Let’s talk about Boundaries with a capital B.
This is something we have most definitely struggled with since starting this business. Whether it’s setting boundaries for ourselves or with our clients, we are constantly evolving and learning how to preserve our energy by creating solid limits on what we will or will not do.
Here are a few things we do to create healthy boundaries in our personal and professional lives:
Set Clear Expectations—If you have set “office hours” or times that you are available for your clients, let them know from the start. Contrary to what your brain is telling you, they aren’t going to hate you for only being available from 9 – 5. That is normal, and you do not have to bend just because you are an entrepreneur. Office hours are still office hours even if you are working from home.
Communicate Clearly—You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but communication really is key. State your needs or deliverables clearly and bring up if you have an issue with something. The person on the other end is human too, and it’s easy to get caught up in our own actions or to-do; communicating helps keep both parties on the same page.
Focus on your Feelings —You know yourself best. If you are feeling overwhelmed with things, take a step back, go for a walk, read a book, whatever you need to do. The work and your clients will still be there when you can back; it is vital to prioritize your feelings.
Take time to Respond—Not every email is urgent. There we said it. Taking the time to react and curate a message ensures that you properly communicate.
Know when to say no—If something isn’t in your scope or you don’t have time for it, you can say no. It is better to be upfront and say no than to say yes, stress yourself out and then not be able to deliver. If it is not something in a contract you agreed to do or simply don’t feel comfortable doing, you owe it to yourself to say no.
Prepare for pushback—Not everyone will understand your set boundaries, but that’s okay. Everyone has different boundaries, so be prepared to explain why you are saying no or are limited to that time. Being prepared for that pushback helps you feel more confident and comfortable in the boundaries you have set.
We know it is easy to get lost in the hustle culture of our current world of always having to be online for your business to succeed, but I think we can all admit that isn’t sustainable for everyone. So taking steps to set these healthy boundaries is key to making your business not only successful but sustainable for yourself.