Wednesday June 4, 2014
An interesting topic has been spurring among self-help coaches lately. I have had many of these conversations with my clients and colleagues, especially the female ones.
If you find that you are constantly all over the place and have a schedule that would make someones head spin, it is time to talk about B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S.
Creating them, setting them and most importantly… sticking to them!
Without healthy boundaries relationships can suffer, especially the ones with your clients and customers.
Let’s talk about why getting stricter with your boundaries is important. Do you know that you need to be tighter with your time but yet still say, ‘Yes’, to almost any and all requests?
Trying to please everyone in your business and life is blocking all the success you are working hard to achieve. You may think you are helping your business by 'being there' for everyone and helping others, but the truth is, saying 'yes' too often actually slows your ability to take the action necessary to really help your business soar.
If you know that you need to say, 'No' more often, the next important question you need to ask yourself is:
"What am I going to do about it?"
I remember when I started doing this. It was hard at first because I felt guilty about saying no… especially to family or friends. But then I realized that if I am happier because I am not over-booked, over-worked and under-slept then I am a much better friend, daughter, sister, auntie, coach, marketer, business owner, colleague, etc.
So, it’s time for you to step up, put yourself first, let go of the guilt about what other people think and make your life what you want it and what makes you happy.
Oh… that was good!
Here are four sample scenarios that you want to stop saying yes to…
- ‘free’ coffee meetings with people who want to pick your brain. You should only be meeting with people knowing their clear intention and/or yours. If you are trying to build up your network and influence then continue going. If you feel as though you have hit the threshold (and your intuition will know this point when you hit it) and you don’t need to do these 1-on-1s as much, then say no when you really want to.
- family and friends who ask you to do something but you really don’t have time. Now, I can hear the backlash already… “But Jennifer, I need to be nice to people, especially my family and friends. I just can’t disown everyone.” Yes, I agree with you, you can’t just disown everyone and never do anything nice for anyone again. What I am merely suggesting is that you say no when you want to say no and when you do say yes, do it on your terms, not theirs. So, if they need a favour, just make sure that you have done whatever is most important to you first and then help another. *Note, this obviously does not pertain to emergencies and special circumstances. Please use your common sense… but don’t let yourself be walked over because of guilt!
- constant schedule changes for clients. I love my clients (and they know this) and am so very much appreciative of them allowing me to help them move along their journey of success. However, if I didn’t create strict boundaries around my availability it would be a nightmare. I find fitness coaches in particular have trouble with this one because of having so many clients on different schedules. Create a client schedule that works for you first. Every now and again you might make an exception, but generally speaking people can always work within your time boundaries. You just need to be brave enough to say, "These are client hour time blocks, which time works best for you?" It’s easy, simple and will keep your schedule manageable.
- this one is big: Stop spending all day on email replying immediately as if the world will end if you don’t get back to someone within 10 minutes! I mean this. You should only be checking your email two to three times/day and you should NEVER email first thing in the morning! Ever. The only time I do emails in the morning is if I pre-planned it because perhaps I won’t be available to do emails in the normal time slot (which is AFTER I have completed my most important task for the day). For more tips on managing your inbox, see this post, 4 Steps To Master Your Inbox To Have Less Stress & More Time
These four areas are the ones that tend to cause the most havoc for coaches, and entrepreneurs in general. Part of creating a winning environment is setting your schedule up for success so that you can actually get the tasks done that are most important to growing your business.
That means learning how to create, set and maintain healthy boundaries with those around you so that you can come from a state of happiness and serve everyone (including yourself) better. Ahhhh... isn’t that nice?
So, now it’s time for you to take action:
Step 1 - List all of the new boundaries you need to put in place.
Step 2 - Breathe deeply and take the action to put them in place (create your blocks of time, email clients/friends/family, etc. about changes pertinent to them).
Step 3 - Write in the comments below what boundaries you are putting into place - telling others is a great way to stay committed.
Step 4 - Grab my Jump Into Abundance video series. Moving from saying "yes" to "no" more often is a mindset shift into abundance. It takes courage and consistency. These principles will help you do just that. :)
To creating a life you really do love,