#144: Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries

Oct 16, 2022 | Working with Clients

Continuing with our theme this month: how to set business boundaries so you can achieve that precious work/life balance as well as explore why we tend to resist boundaries.

There are some basic boundaries every business owner should put in place to ensure their day-to-day life and business operates smoothly.

Whether you’re a service provider, mentor, or consultant, it’s important to set clear guidelines and expectations. It’s important to set these up before there’s a problem. This will help so you don’t have to either give in to a client’s demand at your own detriment OR ask for their forgiveness.

In this video, I share The Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries.

Welcome to Systems Sunday. This month the topic is Creating Balance with Business Boundaries.

I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

There are some basic boundaries every business owner should put in place to ensure their day-to-day life and business operates smoothly.

Today’s topic is The Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries.

Whether you’re a service provider, mentor, or consultant, it’s important to set clear guidelines and expectations. It’s important to set these up before there’s a problem. This will help so you don’t have to either give in to a client’s demand at your own detriment OR ask for their forgiveness.

Set them ahead of time, communicate them clearly, and enforce them.

The boundary conversation should ideally occur during the get acquainted phase but definitely during the onboarding phase. They should also be repeated in an email or in a physical welcome packet. You can even go so far as to require an initial next to those boundaries if you list them in your contract so there’s no claiming ignorance when a problem or question arises.

Also, be confident in the boundaries you set. YOU are solely in charge of how your business runs, not your clients. If they have a problem with one or more boundaries, let them find another VA. Those who look for something to pick on early in the onboarding process will continue to look for loopholes or will be full of excuses when it comes time to work together. Be selective when choosing your clients.

When it comes to client boundaries, here are a few must-haves:

1. Contracts that outline deliverables, expectations for both parties, and anything else advised by your lawyer.

2. Communication expectations, like when a client should expect a response to an email, when they can/can’t contact you, what happens if they disappear or miss a meeting or call or other milestone, and what is expected on their end during your work together.

3. Sticking to your scope of work, and letting a client know quickly if something has gone outside the scope.

4. You should also know (and have in writing, if you desire) what you feel comfortable with in terms of communication (i.e., what types of language and exchanges you will and will not tolerate) and what you will and will not help clients with (i.e., referring out when something goes outside your expertise or what you feel comfortable dealing with).

If you enjoyed this episode and want more tips and strategies on how to set business boundaries, check out my new Business Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No training system. You’ll learn what to do when you don’t know what to say yes to – or how to say no. How to be more discerning with opportunities that come your way, choosing only those that match your vision and will benefit you instead of just filling up your calendar. You’ll get a training guide and accompanying workbook complete with worksheets, 4-week done-for-you calendar, and a handy checklist.

You can find the product below or head over to my VA Business Builder Boutique by clicking on Shop in the menu bar.

Join me next week as we go over The Top Must-Haves for Personal Boundaries. Until then, have a great week.

Sign up for my free simple systems for virtual assistants weekly videos and get this Free Download

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Check out this training system!

Business Boundaries – When to Say Yes and How to Say No


Does any of this sound woefully familiar?

You started a business to help people–as many people as possible, to be exact–so you say yes to pretty much anyone who reaches out for coaching, consulting or even just a “quick coffee chat” (face palm)

You’re always-on for your people, and you often wake up to “emergency” emails (and late night texts) from clients–even on weekends and vaycay (and worse? You respond to them quickly because otherwise you feel overwhelming guilt.)

Your family is growing increasingly annoyed by your business eating up all your personal time, and your self-care has taken a complete backseat to everything business.

You’re involved in one (or many) projects, JVs or other commitments that you don’t even really want to be, because you didn’t want to hurt your biz bestie’s (or the rando coach who DMed you on IG) feelings.

You show up to every single meeting (even if it’s outside your preferred business hours), say yes to every last-minute request and drop everything for your client’s “emergencies” (which–let’s be honest–hardly ever turn out to be actual emergencies).

You work at all hours, respond at all hours and you’re never off social media for more than a few hours, just in case.

You’re secretly resentful of your clients and having to “show up” for them, when truthfully, you don’t even have the energy to show up for yourself or your own business goals.

Despite getting a lot done, you feel forever-behind, perpetually-defeated and you know that burning the midnight oil is actually making your work (or marketing, or client calls) worse…but it’s like you can’t stop.

If so, you’re far from alone.

But if you’re still reading, I think it’s because you want to make a change. You want to step into your leadership, into your power and start putting focus on what matters to you and your business, while still serving clients at the highest level, of course.

Sound about right?

Then it’s time to set some boundaries, friend.

*cue screeching halt*

Now, hear me out…

I know “setting boundaries” sounds like self-help speak – not business development speak.

But the truth is, unless you carve out clear boundaries for your business, you won’t ever have a life – or self! – to run said business.

It’s true: In order to leave behind a lasting legacy, serve your clients at the highest level and experience all the expansiveness, joy and freedom you set out to experience when your launched your biz….you have to get intentional about your priorities.

