In episode 264, we talk with Loren Runion, from the Align and Expand podcast, about an important aspect of comfort zones and maybe one of the most important: people.

We cover information about how important it is to choose your people wisely, assess the people around you and constantly assess if you are giving your energy to the wrong person and always put your person in the path of people who’s energy you admire.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Sweet Rustic Bakes
Website | Instagram

Bio Sweet Rustic Bakes is a real food and wellness food blog in the gluten free niche. Loren is also a freelance food photographer and Podcast host of Mind Over Blog podcast for food bloggers. Her podcast is dedicated to up-leveling the mindset of food bloggers helping them create success from the inside out.


  • Comfort zones apply to our business life and our personal life and they bleed into each other quite often.
  • The people we allow into our lives and our inner circles, whether it’s personal or professional, can literally make or break us
  • As you start expanding your beliefs and your mindset framework starts to change, you’re not going to be in the same place as those people that were once in your inner circle.
  • Become aware of things that are being said when you’re around person X and decide if it pushes you up and forward or makes you feel icky and bad about yourself. Determine who you want in your life and draw boundaries.
  • You absorb the energy – positive and negative – of those around you.
  • Anytime someone is responding to you in a way that’s different than what you thought, they’re responding from their own comfort zone.
  • Start networking and finding people that are doing those things that you want to do – maybe not the same dream – but the same mindset to get there. People that will challenge your thinking, push you forward and cheer you on.
  • Get really uncomfortable in the realm of people and do it by investing in people through a membership site, a mentor, some sort of 1:1 coach, a quality mastermind.
  • Reach out to people online that you look up to, feel a connection to what they’re sharing about growth, mindset, achieving goals and let them know it’s impact on you. Comment on their posts. Send them a DM and ask them a good question.
  • Be sure to reciprocate the behavior you want from others. Leave encouraging comments. Offer genuine reviews for podcasts or books you enjoy. As you put that request out into the universe for quality people to come into your circle, be cultivating it by doing good things yourself.
  • Always be in expansion mode; never get to a place where you’re like, I’m good with my circle. Always assess and check boundaries. Be willing to adjust.

Comfort Zone Series

If you’re just joining us on our Comfort Zone series with Megan and Loren Runion, be sure to listen to episode 260, the third in the series, where the women talk about the important subject of blog traction!

Resources Mentioned

Quote: Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

Author/Mindset coach: Denise Duffield Thomas


Click for full text.

264 Comfort zone

Megan Porta: Food bloggers. Hey, how are you today? I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I am so glad you’re tuning in today. This is a great episode. You are listening to Eat Blog Talk. If you’re new here, thank you for tuning in. If you are a loyal listener and you’ve been here for a while, thanks for coming back. Eat Blog Talk is here to deliver value to you, food bloggers and to instill confidence so you can level up in your business in a huge way. 

I am your host, Megan Porta and this episode is number 264. I recorded a series with my friend Loren, over at the Align and Expand podcast. She’s amazing. We did a series together. This was the last part of the series, sadly. The series is about comfort zones and why we need to step out of our comfort zones in order to grow, both in our personal and professional lives. So if you haven’t listened to the first three episodes in the series, go do that. Then come back here and listen to this one.

This episode in this series is probably my favorite. It is so good. We dig into people and I will just let you listen to yourself. That’s all I’m going to say. Enjoy the episode and thank you so much for being here. 

Hey Loren, we are on the fourth episode of our amazing series that we decided to create together about comfort zones. This has been super fun, and this is one of my most favorite topics to talk about. So we’re going to talk about people in this episode. So how are you feeling about this topic?

Loren Runion: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling ready. I can’t believe we’re on the fourth part of our series. I’m so glad that you had this idea. Really. So many powerful conversations have come out of this. So I know that people’s comfort zone is going to do the exact same thing, because I really had a lot of aha moments as I was preparing for us to talk about this.

Megan Porta: Same. Totally agree. So just to recap, in the first episode, we talked about a general overview of what it means to get out of your comfort zone, just generally speaking. In the second one, we talked about money and in the third one, we talked about getting blog traction and acquiring new skills. That one was a surprising one for me, because you think about blogging, traction, boring, but we pulled some good nuggets out of there. So hopefully you can listen to that.

Loren Runion: Yeah. Probably could’ve gone on for a while. 

Megan Porta: I feel like that is the case with all of my conversations with you. I just get into the flow and I really enjoy everything that we’re talking about. We’ll try to reign it in with the people because I have a lot of things to say about this topic. 

