Boundaries have been a biggie for me the past couple of months.
I’ve had to stand my ground on a few things. Have some really tough discussions. Hold people accountable to their agreements.
Keeping it real… it’s been tough. And empowering at the same time.
The toughest part for me is knowing that enforcing these boundaries and agreements has made other people unhappy, mad and upset with me.
And I hate that part. My ‘people pleasing’ tendencies run deep and I really struggle when I know my actions/decisions cause other people to feel this way.
I don’t like upsetting people. I want people to like me. I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons why I’m ‘wired’ this way, and without diving too deep into what those reasons are – as a default I am a people pleaser.
Boundaries are a necessity in business.
When we break it down, a boundary is about two things:
- setting an agreement
- enforcing an agreement
Setting an agreement is one thing – and in many ways it’s the easier thing!
Enforcing an agreement is where it gets tough. <– And this is where many of us (myself included!) can let things slide…
We might ignore the little things that are showing up. Maybe a team member is constantly late with their work, but we know they are having a rough time at home so we don’t talk to them about it. Or you have an agreement with your client that you don’t work past 5pm, but they constantly ask you for things late in the day and you do it “just this one time” (again and again…)
We might avoid the bigger things as well. You were promised something in an agreement that you didn’t receive, but you don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ so you don’t bring it up.
Whenever we don’t enforce the agreements that we’ve made – we are out of integrity. With ourselves. With others. And with our business.
Whenever we make our decisions from ‘well I don’t want to upset this person’ or ‘it’s not that big of a deal’, that is breaking the agreement that we’ve made.
And we are left feeling powerless. Resentful. Deflated. To the point where our business relationships may (will?) fall apart. And often not in a nice way.
Put simply – don’t make agreements that you aren’t willing to enforce.
Enforcing agreements can be hard AND it is some of the most empowering work you can do in your business. To stand your ground. To have the tough conversations. To not let things slide. To say ‘no’ or to say ‘hey, we need to talk about this.’
I’ve made decisions lately that were best for the business and that I knew would be upsetting to others. Some days I made those decisions with tears streaming down my cheeks, it was that emotional for me. But I did it none the less.
I was saying to a friend the other day, “I feel like I’m a grown up business owner now”. (Putting on my big girl panties as they say 😉
We become empowered when we do the tough stuff. And boundaries are tough stuff.
As we look back to 2020 – and ‘ease’ into 2021 – what can we expect as service providers? What are the opportunities for us out there today and how can we make the most of them?
To say 2020 was a doozy of a year is to put it mildly, and yet it was a year that opened up all kinds of doors for online service providers… put simply, the world came online last year and you are needed more now than ever. So whether you are a virtual assistant, online business manager, copywriter, funnel builder, web designer or otherwise… if you provide ‘done for you’ services of any kind now is your time.
There is a simple truth that we don’t talk about enough as we grow.
And that is – the bigger your business grows, the heavier it is… the more responsibility you carry.
You are responsible for taking care of clients and team. Making sure everyone is happy.
You are responsible for the work – making sure everything gets done correctly and on time.
You are responsible for making enough money to pay for it all. Paying for team. Marketing. Systems. And hopefully paying yourself!
Let’s be real – it is a heavy burden to carry at times. Especially when you feel like you have to carry it all on your own.
I’m very much a ‘do it myself’ kind of gal. My default mode is to jump in, figure it out and make it happen.
This was a huge part of my success in the early years! When it was just me and my clients.
But when I hit the 6-figure mark it stopped working. It became too much.
Too much work to do.
Too many decisions to make.
Too much to keep track of.
What used to be my strength – rolling up my sleeves and taking care of things on my own – became my weakness.
And this is where my growth stalled. Where my income became stuck.
Because there simply wasn’t enough of me to go around anymore.
When I learned how to shift this – how to shift from doer to CEO – then everything opened up and things began to flow again.
My income doubled practically overnight. My team was rocking and getting stuff done without my having to constantly ask.
I got back to working sane hours – and no weekends! – doing the stuff I loved.
And I felt free – the weight I had been carrying around on my shoulders was gone.
I no longer felt like I had to do it all on my own.
THIS is the work we do together in my CEO Activator – the shift from doer to CEO.
When we start our business it’s all about the hustle…
We hustle to get clients. Serve clients. Keep clients. It’s the hustle that brings in the money.
BUT there comes a point where the hustle starts to work against you. Where working harder and harder actually stifles the flow of your income.
