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013 – Ruth Poundwhite


[00:00:00] Viv Guy: So Ruth, welcome to the show today. Really, really excited to have you here. Um, so welcome. How are you?

[00:00:09] Ruth Poundwhite: I’m good. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:00:11] Viv Guy: I know it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? We’ve had to reschedule a few times global pandemics do not help children being off school and nursery and things. So we’re here we are here. We are doing the show at last. So Ruth, before we get into the nuts and bolts of today’s episode, give us a little bit of background as to who you are and why you started your business and chose to work with the people that you work with.

[00:00:38] Ruth Poundwhite: So I describe myself as a business coach for sensitive humans or / quietly ambitious humans.

[00:00:46] Ruth Poundwhite: And I started coaching other business owners a couple of years ago now, but I’ve been in my own business online. And I work with online based business owners. I’ve I’ve had an online business myself, since. 2008 and as a writer and the journey I went on was very much like trying to do all things, trying to work hard, trying to be like everyone else I was trying to be more confident and.

[00:01:10] Ruth Poundwhite: Long, very long story short. I firstly, struggled to do it that way and then figured out that there needs to be a bit more, um, well there’s a lot of like, self-reflection that goes into figuring out how to run a business. Right. And for many years I felt like I wasn’t cut out to be a business owner with my kind of personality and sensitivities and all that.

[00:01:30] Ruth Poundwhite: And then I realized that I was, and I got to do it my way. And I’ve just always been so obsessed with the behind the scenes business side of things. Like. I was doing the writing, but I was really obsessed with like actually running a business and all of the stuff that goes into that. So I decided to support other business owners and specifically people who want to do it their way.

[00:01:49] Viv Guy: I love that. So could you give us a definition of what you mean by sensitive humans or quietly ambitious human. So, so that we know whether we are one or [00:02:00] not.

[00:02:00] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah. Okay. So I, well, I have always had the word sensitive thrown at me as a child or a teenager as a negative trait and “oh, why is so sensitive, stop being so sensitive.”

[00:02:14] Ruth Poundwhite: Right? I think that a lot of us, a lot of us sensitive humans can relate to that. And, first the journey, like for me started with even figuring out I was an introvert. Like, I didn’t even know that introverts and extroverts with was a thing until I was 25. So I’d like lived all my life and my adolescence and my young adulthood, like just thinking I was a bit weird and then discovering that an introvert was a thing.

[00:02:37] Ruth Poundwhite: I was like, oh my God. So wonderful to just know that certain traits of yourself are not flaws, they just the way you are. And then that was like the start of my journey to self discovery and exploration. And I came across and I, you know what I should have. So look this up and give it all the references, but maybe we could make a note to put it in the show notes, but there’s a, there’s a website.

[00:02:59] Ruth Poundwhite: Um, you can do it. You can literally do a test to see if you are what is described as a highly sensitive person. And there’s different. There’s like, cause I’m, I’m working on my book at the moment and I was writing this for my book and I wish I had the quote in front of me, but it’s something about feeling a lot of feelings and noticing a lot of details.

[00:03:19] Ruth Poundwhite: And everyone who thinks of themselves as sensitive will have a different combination of traits. So some people, it can be like they would, might describe themselves as empathic and really feeling other people’s feelings or like, you know, you walk in the room and you can really feel the sense and feel the feelings of the room.

[00:03:34] Ruth Poundwhite: Some people who are sensitive, find it really hard when there’s a lot of like stimulation going on in their environment, um, or, you know, graphic scenes in like films and stuff like that. For me, it’s a lot to do with like the feelings and just knowing I get overwhelmed very easily. And knowing that my energy, like while I it’s a bit of a mixture, like I [00:04:00] don’t see sensitivity as the same thing as introverted.

[00:04:02] Ruth Poundwhite: I definitely work with people who are, who do not describe themselves as an introverted, but they do describe themselves as sensitive. But for me, they are obviously very

[00:04:10] Viv Guy: linked and that is so interested. If you can just interject that because I was sat there going, well actually I’m a sensitive human because, you know, in terms of like being really empathetic to other people, you know, uh, really I do, I feel a lot so yeah, I really resonated with that. But then I, as a, you know, cause I was thinking, but I’m not an introvert. I love that, that distinction there, obviously.

