Healthy Boundaries for a Thriving Business

The Ideal Client Manifester

Thursday January 21, 2021

Being an entrepreneur gives you the most freedom - ideally. In reality, many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with an ever growing “to-do” pile.

While they have the freedom to set their own schedules, they’re actually slaves to their businesses. Can you relate?

If this ever happens to you…even a little…it’s time to shore up your boundaries. For many people this “b” word can sound harsh, like walls that push people away. You may be reluctant to say no or hurt feelings. 

Well here’s the thing - if you don’t embrace boundaries in a healthy way, you’ll never be able to lead effectively. Your life will run you, and other people’s agendas will take over your time. 

Boundaries don’t have to be harsh or mean. Frankly. the people who get “triggered” by your boundaries are usually reacting to their own weakness in this area. They struggle with setting limits or saying no so they judge others for doing this. 

That’s their stuff. It’s NOT YOURS! Don’t take it personally. 

As the leader of your business, you have a responsibility to show up at your best and make the smartest choices for the health and impact of your organization. Your time and energy are precious and limited, by far your most valuable assets.

So you need to protect them. Do this with the structures that shape your life, your schedule, and your outcomes - boundaries!

Think of them like strategic systems that help you realize your goals and grow a thriving business. Now you can get more excited because as an entrepreneur, you DO have total freedom to create whatever boundaries you want. 

When you’re doing this, remember that you create your life. Your days are a direct reflection of what you choose to put on your calendar or say yes to. The people in your life are there because you let them in. 

The biggest breakthrough most people need to have in this area is giving themselves permission to HAVE the boundaries they crave. 

The best advice I ever got from a therapist is: Don’t make decisions out of FOG - Fear, Obligation or Guilt. When I heard this, I realized just how much of my life I had compromised for these 3 motives, and those decisions never led to good outcomes. In fact, they led to costly mistakes. 

Now realize you have (and always have had) FULL permission to consciously create your life from joy, purpose and love. 

You get to draw the boundaries needed to make this shift. Here are 3 examples that may inspire you…

1. Decide when your work hours begin and end - then mark those on your calendar. You need chunks of time to work ON your business like getting your marketing done, so schedule those appointments with yourself in your calendar. I like to pick certain days and hours per week when I will allow clients or colleagues to schedule appointments on my calendar - so I can condense my meetings into chunks and have lots of uninterrupted project time outside of that. Choose the work hours that suit your energy best. When work hours stop, stop working. If you can, change spaces or at least do a state change to transition (like go outside for a walk or take a shower, whatever shifts you into non-work mode). 

2. Be selective about what emails you see. Don’t check your public email that clients contact for customer service! As the leader of your business, you need to focus on marketing, sales, planning, creating and other high-level leadership activities. You cannot get bogged down by emails or solving customer problems, like getting access to their courses or services. Hire a virtual assistant (even very part-time) to manage this for you. DON’T feel guilty - your clients don’t expect you to deliver customer service as long as your team is taking care of them. 

I highly recommend you use a private email account that you only share with your team and other leaders you collaborate with. This will give you so much peace of mind and save you a ton of time. You can also set rules about when your team can email you because you don’t need to be answering questions all day long. I like to have them send me a “daily digest” of their questions once per day, especially when things are busier. Also ask your team to email you about their suggested solutions to any problems so they are not always depending on you to think of every solution. 

3. Allow people into your life who uplift you and contribute positive energy. Work with your ideal clients and don’t bring on pain-in-the-you-know-what clients - they are never worth the money if they’re the wrong fit. If there are people in your business who repeatedly drain your energy, cross your boundaries after you’ve requested they don’t, or have a pattern of creating conflict or bad vibes in your business, let them go. You don’t need to apologize or explain beyond a brief “we’re no longer a fit to work together. I need to end our relationship now.” That is enough. They may lash out at you, but don’t take it personally. Block them from your phone and email. Toxic people are unhealthy for you and your community.

Boundaries require courage and being honest with yourself about what you need. If you’ve ever approached burnout or wish you could get more done, then you know what to do…revisit the way you’re structuring your life and make it work FOR you!