#142: Why Business Boundaries Will Keep You Sane

Working with Clients

Welcome to a new month and all new Systems Sundays. 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.

Some business owners have a difficult time grasping the concept that THEY are in charge of creating their business and their dream life. They often worry that they’re ‘doing it wrong’ or that there’s a formula they need to follow in order to be successful.

The topic of boundaries is also touchy for some people because we’re so used to wanting people to like us, or to please them because we were taught as kids to be kind and helpful. Without boundaries, though, we run the risk of being taken advantage of and ultimately, giving up the power over our lives.

Implementing business boundaries is no different than setting a bedtime for your kids. You’re teaching your clients how to treat you and what you will (and will not) tolerate when working together.

Today’s topic is Why Business Boundaries Will Keep You Sane.

Welcome to a new month and all-new Systems Sunday. 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.

I am Lisa Wells, Your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

Some business owners have a difficult time grasping the concept that THEY are in charge of creating their business and their dream life. They often worry that they’re ‘doing it wrong’ or that there’s a formula they need to follow in order to be successful.

The topic of boundaries is also touchy for some people because we’re so used to wanting people to like us, or to please them because we were taught as kids to be kind and helpful. Without boundaries, though, we run the risk of being taken advantage of and ultimately, giving up the power over our lives.

Implementing business boundaries is no different that setting a bedtime for your kids. You’re teaching your clients how to treat you and what you will (and will not) tolerate when working together.

Today’s topic is Why Business Boundaries Will Keep You Sane.

Boundaries are simply knowing what you will and won’t do or tolerate. They’re limits you set around what you’re comfortable with and how you’d like to be treated.

In business, boundaries can help you determine what does and does not get your attention so that you can focus on what’s most important and actually achieve your goals. Many virtual pros start off as lone wolves who prefer to do everything themselves. But being a lone wolf limits your boundaries because you have your hand in everything from client service to social media to customer service.

The truth is, we have limited bandwidth. Burnout is a real danger for business owners, especially those solopreneurs who carry the weight of their success on their shoulders. If you don’t have boundaries when it comes to your business and work life, it’s very easy for you to lose your sense of work/life balance and your motivation.

Work-life balance isn’t just healthy for you, it also helps you produce better work for clients and also allows you to show up the way you’d ideally like to for your clients. What you do in one area of your life also carries over into other areas; so, if you show up better to your clients, you’ll naturally show up better/differently with your family and friends.

Go through this list of signals to see if you have weak boundaries in your business:

1. You try to do everything yourself. You refuse to outsource or allow others to help. Is this due to a lack of funding or trust/control issues? Dig deep to find the lessons you learned in your past – possibly your childhood – about why you prefer to do everything yourself.

2. You have low energy and/or you feel depressed. Feeling defeated every day will only cause your motivation to lag. Explore when this began and some possible causes. Try changing your diet and/or lifestyle so you get more rest and if necessary, search for a professional counselor if your low days affect your daily living.

3. You’re resentful of clients and opportunities–anything that asks you to output energy or give up your time. New clients are the crux of your business; however, if you don’t have the energy to enjoy the work or serve them like you want, you’ll resent having to work longer hours or on the weekends. Brainstorm some solutions.

4. You feel guilty because you’re not actually serving clients at the level you’d like to. If you feel like you’re stretched too thin, chances are that your clients feel that, too. When the guilt piles on, then you may try to overcompensate, which leaves you with even less time or too much focus on one client while others continue to get lost. Start a list of brainstorming ideas to handle this workload and your resulting guilt.

5. You say yes just because you don’t want to say no – you fear disappointing others – not because what you’re saying yes to is actually a priority. We’ve been trained to be polite and in business, we fear that saying no will hurt our reputations. But NO is a complete sentence. If an offer or opportunity doesn’t fit your vision or if you’re unavailable, simply say NO. No excuses necessary.

6. You’re dealing with poor sleep, poor health, or simply feeling bad as you go about your days. This goes hand-in-hand with having low energy or feeling depressed. Burning the midnight oil only serves to diminish your health and the quality of your work. It’s a vicious cycle because your sleep affects your health, which ultimately affects your productivity. If all of that starts sliding downhill, then you’ll naturally feel bad, which will keep you up at night.

7. You don’t feel like you’re making any progress toward your ultimate goals, but rather just doing what’s necessary to get by in the here and now. Some virtual pros may even feel like they’re always playing catch up or they’re having to react to situations – or client problems – instead of being proactive with their business.

On the flip side, when you put better business boundaries in place, your business has the chance to grow, and you have the chance to increase your income. You can experience wonderful things like:

  • Being more productive because you have the energy and bandwidth necessary for everything you say yes to. You’re more in tune with what you can and cannot handle, especially if you have not hired your own VA or other team member yet.
  • Having the time in your schedule to accept more clients or to create that signature course because you’re being so productive. Having time in the evenings (if you choose) to work on passion projects because you know clients won’t be contacting you.
  • Enjoying your clients and creating services for them. You don’t resent when they contact you nor do you consider service creation a chore. You feel grateful for the opportunity to serve them from your heart. Great service equals raving testimonials which can turn into more new clients.
  • Having the energy and time to make progress toward your ultimate goals for your business (and life!) Your vision board makes you excited and you know the next steps toward reaching your goals because you have them defined.
  • Having better client relationships because you know you’re showing up for them fully – and no longer feel guilty that you’re underdelivering or not giving it your all. This is all about trusting in yourself, that you have the tools to help your clients but that you’re also selective in the clients you choose to work with.

Saying no is a super important boundary. If you say yes to everything, you’ll end up with an overcrowded calendar and you won’t be able to determine who are your ideal clients and who are not. You might also end up with joint-venture (JV) partnerships that aren’t truly beneficial, all because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. It’s time to take those personal feelings out of business and focus on what you really want to accomplish.

Every time you say no to something – you’re saying yes to something else. Business success requires you be able to say “Yes” to what’s important and “No” to anything else.

Boundary-setting can feel intimidating. But no matter whether you’re setting a boundary with a client, a boundary with yourself, or a boundary with a friend/team member/colleague – it’s actually the most important thing you can do for your own mental health and the health of your business long term. Setting boundaries creates peace and freedom for you to do what you truly love and make the mark you truly want to make on this world and be the person you truly want to be.

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 how to claim your core values so you can say yes to your priorities. See you then!

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

$15.00

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).

Introducing…

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!

 

#142: Why Business Boundaries Will Keep You Sane
#142: Why Business Boundaries Will Keep You Sane

0 Comments

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.

WORKING WITH CLIENTS

Setting rates, client boundaries, & onboarding systems

MARKETING

Social media, email marketing, automation, & funnels

OFFICE OPERATIONS

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.