So, I’m guessing you decided to run your own business because you’ve got a pretty good idea about how YOU want to work? Or perhaps you’ve learnt some lessons from a less-than-ideal workplace? Been forced to work a certain way that’s killed your excitement/morale/creativity/productivity? Been made to be a bum on a seat for set hours, every day, regardless of whether you skipped lunch/breaks or you’ve already got all your work done?
It’s important to keep the above in mind to make sure you’re STILL running your business how you intended to. It is also important to be respectful of your clients, and make sure they understand and are happy to work within your boundaries.
But what if you know you NEED to set boundaries, but you are scared? Don’t be scared! It’s YOUR business, YOUR life and you are allowed to set boundaries to allow things to run how you need them to.
4 ways to start to set some boundaries around how you work
- Don’t want phone calls? Cool – that’s totally fine! There could be many reasons for this, and all of them are FINE because it’s YOUR business. Some reasons could be that:
- When you answer or make a call, it’s usually kid-code for BE REALLY NOISY
- It can be easier to think straight and organise your thoughts on paper/email – that’s ok!
- Can’t take notes if you’re out and about
- Not in front of computer to be able to refer to emails/websites etc
- It’s not uncommon to have a tendency to be way too agreeable during a phone call, then freak out later when you realise you’ve over-committed!
- Don’t want opening hours on your website? Cool! Unless your business is a retail location, this is totally fine.
- Don’t feel like having meetings with clients all of the time? Cool, I find this makes me MORE productive because I’m actually in my office working!
- Text messages from clients – you’re definitely allowed to only answer them at acceptable times! If you answer them at all times of day and night, you’re setting up an expectation that you are available 24/7.
The biggest hesitation with creating boundaries around your business is the fear of losing potential clients. You know what? That is ok! There are SO many people around that fit with your boundaries that would LOVE to work with you! The more you put it out there, the more the RIGHT people will be drawn to you. You can be working with amazing people and also enjoying your non-work time – how cool is that?! Everyone will know what’s expected of them, so there’s less chance of a communication breakdown.
My challenge to you is to give it a shot – it will benefit you more than you can possibly imagine! Not to mention benefiting your clients too – as it will not dull your sparkle – you are doing what you enjoy and that translates into the work you complete for them. Win win right?!
Remember WHY you’re working for yourself, and the lifestyle you’re chasing – prioritise that.