Setting clear boundaries within your business can be tough. The pressures and pace of modern life mean that we’re often juggling multiple tasks and being pulled in different directions (this is especially true for women in business).
At times it can feel as though everyone wants a piece of you and it can prove tricky to say no, even when you know you’re being stretched too thin. Setting clear boundaries in your business is essential if you want to see it, and you, grow and thrive.
What are boundaries?
When I talk about boundaries, I’m referring to the rules and limits we set for ourselves within our business. Boundaries are different for everyone, what’s acceptable to me might not be acceptable to you and vice versa. You can’t be available to everyone all of the time and that’s why boundary setting in your business is so important. We need to set boundaries with our clients, as well as with our partners, families, maybe friends, to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations.
People often think of boundaries as being fixed and rigid, but I see them simply as filtering what is/isn’t acceptable to you. Boundaries are a positive thing to have in place and the impact of setting clear boundaries in your business can be a total game changer in a brilliant way.
Be honest with yourself
In order to begin setting boundaries in your business you have to start by understanding your own wants and needs first. Be honest with yourself. What do you really want and need in order to achieve success? What things are non-negotiable to you? It could be time alone to work undisturbed, protected family time at evenings and weekends, time to relax and recharge and prioritise your own self-care. You have to set boundaries in your business to ensure you get those things and (truth bomb alert) that’s going to mean saying no sometimes.
As with many things in life, starting small is the key to success. Once you’ve set some boundaries for yourself first e.g. I don’t answer work emails after 6pm, weekends are a work free zone, then it’s time to start taking action. This could be by using physical tools to help you succeed (switching on your out of office, turning off social media notifications, booking a regular monthly spa appointment) or starting to have conversations with people in your life that are likely to be impacted by your newly set boundaries e.g. clients/family members.
Communication is key
Once you define the boundaries you want to have in place, you may find that you need to have some difficult conversations with the people in your life who are used to you always being available, so be ready for some possible pushback.
Having these types of conversations can feel scary but they are important conversations to have. Be firm but kind and remember that it’s okay to say no, it doesn’t make you a bad person. If you keep overstretching yourself by constantly saying yes, it’s likely to lead to overwhelm and burnout and that’s not good for you or your business. If you need some help communicating your needs to others, particularly when it comes to saying no, have a read of my previous blog post on the subject, ‘Why can’t we just say no?’. No one can be available to everyone all of the time and that’s okay.
Consequences of not setting boundaries
Simply put, if you don’t have boundaries you end up following the rules of others for life. You’ll soon find that you’re led solely by the needs of others, so ask yourself, is that what you really want?
Not setting boundaries in your business can mean that people end up taking advantage and you can’t really blame them as, without clear boundaries in place, they don’t know where your limits lie!
Pushing yourself to the max will ultimately see overwhelm and burnout kick in and that will have a negative impact on your business in the long term. It’s time to accept that you’re not superhuman (none of us are by the way) and start putting some boundaries in place.
It will get easier
Boundaries are tough to set and even tougher to keep. Setting and keeping boundaries comes with time and practice, but I promise you it does get easier! Once people in your life start to realise that your new boundaries are here to stay, they’ll start to accept them and new habits will be formed.
If you need some support setting boundaries in your business, I’m here to help you get started! You can book in for a free, no-obligation discovery call to find out more about the way I work and how I can help you. You can also sign up to my free 21-Day Mindset Reset Challenge, which will help you to build the right mindset for taking action in your business so that you can become the most fearless version of yourself!