Loren Runion: Oh, good. I can’t wait. Let’s hear your side of what you feel like a comfort zone is, or from your experience, just to recap for everyone what a comfort zone is before we get started on it. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. The whole goal is to extend beyond a comfort zone, which is that comfortable place where we sit in any area of our lives. We want to get beyond it because that’s where the growth lies. So if you want growth in your life and your business, and even if you’re here listening for the business side, I think you also need to pay attention to ways that you can extend into your discomfort in your life because they totally bleed over into each other. So if you want that growth, which I know you do, then you’ve got to extend into discomfort. Obviously the word says it all – discomfort is not comfortable. That’s why we tend to avoid it. But it’s so important. Loren and I are just helping you, first of all, figure out what is uncomfortable in certain areas and then also how to do that. So what about you? What do you have to say just about what a comfort zone is and why we should leave it?

Loren Runion: If you want something, if you have big dreams and goals that you want to create in your life, it is absolutely mandatory for you to step out of your comfort zone. I know that everyone that is listening, if you are an entrepreneur, if you were creating a blog or you’re creating whatever it is with your dream life, that means you have these aspirations and it’s not possible for you to get there without stepping out of these comfort zones. Because you have those desires, we have to get really comfortable getting uncomfortable and just taking one step at a time and really evaluating like we’re going through this series, different parts of your life. I absolutely love that you talked about how it’s not just your business, it’s your life. Because that’s something that I’m very much trying to do, I have really nailed the whole mindset aspect and really I’m on top of my game when it comes to my business. But the rest of my life needs to catch up with that. I love that you included all of those things collectively together. 

Megan Porta: You can’t run a business like the way we run businesses basically by ourselves without including what’s going on in your life, because what’s going on in your life is your business. So I think if we talk about one, we’ve got to talk about the other. In relation to people specifically, the reason I really wanted to cover this topic under the umbrella of comfort zone is because I believe Loren, tell me if you agree, but I believe that people are absolutely everything. The people we allow into our lives and our inner circles, whether it’s personal or professional, can literally make or break us. If we don’t choose wisely, we can easily get broken by the people who are surrounding us. Also just to say you need to play an active role in this. You can’t just let people in willy nilly as they come. You’ve got to occasionally stop and take a look around and assess who these people are in my life and go from there. Are they bringing me down? Are they raising me up? Are they inspiring me? Are they encouraging me? I just want to say one of my favorite quotes ever from Jim Rohn, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Think about that for a second. Who are the people? The five people, probably outside of your children, who you spend the most time with and what does it mean if you collectively make yourself the average.

Loren Runion: Yeah, absolutely. I think that one of the things that you said that is really important is that it’s not only the random people that show up in your life along the way on your journey, but also the people that have been in your life for a long time. What I’ve noticed, as I’ve been on my whole inner healing mindset journey and really becoming conscious and aware of the life that I’m trying to create, is that you do start to realize what’s happening with the people around you. So what you have to realize is that where you are or where you were before was based on the feelings and the beliefs that you had then. When you start expanding your beliefs and your mindset framework starts to change, you’re not going to be in the same place as those people. So it’s okay if you can’t remove those people that have been in your life, because it may be someone who, if it’s personal, it could be someone like a parent. It’s okay you can’t remove them, but to start creating boundaries, which could also still be within a comfort zone that you have, and having to move out of the comfort zone that you have in creating boundaries and being okay with creating boundaries to protect yourself so that you can expand and grow.

Megan Porta: I think it’s probably a sign of growth if you are suddenly looking around you like, whoa. I’m feeling a lot different than the people who are in my circle. I think that’s a sign that maybe you are growing. So that’s probably a good thing, if you see that, because you’re seeing a contrast. I have grown past where these people are at. So first of all, see that as a good thing. Then like Loren said, it doesn’t mean you have to eliminate them from your life. If it’s your mom, you don’t want to be like, oh, sorry, mom I grew past your level. I can’t talk to you anymore. That is just not feasible for most people. We don’t want to do that. Do you have ideas about how to draw boundaries without just cutting really negative or I don’t want to say just negative, but people who weigh you down in some way? Not cutting those people out of your life, but just really being strict with boundaries. 

