Most people I speak with who are starting out in business tend to allow themselves to be pulled from pillar to post by their clients or the people they’re making time for in the hope they will become their clients.
It can be exhausting!
Let me explain. When you start out building your business, you are most likely keen to work with clients, that’s why you’re in business – right?
So, when you do have clients often they dictate when and how they will interact with you. I get it. This used to be me some time ago!!
Because my diary was not filled with coaching and mentoring sessions with my clients I allowed my new clients to tell me when they were available and when I could coach them. It wasn’t until I became very busy I realised the system I had, (or lack of it) clearly did not work. I was working too many hours spread all over my week instead of a structure that allowed me to work ON my business when I chose.
I’ve noticed a theme in the conversations I’ve had with people over the past 6+ years who are doing the same thing. You can be firm and fair, but having the conversations up front around times and availability (your boundaries) when people sign up to work with you, will save you time and heartache later. Your clients will respect you for this.
Before I had really clear boundaries, I would answer emails late at night and weekends, I answered Facebook Personal messages and text messages when I received then. I posted often in groups I run on Facebook late at night and weekends when my clients wanted answers to a problem they had.
It was not sustainable.
It was a lesson I learnt the hard way.
I burnt out!!
Taking back some time for me allowed my clients to respect me and my time. This doesn’t mean I am not there for them, I absolutely am. I love my clients and love supporting them through tough times and their growth. If anything, I have even more energy to work with them. Working to a structure of time out, exercise, healthy food and more sleep, gave me back my life!
Remember the emergency details we are given by cabin crew before takeoff when we fly – the part about taking the oxygen mask ourselves before we help others? That’s what I’m talking about here. Help yourself first and then you will be able to help others.
Some things to consider:
- Have a structure that works for you
- Value your time
- Make decisions from a place of being busier than you actually are
- Start out how you intend to continue
- Clients WILL fit in with you and work on your terms if they see the value you are giving them
- Set very clear rules for your business. (I call these boundaries)
- It’s okay to say NO to someone who is telling you when to work and not work
- Diarise time for you every week, and make it happen – date night, pamper time, exercise, an early night, a day off, time out from social media, etc. (I call these things ROCKS in my diary. They are so BIG they cannot be moved)
- Have a very clear structure around how people pay you and do not budge from your rules (respect your time and that you should be paid for it)
- Pick yourself up when you do not follow your own rules
- Respect your time and yourself and others will also respect you
Look after yourself first.
Leave a message below about something that you have set in place and is working for you.
(image courtesy Shutterstock.com)