Off The Grid: Leaving Social Media Without Losing All Your Clients

Have you ever felt confused, overwhelmed, or lost in business? A system might be the answer to all your problems! 🤯 In this episode, Patty Ryan Lee of The Fiery Well joins Amelia to talk about business systems, SOPs & the good kind of audits.

Together, they discuss— 
  • What business systems are & why they make your life way easier 😎
  • How to create your first SOP (aka Standard Operating Procedure or, as we like to think of it, Streamlined Opportunity for Play) 🌈
  • How to audit your existing systems & an introduction to the A.U.D.I.T. process ✅
  • PLUS our advice for making your systems more magical AND our fave tech tools for supporting your systems 🔮

This episode is great for new-to-business babes who want to build with intention AND long-time business owners who want more ease in their day-to-day. Tune in then click through to the episode webpage for links to all the great tools we mention!


Links & resources—
 

 
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Creators & Guests

Host
Amelia Hruby
Founder of Softer Sounds podcast studio & host of Off the Grid: Leaving Social Media Without Losing All Your Clients

What is Off The Grid: Leaving Social Media Without Losing All Your Clients?

Off The Grid is a podcast for small business owners who want to leave social media without losing all their clients. ✌️ Our host, Amelia Hruby PhD, shares stories, strategies & experiments for growing your business with radical generosity & energetic sovereignty. 🌐 Get the FREE Leaving Social Media Toolkit at offthegrid.fun/toolkit

Amelia [00:00:02] [Music overlapping with introduction to the episode] Welcome to Off the Grid, a podcast for small business owners who want to leave social media without losing all their clients. I'm Amelia Hruby, writer, speaker, and founder of Softer Sounds podcast studio. On this show, I share stories, strategies, and experiments for growing your business with radical generosity and energetic sovereignty.

Amelia [00:00:22] Download your free Leaving Social Media Toolkit at softersounds.studio/byeig and join us as we do it all off the grid [music gets louder and then fades out].

Amelia [00:00:38] Hello and welcome to Off the Grid, a podcast about leaving social media without losing all your clients. I'm Amelia Hruby. I am a writer, speaker, and the founder of Softer Sounds, a podcast studio for entrepreneurs and creatives. As you might have guessed, I am also the host of this podcast and I like to think of myself as your guide and fellow explorer as we launch and grow thriving, feel-good businesses without social media.

Amelia [00:01:08] Today we are here for episode 11 of the podcast. We are cruisin' through Season One and I am joined by Patty Ryan Lee, who is a friend and the web witch behind The Fiery Well, which I'm going to tell you about in just a second.

Amelia [00:01:23] Before we dive into our conversation with Patty, I have two quick reminders, as always.

Amelia [00:01:29] Number one is that we are hosting a giveaway. So, if you are tuning in while Season One is still premiering, we'll put it [giggles], you can enter our giveaway to win a copy of the Instead Deck from Inner Workout.

Amelia [00:01:42] So, the Inside Deck is an amazing card deck that invites you to stop scrolling and take a moment for self-care. I love the deck and its creator, my dear friend Taylor Elyse Morrison, who's going to be on the podcast next week. And now you're probably like, "I want one of these, what do I have to do to win one?"

Amelia [00:01:59] Well [giggles], all you have to do is submit a question for our listener Q&A episode of the podcast that will wrap up Season One. So, there are two ways to submit a question and enter the giveaway. You can record a voice message. Just go to speakpipe.com/offthegrid, which is linked in the show notes or below if you're on YouTube. Head there, record a voice message sharing a question that you have about leaving social media, and you will be entered to win the giveaway.

Amelia [00:02:27] If you're like, "No way, I'm not going to record a voice message, Amelia." That's okay too. You can email your question to hi@softersounds.studio.

Amelia [00:02:36] So, everyone who submits a question for the listener Q&A episode will be entered to win an Instead Deck. Unfortunately, we are only shipping to U.S.-based addresses just because customs is a challenge. So, we welcome our international listeners to submit questions, but only U.S.-based entries will be part of the giveaway. Sorry upfront, ya'll.

Amelia [00:02:56] Okay. Now that I fumbled my way through that giveaway announcement, we have announcement number two [giggles]—

Amelia [00:03:01] Which is a reminder to download our free Leaving Social Media Toolkit. So, this is our totally free resource for leaving social media and creating your fun, feel-good marketing plan that is algorithm-free. The Toolkit has three of my favorite marketing tools of all time inside and you can get it at softersounds.studio/byeig. That's b-y-e-i-g. All you have to do is drop your email there and the toolkit will land in your inbox automagically, as I like to put it, or as I heard somebody else say, which I love.

Amelia [00:03:33] So again, please submit a question to enter our giveaway and please download the free Leaving Social Media Toolkit. And that said, let's dive into today's episode.

Amelia [00:03:43] For episode 11, I am here with Patty Ryan Lee and Patty is the witch, tarot reader, and web developer behind The Fiery Well, the only tech and business support space just for service-based witches.

Amelia [00:03:58] I am a member of The Fiery Well's online community and I have to say that everything Patty shares there has helped me streamline my business systems and just brings so much more ease into my business, let alone all of the tech questions she has answered for me [giggles].

Amelia [00:04:13] So, I know this is a podcast about leaving social media and you might be like, "Why are we talking about systems?" But what I want to say is when we go a few layers deeper than leaving social media, I have found that while leaving social gave me some peace of mind, it's actually my business systems that have given me time and energy and creativity back in my business.

Amelia [00:04:36] So, it's the systems that make my life easier, better, and more fun. Leaving social was really like a surface layer kind of thing, and when I go deeper, it's all about systems ya'll. So, that's what we're talking about today and I'm so excited to have Patty here.

Amelia [00:04:51] Thanks so much for joining me, Patty.

Patty [00:04:53] Hello. I am so glad to be here. Thank you so much for that wonderful introduction. And it just fills my heart with so much joy when people realize systems do bring ease.

Amelia [00:05:03] They do. It's like a direct causation [laughs]. Systems equal ease.

Patty [00:05:08] They do [laughs]. And ease requires effort because it's not simple. Systems aren't simple, unfortunately.

Amelia [00:05:14] Yeah.

Patty [00:05:15] Because you have to have so much awareness about yourself and your business—

Amelia [00:05:19] Oof.

Patty [00:05:19] To even get them.

Amelia [00:05:19] 100%. And that just reminds me, I think that piece about self-awareness also speaks back to the first guest I had on the podcast episode I did with my friend Mary Grace Allerdice, where we talked about how, like, to have energetic sovereignty in your business, you have to be really aware of your— your needs, your behaviors, what supports you, what drains you. And it's true for systems, too, because—

Patty [00:05:44] Yep.

Amelia [00:05:44] Not to get ahead of myself but you know, we've all built a system that, like, made everything worse for our lives [laughs and Patty joins in]. Probably before we built a system that actually made it way easier and better.

Amelia [00:05:55] So now that we, like, dove deep, let's, like, pull way back out to the surface. And I want to ask—

Patty [00:06:00] Okay.

Amelia [00:06:00] You, Patty, a very basic question because we have some little lovely business babes and newbies in here. So, what are business systems and why do all business owners need them?

Patty [00:06:12] Oh, I love this question because I recently read a book that said all business owners don't need systems.

Amelia [00:06:17] I refuse [laughs].

Patty [00:06:17] Can I swear?

Amelia [00:06:18] Yes, you can swear, please do.