Loren Runion: I think it comes down to when you start to become aware of the things that are being said when you’re around that person. First of all, when you get done and you’re around that person, and I think as you grow and expand, what happens is you get done with a conversation with someone or being around someone and you’re like, Ugh. Why do I feel this bad? Or why do I feel down? Or why do I feel so blah right now. You start to realize that there was an energy shift there. That person isn’t on the same vibrational level as you. What absolutely needs to happen, especially if the person needs to stay in your life because there are going to be times when maybe someone who isn’t aligned with you and your belief system has to stay in your life is that you create strict internal boundaries about what you allow your mind to consciously latch onto and think about. It’s one thing for us to have all this external talk and to go and have a conversation with someone. But when you start to internalize that and you start to put feelings to those internalizations and you start to take on their thoughts, that’s when it’s going to really affect you. So learning to become aware of the thoughts that you start to have based off of the conversations that you’re having with those people. 

Megan Porta: I think that’s such an important thing to keep in mind because we can leave those conversations we have with people that bring us down, like you were saying, you just feel ugh, gross. We can almost absorb the energy that they gave off, or maybe the words they were saying, or maybe it’s drama that they infused into us. That does not feel good. So getting to a point where you can almost be a deflecto. You’re there talking to them because you love them. But you’re not absorbing whatever they’re saying. That is so hard to do. Oh, I don’t even know what advice to give. I would say do a lot of practice with it, but what else, what advice would you give?

Loren Runion: I feel like I’m a little bit more. I’m not as nice as you Megan. If I’m being honest. If we’re not talking about personal things, I think that people have to be extremely strict with their energy. If someone is sucking the energy out of you and it does not feel good, especially if it’s someone that you’ve acquired along the way of your entrepreneurial journey, it is okay to cut ties. It’s okay. This is my perspective. Because you have to be fiercely strict about what’s happening because you will begin to take on whatever it is that person is bringing into your life if you’re not really strict with those boundaries. I also think it really applies to not even someone that you know personally, but especially on something like Instagram. Where you’re constantly seeing someone else’s highlight reel. How does that energetically feel to you? Is it keeping you stuck in your comfort zone or is it helping you expand out of your comfort zone? If it is not helping you expand and it’s making you feel gross, cut it. If it’s someone you don’t want to hurt their feelings, mute them. Silence their stories, don’t see their posts. They don’t have to know. Or unfollow. Start getting really strict with the energy that you allow yourself to let go of, because you can’t give anything back to anyone else if you’re letting other people take that. 

Megan Porta: I love that you used the term fiercely strict. That is something that I use a lot about time, like fiercely protecting your time and your energy too, because I don’t think there’s any greater word that you can use to describe how important it is to protect your time and your energy, right? You don’t just do it. You’ve got to do it fiercely. If you don’t do that, it will get penetrated so easily. 

Loren Runion: Especially as an entrepreneur, one of the things I hear all the time is a family member may be like, oh, you must be doing really well to be able to quit your job and be working on this side hustle. Or even they’ll say really crappy things that make you feel really bad. Something that you need to be asking yourself about anyone who’s offering advice or the comfort zone of the people that you’re around, especially as you expand, is does this person have a life that I want? If they don’t have the life that you want, do not take advice from them. Because they have nothing to offer you. You’ve already surpassed them. You already moved past where they are at. You’ve already gone into a space where you’re living the life that you want to live, and you need to find the people who are living the life that you want to live, to surround yourself with and reach that higher vibration and not let someone who you already passed bring you back down.

Megan Porta: If you have determined that someone does not have the life that you want to live, you do not need to engage. You have permission to disengage and completely change the subject. I don’t know if you are familiar, Loren, with Denise Duffield Thomas. Do you follow her books or anything? 

Loren Runion: No.

Megan Porta: Okay. So she is big into the money mindset and she has some really great books by the way. Love them. One of her terms that she uses, I love it so much. She calls it bean dipping. It’s about exactly what we’re talking about. So if you’re at a family gathering and uncle Tom is saying, just what you said, Loren, and about, oh boy, your side hustle sure is interesting, you must be making money. Literally, you can grab a bean dip that is sitting next to you and go, oh yeah, sounds good. Do you want some dip? Totally change the subject. You do not need to engage and you do not need to absorb what uncle Tom said because it doesn’t matter. His words do not matter. So we’re giving you permission to ignore the garbage. 

Loren Runion: Yeah, I like that. When something like that happens I don’t want to engage in the conversation, but everyone always wants to talk about themselves. So if you just ask uncle Fred, Hey Fred, what’s going on with you? Flip it to them and they instantly forget what they’ve even started talking to you about because everyone wants to talk about themselves. 

