Do you have clear boundaries set in your business? If not, this is something you should be prioritising as a CEO!
For me, boundaries are a must because I’m not only running Olivia Jenkins Consulting full-time, but I also am caring for three young children and running the household as well. If I didn’t have clear boundaries, there’s no question that I would be overloaded, overwhelmed, and overworked at all times — and that is no sustainable way to run a business!
If you can relate (and feel like there’s always something or someone else that needs your attention), it’s probably a sign that boundaries are what you need. Clear business boundaries will allow you to…
- Feel empowered and in charge of your business
- Do more of what you love (and less of what zaps your energy)
- Form better relationships with team members and customers
- Let go of the guilt that comes with making decisions and sticking to them
- Avoid entrepreneurial burnout by putting yourself first
But how exactly do you go about setting business boundaries if you’ve been lacking them until now?
First, think about what you want. You need to decide what your guidelines are! So, consider any hard-and-fast “rules” you want to make for yourself — things like your working hours, how and when customers/team members can contact you, etc. This isn’t about trying to juggle as much as humanly possible. Instead, look at it from a lens of what you genuinely want to do in your work.
Next, communicate your guidelines to your team members/clients. A good leader should be available to their team for questions and feedback, but this doesn’t mean you can’t set boundaries around it. Let your team know when you won’t be able to answer questions or communicate with them so that they can work around your schedule if they do need your guidance. As for clients — if you run a business where you’re working closely with clients, this may mean getting them to sign off on your new policies. In your contract, be sure to outline any expectations regarding consequences if your boundaries are violated.
Another important thing to consider when thinking about boundaries is clear communication. So many stressful situations in business are the result of misunderstandings or fundamental communication errors that could easily be cleared up by direct, open communication. When you start working with a new team member or a new client, agree that you’ll address any issues or concerns upfront.
Finally, the most important thing to keep in mind when honouring your boundaries is that the word no is a full sentence. You can say “no” to anything that is not in alignment with your values or priorities as a business owner. Losing out on potential revenue in the short-term is worth it if it means protecting your peace so that you can be a better leader in the long-term.
Remember, this is YOUR business and you make the rules! When you set and uphold boundaries with your team members and clients, you are doing everybody involved a major service!