[00:04:33] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah, exactly. And the thing with the highly sensitive person is it’s not, it’s, it’s not as well, I dunno, studied or talked about as much as introversion and extroversion. So I think that there’s probably still stuff that people are figuring out and it’s not like a, it’s not like a disorder or anything like that, but for me, it’s really helpful to just have ways of identifying who I am talking about, who I am like there’s limits to labels.

[00:04:59] Ruth Poundwhite: Sometimes, sometimes the labels can be restrictive, but for me, these kinds of labels can be really freeing and just saying, oh my goodness. That’s who I am. Yeah. I don’t identify with all the things like I’m okay. Watching like graphic scenes in that film, for example, that part of sensitivity actually doesn’t bother me, but I’m super sensitive to like a smell in a room. If I’m trying to say I cannot handle it, or I’m really sensitive to like the feeling of the clothes that I wear, like extremely sensitive. So it shows up in all different ways. And it’s funny that you said, like, you can identify with that because the more I think about this and the more I do this work, I just think that…..’cause I know when I was reading out there, the, on the website and there’s a book as well. And I, and I, I wish I could remember the author’s name, but I don’t. Um, but they said that it’s quite a small percentage of people, but I just, I feel like it’s not like my gut feeling is that so many people. We’ll see themselves in this.

[00:05:55] Ruth Poundwhite: And, and a lot of us probably have just spent so long in our lives, like learning [00:06:00] to push back our feelings and ignore our feelings and yeah.

[00:06:03] Viv Guy: Yeah. Well, I mean, I loved Martha Beck’s book, ‘The way of integrity’. I’ll link to that in the show notes and, you know, and she said, So many of us, we are, we do it from such a young age because we try to conform.

[00:06:15] Viv Guy: So we actually, um, negate and switch off, like tune out our own, our own inner voice, our own feelings of what’s actually going on. And for some people that can end up in, you know, actual physical illness other people we can get by, but it is that, you know, there’s something not quite sitting right within you.

[00:06:34] Viv Guy: And I think it’s, you know, a massive percentage of the population suffers.. You know, suffers with, with some form of probably sensitivity. Um, and it doesn’t always present it, you know, like, as I said, people will look at me and go, gosh, she’s so confident. She’s just got it all altogether. And actually, you know, as I say, you know, internally, I still have that sensitive to those struggles.

[00:06:54] Viv Guy: I really feel, you know, and I remember one of my coaches saying, you’re not God, but if you can’t take on everyone, else’s pain and successes and achievements and everything. And yet that’s what I want to do, you know, because I’m that sensitive feeling person. And I guess, you know, other people will resonate with that and take those feelings with them, um, as well.

[00:07:15] Viv Guy: But yeah. Interesting. When you started talking originally and you’re saying, you know, the negative sensitive label, I was thinking, oh, my big sister is gonna totally resonate with that because she was negatively labeled. As to sensitive, she cried a lot. I would say she’s probably an introvert. Um, loss was always found in bed on the DV with a book reading. That’s what she loved. She loved her own, her own space her own quiet.

[00:07:42] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah, exactly. And that whole thing about us when you’ve been told that as a child, right. You learn to mask it, you learn to not even trust your own feelings. And then how that plays out in the work that I do is we gotta dig into that. We’ve got to peel back those layers and [00:08:00] actually figure out what do you want and how do you want to be living your life and running your business and, and talking about like reclaiming words and changing the kind of connotation of them.

[00:08:09] Ruth Poundwhite: That that’s what I was really going for when I came up with the phrase quietly ambitious as well, because what I realized is I’m so ambitious and I’m like really driven. But I had never been able to identify with that word or even own that part of myself because it just felt like what ambitious meant was something that I wasn’t.

[00:08:26] Ruth Poundwhite: And I realized actually, hang on a minute, I am ambitious. I’m ambitious in my way. So I kind of called it quitetly ambitious. Although now I’m just, I’m happy to say ambitious. Like I feel totally fine saying that, but yeah, there’s something really powerful about reclaiming these words and yeah. Unpeeling the layers to figure out how we get to do things in our unique way.