Patty [00:06:20] That's utter bullshit [laughs heartily]. You know, it's wait till you have employees, wait until you have virtual assistants, or somebody to support you to have a system.

Amelia [00:06:28] Mmhm.

Patty [00:06:28] And I'm like, "No—"

Amelia [00:06:29] Yeah.

Patty [00:06:30] "That's too late." Because at that point it's far too late. And systems [laughs], they help us un-martyr ourselves.

Amelia [00:06:37] Mm.

Patty [00:06:37] And I find this to be true with myself. I'm a glaring example of this. If you find it difficult to ask for help, it's very difficult to establish systems in your business, and where you find it most difficult to ask for help is where you need the strongest systems.

Amelia [00:06:50] Mmhm. Yeah, because that's where you need the most support.

Patty [00:06:52] Right. And you got to get that out of your head. So, I think all business owners should look for ways of, "Okay, how can I eliminate myself from my job?"

Amelia [00:06:59] How does a system do that for us? You know, I hear you say, how can I eliminate myself from my job? And I'm like, "Yeah, please, dear god [Patty laughs heartily], like, eliminate me immediately." But other people might be like, "Why would I want— like, I started this business so I could do this. Why would I want to eliminate myself from— from my job?" So, what does that mean?

Patty [00:07:15] So, most of us start our businesses because we want to do what we're good at. And there's a lot in business we're not good at. Some of us are really good with the financial end, some of us are not. Some of us are really good with advertising. Some of us are not. Some of us are really good with the admin day-to-day bullshit and some of us are not [laughs heartily].

Amelia [00:07:30] Yeah.

Patty [00:07:31] So, if you can establish systems and routines around that and get the process of what you're doing day-to-day out of your head, you can highlight what you don't like, you can highlight what you do like, and work to those strengths in your business.

Amelia [00:07:46] Mmhm.

Patty [00:07:46] Which leads to less resentment in your business. As long as you're doing what you enjoy doing, you'll never work a day in your life as my grandmother— great grandmother would say [Amelia chuckles heartily]. But that's also bullshit.

Amelia [00:07:56] Yeah, it is.

Patty [00:07:56] Because especially for solopreneurs, if you're the only one, you have to do everything.

Amelia [00:08:01] Mmhm.

Patty [00:08:02] So, if you can write down what you're doing, you don't have to think about it as much. Oh, I hate doing taxes. I mean, who— who enjoys doing taxes, right—

Amelia [00:08:10] Accountants.

Patty [00:08:10] Who enjoys sitting down once a month and doing financials? Okay, but are you sitting down once a month and doing your financials? No. Why not?

Amelia [00:08:18] [Laughs] I am because I learned that lesson [Patty laughs]. But, you know, you got to learn it.

Patty [00:08:21] You got to learn that lesson. And that, again, comes down to that awareness. What are you aware of in your business? And a lot of people are aware of nothing in their business—

Amelia [00:08:29] Mm.

Patty [00:08:30] Beyond what they know how to do well.

Amelia [00:08:30] Yeah, I think that what you're saying reminds me that, like, for me a business system is— creating a business system is the act of documenting something that you do in your business and turning it into a repeatable process.

Amelia [00:08:46] So, taking that like step-by-step approach, that's like one type. When I say business system, that's kind of I think what we're both thinking is like, "How do I make a standard operating procedure?" Which I'm sure will—

Patty [00:08:57] Yeah.

Amelia [00:08:57] Come up soon? An S-O-P— [Patty laughs] for all of these tasks that I'm doing over and over again.

Patty [00:09:05] Yep.

Amelia [00:09:05] So, it's almost— I've heard someone refer to it as like process-izing what we do—

Patty [00:09:11] Yep.

Amelia [00:09:11] So that every time isn't the first time because it requires so much energy to do something for the first time. And if you don't document how you do it and then turn it into a repeatable process every time is the first time—

Patty [00:09:23] Yep.

Amelia [00:09:23] And we've already used the example of finances, right? Like we all have our own, like, things around money and so if every time you go into your accounting software or your bank account, you know, maybe you're not even in a place where you have accounting software yet— every time you go in your bank account is just like panic and stress and you're making up whatever you do every single time. That is not a system and it will just drain you.

Patty [00:09:46] Yeah.

Amelia [00:09:47] But if you can make a standard operating procedure for how you do your end of month financials, then you just know what you're going to do. And it's the same—

Patty [00:09:56] Yeah.

Amelia [00:09:56] Every single time.

Patty [00:09:57] It takes the emotion out.

Amelia [00:09:58] Yeah, it does.

Patty [00:09:59] It does.

Amelia [00:10:00] Or at least for me sometimes. Like it takes the emotion of, like, the stress and anxiety out. And then I can actually start to notice other emotions [giggles] that come up when I do these things, right? [Patty laughs] Like I can feel happy that I actually made money that month because I'm not just panicked about all of the charges I can't figure out or I can feel legitimately worried because I didn't make money that month. But it's not just coming from this story in my head, it's coming from actually doing the process, looking at the books. Systems help me kind of— I just keep doing this hand motion that people [Patty laughs] on YouTube can see and podcasters can't— but helps me clear— systems help me clear out space to actually do things in my business and then, like, put my energy elsewhere where I want to be putting it, at the stuff I am good at, and that I like, and that brings me, like, joy and the stuff that is regenerative. Like I like to put my energy in places that bring me more energy in my business—

Patty [00:10:57] Yes.

Amelia [00:10:57] And I built systems for everything else.

Patty [00:10:59] It removes decision fatigue, it removes the overwhelm, it removes— that's an— that's perfectly it— is that first time you go to something and then if you don't write it down, it's the first time all over again.

Amelia [00:11:08] Every.

Patty [00:11:09] That's it.

Amelia [00:11:10] Single. Time.

Patty [00:11:10] Every time.

Amelia [00:11:11] And you're just like— and it also means that you can't grow and evolve in your business or it's harder and it's slower. You know, there's nothing wrong with being slow, but it's just like if you're doing everything for— if it's the first time every time [laughs], it doesn't get easier or better. And I want everything to get easier and better [laughs].

Patty [00:11:30] Right. Well and if it's the first time, every time you can't track what's actually changing.

Amelia [00:11:34] Mmhm.

Patty [00:11:35] I used to go in and for the calendar system and everything for events and do everything in folders and do this and do that. And I would do that quarterly, so I wouldn't have to do it as often. And then the new quarter would come along. I'm like, "Shit, how did I do that again?"

Amelia [00:11:48] Yeah.

Patty [00:11:48] And so the system— there is— there was a system, but then it would change every quarter.

Amelia [00:11:53] Exactly. And that's how you end up like, “Well one quarter I did it on— the event on Zoom and then one quarter I did it on GoTo Meeting and then one quarter I started new webinar software because I never remembered what I did last time [chuckles].”

Patty [00:12:05] Yeah.

Amelia [00:12:06] And then every time you put tons of energy into learning a new software, a new program, or a new something just because you didn't like the system. So—

Patty [00:12:15] Yeah.

Amelia [00:12:15] We're already talking now about systems we have in our businesses [Patty chuckles], ways our systems make life easier, ways we have failed our own systems [Patty laughs]. For folks who are just starting out in business, what are some systems you suggest people put in place when they're launching their business?

Patty [00:12:31] That is such a loaded question [Amelia laughs] because it— my favorite answer, and you hear this a lot inside The Well—

Amelia [00:12:36] Yeah.

Patty [00:12:36] It depends.

Amelia [00:12:37] Yeah.

