Setting boundaries is necessary to enjoy your life. But is it even possible for business owners to do this? Find out here.
Have you worked extra long nights for your business? Have you spent time working on a weekend? And have you ever caught yourself bringing work home even on a holiday?
If these scenarios all sound familiar to you… You are not alone.
Setting boundaries has been a long-time problem for many entrepreneurs. This is something I soon realized just after I started to create the Well-Oiled Operations™ method.
Back then, I made it a point to dig deep into what business owners were really struggling with. So, I spent days talking 1:1 with clients. And I came prepared with what I thought business owners would need.
The biggest takeaway I had was this: Most of them had problems with how to set better boundaries.
I learned that a lot of them felt stuck. They were stuck with bad clients that didn’t respect their time. And they were also stuck with employees that interrupted them all day.
If you feel the same way, there is no need for you to feel stuck for long. Because in this article, I will teach you how to set clear boundaries and communicate better with clients and employees.
Setting Boundaries Can be Transformative
Let me be honest. You get what you tolerate. So, if you want to set better boundaries and improve communication, then you must do something about it. As the business owner, you set the tone about how you want to do business. And you must tell all concerned individuals how you want to lead your business.
The good news is that it’s never too late to make the necessary changes. You can change your team and your client’s behavior by changing yours.
Now, you might be thinking, “Oh, you don’t know my long-time employee named John. He doesn’t really like change.” Or “Natasha really does have too high expectations.”
Don’t worry. Even if the team members and clients involved have been in your business for over a decade, there is a way for you to set better boundaries to transform your life.
The thing is, the right people will understand these changes. And the right people can recognize the value in your work and won’t be against any new communication requests.
But don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it will be easy. You might even need to explain more about it to some people. In fact, you might end up having to let go of others, too. And that’s not entirely bad.
At some point, we outgrow current relationships. You better believe I have fired clients over the last 20 years!
Don’t feel bad if this happens, because let’s face it: You’ve either hired the wrong person or you’ve allowed the wrong client to work with you. If you don’t recognize that, you will make this mistake over and over again.
On the bright side, once you say goodbye to the wrong employees and wrong clients… You’re allowing yourself to start anew when it comes to setting boundaries.
How to Set Boundaries and Communicate Better
Tip #1 – Set up a preferred method and frequency of communication
If you want more time, you have to start with this tip.
When you set up a preferred method of communication and the frequency of how often you will check it, it will transform your life.
The more you check emails, the more emails you’ll get. And the more you check your phone and reply, the more texts you'll get.
If you don’t want to drown in emails, texts, and chats, you must learn how to massively condense the communication you are receiving.
Here’s an example of an email exchange of someone who checks their mailbox frequently:
Person A – “Hey I’d love to set up a time to meet, let me know when you’re free”
Person B – “Ok cool let’s do it, I’m free Monday and Tuesday”
Person A – “Shoot, Monday and Tuesday are the only days that don’t work for me”
Person B – “What about Wednesday?”
Person A – “I could do Wednesday afternoon!”
Person B – “No, unfortunately not, what does next week look like?”
If you have this kind of conversation, it will just go on and on. It will eat at your time. And it will eat at your focus.
So, you must not allow yourself to play a part in bad communication. The simple act of slowing down how often you check your inbox will make people become more efficient.
Tip #2 – Be firm and clear when saying ‘Yes’, ‘Not right now’, or ‘No’
Just because someone wants to meet up does not mean you are obligated to say yes. This applies to both clients and employees.
If a schedule doesn’t work for you, for example, learn how to explain your side. And if you can meet them up on a different date, then give them options.
Here’s an example of how you can do just that:
Person A – “Hey I’d love to set up a time to meet. Let me know when you’re free.”
If your response is yes:
“Great! Here’s my calendar link. My schedule is pretty tight, so what you see is really my only open availability. If those times don’t work, just wait a little bit because each week more availability opens up.”
If your response is not right now:
“I wish I could. I have a few massive projects on my plate right now and my schedule is jam-packed. Reach back out in _______ and let’s see if we can schedule something.”
But if you have to say no:
“Thanks for thinking of me! I wish I had the time, but right now my focus is on ___________. I’ve dedicated all of my extra time to completing this. Wish you well!”
Tip #3 – Be disciplined with your schedule
One of the easiest ways to enforce discipline in your schedule is by having a calendar link.
This will help you set the boundary of when you’re free without trying to squeeze someone in on a day. It’ll also allow people to look into your schedule and find a time that works best for both of you.
But keep in mind that some appointments are more important than others.
For instance, when I interview some pretty big names on the podcast like financial expert Suze Orman, they may only give me 2 different time slots. In that case, I have to make adjustments to comply.
But those situations are rare. In fact, make sure that they are rare.
A lot of people rearrange their schedule for things they don’t even want to attend or find valuable. That is the kind of behavior we have to stop.
Start Setting Boundaries
If you want long-term sustainability in your business, you need to start setting healthy boundaries for work. Doing so will allow you to enjoy doing business for a longer time.
Also, make sure that you communicate your boundaries to every member of your team. Announce this to your clients, too. That way, you can all enjoy a healthy working relationship built on mutual respect.
Want help in implementing these strategies in your business? Schedule a free strategy session with one of our scale specialists. Book a call here: www.stacytuschl.com/call.