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Importance of Setting Boundaries with SEO Jo Blogs
Episode 98th December 2022 • The SEO Mindset Podcast • Sarah & Tazmin
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This week on the podcast we have Jo Juliana Turnbull, also known as SEO Jo Blogs joining Tazmin to discuss the importance of setting boundaries.

About SEO Jo Blogs:

SEO Jo Blogs offers consultancy services in search engine optimisation (seo), paid search and social media and is also the organiser of Search London. SEO Jo Blogs works with a wide range of clients from FMCG brands to small and medium sized businesses and tailors its services to the needs of the client.

Where to find SEO Jo Blogs:

Website

Twitter

About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast

Build your inner confidence and thrive.

The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.

Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.

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Transcripts

Tazmin:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the SEO Mindset podcast with myself Tazmin Suleman, and today I have a wonderful guest with us, Jo Juliana Turnbull, also known as SEO Jo Blogs. Now she has so much going on in her life. Jo is a freelance marketing consultant in Barcelona. She's also an organizing organizer for Search London. And recently, to add to all of that, she has set up her own limited company called Turn Global. So that is a lot going on in your life. Tell me more. Tell me more about Turn Global. What's that all about, though? I've not heard anything about this.

Jo:

Well, thank you very much, Tazmin, and thank you for having me on the podcast today. I've really enjoyed watching how it grows and listening to some of the episodes that you and Sara have. So yeah, it's for global sort of reasons for this up in Spain and Societa Limitada, which is a limited company here, and I set it up because I've been working freelance off and on for about 12 years. I did it in the UK, I went to Australia from Australia as well, even though I don't sound it. And then I moved to Spain and I have set that up there. And basically what term global does is it offers FCO consultancy. So it's either offering as your consultancy as in someone to help you provide advice and guidelines for you in general. Or the second area is actually doing the implementation as well. So I have and I do work with different agencies and also different clients in a variety of capacities and that's all under now the term global brand. I did have a term Jiji, which was the online event that promotes entrepreneurs rising talent and has speakers from all over the world. And that I did run in during the pandemic in 2020 and we had some great speakers attend and I hope to launch that back up in 2023.

Tazmin:

So with with so much going on and you know, in freelancing, you've got that freedom in a way to do lots of things. And that also requires you to have a certain skill set, one of which is boundary setting, which is what we're going to talk about today. And I would imagine that you are an expert at setting boundaries and have got lots and lots of advice. And I'm actually looking forward to listening to what you've got to say, because I'm sure I'm definitely going to learn things today. So tell me, let's let's start off with how important is it to set boundaries?

Jo:

This is as important as having a balanced diet or getting out and getting enough exercise. We should all eat better and sleep longer, but we don't always because it's always quicker to to grab something that's already made food wise, full of preservatives, or you have so much going on that you kind of cut that sleep from the sleep hours from your schedule. But setting boundaries really does help to minimize stress. And it gives you also time to focus on what's important to you, both at work and in your personal life.

Tazmin:

And I guess it's it's very common then when you are taking on more and more to then the impact to be felt here on health like you mentioned, the sleep, the food and then it has an impact on stress levels. And this week being National Stress Awareness Week as well, there's been so much being talked about about it on that topic. So, all right. Supposing somebody doesn't set them or doesn't set them very well, what's the impact going to be on someone's career and someone's life?

Jo:

With regards to your career, it could mean that you work on weekends, you work long hours during that week so that you don't have those fun things to do for yourself or give yourself the downtime. It also means that if you are close to in proximity to your family and friends, you don't have time to meet them. If you have moved to a new city, or maybe you're traveling for work and you're just working all the time, you don't actually get the opportunity to explore that new city, which is a bit of a waste opportunity if you don't set these boundaries. It could mean that you end up at work sometimes taking on more jobs, so more different tasks. You may think that you're being helpful. So, for example, this may happen also to people that are I think when they're young, they're, you know, everyone's supposed to dig in and, you know, get involved in lots of different things and be shown. It's seen as enthusiastic. So I'm just taking this from my own experience of people that I've seen when they're younger, too. I'm sure that happens at any age, but I'm just talking about it from this from what I've seen. So you're a marketing assistant. You really want to grow in your marketing department? Then there's like an event taking place at your company. So you help organize the event. It's not your job. You're you're doing marketing, you're helping with the marketing manager. You're doing as you're doing some paid search ads, but you're actually getting stuff ready to help for this event. Sometimes you might be on reception as well, helping people to get in because maybe they don't have an events assistant, there's maybe an event manager and that person needs your help. So you're doing that and maybe you also help to sort of get some of the lunches. Then you might do that once. You might do that a few more times as well. And then people might start to see you as a type of admin assistant. Of course, nothing wrong with that. But your the fact is you're spreading yourself out too thin that when it comes to promotions or when it comes to, oh, what does this person do? What does Sarah do or Rob do? Oh, well, I've seen him, you know, doing all this stuff with reception. I'm sure I've seen him also sometimes helped out in the accounts department, but yeah, actually I'm not quite sure what he does and therefore you might miss the opportunity of not being promoted when that happens. Because people don't know exactly what you're doing and because you're spreading yourself out too thin, you're not able to focus on the job at hand. But when we take this not setting boundaries to life, it means you don't have time for yourself. So you need to spend that time downtime as important as uptime. And I also want to emphasize the fact that this is expression you deserve a break. Everyone should have a break. It's not something to deserve. Everyone should have downtime. So if you're not setting your boundaries in your personal life, it may mean that you're constantly on edge. You're constantly chasing things. So, for example, if you're the site personal boundaries, so it could be in terms of how people treat you. So maybe you're always the one organizing things with family, friends, or maybe you're always the one hosting in your house. So you always crack the myth that by others, or maybe you're always the person that if someone says, Hey, are you available for coffee? You're always there for them. And you're kind of you give good advice and maybe sometimes people use you as a trauma dumping type of ground. And when you need advice from these people or when you're waiting for invites or when you want someone else to organize something, you're not getting there. So that can be a little bit of sort of boundaries. But also people are not quite respecting your time.

Tazmin:

And the old adage, if you know, if you're not going to respect your own time, don't expect tons of people to respect it. So it's your responsibility. Don't wait for anyone to say, Oh, you must be tired, have a rest, or, Oh, you hosted five times at your house. Let's do it. It is about you taking ownership yourself.

Jo:

Exactly. So that's it. With work and with personal life, you need to set your own boundaries because if you don't, then other things will creep in.

Tazmin:

Yeah, definitely. And I really liked what you said about in the early stages of your career. It's very easy to get enthusiastic and once you get stuck in. But even if it's your own manager who knows what your job is, he knows or she knows what your responsibilities are. Appreciates enthusiasm initially, but after a while they themselves will think, Why are they spending so much time in accounts? Why are they spending so much time in events? Is it because they're not taking this role seriously? So even though they will know exactly what you have done and what you haven't done when it comes to promotion, they won't recognize you as somebody who's passionate about your own your own core role.

Jo:

Yeah, that is correct. And I'm you know, I've been in situations similar to that where yeah, you know, I know a lot of people and I've helped other people out, especially in terms of accounts and chasing, invoices helping. But in the end I had said I'm like, No, I said that I was actually cautious. Like, You never helped me with my job. I can't do this for you. You can just pick up the phone and you can email. Oh, but you're so good at it.

Tazmin:

No.

Jo:

I can't do this for you. So it's really it's a really fine balancing act. And I think that's really hard for people starting out in any new job, I would say. But I think just for my experience, I've seen a lot with young people because people can take advantage of young people.

Tazmin:

A lot know. I said, Joe, that brings me to the next question. We've all been guilty of or most of us have been guilty of people pleasing. Why do you think people find it so hard to say now?