Megan Porta: It’s true. Yup. Then also this kind of relates. When you’re sharing successes with people, this will be a huge indication about what kind of person they are as far as their energy level and whether or not they’re big thinkers or they’re small thinkers. Because if you share a big success with somebody or maybe a big dream even, and they respond with something really negative. Oh my gosh, why would you ever do that? Or, you will never be able to do that. Then that is your indication that maybe you shouldn’t do that again. You have to be really careful about who you share big things with. What are your thoughts on that? 

Loren Runion: I really liked that you’ve brought that up because this could also be somebody in your life that is close to you that you can’t share big things with. I agree with you. I think that you have to be very careful with who you’re sharing it with. I think that’s another thing that you have to fiercely protect. You want to share it with someone that’s going to build you up and that’s going to cheer you on and that is capable of giving you what you need and not taking it away from you. If you really want to share it with somebody that’s important to you, you’re not going to get the response that you want. You may say I’d like to share this with you, but I’m currently not interested in what you have to say about it, or I’m not interested in your opinion. This is really important to me that I’d share with you, but I don’t really want to go any further with the discussion. Leave it at that. If it’s really important to you that you share with that person. 

Megan Porta: It can destroy a dream. This almost happened to me a few years ago. So someone in my life who is a family member, who I can’t just kick to the curb and I would never want to, but I shared with this person about how my husband and I wanted to sell our house and buy an RV and travel around the country for a summer with our boys. I shared that. Right when I sent it, I was like, oh my gosh, I should not have shared that because I knew the reaction I was going to get. I was right. I got that reaction, which was something like, oh my gosh, why would you ever think that. You can’t do that. You can’t travel around. You have two small boys, you have a puppy. And I was so devastated. I was like maybe she’s right. Maybe I can’t. Maybe we shouldn’t do this. Maybe I can’t do it. Then I just set myself straight and gave myself a stern talk and said, yes, you can. You dreamt this for a reason. We did end up doing it by the way. But my point is that it almost destroyed me and it almost brought me to a place where I didn’t want to do it anymore. 

Loren Runion: Yeah. I think that what’s important to remember about that is that people are going to respond to what’s within their comfort zone. So anytime someone is responding to you in a way that’s different than what you thought, they’re responding from their own comfort zone. So if I tell someone who only makes $50,000 a year, that I’m going to be a millionaire one day, they’re going to be like, no you’re not. If it’s somebody I’m around, they’re gonna be like, that’s not possible for you to make a million dollars doing this. If I go tell a millionaire that I’m going to make a million dollars one day, they’re going to be like, heck yeah, you are. That’s their comfort zone. Maybe consciously or purposely choosing the person that you share that information with, that has already accomplished that goal, or has the mindset or the growth mindset to be able to encourage you to do that. That person would never do that themselves because that’s 100% not in their comfort zone to even be able to take on that kind of stress or whatever kind of living situation. But if you were to tell that to someone else who was already doing it, they’d be like, awesome. Here’s the RV you should get.

Megan Porta: Yes. That’s why it’s so important I believe to be aware of who we’re talking to and who we surround ourselves with, because if you want to be able to grow in the way that you want and you have big dreams and big goals, big visions for your life and for your business and maybe for your family, then you need to be around people who also have those dreams or at least support them. They’re not going to say those things, like you can’t do that. You can’t make a million dollars. You don’t want to be around someone who’s going to do that. You want to be around people who are not going to bat an eye. I love it when I say things that are just outlandish to most people and I get the response. Oh, yeah. Sounds good. When are you going to X, and they’ll ask me a follow up question. I love it when that happens. Do you ever get that? When you say something that you get, that you maybe typically get a response that’s negative and someone responds positively or supportively and you’re like, whoa. It’s offsetting whoa, who is this person? It’s very uncommon, but every once in a while I feel that. That’s when I know okay, I need this person, or at least the qualities of that person to be in my life. I do seek people out who are really big thinkers and even I would consider myself to be a big dreamer. I have huge dreams that I don’t share with a whole lot of people because of this whole topic. But I try to seek out people who dream even bigger than I do, because it’s like extending way past what I’m even comfortable with. Then I can fall back into a more normalized comfort, if that makes sense. 

Sponsor: Before you reply, Loren, I just want to take a really quick break here so that we can talk about a few things going on at Eat Blog Talk, and then we will dive right back into our conversation. 