[00:08:51] Viv Guy: Yeah. Which sort of leads me on to the next question that I had today, which was, what do you think are the fundamental differences in the way that sensitive humans or quietly ambitious humans do business to those who maybe don’t identify as sensitive humans.

[00:09:11] Ruth Poundwhite: So. I guess this is a kind of tricky question because I reckon there’s a lot of people doing business in a way that actually isn’t honoring themselves and their feelings and their potentially hidden sensitivities. But on the surface, I would say that there’s a lot about managing energy. There’s a lot about what you take on, especially like, you know, people like coaches, like obviously I’m a coach.

[00:09:36] Ruth Poundwhite: I do work with coaches. Therapists, um, people who have service-based online businesses, and there’s a lot about managing our energy, being really mindful of what drains us and what fills us up. And that’s not to say we don’t do things that drain us. Like I’m an introvert, I’m doing a podcast interview now.

[00:09:54] Ruth Poundwhite: Like I probably will be drained afterwards, but it also fills me up in another way. Right. I know for [00:10:00] me in the early days, there was a lot of, like, I kind of, I felt a lot of pressure to be showing my face doing the videos being really confident, doing all the work now so that I can relax later and like pushing, pushing, pushing.

[00:10:12] Ruth Poundwhite: But I, I learned that firstly, I wasn’t ready to show my face, but then I do do it now, but I managed to build a successful business without really showing my face back then, which was really cool. I would definitely encourage people to stretch themselves, work on the stuff going on behind the surface as to why they don’t want to do it though.

[00:10:29] Ruth Poundwhite: That’s what I was missing back when I didn’t have any support or anything. just knowing that just because other people are saying to do all these different marketing tactics, you don’t have to do them and you can figure it out your way. And I would say that I’m probably going off topic a bit, but going back to like, what’s the difference between sensitive people and other business owners?

[00:10:50] Ruth Poundwhite: I think that piece of learning, not to trust ourselves because of our sensitivity being rejected. That’s where the real work is for sensitive business owners to learn, to listen to themselves because there’s a lot of noise.

[00:11:02] Ruth Poundwhite: So there is work to learn, to listen to yourself and figure out what it is that you really want, because there are so many ways to build a business. There are so many different ways you can do it. There’s not just one way. That was my. That was the thing that was hardest for me at the start. I really just thought there was basically one way of doing it and that’s so isn’t

[00:11:26] Viv Guy: yeah. And the way that’s going to work is the way that feels right to you, because it’s the one thing you’ll be consistent with where your energy will be best place when you do it, the way that works for you. If you, I just think it’s like when, when you do the stuff that isn’t right for you, it’s like pushing against an opposing force and you can keep pushing but it’s exhausting. And I say to people, you cannot create a sustainable business because. Because you can only keep going like that for so long before you hit burnout or you fall out of love with your business. And actually, you know, if I would [00:12:00] say if the passion and the energy is not there, and I just don’t think the profit will be there either because you will not have your energy in the right place and it will not attract clients, it will not attract, uh, wealth

[00:12:11] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah, exactly. And this is why I always say feelings are strategic because I think that it can seem a bit like, oh, just listen to your intuition, listen to how you feel, follow how you feel. It can all seem a bit like wishy-washy, but this is why feelings are strategic. As long as you are willing to get uncomfortable and stretch yourself and do the inner work.

[00:12:28] Ruth Poundwhite: Like I said, like, if you don’t want to show your face, like dig into that, like, why don’t you want to show your face? Some things just aren’t right for you. And you can say no to them, but yeah. Yeah. Sometimes it’s a case of stretching, growing, learning a new thing, but yeah, feelings are absolutely strategic and that’s why it has a tangible impact on how you’re able to show up.

[00:12:49] Ruth Poundwhite: If you feel bad about it, everything is harder.

[00:12:53] Viv Guy: Okay. I saw last year you did something and it was a great activity.

[00:12:58] Viv Guy: And I can’t quite remember what the headers for the columns were, but it was, something around, if this was, you know, put all the things that feel icky and not nice. And then there was something around digging into the feelings there. Can you walk us through that? Because it was such a great exercise,

[00:13:12] Ruth Poundwhite: It’s super simple.