The hustle stops working when your schedule is full. When you are so busy working with clients and juggling it all that you don’t have anything more to give…
… and yet, our old habits kick in and we try to push through. To dig deep. To hustle harder.
Only to find yourself overworked, exhausted and disillusioned with it all.
When you have nothing left to give – no more time or energy – the hustle will suck the life out of you. And your business.
If the hustle doesn’t work at a certain point then what does?
It’s the shift from doer to CEO.
From being the hub of the business that everything flows through…
From being the main (only?) person serving clients – where you feel like you can’t take a day off because there is no one else to do the work…
From working too many hours with no light at the end of the tunnel…
From making some money but not enough…
The shift from doer to CEO changes everything. And it’s a surprisingly simple shift to make.
I’ve got a new round of the CEO Activator coming up to help you make this shift… if you are in the “hustle isn’t working anymore” category and are ready for change reply to this email and I’ll share more details with you.
There is another way…
“You should get paid the most for what comes easiest to you”
I was flabbergasted when I first heard this on a coaching call… because it wasn’t at all true for me in my business at the time.
I was getting paid to “get things done” and I was darn good at it. I was making a good living there as well. I had great clients and my business was full.
But I knew when I heard this that I was not getting paid for what came easiest to me!
At first I could barely wrap my mind around that concept.
“You mean I could get paid MORE for the things that are easier? Is that even an option?”
(I was raised to believe that hard work = success. Which meant that I had to work harder and harder as my business grew <— perhaps you can relate?)
So I sat with it a bit and I asked myself a few key questions:
* What comes easiest to me?* What would I do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it?* What am I doing for clients right now that they value and that I’m not getting “officially” paid for?
The answer became clear – strategy.
I am an amazing strategist. I can look at any situation with a client, help them see their options and guide them to a decision that is best for them and their vision.
I would do this for free all day long. And truthfully I was doing it for free already with my clients at the time, because I naturally brought it to the table in our work. My mind would always go straight to strategy – I couldn’t turn it off if I tried. 😉
It was one of the main reasons my clients hired me even though it wasn’t the main “thing” I was selling at the time.
Once I was able to own this I was able to start charging for it. And it changed the entire course of my business.
What comes easiest to you?
And is it something that you currently charge for?
Hit reply and let me know – let’s open up the possibilities.
P.S. As you are ready to connect… here are a couple of ways I can help:
1. Join The Intersection Facebook Group
The Intersection is that sacred space where business and spirit meet. Where our purpose – our calling – comes together with our livelihood. This group is open to any business owner who is interested in exploring this space together.
— Click Here
2. The CEO Activator
I’m starting a small group for mission-driven coaches and service providers stuck at low 6-figures who want to break through to $40K+ months, without having to create complicated funnels, expensive Facebook Ads or fancy launches. Do you want to join us?
I was feeling something new bubbling in me this week and I wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Then it clicked for me Wednesday morning… it’s resilience.
I’m feeling like we are coming out of the hype and initial chaos of these first few weeks of change. Even though things are still challenging and there is still so much unknown around us… there is a strange sort of settling that is happening.
Not a ‘new normal’ per se – we are miles away from creating that yet!
But a beautiful limbo of sorts… a sacred place where we can be OK in the midst of the unknown.
Not knowing how long this will go on.
Not knowing how it will affect us down the road.
Not knowing when we can get back to the simple things we took for granted (I would love a haircut right now!)
We are swimming in the unknown for an extended period of time. A time without a due date attached.
What does this call out in us?
According to the dictionary resilience is:
1) the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness
2) the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity
For me resilience right now feels like this beautiful space between:
Many things suck
And that’s OK. I’m OK. We are OK.
This space where we acknowledge that it’s hard – maybe harder than we expected it to be – and that we can handle it.
This space where handling it doesn’t have to mean pushing, pulling or running. Where we can just show up, be present and be messy… and that’s enough.
And where we can even be happy. I’ve honestly laughed more in the past 4 weeks than I have for probably the whole year before then. Full on tears streaming down my cheeks belly laughter (my kids think I’m a nut 😉
Amazing how our trials reveal how strong we really are. Inside and out.
I’m curious. What does resilience look like for you? And how are you cultivating your resilience in the midst of it all?
PS – If you are interested in some deeper conversations that combine both a spiritual and a business perspective come join us in my Intersection Facebook group. We may not have answers yet but I do know that together we get to create this new world.