Patty [00:12:38] What are you trying to do? And it's really hard. I just had this discussion with another member that wanted to create a system before the process was in place. And a lot of people want to do that. When you're brand new, especially, it's like, okay, perfectionism. I want to get this just right [Amelia and Patty laugh together], right out the gate.

Amelia [00:12:54] You're calling me out.

Patty [00:12:54] And establish all of these systems right away so that I can have a streamlined business. But that's putting the cart before the horse.

Amelia [00:13:02] Yeah.

Patty [00:13:02] So for business, especially if you're brand new, write everything down—

Amelia [00:13:06] Mmhm.

Patty [00:13:06] As you do it. Don't think, like, you have to come into a system right out the gate and write everything down on how it should work. Write it down as you do it, as it's actually happening. Don't try and create a system right away. Trust me [laughs].

Amelia [00:13:22] Woo, I love this advice. This is great. So, what I'm hearing you say is that we all want business systems or, you know—

Patty [00:13:29] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:13:29] Maybe Patty and I have now convinced you, you want a business systems [Patty laughs], but when you're just starting out, like, you can't put the system cart before the horse, the business horse, you actually have to just let your business horse run.

Amelia [00:13:41] You have to do some things. And the most important thing is to be documenting, you need to be writing down everything that you're doing, so that once you have done it the first time, maybe even done it the second time or the third time, then you can look at it and say, "Okay, what is the system here? How do I streamline this process? How do I make it repeatable? What's going to happen every time now that I have these sorts of data points of doing it a few times?

Amelia [00:14:08] And that definitely speaks to something I experienced because I have only been in business for ten months or so as we're recording this. So, I'm a pretty new business owner. I got a leg up because I worked at a business school before I started my business, which definitely helped [laughs and Patty joins in]. But, you know, I think that what you're saying really resonates with me because I definitely did try to create systems before I had done things. You know, honestly, sometimes it worked. I got QuickBooks as soon as I got a business and I like, you know, I created a monthly— like month-end accounting system right off the bat. And that was okay for me. Like that worked out. But there have been other things I did because I thought I was being a smart business owner and starting with a system I just ended up like, you know, investing in course software that was way more intense than what I needed, right? Like—

Patty [00:14:57] Oh, yep.

Amelia [00:14:57] I cannot tell you how many people I see pour hundreds of dollars into Kajabi— no shade to Kajabi, it's just expensive [Patty laughs]— before they even have a course because they're trying to prep—

Patty [00:15:08] Yep.

Amelia [00:15:08] The system before the course exists even, or they've sold any seats in the course. And I just love what you said because it speaks to that desire to, like, get it all right before we even do it. That's a real danger of being, like, too ambitious about your systems when you're early on, maybe.

Patty [00:15:25] Well and that puts a lot of pressure on you to continue, one, to try and keep the system that you've created because you've poured your heart and soul into the system.

Amelia [00:15:34] Yeah.

Patty [00:15:34] You become attached to the system. And you don't want to let it change.

Amelia [00:15:38] Yeah.

Patty [00:15:38] Especially when it comes to tech. People get very attached to the investment that they make in tech. And if you make that—

Amelia [00:15:45] Yeah.

Patty [00:15:45] Investment too soon, you're stuck with it just because you can't release it.

Amelia [00:15:49] So hard. It is so hard to change systems like [Patty laughs]—

Patty [00:15:53] It is. It is.

Amelia [00:15:54] [Sighs] And we'll get to this in a second because we're— this episode is not just for new business owners, friends [Patty laughs]. We're going to talk about how us current business owners can audit some of our systems. And— but if you're listening to this and you're in business, you know that when you want to change a system, it can be a commitment. Or when you want to change a tech tool. Like if you're going to move your email marketing between email marketing services, I mean, I'm just like, “No, thank you. Never, ever. I will commit to this piece of software I don't love because I will never move [laughs heartily].” Or like when I moved into Dubsado in my business, I was like, "This is it for me [Patty laughs]. I will die here." I'm basically like, "Buy my little cemetery plot. I am now a Dubsado business. I am never moving [laughs]." Because it's so—

Patty [00:16:31] Yep.

Amelia [00:16:31] Much work to move there.

Patty [00:16:33] Well, and then Dubsado— I mean Dubsado, 17hats, Honeybook, the CRM—

Amelia [00:16:39] Yeah.

Patty [00:16:39] Workflow kind of tech especially because often people get into those too soon.

Amelia [00:16:45] Mmhm.

Patty [00:16:45] Those are systems streamliners. You have to have an established system before you get that kind of software.

Amelia [00:16:50] Yes.

Patty [00:16:50] And so people are like, “Alright, I'm going to do a photography business. I'm going to get Dubsado. Done. Alright.” Okay, how do you actually work with clients?

Amelia [00:16:57] Yeah.

Patty [00:16:57] Well, I don't know yet [Patty and Amelia laugh together].

Amelia [00:16:59] Yeah.

Patty [00:16:59] You have to have the system before you get the software. You need to understand what's going into your course before you decide—

Amelia [00:17:06] Mmm.

Patty [00:17:06] What kind of platform you need. You have to start at the end and work your way back.

Amelia [00:17:08] Yeah. And so, I think then what we're kind of circling toward is that for new business owners or people launching their businesses, to me it's like the core of what you need to figure out is your offerings.

Patty [00:17:20] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:17:20] And it's like, what is the offering? How will you offer it? I always advise having like a— if you can, like a test client or two or three people that you kind of work out the kinks with and you work out the process with.

Patty [00:17:34] Yes.

Amelia [00:17:34] And then when you actually have documented all of that and you document your process, that's when you're ready to go— to create the system and find the tech tool that's going to serve it. So maybe I'll use my own business as an example here. And Patty, like, please chime in with examples from yours or your clients as well.

Amelia [00:17:52] When I started Softer Sounds [laughs]— this is— I haven't actually shared this anywhere, so this is kind of fun to walk through— I knew I wanted to start a podcast business, but I didn't really know what I was going to do. And I met with this business coach for, like, one session and she was basically like, "Great, I'm starting a podcast. I would like to be your first client. Bill me [laughs]." And I was like, "Okay [Patty chuckles heartily]."

Patty [00:18:11] That works out fine.

Amelia [00:18:13] So I had to, like, invent a package for her. And what I did was a pretty like MVP strategy, which is a minimum viable product strategy. I recorded a workshop on Zoom. I made a workbook in Canva. I put them in Dropbox and invited her to a Dropbox folder. That was all tech I already had. It was not fancy or splashy or anything like that. But then we, like, worked through this process together and I kind of learned I was like, "Okay, here is, like, my tiny baby, like, seed of this." And then after that it's like, okay well, I recorded the workshop better, I made the workbook— I took like her feedback and improved the workbook. And then I put it on, like, a password protected page on my website that was like stage two, because by then I had a website [laughs]. Which I didn't have first time.

Patty [00:18:58] You don't need a website right out the gate [laughs].

Amelia [00:19:00] No, not necessarily. And then I, you know, and then from there, I built it out further. I used like a different program to actually create logins for that page on my website. And I had email templates for how I like started the process with clients and then what happened at each stage along the way. And then I did that with a few people and then I really had much more of a system that was like, "Okay, I know, here's what I deliver and the types of files I deliver. Here's the types of emails I send. Here's the timeline this happens on. Here's how much this actually costs and how I bill for it."

Amelia [00:19:32] And I took all of that and then moved my system into Dubsado because I really was craving automation around it because I had—

Patty [00:19:39] Yep.