[00:13:14] Ruth Poundwhite: And I called it the art of aligned action taking. Now the key with this is, you have to be radically honest with yourself before you do this. And I’ll obviously explain it, but so like really tuning in to what is it that I want to create in my business? What am I doing this for? What’s my vision. And then what I do is just get a piece of paper out, two headers, one side, a line down the middle one side is what feels hard or icky.

[00:13:41] Ruth Poundwhite: And the other side is what feels good or fun. And like, usually I do this in relation to like, I’m launching something like, how should I act? What things should I do for my launch? And I just write, split everything into the heart or icky and good and fun. And usually it gives me permission just to focus on the things that feel good.

[00:13:59] Ruth Poundwhite: Now, obviously like, [00:14:00] like I said, the caveat is be radically responsible with, for yourself. Like radically honest with yourself, really tune into what it is, that you’re trying to create and some things feel hard just because they’re new and you haven’t experienced them yet. It doesn’t mean that they’re wrong.

[00:14:14] Ruth Poundwhite: That’s the only caveat I would add to that, but I would say the exercise is so simple and often when you’re swirling in your brain and thinking I’ve got to do all the things I’ve got to be different. It just brings you back to like, oh yeah, actually it does get to be simpler than I thought. And I can just focus, like, like I’ve done this for a launch and I totally took away like so many elements of the launch and just kept it really simple.

[00:14:35] Ruth Poundwhite: And it worked. It was great.

[00:14:37] Viv Guy: I love that. I’d heard Leoni, Dawson do something similar, which was, she was talking about when she did a, I think a review. And she said, well, actually I realized I didn’t want to do a certain thing anymore, but she actually looked into. Okay. If I was to continue doing this, what needs to change for it to sort of, to bring me joy? Um, for me to say, yes, I’m going to keep going with this. So actually it was, instead of just writing it off, I said, I don’t want to do it. What needs to change for it to feel good. So, yeah. I love that approach to kind of really tapping into, is it the thing overall or is it just elements of it that maybe don’t feel good?

[00:15:13] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah. Yeah. Basically alongside being really honest with yourself about, um, about the bigger vision and where you’re willing to stretch.

[00:15:23] Viv Guy: So let’s talk now about social media, because obviously this is, you know a big topic for our show. How do you see it getting in the way of us owning our unique magic as business owners who are sensitive humans or quietly ambitious humans and what can we do about?

[00:15:44] Ruth Poundwhite: So the thing is, I mean, I could probably do a whole podcast and more talking about this, but basically one of the things I talk about with the people I work with as sensitive humans is really [00:16:00] embracing, like I said earlier, embracing the positive characteristics of being sensitive and stuff like that.

[00:16:04] Ruth Poundwhite: Right. And part of it is also just embracing the fact that you and this goes for everyone, whether you identify sensitive or not, you are. Like one of a kind, and by bringing yourself into your business and really tuning into your unique magic, that is what makes you stand out. Like no one else does it, like you do, you are the right person for your right people.

[00:16:27] Ruth Poundwhite: So that is definitely my. Overarching business philosophy. And I find that, especially for sensitive people, they find it a lot. It gives them a bit more freedom in how they show up and what they share and take some of that pressure off, right. The overthinking stuff. So that’s definitely the overall philosophy. But what I noticed is that for me, and be interested to hear if you relate, I’m sure that people listening will relate to this, but you can be getting on, right. Getting on with whatever you’re doing in your business.

[00:17:00] Ruth Poundwhite: You’ve got a great idea or you’re creating a new product or you’re, or you’re sharing certain things and you can be scrolling social media, and then someone else is doing something that could be in direct opposition to that, or it could just be slightly different and it stops you in your tracks and you kind of go, oh, maybe that thing I’m thinking isn’t right. Or maybe that offer on creating is maybe I should change it. Or maybe I should do this a bit more like that. And for me, I just, I noticed how many.

[00:17:33] Ruth Poundwhite: How many times a day even my kind of ideas are getting interrupted just purely from seeing someone else doing something else. So my philosophy is that everyone does everything their way, and that’s the great thing. But in reality, what I notice is I’m getting interrupted from focusing on my own thing.