Jo:

People find it so hard to say no because everyone wants to be liked. We all like praise. We like being told how good we are. We want to do well and be respected. And sometimes we think that if we say yes to something, that person you're saying yes to would be more happy with us and respect us in return. Respect us more.

Jo:

For work. You're probably hoping for a promotion or wider recognition outside of your team in your personal life. If you're saying yes to things, hosting parties all the time, always being the organizer, you were hoping that that would lead to reciprocal. Agreement of someone inviting you to an exclusive club or inviting you to their house or inviting you to different parties or inviting you to to do other events with you.

Jo:

But that's not always the case. You know, a people pleaser, you're thinking you're going down a two way road, a dual carriageway. But sometimes it's a it's a single lane.

Tazmin:

Yeah. Yeah. And it's that lack of confidence isn't that when you start a new job, you want people to like you, you're likely to say yes to everyone's requests in the hope that you'll build those relationships. But it's it's a slippery slope.

Jo:

Yes. Correct. It is a slippery slope. Slope because. Yeah, everybody wants to be liked, and especially if you are in a new job, maybe you're not as competent in a specific role. You've changed careers, perhaps. Or you're young or you're just new to the to that industry. So you want to try and build allies. And sometimes you can say yes too often.

Tazmin:

Yeah, I guess it can also be true if you've been promoted. So you've been in a company, you've been promoted after a couple of years, you're mixing with a different level of people now again. And although it's not a you're not new to the organization, you're new to that level of leadership or whatever. I'd imagine that would also be the case then.

Jo:

Yeah, I think that can sometimes happen because if we go back to the lack of confidence, if you think that maybe you're not good enough for that promotion, then you may want to overcompensate.

Tazmin:

Yeah.

Jo:

I think if you've been in a company for a couple of years and you've been able to be aware and read other people's behavior and they're able to read the surroundings, I would hope that you would learn from that and see how that interaction is and then be at a better place when you get promoted to be able to keep. I would say your job role within your four walls or guarded. You don't get out of that sort of area rather than if you are fresh into that new company.

Tazmin:

You know, it's reminded me of a line, one of the people I coach, she is saying a business analyst in quite a large firm. And she has a lovely demeanor recently when she's been asked to take on more responsibilities. Her response has been, I would love to do that for you. Mark, what is it you would like me not to do? So she's not saying no to him. She's saying yes, absolutely. I would really love to do that. But what do you want me to to drop? And that's helped her. That one line has really helped her work.

Jo:

Yeah, I agree. That's a really good one. I've had one that I've used before, like, yes, I can do that. However, if you could help me with some of the priorities because we said X, Y and Z were priority one, two and three. Therefore, if I'm doing. Task. A, how does that finish the priorities? Or you could say as your business analyst person said, I'd really like to do that for you. But I need to. I can't do everything as as great as if I can't do everything. I think the way she said it was great, you know, because the thing is, you can't do everything and deliver quality work. So he said, yes, I'm working on these three pieces of work. What would you like me to not work on so that I could take on this other task?

Tazmin:

Maybe. I think I'm going to write this outline first and use it myself, and I guess something that's just popped into my head. If you asked to do something, you feel that there's one of two answers either to say no or to say yes. And actually there aren't. There are other ways to answer it. Like. Q example of, you know, help me with the priorities. Like this lady's answer of, yes, I'd like to do that. What would you like me not to do? So that's. That's. A good reminder for me as well. That's been really great. How about we take a break and come back and we'll carry on talking about this great topic.

Jo:

Sounds good. Thank you.

Tazmin:

Okay. Welcome back, everyone. We are talking about boundaries. We're with Joe. I see Joe blogs. So we've had a really great chat so far about the importance of boundaries and why people find it so difficult to say no. Right. Supposing somebody has decided I'm going to be different about it now, how do you set effective boundaries?

