I see entrepreneurs all the time who got into business because they wanted time and money freedom to spend evenings with their families, or weekends away with friends. And since starting their businesses, the complete opposite has happened. If they’re not working 24/7, they’re in a mental prison where it’s all they can think about.
“This is just how it is,” is the sentiment I hear too often from business owners. There’s a growing normalization of the physical and mental health crisis business owners are facing, and the white-knuckling and bending over backward they think is necessary is taking them straight to burnout hell.
Join me this week as I show you why you need boundaries in business, and how to start implementing them so you can protect both your personal life and your business. You’ll discover how not setting boundaries is getting in the way of your business growth, and the signs that you need to start making changes because the truth is, business-owning does not have to be a terrible constant uphill battle.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Why your business should not consume you.
- The boundaries that I’m committed to in my business.
- Why protecting your personal time is more important than you think.
- How a lack of boundaries affects your staff and overall business.
- The signals that you need to start setting boundaries in your business.
- How to start protecting your personal life and business by setting boundaries.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, my friends. Welcome to today’s episode. I’m going to discuss with you guys boundaries in business. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who own businesses to the detriment of their physical and mental health. They got into business because they wanted time freedom, money freedom, weekends, evenings with their families. Since starting in the business, the opposite has happened. So they’ve realized that they work all the time. Or if they’re not working all the time, they are thinking about work all the time. They’re in like this mental prison.
I talk to these business owners, and they all kind of say the same thing or something that’s very similar. Something like this is just how it is. This is how business owning is. Like go hug a small business owner because they’re not okay. I saw this thing going around on the internet the other day that was like, “Go hug a small business owner because they are not okay. We are not okay.” It was just normalizing this like mental health crisis in the business world. It was super frustrating. So I was like no, get a business coach. Get some boundaries. Do what you need to do. Like it does not have to be this way. Right?
Or they will say something like well, if it was easy, everyone would do it. I agree to that to a point, I agree that it is not easy. If it were easy, a lot more people would do it. But that is just going forward and normalizing even more that business owning has to be this terrible uphill battle. That not many people are capable of doing it. I just don’t agree with that.
What I think gets me the most is that a lot of times when business owners are in this headspace, when they’re close to burnout, a lot of times the way that they talk about it—And I know this because it used to be me as well. Okay, so I’m talking about myself as well. But the way that they talk about it is like as if it’s happening to them. They say it like as if it’s out of their control. Like this is just the way businesses right.
I think business owners should have a vast amount of time for their hobbies, for hiking, biking, playing, frolicking with their friends, with themselves, with their family, whatever it is that they like to do because business is a very creative process. Without time to be still, there is no possibility of creating great ideas or serving to the best of our abilities.
So let’s dive into that today. I’m gonna give you guys some pointers, some things to think about, and then hopefully send you guys on your way from this episode just a little bit more protective of your personal life. This is episode number 52. I am your host Becca Pike, and it is time for your weekly dose of Hell Yes Coaching. Let’s go.
Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Hey guys, what’s up? I am so happy to be back in front of the mic. I have been terribly sick for the last week. It was the Rona. I got it. I got the Rona finally. It was one of those illnesses to where like it wasn’t even pleasant in the sense that I could just lay around and watch a bunch of Netflix. Have you ever been so sick you can’t even watch TV? Like I couldn’t even open my eyes much less like follow along a plot on television.
I laid on my bed with the worst headache. Like a headache that was like radiating through my eyeballs. I had fever and chills. I would just like sweat through my sheets and then I would like freeze to death. My poor husband, I feel like he is such a champion whenever I get sick or when I get injured or when I’m out of town.
I had just gotten back from seeing my mastermind the 2 Million Dollar Group with Stacey Boehman. I had just gotten back. That’s who gave it to me, by the way. I know it’s them. I know it’s you girls. I blame you guys. I’m the only one that got sick out of the whole crew, but somehow I’m gonna blame my mastermind sisters.
But I just got back from the mastermind. So he had already been single parenting for several days. Then he had to straight up single parent for like literally another, I was sick for probably like five days. Then I just took off of work and off of all duties for five days after that while I just healed myself and let myself kind of get my body back to normal. But y’all, it was crazy. I don’t ever want to feel that sick again. I feel so bad for anyone that has to go through any type of sickness.
