Are you good at boundaries? I’ve noticed that lots of women entrepreneurs are more interested in being nice and being liked than they are in loving, honoring and respecting themselves with healthy and strong boundaries. They would rather just give of themselves versus put a boundary up because they don’ t want to hurt the other person but then end up resenting the person and the situation later.
To be honest, developing strong biz boundaries has been a BIG part of my growing edge over the years as I’ve expanded my income and my reach. I wanted to pass along some tips to support you in strengthening your own boundaries. I have learned the most about biz boundaries through my coaches and mentors modeling boundaries to me and through being tested dozens of times!
Tip # 1: Set your boundaries up. Think about every place in your business and in your life in which you must have boundaries. Examples: boundaries for when you check and respond to email, boundaries for session times ending on time, boundaries for how you handle late payments, boundaries for deadlines, boundaries for your work beginning and ending time, boundaries for client contracts ending on time and not exceeding the contract, boundaries for how available you are for your clients, boundaries for phone or texting access to you, boundaries for social media and personal boundaries for when you will turn WORK completely off for the day.
Tip # 2: Listen to your body. If you notice that a boundary is being violated you will FEEL it in your body. Example: “I feel it first in my heart, I notice my heart feels heavy. Then I feel angry and resentful that I am being violated. Next, I feel sad because I know that if I violate the boundary and give the person what they are asking for, I am letting myself down and ultimately not serving the client. Now, I feel happy that I communicated my feelings, held my boundary and stood my ground in a loving way.”
Tip # 3: Get your journal on! Journal with yourself about why you feel the need to loosen your boundary. There is tremendous wisdom in this exercise. Example: the last time, my boundary was violated I tuned in and realized that my little Amanda (my WC1 wounded child) was very sad and angry with me for violating my boundaries. She said to me through journaling, “you’re never present with me! You always give yourself away to everyone and I am left last and uncared about. She was so angry and hurt.” Tune into your WC (wounded child/little you) and see what you discover.
Tip #4: Pre-frame what is to be expected and what the terms and conditions are for your contract at the beginning of every new client relationship. Doing so will provide you with the masculine structures and support you need to contain and to protect your coaching relationship.
You always want to review your coaching contracts with your clients and go through word for word what your expectations are about everything! Examples set the boundaries from the start on how you will handle; email communication, payment scheduling, scheduling sessions, the length of your contract, what happens if they miss or reschedule a session, vacations/ days you will take off, and any other expectations you have for them.
Tip # 5. Know that transformation is messy and people’s shadows always come up! Everyone is excited at the beginning of a new coaching relationship and it’s easy to sweep the masculine structured pieces like boundaries and expectations under the rug because you are excited and want to get started. The truth is coaching clients through their transformations is not always pretty and blissful! Transformation is messy and people’s shadows surface, by pre-framing your boundaries and your terms and conditions from the start you are creating a very strong and powerful foundation in which to build on.
The key is to hold the boundary the entire length of the relationship, don’t let anything slip! If you’re a mom or you’ve raised a puppy or played with horses; you know that you must be a strong leader and hold the stance of leader as you go. If I give my 4 year old an inch, he’ll always take a mile! Your clients, your kids and even your pets are not here to be your friends and equals.
Tip # 6 Your clients receive tremendous value and teaching points by being in relationship with you. The way you honor, respect and love yourself with your time and energy management and how you handle yourself as a business woman will powerfully influence your clients in a way words can not explain. By you modeling and holding strong biz boundaries for your clients, they will sense how much you respect yourself and thus they will respect you. In turn, your modeling will influence the way they hold boundaries for themselves making it a win-win for all parties involved.
Tip # 7: Love yourself enough to respect your boundaries! Just do it! Be strong. Be firm. Be you.
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