PP 689: The Great Reset
“Remember that just because something worked for you yesterday doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you today… Push, pause, reevaluate, and determine a new course.” – Kim Sutton
This year, 2021, is the year for a great reset. It’s time to redefine what your dream life is truly like. You have the power to change or eliminate the things that made you unhappy and unfulfilled in the past. In this episode, Kim shares with us her great resets, lessons learned, practical applications, and blessings she received after taking the courage to protect her worth. If you are still being enslaved by other people’s emergencies or demands, if you are still being mistreated, if you’re still sleeping with your phone, or if you feel an emptiness in your life, press the play button because this podcast is for you! If all the hustling gives you more stress than success, pause and reevaluate because you deserve a better life.
00:53 The Great Reset In My Marriage
03:13 The Great Reset In My Value Of Self-worth
08:04 The Great Reset With My Clients
12:47 Let Go Of The Stress
18:58 The Great Reset In My Business
25:51 Set Boundaries
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02:57 “Is staying really worth your happiness?” – Kim Sutton
05:50 “Don’t let where you live determine your value. Your value comes from within. Your value comes from your expertise.” – Kim Sutton
06:30 “The expertise that you have to offer the world is not based on your zip code but is based on your brain and in your heart.” – Kim Sutton
16:50 “We deserve to be able to go out into the world into the present as the best version of ourselves.” – Kim Sutton
18:31 “Don’t live by other people’s expectations.” – Kim Sutton
25:57 “It’s up to us to train people how to treat us. If we let crappy behavior slide, then we can’t expect the behavior to get any better.” – Kim Sutton
30:00 “Remember that just because something worked for you yesterday doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you today… Push, pause, reevaluate, and determine a new course.” – Kim Sutton
Meet Your Host!
Kim Sutton is a Business and Marketing Automation Mentor, Speaker, and Author. She is the host of the Positive Productivity Podcast. Having been through so much including depression, domestic violence, and lack of self-care, Kim’s mission is to help her clients be positively productive by empowering them to achieve success without the burnout. She believes that positive productivity stems from system+support+self-care. Positive productivity is not about perfection, it’s about having Prioritized Purposeful Actions. Today, Kim is out to help fellow entrepreneurs reclaim their lives and make their business work.
Kim Sutton: My friend, I’m so happy that you’re back to join me for another episode of the Positive Productivity Podcast. I am so excited to be sharing my story of The Great Reset with you. My reset has come in multiple phases, and I’m going to share a few of them pretty quickly. But I want you to know that if you’re in any of these types of situations, you are not alone and they are overcomable. Yes, I do make up words all the time, get used to it.
My first great reset came a decade ago in 2010, when I realized that my marriage really just couldn’t be sustained any longer. I married my first husband when I was very young. I don’t know that I’ve ever admitted this on the podcast before, but I married him because I was pregnant. I don’t know what stage of your life here. But I will tell you that in my experience, getting married because you’re pregnant is probably not the best idea. It was probably also not the best idea to skip a couple of my pills and then have sex. But hey, that’s not a story for today. I stayed in that marriage for eight years, and it was doomed from the start. So in December of 2010, I left. I know that some of you may feel like I was a quitter. But I can tell you without getting into all the circumstances that I did what I had to do for myself and my two cents. And now, 10 years later, I am so happy that I did. I am married to my absolute soulmate. We have had three more kids of our own. My oldest two sons are living such better and brighter lives because of the decision that I made. I feel like in most days, months, weeks, or should I say on most days, I can have better conversations with my now ex than I ever did while you’re married. I stayed in that marriage though, for far too long because I was afraid of the circumstances of leaving. And in the end, it was my father who said to me: “Kim, is it really worth the price of staying is staying.” And I was saying admittedly for financial reasons, is staying really worth your happiness? And I realized it wasn’t, I had to make a change.
Part Two of my great reset came in, I would have to say 2017. And 2014, I became an Infusionsoft certified partner. And while I’m no longer an Infusionsoft certified partner, I will tell you that that certification changed the course of my business tremendously for the better. Up until that time, I had been a virtual assistant. I will admit that I undervalued myself tremendously. When I started my business in 2012, I was only charging $8 an hour because I thought I was competing with virtual assistants overseas. If you’ve heard this story before, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. But I think it’s something that we all need to be reminded of not just at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey, not in the middle, but continually over the whole journey.
