Sometimes the term “boundary” receives a negative connotation due to a meaning a limit and restriction. Boundaries are necessary in business in order to be more effective and productive with their time, money, and resources. Business owners often think that potential and current customers will be read held by a company or organization that has boundaries; however, this is not true.
“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.”
― Carl Sandburg
Here are three ways that you can get started by establishing boundaries in your business:
Set office hours. An open door policy is great but it can also take up a lot of time when conversations are more social rather than about business. Connecting with people is important however consider having a time limit on the social aspect and focus on the business at hand. For anyone working from home, boundaries are important because many people who see you working at home think that you are either not working or have the flexibility to change her schedule at a moment’s notice. Even though you may have the flexibility, you don’t want to fall into the habit of changing up your schedule. You need to stay committed to the time that you block off for yourself and the people you serve. This time blocking technique can also be used to the time set aside for spending time with family and friends and exercise.
Boundaries to consider:
- Are there any days you block off as days of rest?
- When do you check and respond to emails?
- Do you check voicemail messages and answer them on the weekend?
Business is business. Friendship is friendship. You have grown your business to where it is now. You put in long hours may have spent a lot of money and time on training and suddenly people want to start picking your brain and they’re asking for extras. I learned a long time ago that this devalues a person’s worth. Even though you want to help a friend, you do need to set boundaries. You’re in business to make money and not to give away your content and knowledge for free. Chances are the other person will not be sharing or providing their service or product for free. There has to be a win-win otherwise people will take advantage of you. There are ways to create a win-win through volunteering or trading services. It is up to you what you want to share and help with. Remember your worth and value in the marketplace. Teach people how to treat you and when you’re in business you are there to serve but also to make money otherwise is just a hobby.
“The most important distinction anyone can ever make in their life is between who they are as an individual and their connection with others.”
― Anné Linden, Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected
Boundaries to consider:
- Is sharing your knowledge creating a win-win situation?
- Are you in business to make money or is it a hobby?
- Have you set clear expectations between friendship and business?
Learn to say no. You need to set clear expectations about what you are willing and able to do in your business versus what you can do. Just because you have a skill set that doesn’t mean you should be doing it all. Delegation is a key strength to increasing productivity and boosting performance in business. Not only are you saying no to things that you need to stop doing, you are also saying no to activities and tasks that do not utilize your strengths. Focusing on your strengths improve your business.
“if you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.”
― Cheryl Richardson, The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time
Boundaries to consider:
- Is there anything in your business you need to stop doing or delegate?
- Are there any clients that are not the right fit for your business that you need to let go of?
- What activities and have are you willing and able to do to best serve your customers or clients?
Setting boundaries not only teaches people how to treat you. Boundaries help you establish guidelines for yourself for what you are willing to do and what you’re not willing to do. Therefore you’re not compromising your core values. The clearer you are on who you are and what your company represents, the more respect you earn.
Although this seems a bit stringent, you will find that more people will actually be attracted to your business and find it more appealing because you offer structure, you have rules in which everyone will be treated the same, you abide by core values, and you are professional and respectful in your approach.
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com