[00:17:52] Ruth Poundwhite: Because of seeing so many people, you know, you’re scrolling, you’re seeing however many plugins. I don’t be interesting to know how many posts we see even [00:18:00] like in a five minutes scrolling session probably a lot. Right? So all these different ideas being bombarded and so there’s the kind of comparison. It’s a bit of a combination.

[00:18:11] Ruth Poundwhite: There’s the comparison piece. There’s the thing where if you are doing something new, your brain is looking for evidence that it’s going to work. So if you don’t see other people doing it, then how are you going to know if your thing’s going to work? So it gets in the way of innovation. Um, there’s also the thing and I read a really good book.

[00:18:26] Ruth Poundwhite: I’m sure you’re familiar with it. Uh, digital minimalism. And he talked about the importance of like, you know, having. Having your own ideas and switching off in that sense, um, all of these different things add up and th this is why I really believe that you’ve got to be super, like, you’ve gotta be mindful about your use of social media, because it really gets in the way of your ideas.

[00:18:50] Ruth Poundwhite: It gets in the way of the time, like you give yourself to even have ideas in the first place. Cause you’re interrupting it with scrolling, whatever it gets in the comparison, um, gets you overthinking and all of that. And I noticed, cause I’ve, I’ve gone through periods where I’ve taken intentional social media breaks, and those are the times when I often feel a lot more confident in the things that I’m doing.

[00:19:12] Ruth Poundwhite: Like I. I kind of don’t want to admit it, but I do get, I do get really sidetracked by seeing other people what they’re doing. And it really makes me question what I’m doing..

[00:19:23] Viv Guy: Yeah, I totally resonate with so much of what you said. Um, you know, first and foremost, when I came off social media and finally, cause I, I spent months agonising, you know, in using like brain bandwidth

[00:19:36] Viv Guy: should I shouldn’t I, should I, is it, should I just kind of keep my toe in the water, like dipped in the water or so I just go cut like a way for good, like no use, not even for personal use. Um, um, when I made that decision, I also kept a journal. If this, cause it was such an interesting emotionally, like.

[00:19:54] Viv Guy: For the journey you go on, but the innovation was a massive part of this. And I say to people, [00:20:00] you know, as entrepreneurs, we need to be creative. We need our creative brains because it’s the only way we create businesses and create new products and develop and expand what we do in our offerings and the way we serve people.

[00:20:12] Viv Guy: For me, it just always felt like, uh, a pressure and a burden and a place that I just didn’t enjoy because of again then that comparing myself.

[00:20:21] Viv Guy: I think there’s so many things. And if you can pull away from that, um, it really does just transform the way you feel, you know, and I suffered a lot of anxiety. Uh, and, and do suffer anxiety, but that reduced dramatically for me as well, coming off social media.

[00:20:39] Viv Guy: Um, and as I said to the point where even personally I was, I had to go back on, on new year’s Eve day, my sister’s in Australia was getting married and they were live streaming on Facebook. And I said, is there any other way I can see this wedding because obviously we couldn’t be there with the pandemic. And she was like, though, it’s only Facebook.

[00:20:55] Viv Guy: So I had to go onto Facebook and it. It started triggering things. And suddenly as I was testing it like a few hours before, I was like, oh my gosh, suddenly. 40 minutes, 45 minutes, just scrolling through scroll hole, like woo. Sucked back in straightaway. But actually the great thing was I was like, nothing’s changed.

[00:21:15] Viv Guy: The posts are all just the same as they were before I left social media. There is nothing particularly wow. On there. So yeah, totally hear you on the innovation, um, and all of those things.

[00:21:28] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that is so interesting. Isn’t it? When you have a break and then you go back. So I created a new Facebook account and deactivated my old one, but every now and again, I accidentally logged into my old one and it gets reactivated and yeah, like total rabbit hole that all these people who I used to be an acquaintance of at school or whatever. And it’s just, yeah, it’s really interesting to observe the effect. When you come back to.

[00:21:56] Viv Guy: That’s really good. That’s really interesting. Let’s flip this on [00:22:00] its head, so social media can be a great thing.

