It really is true that you teach people how to treat you. In order to have respect from others, you must respect yourself first. There’s no getting around it.

✔️ In this episode, I discuss my client, “Bob,” and his struggles as a small business owner. He left a sausage grinder company only to find that he was still working way too hard and feeling undervalued.
✔️ Boundaries are meaningless if you do not demand adherence. There has to be consequences for breaking the rules.
✔️ Being direct and incisive does not mean being a tyrannical boss or getting in someone’s face. I think people tiptoe around entirely too much these days. You can be candid without being hateful.
✔️ Even in the digital era, so much communication is non-verbal. People pick up on the energy or the vibe you bring. If you are not confident or you don’t feel there is true value in what you do, your clients and prospects will feel it. And some will exploit it.
✔️ How would it feel both in your life and your business if you had a great state of flow– if your employees and clients respected you and everyone treated each other well?

Special intro music “Respect Yourself” by The Staple Sisters.

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Transcription by Please forgive any typos!


Welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I’m your host, Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Causey Consulting Today’s Intro Music was respect yourself by the staple sisters. And as you can probably imagine, the topic for today’s episode is respect. It really is true that we teach people how to treat us. And unfortunately, individuals who are self absorbed and manipulative often latch on to individuals that don’t have healthy self esteem. And they don’t set and maintain healthy boundaries, a boundary that you set, but then you don’t ever demand any compliance to it. There’s no consequence, if somebody just runs roughshod over the top of it. It’s not really a boundary at all. So it’s crucial that you not only set and maintain healthy boundaries, but you have some consequences if someone tries to violate that boundary. Likewise, it’s also very important that you cultivate good healthy self esteem, self respect, and self worth. And if you find that something that you’re struggling with, if you need to get professional help, in order to build that part of yourself back up again, then do it. I firmly believe that type of work pays you back in dividends. This topic came up recently with one of my coaching clients. And I’m recording this story with His permission. But I’m going to be very careful, of course, to maintain his privacy, as I’m discussing what we talked about to offer some backstory for context. I’ll call this guy Bob. That’s obviously not his real name. But I feel like I use john doe and john q public, as aliases, so often, and I’m like, man, I need to get some new pseudonyms for people just to so that it’s not every episode is about john doe and Jane Doe, or john q public. So I’ll call him Bob. Bob is a small business owner now. But he started off doing staffing and recruiting at one of the big humongous agencies, the kind of place that I would refer to as like a meat grinder or a grist mill where there’s high turnover, there’s always new people coming in other people leaving either because they just said To hell with this and they quit or they couldn’t hit their numbers, and they got fired. So like the team that you are on in October might look completely different. By November or December, it was just like a constant inflow and outflow of people coming in people going out, and, frankly, a pretty high misery index within the company. And it was also the kind of place where you have to have a lot of inane meetings, your boss is all the time standing over you, you’ve got to justify every single thing that you do, how often were you on the telephone? How many emails did you send? How often are you checking in, you know, have you basically brow beaten the hiring manager into giving you a response yet, like it was just one of those high pressure sausage grinder type places. And prior to taking a job there, Bob had been very health conscious, like he was the type of person who would spend most of Sunday doing meal prep, like he’d get everything weighed and measured out and cooked and prepared and put away so that he could just sort of autopilot through his healthy meals. He also had a really good routine and workout schedule at the gym, to is in very good health going into this job. But over the course of time, and if you’ve ever been in the industry, or you’ve been in a similar like sales and marketing type of industry that you too felt like was a grist mill and you understand how it goes. It’s like even if you came in, and you’re like totally buff, or ripped or whatever, like over the course of time, the stress starts to get to you. And that’s what happened to Bob. He was telling me that he started to have problems with blood pressure and cholesterol. And then his sleep habits were horrible. There were times that he would come in and just like pass out on the couch from total exhaustion. And then there were other times when he would have trouble with insomnia because he would be stressed out about things that happened. Boss had been chewing him out or he was worried he wasn’t going to hit his numbers. He was gonna be fired. So there was a lot of stress and stress related illnesses that popped up. Plus he quit going to the gym. You felt like there just wasn’t enough time. There wasn’t enough hours in the day. He wasn’t doing His Sunday meal prep and the weighing in the measuring, eating a lot of fast food, a lot of pizza. And this place was the type of place where, you know, they wanted you to do a lot of lunch meetings and coffee meetings and things. So you like going to a coffee shop and seeing the pastries or going and taking a client out to lunch. And he said, You know, I’m I’m a responsible adult, at some of these places, I could have said no to the pastries, or I could have, you know, at lunch, ordered a salad or ordered the diet plate. But you know, it kind of sucks to do that when the person sitting across from you is having chicken parmesan, or they’ve