Amelia [00:19:40] Gotten in a couple sticky spots of, like, people saying yes and then I needed to invoice them, but I was out of town and I— this can just be automated. So—

Patty [00:19:47] Yeah.

Amelia [00:19:48] That's, like, my brief example of the way that I moved from, you know, launching into systems and a tech tool that— that's serving me well now. What comes to mind for you when you think of, like, how a system has developed over time in your business or one of your clients’ businesses?

Patty [00:20:04] Well, before I say that, I do want to highlight that's removing yourself from your business.

Amelia [00:20:07] Oh, yeah.

Patty [00:20:08] You took yourself out of the equation. You were the roadblock. Somebody's emailing me on Friday night, but I'm not in the office till Monday morning. Oh, shit [Amelia laughs]. Automation is a great way of doing that. Oh, how far back with clients do I go [Amelia and Patty laugh together]? Because I've worked with so many different industries and so many different people.

Amelia [00:20:27] Mmhm.

Patty [00:20:28] But I pull folks out of the Stone Age as best—

Amelia [00:20:31] Mmm. Mmhm.

Patty [00:20:31] I can because I've had clients that were still delivering printed brochures to clients. They were mailing them.

Amelia [00:20:36] Yeah.

Patty [00:20:37] And I'm like, “No, we can put that on a website.” You can [laughs]? Yes. And auto-responders for emails. People are very against that. I was like, you can do that. That's part of a flow. That's part of a system. That's part of a process.

Amelia [00:20:50] Yeah.

Patty [00:20:50] And a lot of my clients had no idea they actually had a system and process in place.

Amelia [00:20:55] Mm. Mmhm.

Patty [00:20:56] Because they've never written anything down—

Amelia [00:20:58] Yeah.

Patty [00:20:59] Ever. Like, that's consistent with all my clients. They've never written anything down [Amelia laughs heartily]. Ever.

Amelia [00:21:05] Yeah. It's like— I mean I had jobs at various sizes of businesses that's what we always refer to as, like, in different ways is like the institutional knowledge or as like gatekeeping that knowledge like if only one person knows how things are done. And if you're a solopreneur, it's you [laughs].

Patty [00:21:21] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:21:21] You become the roadblock, as you just put it, like you become the reason that things can't happen because you can't— nobody else can do it.

Patty [00:21:29] When nobody can [laughs] because you haven't written it down. And I mean, I was the same way even in my business. Like, I didn't really get into systems until just several years ago because I'm like, well, it's just me, and everything I do is custom and it's always, you know—

Amelia [00:21:45] Mmhm.

Patty [00:21:45] I live in email, there is no streamlined process, anything. And it's like, oh no, there's a process here. I had no idea I had it. I took a couple of courses. I was like, "Oh." And then I realized in my own personal life, I have systems and I have processes and I have SOPs.

Amelia [00:22:03] Mmhm.

Patty [00:22:03] This is how I do laundry [laughs].

Amelia [00:22:05] Yeah.

Patty [00:22:06] This is how I cook this dish. It's a recipe. As soon as I started writing them down, this is just for myself. I started to see how many holes in my process I had—

Amelia [00:22:16] Mm. Mhm.

Patty [00:22:16] Where I was still at the bottleneck because it wasn't so much my process, it was the clients I was working with. I was attracting clients that weren't ready—

Amelia [00:22:25] Mm. Mmhm.

Patty [00:22:26] For my process.

Amelia [00:22:27] Yeah.

Patty [00:22:27] And I had no idea until I sat down and wrote everything down.

Amelia [00:22:31] Yeah.

Patty [00:22:31] So systems are at the base of everything that you do [Amelia chuckles].

Amelia [00:22:36] Yeah, I love this point because what it's reminding me is, like, we've been talking about business systems in terms of the systems that fuel your business and, like, the things you do, like your finances or your marketing or, you know, these various aspects. And then I gave the example of, like, how I built systems for this offering and like to deliver it and to sell it. But what you're speaking to also reminds me of— that systems can help us productize our services.

Patty [00:23:08] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:23:08] And I think that— that is— that's been crucial for me for my growth as a business owner because I used to be an audio editing freelancer, which would mean to me— what happened and what that meant to me is that people would come to me and say, like, "I need a podcast editor." And then every single time we would, like, figure out what they needed. And I would build out this like new— like this specific package for them, we'd negotiate rates, and we'd, like, talk about deadlines, all these things. It was like the first time every time.

Patty [00:23:39] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:23:39] And when I launched Softer Sounds, I was like, "No, [Patty laughs] no, no, no, no, no, no, never again." Because I did that for like three or four years at that point. And I was like, "I am so sick of every client being at a different rate, of every client having their own specific thing." And it took so much more— it was so much mental load for me to know, just to track that.

Patty [00:23:59] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:23:59] So when I built Softer Sounds, I built packages. And now like, that's how you work with me.

Patty [00:24:04] Yep.

Amelia [00:24:04] I mean, I do occasionally do custom quotes [laughs], but you want to come in. I've got three different tiers of editing packages. You pick your one, it all bills out this— like through the same form and it's like, that's it. So, systems can also help us streamline how we work with clients. And to your point, who we work with.

Patty [00:24:24] Yeah.

Amelia [00:24:24] Because I used to have people come to me for editing who didn't have a podcast yet, and that's how I built my first podcast launch package was like, "Well, you don't have a podcast, so I guess I'll help [Patty laughs heartily] you out." But you know then I've learned like maybe I just want to work with people who already have podcasts and, like, that's not what I'm interested in. Like you learn that as you build the systems—

Patty [00:24:46] Right.

Amelia [00:24:46] Over time.

Patty [00:24:47] Yeah, because I started like— I used to do branding and strategy and everything before the website because—

Amelia [00:24:52] Mmhm.

Patty [00:24:52] So many clients came to me unprepared for a website—

Amelia [00:24:55] Yeah.

Patty [00:24:55] Like they maybe had a social media presence, or they just had this idea, but they weren't ready technically for a website.

Amelia [00:25:02] Mmhm.

Patty [00:25:02] So, I started offering them the whole kit and caboodle, and that's an intensive process, and I didn't enjoy it. I was like, "Okay, no, you come to me fully ready." Well, how do you— how do you talk about coming fully ready? You're in the first five years of your business— 3 to 5. You've already got everything, you've got some offers, you've got some streamline, you know what you're doing, then you can come in. Once I did that client process sped up so much—

Amelia [00:25:29] Mmhm.

Patty [00:25:29] I can knock out a website in a month.

Amelia [00:25:31] Yeah. And I can relate to that in podcasting too. Like I expect my launch clients to come to me with their podcast idea. And I do some, like, custom podcast development work for people who don't have an idea. But if you want to purchase my launch package, you already need to know what your podcast is and we'll fine tune it. Maybe I'll help you figure out the name, but, like, the concept needs to be there. That's not built into the structure of this launch package.

Patty [00:25:53] And then how much does your client enjoy the process? Because you're both on the same page then.

Amelia [00:25:58] Yeah, if you're someone who— if you're listening to this and you're a business— a service provider in your business, and you feel like you and your clients are never on the same page about what they need or what you should be doing together. You need a system. You need to figure out the process of your offerings and what's the entry point. And I don't say that in a judgmental way. I say that in an I've been there way [laughs].

Patty [00:26:20] Oh, yeah, we've— we've all— and you will be there. If you're not there you will be [laughs].