[00:22:02] Viv Guy: And I say to people here, you know, I’m, I, I’m not, uh, on a vendetta to kind of, end social media, it has its place. It has its uses. It’s just not for everyone. How can we flip our mindset so that we can maybe look at social media in a different way, if we are feeling quite negative about social media.

[00:22:24] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah. So I think I spent a large probably from sometime in 2020 to early 20, 21. I spent a long time just thinking, oh, social media. It just, you know, it’s not good for me. How do I figure this out? And it was all very focused on what I was getting away from and which is the stuff we’ve already talked about in the comparisons and anxiety and all of that stuff.

[00:22:46] Ruth Poundwhite: And. I think that what I had lost sight of in that, and it’s very understandable that was in that mindset. So I’m not like berating myself for it or anyone else who feels like that. But I think what I had lost sight of was what was so great for me about being on social media in the first place. So. Like I said, I used to have another business where I didn’t really show my face and I, I didn’t really use social media much at all for that.

[00:23:11] Ruth Poundwhite: Um, it was mainly email marketing. And then when I started this new business, um, coaching others, I really did kickstart it with social media. Not because I thought I had to, and obviously I had a lot of experience with email marketing, so it could have just gone that route as well. Well, the similar, but because I had this real desire to be seen and like show my face and what was so powerful about that was I found my people like really easily.

[00:23:42] Ruth Poundwhite: And I think that’s something that I was missing for so long. It’s not that my people weren’t there. It’s just I was afraid and I didn’t know how to find them. And by putting my face out there on social media and being real and honest on social media, I really did find my people. And I think that is always the thing that I like to come back to is like one [00:24:00] of the positive things about social media, especially the people who feel a bit weird, a bit outcast alone in whatever it is.

[00:24:06] Ruth Poundwhite: So it could be like mental health stuff as well, or, or life circumstances, whatever. Physical health stuff, everything that’s like the beauty of social media is finding your people. And I, I don’t think that I would be where I am now in terms of all this work that I’ve done on myself and the visibility I have in my business.

[00:24:27] Ruth Poundwhite: I don’t think I’d be there without that, or maybe I would, but in a more long-winded way, um, that said. I can be grateful for that. And I can be grateful for what I gained from showing up in that way before. And like, and I know that now I don’t use it in the same way and I can be okay with that as well.

[00:24:47] Viv Guy: Yeah. So what’s changed. How do you use it differently now to, to when you started this business?

[00:24:55] Ruth Poundwhite: Practically speaking, how I use it differently is, um, We were having a bit of a chat before the official official interview. And you were, you mentioned about how, you know, you focus on your email and then social media is like a nice way to like, um, what’s the word, you know, just, just building those relationships, but it’s not like it’s not the focus.

[00:25:17] Ruth Poundwhite: It’s not the main focal point. That is definitely the shift that has happened for me now. I’m really glad that I prioritize my email list from day one. Um, But I really was prioritizing Instagram a lot as well. And I definitely got my first clients through Instagram and I used to focus a lot on all of the hashtags and all the strategy and all the best time for posting and stuff.

[00:25:37] Ruth Poundwhite: And that took up a lot of space in my head. And. Now it’s, it’s really about my email list. My email list has overtaken my numbers in terms of social media, although that’s a whole other can of worms when we talk about numbers. Um, but really I just, I, I, I stopped posting on Instagram at all for ages and then [00:26:00] when I came back, I was like, you know what? I just kind of want to use stories. I also muted almost everyone on my Instagram. So I barely have a newsfeed on Instagram, which is quite a radical approach. Like, but for me it really worked. So everything that I see on my feed is really mindless. Like celebrity gossip, cute animals.

[00:26:21] Ruth Poundwhite: That’s it. Honestly, personally, that is what has worked for me. Um, so far it’s always shifting, but I feel really much more detached from it now, and I have noticed.. So I don’t really post grid posts on Instagram much. But when I have, I’ve noticed a lot of these feelings coming back very quickly, thinking about how many likes and stuff like that.

