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Signs You Should Establish Clear Boundaries in Your Business

Stephani was an awesome web designer specializing in helping work-at-home moms with their online businesses.


She started offering her services because she genuinely loved helping her clients. However, as time went on, Stephani found herself constantly dealing with unexpected issues for her customers, which led her to lose focus on her own business goals.


When Stephani shared her concerns with me, I asked her to describe a typical day in her business. Stephani happily shared how she starts her mornings which involved checking her email and promptly attending to her clients' requests. She admitted that she would frequently check her email throughout the day and drop everything to accommodate others. Understanding the situation, having been here myself before, I gently pointed out that the root of the problem lay in Stephani's lack of boundaries. I explained to Stephani that she needed to establish specific times for checking her email and addressing client requests, so that she could focus on her own business goals and what truly mattered to her. I like to call it time blocking, but basically it's all about setting specific times to tackle different tasks throughout the day. This helps you feel more confident and successful in whatever you've got going on and adjust as needed.

Unfortunately, Stephani isn't the only one facing this challenge. A lot of business owners find it difficult to set healthy boundaries in their business. Here are a few signs you should establish clear boundaries in your business that might indicate you're dealing with the same problem...


Sign #1: You Resent Your Clients

You might not even realize it, but sometimes there are certain clients that you feel a bit of resentment towards. It's that feeling you get when you see their name in your inbox and you can't help but cringe. It's understandable that sometimes they give you assignments that make you feel frustrated. 

When you find yourself in this situation, it's a sign that your boundaries may be getting crossed. It's completely normal to hesitate about saying anything because you don't want to come across as too picky. Or perhaps this client brings in a significant portion of your income and you feel like you can't stand up for yourself. 

But it's important to remember that your feelings and needs matter too. It's okay to set boundaries and communicate your concerns in a friendly way. You deserve to feel respected and valued in your client relationships.


Sign #2: You're Always Walking on Eggshells 

Do you ever feel like you're constantly tiptoeing around your client or clients? It's like you have to carefully choose your words and hold back your true thoughts about a project, all because you're afraid they might react negatively. 

Sometimes, as service providers, we fall into the trap of thinking that we need to please our clients at all costs. But the truth is, we're skilled freelancers, not babysitters. 

It's important to remember that being honest and providing constructive feedback is part of our job. We shouldn't have to constantly worry about setting off our clients. Let's find a way to communicate openly and confidently, so we can deliver the best results.


Sign #3: You're Not Sleeping Well or Eating Right 

When we're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it's common for us to neglect the choices that actually make us feel our best. Maybe you find yourself waking up too early or staying up late, just to try and get ahead on that never-ending project. Or perhaps you're skipping proper meals and resorting to snacking on chips while glued to your computer screen, all in the name of squeezing in a few extra minutes of work. 

While it's understandable that these trade-offs happen from time to time when we're under pressure, if they start becoming a daily occurrence, it's a clear sign that our work-life harmony is seriously off. It's important to take a step back and reevaluate our boundaries to ensure we're prioritizing our well-being.


Sign #4: You Can't Remember the Last Time You Said No 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make your clients and customers happy. However, if you find yourself always saying "yes" to everyone else, it can become challenging to prioritize your own needs. 

In a healthy client relationship where clear boundaries are established, you have the freedom to decline projects that don't interest you or fall outside your expertise. Instead of spending countless hours trying to learn video software when your specialty lies in content marketing as a virtual assistant, you can simply turn down the project. You might approach it like this: "That project sounds interesting, but it doesn't align with the skills you hired me for. Would you like me to help you find a good video editor and provide a recommendation?" 

Remember, it's important to prioritize your own well-being and expertise while still offering alternatives and solutions to meet your clients' needs.


Sign #5: You're Feeling Overwhelmed All the Time Hey there! 

This sign is closely related to having difficulty saying no. If you're constantly feeling overwhelmed and have way too much on your plate to handle, it might be a good time to start considering making some changes. 

