A lot of my clients don’t realize that they need business boundaries to avoid burnout. They have been so focused on growing their business and making money, that they haven’t even considered establishing boundaries. They’ve allowed things to happen that eventually drives them nuts.
Does this sound like you?
If it does, you’re not alone. A lot of business owners find themselves at this point at some time in their business. Even if they do have boundaries in place, they may find themselves in a position when they’ve been lax about upholding their boundaries. This will require a reset. That’s okay!
So whether you’ve never set boundaries or you need to revisit the ones you have in place, there are a few boundaries that are important to have in place.
Boundaries With Clients
If you don’t have boundaries with your clients, you can find yourself feeling resentful about the people who make your business possible.
When working with clients, some things you may need to consider include:
- Working hours and days
- Scope of work
- Turnaround time for projects
- Communication preferences
- Being late to meetings
If you read my last blog post on why boundaries are important, you will know that it’s good to first identify your values so you can set your boundaries. Doing this first will help you know the boundaries you need to create in your business.
Once you’ve determined your boundaries, it’s important to convey them to your clients. It’s always good to talk about your boundaries with a potential client before receiving payment for your services. This might happen at the end of a successful discovery call. You may also want to outline them in your proposal or welcome email. Creating a PDF that they can print off ensures that they have access to your boundaries at all times. A PDF also gives you something to refer back to if a boundary is overstepped. It never hurts to relay your boundaries several times in several different ways.
If you’re like so many entrepreneurs, you can have shiny object syndrome. This is the desire to have the next new thing rather than stay focused on what you are working on. We tend to have shiny object syndrome because we subconsciously think it will be the answer to what we long for.
Surprise! This often isn’t the case. It’s important to set boundaries around your spending. Here are some suggestions.
- Set a limit to purchase only one course a month.
- Allow yourself to check out a new software only if the one you are currently using is definitely not working.
- Decide that you won’t purchase a new course unless you have finished the previous one you bought.
- Before purchasing something new, take 48 hours to consider if you really need it. During this time you could talk to friends who use it to find out if it’s really worth it.
If you find yourself with a lot of courses or software just sitting on your computer and not getting used, think of the money you’ve wasted. By setting this boundaries, you will take pause to really consider if that course or software is something that will really bring ROI to your business.
Giving Yourself Boundaries
This area may be the hardest for setting boundaries. Most of us live life by reacting to what gets thrown our way. It’s important to live your life with intention. This starts by setting boundaries for yourself.
For entrepreneurs, it’s so hard to separate personal from business. Because of this, it’s helpful to take the time to actually identify your values to help determine your boundaries. (previous blog post on why boundaries are important)
One of the most important boundaries you can set is when you will work on your business. As a business owner, you may be tempted to throw all of your energy into building your business. However, you need a break or you will burn out.
Decide which days of the week you will work and the hours during the day. It doesn’t have to look like a typical corporate job. Do what feels right for you and your family. The important thing is to set your working hours and stick with it. Consider telling a family member what your days/hours for working are, and ask that person to hold you accountable.
To help you step away from work on the weekends, you may want to consider deleting your social media apps from your phone. By removing the temptation, you are less likely to become consumed with scrolling. This will open up time for you to spend with family or friends.
Avoid Burnout With Business Boundaries
When we first start a business we are very excited. We want to spend as much time building our business as possible. You need to be careful, though, because this sets the tone for your and your clients.
Continually letting your business have the time of day that you could be spending with friends or family will only lead to burnout. Don’t think that you’ll implement the boundaries once your business becomes successful. By that point, it will be too hard to undo the expectations that have already been set. Instead, adhere to your business boundaries to avoid burnout from the beginning.