ordered Philemon Yon, and a loaded baked potato and you know, you’re sitting there going boiled fish and steamed broccoli doesn’t exactly sound very appetizing, you know, when the other person is having a food party right across the table from you. So between the fast food and the not exercising, and the rich, decadent pastries and restaurant meals, Bob put on some weight and started to have some health problems. And on top of that he just wasn’t happy with the job. It’s like, every, every part of his life has started to suffer by being in this sausage grinder. And he decided that enough was enough. And he made the decision to go out on his own. If you again are involved in staffing and recruiting or any sort of similar sales and marketing job, I’m sure you can relate. Because I think so many of us who have been through those types of experiences, have sat in the cubicle or sat in the office and thought, What do I have to do to get out of here? You know, I like what I’m doing, and I’m good at it. But what’s it gonna take for me to get the hell out of dodge. So Bob went out on his own, he took the plunge and built up a small business, you know, with a two or three employees reporting to him. And one of the conversations that he and I have had, especially that’s pertinent to this episode is about respect. He was lamenting one day that he did not in any way shape or form, miss the sausage grinder place, he was so glad to be out of there and you know, like would practically kiss the ground every morning that he didn’t have to go back there was was very grateful to have escaped, and also really grateful to have sort of overcome the odds, you know, and really been able to make a go in his small business and hire help. But one of the things that he said was, I feel like I bust my butt for people, for my candidates for my clients, for my prospects. And for my employees, I feel like I’m all the time busting my butt. And yet, it doesn’t really seem to be appreciated, it never seems to be enough. And I think this component is something that’s more unique to the staffing and recruiting world because in in a lot of other businesses, it’s the company and the clients. But when you’re talking about placing candidates and jobs, you have the clients and the hiring managers and all of their stuff that you have to deal with. Then you also have on the other side of the equation, the candidates and all of their stuff. So it’s like you’re having to juggle a lot of moving parts. And sometimes I swear it would feel like you just had to pray. Like I’m just going to go to the Crossroads at midnight and pray that this transaction will actually occur that everything will go off without a hitch because there’s so many moving parts to it. You know, it’ll allow me a slight digression here. I remember having a discussion one time with my mortgage broker. And he said, there are so many moving parts in a mortgage like actually coming together. It’s kind of a miracle from God, when it actually does work out and like one person sells their house and moves into the other one. Like when you when you really know, all the decision makers and all the moving parts that go into actually buying and selling a house. It’s totally effing crazy. Well, in some respects, staffing is like that too, because you’ve got so many different people and personalities, so many different moving parts that sometimes I marvel that anybody gets hired anywhere. So I asked Bob like, okay, let’s slow down for a second. What exactly does that mean? I bust my butt for all of these people. It doesn’t seem to be appreciated, like what exactly are you doing? It sounds like you’re resentful about whatever it is you’re not getting back the outcome that you want from it. So let’s let’s dive into exactly what that means. And one of the inherent problems was that even though the sausage grinder environment that Bob had come from, it was the type of place that treated its own employees like dirt You know, you’re you’re dispensable. You’re only as good as your last month if you don’t perform the way that we want you to will will fire you. You know for the slightest infraction if you if you sneezed in the wrong direction, you know, you might as well not come back to work even though they treated their own and internal staff like that there was very much this like, boot to the back of the neck with customer service, like, don’t push back with a client, don’t push back with a candidate like, whatever these other people say, goes like you, the customer’s always right, you have to always jump through hoops to keep them happy. If you don’t give them the discount, somebody else will, if you don’t bend over backwards to accommodate them, someone else will. So it was very much that like, high volume type of environment, like we’ll do things on the cheap, but we’ll do a whole lot of things on the cheap so that eventually it all adds up. You know, and as I’m listening to Bob sort of recount all this, I’m going Oh, God, well, you know, it’s not a wonder that he’s exhausted. And it’s not a wonder that he like picked up some bad habits in that job, that he has now transmuted into his own job. It’s like you’ve heard me say, in multiple episodes, you can create or recreate your own personal hell in your own business or your own freelancing career, especially if you take bad habits or bad practices that you learned in corporate America, and then bring them into your own business. And that’s part of the problem with what Bob was doing. He had not and brainwashed, that idea of the customer is always right, you have to treat every deal like it’s solid gold, you never know, when you might have a dry spell, you never know when the will might run dry. And you just it’s like being in a constant state of paranoia and panic, and definitely the scarcity mindset, you know, if this deal doesn’t work out, then who knows when I’m going to be able to eat again, I mean, that that’s a horrible feeling. And it’s so much pressure on everyone involved. One of the things that Bob and I had to work on was respect, making sure that he respected himself. And also making sure that he was setting clear boundaries, clear rules of engagement, and then demanding adherence