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Have you heard the latest viral phrase, “quiet quitting“? For those of you not obsessed with TikTok, “quiet quitting” is the act of doing the bare minimum at your job while still doing enough to get by.
You know I’m all about trailblazing so you won’t be surprised to learn I was quiet quitting way before it was cool. 😝
And I’ve been encouraging clients to do it in their jobs and lives for 15+ years!
Except in my world I call them “boundaries.”
When I was the Managing Editor of a biweekly nursing publication, I spent years at this job feeling like I cared more about the success and journalistic integrity of the magazine than anyone else.
And I gave it my all.
The work I performed there ran the gamut. I…
- edited all the content,
- wrote feature articles,
- co-directed cover photo shoots,
- laid out and assembled the text, graphics, and advertisements on the pages in preparation for print,
- co-taught writing workshops,
- presented seminars at our annual expo,
- and so much more.
I was paid as an hourly employee despite my job being a leadership role of sorts.
As an hourly employee, my timesheet was closely monitored while my salary-paid coworkers came and went as they pleased, never having to worry about losing pay if they got caught in traffic or left early for a doctor’s appointment.
Also, I was paid significantly less than the production director despite my doing many of the tasks and projects that that role required. While part of the pay discrepancy was surely because the production director was male, it was also because one has much more negotiating power as a salary employee.
Despite my best efforts advocating to the higher ups to make my position salary and/or give me a significant raise, I was continually met with a “no.”
And this is when I began to “quietly quit.”
I stopped going the extra mile (or 10!) that is in my nature to do.
I fought against my strong work ethic and instead worked hard at reeling my commitment in.
I stopped chasing compelling stories or suggesting leads to the sales department.
I stopped providing creative input to the cover designs.
And I stopped arming up for battle before arriving to the office.
It was time to move on from this job but the energetic cords created from my frustration kept me tied there. To loosen the knots, I had to, well, care less.
Caring less was never about being lazy, unwilling to work, or entitled. It was about being appreciated, compensated appropriately, and treated fairly.
I still did my job and I did it well. I just no longer did more than my job description entailed.
Looking back, I now see that I set some important boundaries. The less I over-performed at my job, the more energy and time I could spend on my coach training and building my business at night. And as I did, those frustration-laden, energetic knots began to unravel and soon I was free to leave.
I get it. Boundaries are tough. But life without them is tougher whether you’re an employee or a business owner.
Today, as a solopreneur, boundaries are one of my biggest marketing techniques. Having my business be cluttered with misaligned commitments or draining relationships wouldn’t leave much for the people I’m passionate about serving.
The more I take care of my time, mental health, and energy, the more available I am to welcome in new members to my online community and students to my courses.
And that’s not something I’m even remotely interested in quitting — quietly or loudly.
P.S. On Wednesday, September 14th, I’m teaching a 90-minute class called Clutter Clear Your Business to Attract Your Ideal Clients at 3 PM ET/12 PM PT. If you’re a biz owner interested in learning more about this covert yet powerful form of marketing, I hope you’ll join me. You can read more about it and grab your seat here: https://kerririchardson.com/emm.