[00:26:44] Ruth Poundwhite: So I know I’m not there yet. With the posts, but certainly with the rest of it, it feels really good and light and that’s how I want it to feel light. And I know my email list is there the email list is what gives me more security personally, for me,

[00:27:00] Viv Guy: And so is your focus moving forward on building, continuing to build that email list and then bring people into your socials. Maybe once they’re in your email. Kind of do it that way. So as we talked about before the flipping the whole approach to how we use social media and, and how we use it to engage with our our audiences.

[00:27:20] Ruth Poundwhite: Yeah. I feel like, and I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but certainly earlier on in my business, social was a way for me to get myself out there and then bring people to my email list. But now I feel like I have more opportunity. Um, like going on more podcasts interviews, I’ve been a part of summits and stuff like that, like you said, and these are really great for growing my email list. Plus obviously behind the scenes stuff like Pinterest and things like that have been really good for me as well, I’ve been presented with more opportunities now to grow my email list. Yeah, absolutely. Get people on my email list and say, PS, come follow me on Instagram, say hi, but it’s not. It’s more like if they then follow me on Instagram, they get to see my face and get to see me chatting [00:28:00] on stories.

[00:28:00] Ruth Poundwhite: That’s like a nice benefit, but it’s not the be-all in it.

[00:28:02] Viv Guy: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

[00:28:05] Ruth Poundwhite: And it’s interesting thinking about how trends come and go and like tactics and stuff. But I feel like the email list has been, yes, there are things that change about it, but that has been such, I started my first business in 2008. And how many years is that now? Like 14 years, 14 years.

[00:28:21] Ruth Poundwhite: God email as has been the one constant and I still love it.

[00:28:30] Viv Guy: Oh, that’s brilliant. Yeah. And this is thing. People think email’s going away. It’s going nowhere, you know? Remember, people need email addresses to sign up for social media accounts. So, you know, email will still always have its place. And I think people go to social media for distraction.

[00:28:46] Viv Guy: Whereas, you know, people will look to their inboxes and maybe give it more considered time to sit and read an email, because it’s not there as just a mindless kind of escapism. Place. So, yeah, absolutely.

[00:29:01] Viv Guy: So let’s just touch on something we were talking about, uh, today as well, which is emails and numbers and emails. And our relationship is numbers. Isn’t it. And our relationship to numbers, whether that be on social media or email. So talk to us about, um, how, how we can, uh, approach. Uh, shift maybe on mindset when it comes to looking at numbers as a success measure.

[00:29:28] Ruth Poundwhite: Well, I wish I could say that I’ve never do this, but I do, because like I was saying to you just before my emails have recently overtaken my kind of social media numbers, and what that made me aware of is how much weight I was still putting in the numbers.

[00:29:42] Ruth Poundwhite: I didn’t realize I still was so. When you go on someone’s profile and you see how many followers they’ve got, you know, it’s sort of like, it’s an, it’s a way to instantly make a decision about them. It’s instantly impression that you get from how many followers someone has when, whereas the email list is totally private.

[00:29:58] Ruth Poundwhite: And I really liked [00:30:00] that. Like, no one knows how many subscribers I have. And I feel good about myself because I know now that I’ve got more subscribers than the Instagram followers, but, but that, again, it showed me that I was tying my worth in some way to some, some arbitrary number. I think the thing that I always come back to is the fact that there are people with, you know, millions of followers who.

[00:30:21] Ruth Poundwhite: Who are trying to have a sustainable business on social media and they don’t, um, well they struggle or they get very little engagement and there are people who have a few hundred and they can, you know, I know people who have very successful businesses who have very small. Following on social media.

[00:30:39] Ruth Poundwhite: Um, and again, then we’re going into judging it by the numbers of money. So it’s, it’s still another like nutmeg, it’s an arbitrary kind of thing. Like ultimately the truth that I believe is your worth is not determined by anything like any kind of numbers, any kind of money, any kind of number of followers.

[00:30:57] Ruth Poundwhite: And realistically, we all judge ourselves and it goes back to what I was saying before is like, we want to know that what we’re doing is right. Our brain wants to know that we’re safe. So we, we naturally compare. We naturally look to other people. We naturally see whether we’re outperforming them or underpaying them.