Which means? You have to set boundaries. And not just with clients, but with yourself, your team and everybody else (and everything else) in your life, too.

If you don’t start putting actual parameters in place–with yourself and your clients–you’re doing everybody(and everything) in your life a disservice.

Because how can you do good work when you’re exhausted, existing on lattes and pints of Ben & Jerry’s (cue the dopamine and sugar rush!) to get stuff done?

How can you show up and coach or teach clients when you haven’t taken a shower, eaten a proper meal (read: something not out of a plastic carton, or delivered by UberEats) or put on real pants (let alone taken a pause to journal or mediate) in days?

And how can you effectively handle your zillion responsibilities – from managing your shining team to creating your next best-selling course – when you’re drowning in client work with no time to dream, create or even think?

Spoiler alert: You can’t.

But what you can do is start putting yourself and your business first, with rock-solid business boundaries.

Stop Over-scheduling, Overworking and Overpromising–For Good!

Allow me to be frank: Boundaries aren’t as scary as they sound.

I know they’re a touchy subject for most people because most people think boundaries are “bad.” We’re all human and we want other humans to like us. We’re taught from birth to be helpful, be kind and show up for others – often to our own detriment.

Boundaries, then, feel counterintuitive to our own survival. So lots of us aren’t shown or taught how to appropriately set – and stick to – healthy boundaries.

But without them, we sincerely run the risk of being taken advantage of, giving up our power and ultimately, not being able to serve others or take care of ourselves the way we’d like.

And what fun is that, am I right?

Here’s the good news: Boundaries are not a death wish, like our cavemen ancestors might’ve mistakenly believed.

Having boundaries simply means knowing what you will and won’t do or tolerate.

In turn, boundaries help you focus on what matters most and actually get those things done. They help you decisively determine what will and will not get your attention, so you actually have the time, energy and bandwidth (not to mention, patience) to pour into what’s most important to you.

Basically, if you want to experience any semblance of work/life balance and experience the exponential business growth you dream about… you absolutely need boundaries.

That’s why I’m offering a comprehensive training all about how to effectively set healthy boundaries with clients, with yourself and with everyone else in your life that will move your business forward (without you burning out).


Business Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No to Create a Healthier Relationship with Your Business

When you purchase, you’ll receive a training guide and workbook walking you step-by-step through how to establish, set, and stick to your own unique business boundaries. You’ll learn how to discern your core values, say no (and yes!) to the “right” projects and clients with more ease and confidence and finally have more time, energy and bandwidth for your top priorities (including yourself).

Here’s what we cover…

  • Pinpointing the “weakest boundaries” in your business, so you know exactly what needs to change
  • Overcoming self-sabotaging “people pleasing” behaviors that are draining your life force and actually hurting you and your clients
  • Uncovering your true core values, so you can say no (or yes!) and (finally) prioritize the projects, clients and activities that matter most
  • How to know exactly which opportunities to say yes to, and which to turn down so you can move your business forward faster
  • How to ditch the dreaded “boundary setting guilt”–for good
  • How to feel confident about the boundaries you set, so nothing (and no one) can shake you (or walk all over you), ever again

In short? When we’re done, you’ll have ninja-like boundary-setting skills, and you’ll know how to quickly & easily say NO (or YES) to the right opportunities, people and projects–leaving you with way more time and energy to focus on what matters most.

This work can truly change your business – and your life.

Just imagine what life with solid business boundaries could look like…

  • You’re crazy-productive (almost) every day because you actually have the bandwidth for all the things you’ve said yes to (and you’re not struggling to “make up for” lost energy with coffee, sugary snacks and other self-sabotaging behaviors)
  • You’re more realistic & in tune with what you can and can’t handle and intuitively know (and trust) when you should say no to an opportunity or client
  • You feel happy again – not overwhelmed or even mildly annoyed – when a potential new client books a discovery call or someone asks you to speak on their podcast
  • You have oodles of energy & time to work on passion projects, hang out with your family and/or take actual, unplugged vacations, because you know clients won’t be contacting you with emails with “911” in the subject line (or contacting you at all!)
  • You’re working only with clients you adore and you’re loving it (Translation? Coaching or creating programs for your clients no longer feels like a chore, but an honor!)
  • You know deep in your heart you’re showing up as your best self for everyone in your life, from your clients to yourself to your family (and it shows in all the raving testimonials and referrals always coming your way!)

… and so, so much more!


#144:  Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries
#144:  Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries


Ready to get the most out of your viewing time?

Pick a collection below to get actionable, momentum-building advice with what you need help with right now.


Setting rates, client boundaries, & onboarding systems


Social media, email marketing, automation, & funnels


Processes, planning tools, outsourcing, & scaling systems

Simple Systems for Virtual Assistants

Grow, market, organize, and scale your business with FREE simple systems!

With short actionable insights brought to you every week, Systems Sunday videos have earned its spot as *can’t miss* watching for thousands of results-driven virtual pros just like you.