Running a business is some kind of a roller coaster that you are willingly apart of. You love the thrill, you love the rush, you love the highs, you tolerate the lows. It pulls from every aspect of who you are if you let it.
Drawing The Line
It’s hard to remember, “I am a person, I am not my business.” Sure, I love my business. I love what I do. I also have a life outside of my business. Drawing that line of personal life vs. my business life is tough! It’s often muddy and I know it’s a little hard at times when I get “the look” from my significant other, or friends...ya know, the look! The look that say’s “I thought this wasn’t work time, yet you are working?” Yet as an entrepreneur, everything inside you is screaming “but YOU don’t understand, I HAVE to answer this call, I HAVE to answer this email. If I miss this ONE message and let it go to voicemail, that is when everything will fall apart.” With this way of thinking we end up being buried by the very thing we love. The thing that has brought us so much joy, like a newborn baby! ...our business.
Boundaries, how do you know when they are being crossed?
You first need to set them ! Sit down in a comfy place and be honest with yourself. What would a happy business / life balance (flow) look like to you?
Write it down! From there, you can make steps on how you will achieve it!
How this looks in my life…
My major issue was having to put out “fires” that honestly, didn’t need to be taken care of right at that moment. When I would promise my family, and friends that I was 100% with them, then to ditch the gathering because I “had” to go handle another grown adults problem, was like telling the ones who mean the most to me that my clients meant more.
I implemented auto-response emails. Every time someone emails me, they receive a response letting them know where they can find further information. If their email requires a response, I then have upwards of 10 canned email responses for common questions that I can send within 2 seconds.
If they have a real problem that I need to handle, I let my friends and family know I need about an hour or so to handle this. If I just take the time I know I need, and I am honest about it, we all can enjoy our time better. If I know there is a real issue I need to handle and I am telling it to wait, it’ll give me very real anxiety!
Another thing I will often do is shut off my phone. If I know I need some time for self-care, I turn off my phone and put it in another room. Often I will sleep with it in another room. I can then wake up without seeing the email, text, calendar, and messenger icons screaming at me, feeling the first tinge of anxiety that prompts me to open them with unwarranted worry already occupying my mind, and spoiling a peaceful morning… Which then turns my day to shit... sure, it’s a choice to let it bother me. It’s also a choice to wake up how you choose and take away anything that could possibly be a negative.
And lastly, I educate my clients on what they can expect. I tell them upfront in their contract what responses will look like. I also bring them on a journey with me via social media. I show them, HEY I AM A PERSON. I have a child, I have a family, I have friends. They know how important they are to me. Often they become friends. Yet, they also respect me, and I know I can be open with them.
Making The Choice
Recently I had surgery. Right before going back for the operation I got a text from one of my brides. I struck up a conversation with her, answered her questions, and let her know I was choosing to answer in that moment even though I didn’t have to. It’s about making the choice when to put your technology down, and when it is OK. In that moment, I felt joy that I was able to connect with her even though I was heading back for surgery. I felt joy that this is my life!! I chose this crazy roller coaster and I get to choose how it’ll roll.
What needs to happen for you to set healthy boundaries in your life?
Written by: Deb Kalsbeek
About the author
Deb Kalsbeek - Professional chaos coordinator / photographer . Deb also runs the GRBB is a online and in person community for women in business, it's a community movement. We are here to break the mold and support one another without competition. BE is here to tell you that YOU are amazing, YOU are enough, YOU can be successful! BE is here to connect, educate, and support. There is enough room for all of us, even within the same industry. For more tips and support on your entrepreneur journey, please follow us @grbossbabes on Facebook and Instagram or check us out at be-thechange.net