[00:31:12] Ruth Poundwhite: It’s a normal thing to do. But for me, the work, the real work here comes in cultivating this. Knowing that I am enough. I am more than enough, no matter what the numbers say, no matter what the results say, but it is helpful to remember that you can have a very successful business with very small numbers.

[00:31:31] Viv Guy: Absolutely. And we’ve had a range of guests on with. Multi seven figure businesses with, I guess what you’d call smallish like origins numbers in terms of like, I think Natasha Bray seven, because, uh, she’s got a list of about 6,000 people or an audience of about 6,000, which you might say, you know, some people are like, oh my God, haven’t even got 600 people in it.

[00:31:55] Viv Guy: That’s okay as well. But then there are people out there with lists of [00:32:00] 50,000 struggling to make. 500,000, because actually, are they an engaged list? Are they the right audience? You know, how have they built an audience of the right people or has it just been a vanity metric again? So bringing people in like via socials, asking them for their email address and then putting them into the email list than it, maybe they’re not the right people.

[00:32:19] Viv Guy: So just being really conscious of that. Don’t get hung up on big numbers on everything I should say. Quality quality over quantity every time.

[00:32:29] Viv Guy: Brilliant. Ruth, thank you so, so much. So, um, if anyone is interested in finding out more about how to work with you, talk to us about how people can work with you. What types of offers have you got going on this?

[00:32:45] Ruth Poundwhite: So I have a whole range of programs for sensitive business owners, all different price points. And a lot of it is really about owning. What makes you unique? What makes you magic and reclaiming what the word sensitive means in, in how we show up in our online business.

[00:33:02] Ruth Poundwhite: So you can find all that stuff at You go on there, click everything. And there’s a list of everything I do. Um, and I also have a podcast it’s called quietly ambitious. So that is probably the best way to keep up with what I’m doing.

[00:33:16] Ruth Poundwhite: And I am on Instagram stories

[00:33:19] Viv Guy: I will link all of those in the show notes. Absolutely. Fantastic. Ruth, thank you so much for being here today. It’s been really, really useful and really educational as well. Because as I said, I started this show going, I’m not a sensitive human and ended up going, oh, actually I have sensitive human.

[00:33:35] Viv Guy: I totally relate to that. So thank you for today and wishing you well for the rest of this year.


Quietly Ambitious

Effective Marketing for Sensitive Humans with Ruth Poundwhite

Are you burning out doing business the way you currently are? Today we are exploring being sensitive humans and how this can impact on the way you feel in doing business.

We’re diving into how to build a business when you’re a sensitive human? Sensitive in a way that was regarded negatively as a child, phrases like “stop being so sensitive” were commonly used.

Maybe you wonder:

>>How you’ll ever be the CEO and face of your business as a sensitive human.

>>How you can market your business without burning out

>>How Social Media affects you as a sensitive business owner.

In this episode Ruth is sharing with us how upon finally labelling and discovering her quietly ambitious, sensitive human personality and makeup were not and aren’t weaknesses have enabled her to create a business that feeds her soul.

Ruth Poundwhite is a massive introvert — and proud of it! She is a certified coach and feminist marketer who supports highly sensitive humans to scale their businesses without sacrificing who they are. She is particularly passionate about helping women to trust in themselves to build businesses that prioritise both their physical and mental wellbeing. Clients have described the way Ruth works as “nurturing,” “kind” and “deeply intuitive.”

As host of the Quietly Ambitious podcast, and through her courses and group programs, Ruth has helped thousands of service-based business owners gain confidence, increase their bookings, create aligned offers, and have their first 5+ figure launches. Her book, Quietly Ambitious, is scheduled for release in early 2022.

Ruth lives by the sea in the South-East of England with her husband and son. You can listen to the podcast at and find her on Instagram @ruthpoundwhite


Connect with Guest


Connect with Viv

Make sure to check out more of what I have to offer by going to my website and you can even watch me on Youtube.

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Here’s a glance at this episode:

02:14 – What is a sensitive human?

09:11 – Managing your energy as a sensitive human in business

13:14 – The Art of Aligned Action Taking Exercise

15:23 – Social Media as a sensitive human

25:17 – Prioritizing email over social media

32:14 – Connect with Ruth

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