Jo:

To set effective boundaries. You really need do you really need to know what you want out of life, both in your professional life and in your personal life? I know that sounds kind of corny, but if you don't know what you want, how can you protect your own interests and dedicate time to them without someone else sort of taking that time away? So for work, have a goal of what you want to achieve for that year. So it could be if you're working for a company to be promoted, you want to be that main person. People come to ask for help in a respectful way. Of course, look at where that energy that you have is going and the time and if it's not helping you in the direction that you want. So to get this promotion, that's that's a very clear indication for me. I would see that energy as something that's in like a bottle, like a bottle of water. And you can't you have to hold on to it really tightly. You don't want to drop any of that on something that could be wasted. So think about if you're again working for a company, you're probably working out of six, six billable five billable hours a day because you'll have lunch and some breaks and things like that and you want to make sure you maximize that time. So.

Tazmin:

Yeah. You know, this concept. We talk so much about time management, but it is really energy management. And these days, before I say yes to anything, I'm mentally go through, what's my return on investment en masse? Because exactly. And not even in work in my free in my free time as well in my social life. If do I really want to hang out with those people? Is that what I need right now or do I need a quiet night at home? And it's being really quite, quite strict about how you expend that time, expend that energy.

Jo:

Yeah.

Tazmin:

Yeah.

Jo:

Correct. I was just. Just going to say something. So back to the work to help people for, like, an example for work. Yeah. One way of keeping your energy at work and focusing on your tasks is if people are always inviting you to meetings, there's no clear agenda. You're not needed in the meeting. You don't go to that. That was very good presentation at Brighton about how to have effective meetings and you need to have proper agendas and someone needs to actually have a part in that meeting to be valid, to be worth the invite. And for personal time, yes, it's correct what you said you need to see. Okay. There's 4 hours in my free time in the evening, let's just say, or 2 hours in the morning for in the afternoon or evening, whatever you need to see. Okay. How. How best to. I want to use that time. And then don't do too much in your free time for one activity. So some people may be exercising all the time and dedicating too much hours to that. Some people always want to go party, so they're drinking too much. But these type of things do affect you in work as well, because you're going to be constantly tired.

Tazmin:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it's a really good point that you made about the meeting going on from what we discussed earlier, when you're new to a company, when you're new to the role, sometimes you feel like by attending those meetings you are being recognized as important. But actually, if you have no role in that meeting, nothing to contribute, nothing to gain, it's just writing in time.

Jo:

Yes, exactly. And I think before it was seen as rude to declare decline in meeting, but I think nowadays it's seen as well. You know, you guys don't need me. I don't have anything to say. So it's fine when you think about if you can invited to, you know, to two or three meetings a day, that could be 3 hours. If you think about your billable time or your productivity, it's 5 to 6 hours. It's half your day.

Tazmin:

Yeah. Yeah. Do you think I didn't get to attend that talk at Brighton? Do you think the meetings culture is getting any better or is it getting worse in the industry?

Jo:

Yeah, that was a hard one because, you know, I work I work with an agency, I work with some other clients to the agency. The work was very good. We don't have meetings for the sake of it. So I think it depends on the company that you work for. So in my example, we'll have a meeting and there will be an agenda for it, you know, and people that are working on that project will come to it. People that are not will will not be attending. So it does come from the company itself. So I think a survey would be kind of like, good to see. You know, how many meetings do you take? Do you attend a week or how many hours do you attend a week in meetings? That would be quite interesting. One to find out on a Twitter poll.

Jo:

Or or or to sort of rent or a Google a survey.

Tazmin:

You know, in my line of work with coaching. So my meetings are my job, you know, a big chunk of my job. And it's a really fine balance between giving the client long enough to speak and feel comfortable and relaxed enough to say everything that they need to say. But at the same time, if you allow that to be too long, then it just becomes a chat. And you do need to have that focused 10 minutes the beginning or 5 minutes the beginning saying, okay, what is it you want to work on today? What would in your mind, what would mean that you've moved on to the place where you want to move on to? So the structure, regardless of the conversation, that structure is important. So I agree with what you're saying about the agenda. Thank you. So what tips would you give? Would you be able to give someone to help them set healthy boundaries?