Amelia [00:26:25] Yeah.

Patty [00:26:25] Because it's— I call the first five years of business the what the fuck muck.

Amelia [00:26:32] [Laughs heartily] That's great, you should trademark that.

Patty [00:26:34] And I'm like, it's so good. It'— it's got to be somebody else's line. But I have no idea. But it's just what I call it. Give yourself five years and it sounds like a long ass time—

Amelia [00:26:44] Mmhm.

Patty [00:26:44] But it's going to be five— the first year you're going to stumble around and go, "Okay, I want to do this. Is anybody going to buy it?" And this is all a system. There is a system and business process [chuckles] that you're following, a flow. The first year you're going to do this, the second year you're going to fumble around that, the third year you're going to burn it all to the ground and start over [laughs].

Amelia [00:27:01] And you can't skip it. It's like— it's an archetypal journey.

Patty [00:27:05] Yep.

Amelia [00:27:06] As I work with or— am a member of the North Node, which is another business community run by Holisticism, and they're all about archetypes. And entrepreneurship is an archetypal journey. And something I've had to learn the hard way in my first year is that you don't really get to skip things [laughs]—

Patty [00:27:23] No.

Amelia [00:27:24] Like you can [Patty laughs heartily], but, like, they come back.

Patty [00:27:27] Yes.

Amelia [00:27:28] Like you can try to skip the burning it all down phase, but it will show up for you. It's just— it's going to— it's going to happen. I know, Patty, we're actually swimming in the sea of systems here. We're, like, talking about [Patty chuckles] people just launching, talking about our own systems. But something I really love that we do in The Fiery Well is you organize all these amazing— it's almost like systems audits for us—

Patty [00:27:52] Yes.

Amelia [00:27:52] And so, I would love if you could share with folks, like, what is an audit, what are some things and systems you might audit in your business, and why do we want to do—

Patty [00:28:01] Okay. So, if you're on YouTube, you just saw my eyes go wooo [Amelia laughs]. So, I love audits like not from the IRS kind of audits [laughs].

Amelia [00:28:08] Oh.

Patty [00:28:09] I'm always afraid that's going to happen, but no audits— I try to break it down to be very basic—

Amelia [00:28:14] Mmhm.

Patty [00:28:14] And it's a-u-d-i-t which we will be adding s for the next one.

Patty [00:28:19] It— it comes down to a for awareness. To audit something, you have to have something to audit.

Amelia [00:28:26] Mmhm.

Patty [00:28:26] This implies somethings— something you're already— it's something you're already doing.

Amelia [00:28:31] Mmhm.

Patty [00:28:32] Something you already have. So, this doesn't work if you are just brainstorming something. But you want to be aware and have [laughs]— what are we going to be auditing? What do we— what information do we need?

Patty [00:28:42] And then we go to understanding. Okay. We have the idea of what we want to audit.

Patty [00:28:47] What are all the details?

Patty [00:28:48] With those details, we have some decisions to make.

Patty [00:28:51] With those decisions, we have some maybe more information or implementation to do.

Amelia [00:28:55] Mmhm.

Patty [00:28:56] Information gathering or implementation.

Patty [00:28:57] And then we track.

Amelia [00:28:58] Mm mmhm.

Patty [00:28:59] That’s the important part. That's the hard part is an audit is not a one and done. We start them off. I think we've done them, like, once a quarter now. But the key to the audit is to continually track, go back to that reference sheet, and update it. How are things changing? So, that when you come back and do the audit from scratch, there's no surprises.

Amelia [00:29:21] Yeah, I love that. So, audit— awareness, understanding, decisions, information slash implementation and tracking. That's our acronym is that that word is for, anyway—

Patty [00:29:34] I think so. I never remember.

Amelia [00:29:35] Yeah. Me neither [laughs]. I love that because there are four stops before tracking. This blew my mind the first time I did an audit in The Fiery Well, I was just like so ready on day one to start tracking because I think—

Patty [00:29:47] Nope.

Amelia [00:29:47] One of the first ones we did was time tracking and I was like [snaps], "Cool, I'm here, I'm gonna check my time." And then I was [giggles] like, "Or not?"

Patty [00:29:54] [Laughs] Nope. We're not— we we're not doing it that way. I do everything. I don't know if you can tell from the way that we talk. I do things backwards [Amelia and Patty laugh together] inside The Well. How— what are you going to track— if you can't decide what you're going to track, you're going to track everything.

Amelia [00:30:09] Mmhm.

Patty [00:30:10] And tracking everything is unnecessary.

Amelia [00:30:14] Yeah, it just— it's time consuming and it takes too much energy. And so, you know, just to share, like, my experience of the time tracking audit. Something I learned through, like, the process is that before we did the audit, I had started tracking my time and I was just tracking client work versus non-client work. Like how much time am I my working in my business, what's client work and what's other work? And I did that before the audit and I came into the audit and I was like, cool. And I realized that that gave me not helpful information at all [laughs]. I was like, "Well, now I, like, know that it's kind of 50/50." But what I realized when I went through those first four steps is I actually wanted to know much more clearly— like I wanted more information. I wanted a more of a breakdown of which clients are taking the most time, how much time am I spending on editing versus other tasks for them. Because you know some clients, we all know this, they're just needier than others [laughs].

Patty [00:31:10] Mmhm. Yes.

Amelia [00:31:10] They're just showing up in your inbox more [Patty laughs], they're just, like, voxing you every day. They're just, like, around. And then other clients are like, "Here are my files. Please go away. I will not talk to you until I need to pay you again." So, when we went through the audit, I learned that. And now I've been time tracking for two months and I have to go back through the first four steps to be like, "Okay, is still doing this serving me and what am I learning and what do I want to change?" That's very cool.

Patty [00:31:33] I like them because it also— I mean, we get kind of witchy and a lot of like tarot and astrology. It's like, okay, so do you see on specific days you feel better doing this task than others—

Amelia [00:31:46] Mm mmhm.

Patty [00:31:46] On those specific days, is there a specific hour? Does that align with— on Mondays it's a moon day, you feel more in your body? On Jupiter days, on Thursdays, do you feel more abundant and you're working with money and all this? So that you can— productivity hacks and all the toxicity and all that [Amelia laughs] but it— so that you can streamline how you're working in your business.

Amelia [00:32:07] Yeah.

Patty [00:32:08] And understand the processes that you do on those days [laughs]—

Amelia [00:32:11] Mmhm.

Patty [00:32:13] So that you can optimize the time that you're spending in your business so that you're spending less time in it.

Amelia [00:32:17] And I don't know if that's something we've said overtly yet, but I think is true for both of us, which is just like the goal of these systems is to spend less time working.

Patty [00:32:26] Yes.

Amelia [00:32:27] If you love busywork and you're just like, no, actually I want 80 hours a week of business things to do. Like maybe you can enjoy a life without systems [laughs]. But you're probably not listening this podcast.

Patty [00:32:39] [Laughs] There is something about busy work because I was very attached to busy work. I had to feel like I—

Amelia [00:32:44] Mmhm.

Patty [00:32:44] Was very busy because we're raised in busy work. Like if you come from 9 to 5 and then you try to translate that when you're working for yourself and you realize, "But I'm only working 3 hours a day, I need to fill that time so that I'm quote unquote working in my business."

Amelia [00:33:03] Mmhm.

Patty [00:33:03] And the more systems that you have, potentially, the more streamlined that you become. You're not working as much.

Amelia [00:33:08] Mmhm.

