Show Notes: Episode 28
When you’re in business you need to setup boundaries. This includes a dedicated room and what that room is used for and not used for, how you handle your client work and more.
The 8th Level Podcast is about being self-employed, entrepreneurship, and managing our online business. It’s also about connecting to our souls, having the right mindset, and self-care. My name is Lourdes, and I am the host of this show. Thank you for listening to this episode today!
Today, I am going to talk about setting boundaries. The first thing that comes to mind with setting boundaries is our work hours. Now, it is so hard to stop ourselves from working from home, and the reason is because we are probably passionate about what we do and we enjoy doing our business strategy and content marketing, digital marketing, creating images for that. As a solopreneur that is.
And man, when I’m doing those things, I honestly don’t even know how much time has passed by! I mean, I can work for hours and days, and maybe not get any sleep! Maybe just get up to use the bathroom or eat, because I love what I am doing online. And how about you? Do you take time off your day to maybe break it up and doing some self-care for yourself? Do you move away from your desk or away from your computer? Hm, let’s think about that for a moment.
So back in 2014, I started my business, and I was so passionate about getting started. I was really excited for the first 2 years, I worked day and night, night and day, weekends, all hours. As soon as I get up, I have my coffee, and I’d open up my laptop and start doing some work. And I would just get up to eat, like I said, and use the bathroom, and that was it. Other than that, my face and my butt was glued on the seats, my face on the screen, my fingers stuck almost to the keyboards, I could not stop!
But I noticed that because I have a family, everything was out of control in my house. I felt like I was ignoring my husband and my child. Oh my gosh, and the laundry piled up like crazy! Dishes everywhere, I didn’t clean, I didn’t dust, it was just really pathetic.
And then, after 2 years of doing that straight, I started feeling a bit run-down and tired, and kind of burning out. So I had to stop myself, and do some reflection. And what I realized was I didn’t have any boundaries. Even though my website did say I’m only open for business from 9-3, or sometimes 9-4, well, I didn’t follow my own rules. I kept on working. And you know what else? It wasn’t really healthy. It was not a healthy habit to have as a business owner. So I’ve decided to really hunker down, and follow some boundary rules that I created for myself.
The first one is my working hours. So, as I said, my working hours were from 9-3 or 9-4. I did not start working with clients except from 9-4, and no weekend hours. That means nobody I talk to, I don’t respond to e-mails past my working hours and on the weekends, and also on the holidays. They can wait. Like for some of us that still go to the stores, we have to wait till they open right? So on Sundays, most retail stores are open at 11 o’clock my time, Central Time, and they close at certain hours and then we have to wait for them to open again. And it’s kinda the same for our business.
And because we work from home, I’ve also dedicated a space for my office. I was never the type to work on my kitchen table, and I feel blessed and I am grateful that I have a spare room to work and use as a dedicated office space. So when I go in that room, again at about 9 o’clock, I stay in that room except for my lunch break, I leave the room. On my breaks, I leave the room, and close the door. Now, when I am in my office, I close the door, and I am really focused on working with clients and working in my business, responding to e-mails. Again, during the business hours, and only in my office space at home. I think it’s really important to have this space for yourself for your office, because you know what? When we are under a lot of stress, let’s say from client work, one of the best things to do is just get out. Get out of that room, leave that door closed, and leave it behind and take a mental break.
Go for a quick walk, go in your living room, go in the kitchen, watch a little TV, listen to some music. Anything! Just get out of that room while you just calm down and de-stress for a bit. OK, I’m gonna ask you, when you are in a virtual meeting, where do you have that meeting? Do you have it on the back porch, the front porch, in the kitchen, in the living room? No, you should have it in your office space.
Again, your office space that’s dedicated for client work or the business that you’re doing should be used for that only. So, when you are in a Zoom meeting, please give that person your undivided attention. Look into the camera and listen to what the meeting is about. Listen to your client with your undivided attention. Do not pay bills while you’re in a meeting.
Do not watch YouTube on another screen while you are in this meeting. That is just rude and inconsiderate. Let me put it this way, if your child came up to you and said “Hey Dad, I wanna talk to you about something important.” And you’re looking at your iPhone or your computer and your child is trying to get your attention and you say “I’m listening,” whilst you’re looking at your phone? Well, from somebody watching from let’s say across the room and watching this, I don’t think the dad’s paying attention to that child. The dad’s paying more attention to the phone, and making the phone more important than his own child. I believe people in the meeting when you are not paying attention and looking into the camera, I believe you also send that message that you are not paying attention in the meeting. So again, please give the meeting your undivided attention.
And lastly, boundaries with clients. First we must follow our rules, and that is to stick to our business hours. So for example, when we get an e-mail, we respond to it in a timely matter. And if we get an e-mail after hours or on a Friday late in the afternoon, we will respond to it the next business day, that could be on Monday. And then also, don’t respond during the holidays either. If you don’t have business hours on holidays, do not respond to those e-mails. But what if you got an e-mail that was kinda rude and they were upset, what would you do?
Would you write them back? For me, best practice is to calm down at first, and then pick up the phone and have a phone conversation, rather than me writing them back when they are already upset. Well the other person can interpret it the wrong way and maybe cause more misunderstandings. So, with clients, with boundaries, I think the best way to handle that is through a phone call. You know what I like about being a business owner? We get to choose who we wanna work with. So if there’s a customer or a client that’s disrespectful and rude, well, you don’t have to continue to work with them. Have in your mind your ideal client that you want to work with, and then cherish that business relationship.
Okay, so that’s about it. So in conclusion, have a dedicated room or office or space for your business, leave that room when you are not working. When you’re in a meeting, pay attention to the meeting, don’t pay your bills or play a game on another screen. And also, business hours, stick to your business hours. And having the freedom of working with the client that you want to work with.
Well, I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, please send me an e-mail at email@example.com. And if you need any clarity or help with your business, I do business mentoring as well as success coaching, and go ahead and contact me at my website! Again, have a great day, and thanks for listening!
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About the Host
As a spiritual Business Mentor and Success Coach, Lourdes is passionate about helping spiritual men and women how digital marketing can scale their business by bringing their practices into the online, world. She’s also a Reiki II Practitioner and Certified Coach. You’ll get the right mindset, clarity and strategies for business, personal or spiritual guidance without compromising your soul’s mission or your life’s purpose.
If you need clarity, or defining your life’s purpose, visit her business website: click here for her website at: BlueLarimarCoach.com
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