First, I would just love to put this request out there. If you are willing to go to Apple podcasts. I’m assuming that a lot of you listened to this podcast through that podcast player or whatever podcast player you.Listen through, go to the podcast player of your choice and find Eat Blog Talk. I’m sure you’re probably already there. So if you’re not driving, go ahead and do that. Scroll down to the bottom where you will see places where you can rate and review this podcast. If you would do that, I would be so grateful. Thank you to those of you who have done it. I really appreciate your kind words. Doing this simple act adds so much value to this podcast. Other people come and they look at those reviews and they take those words in. So I really appreciate you doing that. 

One more quick thing and we can dive back into the episode. As of the time I’m recording this, there are a couple spots left in the Eat Blog Talk mastermind program. I am closing this group down at the end of the year. So December 31st, 2021 will be the last day that you can apply to get inside this group. We likely will open up another mastermind group in the future, but there are no set plans for that currently. I want to fill this group and get the value rolling even more than it already is. It’s so powerful inside. So if you’re interested, go to, fill out an application, and get on the waitlist. I hope you’re a great fit. I hope to see you inside. Thank you. Now we can get back to the episode. 

Loren Runion: I have so much to say to all of that. I think that you may have to, or everyone has to, and I feel like I’ve had to do this for sure in my journey, you may have to create this separate group, or you may have to find a mastermind or you may have to find a coaching group, or you may have to seek out a group of people that have this. It may not be within your circle. It may not be a friend. It may not be a family member. You may not be able to find that within your five people that you’re around and that’s okay. It just means that you have to step out of your comfort zone and start networking and finding people that are doing those things. I’ve found as I’ve gone along my journey, I have made friends along the entire spectrum. Some of my friends are still at the beginning of their journey. I had to continue on. What I find what happens if you `continue and engaging in those conversations and stay really close with the people that are still at the very beginning of their journey and not moving forward, if you’re continuously having conversations with people where they are complaining, or they’re not thinking creatively, or all they’re thinking about is how this isn’t working, or is this ever going to happen for me? You are taking that in as well. Your subconscious mind is absorbing that and taking that as a personal command and vice versa. If you’re talking about someone else, say you’ve got someone who aspires to super big dreams, then they have a dream life that you want, but they talk crap about all kinds of people. That’s also not a comfort zone that you want to be stuck in because you’re going to be taking that subconscious negativity and taking that as a direct command as well. Creating a list of what you want the people to be like around you. Do they have big dreams? Are they not complaining all the time? Are they always thinking creatively? Thinking exactly what it is that you want and a list of people to surround yourself with when it comes to growing your business.

Megan Porta: Okay. First of all, I have this friend. He’s actually now a coach of mine. He’s amazing. One of his parameters that he uses to gauge what people are like or where they stand on the spectrum of positivity and negativity is that he asks them about the weather. 

Loren Runion: Oh, this is a good one. 

Megan Porta: I love this so much. So if you ask someone like, Hey, what’s the weather like today? See what they say, because that is so telling of what kind of attitude they have about life in general. So when he asked me first, I was like, oh, it’s lovely. It’s gray out and a nice day to chill and relax inside. He was like, oh good. Okay. Because a lot of people would say, oh my gosh, it’s crappy. It’s cloudy, it’s cold. It’s windy. I can’t go outside. So just a simple thing like the weather, you can either transform into being a really positive person yeah or take on the negativity. 

Loren Runion: Yeah. Someone very close to me, it’s a personal attack to them when the weather is bad, they are the only one that the weather is affecting. The worst thing that could possibly happen. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. It’s just those little questions. It doesn’t have to be the weather, but little questions that you ask people will be really telling about how they think and what kinds of thoughts go through their heads. If they are more on the negative side. Can I just tell the story really quick? So nobody that will ever be listening to this will hear this, but I asked if I was talking to a woman the other day that’s just an acquaintance. I said something about I hope you’re enjoying fall. Have you been enjoying this lovely weather? Because it’s been spectacular here in Minnesota and her response literally made me laugh out loud to the point where I was like, oh my gosh, I was just so rude because I laughed. But she was like, I hate fall. Everything is dying. I was like, Oh, my gosh. At first I thought she was kidding. Then I realized she was not joking. That was her take on our beautiful fall weather. So just things like that. That is very telling of how people approach life. 

Loren Runion: If someone says that about weather, I guarantee they don’t have a growth mindset about anything in their business. They’re not looking at their business and thinking what can I do differently to make my traffic grow? They’re thinking my traffic is stuck. 