Patty [00:33:09] And people get very uncomfortable with that quiet. Systems brings stillness in your business [laughs].

Amelia [00:33:17] That's good. That's a good quote.

Patty [00:33:18] And that's very uncomfortable.

Amelia [00:33:21] Mmhm.

Patty [00:33:21] So if you're like, "Okay, no, but I need to work like 90 hours a week because I just love my job." That's fine. I get that. If you're still working 90 hours with systems, I don't know what to tell you [laughs].

Amelia [00:33:32] Yeah.

Patty [00:33:32] Maybe— Maybe get comfortable with that quiet. See what happens in the stillness.

Amelia [00:33:36] Yeah, there's like something else happening there.

Patty [00:33:39] There's something going on.

Amelia [00:33:40] Or you're like, running multiple businesses or something is happening. So, we talked through the audit process and we've been— we've been talking about time. I talked about the time tracking audit. What are some other things that people might audit in their business?

Patty [00:33:54] Oh, so the first thing that we did to establish this system was a tech audit—

Amelia [00:33:58] Mmm.

Patty [00:33:58] Which was, like, my favorite. Because I'm in tech [laughs].

Amelia [00:34:03] You are.

Patty [00:34:04] Because people tend to either under purchase or over purchase their tech.

Amelia [00:34:09] Mmhm.

Patty [00:34:09] And— and this comes down to financial systems. They have no idea how much they're actually spending on the tech that they have. So, the first day is all I want you to do is go through all your receipts [laughs], all your emails, all your account logins, and write down all the different things you use.

Amelia [00:34:27] Mmhm.

Patty [00:34:27] Google Workspace, Riverside, Canva—

Amelia [00:34:31] Mmhm.

Patty [00:34:31] Zoom, all— just write them down. And the light bulbs people had. I have three different communication pieces and—

Amelia [00:34:40] Mmhm.

Patty [00:34:41] I'm paying for one that's included with Google Workspace. Why am I paying for Zoom and why am I paying for this and why am I paying for that? That's like, "Uh-huh. This is why we do this."

Amelia [00:34:48] No, it's real. And then sometimes you're like me and you're like, "Well, Dubsado has a scheduler, but I still pay for Calendly because I hate the Dubsado scheduler [laughs heartily]."

Patty [00:34:57] Okay, so then there's that because it comes— I'm the same way. I miss Calendly for the one off. It's become its own verb. There are some tool sets that are just so efficient at what they do. They're worth the cost.

Amelia [00:35:12] Yeah.

Patty [00:35:12] Dubsado is great for entire processes, for entire workflows with clients that have to schedule. But those one-off meetings or those quick links to schedule. Calendly does it well [laughs].

Amelia [00:35:25] Yeah. So, when we do the tech audit, they're— kind of I, you know, make a joke of that. But there are layers to this. Like we're— document everything that you're using and then you assess— well, I don't know exactly your process. What I'm imagining is like, what can this do? You look for what's duplicated, but there's also a layer of, like, what makes your life easier and better? And, you know, sometimes you pay—

Patty [00:35:46] Absolutely.

Amelia [00:35:46] For two things because one of them does it well and one of them doesn't. But I wouldn't pay for another thing that was just scheduling because I already have Calendly, so that could be fun. Are there other audits that you have done or would suggest business owners do to assess their systems?

Patty [00:36:02] Once you're established enough and, like, if you're doing emailing and newsletters and blogs and social media posts— content audits.

Amelia [00:36:11] Hmmm. What's a content audit?

Patty [00:36:13] We're doing that next, which is going to be fun [Amelia laughs]. It's not going to be easy, but you go back and you fill out a spreadsheet with every piece of content you've ever created.

Amelia [00:36:24] This is easier for me because I'm not on social media [laughs]. So, I don't create that much content.

Patty [00:36:29] And the thing with the audits is that they're very— they're structured. It's a framework—

Amelia [00:36:34] Mmhm.

Patty [00:36:34] But it's very open. You can approach it however you want. So if you want to spend—

Amelia [00:36:37] Yeah.

Patty [00:36:37] A quarter auditing your newsletter that you've written, if you want to spend a quarter auditing the blog, where are you spending the most of your time, or where do you feel like you want to be spending most of your time?

Amelia [00:36:47] Mmhm.

Patty [00:36:48] Do the content audit. And it's simply having an awareness how much content is already out there.

Amelia [00:36:52] Yeah.

Patty [00:36:53] And then understanding your metrics.

Amelia [00:36:55] Mmhm.

Patty [00:36:56] Do you have metrics [laughs]? Do you have analytics installed of any kind—

Amelia [00:36:59] They're probably somewhere. Have you ever looked at— can you go find them?

Patty [00:37:03] You'd be surprised how many people don't have any kind because it's just one of those in the layering of doing a website, in the layering of doing this. It's not something a lot of people look at—

Amelia [00:37:12] Yeah.

Patty [00:37:12] Beyond, like, follower count or visit count. They're not looking at, okay, what's the click through rate?

Amelia [00:37:16] Yeah.

Patty [00:37:16] What's the SEO comparison for the content and the results that I'm getting? What's the impression rate on Google versus Bing versus— those are the two big ones on my head— top of my head. But—

Amelia [00:37:27] Yeah. And like when do you want or need to know those things, right? Like which— what do you want to focus on? Where is your emphasis? And I think this is really— something I love about the content that you've already— the audits that you've already said is, like, the purpose of those first few steps is to help you figure out, like, what information are you seeking, what is going to make an impact for you? You know, if I have been doing SEO work for six months, I really need that information on like [laughs]—

Patty [00:37:53] Is it working [laughs]?

Amelia [00:37:55] Is it working? You know? Whereas, like, for me, the number of Instagram followers I have is not really that important to me because I don't use that service. I like that your audits are designed to help us figure out, like, what information do we need? So, we're not just like tracking everything and then staring at, like a scary, overwhelming spreadsheet all of the time.

Patty [00:38:13] Yeah.

Amelia [00:38:14] As we know, this is a podcast about social media or leaving social media. So, what are some— you know, how might a content audit like this help make social media easier for people who are still on it? Or are there other systems that can help us with social media and our businesses that you'd suggest developing?

Patty [00:38:32] Well, I love content audits, especially for those that are planning to leave social media—

Amelia [00:38:37] Mmm.

Patty [00:38:37] Because you have a wealth of content on somebody else's site that you can then analyze and go, "Okay, what do I need to keep? What do I want to keep? What can be put together on my own website?"

Amelia [00:38:46] Mmm.

Patty [00:38:46] Rather than feeling like, "Okay, I'm leaving social media, I have to start over."

Amelia [00:38:50] Yeah.

Patty [00:38:50] No, you don't. You have— how long have you been on Instagram? How long have you been on Twitter? How long have you been on LinkedIn?

Amelia [00:38:56] Mmhm.

Patty [00:38:56] Whatever you're leaving, go through everything that you have there or even better, have them send it to you. You can go download your content from them and go through it and put that on your website without having to start over [chuckles].

Amelia [00:39:09] Yeah, definitely. And you know, I also think this is why, like, I left my account up as an archive. Like, I really thought a lot about, when I was leaving social media, what have I created here that is a body of work that I want to continue to live on? How does it live-on on this platform and how do I capture it and move it elsewhere? So, it's not simply, like, making Meta money [laughs]. How can it make me money [laughs]? Something else—

Patty [00:39:33] You can get it off their platform [laughs].

Amelia [00:39:34] I think about a lot. Yeah.