to those boundaries, it does no good to set a boundary. And then if the person or group of people runs over them, you just shrug your shoulders and say, Oh, well, I guess that’s just how it is sometimes like, no, sometimes you have to put on, put on your grown up hat and and saying, this is this is not cool, the rules of engagement were clearly set out, you violated those, and we need to have a serious discussion about it. People I think have, in some respects become so soft. It’s like they think any direct, incisive communication is threatening, or it’s aggressive. And it’s not, you can be direct and straight to the point without being aggressive or rude. You know, you have somebody sit down with you and have a conversation without it turning into a debate, or some kind of big drama fest where somebody leaves the encounter crying, and they’re all upset, like, being direct doesn’t mean being disrespectful. And that was one of the conversations that Bob and I had like, Okay, if you the clients that you currently have, are teachable, and moldable if you can set boundaries and demand compliance, and they can get on board with that cool. If they can’t, you know, what would it mean to you to have new clients to have new individuals to do business with that respect you and treat you well? Like? How much would it change not only the way you show up in your business, but the way that you live your life, if you enjoyed what you were doing, if you didn’t go to work and feel like I bust my butt for all these people. But nobody appreciates it. And I don’t feel respected. Like, what if we totally flipped the script on that, and you weren’t busting your butt, you felt like you were working in a way that was very comfortable and very intuitive to you. People were getting a good outcome. Everybody was very respectful of one another. And it all just flowed like what if we could get you unstuck and into that state of flow where you felt good and appreciated and wanted and happy? Like how would that change? Not only your business, but your life? And I would ask you as the listener? The same question. If you identify with Bob’s situation, and you feel like you give and give and give to your clients. Or you’re always willing to do unlimited rewrites or jump through a bunch of hoops and try to satisfy people that just seem totally unfeasible or you put up with individuals that are downright rude and abusive because you feel like you have to in order to get to the money. How would it feel like how would your life and your business be? If you could be in that state of flow. You can be happy you could feel vibrant and respected and not deal with people that mistreat you or talk down to you like, seriously, I want you to contemplate that question. How would it feel in your business? And in your life? If you were really respected? Well, there’s no shortcut around the obvious answer, it absolutely has to start with you, respecting yourself, people are going to follow your lead. So much communication is nonverbal. And I know you may be thinking, Well come on, you know, we’re in the pandemic, we’re having to do so much by telephone or by zoom or by email, like, it’s not like I’m sitting in the room, physically with my prospects anymore, doesn’t matter does not matter. People pick up on whether or not you have an authoritative presence on the telephone, they listen to your body language, they listen to the tone of your voice, people are more intuitive than we want to give them credit for sometimes, so if you’re on the phone, and you’re scared to death, and you’re trying to cover it up, or you’re a meek mouse, and you just know down deep that the customer is going to ask for a discount and, and you’ve got a knot in your stomach, because you know, it’s coming and you’re scared that they’re gonna, they’re gonna want to pay you less money and, and you don’t really know what to say. And so you’re probably just going to let them have the discount, and then maybe you don’t make rent that month. If you’re doing all of that, it does not matter if you’re physically in the room with them shifting uncomfortably in your seat or needing your hands together, people pick up on that energy, they pick up on the vibe that you’re putting out. And I’m sure that if you have listened to this podcast for any length of time, forget about whether or not you know me in real life off of the internet, if you have listened to this podcast for any length of time, you know that I don’t play games, and I don’t take bullshit. It I’m at the point in my life, just partly from the aging process and partly from, you know, having my teeth kicked out through the larger part of my 30s that I’m like, Man, this is me, this is who I am, you take it or you leave, it doesn’t matter that much to me either way, but I’m going to show up as my authentic self. And if you try to run a bunch of BS or play a bunch of games, you’re going to get bounced. I feel like at this point in my life that exudes out from every pore of my body. Like I remember, not long ago, it was in the grocery store. And one of my pet peeves is when somebody tries to just roll up on you, you know, like you’re standing there at the cash register, trying to pay and somebody’s just there in your, in your physical space. You know, forget about the pandemic, like obviously, we’re all supposed to be wearing masks and socially distancing. So if you’re supposed to be six feet away from somebody, and you’re like basically touching them at the cash register, it’s like back off, I pandemic or no pandemic, I don’t like that. I feel like it’s rude and intimidating. Especially when a guy does it. Some guy that’s you know, a foot foot and a half taller than me is coming up trying to roll me at the freakin cash register. I’m to the point now, where like, all I have to do is turn around and give that person the look like my evil eye has gotten so onpoint that all I have to do is turn around and give them a look and they back the hell up. Well, I’m not saying that you have to cultivate it to that degree. But I want you to make sure that when you’re getting on the phone or on zoom, or whenever with these people, you’re coming correct. Because if you are showing up and you’re