Megan Porta: Oh, good point. 

Loren Runion: Probably not good for me to just put them all in one big bubble, but they’re probably not the person that’s going to look at their stuff and say, what can I do differently? How can I grow here? Because it’s comfortable and because it feels good and because it would be uncomfortable to make new friends, you may find yourself stuck in that situation and not moving out of where you’re at, to where you can grow as a person. That’s a really good conversation. That’s so funny. I probably would’ve laughed too. 

Megan Porta: We’re talking about people and getting uncomfortable. I have experienced this in the past year or two. One way to get really uncomfortable in the realm of people is to invest in people. And not necessarily invest in a service or don’t think of a topic necessarily, but think about the person who has that growth mindset or that big dreaming quality, or the person that doesn’t bat an eye when you say, I want to make a million dollars. Think about that type of person that you align with and invest in them. Because investing as you know is very uncomfortable for a lot of people. But I just wanted to get your thoughts on that. What do you think about investing in people? Whether it’s someone who runs a membership site that could really benefit your company or yeah maybe it’s a life coach or a business coach or a mindset coach or something along those lines.

Loren Runion: I think we can only get so far on our own. I think that even if you have good friends in your business, that you absolutely at some point in your career, not at some point, at multiple points, almost each journey or juncture of your business, you need someone and need to be investing in someone. Maybe it’s not even like someone that you have. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a coach. It could be a membership site. But the difference between a membership site and one-to-one coaching is that maybe you’re not very good at showing up because you haven’t gotten through that part of your comfort zone. Maybe you haven’t really created that dedication that you need to keep showing up for yourself and you need that one-to-one coaching or something that’s really personalized to help you. You need someone cheering you on and you need someone to cheer you on that isn’t personally invested in you. Meaning they’re not your friends. They’re not going to be worried about hurting your feelings. They’re not going to be worried to tell you like, Hey, you’re stuck in your comfort zone. You need to get out of it. You know what I mean? They’re invested in you growing and that’s what they are going to be helping you with. 

Megan Porta: Someone who can see things that you don’t see because people who aren’t in our world, someone who’s not our best friend or our mom or a sister or whatever is outside of our world. They can look in and say, oh I recognize this. I went through this before. Or I have a friend that went through this and here’s what’s going on. They have a totally different perspective. So someone who can see things that you are not seeing and no one in your world is seeing. So I think that’s hugely important as well. 

Loren Runion: Yeah, I completely agree. 

Megan Porta: I think there’s so much power in hiring a coach. I just did that for the first time this year. I cannot even tell you the amount of progress I’ve made with my mindset and with so many things. You got to find a good coach though. Find someone that you really align with, everything we’re talking about. We’ve already talked about how to find those qualities. Ask them about the weather and see what they say. Put yourself in their paths. Reach out to them. I always like to say, put yourself on their radar. So start commenting on social media and just let them know that you’re there because they will notice you. I don’t know about you, Loren, but I feel like when I find someone on social media that I just really align with, it’s a huge blaring light for me. This is the person or people. It’s not just one person, but this person is right for you to have in your circle, do you feel like that ever?

Loren Runion: Yeah, absolutely. That’s how I’ve made all of my friends and this blends in with something that I wanted to talk about. As far as comfort zones and people are concerned, networking is a part of getting out of your comfort zone and growing your business. It’s an essential part of developing your business and learning new skills. So the networking could be that you just reached out to someone. For example, I have a girl that has been on my podcast, her name’s Jennifer Holly. I found her on Instagram. I totally aligned with everything that she said. I loved listening to her talk about everything that she did. I reached out and I said, Hey, do you wanna be on the podcast. So that was my networking for that, but it continued on. So now we’re friends and we talk all the time and we talk about how she was in that next step for me of where I wanted to go on my business. That isn’t necessarily why I wanted to stalk her and be friends with her. But I did want to have conversations with her and be in alignment and start getting in the space of someone who was where I wanted to be. It’s absolutely essential. I think it’s completely normal. If you just find someone on Instagram that you want to connect with them, it’s okay. Reach out and have a conversation with them. 

Megan Porta: They’re human too. So I think we can get caught up in oh, they’re more experienced or more successful or more popular or whatever. But usually 99.9% of the time, people are going to be receptive to your reaching out. So I always say just do it, even if it’s scary and uncomfortable, just do it anyway. Give it a try, right? Why not? What do you have to lose? They ignore you? 

