HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
For the past week, I have been talking to my clients about how to start thinking and acting like empowered business women.
And at the heart of our discussions has been the topic of BOUNDARIES.
I’m not sure about you, but in my past, I didn’t have a CLUE about boundaries. Literally, no clue.
I used to say yes when I meant no. I used to over- deliver so that I wouldn’t (in my perception) offend anyone, or make sure everyone thought what I delivered was great. I would accept low pay. I would accept uncommitted clients. I would accept people dropping out at the last minute. I would over-share my work with people who would end up plagiarising it.
Not only did having a low awareness of boundaries make me ill, exhausted and feel undervalued, it also made me see my life in business as hard. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also didn’t make me rich!
Even though my income wasn’t bad, I wasn’t earning nearly enough in relation to how much I was working and the energy I was giving out.
In truth, having dodgy boundaries meant my business was leaking. Leaking money, leaking time, leaking energy.
Working on my own mindset, healing old wounds and seeking support from incredible mentors along the way, helped me to realise that if I want to run a sustainable and successful business where I am also enjoying myself in the process [note to self: life is meant to be enjoyable, right?] I have to focus on two things in my business:
- Make Money (if not, I won’t sustain myself and I will live from scarcity)
- Look after myself (if I don’t I will burn out and be no good to anyone)
I know now that that the more I look after myself the more money I will make and the MORE IMPACT I will have.
Yes. The more I look after myself.
Ironic isn’t it?
Setting healthy boundaries means I take responsibility for the my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my business. Setting healthy boundaries and looking after me and my business means I look after my loved ones – showing up happier, healthier, more abundant.
So what kind of boundaries are we talking about here, precisely?
Well let’s take a look at where many of us DON’T set healthy boundaries in our business.
Feel into each of these examples to see if they resonate with you:
-Under -charging for your services
-Having no or loose agreements in regards to how clients book, pay you or show up to your appointments [or not]
-Allowing clients to ring/text/ or message you whenever they like
-Having no cancellation policy in place
-Having no business insurance in place
-Sharing your work without clear boundaries around how it can be used
-Over -delivering in your sessions/workshops
-Having overly generous payment plans
-Spending hours convincing un-committed clients on the benefits of your work
-Spending hours listening to/coaching someone on their limiting beliefs around why they can’t commit to the work you are doing together before they have paid you a penny
-Clients pay you a set fee for your coaching/wellbeing package, they expect unlimited support and you give it
If any of these behaviours are things you engage with in your business, they need to STOP RIGHT NOW!
You simply CAN’T AFFORD it. Until you say NO to behaving like this in your business, you will not help yourself OR our clients to grow. And you will definitely not help your business grow – no matter how much you try.
The thing is this. Your clients may not understand what it means to run a business. To them, THEY have special circumstances, THEY need special treatment, THEY have the best excuses. They don’t mean ill, they just don’t have any idea and they don’t have to. It is up to you to tell them how your business works. Unless they know how your business works they will try to get the most out of you as they can, because everyone wants the best deal they can get.
Now, most people don’t like being told (even in the most loving of ways) that how they show up (or don’t show up) is not ok. Often these are people who have few boundaries or sloppy boundaries in their own lives.
They may feel “surprised” or even “shocked” when we share that the relationship is no longer working or that you have no more time to spend on the issue. Or that you need to charge them for a no-show appointment.
But let’s remember, that is their problem – not yours!
By setting boundaries we hold up a mirror in front of people – and they don’t always like what they see. That’s ok. As coaches and therapists and wellbeing facilitators, we are not there to be people’s friends. We are there to be their BEST friends – telling them the truth, even when it is hard.
All we have to do is ride out the possible discomfort that may follow when we are new to boundary setting.
Our relationship with each of our clients is a 200% relationship. That means you and your client needs to each lean in 100% into it. The moment we feel as though we are working harder than our clients on their journey, or we are showing more commitment to their growth than they are – we need to voice it, no sugar coating.
Talking about the relationship may lead to a more committed one, but sometimes it will lead to it coming to an end.
There is only so far we can go in fighting for the inner light we see in our clients – if they are not prepared to show up for themselves, there is nothing we can do, and we must trust that they are exactly where they need to be on their journeys.
Hence, a client can go from being an Ideal Client to a non-ideal client in an instant.
As we know, our ideal clients are ALWAYS COMMITTED. Always. They can fit the bill in every way, but the moment they start showing up un-committed fashion is the moment we need to say farewell.
Setting boundaries isn’t always easy, but it is ALWAYS for the best.
So today, on International Women’s Day, let’s make a commitment to stand in our power, and make the success of our businesses and the wellbeing of ourselves a PRIORITY.
Allow yourself a moment today to reflect on:
-Where in my business do I need to set better boundaries?
– Which unhealthy behaviours do I engage in and which do I allow?
– In what ways do I feel under-valued?
– In what ways will my business be more sustainable and abundant if I say yes to me ?
– What immediate changes can I make to look after me in my business?
With My Love,