Women Entrepreneurs: How To Set Boundaries To Grow Your Business Without Compromising Time With Your Family
One of the biggest things that I see entrepreneurs struggle with, especially women entrepreneurs, is setting boundaries – most often time boundaries. It seems there’s always some king of excuse, but rarely ever a good one. Seems to be easier to default back to an old habit, a bad one for that matter, than to stay the course and honor the boundary you originally set.
So, what’s the big deal? What if I break a boundary or pick and choose when I keep it?
Respect. That’s the big deal. Respecting yourself, your family, and your business. Yea, it’s that serious.
Imagine your business as a river, be it wild or calm, if there are no banks to guide it, the rest of your life will be flooded. Boundaries serve as your banks to your rivers, be it your business, personal life, or even self-care.
As a woman, a mom, wife, and boss, it’s critical to carefully choose, and set your boundaries. Often it feels as though we must always choose. Choose between the career and the family, the children or our sanity, it feels as though we’re in a constant and perpetual state of sacrifice.
But when you have clear boundaries it’s not a fight anymore, it’s an invitation to fully step into your life and honor everyone in it, especially yourself. When you set boundaries, and stick to them, you can become exponentially more productive when you flow in the river you choose to be in.
For example, if you set a boundary that you will work on your business only during weekdays from 10am – 3pm, then you can be focused, driven, and targeted in the work you do during that time. Otherwise you might “accidentally” do work on weekends or evening when you had meant to spend time with the kids, or that date night you keep pushing off… because you “had” to do work. See the cycle starting to emerge here?
Women especially struggle with this – society has made it clear that we’re expected to sacrifice, accommodate, and suffer silently, or else be viewed as aggressive, forceful, and do I dare say it – bitches. So how do you set boundaries without coming off as a self-centered ego maniac?
The first thing you need to do is look at how you are communicating with the world. Are you annoyed that you must answer emails at 10pm at night? Despite being annoyed, do you keep answering emails at 10pm at night? Who said you should answer emails at night?
That action communicates to your clients and the world that you don’t have a work time boundary – so your clients and the world are going to continue to email you and expect you to respond
Now let’s communicate a different message by going to boundary boot camp. It’s tough at first, but old habits die hard, right? Make note of all the actions you take that support having your boundary broken (e.g., answer/send emails and phone calls in the evenings) and then communicate to your clients, partner, children, employees that you will no longer be responding to emails in the evenings, and if the matter constitutes an emergency – they can call you directly.
Does that feel uncomfortable? Consider that a good thing, because what seems easy isn’t working for you. Once you’ve communicated your new boundary – stick to it. What you communicate in word must also be communicated in action.
Remember to be compassionate and loving with yourself as you reengage your boundaries, as they are in service of yourself and your life objectives.