Why Boundaries Can Make Or Break Your Business
Being clear about your boundaries puts everyone on equal footing and helps you protect your brand and your business.
Why boundaries can make or break your business…
My client had sent me five emails in a span of 48 hours, on a weekend, with increasingly agitated tones. She was dealing with what seemed to her to be a crisis but I knew it was more emotion and fear than actual trauma.
My kids wanted to leave on our planned outing to the movies and shopping but my phone kept dinging. It was early in my new business and I was anxious to keep everyone happy.
I stopped multiple times on Saturday to answer her long, panicked messages. The kids noticed.
The next day things got worse. More emails and more agitation except now it sounded like she was making this my issue. As if somehow I had created her problem (one of her systems wasn’t working properly).
I dropped the kids at their hockey practice and ran outside to call her. She was livid and frustrated and I couldn’t do anything to help her from where I was. She demanded I find time for her in my schedule on Monday. It wasn’t open.
Eventually I stopped responding that day, and let her simmer down. It all blew over but I couldn’t help feeling like I had somehow let her down.
And even if her problem had nothing to do with me, and even if she realized that later, the emotion of her experience would always be somehow linked to her work with me. When we finished working together, even though we made great progress, she always remembered feeling slighted.
I didn’t set boundaries and everyone ended up feeling crappy. I didn’t clearly state that while I could advise her on her systems, I wouldn’t be taking responsibility for them. I didn’t clearly state I don’t work on weekends.
If I had, her panicked messages might have come along with a “I’m so sorry to bother you”.
Being clear about your boundaries puts everyone on equal footing and helps you protect your brand and your business. That way, if you decide to step outside them once or twice, your clients are clear that it’s an exception and also gives you the means to say no, or yes if you choose.⠀
Tell me in the comments…
What are your boundaries? Where are they maybe a little less clear than they should be? ⠀
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