Anyway, I started my business as a VA, and I was charging $8 an hour. And right from the start, I was hearing, you know? I almost didn’t hire you because you were charging too little. I couldn’t imagine how you possibly knew a thing about what you were doing. So I raised my rate, and I raised it again, and I raised it a whole bunch more times. And when I got my certification from Infusionsoft, I remember sitting there in Chandler, Arizona listening to other Infusionsoft experts who are going through the certification with me talking about their rate. They were discussing what they were going to charge for their Infusionsoft services, and many of them are talking about charging 200 or $250 an hour. And I at that time was charging $20 an hour, or 30? I can’t remember. Six years is a long time, especially in the second house. I remember thinking I don’t need to charge that much. I live in Ohio, my cost of living isn’t that high. So I took a leap of faith, and less, they’re charging $50 an hour for my Infusionsoft services. My friend, I don’t care where you live, you might be in the Philippines and a town where the minimum wage is only $1.50 an hour, or you may be in New York City, or San Diego, or Seattle where the cost of living is phenomenally high. But don’t let where you live determine your value. Your value comes from within, your value comes from your expertise. I will tell you that I have team members in the Philippines who I have told time and time again that they needed to raise their rates. Just because they live in a zip code where the cost of living is significantly lower, doesn’t mean that the value that they offer to me or their other clients is any less. The value and the expertise that you have to offer the world is not based on your zip code, based on your brain and your heart.
Anyway, going back to becoming an Infusionsoft certified partner, I started getting a lot more work, but I couldn’t seem to let go of the virtual assistant work that I had. I felt like I had to hold on to it, or I would be leaving my family without. I was afraid that by letting go of all my VA clients, that we would be hungry. And I will tell you that by not letting go, and my taking on more and more work, I created more financial stress for us than I did success.
In 2015, 2016, 2017, I personally went to the food bank probably a half dozen times because we were broke. I was taking on too much work because I was undervaluing myself that I couldn’t fulfill the contracts that I had, and my clients were dropping me. I was not getting referrals, it took more work to get more work than it would have if I would have just valued my own self worth, charged more and worked for less people. The great reset came when I really got this through my head. But getting it through my head in 2017 wasn’t enough. The second half of 2019 was really horribly rough for my family and I. I had for about a year been working for solely one client. And by the end of 2019, I was also providing services to his clients. I was building funnels for his clients. And although I knew that I was under charging for the work that I was providing, I knew that a big quantity of this work was going to be coming in so I didn’t want to lose the quantity and kept my rate low. That was a huge mistake. By keeping my rate low, I could not afford to hire the help that I needed to fill the work. And I did the best I could. I worked myself to the bone to the point that in 2018, which is when this work began. I was in the hospital four times in 2019. I was in the hospital a couple more times. 2018, they thought I had a heart attack, I didn’t. I also had a serious kidney infection, and I got another serious kidney infection in 2019. Up until 2018, I had never in my life had the kidney infection. But I’ll tell you that stress does ridiculous things to your body. And when you don’t get your stress under control, you can count on all hell breaking loose.
Well, in mid 2020, there was a client, one of the clients that I was weight labeling for this client who lied about me and said I hadn’t done the work that I had. I started to see the true colors of not only that person, but of the client I was working directly for start to shine through. There was bait and switch happening, like, what was being sold to the clients that I was providing my time and my services to, there was bait and switch happening. So what they bought wasn’t necessarily what my client wanted delivered anymore. Timelines were changed around, my pay schedule was affected. And it got so bad and affected me so horribly, that by September of 2019, my husband and I were in foreclosure for our house. The client had stopped paying me even though I was working exclusively for him and his clients. He had changed the conditions upon when I would get paid, and our mortgage had become delinquent. I couldn’t do it anymore.
In October of 2019, I went to that first ever speaking engagement that I had, and I had been looking forward to it for months, and months, and months. My husband had just had it, I had sacrificed so much time with him and so much time with my family. And in the end, I had sacrificed our financial well being that he was at his wit’s end. In there, in the hotel room, I remember reading a text that said, I think we need to talk about a divorce, I can’t do this anymore. I had been looking forward to that event for months. And instead of enjoying that event, I spent most of the event in my hotel room with puffy eyes, crying my head off. I knew something had to change. At that point, I had been a slave to my cell phone, my emails and the client. I cannot blame this all on him, I want to make that perfectly clear. I am the one who has set my rate. I am the one who had agreed to take on all the work. I am the one who had set such low expectations for myself that I could not afford to hire the support that I needed to get through the situation without stress or with less stress. I’d created more of a burden for myself by not standing up for myself and by not recognizing my value and my work. I knew I had to make hard decisions, but I held on for way too long because I was worried about the money. I was worried that if I stood up for my values and what I believed in, that the financial consequences could be horrible. I didn’t have enough confidence in myself, in my skills and my expertise to be able to go out and find more work without that client. But I’ll tell you, I was way wrong. Way wrong. I won’t tell you how all that came to a head.