I think I’m also just so accustomed to feeling great. Like, I try to be really healthy. So I think a lot about like the food that’s entering my body, the amount of exercise I get, the amount of sunlight that I get, the amount of socialization that I get, making sure my digestive system is working properly. So anytime that I don’t feel amazing, it’s like the contrast has come through it. It’s just like so much worse in my mind than what normal people probably feel like when they’re sick. Like spoiled with feeling fantastic all the time.
But anyway, I’m not sick anymore. I’m on the other side of it. I rested for so long after the sickness. I’m feeling all healed up. I’m feeling happy to be here. I’m just thankful for the way that I’ve grown my business in a way that has allowed me to be able to be sick and to be able to be away. I just feel thankful that I can take days off and weeks off, really, and nothing really misses a beat at all in my businesses.
It wasn’t always this way. I remember when building Massage Strong, I didn’t think I could even afford to take an extended lunch break, much less a day or a week. I thought that like every second I wasn’t there, I was losing money or clients were slipping out of my fingers or I don’t know. Man, I’ve come so far.
But it’s the perfect leeway into what I want to talk to you all about today. I feel really called right now to talk about boundaries in business. I want to start off with saying that first and foremost, your business should absolutely not own you. It should not consume you. If there’s any part of you that feels like you’re missing out on your life, it is time to make a change. You have to make a change.
Not only do you deserve all the pleasantries and the relaxing joys of life and like all of the memories and all of the like exciting things that can happen in your personal life. You deserve all of that. But also, if you’re white knuckling your business all the time and you find yourself like micromanaging your clients, your staff, your audience, your likes, your comments on social media, then you may not realize it, but you’re really getting in the way of that business’s growth.
A business, just like a person, needs room to breathe and room to stretch its arms and take up space. The staff members need to be able to flex their creative geniuses, okay. The clients need space to flourish and learn and come to their own conclusions. As the leader, most of all, is only capable of growing a beautiful company if he or she is growing it in a way that is sustainable and not straight driving down the highway of burnout hill.
So I’m gonna give you guys some pointers today on a few things that I keep strong boundaries with. It has made a world of difference to me. It has changed my life. It has allowed me to step back into my personal life while still growing my business, while still making more money than I’ve ever made. I’m gonna tell you guys a little bit about how I do it, and we’ll go from there.
But the first thing I want to say is like there is such a misconception with business owners believing that if they take their foot off the pedal, like if they start leaning into their personal life, they start leaning into their hobbies, they start like really having boundaries around their work that they’re going to like lose their mojo. They’re going to lose clients. And it’s actually the opposite. Anyone who has done this before knows exactly what I’m talking about.
But whenever you stop micromanaging your business, when you start enjoying your life and start having fun, you begin radiating a more powerful energy. You become more powerful as the business owner. So that when it is time to turn on your business brain and you are at work, you are a more powerful leader because of it, and you make more money because of it.
So it is absolutely the opposite of what happens. Whereas a lot of people believe that if they take their foot off the gas, that their business is gonna go down. It’s just absolutely not true. I’ll talk more about that in a little bit.
So let’s first talk about boundaries with your time and your space as the business owner. A lot of people claim that they have boundaries with their time and space, but when they’re asked, they can’t articulate what those boundaries are. Right?
So like, if I asked you right now, what are your time boundaries with work? Like do you have a time that you start, and you stop? Do you have days that you’re a completely unavailable to your work? Do you have moments that you’re unreachable? Or is it just day by day, case by case with no set boundaries?
Listen, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can do it case by case day by day and not have any boundaries like set in stone. But you have to do like a self-inventory as to whether or not you like that approach. Is it working for you? Does it make you feel good? Or does it make you feel like you’re at the mercy of anything that could happen or go wrong, right? Does this approach leave you constantly on edge?
So for me, I work Mondays and Tuesdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00. I also work Thursdays for like a half day, like 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. When I say this, I’m not just saying that after these hours, I shut down my computer, but I’m still like constantly brainstorming or thinking about work or answering calls. Like no, I actually shut my brain down from work. I move on to my normal life when it’s not those hours. My life with my kids and my dinner and laundry and drinking wine with my husband on the patio.
