Our business is an extension of ourselves, and learning how to separate the two is key.
Setting boundaries can be a line in the sand or a wall around your heart. We do this to protect ourselves from rejection or criticism, but as entrepreneurs this can be difficult. Our business is an extension of ourselves and learning how to separate it is key to creating healthy boundaries.
Being a Soloprenuer means one has many hats to juggle. It’s all on us to create content for social media, respond to emails, coach our clients and also manage our household. In the end, we can become exhausted and end up jumping from one task to another; often feeling like we’re spinning our wheels.
However, there comes a time in our life when we say ‘enough is enough’. But before we get to this point, how can we recognise that the playing field is not so level anymore?
Below are a few signs and the beliefs associated with them as to how we allow people to cross our boundaries:
1. We feel that we have to work 12-hour days. The belief is that we must ‘work hard to make money’.
2. We work with clients who demand more of our time than they’ve actually paid for. The belief is that we must ‘put others first’.
3. We sell our services by the hour instead of creating packaged offers. The belief is that of an employee mindset where we were paid by the hour.
4. We feel that we have to respond to emails or messages after hours or at the weekend. The belief is that we have to be available for clients as we think they may ‘need us’.
5. We walk on eggshells as we don’t want to upset our clients. This belief may stem from your childhood when it was safer to please someone else.
Over time, the impact has a ripple effect on us, our health, our family and business. We become frustrated, are easily irritated and snap at our loved ones. We then feel guilty afterwards. We have trouble making decisions which can lead to chaos and our teams not trusting us. We may even end up with constant headaches, low energy or suffer with chronic back pain.
Nothing changes if nothing changes!
Here are some tips on how you can create healthy boundaries in your business to avoid overwhelm and burn out:
1. Be more assertive. If spending time with your family is important to you, leaving on time is your prerogative. Of course, there may be times when you have to work late to meet deadlines, but this would have been discussed in advance. Keep your word as people may step over your boundary if you don’t follow up on what you say.
2. Speak up! People are not mind readers. I believe it’s up to us to create a safe space where we can voice our values or viewpoints. I like to think of myself as an airport – announcing when I will be available to respond to their emails or that I am working on a project and will be unavailable for two hours.
3. Listen to your gut. If you feel uncomfortable or it doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition. Instead of responding immediately and regretting it, you can always let them know that you would like to think about it and get back to them.
4. Value your time. If your coaching call is 60 minutes, start wrapping up ten minutes beforehand so it ends on time. Or if you are going to be late, let your client know as soon as possible or reschedule where possible.
5. Learn to say ‘no’, it is an answer after all. You can provide your client with a reason, such as ‘I’m unable to respond to you now but will get back to you within 48 hours’.
6. Protect your energy. You can’t serve from an empty cup. Prepare your sessions in advance, set up your room before you start or light a candle. Have a good night’s rest, meditate or pray and be ready to serve your client.
7. Respect yourself. By honouring yourself and showing people what you will or won’t tolerate, you are letting them know how far they can or can’t go with you!
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Founder and Director of FEMINACT (Females in Action), Nazlee Mayhew is also a Mindset and Inclusion Coach, Business Mentor, Speaker and an online Course Creator. She partners with mid-level HR leaders and talent specialists to help them create an inclusive workplace so that their employees may feel a sense of appreciation and belonging. Nazlee offers one-to-one coaching, group coaching and business consulting, and organises networking events for individuals and organisations.
This is part of my entrepreneurial journey as I partner with emerging HR Leaders to help them improve their communication and interpersonal skills. By becoming inclusive leaders, they are able to attract, recruit and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds. I want to reach even more women globally so that they can stand up and speak up for what they believe in without fear of judgement or backlash. Embedding diversity and inclusiveness models into their policies, processes, and practices will help pave the way for all employees to have equal opportunities.
My vision is to also empower more women to transform their self-limiting beliefs and money receiving blocks so that they can become financially independent and leave a legacy behind