Welcome back! This month we are going to explore how to set business boundaries so you can achieve that precious work/life balance as well as explore why we tend to resist boundaries.
Every person has core values, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge them. Core values are those fundamental ethical beliefs and practices by which you live your life, both personally and professionally. Your core values are equally as important as your business plan. Knowing and understanding WHY you started your business and what your company’s purpose is in the grand scheme of life will help you prioritize your projects and clients so you can say yes or no more easily.
I also go over why it may be time to run every opportunity through a litmus test. Wondering if you should do something new in your business? Take on new clients? Go to that conference? I know it can be hard to decide which opportunities you should take advantage of. Opportunities can mean everything from a new potential lead to a speaking opportunity to a coffee date invitation to a meeting request. Opportunities can also be ideas that YOU have that you’re not sure if you should act on, such as creating an online course.
Answering the questions I pose should help you decide whether you have the time, energy, bandwidth, and motivation to take on the task at hand.
Today’s topic is Claim Your Core Values So You Can Say Yes to Your Priorities with Ease.
Welcome to Systems Sunday. This month the topic is Creating Balance with Business Boundaries.
I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.
Every person has core values, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge them. Core values are those fundamental ethical beliefs and practices by which you live your life, both personally and professionally.
Your core values are equally as important as your business plan. Knowing and understanding WHY you started your business and what your company’s purpose is in the grand scheme of life will help you prioritize your projects and clients so you can say yes or no more easily.
Today’s topic is Claim Your Core Values So You Can Say Yes to Your Priorities with Ease.
Following is a list of questions and I want you to put some thought into these and not just a surface answer. Ready?
- Why did you start this business?
- What do you hope to accomplish with it, ultimately?
- What are you here to say? Who are you here to impact?
- What do I value most in my life? Think about large-scale values like beauty, honesty, etc. but also what you value in your day-to-day life.
- What do I want my legacy to be? What do I want to leave this earth knowing I accomplished?
The answers to these questions can help you a lot when you’re deciding what to say yes to, and what to say no to. That said, there are seasons in business when it’s super important to say yes a lot.
For example: When you’re brand new to business and unsure what you actually provide others, you can say yes to more opportunities that come your way. This also applies when you’re unclear on who you serve. For example: You’re a web designer, but you’re not sure what your niche is – so you design for everyone from a local vet to an online relationship coach.
Once you’re a few years into business and/or beginning to feel “booked,” it’s time to start running every opportunity through a litmus test. Opportunities can mean everything from a new potential lead to a speaking opportunity to a coffee date invitation to a meeting request. Opportunities can also be ideas that YOU have that you’re not sure if you should act on, such as creating an online course.
For each opportunity that comes your way, start asking yourself the following questions:
- Does this opportunity align with my core values?
- Will this move the needle in my career or business?
- Will this task/assignment/client/project feel meaningful to me?
- What purpose will this serve–in my life, and in the greater good?
- Why would saying NO be a bad choice?
- Do I have the bandwidth for this at this moment in time? Could I revisit it at a later date?
- Could my time or energy be better spent elsewhere at this time?
- Do I have to do this? Could someone else take on part – or all – of this for me? (i.e., a team member, contractor, etc.)
- What does my intuition and gut say? Do I get a constrictive or expansive feeling in my body when I think about the opportunity? What do I actually have to do to bring it to fruition?
- Do I truly want to take this opportunity – or do I feel obligated? Is this something I truly want, or something I think you should want? For example: Just because your colleague is speaking at 4-5 online summits a month, doesn’t mean you have to – or should!
The answers to the above questions should help you decide whether you have the time, energy, bandwidth, and motivation to take on the task at hand. As a general rule, say yes when the opportunity will stretch you in a way that feels meaningful to you, when you have the bandwidth to do so, AND when you have the desire.
It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to choose quality over quantity. Being “booked out” is great – but only if your clients are actually being served at the level you’d like to serve them. Your “ideal” number of clients might look different than someone else’s, and at the end of the day, your workload should always allow you to show up as your best self to give your clients the best chance at results. Boundaries also give you time to tend to that best self. Take care of yourself first and you’ll have the energy and mental bandwidth to care for others.
There’s a lot of information to get you started and I wanted to make it super easy for you so I created a new downloadable worksheet to help you define your core values to help you decide when to take on new opportunities. You can sign up right below the video and it will immediately go to your inbox.
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 I’ll tell you The Top Must-Haves for Client Boundaries. See you then!
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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!