If a great idea strikes me for work while I’m not at work, I write it down in my notes section on my phone and I move on. I don’t act on it. I don’t stop what I’m doing and call someone in my staff to tell them about it. I don’t sit down and write an email to my audience. I protect my personal time with ironclad gates.
You will notice if you follow me on Instagram that I don’t spend all of my time talking about work. You’ll see pictures that I’m sharing with my friends and families of our dinners and our life and our cats and dog and our neighborhood walks, right.
I truly believe that these hours are the reasons that my companies have done so well. Because I am not just a mental slave to the business. I am not in the arena fighting all the time. I take the space that I need to be able to see my business from 3,000 feet up. I can see it from a bigger picture because I have so much space.
I have felt burnout. I know what it’s like, and I just don’t ever want to go back to that. I never want to smear the clarity of the fact that my personal life is the most important piece, far above and beyond any business that I’m building.
One doesn’t have to come in spite of the other. You can have a fulfilled and hobby rich life where you turn your brain away from work a lot, and still make millions of dollars in your business. You must let go of this idea that we have to continue to white knuckle and check in on and hover around our businesses, right. Like, if you’re afraid to let go of it, you are in lack. You’re not practicing abundance, and your personal life will definitely suffer.
So if you decide to go this route, decide the hours that you want to be mentally available for work. It may look way different than mine. That’s cool, but choose to shut it down when it’s time, and spend your whole life practicing the separation so that you can feel human again.
All right, so that was a little bit about boundaries with your own time and space. Let’s talk about boundaries with your clients. So you guys know it. When you build a business, it’s successful because of the beautiful clients who have spent the last few years supporting you, loving you, you taking care of them, you answering their calls and questions and deeply appreciating every single one of them.
So when it comes to talking about boundaries with clients, sometimes it can feel very triggering because it’s like you feel responsible for these people who have given you their money. They have supported you. They have loved you for so long, and you feel worried about stepping back and creating a line in the sand, creating a boundary for your own mental health. Okay. I see this happen a lot.
But there comes a time when there’s too many of them for you to juggle. Okay, so it always felt fine when I was scheduling appointments and answering questions about my work at 9:00 p.m. when there was like 10 clients. But as Massage Strong grew and Hell Yes Coaching grew, those 10 clients turned into hundreds and thousands of clients.
Some of you guys will still have your personal phone number tied to your business. You take that phone home with you, and it pings while you’re doing the dishes. It pings when you are getting ready for bed. It pings when you’re playing with your kids, and you’re just telling them to hold on because you’re answering another question of a client. This illustrates a massive lack of boundaries. Again, one that I knew very well and have completely healed from.
So you have a couple of options with this okay. Like if you are taking your phone home or if you are in charge of your phone in any capacity for the business, and you have several clients that are calling. They want to know like, what time do you open? When can I get an appointment? My friend wants to come in. Is there a sale running? Blah, blah, blah, blah. Right?
You have a couple of options. You can hire someone to field all of your calls, and I mean all of them, not just the ones coming in during the daytime. I know people who will hire a receptionist to handle their phones from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00, but then the business owner will take the phone home with them after 5:00, and just continue to answer all the calls after five. Did you know that it’s okay for no one to answer your clients questions at like 7:00 p.m.? Did you know that?
So you can hire someone and literally like, I tell my clients to like forfeit their phone to the office. Like that is no longer your phone number. That is no longer your personal number. It lives at the shop. It is now the phone number to the business. You can completely forfeit your phone number and get a whole new phone for yourself. That phone number only goes to your friends and your family. This, to me, is like the cleanest break. This is the cleanest way of doing it. It can just happen immediately. You don’t have to spend weeks telling people about a new phone number.
Or you can do it what I just said is slightly messier, slightly slower route. I just say slow and messy because it takes a little while for all of your clients and all your staff members to understand that the phone number has changed, but this slower route is that you create a new phone number for your business. Then you direct all of the business’s calls to that number and you keep your personal phone number. So this just requires like literally a year of being able to direct people to the new number whenever they call your phone.