But by the beginning of 2020, that relationship was done. I had to move on. I told them to stop communicating with me, stop contacting me. I blocked the client on my cell phone on social media. I set up my email so that all or any emails that came in would be filtered and I would have to purposely look for them, which I did for a while. I expected them to come. But when I finally had the balls, or maybe I should say boobs, when I finally had the boobs to stand up for myself, results happened. In March of 2020, just before the big shutdown happened, I went to speak at Podfest in Orlando, Florida. It was literally the week before the country was shut down. And because I had let the stress of that client go, I performed at the highest that I had in years. I let my light shine. I was looking forward to Podfest for months and months, just like I had to the other speaking event. But because I had let the stress go, I was really able to connect with people and enjoy every single second. I had signed up for a whole four days of workshops that I wanted to attend. But I’ll tell you that because I had let that stress go. I spent more time out on the patio connecting with people who I am still connected to today, just because I was able to be myself. I hope you understand that as an introvert, spending a whole day talking to people is hard. But I couldn’t get enough of it. I was down there every single morning. I was down there through the end of the events at night, I could not get enough. Oh, and I had driven. I don’t think I’ve shared that. I drove from Ohio to Orlando by myself, a 16 hour drive. I was exhausted, but I was still because I was stress free. I was still able to participate in a way that I had never imagined before.
And by the way, I got a client out of that event. Not just any client, but the first client that I’ve truly enjoyed working with who paid what I deserved to be paid. She was sitting in the workshop that I presented at. And before I even finished speaking, she had applied to work with me. That’s how we all deserve to be in our business. We deserve to be able to go out into the world and to present as the best version of ourselves. Now, going out into the world today might be going on to Zoom because, well, as of the time of this recording, we’re still marked down. But even when we go on Zoom, if we are stress filled, we’re not going to make a great impression. I can tell you that because I know it to be true. Before I let that stress of that client go and bid my dues do good bye, that’s what I’m trying to say. Before I said farewell, I presented at a workshop on Zoom. I can tell you that I botched it in so many ways that I will be surprised if they ever contact me again. The stress was all over me. It was in my speech. I might as well have been drunk, although I wasn’t because I could barely speak coherently. Hey, some days, I’m still like that. I guess it’s just me. But the stress was also under my eyes.
Looking back to the pictures of me in 2019, 2018, I look like I might as well have been on drugs. The stress was pulled under my eyes like black rivers, and it was not pretty. Today, I’m taking pictures of myself, posting to social media. And yeah, I have under eye circles. But I have five kids, what do you expect? But I’m not embarrassed about sharing anymore. I don’t need to live by other people’s expectations. But at the same time, the pools of stress that were under my eyes before are not there anymore. I’d like to say that removing the stress of one tremendously bad client has taken years off me, but COVID has put a few years of gray on my head. So it’s probably a wash.
The final great reset, which I suppose would be great reset number four is a work in progress. I’m redefining how I want to play in my business. And I’m going to thank my friend Richie Otey, again, for asking me the question over and over again. How do you want to play, Kim? How do you want to play in your business? How do you want a day in your business, in a day in your life to be? Every single day, I’m defining that a little bit more. I’ll tell you that waking up and getting into my day looks nothing similar. Looks nothing similar to how it looked a couple years ago. Two years ago, I would have rolled over. And the first thing I would have done was look at my cell phone, look for text messages, or Facebook messages, or emails and respond before I was even out of bed. I left my ringer on every single night on my cell phone right next to my bed. And when a client would text, even at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, I would jump wide awake, respond to their text. If they needed anything, I would get right to it.
Last week, I didn’t even touch my cell phone for four days. It was on my desk in my office. I’ve changed the voicemail on my home phone. Yes, we still have a landline, no judging, please, and my cell phone to let people know not to leave me a voicemail because I probably won’t listen to it. If you know me, you know how to get a hold of me. So text me and I’ll get back to you when I can. But I’m not a slave to other people’s emergencies. Just because somebody blows up their website doesn’t mean that I need to drop what I’m doing in my family to take care of it. By the way, if you don’t have backups and security for your website, please get them. There will be a link in the show notes to an earlier episode with Brandy Lawson, which is jam-packed full, I don’t think I said that coherently, of resources that you can use to get backups and security for your website. You can find the show notes for this episode at thekimsutton.com/689. I want my clients to be having fun in their businesses too so I show them how to set up backups and security. I show them how to restore their site if something crazy happens. Your people should be doing that for you too.