Patty [00:39:37] Yeah.

Amelia [00:39:37] You're a business owner who is still on social media. Do you have any systems that help you, like, navigate and negotiate that?

Patty [00:39:45] Oh, I have many and mostly are focused around time.

Amelia [00:39:48] Mmm.

Patty [00:39:48] So, it’s— people say bots are bad, automation engagement is bad for social media. Twitter doesn't have much, but Facebook and Instagram do.

Amelia [00:39:57] Mmhm.

Patty [00:39:58] And so I have auto— instant auto-replies set up for the DMs—

Amelia [00:40:01] Mmhm.

Patty [00:40:01] For when I delete the app off my phone Sunday, Monday, I'm not on social media at all.

Amelia [00:40:07] Mmhm.

Patty [00:40:07] I'm tiptoeing my way off [chuckles], but because I am present other times, people still expect to be able to communicate with me.

Amelia [00:40:14] Mmhm.

Patty [00:40:15] So, I meet that expectation while still having that boundary. And that's a system that set up through Meta. I'm not here. Please reach out by email.

Amelia [00:40:24] Mmhm.

Patty [00:40:24] And that is probably the best system I ever set up, simply because then when I go— I don't even have to look at my messages when I come back because I know if you really wanted to get a hold of me—

Amelia [00:40:36] You would have just emailed me because I told you to.

Patty [00:40:38] This is—this is not an emergency [laughs].

Amelia [00:40:40] Yeah. Yeah.

Patty [00:40:42] So, I can get out of my DMs and not deal with that. I used to have systems for content, and the biggest thing I do inside The Well is play so that y'all don't have to. I play and experiment which is very frustrating, gives me a headache because it's, like [Amelia laughs], okay, well, this does this and this does that. So, I've had many different systems and many different protocols and deals—

Amelia [00:41:03] Mmhm.

Patty [00:41:03] Ways of dealing with social media. And now I just go [sighs], "Am I logging in today [laughs]? Am I posting today? Yes. No.”

Amelia [00:41:11] Yeah. I mean, that's a system, though, right? Like—

Patty [00:41:13] That's a system.

Amelia [00:41:14] Asking those two questions when you log on to work each day. Like a simple system that's just, like, checking in.

Patty [00:41:20] Yep.

Amelia [00:41:20] And depending on those answers, you might have a different system that pops in there if it's yes or no. But I love that it's a perfect example of, like, you know, you're not starting work and having this agonizing, "Social media is horrible and I don't know what I'm doing." And like, you're not dealing with all the big feelings. You just have two simple questions.

Patty [00:41:38] Yeah.

Amelia [00:41:38] Am I logging on? Am I posting? Yes, no answers.

Patty [00:41:41] Yeah. And then with the, "Am I posting?" I have another one that's been just this phrase in my head. Because I get so sick of people bitching about the algorithm on Instagram [chuckles]. I'm like, "You're wondering why you're not attracting your customers. It's because you're attracting people that also want to bitch about the algorithm." The algorithm— you're feeding the algorithm [Amelia laughs]. You're feeding—

Amelia [00:41:57] Yeah.

Patty [00:41:57] The machine, you're getting the result— anyway, so I was like, "All right, I'm done." Because I would feed into that. I would do that with politics.

Amelia [00:42:03] Mmhm.

Patty [00:42:03] I would do that with all sorts of things. Very reactive. Not responsive.

Amelia [00:42:08] Mmhm.

Patty [00:42:09] Which is, I mean, the point of social media. I was like, "Alright, we're done. Don't bitch. Build."

Amelia [00:42:14] Mmhm.

Patty [00:42:14] Which has become a core tenet— a core value of the business. If this is not productive, if this does not solve a problem, if this does not point someone in a direction to do something with their energy, we're not doing it.

Amelia [00:42:25] Mmhm.

Patty [00:42:26] And you'd be surprised how little resharing I do on social media now [laughs].

Amelia [00:42:30] Yeah. Yeah—

Patty [00:42:32] But that's the biggest system that I have is, "Don't bitch. Build."

Amelia [00:42:36] Mm. Yeah. I mean, I love that, because for me, it points to like, a motto can be a system.

Patty [00:42:41] Mmhm.

Amelia [00:42:41] It's that touch point for you that's like— you just can go back to over and over. And I think that that's why I always like to talk about values-based or values-aligned business. Like if you know the values or you have the guiding principles like for you, "Don't bitch. Build." For me I have things like, "Keep it easy [laughs and Patty joins in]." "Grow slowly." Because they become these things I can go back to and be like, "Wait, I'm feeling really, like, urgent on this." And I could be like, "No, we grow slowly and we go slowly here. So, like, chill out, Amelia." And, like, they become these check-ins and then that is its own system. And then you can build a whole system of, like, "Okay, well, I know that on social media, I don't bitch, I build. So, here's my process for how I build a piece of helpful problem-solving based content over the course of XYZ, posts, days, whatever it may be." Like that motto can then create, like, a workflow and a process that comes from it. So beautiful. Look at all that [makes clicking sound and Patty laughs] integrated— I love it. I love it so much.

Patty [00:43:47] With systems you start simple—

Amelia [00:43:50] Mmhm.

Patty [00:43:51] Checklists, checking in, pausing.

Amelia [00:43:52] Yes.

Patty [00:43:52] That's all it has to start out with. It doesn't have to be this three-ring binder of, "This is how I function daily in my business." It's just pause.

Amelia [00:44:00] Yeah. I love to encourage people— just start with, like, a log on and a log off procedure. Three things you're going to do every day when you start working, and three things you're going to do when you— before you quit working at the end of the day.

Patty [00:44:12] And that gets into ritual.

Amelia [00:44:13] Mm mmhm [Patty laughs]. Yeah, it can be magical.

Patty [00:44:18] I'm going to bring the witch in.

Amelia [00:44:18] Like one of your three things can be light a candle or pull a tarot card. You can have systems that are purely ritual, are purely magical, and then they, like, start and finish your workday and they imbue your whole workday with magic.

Patty [00:44:30] Yup. Systems are a spell. They are.

Amelia [00:44:32] Ah, so magical.

Patty [00:44:33] Boundaries are a spell, systems are a spell, all of it. Because it's— if you break it down, a system is how do I want to spend my day? How do I want to spend my hour? How do I want to live my life?

Amelia [00:44:43] Mm mhm.

Patty [00:44:44] It's slowly building that intention.

Amelia [00:44:46] Mmhm.

Patty [00:44:47] And that just happens to be an intention. Somebody else could pick up and go, "That might work for me." It's a recipe.

Amelia [00:44:53] Oh, beautiful. Okay [Patty laughs]. I think that's a perfect note to start wrapping us up on. I wanted to make space at the end of this conversation for us to do maybe— it's not really a rapid-fire because I don't move rapidly [Patty laughs], but some version of, like, we've mentioned, a lot of tech tools in this conversation—

Patty [00:45:12] Oh yes.

Amelia [00:45:12] And I'd love for us to just be like, "What are some of our faves?" I know I have already talked about Dubsado. I talked about Calendly. If you listen to this podcast, you've heard me talk about Flodesk [laughs]. Those are, like, some tools that have helped me systematize things in my business that I'm always telling other people about and suggesting for them. What are a couple of your favorite tech tools that have supported your business systems recently?

Patty [00:45:39] So for me personally, it's always been WordPress because I can do—

Amelia [00:45:43] Mmhm.

Patty [00:45:44] Literally anything and everything on WordPress.