Either way, here’s some things that I would like you to practice when it’s after 5:00 p.m. and your phone is blowing up with clients who have questions. You can try an automated response. Something that just goes out immediately that says, “This is the personal phone number of Becca Pike. The new business phone number is 555-5555, you can call or text that number and our receptionist will return your call during business hours. Thank you.” And that’s it.
Other forms of boundaries with clients include boundaries on your space. So like if you know that you don’t want to work on Tuesdays after 3:00 p.m., but a client says the only time that she can come in is Tuesday at 3:30. There’s no way around it. Try saying things like, “I’m sorry. I do not work after 3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, but I can recommend a different service provider.”
I know that this sounds so basic guys, but so many of you need to hear that this is okay. You need to hear that this is something that is acceptable. You have built these habits on taking your phone with you everywhere you go, accommodating your clients in whatever way that you can. No matter how much your clientele has grown, you are still being the person that is standing there accommodating every single person, and there’s just not enough of you.
So when I’m going over this and you’re like man, I feel like a lot of people are gonna be like, this seems really basic. A lot of people are gonna say man, this seems really profound. Like I can’t even imagine just having an automated response that tells my clients that I can’t come to the phone right now. But like this is the difference between you being capable of detaching from your work so that you can enjoy your life versus not being able to do that. Okay.
A lot of you guys have staff members. Boundaries with your staff members look a lot like boundaries with your clients. But something that I noticed people believing that isn’t true at all about staff members is this idea that you have to be available to them at all times, no matter what because it’s your business.
I do believe that being a great leader means being an example for your staff members, okay. Paving the way on how you want things done. But being available to them 24/7 is only sending a message of a work culture that isn’t allowed to rest. Your acceptance of burnout and lack of boundaries will play a part in theirs as well. It’s important for you to show boundaries to them.
When a staff member asked to talk to me after hours, I always preface it with a text that says, “Hey, is this an emergency? Or can it wait till tomorrow during work hours?” This question alone has fielded countless conversations that weren’t needed while I was with my family. Like 99% of the time it is answered with I can wait until tomorrow.
Also, I highly suggest having a manager once you get past like four or five employees. You’re going to want someone whose sole job is to field issues and questions for you, someone who acts like a gatekeeper to you.
Because kind of like the clients, it’s not as noticeable when you’re just like one or two people permeating your boundaries. But it is hella noticeable when you have five or six or seven that are all asking for days off and schedule changes and requests for new equipment and problems that they’re having with their clients, and it’s coming in all of the time. Having a manager is absolutely priceless.
So guys, regardless of if it is your staff, your clients, your phone, your social media, your space, your time, setting boundaries creates a professionalism in your office and amongst your team. Your team will be thankful that you are leading them in the flexing of boundaries. But the tough thing about boundaries is no one can set them for you. No one.
So if you decide to let your boundaries slip, there will always be someone there to slide in and take advantage of the welcoming of their needs during your time. People do what you allow, always. So you can never be upset at someone who just successfully set up a meeting with you at 7:00 p.m. while you’re at your kids soccer practice because you have allowed it.
Boundaries are a practice, and it takes time to get really good at them. It takes a strong mind and abundant mind to be able to say no. Like a client might go somewhere else for their business because you’re not capable of answering their question right that moment, but that is an abundant mind. Also knowing that they probably won’t go because you just flexed professionalism to them, and that is admirable.
There is nothing yuckier than as a consumer watching someone disrupt their own life, bend over backwards, and accommodate you and whatever you need despite where they are, if they’re with their kids, what it looks like for them. It looks desperate. It looks unorganized. You do not want this. Not only from an image standpoint—I mean from a self-care standpoint—but from an image standpoint, you don’t want this either. Okay.
If you want more of this, inside of the Three More portal in the bonus video section, we have a video just on work life balance, and I go even deeper into boundaries and what balancing your work and your life look like. That’s inside the Three More portals.
So if you are a member, you can go into the bonus section and find that. If you’re not a member, you can go to www.threemoreclients.com, and you can stay tuned after this episode to hear all the details about Three More, and I would love to see you guys inside of Three More. So that is it for me today. I will see you guys here next week. Have a great rest of your week. Bye.
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Hey, thanks for taking the time to listen to today’s episode. If you’re looking to get more clarity and momentum for your business, visit hellyescoachingonline.com. See you next week here on The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast.
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