I know it's not an easy fix right this minute, but there's something you can do. How about going back to the client who's been piling on the work and simply saying, "Hey, I want to do a great job for you, but this workload is too much to handle in the time frame you've given. Can we talk about what's most important to prioritize?" 

By taking this friendly approach, you'll be able to open up a conversation and find a solution together.


Sign #6: You're Always Online 

It's great to have a strong work ethic and dedication to your clients, but let's talk about setting some healthy boundaries. You know, those moments when you're supposed to be spending quality time with your kids or enjoying a drink with friends or your spouse? It's important to disconnect from work and be present in those moments. 

Sure, it's okay to check your phone or answer a work email occasionally, but if it's becoming a constant habit, it might be time to reassess. Remember, it's totally fine to have "off" hours, where clients know not to contact you during that time. They'll understand if they don't get an immediate response and can wait until your next business day. 

Let's prioritize your personal life and create a healthy work-life harmony. Your well-being and happiness matter just as much as your client's satisfaction. So, take a breather and enjoy some guilt-free time away from work.


Sign #7: You've Lost Touch with What You Really Want 

Let me share a little story with you. There was this amazing woman named Maria who was feeling incredibly overwhelmed with her virtual assistant business. She decided to hire me to help her out. During one of our sessions, I asked her what she really wanted from her business. And you know what? Maria was completely stumped. She didn't know how to answer the question. 

You see, when you're constantly bombarded with other people's opinions and expectations, it's easy to lose sight of your own desires. You end up reacting to everyone else's needs and forget to proactively pursue what truly matters to you. And before you know it, you're left with a business that doesn't align with your dreams, wants, or values. 

But don't worry, my friend! It's never too late to reconnect with yourself and rediscover what you truly want. It simply means it’s time to take a step back, reassess, and start creating a business that reflects your passions and aspirations. You deserve to build a business that brings you joy and fulfillment. Get started with my FREE Personal Vision Statement workbook.


Sign #8: You're Unsure of Your Own Priorities 

Do you have a clear understanding of what goals are crucial to driving your business forward? When was the last time you took a moment to assess your progress towards these goals? Has it been within the last three or six months? Or are your goals something you keep putting off for later? 


As Greg McKeown once wisely said, "If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will." The same principle applies to your business. If you don't establish clear priorities and determine what truly matters, others will do it for you.


Sign #9: You Can't Remember Why You Started Your Business 

Remember those days when you used to jump out of bed in the mornings excited about your business? You were thrilled to start new projects and couldn't wait to dedicate time to your passion. But lately, it seems like those feelings have faded away. Can you even remember the last time you sat down to work and genuinely enjoyed it?

 If you've lost sight of the joy that inspired you to start your business, it's time to take a step back and rekindle that spark. You deserve to feel excited and fulfilled in your work again.


Sign #10: You've Started Avoiding Your Business 

Have you noticed that you've been pulling away from your business. Maybe you've been feeling overwhelmed or burned out, but it's important to address this before it gets worse.You've been avoiding your social media messages and not emailing your list. It seems like you're only reaching out to your clients when absolutely necessary. I totally get it, we all have those moments. But it's crucial to take action now to prevent any further damage to the business you've worked so hard to build. 

You're on the verge of burning out, my friend, and that's not what we want for you. It's time to restore some boundaries and find better harmony in your business. Take some time for yourself, reassess your priorities, and remember why you started this business in the first place. With a little bit of effort and a friendly nudge, you'll be able to get back on track and thrive. 



Build the Business of Your Dreams 

You have the power to reignite your passion for your business, bring harmony back into your life, and rediscover the joy in what you do. It all begins with taking bold steps and establishing healthy boundaries with your clients. By doing so, you'll find greater happiness and be able to focus on the work you truly love once more. Grab this free checklist and see where your boundaries stand!


Remember, you're not alone in this. Reach out for support from friends, family, or even a mentor who can offer guidance. We can work together anytime to get you back on track and create a healthier, more harmonized business. Connect with me here for your Ignited Dreams Discovery Call!


Laters,

A.

**Links lead to more reads, gifts, & sessions to help you on your journey.

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