Jo:

In order to help someone set these healthy boundaries, I'd actually go back to doing some things offline. So getting a sheet of paper. For them half. I'm one of the sides. Right. Work. And I need the money. Right. Personal and then. Right. Six things that you want to achieve at work. And six things you want to achieve in your personal life. And just think about how much time will that involve? So if we go with our personal life, considering you have maybe 4 hours for yourself and this is this is based on the fact that maybe your kids are older, you don't have kids, and you don't need to babysit them all the time. So let's say you want to do one thing, learn a language. Okay. You want to be by a certain level by the end of 12 months. So how long would that take you? Okay. That might take 6 to 8 hours a week. Then write down some of the five other activities you might want to do outside of work. What could that be? So perhaps the second one could be keeping fit. So how many hours a week? That probably. I would say that's for me. I would do four times a week. But if you go to the gym or go to an outdoor exercise class, you got to think about 3 hours each one, right? Because maybe half an hour, 45 minutes, get there half an hour to get back change and all that. Then you want to also have another thing is building relationships. So either sitting friends or if you're a new city, work new town, make some new connections. Maybe a fourth one is you might want to be going to some shows that are in the city or comedy shows so you can meet these new friends. And then, you know, another one could be perhaps time for you and your family. And then another one that could be time for you and your partner or time for you to find a partner in crime. So that's already a lot of hours. In actual fact, you won't be able to squeeze them all in in the evenings and the weekends. You also I wouldn't want to schedule the thing, but you do need to have a seven point as. Okay. Nothing to. Nothing to do. I'm free. So six activities. This is. This is quite a lot. So what I would actually say is maybe pick out of those six three that you want to focus on for six months. See how that goes. And then do that review again that for six months and then do another three for work. You could apply the same. So have your day as blocks of time, but think of it as blocks of time, of 6 hours, because you do need to give yourself some time for lunch and some breaks in between. And those breaks would also be about having conversations with your other work colleagues, building up those relationships. It could also be a bit of time about, you know, just discovering, you know, different different parts of the company if your your new. So. There's not really much time if you think about 6 hours for work, if that's all the work that you're supposed to do. But then you want to learn something else within that time. Sometimes that might have to go into your personal life. So you've already got six things your personal life. So one has to go. So it can be tricky.

Tazmin:

You know. And then there's also you talked about your personal life, your time with friends, time doing this. And I would argue even time just being with yourself. So if you want to journal, if you want to meditate, if you want to do one of these things that are so great for your own mental health, which is why I guess there are so many people now getting up a little bit earlier, going to bed early or getting up a little bit earlier and doing a lot of that reflection time early in the morning.

Jo:

Yes. That is the one thing that is very important. And actually, I do write a journal. I've been doing it since I was like 13. My sister started when she was eight or when we're eight because we're the same age. And I like to write down nice memories and I think if I had a bad day, I don't really write that down. I'm being honest, but I just don't want to remember everything. So the journal is also my sister does too, because it releases and you don't have to release some sort of stress in the in your head. You don't have to be thinking about things all the time. You put on paper you then you forget about it. So I really recommend actually keeping a journal and, and just doing the things that happen that day. Anything nice that you're feeling if you of course, if you're feeling sad, write that down. But when I say I don't write negative things, it's like I don't like to write negative things about different people or about sort of bad behaviors. I'd like to just try and keep it like positive.

Tazmin:

Yeah. I read somewhere recently that I'm keeping a journal and writing nice stuff is your chance to relive it. Which I thought was a beautiful way of solving its own.

Jo:

Yeah, that's totally fine because I don't know if you realize it, but I remember when I was walking to school one day that I was forgetting my childhood memories and I just remember when I would read The BFG, The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl. He had these balls of memory or dreams in his cupboard, and I wish that I could have these memories. And a cover that I can look at later. But you can't remember everything. So. Writing a journal will help to. Yes. Go back to that time and and relive some of those.