Loren Runion: That’s usually what happens is they just ignore you. They’re not mean, they just don’t respond. I agree with that. That’s how I’ve learned. I’ve learned a lot by just stalking random people that I look up to on Instagram or that have done something that I would like to do. I reach out, I’m like, Hey, can you tell me how to do this? How do I do this with my podcast? Or how do I start a podcast? How do I do X, Y, Z in this respect. I should say that I totally respect that person, if that’s their business, don’t take up all their free time.

Megan Porta: I think that’s a given. Constantly email them. No, I totally agree. I’ve had the same experience. I’ve actually made some really great and powerful connections with people just by doing that. By listening to my gut, because like I said earlier, I can feel it. I just know it when I connect with someone. I’m like that girl or that guy, they align with the way I think, and the way I live my life. I just started doing those simple things, an Instagram direct message. Oh, I had someone that reached out to me. I don’t know, a couple of months ago, with audio on Instagram. I was like, oh my gosh, that’s so personal. But it’s so unique. Not everybody does that. So I’ve started doing that too. So if I want to send a message to someone like, Hey, you’re doing a great job. Or I really like this post or whatever, I’ll do that. People love that. So that’s a new way to chat with people. 

Loren Runion: That’s what I do as well. They do love it. Every time I do it, people always respond. I love the voice message. I do it with people I don’t know, even. If it’s somebody that I’m reaching out to for the podcast, I’ll be like, Hey, this is who I am. I’m going to send you a voice message, just so they don’t have a random voice message sitting in there from somebody they don’t know. But I’ll tell them, I’m gonna send this to you.

Megan Porta: I just wrote down something you said earlier that I want to say again, because I think it’s really important. Because you don’t need to overthink this. Just find those people you want to have conversations with and you know who they are. You can probably list five off the top of your head right now. Maybe just go start a conversation and see what happens. It’s scary. I get it. It is super scary, but it will be worthwhile. 

Loren Runion: If you’re still like, I don’t have anybody I want to talk to about this, aligning your thoughts with wanting to find that person and just saying, thank you for my new mentor. One of the first coaches that I invested in was a photography mentor. I just started saying thank you for my photography mentor. Thank you. I said it over and over, trying to manifest because I didn’t know who it was going to be. Finally, one day I was randomly on Instagram and I was trying to figure something out and I happened to go into this girl’s story that I followed for a very long time. She didn’t advertise it in her bio, but I went into her story and she mentioned a little tiny comment and an old story that she was a mentor. I’m like, she’s it, that’s it. If you just put the intention out there that’s what you want to find, the right person is going to come into your life.

Megan Porta: Okay. This is a conversation for another episode sometime, but I have the coolest story Loren, about how I found my coach. It is the ultimate story of manifestation and synchronicities that you would not believe. When I think of it, I can hardly believe it in my mind sometimes. But it is so true. If you just put almost the qualities or the essence of people out there, think about those things in your mind. Those people will come to you that bear those qualities. It’s the coolest thing ever. 

Loren Runion: It’s actually how I find every one of my podcast guests. 

Megan Porta: It’s crazy, but there is power in that for sure. There is one other thing I wanted to say about when you find those people that you would really like to be in your circle and you want to get to know, or as Loren said, have a conversation with just keep showing up, don’t drop off the face of the earth and vanish. Because they will notice when you keep showing up. Then also, you could take it a step further and actually provide value to these people. I don’t know what that means. Maybe you’re really good with SEO. You could take a look at their site and say, Hey, I have a few things that I could fix for you or whatever that is, providing value to them, I think is really meaningful. What are your thoughts on that, Loren? 

Loren Runion: I think that it’s definitely an interesting concept and I always like to think about how I can, not necessarily pay things forward, but I like to behave in the way that I’d like people to behave to me. So even just sending the encouragement that you said earlier. If I want people to send me encouragement or say that they like my stuff, then I need to be doing that as well. You need to do the things that you want people to do for you, that’s one of the universal laws. So like doing the things that you want to happen within your business is a way to help you create that. Creating that exact atmosphere and not from a place of, oh, I’m doing this because I want this. Coming from a place of sincerity and doing and showing up. For example, one of the things that you really want to happen or start having happen is reviews on your blog. Are you leaving reviews for other people on their blog? Start doing those things. Or if you want someone to help you for free or you can’t expect somebody to help you with something, if you aren’t in return doing those things. So paying it forward in that way. 