lacking self confidence you’re lacking self worth, you don’t feel like what you have to offer is going to be good enough, it is going to show the other person is going to pick up on it. And unfortunately, there are sort of snarky people in the business world that will pick up on that lack of confidence and they will use it to their own advantage. They’ll ask you for a discount, they’ll want to haggle with you about the prize, they’ll want you to do a whole bunch of something for nothing. And it’s just not worth it. Those are not people that you want to bring into your business. Like Bob said, you’ll wind up feeling like you bend over backwards and you bust your butt for everybody, but it’s not even appreciated. So the a number one rule of thumb and this is to make sure that you respect yourself, and to make sure that that is shining through in the communication that you have with other people whether you’re physically in the room with them, or you’re not. And the second thing is you need to set appropriate boundaries and demand adherence to them. As I said earlier, it does you no good to set out rules of engagement, and then allow other people to run right over the top of those rules. You don’t want to be a doormat if direct incisive communication scares you. If the idea of calling an employee or a client or a prospect out on their bs is really scary to you, then you need to practice until it’s not scary, you know if it’s something that you want to run through with a friend or a coach ahead of time, then do it. But you have to demand compliance to the boundaries and the rules of engagement in order for them to be meaningful, but otherwise it’s just hot air. The third thing is when you’re doing any type of mindset or affirmations or expectation work, you want to calibrate the signal that you send out towards people who are respectful. Instead of worrying too much about people who are disrespectful. bargain hunters, cheapskates, weirdos, whatever you want to calibrate the signal to people who are wanting don’t focus on that, which is unwanted focus on that which is wanted. So an affirmation potentially could be, I easily attract clients who are respectful, and who genuinely enjoy working with me. I mean, just something that’s simple, that maybe you say five times in the morning or five times after you start working, like when you first sit down at your desk, before you turn on your computer, you say that maybe you say it again, at night before you go to bed. Like it’s very easy now to either record your own YouTube video and put it on private or to get like on The Voice Recorder on your phone, and make your own affirmations. Like there’s tons of good affirmations that are already out there. But there’s something extra powerful about making your own. Like as you’re drifting off to sleep, or you’re getting up in the morning, and your mind is really malleable. At that point in time. You know, when you’re in that hinterland, between being fully awake and being fully asleep, there’s a lot that can get right into your subconscious mind. And hearing your own words in your own voice is particularly powerful. So it’s worth it to maybe make a five or 10 minute video that you put on private or a five or 10 minute video, audio recording that you put on your phone and that you play. I only attract clients that are respectful. I attract clients who genuinely respect me and are overjoyed with the work that I do for them. Like put put some positive framework around all of it. And if you feel cheesy, or corny when you’re first doing it, I don’t care that feel cheesy and corny, but do it anyway. And then after you do that for a few weeks, maybe not even that long, it might only take a few days, I want you to pay attention to the difference, not only in how you show up, but how other people show up in their interactions for you. doing those audio affirmations has helped Bob a lot. And I was also able to work with him on understanding that the boss that he had at the sausage grinder Job did not communicate well with people. His boss at that job was like, the type of I don’t know, like somebody that would have been on Horrible Bosses, something that would yell somebody that would scream somebody that would publicly be little employees. And I’m like no, that that’s being direct, does not mean yelling, screaming and acting like a crazy person. You know, if you have an employee who is not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, there are ways to course correct the behavior. There are ways to sit down and have an honest conversation about what’s going on. Like where where are the wires crossed? Where’s the communication not clear? Where are the expectations not being set appropriately? Do you need help with something is something not clear enough? Like there’s all kinds of ways to ask open ended questions with an employee and get a good respectful dialogue going so that they’re clear on what they need to be doing. You’re clear on what they’re doing and and everybody can walk away satisfied. But my god, it definitely doesn’t involve screaming and stomping and acting like a bull in a china shop. So getting some of those bad habits from his previous job out of his mind and being able to like disassociate, you know, get get the idea out of your mind that a direct boss is somebody who screams and stomps and acts like a total a hole to everybody. re associating the idea of direct, straightforward communication with something that ultimately leads to a lot more respect in the business has helped him so much. But again, I’ll close this episode out by reiterating one of the first points that I made here. Respect is not going to happen from clients, candidates, prospects, internal employees, vendors, etc. Unless it starts with you. You teach people how to treat you, and people will follow whatever lead that you set, the way that you treat yourself. And the way that you show up in the world is the way that other people will approach you. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already. Take a quick second to subscribe to the podcast and leave review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

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