Many business owners know the importance of boundaries in business. They know they need them. They know they don’t have them.
Why? Because oftentimes people haven’t taken the time to truly identify what their boundaries are. They simply know what they do and don’t like.
Without boundaries, you’ll experience burnout. You will actually begin to hate the business you started. Gone are the days of having the freedom and flexibility of owning your own business that you desire because you’ve become a slave to what everyone else wants from you.
Identifying Boundaries in Business
Setting boundaries is one of the first things I work on with my clients. We do this by first identifying their values. From there we begin to identify boundaries.
Before our strategic mapping session, I have my clients do some homework to identify their values, mission, and vision. During our first call, we dive deep into this area because it’s sets the tone for how they operate their business. I ask questions like…
- What are your guiding principles?
- What are your core beliefs?
- What do you dislike?
Asking these questions can require some in-depth discussion and lots of questions from me. The answers, however, help us get to the heart of what my client stands in their life and their business. It also helps us determine which boundaries need to be set.
How To Set Boundaries In Business
Once we identify my client’s values, we begin to explore how the actions in their life reflect those values. If they aren’t currently living out their values, we talk about what it would look like if they were. They picture their life with their values firmly in place, and I take notes.
Next we discuss what they are currently doing that doesn’t align with their values. We also identify other actions that shouldn’t happen based on what living out their values looks like. These statements become their boundaries. We begin to write down what those look like in both their personal and professional life.
Taking the time to actually write down your values and boundaries gives them credibility and you are more likely to honor them. You begin to live your life how you actually want to.
For example, let’s say you determine a boundary that you don’t work from 5 pm on Friday until 8 am on Monday. However, a client frequently contacts you at 5 pm on Friday needing something urgent. With a boundary put into place, it makes it easier to tell that client that you won’t be available until 8 am on Monday, and you’ll be happy to address the issue then.
What To Do If Boundaries Aren’t Honored
Once you determine your boundaries, clearly communicate those to whoever they may affect. It is best to communicate this at the beginning of a business relationship. However, if someone has already benefited from you not honoring your values and boundaries, this may be hard to do. It may take awhile for them to adjust to your new boundary.
If a client chooses to violate your boundary, a gentle reminder is usually sufficient. If it continues to happen, you may want to consider sending an email before the boundary violation occurs to remind your client. In a sense, you are helping them to establish new habits around your boundaries.
When a client chooses to continually violate your boundaries even after sufficient reminders, have a call or send an email that is a little more stern about your expectations. You may even have to consider terminating the relationship.
Establish Your Boundaries Today
I encourage my clients to really dig into determining what their values are. It’s easy to say you have values, but taking the time to actually identify those values will help you live the life you desire. We all need to live intentionally. That starts by identifying how we want to be living today and in the future. If you haven’t set aside time to do the hard work of determining your values and boundaries, get started today!
If you are wanting help with identifying your values, mission, and vision, get in touch with me about my Strategic Mapping Session by filling out the contact form on my website.