Megan Porta: Just to wrap up, I just want to say like always be in expansion mode when it comes to your people. So I think Loren touched on this earlier, but never get to a place where you’re like, okay, good. I’m good with my circle. These people are great. Maybe they are but always reassess, because we touched on the fact that you might be evolving and you probably are evolving. Over time you need to maybe change up your circle or draw some boundaries. So always be on the lookout for that. Adding new people in and rearranging who’s in your circle constantly. 

Loren Runion: Yep. I definitely agree with that because as we expand, our universe needs to expand with us and as our thoughts change, our reality changes and you just have to be on the lookout for exactly what you want to create in your life. Megan, if there was one big takeaway from this episode, what would it be for you? 

Megan Porta: Ah, I think just knowing that people are absolutely everything. I think this is more important than almost everything in your entire business, honestly. In my mind, I always say this to myself. People and patience are so important, but people can make or break your business, they can make or break your life. One little comment, one little negative comment can destroy your dreams and goals. So just that. Know that people are everything. Choose wisely. Play an active role in who you let in and also pull the right people in. Go on the lookout for the people that you want or the qualities that you want. So I think just keeping that top of mind is super important for your business growth.

Loren Runion: I know that we’re trying to wrap up at something that really brought up something else that I think is super important, especially for anyone who is out there and they are in almost a service-based industry, or job. Especially if you’re a coach or you work with people as photography clients. People are people. Comfort zones are comfort zones. That goes for your clients as well. If you don’t like the clients that you’re bringing into your life, you can expand that comfort zone. You may be in a comfort zone with the clients that you’re attracting into your life, because that’s where your mindset is. That’s what you’re currently vibrating at. It may be people who aren’t easy to work with. And it may be people who aren’t paying as well. But you can expand that. As you expand your mindset, you will start to attract the right clients and people into your life as well. It’s not just your friends. Like this extends to anybody in your business. So if you don’t like the clients that you’re having, or if you don’t like the type of people who are interested in your business, don’t feel like your ideal clients. You can shift that as well and begin to attract the right ones in. 

Megan Porta: I feel this topic is probably one of the most uncomfortable, maybe aside from money, of all. Because it’s not always easy talking to people and extending ourselves. A lot of us are introverts and we’re on the shy side. So this is a really big one for entrepreneurs. The people aspect is hard and Loren, and I just want you to know that we get it. It is not an easy thing. We’re sitting here telling you to extend yourself and go into discomfort. It’s not easy. That’s why we’re talking about it, but it’s really important to dive into this. 

Loren Runion: Yeah, absolutely. Don’t be afraid. It’s okay. I feel people may have gone a long time in their lives and it’s difficult to set boundaries or to say no to people, that this is definitely going to be more uncomfortable than for people who don’t necessarily have that struggle. But it’s okay to start setting those boundaries and to be very fierce with yourself and protecting what you want.

Megan Porta: Yes. I love that you ended with the word fierce. Love it. Okay this has been such a fun series to do with you, Loren. So I would love to hear from people like what you thought of the series. Maybe what your favorite episode was? Your favorite discussion? Do you have any questions? Do you guys have any comments? I would love to hear from you personally. The people are one of my most fun things to talk about. So I loved this episode. But every other one was super fun as well. 

Loren Runion: If you want to DM me and you want to commit to something that you’re going to do that scares you, let me know, tell me what it is so that you have that commitment and you’ve thrown it out there. Then let me know when you do it because I think it always helps to make a commitment to someone else that you’re going to do it so that you actually show up because it can still be hard to talk yourself out of it. I’ll be your commitment buddy. So DM me, what it is that you’re going to do that scares you or scares you out of your comfort zones.

Megan Porta: Oh, that’s a great one. Challenging people to pinpoint what their scariest thing is out of everything we’ve talked about and then being held accountable for it. So Loren and I’ll throw myself in there too. If you want to DM me. I will hold you accountable as well. I think that is a good place to stop and start, right? Stopping the series, letting people go out on their own and start this whole process of getting really uncomfortable so that you guys can grow and go into new areas that you’ve never been before. It’s exciting to think of that. So yeah, super excited to hear about your own journeys as you go through this. Any final words, Loren? I feel sad saying goodbye. Maybe we’ll have to do another one along another topic, but it’s been so fun. 

Loren Runion: It has been fun. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do that and create this for everybody. 

Megan Porta: You too. Yes, this has been great. So again, if you haven’t listened to the previous episodes, go back and listen to those. Let us know how we can help. Just go out there and grow and get uncomfortable. 

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