Tazmin:

Moments, you know, etc.. So true that well, I feel like we've really covered a lot on this very big topic. So what would you like people to take home from today's session? What are the key things?

Jo:

Well, the key thing I would like everyone to take home is the fact that time it is something that we cannot get back now. So use it wisely. Do not give your time away easily to others or to an activity without thinking about what you will get in return. Because giving it away could potentially negatively affect something else you may want to do with that time. And I'm not saying that you should always think about what am I going to get back? But I do think, especially now post-COVID, we do need to think a little bit more about, okay, if I'm doing this, what am I not doing?

Tazmin:

Ezaxctly. Yeah, because you are saying no to something.

Jo:

Exactly.

Tazmin:

This one thing. I know that that's really great advice. I saw this book, I think it was yesterday that I think it's called something like 4000 weeks that on average most people have 4000 weeks and those are just list. And then I was looking at calculating my own. I was thinking, well, I've only got about a thousand left. What am I going to do with my spouse in two weeks? But it's not so much what am I going to get back in a selfish, horrible way? It is. You have to get something because what you don't want. Imagine you'd been invited to a party and you say yes to them because you don't want to say no, but you don't really want to go. Well, if I was the host of that party, I don't want people to come when they don't want to be there. So the be really careful about what you say yes to. And I always wanted to ask you a question. We ask all of our guests this on a broader topic What's the best bit of career advice that you've been given?

Jo:

The best bit of career advice I've been given. Is actually to to have a mentor.

Jo:

It took me a while to to get one. My dad was my mentor for a long time, but he's a bit too, I suppose, biased because he's a corporate corporate guy and I'm self-employed or run my own business. So the mentorship one helps me a lot because. There was one element of it that I had never thought about. We did something called Clifton Strength, and that actually assesses your strength. And it's a personality test based on 34 traits. And when you do that, you can see what you're good at. And then if you build on what becomes what are your strengths, they become your talents. You can actually become much stronger in those elements. So it's a different way of looking at yourself because when you were probably younger, people have said, Oh, you're not very good at this, you need to improve. Whereas the Clifton strengths is different, it says, Oh, you're naturally good at these areas. I'm now going to help you improve on this and this is because of your talent. And with that, your confidence grows.

Tazmin:

That's a really good piece of advice. In fact, the episode of the podcast that's going out this week is on mentorship and how to Find a mentor, have become a mentee and all of the benefits that both sides gain from this. That's really great. And lastly, one last question. Where can people find you online?

Jo:

They can find me at FCO, Joe blogs on Twitter or I'm in J and Turnbull on LinkedIn. I am also. On my own website. SEO jo. Blogspot. Twitter is. Twitter is the best.

Tazmin:

Okay? Because everyone's got their own preferred platform. So that was going to be my next question, which is the best way. But Twitter, you say.

Jo:

Yeah, well, I do say Twitter, but then of course, all these things happening in the news recently, you know, you can find me on LinkedIn, Jay Turnbull. There's not that many of us.

Tazmin:

Okay. All right. Thank you so much for being with us today. It's been a great conversation. Lots of great advice. Thank you.

Jo:

Thank you very much for having me. And thank you to you and Sarah for running this. Running this podcast has been really great and yeah, I've really enjoyed meeting both of you now in person and I look forward to more of your sessions.

Tazmin:

And and have you heard our catchphrase? This has been one of Sarah's ideas to have a podcast catchphrase.

Jo:

I haven't yet.

Tazmin:

Okay. Well, you're here in for a treat. This is a first. I'm saying it all on my own. I usually have Sarah with me. So we're going to end with our catchphrase. And it's a pledge. Pledge. Sarah sings it to pledge. I'm going see who prioritizes mindset and personal growth and not just for rankings. Improving visibility and algorithms will. So there you go.

Jo:

I like that one. Tazmin and Sarah, thank you very much.

Tazmin:

Thanks very much.