“If not this, something better.”
Do you ever find yourself saying “yes” to every project that comes your way, even if it’s not the best fit? To working outside your business hours? Comparing yourself to others in your industry? Or feeling tempted to lower your prices when asked?
Even though I have boundaries in place to help (which we’ll get to in just a minute!), as a mother and business owner, keeping these boundaries is a constant work in progress. I’m still learning. I don’t always hold every boundary perfectly in place. And you know what? That’s completely okay!
You don’t have to have it all figured out to start better protecting your time, energy, and mindset. Below are three steps I’ve taken to help maintain healthy boundaries in my business.
If anything here resonates with you, feel free to implement it too! Or, simply use these steps as a sounding board for creating boundaries that will work for you. Because you can have a business that lights you up, leaves you feeling confident, and helps support your family. And you are absolutely worth all of all these things, and so much more!
Three steps to setting boundaries as a mother and business owner
1. Approach decisions from an abundance mindset
When I first started my business, I put pressure on myself to say “yes” to every project that came my way, even if I knew it wasn’t the right working relationship for me.
You can probably guess what came next!
Feelings of burnout. Taking on way too many responsibilities at once. And wondering, “Is this what I signed up for?”
I was nervous my ideal client wouldn’t show up, and I wanted to help provide for my family no matter what. So saying “yes” to everything seemed like the only choice. What I’ve learned since is that you do have other choices!
Money is being created every single day, and there will always be enough. Enough clients. Enough revenue. Enough dream opportunities.
There will always be someone out there who wants to work with you and who trusts in the value of what you deliver. Someone who doesn’t think twice about investing in the price your work is worth. This is all true. And shifting your mindset to believe it can move mountains.
One thing that has helped me is a quote from Cassie Dulworth’s Mindset Mastery Bootcamp:
“If not this, then something better.”
If not this project, a better one will come along.
If not this opportunity, a better one will take its place.
Keeping these words close gives me permission to say “no” to the clients and projects that don’t light me up. So I can make room for the ones that will. You deserve a calendar full of things you can’t wait to work on, and you are so capable of building your business this way.
One way to hold boundaries around the projects you say “yes” to is by approaching everything that comes across your desk with an abundance mindset.
2. Set client expectations
How can you develop lifelong working relationships built on mutual trust and respect with your clients? By setting expectations!
One of my favourite ways to show clients what they can expect when working with me has been developing my brand.
Wait. What does branding have to do with setting expectations?!
Your brand is meant to serve a very specific client. It should speak to that client and reassure them that they are in the right place. That you get them. That you can help them with whatever it is they need.
When every piece of your brand – your words, images, colours, and design, is set up to attract this client, you can’t help but draw in people you want to work with.
This also means your brand will turn away the projects that aren’t meant for you. I know that can seem scary! But when you get an inquiry from a client who wants to work with you (and only you) because everything about your brand resonates with her, there is no better feeling! You’ll know you can help this client, and she will trust you completely.
You do not have to be an expert in everything or be for everyone. Building your brand naturally creates a boundary because it helps you speak only to your ideal clients and set expectations at every touchpoint.
3. Put on your blinders
Full disclosure: I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram.
It’s a beautiful place to support your colleagues and meet new clients. But if I’m not careful, it can quickly become a rabbit hole of consuming too much information. If you’ve ever searched for your industry on IG, I know you understand what I mean.
There is so much talent out there! Following others in your field is only natural. But it gets to be a distraction when I spend too much time taking in what other people are doing, comparing that to my business, and then doubting my design process.
When this started happening, I knew I needed to put on my blinders to better focus on serving my clients, cultivating genuine relationships with my peers, and running my business in a way that works for me.
To do that, I needed boundaries in place to make sure I use my time on Instagram in a meaningful way.
First, I deleted Instagram from my phone and downloaded the App called 1Blocker for my Safari browser. This essentially allows you to use Instagram but blocks your entire feed and explore page, so the only thing you have access to is your profile and DMs. You can still interact with the people who comment on your posts and stories, but without getting pulled into any extra scrolling!
To post my own content without actually logging into Instagram, I use Threads, Planoly*, and Instagram Desktop. These tools allow you to create everything – even stories and reels, and respond to comments, too.
With Threads, you can also build a “close friends” list to select accounts you want to engage with and support.
This was important to me because I want to encourage my colleagues and use my time commenting and sharing on social media in a meaningful way.
It’s a lot of hoops to go through just to avoid my regular IG newsfeed! But with my blinders up, I feel so much better about how I am using my time on Instagram.
What about you?
How have you set boundaries in your business? Is there anything you’ve done or a tool you use to help keep your blinders up or set client expectations?
Let me know in the comments so we can learn from each other! I would love to hear from you.
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