Amelia [00:45:45] Yeah.

Patty [00:45:46] Not that— I mean, I support everybody inside The Well with every system that—

Amelia [00:45:49] Yeah [laughs].

Patty [00:45:49] You have, but for me it's WordPress. ConvertKit is a favorite and Notion.

Amelia [00:45:55] Oh, how'd I forget Notion??

Patty [00:45:56] I'm like waiting for you to say Notion [Amelia and Patty laugh heartily].

Amelia [00:46:00] I'm like horrified— if you— if you're watching YouTube, you saw my face freak out [Patty still laughing]. Yes. I use Notion for literally everything I do. I use it for my— the dashboard for my business that holds all of my files and things. And I— also is like where I create client dashboards and do all of my— track all of our work and organize our work together. So, oh yes. Notion.

Patty [00:46:22] Yeah, Notion.

Amelia [00:46:23] Other tools I think I know that we both use would be like Slack and—

Patty [00:46:30] Oh yeah.

Amelia [00:46:30] Descript is one that I know you use that I also always suggest for my podcast babes who don't want to hire an editor. It's a great transcription-based editing tool. I'm trying to think of other things. I have a Squarespace website [Patty laughs]. I don't know that I always suggest Squarespace, but again, it's one of those systems like, I've been there so long, I'm just not going to jump ship. Too hard.

Patty [00:46:49] Well and that's the thing. It's like when you find a piece of tech— because it's like, I can spout off things that I like, but that doesn't always help someone else because and I see this on social media so much, "Hey, what do you all recommend for X?"

Amelia [00:47:02] Mmhm.

Patty [00:47:03] And I'm the only one asking questions [Amelia laughs] on the threads.

Amelia [00:47:08] This is why we come to you, Patty because the rest of us just say what we use.

Patty [00:47:12] Right. And it depends. There's so much that it depends upon because what's your budget? What's your time? What is your budget now versus three years from now?

Amelia [00:47:21] Mmhm.

Patty [00:47:21] What tool would be a better investment? It may feel like a crunch right now, but would actually put you further along if you made that investment now. What tool would that be?

Amelia [00:47:31] Yeah.

Patty [00:47:32] And is this something you're going to use?

Amelia [00:47:34] Yeah.

Patty [00:47:35] Like Squarespace versus WordPress. People are very polarized on this [laughs].

Amelia [00:47:39] [Whispers] They are. It's true.

Patty [00:47:40] And it's like, "I don't fucking care. Which one are you going to actually commit to using?"

Amelia [00:47:44] Yeah. Yeah. And like which one is more intuitive for you? For me, it's always like, what's going to be easier for me to pick it up? Because if I can't pick up a tool within, like, 20 minutes of hanging out in there, most often I'm just going to stop using it. Maybe like—

Patty [00:47:59] Yeah.

Amelia [00:47:59] Dubsado would be one exception where I put in the time to learn it and I, like, got support from people like you [laughs heartily] to help me. But I think— yeah, like, and that's where, like, free trials and different things can be so important.

Amelia [00:48:12] And I think— I love your questions about like, you know, what's your budget, what's going to be useful now? What are you going to need, you know, in like three years based on where you are? And I think the other thing— I said this earlier, I'm just going to say it again, like, I see way too many people ask their favorite, you know, business influencers what tools they use and then pay for super expensive stuff that only makes sense if you have a certain like revenue stream or audience number or something coming in, you know. And so, I think just being aware of who you're asking for recommendations and seeking out amazing people like Patty who will ask you questions to find the best tool for you instead of just, like, pump their affiliate link into the world.

Patty [00:48:54] Yeah.

Amelia [00:48:55] I mean, no shame on affiliate links. Love them. Use them.

Patty [00:48:57] No, I use them on everything.

Amelia [00:48:58] Yeah.

Patty [00:48:59] But, yeah.

Amelia [00:48:59] But, like, some people are just sharing their tool in service of themselves, not in service of—

Patty [00:49:04] Right.

Amelia [00:49:04] You and the systems that you need to build for your business.

Patty [00:49:07] You have to interview the tool.

Amelia [00:49:09] Ooh, I like that.

Patty [00:49:09] And to interview the tool, you have to have a job requirement.

Amelia [00:49:12] Mm mmhm.

Patty [00:49:13] So, what do you need this thing to do? Then, go look for it.

Amelia [00:49:16] Perfect. Well, Patty, if people want to come look for you and find you and hopefully join us in The Fiery Well, where can they do that?

Patty [00:49:25] Yes, come inside— thefierywell.com. I am on Twitter somewhat. I'm on Instagram somewhat at @thefierywell as well. But yeah. And if you're just like, “Holy shit, where do I even begin?" I have a free service— not service, a free online course called getonlinewitch.com, which will take you from overwhelmed to online, in my way. We don't really touch on tech a whole lot so— it's fun though. We break it down, but yeah, that's free and that'll get you started. But if you're— if you're in business within like the first 3 to 5 years, come inside The Fiery well, we can really tune you up.

Amelia [00:49:58] I will just, like, keep plugging that community. It's one of my favorite places to be with other business owners, particularly service providers, particularly witches, people who are bringing like a really intuitive, magical, soulful approach to their business. And, you know, I'm in a ton of business communities free and paid, but The Fiery Well is the one where I actually post my top three for the week [Patty laughs], where I actually asked for feedback, where I actually hang out with people, which I just, like, can't say enough. So, obviously I'm just, like, gassing it up over here [Patty and Amelia laugh heartily together]. I'm gassing you up over here. But—

Patty [00:50:34] Well, thank you very much. We love having you inside because you're also— you provide your voice as well. You have— you're the podcaster [laughs].

Amelia [00:50:40] That's what I do. I talked about that in one of my episodes I'm— you got to— I'm the podcaster in every community I'm in [Amelia and Patty laugh heartily].

Patty [00:50:47] It's like we're just going to tag Amelia on this one. Because it's like I don't have the answer to everything. I don't. And that's why community is so great. Yeah.

Amelia [00:50:53] It is, yeah. You have people who bring different skills and talents and can share that in the spaces they’re in. Well, thank you so much, Patty, for joining me today. Thank you, listeners, for tuning in to episode 11 of Off the Grid.

Amelia [00:51:08] We have, I think, one or two more episodes in this part of Season One, and then we're going to take one more mid-season break and come back for like our final month or so. Season One, honestly, I intended to be like six episodes. And then y'all have been so great and so many people have just, like, wanted to be on the show or brought me great ideas. Like, I'm already building a guest list for Season Two because so many of you have reached out with such, like, great things to talk about.

Amelia [00:51:33] So, you can always find me in the show notes. Leave those voice messages with your questions for our Q&A episode that'll come at the end of the season. Check the links to get in touch with Patty and join The Fiery Well [outro music begins to play].

Amelia [00:51:48] And you know, until next time, y'all, we'll see you off the grid. Bye for now.

Patty [00:51:53] Thank you.

Amelia [00:52:02] Thanks for listening to Off the Grid. Find links and resources in the show notes. And don't forget to grab your free Leaving Social Media Toolkit at softersound.studio/byeig that's softer sounds dot studio slash b-y-e-i-g.

Amelia [00:52:18] This podcast is a Softer Sounds production. Our music is by Purple Planet and our logo is by n'Atelier Studio. If you'd like to make a podcast of your own, we'd love to help.

Amelia [00:52:29] Find more about our services at softersounds.studio. Until next time, we'll see you off the grid.