As Q2 ramps up, I know many of us may be feeling the effects of launch stress, and burnout, or we’re just plain ready for a vacay (sippin’ on cocktails in Hawaii sounds like the dream right now ☀️).
I remember being in grind mode last year. When the pandemic hit, my business was just shy of 5 months old. I was scaling like crazy (and grateful for it as I know many businesses suffered at that time), but I also watched myself give up every ounce of “freedom” in my business so I could grow. Don’t get me wrong- the clients I took on and the business I created were stellar. But at only 8 months postpartum, I felt the weight of my business… and it was heavy.
I was working nights, and weekends, squeezing in emails at dinner with my family, “no days off,” just pure hustle. And although that season of hustle was imperative for my business, I realized it wasn’t sustainable. Not just for the purpose of scaling, but for my own sanity.
As I entered into 2021 with fresh goals and a new pivot with the C&L brand, I decided to set boundaries in my business. Not to limit me, but to give myself room to grow, stay refreshed and excited, and fall in love with my business. I realized loving your business and being successful in it doesn’t mean you have to give it your 110%… nor does it deserve that.
I promised myself to take these boundaries seriously and find a healthy balance of work, personal life, and enjoyment for what I’m doing.
Here are a few of those boundaries I discovered. Some I’ve got down pat, and a few I’m still working on:
SAYING NO TO OPPORTUNITIES:
Not every opportunity is right for you and sure as hell, not every client is right for you. Learning when to say no when it’s not a good fit, or not in my zone of genius, or simply when I’m at my bandwidth has been key. I’ve learned when I say no to the wrong opportunities, the right ones seem to fall in my lap effortlessly.
SET OFFICE HOURS:
This one is tough, especially for those of you with kids or who are managing multiple jobs. But setting my “office” hours really limits the accessibility my clients have to me and they respect my time now more than ever. No more “can you do this” emails at 10pm or random texts on the weekends. Setting the expectation of when you’re available is beneficial for you and your clients who need access. Once you’ve set these boundaries, make them known! Add them to your onboarding client communication, your email signature, on your Facebook page, or in other areas where your current and potential clients know when they can expect you to be working.
SET DAYS OFF:
Maybe you’re not a Monday-Friday kind of entrepreneur, and that’s OK. But setting 1-2 days off for rest, or family, or self-care is IMPERATIVE. You probably started this business for freedom and working hard 7 days a week doesn’t leave much room to replenish the tank. One way I love to set this boundary when I’m actually off (Saturday-Sunday) is by setting an out-of-office responder on my email. This sets the expectation in my inbox that I won’t be communicating on those days and informs new clients/potential businesses when they can expect to hear from me!
* Our good friends at BRANDSPEAK Studio have a FREE OOO responder. We’re obsessed with it! You can grab it here.
PLAN PURPOSEFUL SEASONS OF SLOWNESS:
For me, this is a work in progress, but I’m learning how to manage my schedule and give myself lighter workloads after busier weeks/seasons. For example, the week during & after my first online launch I intentionally limited my calls/workload, so I’d have the time available to rest if I needed it. It might be a week of no calls, a biz work week, or a vacation. Whatever it is, be intentional with how you’re scheduling your workload in those busier seasons, so you can plan for optimal rest and self-care during the slow ones.
I know “self-care” is overused, but it’s crucial. Whether your self-care looks like 3 days at the gym every week, a monthly massage, or a day of Netflix and chillin’, SCHEDULE that time and make it a non-negotiable. Your CEO energy can’t sustain without breaks and without time to yourself.
What ways are you setting boundaries in your business to continue to feel refreshed and energized to show up for you and your clients? 💛 If you’re a virtual assistant looking for the right words when setting your boundaries with clients, grab my FREE boundary settings scripts here.