Better business boundaries will help you love your life again (I promise)
Do you need better business boundaries? You’re not alone!
You know when everything in your business feels like it’s all too much?
Clients contacting you day and night…
Paying late or making ridiculous demands and then not even thanking you?
What about those annoying people who ask for your time for free, or to “pick your brain”?!
If you’ve had enough of taking on everyone else’s problems, you need … boundaries
Boundaries give you back confidence in your business, reduce 90% of your stress and help you go bouncing through your work day.
This is no-joke my favourite topic at the moment and is about to become yours.
I modelled this video directly from the Berocca campaign of the 80s and 90s because seriously, having no or loose boundaries in your life and business sucks big time.
On the other hand, when you get a handle on boundaries and design your life to make YOU happy first and foremost, you’ll actually start to make more money and enjoy your life and business again.
Why do people like us have so much trouble setting boundaries around their time, money and energy?
Because we believe we have “no choice”
Because we want to be accommodating and “nice”
Because we want people to like us
Ouch! Harsh but true.
But when you really get this lesson, you’ll see that having strong boundaries is actually the most loving and respectful thing you can do and one that will attract a better quality of clients, friends and other people into your life.
Let’s start with something easy but very symbolic:
Boundaries around your time
When I first started in my business, I would coach people at 5am. It SUCKED big time and I wasn’t present with my clients or happy getting up at the crack of dawn. It made me grumpy and sleepy for the rest of the day.
Why did I do it? Because I thought that if I said no to my international clients, they wouldn’t book with me again. I wanted to be accommodating, even if it affected my quality of life.
My coach Fabienne Fredrickson told me that she has turned down many international clients because she refused to budge on her schedule. She told me;
“I am more important than money. They will find another coach who suits their needs better”.
And guess what? You will find more than enough clients that will work with your new and improved schedule, plus you’ll be WAY happier.
Your better time boundaries prescription
- Decide when YOU want to work.
- Do you want to do evenings and weekends… or not?
- What’s the earliest or latest you’re happiest with working?
- When do you work best?
- Can you take off a whole day completely from client work?
It’s okay to have your business be exactly the way you want it. There are MORE than enough clients out there for you.
- Create a new policy and inform your clients about it.
Just make a simple announcement on your website or newsletter:
“From 1st May, opening hours are X Y Z.”
No apologies or over-explaining (it’s your business after-all) and no need to beg for understanding. Just give them notice (anything up to a month is fine) and that’s the end of it. Remember, people make time for dentist and doctor appointments. You don’t have to be super convenient for everyone.
I know the fear is that you’ll lose all your clients, but trust me – that won’t happen. You might even free up time and energy to write a book, create some programs that don’t require your time or have energy for some well-defined pro-bono work.
- Enforce the new boundary.
People will try and push the new boundary, “Can you make an exception for me, pretty please?“. Trust me. It will happen within 24 hours of you mentally and emotionally making the decision. I bet you ten bucks.
And seriously, the first time you enforce it, you’ll feel like the biggest bitch in the world, but stick to your guns and you’ll feel amazing.
Here’s something to think about – I used to offer my clients up to 55 different slots a week. I had maybe 10-15 clients a week which was my idea of a happy workload. So, I was just trying to be accommodating by offering them appointments anytime from 7am-6pm five days a week. (I stopped offering my 5am offering but 7am appointments still sucked).
One client said that seeing so many available appointments on my calendar made her think “hmmm, maybe Denise isn’t doing so well”.
So being too accommodating can backfire as well as make you stressed.
What about money boundaries?
Money blocks and boundary problems are so common for entrepreneurs and it can destroy your business!
Are you suffering from…
- Clients not paying
- Discounting clients
- Bartering or working for free
- Not earning what you think you’re worth?
OMG – there is so much I want to say about this. I’ve written about money boundary stuff and how to increase your prices several times. But you might need a bit more help.
I’ve got a great resource for you where I help you navigate awkward money conversations, click here to download the free e-book.
I’d love to know what boundaries you’re working on - send me a message on social @denisedt and I’ll cheer you on!
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