Anyway, that’s besides the point. I don’t sleep with my cell phone anymore, I sleep with my husband. I finally bought an alarm clock in the past year so I don’t have to have my phone next to my bed. Are you living by your phone? Or are you living by your heart? I don’t jump into my email first thing anymore. Today, it was 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon, before I looked at my email for the first time. Now, I sort of glossed over the great reset number three. But great reset number three happened when I started to establish boundaries in my business. For years, as I’ve already shared, I was living by my phone. I would wake up as soon as I heard the ding, and I would take care of my clients requests. And after having been in and out of the hospital so many times, I realized that I needed to make a shift. I realized that I don’t need to respond to the exact second or the exact minute that I received that text message, so I stopped. At first, it was pretty painful. I had trained my clients to expect immediate responses from me. When they do get responses from me for five minutes, they would send me a nudge, Kim, just want to make sure you got this. Kim, Kim, Kim. But like a child that’s having a temper tantrum, I needed to retrain myself. I needed to not respond. I needed to not let that be okay. It was hard. I had to communicate with my clients that I was changing how I would be communicating with them. And for them, that was hard because they had gotten used to extremely fast responses. They wanted the overdeliver that I’d given them even if I wasn’t delivering. But I couldn’t do that anymore. I’ll tell you that since setting up those boundaries, I have gotten a lot better about enforcing them.
I had a client who was sending me text messages at 4:00 AM or 7:00 AM because that’s when he was up and going to the gym. My phone was still next to my bed because I hadn’t gotten the alarm clock yet. And finally, I just had to say, you know? I understand, and I totally appreciate that you’re on your way to the gym at 4:00 AM. But I’m still sleeping. So do you think maybe when you have an idea or a question then that you could send me an Email because it wakes me up when you send me a message. Then he’s like, Oh, yeah, I never thought about that. Well, do. I had another client who would just call my cell phone whenever they want it. And finally, I had to say to that client: “You know? I need you to text before you call, because there are a lot of times when I’m doing a presentation, or a webinar, or workshop, or recording a podcast. And even if I have my phone on silent next to me, sometimes my cell vibrates on my desk. So would you mind just sending a quick text and asked me if I’m available? I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.” Now, it took a few times with that client for them to understand. But it’s up to us to train people how to treat us. If we let crappy behavior slide, then we can’t expect the behavior to get any better.
Thinking about my kids right now, actually for years, and years, we’re letting them make messes and not clean them up. But mean Mama, actually, I don’t want to call her mean Mama, I’m gonna say tired of the mess Mama has been enforcing the cleanup policy lately. I’ll tell you that it’s been a battle, but my house is finally looking presentable. Somebody can knock on my door now and I wouldn’t be embarrassed for them to walk in. But because I wasn’t having boundaries and expectations with my kids, they weren’t following. What types of boundaries and expectations do you need to set up? How are you going to allow yourself to be treated?
Okay, this one’s totally inappropriate. So if your kids are nearby, you might want to just pause and come back later. I even had to set up boundaries for my husband, my husband is a night owl. He would get into bed at 3:00 or 4:00 AM thinking that he’s going to get some and wake me up. Ladies, if you’re like me and you go to bed at 11:00 or midnight, you are sound asleep at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. And if you’re like me, you do not want to be woken up no matter how good this is gonna be. And I let it slide for a while. So my husband began to think that it was acceptable, but it’s not. And I’m sorry, I know this is TMI. But what I found was when I let them have it, and it was always good, that I would be wide awake after. So while he would be able to go to bed and start snoring immediately, I would lay in bed for hours afterwards staring at the ceiling. That’s not okay with me. I have been through enough bouts of sleep deprivation to understand the true value of sleep. And the effects that a lack of sleep has on me, my sanity, my mental health, my physical health, all of the above, I had to put an end to that. It was hard. I didn’t want my husband to feel rejected, but I had to say: “Sweetie, if you want it, you have to come to bed earlier.” Again, I am sorry for the TMI. But I know a lot of us, men and women, have a hard time having enough confidence in ourselves to establish and enforce the boundaries that we deserve.
This new definition of the Positive Productivity Podcast is going to be a journey with me as I go through this great reset. I’m redefining what my business looks like. I’m redefining what my family looks like. I’m redefining what financial security looks like, and what my physical health looks like. I’m spending time on my mental health and my connection with God. And I hope that through this year, and next year, and as long as the Positive Productivity lasts, and as long as the Positive Productivity Podcast lasts, that you’ll go through this journey with me. Remember that just because something worked for you yesterday doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you today. You have every right to push, pause, reevaluate and determine a new course. It doesn’t make you a quitter, it actually makes you a winner because you’re committing yourself to what works for you.
Next week, I’m going to be sharing with you the childhood nickname that haunted me for 40 years. Trust me, you’re not gonna want to miss this episode, especially when you hear about the many ways in which it affected me, my family and my life. I hope you will join me then. If you enjoyed this episode, would you please head on over to the show notes page at thekimsutton.com/689 and leave a comment for me there. Until the next episode, I hope you go for it and have a positive and a productive day.