work room or our Kajabi work room. And then the last week is accountability calls and check-ins with our members. And so the third week, that Facebook ads Kajabi mindset session, they're the only ones that I don't show up for, that I don't run. And so the third week for me is I disappear from the world. And so that is when I will try and have no appointments whatsoever.

Like my whole calendar is whitespace unless it's completely totally urgent, and there's no other time for it. But the bulk of the time, it is completely empty. And it is when all the good stuff gets going. So it's when I can look like I have disappeared from the world. I turn off everything, no emails, no notifications on my phone, no nothing. And I go, Alright, what do I need to create, because what I found was when I'm trying to come up with really great ideas, if I've got like half an hour between calls, and I'm like, Okay, I've got to do the next three weeks of podcast ideas, or I've got to design this master class, or I've got to create this presentation, or I've got to create our launch socials or our reels plan or our video, whatever it is, the good stuff doesn't happen in those 30 minute windows of time.

The Good Stuff happens when I'm walking the beach, walking the dog on the beach, or when I'm sitting there watching the kids surf. I mean, I have had so many good ideas while I'm just sitting there on the beach, staring into the abyss. And so what I learnt was that sometimes the most productive thing that I can do is to be unproductive. And it sounds counterintuitive. Because if I have times where I don't work, I get so much more work done. Like good work, because my ideas are firing. It's the same with holidays. I love traveling, and I travel a lot, as you guys know. And the reason that I travel so much is because it lights my ideas on fire. Like I fill notebooks, I sit on planes, I look at different things, I'll have different conversations with random people in cabs and bars and different places that I'm just like, oh my gosh, this is great, because it opens my mind and gets me thinking differently.

So we need to have that whitespace. And so for me, one of the hard parts has been to actually have the discipline to switch off in those times, so that my brain can relax. And those ideas can flow through. Because I know that when I'm working all the time, I go on like this adrenaline rush, because I mean, my work is like a drug for me. And if you're a successful entrepreneur, it probably is for you, too. You know, you get on this roll with business. And you're like, oh my god, like, let's go, let's go. Let's do more, I can work for hours, and look up at the clock and it feels like 10 minutes is gone. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, it's lunchtime, or I'll begrudge having to go to the bathroom. Because I'm like, I'm right in flow. I don't want to stop. But I know if I do that day after day, week, after week, burnout is going to happen. And I have been there, I have done that. And I don't want to do that again, because I love my work. And I love my clients and I want to get them the best results.

And so, at the beginning, I worked all of the hours, but I know what got me here won't get me there. And I have been sprinting for a very, very long time. Which is why last year I was like, You know what, I'm getting older. I'm 38. Now I don't have the energy I used to have. So I want to make this more sustainable, but also have a nicer well rounded life and not work for work's sake, I know that I am very, very fast at doing things. I mean, I can build a Kajabi site from start to finish in 90 minutes, I can build a full landing page or a whole sales pipeline in about 20 minutes. I am very, very fast at what I do. And so I can get a lot more done in less time.

But it's like, well, if I can get done in half an hour, what takes most people three or four hours. Instead of like working smarter, not harder. I'm like why can't I work smarter and harder? Because it has enabled me without a shadow of a doubt to get to where I am in business because I know I can do five times as much as most people can in the same amount of time. However, I lost a little bit of creativity when I kept doing that. So the break allows me to have that creativity.

Okay, let me tell you what changed the game for me.

So what I was doing was I was having that time off but I was wracked by guilt. I felt like I was letting my team down or that my team would hate me if they were working. And I wasn't because I was like, Oh my gosh, if they're working, and I'm not, they're going to be like, oh, here, we are just working. And you're living the great life, and we're doing all the work for you. And I just, I really hated that feeling, even though I know my team gets paid very well. They have really great working conditions. And, yeah, it shouldn't make any difference to them what I'm doing, they've got their job to do. And they're doing that. And they are the greatest team ever. No one begrudges me if I've done like a massive day of performing, and then I need to take an hour, no one's going, Hey, where are you? So I couldn't do that.

