5 Boundaries That Every Boss Babe Needs
Here’s a secret that most bad-asses might not want you to know:
Many of us are actually really intuitive, sensitive, compassionate, empathetic, and…well…nice.
Which means that oftentimes we find ourselves:
- chasing payments from clients who view our services as beneficial but view paying for them as optional
- constantly trying to claw back our time (that hour long client call that goes on and on until you’re literally going to pee in your pants totally counts)
- drained because we carry the emotional load for literally all the people
The good news is*: there is a solution. That solution is to create some beautifully firm boundaries around your biz and time.
*The great news is: your sensitivity is your effing superpower. You just need to include yourSELF in that ocean of compassion.
Here are 5 Boundaries that Every Boss Babe NEEDS
Implement these so that your business can feel really expansive and supportive, NOT just to your clients but to your own sweet self:
Rock Those No’s
Do you say yes to every offer of guest-speaking-guest-blogging-volunteer-work that comes your way?
The truth is, darling, there is only so much of YOU to go around. Of course you have the same 24 hours a day as Beyoncé, but I feel fairly comfortable in speaking for the Queen when I say that she definitely does not say yes to every offer that crosses the royal doorstep.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything”. – Warren Buffet
Listen to your OWN internal no, babe. You know it’s there. Listen to your bod if your mind feels confused. There’s a difference between stretching out of your comfort zone and trying to cram more activities into a day than there are minutes (or saying yes to something that’s a no because you can tell that the person across from you REALLY wants a yes)
Which brings us to #2
2. Guard Your Time Fiercely
Find a way to make sure those 60 minute calls stay at 60 minutes! (PS it’s way more profesh anyway).
Stop trying to multitask. You’re not as good at it as you think. Trust. There are studies. Do one thing, do it well, move on. It’ll totally make you feel less scattered.
Super successful people know that it’s time (as opposed to money) that’s truly your most valuable and perishable resource. If you wanna be the bossest babe you can be, you have to start treating time like it’s gold.
Personally, getting a calendar link where my clients could book their own appointments gave me back a ton of time. Not to mention the thrill that I felt when I first set office hours…
“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you” – Carl Sandburg
“…because letting other people spend your time is breeding ground for resentment” – Me
3. Set (and enforce) Some Payment Policies
Truth be told, I’ve only ever had two people default on payment plans.
One messaged me the night before, “heads up. Tomorrow’s payment might bounce. Can I pay you Tuesday?” to which I said, “sure, thanks for letting me know”
I knew I’d have my own back because I’d already learned a hard lesson and been given the SERIOUS runaround from the OTHER person who defaulted on a payment plan.
When I experienced the person who did run me around (in ways that I never imagined human beings would dodge payment for experiences they’d already received), I HAD policies in place. I just didn’t enforce them.
My Terms & Conditions clearly state that if you don’t pay, you lose access to the products and services. They always have. But…I’m a nice person. So I let my boundaries be pushed and pushed and then pushed again.
Lesson learned. Those policies are there to fall back on when someone tries to put one toe and then another over your boundaries.
Saying to someone who fails to pay, “Sorry, it’s just policy” is a lot easier than making it about who’s a nice person or not.
“When you find yourself becoming angry, resentful, or exhausted, pay attention to where you haven’t set a healthy boundary” – Crystal Andrus
4. And While We’re on Pricing
Price boundaries make nice bosses nervous, no? There’s a ton of talk in the online business world about who’s making six (or seven) figures and who’s under-pricing herself.
I tend to agree with Bill Baren on this issue. It’s not about your worth. It’s about what feels supportive to YOU.
“My worth is priceless” – Bill Baren
Negotiating your fees based on what SOMEONE ELSE feels they’re worth, or under-pricing because you’re afraid someone will be sticker shocked is the kind of boundary-less thinking that’s leading you to feel under-appreciated for your services.
Prices are personal to you. If you want to feel like your business supports you, it helps to create prices that reflect an equal exchange of energy.
Bottom line = bottoming out your prices to make sure zero people say you’re too pricey is recipe for burnout. You are not FOR everybody. And if you’re not for YOU, you’re for nobody (think of the airplane oxygen mask analogy).
While we’re on the topic of who you’re for…
5. Who ARE You REALLY For?
I respectfully disagree with the idea that every business owner needs to decide upon her “niche” prior to hanging her proverbial shingle.
The pressure to niche can end up as a tool for procrastination if we’re not careful and that often a niche emerges through a process of elimination that can only come from taking action even when we don’t KNOW all of the things.
My niche has changed at least a dozen times since I started my business four years ago.
But what IS a super useful exercise is to look at the common traits that you’re available for (or not).
For example, I will only work with women who are fun and funny, who are inspired and inspiring, who are creative at literally WHATEVER – I have one client whose goal is to become “The Oprah of Knitting”. I know zero things about knitting, but that kind of impact is something I can fully get behind.
Remember that this is YOUR business and YOU get to choose who you work with. I fully understand the impulse to say yes to every person who inquires about your services. Especially in the beginning.
Life and business get so much juicier when you actually get proactive about who you’re for and who you’re not.
Create some boundaries around the types of people you’re NEVER working with again (late payers, those with victim-mentality, guru-seekers are some of mine) and then create the antithesis in your marketing.
Example: I work with women who are down to take responsibility for their own success, who are excited to pay my fees because they trust that I’m here to help them solve their problems, but who understand that in their life, THEY are the guru.
“Everyone is not your customer” – Seth Godin
6. Self Care is Queen
I once had an insightful coach tell me, “Erin, if anything was to get tossed out the window for you, it would be your self care”. She was totally right and I considered myself busted.
Just as you schedule in your client time, your family time, your exercise, Schedule. Self. Care.
Remember that you are the boss of your business and that caring for yourself is key if you want to change the world.
Put it in your calendar.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly” – Unknown
To me, boundaries are self care in action. To create and maintain healthy boundaries means that you believe enough in your own right and responsibility to care for yourself to decide who and what gets your precious time and energy.
After all, changing the world takes a lot of both time AND energy. Boss babes came here to do great things, so the decision to plug the leaks and generate light seems like a pretty logical step.