And then I had to set expectations with my members as well. Because it's exhausting. Being on top all the time, especially like a lot of people, most people have boundaries, but some people don't. And so you'll get messages at night or on weekends. So what I have found is you have to switch off so that you can be at your best.

And so last year, when I decided, okay, from Thursday through Sunday, there's no work, I'm going to switch everything off, I'm going to recover so that Monday through Wednesday, I can get in that work focus mode, and I can be like, boom, bada boom. And I'm going to do two weeks worth of work in three days. I can totally do that. But I started switching off my phone because I didn't want to see messages come through calls through anything like that. What I found was though, because I've got my couple of kids and my friends, I kept missing all of these things like friends going out to lunch on a Saturday, and they had messaged me and gone. Hey, Tina, do you want to go down to the club, and we'll go out for a nice lunch. And I was getting this on a Monday morning and I was going, Oh, this isn't good. Or the kids couldn't bring me to be picked up from the surf or where they were.

And so the thing that changed the game for me and boundaries is a second phone. It is the simplest solution that has made one of the biggest differences in my entire business. Now it's an extra $100 a month for this second phone plan thing. And it's made everything completely different. So I have a private phone number. I gave the private phone number only to personal people like my kids, obviously, their friend's parents, all of my personal friends all have this phone number. And I have the personal phone with me all the time. So that's the phone number that they think I have.

But then with my work phone, I can switch that off on a Wednesday night and turn it back on again, on a Monday morning. So no notifications come through that I don't want to see the personal phone has no Voxer on it. It has no Facebook, it does have Instagram, because sometimes I like to jump on and do a quick story. But I try not to look at the messages when I'm on them. So what I find is that the benefit has happened because I had to find how I could make it work for me with my addictive tendencies that I have to want to pick up my phone to just want to check that everything's okay to not want to leave anyone hanging.

I mean, you like that, that you're like, I don't want someone to message me and I don't get back to them for days and they think I don't care. That's a big thing for me. But the only way I can deliver the best to my paying clients is to have this recovery time, because then I come back and I'm all pepped up, and I'm all excited. And I'm like, Yes, I'm so glad I get to do this work, let me ask you, I've got so many ideas, whereas you know, the alternative is coming tired and exhausted. So the only way I could do it is to not look to not have access to it. For me, it's kind of like, you know, if you're trying to eat well, and there's a beautiful chocolate brownie in the fridge, good luck. It's not gonna happen.

Whereas out of sight out of mind, if you've only got healthy options in your home, you're only going to eat healthy options. And so for me, it's the same, I leave my work phone on my desk, and I don't take it with me. So I got out of the habit of doing that at the beginning of the year, my EA left and I had two new team members come in and start training. And so that has been kind of in February. And so I got out of the habit of not having the second phone because I needed to be there for them while they're in that training period. But now we're at the stage where I can have that back again.

And I started it again this week and that's why the idea for this podcast episode coz I'm like, Oh my gosh, I forgot how good this is and how much difference it makes to not look to just be off and be truly present. With your partner, with your children, with your home and know that everything is okay. Now, if you are a solopreneur, it is harder. I don't think you can take off like I would never, if I had no team switch off on a Wednesday night and come back Monday, it's just too long. But I would switch off every afternoon and leave that phone in the office and not take it home with me.

I would also leave it on a Friday and not touch it until Monday. So I think whatever stage that you're at, give yourself some time to switch off, to disappear, to cut off that outside world and just be truly present and look up and really feel into your real life that you're living in there as well.

So I hope that helps. Go buy that second phone and find how you can get those beautiful boundaries to work for you.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram for your friends and be sure to tag me at tina_tower so I can say thank you. And if you really want to deliver me smiles, you can pop and review on Apple podcasts. I would love to hear from you. So if you have any questions at all, email me at [email protected] And if you would like to work with me further, all of the free resources and my courses can be found at tinatower.com

Now I truly hope this podcast gives me so much value and you can use it to dream big plan well and take massive action in building your very own empire. That's just for you. Have the greatest day!